Our dangerously naive and irresponsible politicians have left us vulnerable.
This is the most precarious period since the 1930s. It’s time for politicians to get off their ‘climate’ soapboxes, drop the costly and damaging eco-charade and get real. Before we find ourselves in checkmate.
In 2014 I remember the media in Australia going into a meltdown. The cause of their consternation was that Vladimir Putin had arrived at the G20 Summit in Brisbane, Queensland… with his warship in tow. It lurked somewhat menacingly just outside Australian waters.
Putin’s reply to the meltdown was insightful. “It’s for climate change research,” he quipped. What could the media and Australian politicians say in response? They huffed a bit, then let it drop.
Putin might be many things, but he’s not stupid. My take at the time was that he had a somewhat satirical sense of humour, given he was known as a sceptic of the man-made climate catastrophe narrative. He was clearly mocking the West. According to this article,
The president believes that “there is no global warming, that this is a fraud to restrain the industrial development of several countries including Russia,” says Stanislav Belkovsky, a political analyst and critic of Putin. “That is why this subject is not topical for the majority of the Russian mass media and society in general.”
However, according to the Moscow Times, in 2017 Putin acknowledged CO2 emitted by volcanoes dwarfed human emissions. One year later he apparently had a conversion and became a true believer? This is somewhat doubtful.
In 2014 it was clear Putin had identified the West’s achilles heel – an exploitable moral vanity. Recent world events and Europe’s deliberate self-sabotage of base-load energy sources – shutting down their coal and nuclear with resulting dependence on Russian gas, has only deepened my conviction on this. Putin would be cynical enough to ‘play along’ if it served his purpose and a weakness could be used to benefit Russia.
It should come as no surprise to learn that Putin has been actively funding green climate pressure groups, including anti-fracking groups in the US – a technology that enabled the US to reduce its reliance on both Saudi Arabia and Russia. These green groups have lobbied Western politicians to literally demolish their energy security in order to go down the ruinous path of expensive intermittent energy. Intermittent energy requires gas for when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow. In Europe, that would be Russian gas delivered via the Nord Stream pipelines.
We’re seeing the consequences of this play out in Europe right now with the gas pipelines from Russia to Europe apparently blown up. It’s doubtful Russia was behind it – why take out their own infrastructure when they could simply turn off the tap? Regardless of who did it, with the pipes critically damaged Putin’s power over Germany and Europe has been dealt a blow.
There are now desperate measures in many EU countries to keep the lights on, industry working and to provide enough energy for heating as the Northern Hemisphere heads into winter. There’s been a scramble for old fashioned fuel like firewood. Keep in mind Germany’s role as the economic powerhouse of Europe. If they go down, so does Europe. More people die of cold than heat and this Northern Hemisphere winter will be tough due to skyrocketing energy prices. Citizens will be forced to choose between heat and eat. This is energy poverty in first world nations!
I’ve always suspected China has been following the Russian playbook including influencing/funding corporate media. See this article here from mid 2021 with a run down of which corporate media the CCP is financing and by how much. It’s a veritable roll-call of who’s who – Time Magazine, New York Times, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post to name but a few. We’re talking considerable sums too, such as 6 million to the Wall Street Journal. Don’t for a moment think it’s just an American problem. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn the same influencing tactics are being employed on this side of the world. In the very least, corporate media in Australia and New Zealand uncritically disseminate American media content.
In many Western nations China has infiltrated University campuses via their Confucius Institutes. These centres act to monitor the activities of Chinese students with threats to family back in China if they step out of line. Without doubt they influence (also via funding) University policy and academic research. A few years back an Australian student was expelled from a Queensland University for being critical of its ties to China. So much for the principle of free thought and speech in a Western democracy.
In 2020, Hao Zhang, a professor at China’s Tianjin University was charged with stealing trade secrets from US companies. In 2013 a Chinese researcher was charged with spying and attempting to steal a promising anticancer drug candidate from the US university where he worked. These are just a few examples to illustrate the point – lack of vigilance and naivety is costly, potentially dangerous.
Both China and Russia are masters at propaganda. As authoritarian regimes they wield it against their own people to keep them in-line. Not that all of them buy it, of course. Recent Ukraine war draft protests in Russia and the hundreds of thousands fleeing to the border attest to this. The best defence against propaganda is knowing it’s propaganda. However, it’s foolhardy to assume they wouldn’t use this capability against their perceived enemies and for their benefit. It’s old school, Machiavellian statecraft.
And why wouldn’t they?
The West has been sending its industry, jobs and intellectual property to China for years. While we’ve benefitted with cheap consumables there’s also been a massive wealth transfer to China. This has paid for the exponential growth of the Chinese middle class with an internal buying power to make China less dependant on other nations. I’m guessing that was the aim, at least. In the last two years we’ve come to know the dangers of being reliant on China for most of our (just-in-time) supply chain. One of the few good things to come out of the last two years is recognition of the need to diversify supply chains, if not make critical supplies at home.
It’s no coincidence that China has been actively encouraging the West to continue with its self-defeating climate crusade. They want to retain their status as a developing nation, even as they ramp up their space program with plans to build a station on the moon. While the West commits to shooting itself in the energy-foot, China promises they’ll re-evaluate their own position in 2030 and lofty goals of being at ‘zero’ by 2060. In July 2022 America got this astonishing ‘serve’.
The United States must meet its international obligations on climate change and do more than “shout slogans”, China’s foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Friday following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling limiting Washington’s ability to cut power sector emissions.
Meanwhile, China is building coal fired power capacity as fast as they can! Do you really think they’ll simply shut down trillions in investment in just over 30 years?
Construction of new coal-fired stations is occurring overwhelmingly in Asia, with China accounting for 52 per cent of the 176 gigawatts of coal capacity under construction in 20 countries last year.
The West’s decline and China’s rise in economic fortune is directly linked to cheap, stable energy supply. Sure, cheaper labour of course, but advances in robotics is largely reducing this as an advantage. Competitive advantage comes from cheap energy. Consider that more German companies are looking to off-shore production due to the huge cost of energy.
For China a booming economy has also made possible the exponential growth of an offensive capable military. From the South China Morning Post.
The Nanning, a new type of 052D guided missile destroyer made its public debut in a four-day real combat training exercise in the South China Sea after it entered service with the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), the PLA’s official website said.
Xi Jinping, like Putin, hasn’t been shy about his goals. He said he would take back Hong Kong. While we were all distracted with that virus, he did just that, forcibly cracking down on dissent once the media cameras had moved on. It was an opportunity in the midst of chaos. He’s also said he will take back Taiwan. With the West still reeling from that virus and in economic turmoil, preoccupied with the war in Ukraine, America at its weakest, most compromised and rife with internal division, I fear that time might be nearer than we’d like. Will he make his move before America regains its senses and, given the farce that was the Afghanistan withdrawal, before the prospect of a more competent administration takes over in 2024?
Long-term and of concern to us directly is Xi’s view that the Indo-Pacific is China’s sphere of influence with aims to consolidate itself as the dominant power in this region. In this article by Air Marshall Amit Dev, he notes,
The Indo-Pacific is home to 65 percent of the world’s population, accounts for 63 percent of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP), and more than 60 percent of the world’s maritime trade flows through the region. The economic interests and future growth of many nations, in the region and beyond, are intricately linked to the freedom of navigation and free flow of trade through the Indo-Pacific.
In 2014 Xi Jinping built and militarised islands in the South China Sea. Recall that in 2015, Xi pledged he wouldn’t militarise the islands, then promptly did. This was despite much ineffectual tut-tutting from Obama. Xi certainly didn’t do it for the fun of it. This was long-term planning. They have runways capable of bombers, bringing this part of the world within their reach. Australia and New Zealand’s trade via ships goes through the South China Sea. China is also attempting to acquire deep water ports in the Pacific. So the signals are there and we should be paying attention.
Below are some quotes from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, written around 2500 years ago or thereabouts.
- The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
- Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.
- Supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting. Be extremely subtle even to the point of formlessness.
- Be extremely mysterious even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.
- In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.
- So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.
- If you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by.
There are many more pertinent Sun Tzu quotes, but you get the picture – be patient, don’t take on your enemy when they’re strong, use stealth to put the pieces in place, use subterfuge, seed chaos, help the enemy become complacent/dependent and weak. Only then, strike hard and fast. Conflicts never start with kinetic war, but with actions that put nations in pole position ready for war.
Russia and China have been playing a game of 3D geopolitical chess. They’ve relied on Western politicians drinking the ‘climate cult’ Kool Aide, being spineless and easily manoeuvred by woke green pressure groups and unrepresentative corporate media paid to push a line. This same media has fulfilled their role in the programming of our societies to accept the dubious alarmist climate narrative as the most pressing issue.
How else do we explain the wilful damage to our ability to defend ourselves, our energy security and therefore industry, economies and living standards? Politicians have abrogated their core duty to ensure security, including energy security and fuel supply. Poor, weakened nations who are in economic and cultural turmoil don’t have the means to defend themselves. This was true in Sun Tzu’s time and it’s true now.
Just around the corner will be threats to our sovereign security. Australia has already been on the receiving end of China’s displeasure and economic bullying in 2020/21. In 2022 there was a stunning warning of missile strikes should Australia go to Taiwan’s aid. These are clear messages to do as we’re told, or else.
It is not in our interests to be weak and at the mercy of belligerent, authoritarian regimes. Our dangerously naive, narcissistic and irresponsible politicians have left us vulnerable. This is the most precarious period since the 1930s. It’s time for politicians to get off their made-for-media ‘climate’ soapboxes, drop the costly and damaging eco-charade and get real. Before we find ourselves in checkmate.