California Is Cooperating in China’s Eco-Scams

California Is Cooperating in China’s Eco-Scams
John Seiler
One of the people with the best insights into what’s going on inside the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is Winston Sterzel. He lived there for 13 years, leaving in 2019 after he received death threats.
On June 15, he shared a video on his YouTube channel of a massive field of electric cars that are “rotting away,” Sterzel said. They’re 2021 models with “less than 31 miles on them,” all with license plates and fully registered. He pointed out headlines stating that China’s electric vehicle sales “outpace the rest of the world.”

“But what you’re not taking into account is China is the land of shortcuts and facades,” he said.

And the abandoned cars are counted in those numbers.

(Screenshot via YouTube/serpentza)
(Screenshot via YouTube/serpentza)
Neta V, BYD, and other Chinese car brands need high numbers to get subsidies from Beijing and to prove that they’re selling more than Tesla. It’s also a Ponzi scheme to get more investment. A similar bicycle-sharing scheme failed in 2018, shifting money to a new shared cars scheme, which also failed.
The bigger problem: The electric batteries in EVs depend on minerals mined in hazardous conditions in poor countries with few worker protections, something I covered in The Epoch Times a month ago in “California Zero-Carbon Mandates Boost China’s Control of Cobalt.”

Sterzel said: “[The cars] create even more environmental damage, because they’re going to sit there for however long, with all these chemicals and batteries in them ... and they’re going to pollute the environment further.

“This is where China tricks everyone. This is where you hear about their great green initiatives. ... But what you’re not seeing is China actually is destroying the earth at a rate never before seen.

“People still don’t seem to get this. They block all this information from the rest of the world. ... China’s green technology initiatives that you hear about are mostly B.S., a smokescreen, to hide the fact that they’re doing all sorts of environmental crimes. ... It’s a propaganda push, and it’s a money grab. ... So think twice before investing in China.”

The California–China Nexus

This is where California comes in because its own environmental initiatives are tied in deeply with China’s. Start with the Berkeley California-China Climate Institute, part of the University of California–Berkeley. It’s chaired by former California Gov. Jerry Brown. The website features a short YouTube video of him explaining:

“This is an organization that has come out of the work I did as governor of California. When I met with President Xi [Jinping] several years ago it was very clear to both of us that climate change was something that affected California, China, America, the whole world. And we are committed at the Institute to research, to training, and to bringing scholars and experts from both China and California—in fact from the whole world—to get at this huge, profound problem called climate change. Join us.”

Brown was referring to his meeting with Xi in June 2017, when his office stated: “Taking California’s climate push to the global stage, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today met with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China and signed an agreement with China’s Minister of Science and Technology to deepen cooperation on the development of green technology.

“Governor Brown met with President Xi for approximately 45 minutes at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The Governor and President discussed the importance of expanding cooperation on green technology, innovation and trade.

“‘California is the leading economic state in America and we are also the pioneering state on clean technology, cap and trade, electric vehicles and batteries, but we can’t do it alone,’ said Governor Brown during his meeting with President Xi. ‘I have proposed that California will cut its greenhouse gases 40 percent below 1990 levels and that we’ll have 50 percent of our electricity from renewables. To keep that goal, we need a very close partnership with China – with your businesses, with your provinces, with your universities.’”

Brown’s office also provided pictures:

Then-California Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. meets with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Beijing on June 6, 2017. (Courtesy of the Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.)
Then-California Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. meets with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Beijing on June 6, 2017. (Courtesy of the Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.)
Then-California Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. meets with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Beijing on June 6, 2017. (Courtesy of the Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.)
Then-California Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. meets with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Beijing on June 6, 2017. (Courtesy of the Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.)

2023 California-China Business Forum

Back to the institute. It includes a link to a May 29 article from China Daily, the propaganda organ of the Chinese Communist Party, titled “Clean energy focus of California-China cooperation":

“Clean energy has been a focus of cooperation between California and China in various sectors, said US officials who are looking forward to deepening the engagement to achieve ambitious climate goals and economic benefits.

“The cities of Shanghai and Los Angeles provide an example of collaboration to decarbonize the supply chains between the world’s two largest economies.

“‘With the help of the C40 climate network, our ports have launched a green shipping corridor. Together, we’re partnering to decarbonize the supply chains that connect our companies and our consumers,’ said Erin Bromaghim, deputy mayor of Los Angeles, at the 2023 California-China Business Forum in Los Angeles on May 22.”

It also quoted California Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, who attended the forum and said: “California and China have built a notable record of collaboration in climate resiliency and environmental protection. Over the last 10 years, we have signed over 20 memoranda of understanding at the national, provincial and municipal level.”

China Decarbonization?

An article called “Decadal and Regional Planning for China’s Power Sector Decarbonization” from the Berkeley California-China Institute on May 15 also shows what they’re up to (please excuse the verbiage):
“China has many pathways to reach its decarbonization goals. All of them require a large increase in low-carbon renewable energy and complementary infrastructure, including storage and transmission. How can China plan for this transformation? What steps are necessary to consider in the near- and long-term? A new California-China Climate Institute report, produced with colleagues from UC San Diego’s Power Transformation Lab and the Institute of Energy, Environment and Economy at Tsinghua University, developed a novel modeling approach with a high spatial and temporal resolution to identify feasible and efficient pathways for deploying renewables, storage systems, and transmission lines, by decade, from 2020 to 2060. This new research highlights potential changes to the energy technology choices, the pace of renewable deployment, and the uneven local impacts over time and space.”

From this new report, here’s the timetable:

(Screenshot via California-China Climate Institute)
(Screenshot via California-China Climate Institute)

The 37-Year Plan

Meanwhile, as I’ve detailed in several articles in The Epoch Times, China is barreling ahead, building carbon-spewing coal plants at a record pace. At least when Mao imposed his Great Leap Forward, which killed up to 45 million people, it was a Soviet-style Five-Year Plan, then abandoned after three years, in 1961. The new one is a 37-Year Plan.
Of course, it’s not even going to last four years. It’s just a way to gull the Californians and make them feel important. Beijing obviously can see that California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has replaced Brown as the state’s main eco-guru, well could become president of the United States. As I’ve noted before, on April 18, 2022, Newsom and China’s minister of ecology and environment, Huang Runqiu, signed a memorandum of understanding on climate change and the environment in a virtual meeting.

Like all those thousands of EVs sitting rotting and polluting in vast fields in the PRC, it’s all fake.

John Seiler’s email: [email protected]
Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
John Seiler is a veteran California opinion writer. Mr. Seiler has written editorials for The Orange County Register for almost 30 years. He is a U.S. Army veteran and former press secretary for California state Sen. John Moorlach. He blogs at and his email is [email protected]
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