The address on climate change made by the Chinese President during the congregation of the worlds’ leaders in New York for the opening of the UN General Assembly was a dud. His platitudes and patter did not commit China to any specific actions or targets for achieving reductions in green house gases. Certainly not the kind of speech around which the anti-emmissions crowd can build a new assault.

Yes, he spoke of having to address emmissions, but China will only do so in a way that does not hinder its economic growth. And there are ways to do this. But he made it clear that China will not sign on to specific reductions in fossil fuel use or reductions in green house gas emmissions. Rather it will take these concerns into consideration in making its economic plans.

He also reiterated the developing world’s demand that the rich countries pay for their efforts to reduce green house gases. This payment would also compensate the poor countries for the “damages” already caused by the rich countries. In other words, whatever China does, it will send the bill to the rich countries.

No one should be surprised by the Chinese President’s statement. China’s major concern is raising the standard of living of its people, that is still far below that of the wealthier countries. Anything it does to deter this move upward would most likely cause internal strife.

As I said before, real results at the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change in December are not in the cards. If major moves were in the cards, then the meetings and statements this week in New York would have been advance notices that there will be an agreement, not rehashes of familiar positions.

Again, I believe the basic strategy of those leading the global warming campaign is wrong. Instead of looking at ways to stop rising temperatures, they should be looking at how we cope with those changes. At best, the global warming crusaders admit that they can only hold global warming at “historic” growth rates. No matter what we do about green house gases, the world will continue to get warmer, with all the attendant results. We need to look at how to adapt to a warmer planet, not how to turn back the tide.