The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Greenhouse Gases:
Blame the Rich Countries

Dec 6, 2021

The politicians of the rich countries, meeting recently to do blah, blah, blah about climate change and greenhouse gases, have found their scapegoat, China, the world’s biggest polluter.

With more than 10 megatons of pollution produced per year right now, China’s population suffers a lot when breathing the air in its most industrial cities. And China’s manufacturers certainly use the most coal to fuel their factories.

Why does China use the most coal? Because the richer countries control the production of crude oil and natural gas, making it more expensive for the world’s poorer countries to pay for power. On the other hand, China produces a third of the world’s solar power and is the world’s largest producer of wind energy, making the country more “green” than the rest of the world’s manufacturers.

Here is the irony: who does China produce for? Its own population consists of about a billion of the poorer people on the earth. China’s billionaires own or manage the factories that make products for the rest of the world, especially for the richer countries. The pollution from all this manufacturing wrecks the air of China’s cities but could be attributed to the desire for profit of the world’s richest capitalists.

The United States produces twice as much pollution for every man, woman and child of its population as does China. And the U.S. has been putting these pollutants into the air, water, and earth for more than 100 years.

It is also the case that European countries produce, all together, 80% of the pollution per man, woman and child as China does.

But let’s point the finger at a poor country, not at the rich countries, which began polluting the earth for the benefit of their ruling classes back in the 1700s, when China had no manufacturing except the silk and later opium prized by the European nobility.

How nice to blame China’s government for what the rich countries’ governments have been doing for centuries, to enrich a tiny minority—then and now.