The wages of identity politics – “white man bad” and all that – is the obsessive focus on own society’s failings, the real, the exaggerated, the imaginary, while everyone else gets a free pass. Who are we, the privileged oppressors, to critics other people in other parts of the world?
And so, while the virtue signalers are banning plastic straws and single-use supermarket plastic bags to “save the planet”, “The amount of plastic polluting China‘s coastal waters has soared following a government drive to stop rubbish being dumped in the country’s rivers. More than 200 million cubic metres of waste was found floating off Chinese shores last year, up 27 per cent on 2017, according to the environment ministry.”
Huo Chuanlin, deputy director of the ecology and environment ministry’s marine environment department told journalists that “China is the biggest producer and exporter of plastic products, accounting for about 30 per cent of the world’s total, but that doesn’t mean China is a major marine plastic polluting country.” But even Independent newspaper is not buying it: “scientists say China is the world’s leading generator of plastic waste.” Indeed:
While the cheerleaders of Greta Thunberg and the Extinction Rebellion are thinking up ever new ways of shutting down the Western economies, dreaming up mad multi-multi-trillion dollar “renewable energy” schemes, and even the mainstream politicians are demonising fossil fuels and nuclear in favour of green energy, which is nowhere near sufficient to power our societies, China just keeps on pumping that CO2 into our sweet air:
This is in large part because China keeps loving coal:
In case you were wondering, that steep rising line in the graph, compared to all the other regions in the world, is China.
But, of course, you don’t see Greta sailing into the South China Sea to protest the fact that China now accounts for the third of global emissions (and rising). As Chris Mitchell noted, none of those “inconvenient truths” about coal use in China, India, south east Asia, the Middle East and Africa are being reported by “our” ABC, lest it interferes with the “coal bad, us bad” narrative.
And while this is one is a different kettle of fish, the principle is still the same: while our children in schools are becoming experts in different genders, climate catastrophe and white privilege, “Chinese students far out-stripped peers in every other country in survey of reading, math and science ability, underscoring a reserve of future economic strength and the struggle of advanced economies to keep up. The OECD’s triennial study of 15 year-old students across the world found that the four Chinese provinces tested — Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang — outperformed in science and mathematics, even if household income is well below members’ average. In reading, the 10% most disadvantaged Chinese students tested had better skills than the OECD average.”
It’s all good though, because our kids can go on another climate strike instead:
No doubt there will be calls from the usual quarters that we need to spend more money on schools. Yet, the more money we spend the worse the results. So maybe we should spend less money. Or at least have a look at what and how we teach.
China, quite simply, plays by another set of rules, while our elites self-flagellate over all our past and present sins. This is not to say at all that what China is doing is good and we should be imitating it (though maybe we can send some of our education bureaucrats and unionists on a fact finding mission to Beijing) – China is an authoritarian country and is not our friend – but we can’t keep our heads in the sand and pretend that the rest of the world doesn’t matter as long as we’re woke and virtuous enough. It’s stupid – and it can be downright suicidal – to formulate policies as if Australia – or the United States or any other Western country – existed in a vacuum, without any concern for what our friends, competitors and enemies elsewhere are doing.
Less virtue, more wisdom, please.