It would be good news were it not so bad: India, usually considered a threat to U.S. dominance in science, has turned its back on climate science and instead, citing junk science claims, rejected overtures to reduce pollution that affects climate. India appears to have fallen victim to the hoaxters who claim climate change is no big deal.
From the Financial Times:
A split between rich and poor nations in the run-up to climate-change talks widened on Thursday.
India rejected key scientific findings on global warming, while the European Union called for more action by developing states on greenhouse gas emissions.
Jairam Ramesh, the Indian environment minister, accused the developed world of needlessly raising alarm over melting Himalayan glaciers.
He dismissed scientists’ predictions that Himalayan glaciers might disappear within 40 years as a result of global warming.
“We have to get out of the preconceived notion, which is based on western media, and invest our scientific research and other capacities to study Himalayan atmosphere,” he said.
As if the atmosphere of the Himalayan range is unaffected by emissions from Europe or Asia. As if the glaciers in the Himalayas, and the snowfall, and the water to India’s great rivers, come independent from the rest of the world.
It’s interesting to see these issues play out politically. India and China both understand that the U.S. and Europe have much more to lose from climate change than either of those nations. Climate damage to the U.S. wheat belt, for example, would chiefly close off U.S. production of wheat for export, opening markets for others — like India and China. Critically, such damage also hurts U.S. ability to offset balance of payments issues, providing economic and finance advantages to China’s banks. U.S. ports are much more vulnerable to climate change damage, from increase storms and changing ocean levels, than are ports in India and China — and there are more ports that are vulnerable in the U.S. and Europe.
India’s inaction and recalcitrance should not be used as justification for the U.S. to do nothing, thereby slitting its own patriotic throat.
But watch: Climate denialist blogs, “hate-America-first” outlets like World Net Daily, and Osama bin Laden will hail India’s inaction.
Let’s hope cooler heads prevail, lest we run out of cooler heads.
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