Asia: The Green And Global Paradox
There are two guiding principles in the left’s ersatz secular theology: Green is Good and Global is Best. They constantly deride the notion of American exceptionalism and tell us to look abroad for inspiration on how to manage our affairs.
Alas, hard times are at hand for the greenie globalist. It seems that America is doing pretty well on the green front as it focuses its entrepreneurial drives on shale gas, which has a relatively light carbon footprint. Meanwhile, our neighbors across the seas are not morphing into paragons of environmental virtue, bestowing alternative energy technologies on a fallen world. They are becoming coal addicts, as described by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in The Telegraph:
Asia’s industrial revolution is the driving force behind the coal revival. China will absorb half the world’s output within two years to supply its steel, chemical, and cement plants. It still generates 83pc of its power from coal.
India is catching up fast, with coal use rising 6.3pc a year. It will be the world’s largest importer of seaborne coal by 2016.
America’s success with shale gas has reduced its demand for coal and pushed down the price, which has fallen from $200 per ton to $99. Asia’s hungry economies are taking advantage of the drop and importing record amounts of coal. As the black rocks have a carbon footprint more than twice the size of shale gas, a new twist looms on the horizon in the global warming debate.
Environmental activists have generally argued that it was up to the West, especially America, to rein in its carbon emissions. But now that America’s free enterprise system has come up with an energy consumption structure that is relatively green, are they prepared to make the same demands on China, India and the other rapidly growing economies of Asia?