Guest essay by Eric Worrall
According to the NYT, the State of the Union speech was a missed opportunity to focus attention on the link between Russia’s military power and Western fossil fuel dependency.
War Abroad and Politics at Home Push U.S. Climate Action Aside
Climate change, a central part of Biden’s agenda, was barely mentioned in the State of the Union. And Europe is confronting its heavy reliance on Russian gas.
War and politics are complicating the efforts of the two biggest polluters in history — the United States and Europe — to slow down global warming, just as scientists warn of intensifying hazards.
On Tuesday evening, President Biden barely made a mention of his climate goals in the State of the Union speech despite promises to make climate an issue that drives his presidency. European politicians have their own problem: They are struggling to get out from under one of the Kremlin’s most powerful economic weapons — its fossil fuel exports, which Europe relies on for heat and electricity.
Oil and gas prices are soaring globally. That is a boon to those who extract and sell the very products that drive fatal heat waves, wildfires and sea level rise. And it is leading to new demands for increased drilling in the United States, already one of the world’s biggest producers of oil and gas.
Energy experts said that Mr. Biden missed an opportunity to connect the war in Ukraine to the need to more swiftly sever an economic reliance on fossil fuels. “The president did not articulate the long-term opportunity for the U.S. to lead the world in breaking free of the geopolitical nightmare that is oil dependency,” said Paul Bledsoe, a strategic adviser to the Progressive Policy Institute, a Washington-based think tank.
…Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/02/climate/state-of-the-union-biden-ukraine-climate.html
Of course, Biden hasn’t given up on the green revolution. The NYT article goes on to reassure readers significant green handouts are still proceeding. It is just President Biden doesn’t want to talk about it so much anymore.
As I’ve said before, the main political obstacle to the green revolution is that it does not work. The careers of math challenged politicians who believe the green hype are always destroyed by rising energy prices and fed up voters. Even undemocratic countries like China face this problem – Xi Jinping is facing a huge backlash in China for his green incompetence, which could yet end his reign.
Given green failure is inevitable, why bother writing about it?
My motivation is hope of reducing the depth of each successive failure, just a little, by piercing the smoke screen, and broadcasting to people an explanation of why their lives just turned to sh*t, and what they can do about it.
Each successive failure – Carter, Obama, Biden – does tremendous long term harm to the national economy and the lives of ordinary people. Anything we can do to minimise that suffering, including our own suffering, has to be worth it.
Worse, recovery from each successive green failure is not absolutely guaranteed. So far the USA has always bounced back, and will likely continue to do so for the foreseeable future, but so did the British Empire, and before that the Spanish Empire. Until one day they didn’t.
History teaches that societal collapses are like stock market crashes. Always easier to see with hindsight.
I like civilisation, the medicines which keep me alive and healthy, the comfort of having a refrigerator full of food, and easy mechanised transport so I don’t have to walk everywhere. I have no wish to see all that come to an abrupt end.
We have no way of knowing what is the breaking strain, of the American and other Western economies, political systems and societies. But politicians like President Biden seem utterly determined to find that breaking limit and breach it, with their dogged pursuit of green economic insanity and heavy handed government economic interventions. It is up to all of us to try to spread the word of what is happening, to help gather enough political support to put a stop to this madness at the ballot box, before it is too late.