China warns Trump

“China Warns Trump against Abandoning Climate Change Deal,” blares the headline in the Financial Times:

China has warned Donald Trump that he will be defying the wishes of the entire planet if he acts on his vow to back away from the Paris climate agreement after he becomes US president next January.

Oh, that is dire, “defying the wishes of the entire planet”!  Then we are treated to considered, thoughtful editorializing – in a news article:

In a sign of how far the world has shifted in recognising the need to tackle global warming, Beijing once seen as an obstructive force in UN climate talks is now leading the push for progress by responding to fears that Mr Trump would pull the US out of the landmark accord.

Oh, “how far the world has shifted”!  Beijing, once “an obstructive force,” has now climbed aboard the peace train!  Hallelujah!  And what delightful alliteration  “push for progress.”  Who among us could be against “progress”?  Just in case you missed the self-satisfied smugness, “[t]he Chinese negotiators added that ‘any movement by the new US government’ would not affect their transition towards becoming a greener economy.”  Of course not  China will lead the entire planet in greenness.

We can all feel so proud of the Chinese for stepping up.  But...it wasn’t four days ago that the Wall Street Journal reported: “China Doubles Down on Coal Despite Climate Pledge.”  Indeed, “China’s government said it would raise coal power capacity by as much as 20% by 2020.”  Oh, Exalted Chinese Negotiators, is that part of the “push for progress”?

But don’t worry.  “Officials from the NEA [National Energy Administration] ... said that the government was committed to reducing coal’s dominance in the energy mix.”  That’s right: they’re committed.  Committed.  Like a man who drinks a case of beer a day while assuring his family that he is committed to getting his drinking under control.  When it comes to lecturing the U.S. and our president-elect, what’s important is the purity of the motives of the speakers, their commitment.  Forget actions; it’s words that count.

Henry Percy is the nom de guerre of a writer in Arizona.  He may be reached at saler.50d[at]gmail.com.

“China Warns Trump against Abandoning Climate Change Deal,” blares the headline in the Financial Times:

China has warned Donald Trump that he will be defying the wishes of the entire planet if he acts on his vow to back away from the Paris climate agreement after he becomes US president next January.

Oh, that is dire, “defying the wishes of the entire planet”!  Then we are treated to considered, thoughtful editorializing – in a news article:

In a sign of how far the world has shifted in recognising the need to tackle global warming, Beijing once seen as an obstructive force in UN climate talks is now leading the push for progress by responding to fears that Mr Trump would pull the US out of the landmark accord.

Oh, “how far the world has shifted”!  Beijing, once “an obstructive force,” has now climbed aboard the peace train!  Hallelujah!  And what delightful alliteration  “push for progress.”  Who among us could be against “progress”?  Just in case you missed the self-satisfied smugness, “[t]he Chinese negotiators added that ‘any movement by the new US government’ would not affect their transition towards becoming a greener economy.”  Of course not  China will lead the entire planet in greenness.

We can all feel so proud of the Chinese for stepping up.  But...it wasn’t four days ago that the Wall Street Journal reported: “China Doubles Down on Coal Despite Climate Pledge.”  Indeed, “China’s government said it would raise coal power capacity by as much as 20% by 2020.”  Oh, Exalted Chinese Negotiators, is that part of the “push for progress”?

But don’t worry.  “Officials from the NEA [National Energy Administration] ... said that the government was committed to reducing coal’s dominance in the energy mix.”  That’s right: they’re committed.  Committed.  Like a man who drinks a case of beer a day while assuring his family that he is committed to getting his drinking under control.  When it comes to lecturing the U.S. and our president-elect, what’s important is the purity of the motives of the speakers, their commitment.  Forget actions; it’s words that count.

Henry Percy is the nom de guerre of a writer in Arizona.  He may be reached at saler.50d[at]gmail.com.