China's Enviro Head-Fake

Don't be fooled. There are no signs that the Chinese are actually that interested in green technology, if it comes at the expense of economic growth:

As every serious writer knows, the legitimacy of the dictatorship rests on its ability to deliver ever-rising living standards now that its Marxism is dead. Environmental concerns will always be trumped by the party's survival instinct. Thus, President Hu Jintao reverses a programme to close coal mines. He has to, an official tells Der Spiegel, because China's inefficient industries 'need seven times the resources of Japan, almost six times the resources of the US and almost three times the resources used by India'. Thus, when the leaders of the G8 announce a wish to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, Hu and India's leaders see a plot by the rich West to handicap Asian rivals and refuse to accept the target.

(Hat tip: Appleyard)