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Nationalism to Confront Globalism in Glasgow

Patrick Buchanan on

"Extraordinary, isn't it? I've been hearing all about COP," said the queen to the duchess of Cornwall. "Still don't know who is coming. ... We only know about people who are not coming. ... It's really irritating when they talk but they don't do."

Queen Elizabeth II was expressing her exasperation at the possible number of no-shows at the U.K.'s coming climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland.

Among the absentees may be Chinese President Xi Jinping, whose country generates more carbon dioxide than the U.S. and EU combined.

Behind the queen's exasperation, however, lies a political reality.

Nations like China are discovering that meeting goals for cutting carbon emissions can stall economic growth to where the regime itself is at peril.

Forced to choose between what is best for the country now and what is better for mankind in some indeterminate future, leaders are putting the needs of the nation today over the call of the world of tomorrow.

 

As the countdown to Glasgow proceeds, China's energy situation is described by The New York Times:

"China's electricity shortage is rippling across factories and industries, testing the nation's status as the world's capital for reliable manufacturing. The shortage prompted the authorities to announce on Wednesday a national rush to mine and burn more coal, despite their previous pledges to curb emissions that cause climate change.

"Mines that were closed without authorization have been ordered to reopen. Coal mines and coal-fired power plants that were shut for repairs are also to be reopened. Tax incentives are being drafted for coal-fired power plants. ... Local governments have been warned to be more cautious about limits on energy use that had been imposed partly in response to climate change concerns."

Earlier this year, Beijing had pledged to stop building coal-fired power plants outside China. But at home, Beijing is going all-out to mine and burn coal to keep the world's greatest manufacturing plant producing and the world's largest labor force employed.

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