19th September 2011
India will emit at least 20 times more CO2 in the coming decades
From The Australian today – 19 September 2011 (couldn't find it online so I've scanned and OCRd it)
THE Indian daily says the country's government has rightly recast India's position on climate change, emphasising equity as the key principle for future climate negotiations. "Given that we cannot get to zero emissions right away with present-day technologies, the individual Indian should have as much right to carbon space as the individual American or European. At this point, the average American emits 19 times as much carbon dioxide as the average Indian. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had offered that India's per-capita emissions rate will at no point exceed that of developed countries." This, the paper says, is a fair offer."Emissions have got to do with energy use, and energy use has to do with prosperity and quality of life . . . Those who have polluted more in the past and continue to pollute more now surely have the responsibility to make deeper cuts than developing countries. Anything else would amount to a form of environmental apartheid, with developed countries given a greater share of the environment's resources."
(click for bigger image)
I don't support the idea of linking this issue with racism or calling it "apartheid". It is NOT. That is also hitting below the belt, and we should rise above such language. The issue is purely about science and basic rights to economic development.
Overall, therefore I support this position on two fundamental grounds:
a) CO2 has not been proven unambiguously to impose net costs; instead from what I can see, it almost certainly has net benefits.
b) It is ridiculous for "environmentalists" to pretend to care for "future generations" when India won't even have future generations – because its current generations will die from lack of amenities available through development today.
Let India become FULLY DEVELOPED first. Only then can (or should) anyone (including the Indian government) try to reduce India's carbon emissions.
Accordingly, the position at Marginal Revolution today is even more valid.