The Ghost of Snapped Shot

Or, welcome to my low-maintenance heck.

Environmental Marxism: Reheat As Necessary

"The smoke of chimneys is the breath of Soviet Russia."
I ran across an interesting collection of articles over at Instapundit today, which I am highly amused by. Apparently, Sir Nicholas Stern, the British preacher of doom, has been going around repeating the absurd claim that Chinese air-quality standards are too high for the American auto industry to be able to send cars over there.

Of course, there's nothing new about claims like this. I honestly cannot remember a time in my life where the Left has failed to attack the West for things which were, at the very least, not the West's fault.

Tim Blair has done a fantastic job rounding up some other notable Leftists who repeat this claim essentially verbatim. He has also pointed us to Right-Thinking, who has provided first-hand photographic evidence of Chinese environmental policy, which makes Los Angeles look like an ecological paradise.

I remember walking through a Russian bookstore in the suburbs of Maryland (the largest in the country--which, sadly, was forced to close some time ago) that contained thousands of old Soviet books, including the textbooks they used internally, and the ones they sent overseas to other countries in "goodwill" missions--textbooks which, of course, represented the Soviet line. (Not that the Soviets ever tried to communize the world or anything.)Out of curiosity, I meandered through the English-language aisle, reading in book after book that the Soviet Union was the ultimate protector of the environment, and that America was a decimated, polluted wasteland. Remarkably, the rhetoric contained in those musty old volumes matched exactly the rhetoric coming from the American intelligentsia of the era--emanating from our Universities, our news media, and even our State Department a doctrine which matched the Soviet line on world events, verbatim!

Shock and awe? It's not that much of a surprise, when one considers the notorious connections between the Soviets and the "progressive" elements throughout the 20th century.

Of course, after the fall of Communism, we discovered the reality of the situation: Much of Soviet Russia was an environmental disaster, completely decimated by generations of "public" property being treated with as much respect as "public" land usually gets. (For a good idea of what this looks like, look at any U.S. Government installation here in the United States and see if you would consider it well cared-for. Then, expand that observation to an entire nation. Hopefully, you'll get the picture quickly.)

Since the fall of the Soviet empire, the Russian Federation has done a magnificent job of at least trying to get the nation's environmental situation under control, but there's still a vast difference between environmental quality there versus the quality here in the United States.

Flashing back to the present situation, we can learn from just about any source that China's environmental policy is horrific, to say the least. For example, Jason Becker's excellent book, Dragon Rising: An Inside Look at China Today describes the situation in Communist China succinctly:

Once a beauty spot praised by poets, Dianchi Lake, around Kunming, the capital of subtropical Yunnan province, shows the cost to China of its frantic growth.
“When I was young you could swim in it and see the stones at the bottom,” he said. Now the bottom has poisonous sediment of cadmium, arsenic and lead three feet thick, which can only be removed by dredging.

The list of sources goes on and on: The Department of Energy has a brief overview of some of the problems the Chinese government is causing, and heck, even the BBC has found enough cause for concern to comment. China ignored any outside advice on the potential ecological catastrophe represented by the Three Gorges Dam. All in all, the Chinese government has shown as much commitment to ecological responsibility as the Goracle has.

Things are obviously not rosy over in the People's Republic. One would have thought that such a notable (and I use the term loosely) scholar such as Sir Stern would have been well-informed enough to notice the inherent falsehood in his statement.

"...and send me yo' MONEY."
The bottom line is that the West is not responsible for all of the environmental ills in the world. Pouring billions of dollars into "carbon trading schemes" does nothing if the nations which have been excluded from Kyoto continue to pollute at will.

Of course, some of my friends on the Left would probably characterize observations like this as me incorrectly connecting the dots, but other than being a very amusing analogy, there isn't really much more to the "science" of the argument. (Don't get me wrong, Waldo - the humour in your post is most excellent.) Besides which, when I put the dots together, all I can see is a giant money-grab, the likes of which the Left used to love to lambaste back in the good ol' 80's.

If I may paraphrase Brutha Gore (and the video really is worth a watching--thanks to Allah for the delightful screencap!): "Place your hand on your TV set, reach into your pocket, and send me yo' MONEY."



#1 Funstar 24-Apr-2008
The weird thing is, Chinese policy probably DOES restrict American cars on the basis of pollution, but that has nothing to do with pollution itself.

China is using environmental policy as a trade barrier to prevent US entry into the Chinese automobile market.
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