Saturday, May 15, 2021

Climate Envoy John Kerry On Chinese Solar Panels: "...are being in some cases produced in forced labor by Uyghurs"

I know some people have said "Twitter d─ôlenda est," in my own case phrased as "Shut 'em all down", but without the tweet machine I probably would not have been aware that FT's Alphaville's editor had been thinking about Chinese solar:

THREAD

And I would not have experienced the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon* when I saw this at the New York Post, May 13:

John Kerry says Xinjiang solar panel production presents ‘problem’ for US climate strategy

US Special Envoy on Climate John Kerry acknowledged on Wednesday that obtaining solar panels from Xinjiang, China is a problem given the forced labor reported in the area and China’s strength in the market. 

During a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, asked Kerry about ensuring that the US’ climate strategy wouldn’t involve solar panels produced from forced labor.

“When you look at the supply chain, when you look at China, they dominate the critical mineral supply and solar supply chains all coming out of Xinjiang Province,” McCaul said.

Kerry told McCaul he was “absolutely correct” in his concerns. “It is a problem,” he added.

“Xinjiang Province not only produces some of the solar panels that we believe are being in some cases produced in forced labor by Uighur[s], but also there are significant amounts of a certain rare earth mineral that’s used in the solar panels themselves.”

Although Kerry didn’t commit to precluding those panels, he indicated that the Biden administration was moving toward doing so with sanctions....MORE

Envoy Kerry's testimony via C-SPAN.

Partial transcript:

Representative Michael McCaul:

“How can you ensure that….slave labor coming out of China–where genocide is taking place as we speak–[is] never part of the climate solution in the United States?”

Climate Envoy Kerry:

“You’re absolutely correct. Ranking Member McCaul you’re — it is a problem. Xinjiang province not only produces some of the solar panels that we believe are being in some cases produced in forced labor by Uyghurs but also there are significant amount of rare mineral that’s used in the solar panels themselves. It is my understanding that the Biden Administration is right now in the process of assessing whether or not that will be the target of sanctions.”

*And Bader-Meinhof? Via Pacific Standard:

There's a Name for That: The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon
When a thing you just found out about suddenly seems to crop up everywhere.

Your friend told you about that obscure bluegrass-electro-punk band yesterday morning. That afternoon, you ran across one of their albums at a garage sale. Wait a minute—that’s them in that Doritos commercial, too! Coincidence ... or conspiracy? More likely, you’re experiencing “frequency illusion,” somewhat better known as the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon....

It doesn't even have to be something you just found out. Simply having a prior point of recognition can clear the way for repetitions to enter the consciousness.  

Over the years we've had a few mentions of the B-M phenomena. One that made it to the headline: 

Tying Today's Posts Together: Synchronicity, Serendipity and the Baader-Meinhof Phenomena