Grist: China Lying About Climate Commitments, Still Building Coal Plants

China’s burgeoning coal power industry

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t JoNova – according to Grist China is secretly continuing construction work on new coal plants, despite public statements that the coal plants have been cancelled.

China said it was done with these coal plants. Satellite imagery shows otherwise.

By Nathanael Johnson
on Sep 25, 2018

Newly released satellite photos appear to show continuing construction of coal plants that China said it was cancelling last year, according to CoalSwarm.

This new evidence that China’s central government hasn’t been able to stop the runaway coal-fired power plant building is alarming,” said Ted Nace, head of CoalSwarm, the nonprofit research network which analyzed and released the satellite images. “The planet can’t tolerate another U.S.-sized block of plants to be built.”

Experts said the images provide credible evidence that China is still building more coal-fired plants than its government claims. Take a look at these shots, the first from January 2017 and the second from this February.

In January 2017, China announced that it was canceling more than 100 coal plantsacross 13 provinces. At the time, a researcher familiar with Chinese politics said that regional officials might try to skirt the central government’s order.

“Some projects might have been ongoing for 10 years, and now there’s an order to stop them,” Lin Boqiang, an energy policy researcher at Xiamen University in southeastern China, told the New York Times. “It’s difficult to persuade the local governments to give up on them.

Read more:

Late last year China was forced to reactivate mothballed coal plants, after a botched Communist Party directive to switch to gas left large numbers of people shivering in unheated homes in the middle of Winter. Perhaps China’s regional governments have had enough of their national government’s energy planning incompetence.

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Steve O
September 26, 2018 4:53 am

Leadership in China has a desire to reduce reliance on coal in order to reduce pollution, but they’ll provide whatever energy is needed for their citizens. If Western nations want to give money to China to help them do what they were going to do anyway, they’ll be happy to them the money, but the Chinese leadership have not bought into the CAGW scare and they’re certainly not going to restrict production for something they regard as a Western delusion.

Don K
Reply to  Steve O
September 26, 2018 5:34 am

That’s my opinion also Steve. The Chinese are not going to rock the boat by disagreeing with the folks they sell stuff to, but I don’t think they are CAGW believers. OTOH, they are tackling their massive air pollution problems which does mean somewhat less dependence on coal where there are alternative energy sources,

But you and I are a minority.

The same holds true for other developing countries I think. India for example.

Reply to  Don K
September 26, 2018 5:41 am

Great news for Australia BTW.

Good on ya, digger.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Don K
September 26, 2018 12:17 pm

Minority? Does anybody seriously think that China cares about what CO2 does? They know it is a hoax. There is only 1 groupthink in China. That is the groupthink of the CCP. There is no room in Chinese politics for 2 sets of groupthinks. As for the rest of the world even stalwarts like Nick Stokes and Kristi Silber can’t seriously believe that the CCP believes in this hoax.

Reply to  Steve O
September 26, 2018 5:39 am

They made that engagement when Obama whispered in Xi’s ear that he would give him lots of USD if he played along with the AGW scam.

Since Trump has stalled the payments ( without actually doing anything about pulling out of Paris ) Xi sees not reason to deprive his country of the much needed cheap energy.

There is every chance that they will be ensuring less REAL air pollution from new plant. They will not give a toss about colourless, odourless, non-toxic “dirty” CO2.

Reply to  Greg
September 26, 2018 9:37 am

“… without actually doing anything about pulling out of Paris …”

I thought that there is a 2 – 3 year time period from the time at which a country announces its intentions to leave the Paris Accord and the actual leaving. Is that not so?

Since the Paris Accord is non-binding, other than stopping all payments to the Climate Fund, and ignoring the rest of it, what would you expect the US to do?

Reply to  Greg
September 26, 2018 10:10 am

Cheap Energy are the magic words. Abundant and reliable.

Reply to  Steve O
September 26, 2018 6:54 am

“the Chinese leadership have not bought into the CAGW scare”

Obviously not… don’t build artificial islands with $billions of military infrastructure….only a few feet above sea level….and believe in sea level rise either

Reply to  Latitude
September 26, 2018 7:57 am

Bingo Latitude!

AGW is not Science
Reply to  Latitude
September 26, 2018 9:53 am

Nor do you buy beachfront properties on the coast of California. Oh wait…

Reply to  AGW is not Science
September 27, 2018 7:38 am

That’s not for us little people to understand. We are taught that sea level rise will destroy most of the planet. If someone in California want’s to generate revenue for their local real estate market they’re being charitable wealth sharers. They would never, (cough cough) believe that their home wouldn’t be destroyed. Aren’t they so giving? Is there anything they wouldn’t do for their community? (fecetious overload captain, shutdown commencing)

Reply to  Steve O
September 26, 2018 8:22 am

The Chinese view CAGW not so much as a Western delusion but as a competitive advantage, even if CAGW was a real problem.

Reply to  Steve O
September 26, 2018 12:48 pm

But why can’t they build them with the proper anti-pollution technology installed? After all, the one’s installed on our own coal power plants are made in …. China.

Y. Knott
September 26, 2018 4:59 am

– Well c’mon, be reasonable; they’ve gotta’ do something with all that North Korean coal…

dodgy geezer
September 26, 2018 5:02 am

…China is secretly continuing construction work on new coal plants, despite public statements that the coal plants have been cancelled….

Yes. They were cancelled in March 2017. In January 2018 they were re-instated.

Do you want us to cancel them again? If so, the price has gone up. These administrators aren’t cheap to employ, you know….

Reply to  dodgy geezer
September 26, 2018 10:10 am

They were never cancelled they were only ever postponed.

When Griff originally tried to claim that I showed the official announcement which only ever said postponed. The original reuters report is here, the official announcement link is dead

The exact quote “The report, citing documents issued to local governments by the regulator, said China would also stop approving new projects in as many as 13 provinces and regions until 2018.”

If you read the rest you will see Greenpeace read more into it and 13 somehow became 15 in many reprints of the story.

China didn’t change anything the green groups were wrong in what they tried to read into it.

Reply to  LdB
September 26, 2018 12:30 pm

The economy wasn’t growing as fast as expected, as a result they were going to be introducing more new power than was needed. So they temporarily slowed down the rate at which they were building new power plants.

This was all explained to Griff on multiple occasions.

steve case
September 26, 2018 5:06 am

How are they doing on electrostatic scrubbers and bag houses for the new plants? The air pollution in China is so bad you can’t see the ground from the 7th floor of a hotel and you can taste it if you’re outside. The people should be screaming about it to Xi Jinping or whoever is in charge over there.

Reply to  steve case
September 26, 2018 5:33 am

They do have a REAL air pollution problem. The answer would seem to be to contruct cleaner coal powered stations as used in the west and close the older polluting ones. Stopping completion of already commenced projects seems foolish waste of resources.

If the naive greenies had not screwed it up UK would have one of the cleanest coal fired stations at North Kingswood in Kent by now. Instead they are chopping down US oak trees to burn them at Drax.

Reply to  Greg
September 26, 2018 6:07 am

That isn’t accurate about chopping down US Oak trees, especially whole trees, to feed Drax with wood pellets. You don’t even get that crap from the Guardian.

Think about it for 1 second. You think a lumberman is going to take a high value whole tree like an oak and grind it up to make low cost wood pellets? The branches and sawdust and planer shavings for sure, as this used to be just burnt up in giant bee hive burners and polluted the local atmosphere with smoke and flyash. Now you have a compressed pellet to a dried exacting spec to burn very clean. Forget about the damn CO2.

What is utilized and is being made into wood pellets to generate electricity at Drax is the wood produced from low grade thinnings taken out as part of the process of growing higher grade forests for lumber and plywood amongst other high grade forest products. These, along with branches and sawmill waste, are the principle sources of materials being made into wood pellets to displace coal. If there had been more of this going on, poor Australia may have been able to save their coal burning plants from being dynamited. Or at least mix 50-50 coal with pellets. But the powers that be in Australia ain’t been that bright, to say the least. At least until the last elections…

Enough with the pure propaganda here at WUWT about Drax burning wood pellets. It is a free market that is being supplied by honest market forces. And a responsible one at that.

Reply to  Earthling2
September 26, 2018 6:34 am

Sorry Earthling I think you are talking propaganda there…A Dispatches investigation has uncovered evidence of hardwood forests being chopped down to provide ‘green energy’ for the UK. Experts say unique habitats rich in wildlife are under threat as Britain’s power stations switch from burning coal to wood…

Says it all really.

Reply to  Jay
September 26, 2018 7:09 am

I did say to think about it for 1 second! These are mainly second or third growth tree farms that have been utilized for generations. There is no more virgin forest left to speak of. The bulk of the wood is utilized for higher and more worthwhile purposes. As in cold hard cash. The unusable waste is what is used for pellets. And if all a whole tree is good for, is to grind it up for pellets because it won’t make a sawmill grade log, then it is rotten, and dying of old age and at its end of life in the forest and better to get a new tree growing. If you want to make a park of that and preserve it from human development, fine, but that is a different argument. But I see you quote The Ecologist magazine, which has a vested interest in misleading its readers for its political agenda. Again, think about it for 1 second? DO you think anyone is going to take a perfectly good log that is worth a lot more for a lumber product and grind it up whole? Really? Maybe if it is dead or rotting already. Enough with the bleeding hearts, save the trees and seals crowd that started this global disorder about CAGW. I was there from the very beginning in the 1960’s and I see now the terrible damage that has been done by this mindset. Maybe saving the whales made sense initially, but the ecology movement morphed into the evil marxist crowd that will take away your liberties. And your wallet.

Reply to  Jay
September 26, 2018 7:18 am

Not sure I would believe theecologist — any media today is untrustworthy. Certainly, hardwood forests are harvested regularly here in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, etc. At least here in MD & nearby PA, it appears to be done w/thought and planning — mountainous areas right above me were clear-cut some yrs ago and have recovered nicely — 20-40′ oaks, hickories, tuliptrees, etc now only after 15-20 yrs. So unless there’s evidence that valuable hardwoods are being pelletized, I don’t believe it — it’s too valuable for that use. Perhaps “soft”, less valuable hardwoods that have little other uses might be.

Again, I agree this is stupid from an energy standpoint, but eastern NA hardwood forests naturally regrow from clear-cuts w/o any replanting necessary. And practically ANY media source today is untrustworthy.

R Shearer
Reply to  Jay
September 26, 2018 7:23 am

Hardwood sawdust and shavings are certainly pelletized and command a premium price, and there may be exceptions in which some whole small hard wood trees are pelletized. However, various pines are most commonly used to make wood pellets. As Earthling says, it would be financially silly to use hard woods for such purposes.

I suspect that some of these “investigators” are mistakenly classifying wood types, not unlike confusing carbon and carbon dioxide.

Reply to  Jay
September 29, 2018 10:03 am

As one who has spent 40 years in the timber business I know they aren’t going to send hardwood saw or veneer logs to a chipper for pellets. Far too valuable and in short supply.

However, I was working for a California timber company when electricity shortages cropped up in the ’00’s and they were trucking logging slash (normally burned on site) from the woods to their cogen plant and selling the power, but spot prices had spiked due to Cali stupidity. That said, without moronic energy subsidies no one in their right mind would ship wood pellets across an ocean to generate electricity. Clearly more energy used than produced if you know how the system works.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Earthling2
September 26, 2018 7:11 am

A “free market”? Please. It’s being driven by the CAGW scam, because it is (supposedly) “carbon-neutral”. They have coal, they just refuse to use it, because of “dirty carbon”. Then there’s gas, but oh no, that uses (shudder) fracking, which Greenies hate, and because (shudder again) gas is still an “evil” fossil fuel.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
September 26, 2018 7:38 am

Sure, but that is politics. If the pellets were cheaper from Brazil, or Canada, I am sure the cheapest sourced pellets would be utilized. I am not saying that in this case, where Drax sits atop a coal mine, that it makes sense. It is actually kind of bizarre that the coal isn’t being burnt with newer electrostatic technology cleaning it up. Politics in Britain, especially on the AGW file is really out to lunch. And CO2 is irrelevant as far the wood pellets or coal go, or it should be. Although mixing wood pellets with coal is one way of keeping coal fired plants operating longer, and should be looked at much more closely. Especially as NG and especially LNG will probably increase in price in the future. It is should be viewed as just another fuel from a source that was traditionally wasted. So it is net positive for the economy.

What I am saying is just quit already slandering the wood waste being converted into pellet industry. It used to be just burnt up wastefully in bee hive burners that we all know was the standard just 15-20 years ago in many jurisdictions. And still huge colossal slash pile fires out in the bush that are just burnt in smouldering fires. But some of that is now converted to wood pellets and burnt cleanly and efficiently for many applications. The wood pellet industry makes a lot of economic and good environmental sense. That is all I am saying.

Robert MacLellan
Reply to  Earthling2
September 26, 2018 8:03 am

Sorry Earthling but it is true. There are few lumbermen left but many forest contractors. It is all about the economics of cutting, sorting, and handling of multiple product streams. If the price/volume of saw logs on any given stand is high enough to justify the added cost then saw logs are sorted out, if not, then not. Many stands are cut and chipped onsite due to the lower costs and reduced handling of the product. I do not know much about the industry in the Southern USA but here is a company in Eastern Canada
Even in sawmills the % utilization of the log varies depending on the market on a day to day basis with more of the log going to the chippers when the price of lumber drops.

Reply to  Robert MacLellan
September 26, 2018 8:59 am

Except the price of lumber, and timber by extension, has just been the highest in recorded history for the last 2-3 years until last month. Just check the price of lumber at Home Depot or the commodities market. There was certainly little commercial green sawlog whole sale chipped. Maybe some stands of dead and rotten were chipped, but timber prices have been though the roof the last few years. You are talking about extreme isolated cases, or maybe a few private land owners too far from market with dubious wood for sale and then hyping that as the truth to suit your agenda, or the agenda that has fooled you into thinking what you say is the truth. I have been in the timber industry all my life in North America, and know first hand what I speak. There is some round tub chipping done in Alberta/BC too, but that is all slash piles waiting to be burnt in the bush, or is dead and checked pine/spruce beetle wood that won’t even make a 2×4. And so it can be replanted to a new forest. And that is if the cost of logging was already paid for by the green timber because the financials for pellets don’t justify the logging cost on top of chipping or pelletizing. It has to be basically free waste wood, since even the planer shavings have a higher value for other products now. You are maybe confusing the pulp wood market, or the chip/OSB board market. This is a pure misinformation campaign which you are repeating about wood pellets, and perhaps you don’t know it, but you are being seriously mislead, just like the CAGW misinformation is deluding the populous for nefarious reasons.

Robert MacLellan
Reply to  Robert MacLellan
September 26, 2018 9:26 am

The price of lumber at the store is artificially inflated by tariffs/quotas on imports in the US. And I don’t have an agenda re the lumber/sawlog issue. The entire forest industry from pellets, chips and lumber is highly integrated with various companies selling/trading their supplies to each other continuously. I forgot to mention that finances also have a large effect. Large customers drive the price and supply by varying their payment schedules. There is a massive difference in carrying charges between a 30 day and 90 day payment schedule.

Reply to  Robert MacLellan
September 26, 2018 10:02 am

You are 100% right Robert that the forest industry is highly integrated with various sorts of timber going to the correct destination, and for various financial reasons trading timber between companies to asset their corporate machinery for processing the right logs. I have done that most of my career with my company. The poor processor operator now has to be tree log grader as they are processing the logs at up to 500 m3 per 12 hour shift, with so many sort piles and measured lengths. It is nearly impossible to keep up, especially with the advance in machinery the last 15-20 years.

But the salvage log historically had the least value, since the highest and best use of the log generally finds its best home, since at the end of the day, it is also about profitability. There will be some exceptions to this, such as private lands, but the logs that may make for good pellets may also make for a good pulp log, and generally pulp logs always had a value higher than scrap salvage that had no better use than a biofuel. Which is what most pellets are made out of. So I think it is just common sense, but also documented truth, that the highest and best use of a log is what determines what it is used for. If it is State, Fed or Provincial wood with stumpage etc, the local Forest Ranger is also going to want to see that log (by law) used for plywood, lumber or OSB, since the stumpage paid is going to be significantly more than for a salvage log that only can be made into pellets. But there is a signifiant attempt, even here, to demonize biofuels. Which I don’t understand, because the vast majority of that raw supply is leftover salvage, scrap and sawdust at the bottom of the value chain. Which creates a brand new industry and a lot of jobs.

Robert MacLellan
Reply to  Robert MacLellan
September 26, 2018 10:39 am

generally agree with your post but would add that “the highest and best use” “should” determine the actual use but often does not due to other factors(market, legislation, finances contract fulfillment etc.) As regards Biomass, I really dislike the term as it assumes too many streams are equivalent. Whole tree chipping is not saw mill waste and in my view is pointless destruction. Using saw mill waste as feedstock for other products is great but pellet mills do not like debarker waste, just sawdust, planer shavings and offcut chips which all should have other higher value markets. In my view the only biomass that should be burned is the debarker waste, primarily as Waste Management, not a preferred fuel. I worked in a Kraft mill as a power engineer( Boiler/turbine Operator) and can tell you that it is a very low quality fuel with lots of emission issues and high ash content. Power plants prefer pellets or chips for their handling, consistency, lower ash content but without subsidies the only reason to burn it is waste disposal. It does not need to be a direct subsidy as long as it is cheaper than landfilling or composting.

Harrow Sceptic
Reply to  Earthling2
September 27, 2018 1:36 pm

Doesn’t the UK government pay a £500M a year subsidy, presumably funded by us consumers, to the Drax Power station to burn Biomass. If so doesn’t this somewhat distort the “honest market forces” And how much CO2 is generated by the shipping of these pellets to the US coast, thence across the Atlantic and then across the UK to Drax?

Reply to  Greg
September 26, 2018 6:30 am

Please stop this. Tree farming has been a thing here for at least 60 years.

Reply to  Greg
September 26, 2018 7:06 am

Instead they are chopping down US oak trees to burn them at Drax.

Earthling2 is correct — they’re not chopping down oak trees for Drax. Harvesting loblolly pines from already-present pine-plantations (there are ALOT of such plantations in the US southeast). Not that I think that makes sense (it doesn’t), but have to at least be accurate.

dan no longer in CA
Reply to  Greg
September 26, 2018 8:41 am

Saving trees is like saving corn. Trees are a crop with a longer growth time than most other crops.

Reply to  steve case
September 26, 2018 5:47 am

They are moving rapidly to address the pollution problem, in part by replacing older dirtier plants with newer cleaner ones for just that reason. China’s new coal plants are among the most advanced and cleanest in the world.

Don K
Reply to  steve case
September 26, 2018 6:55 am

My understanding — which could be wrong — is that Chinese power plants are required to have pollution control devices. But the devices aren’t necessarily the best available. Neither are they necessarily in good repair. Also, I’ve read often that much of the Winter air pollution in Chinese cities is due to home coal stoves which, of course, have no pollution control devices.

Reply to  Don K
September 26, 2018 7:24 am

The people requiring the installation and maintenance of the pollution scrubbers are the same people who ordered construction to be halted. They’re in Beijing.

There’s an old Chinese saying”

“Heaven is high and the Emperor is far away”,_Huangdi_yuan

R Shearer
Reply to  Don K
September 26, 2018 7:25 am

They also cheat to reduce operational costs.

Reply to  steve case
September 26, 2018 9:41 am

My wife and I must have been very fortunate – we spent almost 2 weeks in the PRC and didn’t notice any air pollution, other than massive clouds of dirt around Xiang, where there was a massive amount of construction underway. Note, however, that we are from Southern California, and maybe we just don’t recognize air pollution anymore. But whatever air pollution there was during our stay, it wasn’t noticeable by SoCal standards.

Don B
September 26, 2018 5:15 am

NYT July 1, 2017:
Over all, 1,600 coal plants are planned or under construction in 62 countries, according to Urgewald’s tally, which uses data from the Global Coal Plant Tracker portal. The new plants would expand the world’s coal-fired power capacity by 43 percent.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Don B
September 26, 2018 7:53 am

“Over all, 1,600 coal plants are planned or under construction in 62 countries, according to Urgewald’s tally,”

Meanwhile, idiot politicians in places like California, Germany and South Australia are in the process of bankrupting their economies in order to reduce their CO2 output, while these other nations produce more and more CO2. California, Germany, South Australia and all the rest are just spinning their wheels.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
September 26, 2018 10:37 am

How Wind Farms Destroy the Environment 3: Human Health

Reply to  Tom Abbott
September 26, 2018 10:40 am

California, Germany, South Australia etc are the places that want to change in a communist state while chinese people want Capitalism.

September 26, 2018 5:32 am

They might be liars but they’re not stupid liars. Sounds like local administration is doing what needs to be done. Great way to absolve national administration of blame. Plus, they can always take a few local administrators out and shoot them just to show they really care about AGW while they continue to build the plants. Plus, plus it’s a good way to get rid of some of the guys you don’t like. You gotta think like a Chinaman!

Reply to  JimG1
September 26, 2018 6:20 am

You gotta think like a Chinaman!

I wasn’t aware that Joe Stalin was Chinese. He was the expert at getting rid of inconvenient people. link

Modern China doesn’t hold a candle to Stalin. On the other hand, China still executes more people than the rest of the world combined. Accurate figures are hard to come by but I suspect that China even executes more people than anywhere else on a per capita basis.

If you have to think of a particularly Chinese way of thinking, it would have to be their absolute terror of disorder. Even when the people acknowledge that the government is crappy, they will still support it because they know their history. The alternative to what they have at the time is usually way worse.

Reply to  commieBob
September 26, 2018 7:43 am

Yep, Joe Stalin made the Nazis look like pikers when it came to murder but not nearly as much has been reported about that. After all, he was a US allie. Word is he personally knocked off some himself.

Reply to  commieBob
September 26, 2018 7:48 am

Plus, estimates are that Mao killed more people than Stalin.

Reply to  JimG1
September 26, 2018 4:51 pm

Most Chinese will say that Mao did make some mistakes.

Stalin, on the other hand, almost certainly is guilty of genocide. link

Richard Bell
Reply to  JimG1
September 27, 2018 11:45 am

The claim that the national leadership cannot convince local administrators to stop new coal plants is laughable. This is the same leadership that persuaded corrupt officials to stop bulking out the protein content of animal feed and baby formula with melamine, by executing enough of them to convince the rest that such shenanigans are frowned upon.

The only reason for God Emperor Xi Xingping to tolerate the insubordination of local administrators is that failure to complete these coal fired generating plants will make it even more obvious that Chinese economic growth is based on a capacity bubble. The CCP faked growth by building industry capacity to support growth and using the increased capacity to build more capacity. The CCP is building an ongoing series of stranded assets with huge sunk costs and no revenue streams.

The CCP has bet the Chinese economy that they will generate enough demand to need that capacity , before the bubble bursts. The CCP may believe that China is too big to be allowed to fail by the rest of the World, but they are already too big to be bailed out like Greece– if the CCP does not have the money to keep China going, no one has the money to keep China going.

September 26, 2018 5:41 am

It isn’t just the coal fired electricity plants that are the culprits in pollution in China as there is a vast interest in investing heavily in electrostatic scrubbers for old and new plants under construction near the larger population centres to limit the extremely bad local urban air quality that is highly corrosive to the national health. This is one of the issues that is allowed public discussion and public dissent.

One of the greater problems is the use of small home and farm inefficient furnaces fuelled by real cheap dirty local coal, by the tens of millions in rural area’s. While the central Gov’t tries to phase this out, the local Gov’t turns a blind eye when it is freezing since the local people aren’t going to just stand by and freeze to death. This is adding greatly to the problems with general air quality nationally that blows in towards the populated coast. It will take a generation or two to scale this back because they won’t be heating with electricity or NG anytime soon in much of backwater rural China.

If China can’t control its urban air pollution issues, let alone its rural inefficient coal usage, it is highly unlikely they give a damn about a few ppm CO2 annual emissions that are invisible. The Chinese will say anything you want them to say, especially if you promise to send them money for saying the right thing. Doesn’t mean they will ever do much about it, and by 2030, all they have to is say it is non binding anyway. Sorry!

Reply to  Earthling2
September 26, 2018 9:50 am

Indeed, it is largely eco-propaganda that bad air is due to coal-fired power stations. The trick worked with so-called acid rain, and they have been playing that card to gullible believers ever since.

September 26, 2018 5:43 am

Yes. And if you post the Urgewald numbers on one of the alarmist blogs, you will be told they are all cancelling. And if you now post the evidence that they are not at all, you will be told that this is fake news.

And finally, if you point out that Chinese emissions and use of coal show no statistical signs of having peaked or being about to fall, you will meet with the classic responses, in rough order:

— all that counts is per capita

To which you reply that Chinese per capita emissions are equal to the EU’s. And that in any case its not per capita tons that supposedly matter, its the total number of them.

— their historical emissions are lower so they are only catching up

To which you enquire whether the argument is really that its only fair for the Chinese to be able to destroy civilization in the name of historical fairness?

— that they are only doing it for export

to which you reply that its not important why they are emitting all these billions of tons, what counts is that they are doing it. And you ask whether they are really advocating a ban on imports from China?

— that they are installing lots of wind and solar.

To which you ask, how does that affect the tonnage they are emitting and its effects?

And just as the name calling reaches a crescendo, guess what? You are now banned from the forum. Its called inconvenient truths. Very, very inconvenient. Quick, lets get back to saving the planet by shutting down one or two coal plants in California, Nevada or the UK.

Reply to  michel
September 26, 2018 5:56 am

You must be Chinese. You’ve got all the bases covered.

Reply to  michel
September 26, 2018 7:49 am

To which you enquire (sic) whether the argument is really that its only fair for the Chinese to be able to destroy civilization in the name of historical fairness?

Destroy civilization? No matter what country I was from, I wouldn’t respond to such an absurd question. Ask rational questions.

Reply to  beng135
September 26, 2018 9:46 am

Its an entirely reasonable question. There are people who claim to believe that global CO2 emissions will destroy civilization due the warming effects.

The biggest single emitter, doing one third of these emissions or a bit more, is China. China also mines and uses more coal than the rest of the world put together.

So when you meet with the ‘only fair’ argument, the argument that we should not protest or worry if China carries on emitting, because they emitted less in the past, you should indeed ask the question.

Because the underlying argument is that it is OK for China to carry on emitting 10 billion plus tons a year, and even raise their emissions because they did not emit much of anything before about 2005.

In the wonderful world of alarmism, 10 billion tons will destroy civilisation if it carries on. We are supposed to have to move to a zero net emissions scenario. We are however somehow supposed to do this while China continues to emit, and the developing world grows its emissions, because that is only fair.

So the question we should be asking the green China apologists is exactly what I said: do you really think its only fair and OK for China to carry on emitting at levels you claim to believe will destroy civilization?

Or do you maybe not think, now you think about it, that it really will have all that much effect?

You can’t have it both ways. If the emissions are so dangerous, you cannot argue that China should be allowed to continue doing 10 billion tons a year. And India and Indonesia growing.

Reply to  michel
September 26, 2018 11:26 am

Correct. But not PC.

Reply to  michel
September 26, 2018 12:29 pm

It’s an entirely unreasonable question to any reasonably intelligent person.

John in L du B
Reply to  michel
September 26, 2018 8:32 am

Yes. This is exactly what my career long experience has been with greens. If you disagree they challenge you with their theories dressed up as fact. When you refute their every objection with incontrovertible facts they start lying. When you identify and refute their lies they try to isolate you and resort to name calling. I haven’t met an honest green activist ever. In fact, when I hear the word “activist’ I now mentally replace it with “liar”.

Reply to  John in L du B
September 26, 2018 9:55 am

In my case, dealing with folks who only read the headlines, and believe them, after refuting several of the usual claims with data, I got “Oh, so you know all the answers!”. Pointless to continue after that, although I did tell him that I read a lot on the topic. Basically futile.

September 26, 2018 5:49 am

Telling the truth is an anathema to the CCP.

Gary Grubbs
September 26, 2018 5:50 am

It is not common knowledge that the coal fired Chinese power plants that are operating and also those currently being built are equipped with bypasses around the air quality control equipment. They build the electrostatic precipitators, scrubbers, bag houses, etc. to show the world they are being good stewards of the world. After startup, and sometimes even before startup, the systems are shut off and bypassed. I have personally worked on many of these plants and know that this what they do.

The air quality control systems uses power that reduce the plant electrical output. So bypassing them results in more power being generated by the plant. They desire the power over protecting the environment.

They also build the equipment from very cheap materials saving capital expenditures on the equipment. So after a few years the equipment is unusable. Then the only option is to rebuild or bypass. They chose bypass.

When you have central planning like they do in China the power generators as well as the environmental control work for the same central planning boards. So if it comes down to supplying power to their citizens as opposed to protecting the environment the power generation will win every time. Lack of power is immediately known, protecting the environment not so much.

This is that attitude of many of the central planning countries in the world. I have worked on plants in Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia and several others. They all have the same attitude with bypasses around their air quality equipment.

James Beaver
Reply to  Gary Grubbs
September 26, 2018 7:01 am

That sounds like the diesel truck enthusiasts deleting the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) and Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) systems to get more power. More crap goes out the exhaust pipe…

Reply to  Gary Grubbs
September 26, 2018 8:04 am

Gary Grubbs, interesting. As a former coal power-plant engineer, I’m looking at the top pic of the power-plant in this post, and I see turbine buildings, cooling towers, stacks, and boiler-houses, but no precipitators! Might be a gas plant…..

PS. Sometimes I wished we’d have by-passed our old precipitators because they were first-generation, rusting away and constant maintenance headaches. Interestingly, the 1957 unit originally had centrifugal “cyclone” precipitators (non-electrical) that had later been bypassed when the electricals were put in.

Gary Grubbs
Reply to  beng135
September 26, 2018 8:24 am

beng135 – Those early days did have some interesting things going on. I remember those cyclonic separators. Not very good with fine particles. The early ESPs did not take into any flow problems and optimization as they were shoe horned into sites that were so compact you could not even find room to put them. The duct arrangements were horrendous. I worked on one project where the ESP was built on a bridge over a highway. There was no room at the plant so we had to go up. The good thing about ESPs is that a bypass is not required. You just shut it off and let the flue gas flow untreated. Some particulates will fall out due to velocity reduction so there is still some removal.

Early in my career in Air Quality Control I told the VP that my goal was to make the power generating part of the plant the smallest part of the plant when I got through. This was said in jest. We have achieved my goal. 🙂

September 26, 2018 6:04 am

asians can play the lies and deceit game better than climate scientists
it’s a case of spy vs spy and the chinese can beat climate scientists at this game, no contest

September 26, 2018 6:08 am

> in any case its not per capita tons that supposedly matter, its the total number of them.
In that case we can solve the problem by splitting countries into smaller ones.

>To which you reply that Chinese per capita emissions are equal to the EU’s.
Thanks in part the EU moving a lot of industrial production to China. Now the EU and the US can beat them up for the CO2 emitted to satisfy the consumer needs of the rich world.

>And you ask whether they are really advocating a ban on imports from China?

>how does that [installing lots of wind and solar] affect the tonnage they are emitting and its effects?
It would be higher still otherwise.

Earthling2 makes some salient points. Displacing those inefficient heat and power sources with power generated from leading edge clean coal plants will reduce the pollution intensity and the CO2 intensity of the demand served by those sources.

Roger Knights
Reply to  monosodiumg
September 26, 2018 9:48 am

>And you ask whether they are really advocating a ban on imports from China?

Not at all; it’s hyperbolic, that’s all.

Roger Knights
Reply to  monosodiumg
September 26, 2018 10:10 am

>how does that [installing lots of wind and solar] affect the tonnage they are emitting and its effects?
It would be higher still otherwise.

But not significantly higher, the way greens insinuate. So the point is valid.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  monosodiumg
September 26, 2018 1:21 pm

“In that case we can solve the problem by splitting countries into smaller ones.”

What problem? The atmosphere needs more CO2. NOT less.

CD in Wisconsin
September 26, 2018 6:27 am

“This new evidence that China’s central government hasn’t been able to stop the runaway coal-fired power plant building is alarming,” said Ted Nace, head of CoalSwarm, the nonprofit research network which analyzed and released the satellite images. “The planet can’t tolerate another U.S.-sized block of plants to be built.”

You know, I wish the greenies would go over to China and do their climate and anti-fossil fuel protesting in the streets with their fancy signs. Tiananmen Square would be a good spot. With a little bit of luck they might all get out of prison in five years….maybe less.

R Shearer
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
September 26, 2018 7:37 am

Tiananmen Square is hardened today to prevent any significant protests from happening and for any that might occur to be quickly squelched. And as you say, protesters might land in prison. Worse, the government there quietly disappears people often.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  R Shearer
September 26, 2018 1:22 pm

Ex: The tankman

Bruce Cobb
September 26, 2018 7:36 am

China’s going to have some ‘splainin’ to do in Katowice, 68 days from now. Can’t wait for the show and fireworks. I still remember when China was hailed as the new “climate leader”. Hahahahahaha!

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
September 26, 2018 10:30 am

They won’t explain a darn thing. They’ll sit there with bland, inscrutable expressions on their faces and simply lie about all the wonderful progress they are making in reducing CO2 production. And whine about the US not sending them the money Obuthead had promised them.

Bruce Cobb
September 26, 2018 9:23 am

I love when the Climate Liars accuse other Climate Liars of ……wait for it…….. LYING.

September 26, 2018 9:31 am

China has a different view of the world than anyone in the west. They have a long, very long recorded history. They learned long ago that been rich in the face of natural disasters if far better than been poor. They learned that to be a powerful nation again they needed access is cheap and plentiful energy. As has been discussed here many times coal is at the top of that list.

The idea that the Central Government of China cannot stop coal fired plants being built is totally ludicrous. There are still those in the west that somehow see the People’s Republic of China as being so quasi-democracy or totally benign socialist state. Nothing could be further from the reality. But hey, western socialists are never going to criticize a socialist state, at least not except in passing.

Reply to  Edwin
September 26, 2018 9:56 am

Yes, it makes perfect sense for China to grow its coal capacity, it does not want to be constrained by the threat of oil embargoes when the inevitable kicks off in the South China Sea and elsewhere. Their push for electric cars is probably also driven by that concern.

Reply to  Edwin
September 26, 2018 10:55 am

Surprise, Surprise China is cheating on their promises. Who would have thunk it. For years they have done what they think is best for China. Treaties, agreements, high level meetings, who cares? With the Paris Agreement they agreed to do whatever they had planned to do until 2030. Anything or anyone else be damned.

September 26, 2018 9:32 am

It’s hard to believe that local jurisdictions would dare defy the brutal, communist dictatorship in Beijing. History shows that’s a good way to get shot.

September 26, 2018 9:41 am

Clearly, this little story (herein) is anecdotal, but it gives insight into The Chinese Mindset.

20-some years ago, my firm was in the discrete memory chip vending business. We bought ’em by the pickup truck load (in boxes, in tubes, back when they still had pins!), then had a tidy business delivering the “just in time” to the myriad of local U. C. Berkeley computer-assemblers that needed them. There was a sentiment though that we ran into — heard from others! — that “the Chinese would gladly sell their grandmothers into slavery if they could save twenty five dollars on a computer’s memory chips”.

Of course that is anecdotal, and hyperbole. My own experience, being married into the Chinese social network was anything but this sentiment. But oddly enough, my Chinese in-laws themselves were HIGHLY skeptical of taking a Chinese person at face value if they were competitively being tasked to “do something” requiring a high investment of time and obviously, money. Indeed, my Mother-in-Law would never get a Chinese contractor to do ANY work on her apartments, home, farm or leasehold land. Never. Because she was convinced to the core that they would cheat.

That’s the point.

And I am not at all surprised that the Satellite Photos are showing that the fine promises of the State are being defied — by the state — to get the additional coal-burning plants online. Remember, these are the same people who dutifully install flue-gas scrubbers, then turn them off at night when the authorities watchdogs are away. And turn them off on weekends. And bribe the local polity if air quality is bad.

These are the same people who only report (now) a smaller fraction of the coal they mine, in tidy keeping to their lower-coal-commitment internationally, but who also allow hundreds-of-millions of tons of it to be creatively “pilfered” from the coal cars of the trains carrying it … to power an endless number of unregulated and unlicensed process-heat dependent industries. Everything from “steaming tires” to making plywood.

Cheating is the way of life in today’s hypercompetitive China.
Any wonder why the Satellites are so unhelpfully exposing their duplicity?

Like my Chinese mother-in-law said.
Don’t trust them.
Even when they make huge promises.
They’ll cheat.

Just saying,

Reg Nelson
Reply to  GoatGuy
September 26, 2018 10:38 am

China just experienced its second fake vaccine crisis — infants and toddlers were injected with saline solution. This follows the fake milk powder scandal where the manufacturer added chemicals to increase the measured protein content. There is now a thriving smuggling trade where people buy foreign made milk powder in Hong Kong and sell on the black market on the mainland. Counterfeit bottled water and alcohol are also widespread.

Chinese culture is built on greed at any cost.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Reg Nelson
September 26, 2018 1:35 pm

It wasnt always so. The CCP in 1949 changed China forever. It turned the most populous gregarious loving culture on earth to a lying deceitful cheating communist state whereby respect for elders, honesty, good deeds and politeness are now qualities that are scorned in modern China.

Reply to  Alan Tomalty
September 27, 2018 8:37 am

Alan, sounds familiar to what the regressives are doing in the US & most of the “western” cultures.

Brett Keane
September 27, 2018 1:28 am

Perhaps someone can help me with this: I have always thought that the seasonal Loess dust storms from central Asia provide a yellow? fog anyway. So it just gets worse when mixed with smoke, but would be there anyway.

Reply to  Brett Keane
September 27, 2018 8:34 am

I believe so — the “yellow dust” storms were pinpointed coming from a particular area in the Mongolian Gobi Desert. Usually happened in late winter and spring, tho, so haze at other times would prb’ly be mostly from pollution, tho forests also generate some haze (Smokey Mountains).

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