Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Since 2008, China has topped the annual list of being the largest emitters of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2),

Fact check: Is China the main climate change culprit?

China currently releases more carbon emissions than any other country — leading many to believe it bears the greatest responsibility for climate change. However, the situation is more complex than it seems.

Illustration of globe with emitting smokestacks and a Made in China tag

The accusations keep cropping up when it comes to the debate around climate change: "China is the biggest destroyer of the planet," "China is the worst country in terms of pollution," "China is to blame." But what role does China actually play in climate change?

Since 2008, China has topped the annual list of being the largest emitters of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2), according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that Oxford University contributes to. In 2019, China emitted 10.2 billion metric tons of CO2 — nearly twice as much as the United States (5.3 billion metric tons) — representing nearly 28% of global emissions.

Graphic indicating CO2 emissions over time by region

But net emissions alone are not enough to blame China for climate change. "If you look at only one number, you're only getting one side of the story," says Shyla Raghav, vice president of climate change at Conservation International, an environmental organization headquartered in the United States.

CO2 emissions per capita paint a different picture

To get more insight, it's worth looking at carbon dioxide emissions per capita. When combining 2019 data from the Global Carbon Project and Our World in Data, numerous states from the Caribbean and the Persian Gulf top the list. In 14th place is the US, with just over 16 tons of CO2 per capita. China emits less than half of that per capita, tallying 7.1 tons, putting the country in 48th place.

Graphic indicating net CO2 emissions

In the case of carbon dioxide, it is important to know that from a human perspective, the gas can remain in the atmosphere for an extremely long time: The entire decomposition process takes several hundred thousand years, according to the federal German Environment Agency. Oceans and forests can absorb some of the gas quite quickly — but an estimated 40% of the CO2 emitted by humans since 1850 has remained in the atmosphere, according to the international study Global Carbon Budget

Historic emissions decisive

When examining what drives human-caused climate change, historical emissions must be considered. The data shows that although China is the second-largest emitter of carbon emissions as of 2019, it has emitted 220 billion metric tons of CO2 since 1750 — just over half as much as the US, which released 410 billion metric tons.

Germany's historical emissions total 92 billion metric tons, putting it in fourth place behind Russia and ahead of the UK.

Graphic indicating share of historic emissions

Robbie Andrew, a senior researcher at the Center for International Climate Research (CICERO) in Norway, said China began producing significant amounts of CO2 much later when compared to its historical emissions. "China's emissions really weren't significant. They didn't start ramping up until about 2001 when China joined the World Trade Organization, and that gave it access to the world's markets and that drove their economic boom, particularly focused on producing goods for exports," said Andrew, who also participated in the Global Carbon Budget study. 

"There was already a problem before China came along. So, effectively, China did not create the problem."

Producer vs. consumer

There is one other point that plays a role when considering the question of climate change responsibility. 

How many items do you own that bear the label "Made in China"? Items could include your smartphone, cutlery, a plastic chair or even your laptop. The greenhouse gases emitted during the product's manufacturing are tallied as China's — and not the country where you purchase and use it. Statistics on carbon emissions are usually recorded according to the producer principle, and not the consumer principle.

One feature of globalization is that countries in the Global North, in particular, have outsourced their production operations. When you take that into account, the picture shifts.

For example, under the consumer principle, the carbon footprint of the US in 2018 was around 6.3% higher than under the producer principle, while in Germany it was 14% more. Countries ranked highest under the consumer principle were Malta and Switzerland, with footprints 248% and 225% higher, respectively.

China, on the other hand, is a CO2 exporter. If the statistics are adjusted for emissions for products that go abroad, Chinese CO2 balance drops by 10%.

Map indicating carbon footprint with regard to trade

As CICERO researcher Andrew explains, this effect was even greater for China around 15 years ago. In the mid-2000s, export goods were responsible for about one-fifth of China's emissions. But Andrew expects further changes for China in the future. "This effect is going to continue to decline because the share of China's economy that's focused on exports is declining as a share of the total," he said. 

Earlier this year, three scientists from Dutch and German research institutes proposed introducing a concept whereby responsibility for CO2 emissions should be shared between consumers and producers according to economic benefit.

What about other factors?

Other factors relating to globalization should also be considered. International shipping and air traffic don't usually show up in statistics for individual countries, but rather are listed separately. This means transporting your laptop won't affect the CO2 budget of either China or your country.

So when we talk about responsibility for climate change, the nation-state's impact can't be the only benchmark used: Transportation also has a significant share. In 2018, shipping was responsible for about 2.9% of human-caused CO2 emissions. The share of civil aviation was similar in 2019, at just over 2% (although this is somewhat higher considering atmospheric effects of flying). 

Containers sitting stacked at the Yantian International Container Terminals in Shenzhen

Shipping is a major factor when it comes to human-caused emissions

Conservation International's Shyla Raghav says focusing on a state-based measure of carbon emissions does have its weaknesses, but she also cautions: "What is the alternative?"

That leaves the question: Are we focusing too much on CO2 as a greenhouse gas when it comes to responsibility for climate change? Experts do agree that carbon dioxide is the biggest contributor to the warming of our planet. "CO2 levels are a good guide to all emissions," Raghav said. Still, both Raghav and Andrew believe that other greenhouse gases should not be ignored when it comes to curbing climate change in the future.

Methane, for example, plays an important role. The gas is produced in agricultural — a famous example includes belching cows — and methane is also released during fracking and oil production.

Conclusion: It's complicated

"I would say that China is not exclusively to blame for climate change," concludes Raghav. But with China currently the world's largest carbon emitter, she adds, Beijing now plays a critical role when it comes to taking responsibility in the fight against warming. 

For CICERO researcher Robbie Andrew, the answer to responsibility for climate change cannot be based on statistics alone. "You have to ask the question: Could China have developed in any other way? And what would China look like now if, somehow, they had not used all of the coal they have access to? Is China to blame because it doesn't have a wealth of hydropower resources?" Andrew questioned. 

"The question of responsibility and blame is very complex," he concluded. After all, China has set itself the climate goal of being carbon neutral by 2060.

This article is part of a series in which DW is debunking myths surrounding climate change.
Read also: 

Part 1 — Is global warming merely a natural cycle?

Part 2 — Is half a degree of warming really such a big deal?

This article was translated from German.

He has 10 unsealed arrests dating back to 2009, mostly for petit larceny and menacing, according to police.

Man busted for swinging ax during dispute on Manhattan train: cops

A maniac brandished an ax during a squabble on a subway as it approached Penn Station — one of New York’s City’s busiest stops — during peak hour this week, cops said.

The 40-year-old victim was on a southbound 2 train when he got into a dispute with 46-year-old Steve Hunt around 5 p.m. Tuesday, police said. 

When the argument heated up, Hunt allegedly pulled an ax out of his backpack and started swinging it. 

The victim and bystanders feared for their safety and got out of the train as it pulled in at 34th Street–Penn Station, police said. 

Hunt was busted in the station and charged with attempted aggravated harassment, attempted menacing, criminal possession of a weapon, and disorderly conduct, authorities said. 

He has 10 unsealed arrests dating back to 2009, mostly for petit larceny and menacing, according to police.

It could have been Martians!

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm suggests climate change played role in Florida condo collapse

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm suggested that climate change could have played a role in the deadly collapse of a Florida condo tower — and was ripped by experts and online critics alike for the “ghoulish” opinion.

Partisan politics? And, the decision was not partisan!

Alabama officials use what’s arguably the lamest excuse of all time to cancel Trump rally

The uncivil Pride party

Food vendor, 66, attacked during out-of-control Pride party in Washington Square Park reveals revelers broke his nose and left him fearing for his life after he refused to swap US flag on his cart for rainbow banner

  • Nader Hassaneen, 66, was punched in the face several times late on Sunday night as the city's Pride celebrations continued in Washington Square Park 
  • Hassaneen had hot sauce thrown in his eyes when a woman attacked him for flying the American flag instead of the Pride flag
  • One bystander claimed Hassaneen used a homophobic slur - an accusation he denied in an interview with The New York Post 
  • At least three people were also arrested earlier on Sunday afternoon 
  • NYPD officers were seen in riot gear using pepper spray on parkgoers 
  • Tensions were already high between the police and LGBTQ community after uniformed NYPD cops were banned from attending any official Pride events until at least 2025
  • Throughout June, with COVID restrictions lifted, Washington Square Park has been the site of rowdy all-night parties and even illegal boxing matches 
  • The park has been the site of stabbings and drug taking, to the fury of well-heeled local residents in Greenwich Village 
  • Revelers have continued to defy police and refused to leave at the closing time, whether it be midnight or 10pm, dancing the night away and leaving the park trashed 

Incompetence and malice at the NYC Board of Elections.

BOE botched NYC mayoral primary results by including ‘test’ run

The too-close-to-call Democratic primary race that will likely decide New York’s next mayor was thrown into disarray after election officials admitted they accidentally included “test” results in the vote count, leading to 135,000 extra ballots.

The botching of the city’s first ranked-choice election was first flagged by front-runner Eric Adams, who pointed out that preliminary results from the Board of Elections showed that 941,832 votes were cast for the Democratic mayoral nomination, a huge increase from the 799,827 that were counted on primary day last week.

The BOE clarified its screwup in a tweet Tuesday night.

“It has been determined that ballot images used for testing were not cleared from the Election Management System (EMS),” the board said of the fiasco.

“When the cast votes were extracted for the first pull of RCV {ranked choice voting} results, it included both test and election night results, producing approximately 135,000 additional records,” the mea culpa continued.

“The board apologizes for the error and has taken immediate measures to ensure the most accurate up to date results are reported.”Christopher Sadowski

Tuesday’s unofficial results, after a total of 11 rounds of ranked-choice counting, had Adams narrowly leading former city Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia by 368,898 votes to 352,990 or 51.1 percent to 48.9 percent, with Maya Wiley and 10 other candidates eliminated.

“Today’s mistake by the Board of Elections was unfortunate,” Adams tweeted in response. “It’s critical that New Yorkers are confident in their electoral system, especially as we rank votes in a citywide election for the first time.” 

A total of 219,944 ballots “with no choices left” were listed as “inactive.” But the city still has yet to count more than 124,000 absentee ballots sent by mail.

“New Yorkers want free and fair elections, which is why we overwhelmingly voted to enact ranked choice voting,” Garcia said in a press release. “The BOE’s release of incorrect ranked choice votes is deeply troubling and requires a much more transparent and complete explanation.”

Wiley also blasted the BOE for its latest blunder in a Tuesday night statement.

“This error by the Board of Elections is not just failure to count votes properly today, it is the result of generations of failures that have gone unaddressed,” Wiley said.

“Today, we have once again seen the mismanagement that has resulted in a lack of confidence in results, not because there is a flaw in our election laws, but because those who implement it have failed too many times.”

The infuriating destruction of the vote. Funny how all late ballots go one way!

Leader in NYC Mayoral Race Questioning Where 100,000 Votes Just Came From to Make Race Much Closer

You may get some deja vu with the news about what just happened in the saga of the NYC mayoral election today.

The election was actually last Tuesday. But they’re still counting and don’t expect to be done until sometime in July.

Brooklyn Borough President and former police officer Eric Adams had been the surprise leader in the race when he came in first place last Tuesday, with 82 percent of the results in. That didn’t make some on the left happy, although he was still a Democrat. The election has ranked-choice voting and he was the first choice of 31.6 percent of the people whose votes had been counted to that point, with Maya Wiley second with 22.3% and Kathryn Garcia third with 19.7%.

But whoops! (Tell me if you have flashbacks.) Suddenly, today, votes show up and vaulted the third-place person into second, with just a narrow lead remaining for Adams, with some 124,000+ absentee votes yet to count. Funny that.

The difference now is only about 16,000 votes, so it’s entirely conceivable now that Garcia could catch up.

Eric Adams is clearly not happy at all and he’s raising questions about where the 100,000 votes suddenly came from.

“The vote total just released by the Board of Elections is 100,000-plus more than the total announced on election night, raising serious questions,” the Adams statement says. “We have asked the Board of Elections to explain such a massive increase and other irregularities before we comment on the Ranked Choice Voting projection. We remain confident that Eric Adams will be the next mayor of New York because he put together a historic five-borough working class coalition of New Yorkers to make our city a safer, fairer, more affordable place.”

The 100,000 didn’t come from absentee ballots — they didn’t even start counting those yet. All they have is the day of and the early voting. So it seems a pretty good question.

The NY Board of Elections is saying they’re aware of a “discrepancy.”

100,000 votes is a pretty big “discrepancy,” if that’s what they’re talking about. But the NY Board of Elections is probably one of the worst in the country. The election was last Tuesday and we probably won’t know the winner until sometime in July. That’s insane. And they always have issues, every election.

But the huge swing now makes it more likely that Garcia will pull it out despite the huge lead that Adams had on election night. Sound familiar?

Is the IRS just an arm of the Democrat Party?


A bicameral group of Republican lawmakers issued a demand Friday to the Internal Revenue Service that the agency reverse its now-infamous decision to reject a Christian nonprofit's tax-exempt status over its Bible teachings.

What's the background? 

In May, the IRS sent a rejection letter to Christian Engaged denying its nonprofit status because the "Bible's teachings are typically affiliated with the Republican Party and candidates."

Christians Engaged's website says the group "exists to awaken, motivate, educate, and empower ordinary believers in Jesus Christ to: pray for our nation and elected officials regularly, vote in every election to impact our culture, [and] engage our hearts in some form of political education or activism for the furtherance of our nation."

This was too much for the IRS, which said in the letter written by the agency's exempt organizations director, Stephen Martin:

Specifically, you educate Christians on what the Bible says in areas where they can be instrumental including the areas of sanctity of life, the definition of marriage, biblical justice, freedom of speech, defense, and borders and immigration, U.S. and Israel relations. The Bible teachings are typically affiliated with the Republican Party and candidates. This disqualifies you from exemption under IRC Section 501(c)(3).

Martin's letter made it clear that the mere notion that Christians Engaged promotes biblical teachings means it engages in "prohibited political campaign intervention."

"You operate for a substantial non-exempt private purpose and for the private interests of the Republican Party," Martin wrote.

Christians Engaged filed an appeal on June 16.

What are the lawmakers saying? 

In a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, a group of 15 Republican senators and representatives led by Texas GOP Rep. Chip Roy demanded that the agency review the decision and remove anyone who had a hand in "the blatantly biased, discriminatory, and flawed reasoning that led to the determination."

Citing Martin's letter that said biblical understanding of life, marriage, and justice were connected to the GOP, the letter writers reminded the IRS that those "issues have always been at the core of Christian belief and classing them as inherently political is patently absurd."

"If the IRS applied this interpretation broadly, it would jeopardize the tax-exempt status of thousands of Christian churches across the country," the lawmakers said.

They also noted Martin's apparent "offense" at the group's teachings about "freedom of speech, defense, and borders and immigration, U.S. and Israel relations," but as they pointed out, religious beliefs inform how millions of Americans vote and often prompt "get out the vote" campaigns.

"In fact," the lawmakers wrote, "President Biden himself campaigned alongside church leaders during the 2020 presidential race."

"The IRS must objectively analyze applications for tax-exempt status and cannot allow political biases to creep into its decisions," they concluded. "We urge you to immediately review Christian Engaged's application for 501 (c)(3) status personally, and terminate the IRS staff involved in the flawed and politically motivated reasoning behind the decision."

Along with Roy, the letter was signed by Sens. Mike Lee (Utah), Ted Cruz (Texas), and Marco Rubio (Fla.), and Reps. Jeff Duncan (S.C.), Doug Lamborn (Colo.), Louie Gohmert (Texas), Dan Bishop (N.C.), Burgess Owens (Utah), Yvette Herrell (N.M.), Daniel Webster (Fla.), Ted Budd (N.C.), Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Bob Good (Va.), and Lauren Boebert (Colo.).

(H/T: The Christian Post)

Oakland California: Where the news crews come with their own armed security and here's why

A security officer with a gun thwarted the burglary

Critics of the defund the police movement in Oakland, California, are highlighting a recent attempted robbery as the perfect example of what inevitably happens when a local government decides to slash its police budget.

What happened?

On Monday, a local Bay Area news crew, KNTV-TV, was interviewing Oakland's violence prevention director on the steps of City Hall when a pair of armed robbers approached the group with guns and attempted to steal the camera equipment.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, a scuffle ensued during the attempted robbery before a security officer brandished a firearm and drove the would-be burglars away. 

Only days earlier, Oakland's City Council voted to reallocate $18 million of police funding to community violence prevention programs. The bulk of that money will now go to the Department of Violence Prevention, a group that reportedly aims to counter violence in the city by sending out "civilian violence interrupters and life coaches."

A spokesperson for KNTV-TV later confirmed the incident to the Chronicle.

"Our colleagues were conducting an interview at Oakland City Hall when they were approached by two armed individuals," said Liza Catalan, a spokeswoman for the station. "Thankfully our colleagues are safe and unharmed."

The suspects fled without any equipment and no injuries were reported, but given the irony of the situation, news of the incident quickly spread online. 

What are people saying?

After the Oakland Police Officers' Association shared the story on Facebook, several followers derided the city's defund the police campaign by posting snarky remarks in the comments section. Such comments included:

  • "Irony defined......"
  • "Ironic"
  • "Karma"
  • Liberal stupidity at its finest."
  • "This kind of liberal stupidity has failed miserably every place implemented. They should be adding 18 million to the police budget."
  • "Would have been a great opportunity for Mr. Cespedes to jump in and demonstrate how to handle a situation like this rather than relying on an armed security guard."
  • "Officers eligible for retirement nows the time. Current officers go work for an agency where the government supports its police!"

Anything else?

Adding insult to injury, only hours earlier, Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong passionately rebuked the city's police defunding, arguing that fewer officers would only lead to more crime and more lost lives.

The chief noted that crime has been surging in Oakland, yet even so, the city council decided that giving fewer resources to police would be an effective solution.

"We see clearly that crime is out of control in the city of Oakland and our response was for less police resources," Armstrong lamented.

Exemplifying the mediocrity of California's leaders

Ilhan Omar Congressional representative for the Islamist wing of the Democrat Party


Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Why not? If everything is fluid why not ancestry

Leftists Outraged After Popular British Influencer Comes Out As ‘Transracial’ Korean

A British-born influencer announced this week that he is coming out as “transracial” and is now Korean.

In a series of videos he began sharing on June 26, Oli London, who boasts more than 300,000 followers on Instagram, revealed that he has had more than 18 plastic surgeries in order to become Korean and look like BTS singer, Park Ji-min. “Hey guys! I’m finally Korean. I’ve transitioned,” London said in a videoposted Monday to Twitter. “I identify as Korean — that’s just my culture, that’s my home country, that’s exactly how I look now,” he added.  London also claimed he’s been “trapped in the wrong body for eight years.”

Perhaps anticipating blowback from the Left, London, who now prefers to go by “Jimin,” said, “I support all the LGBTQI+K/J community and believe everyone should be able to be who they want to be.”


ersatz women

‘Proud Transgender Woman of Color’ Wins Miss Nevada USA Pageant

Kataluna Enriquez, a biological male who identifies as a woman, has won the title of Miss Nevada USA.

For the first time in the pageant’s history, a biological woman is not taking home the crown for Miss Nevada USA.

Enriquez won the beauty pageant on Sunday at the South Point Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas, which means he will go on to represent Nevada as the first transgender individual ever to compete in the Miss USA Pageant — which will be held on November 29.

Enriquez beat 21 other contestants in the Miss Nevada USA pageant, according to a reportby Associated Press.

In March, Enriquez was crowned Miss Silver State USA, which is described as the “biggest preliminary competition for the Miss Nevada USA pageant.”

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Enriquez first took part in transgender pageants in 2016 while working as a model, and started competing in women’s pageants last year.

Women’s beauty pageants are not the only place where biological males are beginning to dominate.

Transgender models Valentina Sampaio and Leyna Bloom have both appeared in Sports Illustrated‘s annual Swimsuit Issue.

Chelsea Wolfe, a transgender BMX freestyle rider and U.S. Olympic team alternate — who once said his goal was to win the Olympics so that he could burn the American flag on the podium — has become Team USA’s first trans athlete.

Additionally, a biological male named Laurel Hubbard will become the first trans athlete to compete in the Olympics. Hubbard will compete against biological females, representing New Zealand in an international weightlifting competition.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.