China Still Not Convinced Climate Change is Caused by Man


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In a surprising move at an international meeting with other fast-developing nations, China's lead negotiator on climate issues announced that he wasn't convinced that climate change wasn't just a natural cycle--and that he was keeping an "open mind" about whether global warming was caused by man. While the nation accepts the fact that temperatures are warming--and warming fast--it seems that it's still unwilling to take the side of the vast worldwide scientific consensus.

Anyhow, China's comments seem quite benign, and aren't necessarily overtly skeptical. According to the BBC, here's what Xie Zhenhua, the negotiator said at a meeting in Delhi with delegations from India, Brazil, and South Africa:

Mr Xie's comments appeared to surprise the other environment ministers and envoys at a news conference at the end of their two-day meeting.

He said: "It is already a solid fact that the climate is warming.

"There is one starkly different view, that the climate change or climate warming issue is caused by the cyclical element of nature itself.

"I think we need to adopt an open attitude to the scientific research."

He said that it was important to include as many views as possible "to be more scientific and to be more consistent".

So while not necessarily an outright refutation to climate science, it does employ the classic skeptic maneuver of merely accepting the idea that emissions from human activity may be causing global warming. Which of course is contrary to the scientific consensus and allows for inaction in policymaking. It will be interesting to see whether this comment heralds a shift in the economic giant's general stance on climate change.

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