While many world leaders have just arrived in Paris to attend to the vital First World "business" of climate change, one nation living in the real world is blasting the Obama administration for demonstrating "carbon imperialism."
With a population and economy that is growing faster than its tattered infrastructure can handle, India is a country that isn't too picky when it comes to "clean energy." Just ask any of the millions who walk the streets of Delhi while wearing face masks to shield them from the thick smog.
It comes as no surprise then that when Sec. of State John Kerry issued singled out one country above all others -- India -- about doing its part for the environment, those living in the real world too umbrage. Particularly since cities like Delhi could not meet the demands of its population if it were not for coal power.
“Kerry’s comment is unwarranted and unfair. The attitude of some of the developed countries is the challenge for the Paris conclusion,” said Prakash Javadekar, India’s environment minister.
“This smacks of a ‘carbon imperialism’,” wrote Arvind Subramanian, the Indian government’s chief economic advisor. “And such imperialism on the part of advanced nations could spell disaster for India and other developing countries.”
In fact, this has always been one of the most ridiculous aspects of environmentalists in the West: No matter how many Priuses or recycle bins are on the road in San Francisco or Stockholm, it's never going to counter-balance the pollution India alone emits, let alone in combination with China.
But back in Dehli, the capital of a country where one-in-four lack access to even basic electricity - and where coal continues to provide the cheapest solution - the prospects of a cleaner future seem murky at best.
Nonetheless, Kerry issued his “challenge” for India at the upcoming climate change talks in Paris. We hate to burst his bubble but in the words of India's environmental minister: India is "not in the habit of taking any pressure from anybody."