Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Climate Change -- Who Stands to Gain? - Alexander G. Markovsky

by Alexander G. Markovsky

Geopolitical and economic realities are being ignored in favor of the ideological orthodoxy of the Democratic Party that has amalgamated the theory of “climate change” with the dream of renewable energy.

As the ancient Romans asked: cui prodest? “Who stands to gain?”

The global cooling, warming, or climate change movement, whatever it is called nowadays, was not born as the result of immaculate conception. It was conceived in the early 1960s in Paris, France, as a sinister plot to contain American expansionism, as the Europeans called it at the time.

Undamaged by the war, America was the dominant economic and political power, producing more than 50 percent of the world’s output. France, on the other hand, defeated and humiliated in the Second World War, was in ruins. General Charles de Gaulle, then president of France, was obsessed with Napoleon’s greatness and the messianic vision of returning France to the status of great power.

So, when one of de Gaulle’s ministers came up with an idea that the more a country produces, the more it contributes to the world’s pollution, de Gaulle seized the opening. That was de Gaulle’s eureka moment -- France would compensate for its humiliation and indignities by asserting an important role in the international affairs. In 1968, France formed the French Federation of Nature Protection Societies (FFSPN) and assumed the role of the world leader of the environmental movement.

The notion that industrialization has a detrimental impact on the planet was not new; it has been around since the Industrial Revolution. However, the possibility of turning this concept into a political movement and a set of international agreements would not only alter American economic expansion, but also diminish its political influence on Europe. For de Gaulle, this was a low-risk endeavor; France’s economy was in shambles and the environmental constraints on its industry would have a negligible effect.

The Soviets enthusiastically embraced the idea. They shared de Gaulle’s concern, but for different reasons. The Kremlin saw the United States as a formidable opponent in its quest to spread communism to Western Europe and other parts of the world and was eager to support anything that would undermine the United States economically and politically.

The potential impact of environmental treaties on the Soviet economy was not a concern. The Soviet Union, as a matter of policy, never let itself be bound by agreements. The Soviets loved the idea so much that they financed the environmental movement via Western European communist parties until the demise of the Soviet Union. By then, there was no shortage of wealthy American haters and a whole new generation of radicals to do the Soviets’ job.

In the 1970s, politically oriented industrial pollution scheme evolved into an even bigger scheme -- the global cooling movement, which later evolved into global warming and currently into “climate change” to keep pace with the up-to-date environmental trend. Regardless of the label, the media had been geared to support any doomsday environmental scenario.

Although from de Gaulle to Macron the political and economic landscape has changed, the strategy remains assertively consistent

At this writing, the geopolitical and economic realities are being ignored in favor of the ideological orthodoxy of the Democratic Party that has amalgamated the theory of “climate change” with the dream of renewable energy. The Democrats want America to accept the postulate that the climate change is man-made, and the only way to save the planet is to make a transition from hydrocarbons to renewable energy. Charles de Gaulle would have no difficulty endorsing this approach.

The Democrats recite the poetry of dreams without any awareness that there exists a prose of reality. The following diagram, although somewhat outdated, highlights the critical importance of fossil fuels to the U.S. economy. 

As we can see, any notion that the twenty-trillion-dollar economy could be powered with windmills is nothing short of a veritable absurdity. The diagram also makes it abundantly clear that the fossil fuels will maintain their economic and strategic significance way into the twenty-first century -- the most significant being oil. Oil is the biggest business and the largest industry in the world in terms of assets, capital, and employment. With the exception of information technology, the oil industry has been the source of the most important innovations in the areas of technology and manufacturing.

Therefore, 97% of scientists may produce volumes of reports supporting global cooling, warming or “change,” and ignorant environmental fanatics can recite endless poems to elicit the adulation of their supporters, it will not affect the prose of the fossil fuel reality. The objective reality is that our civilization is solidly carbon oriented and there is no viable alternative to cheap fossil fuels. And, unless we decide to return to the caves, this reality cannot be altered significantly in the foreseeable future.

There is no doubt that a time will come when these energy sources become obsolete. As the legendary Sheikh Yamani, former OPEC oil minister, said, “The Stone Age didn’t end because we ran out of stones, and the Hydrocarbon Age will not end because we ran out of oil.”

But it will not end by staged mass demonstrations or partisan legislations; it will be replaced as economic necessity. 

But until then we must control our destiny. 

Alexander G. Markovsky is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, a conservative think hosted at King’s College, New York City, which examines national security, energy, risk-analysis and other public policy issues, He is the author of "Anatomy of a Bolshevik" and "Liberal Bolshevism: America Did Not Defeat Communism, She Adopted It.” He is the owner and CEO of Litwin Management Services, LLC.


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