WHO report finds air cleaner in the U.S. than in most of its critics

by WorldTribune Staff, June 6, 2017

It must be difficult to see the irony through the fog of dirty air in China.

Around the same time the acting U.S. ambassador to China resigned over President Donald Trump withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a report that said the United States ranks among the cleanest nations on the planet in terms of air quality – and China one of the dirtiest.

Heavy smog engulfs Beijing.

David Rank, a senior Foreign Service officer who was deputy chief of mission at the Beijing embassy, told staff members he quit rather than issue a formal U.S. diplomatic note to the Chinese government on the withdrawal, according to State Department officials.

John Tkacik, a former State Department official, said it is better for Foreign Service officers to resign rather than pretend to implement a given president’s foreign policy, the Washington Free Beacon reported on June 5.

“And for that I applaud Mr. Rank, but he, of all people, should see that the Paris agreement will have literally zero impact on the global climate in the year 2100 without China at least doubling the U.S. commitments both in emissions goals, timetables and offering climate aid to developing country parties,” Tkacik said.

Also, Rank is aware that China is seeking to be declared a developing country party under the accord, which will enable Beijing to claim vast amounts of so-called climate development assistance from American taxpayers, as well as from Europe and Japan, the Beacon report said.

“Not only that, but Mr. Rank should also be sensitive to China’s long tradition of stealing foreign clean energy trade secrets, intellectual property and patents, and reselling them on the world market in competition with the very European, Japanese and U.S. companies that developed them,” Tkacik said.

In a recent list of the 25 cleanest cities in the world, the only country to boast three cities among the cleanest on the planet was the United States. China did not make the list.

On the other hand, a list of the 15 most polluted cities in the world featured three cities from China. No U.S. city made the list.

The WHO report on air pollution listed the United States as having far cleaner air than some who attempted to paint the U.S. as a major global polluter, including Germany and France.

“With such relatively clean air throughout America, how can even reputable news agencies like Reuters continue spreading the well-worn lie that the United States is one of the ‘biggest polluters” in the world?’ ” asked Thomas D. Williams, research fellow at the Notre Dame University Center for Ethics and Culture, writing for Breitbart.

“Rather than follow the time-tested practice used by the World Health Organization, which measures levels of disease-causing pollutants that get into people’s lungs, some have played a shell game, swapping a new measure of ‘pollution’ based solely on emissions of carbon dioxide,” Williams wrote.


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