Is this normal behavior from a developed country?
No, but China isn't a developed country yet. It's still classified as an "emerging" nation.
Step 2 You’re screwed if you are
Whereas this situation is more consistent with the CCP’s inability to acknowledge any error.
I only know of CFCs used in refrigerant and cans of hair spray where suitable alternatives are abundant.
"Blowing It: Illegal Production and Use of Banned CFC-11 in China's Foam Blowing Industry"
I read also that a certain amount of the CFC releases were apparently coming from illegal sale of heavy tars (industrial waste) for use as weatherproofing. Which is dumb as hell, but also pretty typical.
Barring a quantum leap in technology, it is a social innovation like that one that might allow us to successfully address the climate crisis.
From a climate/environmental perspective, I believe one of the worst things that can happen is a global-scale war. When short-term survival is threatened, countries will think little of devastating natural reserves and cutting through environmental protections.
This is the only way humans will ever beat climate change.
It'll work because as soon as that bloc is operational, the bloc can charge ultra high tariffs for importing carbon-including goods. Supposedly those will cover the fact the amount of embedded carbon is hard to measure, but actually because it benefits all the countries in the bloc to overestimate the carbon of imports to the detriment of countries outside the bloc.
I predict that as soon as such a bloc is near to formation, politics will move super fast and within a few years dramatic economic changes will occur because no country wants to be last to get an invite to the bloc (and the more countries join, the more stringent joining requirements will become).
Essentially, you charge them when they try to import into your country a tax to account for that. They come back and say "this tax really stinks...how can we make it stop"? You then reply "start your own carbon tax and we'll remove it". They then have two options 1.) Pay a tax to another government, or 2.) Take care of it internally
To put the emissions of India in context: by cumulative emissions since 1750, India is number 7, having caused roughly half as many emissions as my home country Germany (number 4). The US is number 1.
Source: animated graphics at
A widget made in china that has a tariff on it doesn't cost the company in china anymore - it does increase the cost for the person buying here though.... but unless there is a competitor that can sell a competive product cheaper than that the only downside is to the customer.
Even if there is no competing widget, sales still fall due to demand elasticity.
This will be labeled imperialism with shades of white supremacy.
If the circular economy and recycling of expired electronic devices back into raw materials cannot be solved in a satisfactory way, the next wars will be fought over the control of the deposits of various strategic minerals like PGMs and rare earths.
This will be even more important once nations and supranational entitites start increasing their strategic capability in e.g. chip fabrication.
To be clear, I don't mean WWII firebombing of Dresden level of war-making. I mean war as in grayzone "separatist"/"freedom fighter" vibe with the eventual "topple the government" actions.
I don't think we're at risk of actually running out of the materials. At least, not overnight. If resources become scarcer then prices go up, which 1) makes recycling more viable as it makes more expensive operations more viable, and 2) encourages companies to more aggressively research alternatives or designs which simply do without the material.
The real problem with expired electronic devices is externalities.
For this reason I like the project of ecological wealth-making as a planetary concern and a sort of pan-cultural tonic. I'm not sure it can apply in time to these particular cases - if someone takes your water, that's a fight. But I do think it's really the only global solution to resource wars. And it's a problem with both a technical and aesthetic solutions.
Not gonna be easy tho.
Couldn't it be that the wars are actually fought over resources, but are sold to the public of all involved countries (including the historians and philosophers) as being about status?
Note it doesn't have to be one obvious incentive. A government has many parties with differing incentives. But sometimes, a lot of those parties stand to simultaneously benefit from a war.
Basically, Hanlon's handgun, not Hanlon's razor.
 - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21691282
Examples: WW I was the result of royal jealousy over who had better navy boats. WW II was fought when a whole cultural identity perceived itself to have loss of status after the fall of Austrian Empire. Vietnam and the cold wars had to do with the ongoing symbolic struggle for status between different factions of aristocratic, government, or corporate interests, etc. And all the mercenary forces enabling the conflict were interested in those resources as status symbols rather than any underlying need for or lack of resources.
Same with global water supply. If the question is, how does everyone get enough water, then it's a practical problem which war only hurts. But if the question is, who controls access to what water, then it's a matter of symbolic status and war is inevitable.
This is why the argument is tough tho, because natural resources are a primary status symbol, so we say "resource war". But I think it's important to talk about the distinction because the difference is life and death.
Realistically though, this is not the case. Although many wars are built on lies that may be believable at the outset, the public eventually tends to understand and the mood shifts. We have seen this in Vietnam and Iraq more recently.
Modern resource wars among major powere as a projection personally puzzle me. Raw resources tend to be the cheapest part period and expensive goods have many inferior subsitutes. Essentially even relatively lousy means of acquiring resources like say desalination would be cheaper than first world water wars that often are projected as doomsday scenarios. The undeveloped world engaging in them? That is sadly plausible and unfortunately not exactly novel.
History unfortunately shows people will happily screw over the weak and think it actively moral even if it harms themselves while thinking angering the strong immoral even if it makes things better for all. They wouldn't be neccessary for the developed world but they may be tempted if they see a vulnerable enough nation.
You're not exactly wrong about status and its perception, but it's more nuanced.
Japan in WW2 wanted to colonize Asia for resources, but they were also not happy with their treatment by the Allies after WW1.
And Germany in WW2 did invade Norway for iron ore, and wanted Alsace back. And then the Treaty of Versailles.
But when somebody takes your water, that is mainly a resource issue. And dams are fragile.
Population is growing. There are limited resources. One day someone's going to dam up someone else's water and wars will be fought.
I'm optimistic that technology AND population control can save us.
A video with some narrative around it:
One day? Not a major conflict, but still... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_over_Water_(Jordan_river)
I remember taking a university lecture on "water history" and it was... surprisingly fascinating and enlightening.
Some of the earliest conflicts have been over water for farming. The concept of hydraulic despotism describes how the need to control and coordinate water resources across large populations and lands gave impetus for the first civilisations and complex governments, like ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, India, Peru, and others. They developed all kinds of technologies, measurement systems, and bureaucracies to deal with water.
They say that history doesn't repeat but it rhymes. There will certainly be more conflicts over water in the future. We have the civilisational 'technology' of national governments to manage intra-national resources, and we're seeing the active invention of new civilisational 'technologies' of international blocs and more to manage global resources.
Where these two perspectives really diverge is on the issue of enforcement. If we say women have a right to control their bodies, then the enforcement comes down against entities who deny or limit those rights. If we say women cannot have more than N children, then enforcement comes down against women (and oftentimes their families too, but not always), often in horrific and traumatizing ways. Or concretely, if India decides to implement population control via an education campaign and they are in danger of not meeting their goals, what do they do? Do they ramp up education efforts? Do they look at different women's rights policies? Do they crack down on employers and health care providers who are less than helpful when it comes to access to birth control? Or do they embark on a gruesome campaign of forced sterilization and abortion?
So while I agree you're technically right, I think it's unrealistic to rely on population control to combat global warming, and doubly unrealistic to rely on reproductive education (etc.) to indirectly combat it. I think the incentives and enforcement are too far removed from the problem at hand, and that's saying nothing of the cultural challenges.
The population of China is projected to drop by hundreds of millions over the course of this century, for instance.
In poor 1980 China, population was exploding with draconian policies in place.
In better off 2020 China, population is set to decline, the still draconian government policy doesn't really matter.
You make 2 claims: population of the poor in the 1980s was exploding despite the one child policy, and the draconian government policy doesn't really matter in 2020.
It looks like your first claim isn't born out by the data ; it's hard to find "poor" population growth vs. non-poor, but rural vs. urban doesn't seem like an unrelated approximation. You can see that urban population was growing at a far faster rate than rural, which is pretty close to flat. Certainly it's likely that a lot of this is the rapid urbanization of China, but either way it doesn't seem like the population of the poor was exploding in the 1980s.
Re: the one child policy not mattering, birth rates were already on the decline before the one-child policy was adopted, and that's likely due to China's family planning initiative in the 70s . And if you look at the Reuters graph, it really does look like that's the defining effect here (birth rates mostly leveled off after the initial steep decline, even after the one child policy was adopted). This isn't 2020-specific, but I think the broader context is more relevant.
(I wasn't aware China had this family planning initiative until just now so, I was wrong above).
So I still think the dynamic that most controls birth rates are women's access to birth control and status of their reproductive rights.
Compare the PPP column at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_GDP_of_China (so that's adjusting for inflation and local production and so on...).
So the "poor" group is all of China in the 1980s.
I'm talking about the two child policy not mattering now, because few people are having more than 1 or 2 children. The policy likely mattered more when birth rates were higher (birth rates declined prior to 1980, but then leveled off, in the face of policy meant to discourage births):
You're doing a post hoc ergo propter hoc thing here. China's GDP increased dramaticaly, China's birth rates decreased dramatically afterwards, therefore birth rates decreased because GDP increased. In order for your claim to stand you at least have to narrow it significantly to "birth rates in China went through the floor once poverty decreased past a certain point", otherwise you have to explain why birth rates didn't subsequently fluctuate inversely with GDP. Further, you also would have to explain why male births so dramatically outnumber female births.
But I think more concretely, the timeline doesn't match. China didn't get above $1000 PPP until ~1990, and at that rate their birth rates should still have been very high . However they'd been under 3 for 10 years at that point .
It's much simpler to say that China told people how to not have kids in 1970, the one/two child policies held the birth rate down subsequently, and couples took drastic measures to predominately have male children while also staying under the limit in order to satisfy a sexist culture. That's a more direct, parsimonious, and complete explanation, whereas the GDP argument has to also show why the reproductive education campaign and one/two child policies did effectively nothing, why birth rates fell dramatically before the Chinese people saw significant economic development, and why couples worked very hard to primarily have male children--work that weirdly also had no influence on the birth rate.
It's clear enough that there were other more important factors in earlier periods.
The most vocal about climate change seem to think this isn't their problem.
Over resources, yes, pollution, no.
Economic calamity if pollution directly affects some nation, possibly.
Not even as part of an escalation.
A war requires a lot of vested interests to 'care' add to that mechanisms for populism.
'ABC is polluting' is not enough of anything.
Also, non-market forces that care the most about things like pollution, are the one's that are also least likely to want war, or to put those kinds of cards on the table.
I would like to see a calculation of how many extra people will die of skin cancer in each country as a result of this treaty violation.
1. Studied chemistry in university.
2. Was respected by Ronald Reagan.
to creating consensus to act among political leaders?
Companies outsourcing their pollution or being out-competed by foreign companies that do pollute has to stop.
So, then let's say it took China 40 years to industrialize, from 1960 to 2000. So if things move twice as fast these days, China should be advanced enough to start transitioning to a clean industry by 2065.
What's par? Many countries in China's income quantile have environmental problems. China happens to be especially large, and India especially environmentalist, so they stick out like a billion sore thumbs.
Move just a little down the list and Indonesia and Brazil have both been all over the news for environmental destruction, while in Mexico, Pakistan and Nigeria, environmental issues are overshadowed by simmering civil wars.
China performs poorly, compared to par/GDP here, similarly to India. Brazil meanwhile ranks better.
India has a decent HPI. It's one of the few metrics that seems to avoid correlation with GDP without simply stratifying.
If western countries want to stop developing countries from using their own resources, some financial compensation should be involved.