Yesterday's lead story about China and climate change told only half the story.
True, China will become the planet's biggest national greenhouse gas emitter within a decade. But there was no comment that China's per capita emissions are approximately one tenth of Australia's, which are the world's highest and indicate the major difference in living standards between our two countries.
No comment, either, that the UN Convention on Climate Change places the onus and burden of significant initial emissions reduction on developed countries. The United States and Australia, signatories to this treaty, have substantively refused to abide by their commitments.
No mention that China - unlike Australia - will derive 20 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, has rejected nuclear power as a major energy option, and is the world's largest site of emissions-reduction projects, funded through Kyoto's Clean Development Mechanism.
Nor that a significant proportion of China's emissions come from manufacturing goods to meet Western demand.
China is confronting both the substantial domestic impacts of global warming and the substantial challenge of overcoming real poverty and underdevelopment. This involves difficult moral and policy choices, not a "hard line".
It is very different from the situation Prime Minister Howard faces as he seeks, inappropriately, to avoid real action on global warming (including significant assistance to China) in order to preserve a completely different level of "economic prosperity".
Author: Dr Peter Christoff, School of Social and Environmental Inquiry, University of Melbourne