Bush’s implication of China and India in global warming and food shortages has one common theme – that the rise of these two countries is problematic. In his April 17 comment, the US president said the economic growth of the two was “good for their people and good for the world”, but suffixed it with the caveat that this is harming the environment. In his May 3 address, Bush said that “prosperity in the developing world is good”, but quickly elaborated its supposed negative repercussions on food supplies.
In plain language, the American president is reflecting a deep-seated belief that Asia’s rising powers are irresponsible “free riders” as opposed to the more benevolent and magnanimous West. Bush’s accusations mask deeper structural malaises in the global environment and economy that can be traced back to Western over-consumption and exploitation of resources.