Pollution by China, India less than that by US (Chad Tolman)

If environmentalists were so concerned about the dangers of man-made global warming, another letter writer (Tom Koval) had recently asked, would they support an invasion of China and India to stop these countries from endangering the future of the human race by building more and more coal-powered power plants?

As a PhD scientist who has studied, taught and written about climate change for decades,” said Mr. Tolman, “I can assure you that the cumulative contributions of carbon pollution to the atmosphere by China and India since 1750 are much less than ours; we started much earlier. China and India have much larger populations, so their per capita emissions are still much less than ours.”

Clearly the answer was to get all concerned to act in accordance with the Paris Climate Agreement [sic], not to unilaterally pull out of the pact (as the president wants to do) or go to war.

Comments: (1) Being a PhD scientist wouldn’t necessarily provide much insight into the power plant choices and environmental policies of China and India; (2) The buildup of CO2 in the atmosphere is a global phenomenon, and even if the US stopped using fossil fuels altogether said buildup would continue; (3) Koval was making a reductio ad absurdum argument against the manmade global warming theory, not seriously suggesting a devastating war.
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