UPDATE: It seems the offending piece has now been removed from Dr Hansen’s website. I am posting it here in good faith, as there was no copyright notice to say it was restricted, and so I am assuming it okay to repost it. It may be removed, though, so be warned.
James Hansen China and the Barbarians – click for pdf file
The NASA scientist at the heart of the global warming fiasco seems set to stir more controversy after declaring in an op ed piece for The South China Morning Post and a personally published follow-up that American democracy is not competent to deal with global warming, and communist China now represents the world’s “best hope”.
In the op ed piece for the Chinese newspaper, which he entitled Chinese Leadership Needed to Save Humanity (published as The Price of Change) Hansen placed the blame for the vast majority of Co2 emissions supposedly causing global warming on his home country of America, and appealed to China not to follow the same path. Hansen said that China was the world’s “best hope” and called for them to “lead the world through the most dangerous crisis that humanity and nature have ever faced”.
In a follow-up article published on his website Hansen calls Americans “barbarians” and slams American democracy, calling for China to raise tariffs on American-made products until such time as America falls into line.
He recalls with some bitterness how the findings on fuel efficiency that he and his “A-Team” (as he calls it) of crack scientists came up with were held up for years by the democratic and judicial process in the United States:
We “won” the court case, yet appeals stretched the time of action for years. I came away feeling that not only is it nearly impossible to get effective legislation through Congress, but that the special interests can prevent implementation almost interminably. Democracy of the sort intended in 1776 probably could have dealt with climate change, but not the fossil-money-’democracy’ that now rules the roost in Washington.
James Hansen, China and the Barbarians.
The declaration that American ‘democracy’ (as he sarcastically refers to it as) cannot cope with climate change, and that the world must look to the Chinese communist dictatorship to “lead” is bound to be controversial.
What is potentially even more controversial is that Hansen goes on to condemn the current democratic system in America as “dysfunctional” as it will not enact the carbon taxes he has been calling for. All is not lost, though, as he advises the Chinese government what to do about Congress in a truly incredible passage in his letter:
However, there is a way around that, which becomes obvious with the realization that an initially modest carbon fee is in China’s own interest. After agreement with other nations, e.g., the European Union, China and these nations could impose rising internal carbon fees. Existing rules of the World Trade Organization would allow collection of a rising border duty on products from all nations that do not have an equivalent internal carbon fee or tax.
The United States then would be forced to make a choice. It could either address its fossil fuel addiction with a rising carbon fee and supportive national investment policies or it could accept continual descent into second-rate and third-rate economic well-being.
My reading of this is that Hansen is advising a foreign, communist dictatorship how to circumvent American democracy and “force” (his word) America into either kow-towing over carbon taxes, or “accepting continual descent”. It is truly breath-taking that a federal employee seems able to get away with such seemingly unpatriotic activity without any reprimand or disciplinary action.
Hansen concludes his remarkable personal advice by expressing his hope that China will be able to find “good barbarians” (i.e. compliant Westerners) to help it “participate in effective policy”. As he observes, the great thing about China is that they are not bound by the inconveniences of democracy, such as elections and accountability and can simply impose decisions by diktat:
I have the impression that Chinese leadership takes a long view, perhaps because of the long history of their culture, in contrast to the West with its short election cycles. At the same time China has the capacity to implement policy decisions rapidly.
Hansen also claimed that if no action was taken, and all fossil fuels were burnt, then sea levels would rise by 75 metres (246 feet).
Bishop Hill has pointed out that Hansen’s adoration of the Chinese communist dictatorship seems to be a growing fashion among the climate alarmists.
The popular blog Treehugger has an article which reverently repeats the proud announcements of The People’s Republic of China that their glorious five-year plan to increase energy efficiency has been met with the help of rolling blackouts and shutting down institutions as required to meet targets.
As the comrades at Treehugger note, ruthless communist dictatorship is just so much more effective at these things than democracy:
It’s interesting to note the dedication China has displaying in achieving its target — shutting down entire operations and even executing rolling blackouts. Surely there would have been some amount of embarrassment for the nation on the world’s stage if it had missed its target, but that likely would have been minor. It’s worth noting the difference in political culture: What do you think would have happened if the US had such an energy-reduction target to hit, but a sagging economy got in the way?
I can tell you with some certainty: We would have missed that mark.
They’re certainly good at “executing” things. If you do decide to comment on Treehuggers’ page, please remember to be polite at all times and address them respectfully as “comrade”.
Also see my recent post here on how the UK’s new green government earnestly desires “greater collaboration” with the Chinese – it includes a video from the France 24 News channel on the Chinese citizens in forced labour as part of the “re-education” process, up to 2 million of them, according to the report.
The revolution will be carbon-neutral.