Set aside for a moment the debate on whether man's use of fossil fuels is catastrophically heating up the Earth, as environmental activists claim. We're not going to resolve that issue anytime soon, and it's more entertaining to make fun of the parody into which recent international climate change talks in Germany descended -- particularly on the question of China.
The communist nation's economy is second in size only to that of the United States. In addition, China releases more of the greenhouse gases that activists blame for climate change than any other nation -- America included.
So, let's see: A repressive nation that has had at least enough sense of late to benefit from some free-market reform also manages to be the world's biggest polluter -- as measured by the carbon emissions that the talks in Germany were supposed to be working toward reducing. China would thus seem to be a natural candidate for being asked to curtail those emissions.
Au contraire! The world can't expect China to do that in any significant way, its autocrats say, because that would stifle its economy. Plus, their nation is still classified as "developing" -- read "poor" -- for purposes of the U.N. talks.
Anyway, they say, countries such as the United States that industrialized earlier are responsible for longer-term greenhouse gas emissions, so let them shoulder the burden. (Never mind the higher standard of living that U.S. industrialization and technological advancements have showered on China and much of the rest of the world.)
No, if the world is determined to go along with all this climate change alarmism, let's let every nation take part -- rich or "poor." That means you, China.