Chinese Coal and John Kerry

Richard McGregor reports in today’s Financial Times that the China’s energy demand continues to skyrocket, growing at an annual rate of 16.2 % so far this year. That’s enough new power to surpass the total capacity of Great Britain, and 85% of it is generated by coal.

Meanwhile, John Kerry is going around telling reporters that the US Senate cannot agree to any climate response that does not include China.

The tension between these two stories is good news for people like me, who worry more about bungling bureaucrats trying to control my carbon footprint than I do about a million dollar Miami home endangered by rising seas a century from now. And don’t tell me about the poor people of Bangladesh. Cutting emissions curbs growth—that’s why no one is doing it—and less growth means more poor people, which means more death, pestilence and so on. That’s a hard truth you won’t hear in Bali.

So, three cheers for Chinese coal. And three cheers for John Kerry.