Nations 'Ghost Dancing' at Climate Summit on Carbon Emissions

Nations 'Ghost Dancing' at Climate Summit on Carbon Emissions
(AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, file)

In the 1890s, Native Americans, driven to desperation by starvation, poverty, and the loss of their homeland, created a new religion involving a “Ghost Dance” that, among other things, promised a return of the buffalo herds and the disappearance of whites.


Unfortunately, things didn’t quite work out that way for the Native Americans. Perhaps the nations of the world meeting in Scotland in what’s being dubbed the “COP 26 Summit” — the annual “Conference of Parties” — might take to heart the lessons learned by the Lakota and other Plains Indians: even if you dance real hard and truly believe, wishing for something doesn’t make it any more real or likely.

COP26 is where the well-heeled mix with well-woke celebrities in an orgy of self-referential do-gooderism, as glowing tributes to the tremendous sacrifices of industrialized nations are applauded and fans of movie stars and pop stars feel validated in their virtue signaling.

The “sacrifices” are “targeted emission commitments” — not quite like giving a wedding band, more like a promise ring — that will eventually result in something totally meaningless, but possessing great worth for its PR value: “carbon neutral emissions.” The magic date is 2050, which is close enough to elicit panic in ordinary people but far enough away so that the elites deciding on “net-zero carbon” won’t be alive to see if they were right or not.

So the biggest carbon polluting nations on earth — China, India, and Russia– were watched closely for any hint that they might help save the world from melting. If you’re looking for the world’s climate super villain — the US of A — we finished a disappointing fourth.



India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, pledged to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2070, a date two decades beyond the target set by COP26 organizers and host Boris Johnson, the U.K.’s prime minister.

Modi said the country had five climate-related pledges, including meeting 50% of its energy needs by renewable means by 2030.

It’s wonderful that Modi is pledging to achieve 50 percent of its energy needs by renewables by 2030. But, uh, what about the CO2 that India is pouring into the atmosphere today?

Ghost Dancing.

More Ghost Dancing comes via China, which apparently forgot to create any targets at all.

“I hope all parties will take stronger actions to jointly tackle the climate challenge and protect the planet, the shared home for us all,” he said, according to China’s state media agency Xinhua, which published the statement.

Xi, who is not attending COP26 in person, also called for developed countries to help developing nations do more. Onlookers noted that the statement failed to make any new commitments on climate change. China’s target for net zero is also well beyond the 2050 target.

Lastly comes the champion Ghost Dancer: American president Joe Biden.

The Chinese leader’s statement follows strong criticism from U.S. President Joe Biden at the G-20 meeting of the world’s largest economies on the weekend. At a news conference, Biden blasted China and Russia, saying the countries “basically didn’t show up in terms of any commitments to deal with climate change.” Along with Xi, Russian President Vladimir Putin is not going to COP26 in person.

Xi’s statement also follows calls from the White House on Monday for China to do more to tackle climate change. “We are filling our end of the bargain at COP. The fact that China isn’t is not something that they can readily point to us,” U.S. national security advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters, according to a Reuters report. The U.S. is the second-largest emitter of carbon.


Why should Communist China and Putin’s Russia care one whit about climate change? Let the silly, self-absorbed Western leaders play to the fears of their woke citizens and make all the emissions cuts. Meanwhile, we’ll continue to drill for oil and build coal-fired electric plants.

You guys can save the world. We want our economies to grow.

The delusional thinking on display at COP26 won’t cut emissions any more than the Ghost Dance brought back the buffalo. But for both Native Americans and Western leaders, there is a seductive power in wishful thinking.

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