Whatever else you can say about China’s rise, their decision to copy our style of coal- and oil-intensive development is bad for everyone, including them. For the past few years, the country has been building one major dirty coal plant almost every week. That’s a key reason I have a chapter in my book titled, “The U.S.-China Suicide Pact on Climate.”
The cover article’s only passing reference to the climate issue is stunning in its insouciance:
Has the factory boom been good for China? Of course it has. Yes, it creates environmental pressures that, if not controlled, could pollute China and the world out of existence. The national government’s current Five Year Plan … has as its central theme China’s development as a “harmonious society.” … It is also code for at least talking about protecting the environment.”
That is whistling past the graveyard — literally, a planetary graveyard. Sadly, “talking” won’t stop catastrophic global warming, although it is the same strategy that George W. Bush has adopted.
I’m not saying that global warming needs to be the focus of every article written about China. But to not mention the subject at all in an entire issue is to leave readers uniformed. And this is not the first time the magazine has shown it doesn’t get global warming. They ran a remarkably uninformed article by Gregg Easterbrook back in April.
That’s two strikes against the magazine this year. They can do better.