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Fuzzy Math
Chinese Polluters Still Fudging the Numbers

Beijing is trying to position itself as some global green leader, and in the wake of Donald Trump’s “energy independence” executive order earlier this week, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson claimed that “China’s plan, determination and policy to tackle climate change is resolute.” China’s “determination” may be immaterial, however, as a new exposé of fudged pollution numbers is illustrating how flimsy the CCP’s hold on local polluters really is. Reuters reports:

The Ministry of Environmental Protection said it checked more than 8,500 firms in six municipalities and provinces including Beijing and central Henan, and found that many were not implementing air pollution control measures strictly or were still violating environmental regulations. […]

China says it is winning its “war on pollution” after strengthening legislation, beefing up its monitoring capabilities and cracking down on hundreds of polluting firms, and says average air quality improved noticeably in 2016. However, official data published last week showed that air quality was markedly worse in the first two months of the year than the same period of 2016.

China’s own ministry of environmental protection isn’t the only one taking notice of this unreliable pollution data, though. Scientists based in Chengdu last year discovered that the megacity’s estimates for car emissions were off by as much as 59 percent. In fact, there’s a long history of China’s pollution numbers being exposed as unreliable.

Beijing has its own reasons for wanting to clear its skies and reduce emissions—reducing its reliance on coal will be climate friendly, but more importantly it will help improve the disastrous air pollution choking China’s biggest cities. But it’s become something of a tradition at this point for localities and provinces to massage the data they send to Beijing, and while in the past it might have been economic indicators that got the benefit of the finger on the scale, these days it’s environmental metrics.

Don’t be fooled—China’s not ready to take the global lead on green issues. On that front, the United States still reigns supreme, even with the new administration.

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  • Suzy Dixon

    It’s hilarious to read fake news, like NYT, make inane comments about the Chinese leading climate change. The global leader of coal investment and the state which, by itself, emits more carbon bearing molecules than everyone else is taking charge. Yep. NYT nailed it. I hope whoever writes that comedy got their cookie.

    • ——————————

      “It’s hilarious to read fake news, like NYT, make inane comments about the Chinese leading climate change.”

      It’s as inane as saying the Chinese are leading patent and trademark protection….

      • Suzy Dixon

        I have no doubt that is written somewhere.

      • Pete

        The Chinamen are as honest as the day is long. Right?

        • ——————————

          Right, like December 21st in Nome Alaska….

    • Unelected Leader

      Don’t forget their lies by omission. If you only read NYT and watched CNN you would be woefully ignorant on a great many topics, including HRCs lies, money from Qataris and Saudis, trying to help Russia create a Russian Silicon Valley, and her roles in disastrous regime change and support of the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood. That’s just as much fake news as are the inane headlines and opinion journalism.

    • D4x

      TAI cited Reuters, not the NYT, on ‘China leading climate change’, including notes of skepticism. It is still hysterical, but not from the NYT. Of course, at this point, what difference does it make?!
      Getting past April Fool’s Day.

      • Suzy Dixon

        I know that. Fake News NYT have been the most prolific pumpers of such inane content, but by no means the only ones.

        • D4x

          I knew you knew that. imo, WaPo is worse than NYT; but Reuters still tries, because they are a global news service.

  • Anthony

    Apropos April Fools Day: Fake News = Deliberate publishing of hoaxes, disinformation purporting to be real news, deliberate manufacturing of faux information to mislead (it would be a stretch to categorize the New York Times as such a purveyor, despite one’s propaganda inclination or publication distaste).

    • ——————————

      ” (it would be a stretch to categorize the New York Times as such a purveyor,”

      No it would not….

      The definition of fake news has expanded and can mean other things besides what you have presented as definition. It now can also include news that is “now used to describe virtually anything that does not mesh with one’s own views.”, amongst others.

      If a media outlet severely slants the news, presents it in a way to push their agenda, or doesn’t show or give all the information, it is spreading fake news. The NYT and all other liberal outlets, including Hollywood, are masters at it and are being called out for it now.
      And if it doesn’t slow to a bearable level someday, there will literally be blood in the streets….

      • Anthony

        You interpret how you choose; just don’t kid yourself. And blood has been a part of mankind so there’s no revelation there!

        • ——————————

          Nah, never kid myself.

          Well, it might be a revelation if it was rooted in angst about fake news….

          • Anthony

            Do what you must but remember that decision in 10th grade (content is skill, skill is content). Skills do not readily transfer to other content domains not withstanding genetics.

    • Fat_Man

      “it would be a stretch to categorize the New York Times as such a purveyor,”

      No. It would not the NYT has obliterated objective reality in order to support leftist causes for more than 90 years.

      Everything is fine in the Ukraine. Castro is a democrat. The Vietcong are independent democratic revolutionaries. Lacrosse players are rapists. John McCain had an affair with a lobbyist. And on and on.

      If you buy the rag you are buying it for the same reason you would buy a spider-man comic book.

      • Anthony

        Your interpretation is subjective and reasonable from your lights; many (and not leftists – your denotation) readers of publication would disagree. The Mast still reads : “All the News fit to Print” though it now has an operant on-line presence. By the way, I grew up reading Marvel Comics (Spider-man inclusive) and my dad bought both for different household consumption.

        • Fat_Man

          You should stick with Marvel. The NYTimes masthead is less believable.

          • Anthony

            But, they both provide an audience with “what they have an appetite for” (consciously or unconsciously) however Fat_Man your advice is always respected (and appreciated – while recognizing your terse wit).

          • Fat_Man

            `My father was always very fond of the Mencken quote: “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”

            I think it is particularly true of those who think they are more intelligent than everyone else.

            Why is “no one” two words, but “everyone” and “anyone” are single words?

          • Anthony

            Good point but grammarians must delimit somewhere (one word). And, my great uncle liked this Mencken quip (which , according to my dad, he was quick to retort): the swarming booboisie. But this is the world we have and our journey or adventure (for me at least) obligates contribution – including Mencken’s alienated mass society.

        • D4x

          fwiw, I was a devoted NYT reader from 1970-2011, when they put up their paywall. NYT biased coverage of Israel had curtailed my NYT reading after 2006, but, by 2011, was no longer trusting their Real estate section…

          • Anthony

            We all do what we think we must (hopefully).

  • Pete

    Come on! Don’t know by now that China lies about everything to puff itself up?

  • Proverbs1618

    If China is willing to kill millions of its citizens by allowing the environmental degradation to take place at the pace it does, why should we care?

    • f1b0nacc1

      Actually, I am fine with encouraging them to do so. They will undermine their own corrupt regime faster that way.

  • Andrew Allison

    There’s actually a pretty simple way of detecting what’s happening to Chinese emissions: the CO2 measurements at Mona Loa (because the airflow across the northern Pacific is West-to-East). Since China is the world’s biggest emitter, a reduction will show up there. It increased 3% last year, while US emissions declined by 3%.

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