Now, more than ‘Two weeks ago, Energy Minister Angus Taylor announced he’ll subsidise our coal-fired power plants to offset the unreliability of our already subsidised wind turbines and solar panels – a policy “worthy of a Yes Minister show or Monty Python skit” as described by the National Civic Council.
As one of Australia’s most renowned geologists Professor Ian Plimer said a few months ago:
“Here they come again for your money. Firstly, it was wind, then it was solar. Now they’ve put the two together and it’s hydrogen. And what they’re trying to do is to skin us alive forever.
“Let me say a few things for an illiterate politician. You need electricity to make hydrogen and you have losses when you do that. And then with the hydrogen, you need to make electricity, again you have losses. And so, you get about 30% of the energy by that process, the rest gets dispersed. Unless legislation can change the laws of thermodynamics, you are in a loss, loss, loss situation. Loss because we taxpayers get skinned alive, loss because we redistribute energy and loss because we cannot replace that energy.
“This madness was tried a hundred years ago. It didn’t work then, and it won’t work now. Now, if we look at planet earth from space, we can see a number of really interesting things. Firstly, if you squint and look very hard, you actually can’t see that the planet’s got a gender. Yet we call the planet a female. Her. The second thing is when you look and you’ve got spectroscopic eyes, you’ll actually see hydrogen is leaking out of the planet. You cannot hold hydrogen, it leaks from the core of the earth through the mantle, through the crust and into space. You cannot hold hydrogen in pipelines or in steel containers.”
“So, if you were to make hydrogen, you will lose a huge amount of energy doing it. Then you’ve got to compress it to only 700 times atmospheric pressure, and that requires a huge amount of energy. Then you’ve got to liquefy it down to minus 283 degrees Celsius. That requires a huge amount of energy. And then you’ve got to transport this hydrogen in a truck or a pipeline, and that is a mobile bomb. That hydrogen will leak out through the steel in pipelines or in a truck, just the same as it leaks out from the earth. That hydrogen weakens the steel and so what have you got? You have got a bomb waiting to go off. Hydrogen is well-known to be extremely explosive. And when it explodes, it puts the most powerful greenhouse gas back into the atmosphere. And that gas is water vapour.
“Yes, you can store hydrogen in fuel cells, incredibly expensive and incredibly dangerous. We have extremely good technology now where we can convert fossilised sunlight into energy. And that fossilised sunlight is called coal. We have extremely good technology to convert compressed energy in a big atom, like uranium into steam, which then goes into electricity. That’s been around for a long time. We’ve had hydrogen around for a long time, it still hasn’t worked. So, if you have massive subsidies and you have people that live in cities, then hydrogen is used by woke people. I’d much rather be living next door to a nuclear reactor than a hydrogen refuelling station. It’s far safer.
“The spruikers (of hydrogen) can see something that’s going to make them a lot of money. Firstly, it’s subsidised. Secondly, they’ve signed really long contracts, which they did for wind and solar. And thirdly, they know that politicians are absolutely totally scientifically illiterate. They know the bureaucrats are generally green and that they’ve barrows to push and are unelected and sending us broke and don’t have to worry about losing a job because they’ve got one forever. So they can see a big fish…This has got nothing to do with green energy. This has got nothing to do with the environment, it’s to do with the spruikers skinning us alive. They’ve done it with wind, they’ve done it with solar, and now they’re doing it again. And my view on this is: beware of people trying to sell us what they call new technology and saying ‘all of the old technology is hopeless.’”
“If we were to throw out old technology, we wouldn’t use the wheel. The best technology we’ve got for generating energy is where we use compressed energy in coal or in a heavy atom like uranium and convert that into steam, which then drives turbines, which then gives us electricity. That for more than a 100 years has been the most efficient form of energy, it still is. If we had no subsidies, we would be still running on coal, uranium and in peak times gas.
“Well, it’s even worse than that. We have our wind turbines made in China. We have our solar panels made in China. And by us having wind and solar electricity is sending us broke. So China doesn’t even need to invade us, we’re doing it to ourselves. Then if we have hydrogen, we do it again to ourselves. And by not using this concentrated energy in black coal and in uranium, we are again sending ourselves broke. We cannot, in a country where wages are high, where our industrial legislation makes it very difficult to do anything, where we have huge amounts of concentrated energy which we export.
“We cannot ignore using that energy. We are the only G20 country that doesn’t generate nuclear electricity. We could control the world’s uranium. The same as Saudi used to control oil. And that is: mine it. Make the yellow cake, make fuel rods, which we lease out, bring them back, clean them up, lease them out again, bring them back, clean them up.
“And then, we set up a high specialty industry whereby we employ engineers, scientists and very skilled tradespeople to run this industry. We don’t, therefore, try to compete with manufacturing industries in Asia, where people get paid $2 a day. We have a highly specialised industry. We are poised to do it. All it requires is regulatory and legislative changes; governments to sit back, get out of the way, get rid of the red tape and the green tape and just let business do what it’s good at. And that is helping build employment, helping build industry without government subsidies.
“That 20 megawatt reactor at Lucas Heights saves lives. Now, anyone who’s ever had cancer would have radionuclides generated from that reactor. You cannot object to nuclear energy if you’ve had cancer treatment, it’s just not possible to do it. That reactor was built in the bush. Now there’s a suburbia around it. It had to be built close to an airport so we can get these medical isotopes to nearby countries and to Western Australia and elsewhere in Australia.
“That reactor is extraordinarily safe. We already have the people and the technology to run reactors. So, if you want to object to nuclear energy, you have to say: “I am never, ever, ever going to accept treatment in a hospital for my cancer.” If you want green power, then if you are on a life support machine, that machine should be turned off when there’s green power coming down the line. And if there’s coal coming down the line, turn it back on again. That is the hypocrisy that we see from these Greens sitting in cities, trying to finger-wag at us and tell us how to live our lives, or how much meat to eat or what gender our pet budgerigar should be.”‘https://www.advanceaustralia.org.au/first_it_was_wind_then_it_was_solar
‘It is this simple: skyrocketing world electricity prices stem from renewables policies. Notwithstanding the avalanche of propaganda we are seeing throughout the country, no wind or solar gets built anywhere in the world without subsidies paid by taxpayers and customers. In Australia’s case these costs are $10 billion a year in grants and network spending.
The genesis of the current malaise has been closures of generating plants which have been demonised by the politically correct. In Europe this is mainly involves coal. Those countries that have been particularly severely hit by the present crisis are the UK and Spain, both of which have closed 80 per cent of their coal capacity – and Germany, which has closed about one third of its coal. Germany also suffers from having closed down most of its nuclear power plant. Japan also followed this policy.
Those countries which have fared well include Korea, where they have been building both coal and nuclear, and the US and Canada, which have gone through energy transformations based on gas from the same fracking process that has been falsely stigmatised in Australia and the UK. The US, however, is now becoming a clone of Europe, with the Biden administration blocking gas and oil developments while doubling up on renewables subsidies.
Around the world we also have seen other contributory factors which have brought on the current crisis, some involved supply constraints especially from Russia. Importantly, there was also a wind drought in Europe – a common occurrence that always leaves wind-dependent systems vulnerable. This coincided with high gas prices, so stocks were run down and prices of gas escalated.
In the UK this was further aggravated by disruption of the nuclear electricity from France. UK and German forward electricity prices are now 2-3 times Australia’s, and because UK prices are inflexible a number of electricity retailers have gone belly up. Germany is importing a great deal of electricity, as well as turning coal back on, and praying that it will receive extra supplies of Russian gas by Christmas. All this has meant a bonanza for Australian gas and coal exports. Ironically, these were interred by the Business Council of Australia report a couple of days ago. (The BCA’s full report can be downloaded here.)
The agitprop financed by woke alarmists and vested interests, as presented with qualification in the mainstream media, is seeking to accelerate Australia’s shift to phase out coal. In an indication that actually running a specific business requires more applied intelligence than making broad and illogical generalisations about the sector’s future, the Business Council actually claims we can flourish by reducing the present 75 per cent coal-and-gas share of electricity supply to 15 per cent by 2030 and virtually zero shortly thereafter. Kerry Schott, the departing chair of the Energy Security Board, one of the nation’s four regulatory authorities, is making similar remarks.
Joining the chorus is Malcolm Turnbull’s former top bureaucrat, Martin Parkinson, who says, with a straight face no less, that “We can very rapidly decarbonise the electricity market at zero cost to 70 per cent, and at mild cost to 90 per cent.”
Chalked up to replace Australia’s coal and gas are renewables with their proven record of high cost and low reliability. Due to subsidies these already comprise a lost fifth of supply. Energy Minister Angus Taylor, aware of the political dynamite from a transparent carbon tax, seeks to placate the greenhouse gods with subsidies for extracting hydrogen from water. At least this has the benefit of novelty, as Jonathan Swift reserved the notion of harvesting sunbeams from cucumbers some time ago. Hydrogen will no doubt continue to be promoted as the latest green miracle — there are billions of dollars in grants and subsidies to be snaffled, as the ABC reports:
Premier Dominic Perrottet says a hydrogen strategy unveiled by the NSW government that aims to help the state hit net zero emissions by 2050 is “world-leading”.
The strategy provides up to $3 billion in incentives for green hydrogen production, including tax exemptions, and includes plans for a “hydrogen refuelling highway” between Melbourne and Brisbane.
The truth is that hydrogen cannot be transported through the gas pipeline network and, as even the US Department of Energy acknowledges, there are a host of other technical obstacles and imponderables. If history is any guide, hydrogen is now being blessed with the same unquestioning optimism formerly bestowed on “carbon capture and storage” which, after 15 years of trials, is yet to see commercial relevance anywhere in the world.
The government is offering blandishments to the Nationals in the form of hand-outs for the bush. By all accounts all but a handful of Coalition MPs, led by Matt Canavan, have been seduced by such reprehensible deals.
FAKE ‘President Biden recently announced ambitious plans to install huge offshore industrial wind facilities along America’s Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Pacific coasts. His goal is to churn out 30 gigawatts (30,000 megawatts) of wind capacity by 2030, ensuring the U.S. “leads by example” in fighting the “climate crisis.”
Granted “30 by 2030” is clever PR. But what are the realities?
The only existing U.S. offshore wind operation features five 6-MW turbines off Rhode Island. Their combined capacity (what they could generate if they worked full-bore, round the clock 24/7) is 30 MW. Mr. Biden is planning 1,000 times more offshore electricity, perhaps split three ways: 10,000 MW for each coast.
While that might sound impressive, it isn’t. It means total wind capacity for the entire Atlantic coast, under Biden’s plan, would only meet three-fourths of the peak summertime electricity needed to power New York City. Again, this assumes the blades are fully spinning 24/7. In reality, such turbines would be lucky to be operating a top capacity half the time. Even less as storms and salt spray corrode the turbines, year after year.
The reason why is there is often minimal or no wind in the Atlantic – especially on the hottest days. Ditto for the Gulf of Mexico. No wind means no electricity – right when you need it most.
Of course, too little wind isn’t the only issue. Other times, there’s too much wind – as when a hurricane roars up the coast. That’s more likely in the Gulf of Mexico. But the Great Atlantic Hurricane of 1944 had Category 4 winds in Virginia, Category 3 intensity off Cape Hatteras (NC), Long Island and Rhode Island, and Category 2 when it reached Maine. It sank four U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships.
When storms or hurricanes hit, turbines can be destroyed. Repairing or replacing hundreds of offshore turbines could take years.
If the White House is planning to generate all that power using common 6-MW turbines, our coastlines would need a hefty 5,000 of the 600-foot tall monsters dotting them. The Washington Monument is 655 feet tall.
Going instead with 12-MW turbines, like the 850-foot-tall GE Haliade-X turbines Virginia is planning to install off its coast, America would still need 2,500 of the behemoths – just to complete Phase One of Biden’s plan. 30,000 megawatts by 2030. Even if these were all plopped in the Atlantic, it still would not be enough to meet New York State’s current electricity needs.
And what about the environment?
How many millions of tons of steel, copper, lithium, cobalt, rare earth elements, concrete, petroleum-based composites (for turbine blades) and other raw materials would be required to manufacture and install the turbines and undersea electrical cables, especially where deep-water turbines are involved?
How many billions of tons of ore would have to be mined, crushed, processed and refined – considering that it takes 125,000 tons of average ore for every 1,000 tons of pure copper metal?
Not only would nearly all of this mining and manufacturing require fossil fuels, but much of it would be done in China, or in other countries by Chinese-owned companies. Haliade-X turbines are also manufactured in China. And much of the mining and processing is done under horrid workplace safety and environmental conditions, often with near-slave and child labor.
More turbines will also kill countless birds and bats. Turbine infrasound and other noise have been implicated in disorienting and stranding whales and dolphins. The numbers, height and low-frequency turbine noise also interferes with surface ships, submarines, aircraft and radar.
Nuclear power or billions of batteries (or retained fossil fuel power plants) will have to back up every megawatt of intermittent, unreliable wind power, so that society can function every time the wind fails. That means more raw materials, transmission lines and costs.
Even with massive taxpayer subsidies, electricity generated by offshore turbines will cost many times what we are paying today, even in New York and California. That will have especially heavy impacts on energy-intensive industries, hospitals, and poor, middle-class, minority and fixed-income families.
Economic, environmental and climate justice reviews must fully, carefully and honestly assess every one of these factors. No “expedited” or “climate emergency” shortcuts should be permitted.
President Biden likes to say offshore wind energy is clean, green, renewable and sustainable. Wind itself certainly is. But harnessing the wind (or sun), to meet the needs of modern civilization is not – especially in ocean environments.
Claiming otherwise is a mirage – a scam. Maybe that’s why the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management already canceled two wind projects off Long Island. The costs and impacts are enormous, and local opposition was high. Do climate activists in and out of the Biden Administration expect otherwise anywhere else?
Biden and his political mates around the world are simply following the bidding of the CCP. That’s one reason why they had to get rid of President Trump! This crazy Net Zero 2050 is their target to ruin the West and make us all slaves to the CCP. Conspiracy theory? NOT!! However, as a Bible believing Christian my hope isn’t in politicians but in the Lord Jesus Christ! Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.
‘The Ominous Outlook for 2050
There are two different visions out there of what the world ought to look like in 2050. One of them is called Net Zero, which says that within three decades the world must all but eliminate fossil fuel use, and get carbon dioxide emissions down to zero, net of the amount plants and trees absorb. So many politicians, business leaders, bankers and academics around the world are calling for Net Zero that you might think it’s solidly based on science.
But it’s not. Many experts dispute the necessity of this 2050 plan and indeed its feasibility. They say the worst case scenario for the impacts of climate change over the coming 30 years won’t be nearly as costly as the impact of getting rid of fossil fuels. They say trying to get to net zero in such a short time could destroy our prosperity and weaken us internationally. And they say we couldn’t get there even if we tried.
Despite these objections, and with virtually no public debate, governments throughout the western world are embracing the goal of net zero by 2050 and are preparing to impose the target, regardless of the costs. They’re not interested in the vision of cautious, evidence-based, adaptation to what the future brings.
Which funnily enough isn’t even the other vision I want to talk about. You see, there’s yet another, very different idea of what the world should look like in 2050 that you may not have heard of. It’s not exactly a secret, but Western governments and journalists ignore it just as they ignore skepticism about Net Zero.
This other vision is called The Hundred Year Marathon. And it’s like a mirror image of Net Zero, because it’s the Chinese Politburo’s elaborate and ambitious scheme to build up their nation’s economy and its global power so that by 2049, the hundredth anniversary of Mao Zedong’s seizure of power, China will be the world’s dominant superpower.
Then, starting in 2050, the ideology that guides the Chinese Communist Party will spread around the globe, achieving what they like to call “harmony” though a better name would be “world domination”.
You might be tempted to dismiss this warning as paranoia, some kind of warmed-over “Red scare”. But while Chinese leaders are careful not to say much to the rest of the world, they talk openly about this ambition among themselves. The plans are found in high-level speeches and strategy documents, and the implementation is progressing around the world, step-by-step, right in plain sight, including the so-called “Belt and Road Initiative” and the not-so-green investment in coal plants in many Third World nations as well as at home. But most Westerners still know nothing about it and find it hard to believe such a plan could even exist, let alone succeed.
Unfortunately, the truth is that these two apparently disconnected visions of 2050 are two sides of the same coin. They both lead us to the same place, with the west hobbled and weak, and China powerful and dominant. And if our governments don’t know it, don’t want to hear about it, the Chinese government certainly does. I’m John Robson and this is a Climate Discussion Nexus Backgrounder on the Ominous Outlook for 2050.
First of all, let me assure you I’m not saying “climate change” is a communist plot. Or a globalist plot. Or a what have you plot. Climate change alarmism isn’t not a plot at all, even if it is mistaken. The whole discussion of carbon dioxide and the greenhouse effect arose in Europe in the 1800s out of scientific inquiry, and lots of people believe in it sincerely, and it’s appropriate and necessary that we, in free societies, have a lively legitimate debate about its meaning and importance. Including the necessity and practicality of Net Zero.
But we also need to have a discussion about the geopolitical implications of the green agenda, and the illegitimate uses to which it can be put. Including the strange coincidence that a global political movement has arisen that uses the threat of climate change to impose an agenda on the Western world that fits neatly with what The Hundred Year Marathon seeks to do. If it is a coincidence.
You’ll notice, the endless chatter about “Net Zero” never seems to include China. They’re building hundreds of coal-fired power plants at home and abroad, buying up oil reserves around the world, including here in Canada, and they’re ramping up their economy as fast as humanly possible without regard for the human cost including due to real pollution as well as the “carbon” kind. And they have politely but firmly told the world to go jump in the South China Sea whenever discussion of global climate policy comes up. Except not always politely.
Sure they like to brag about the occasional solar panel they put up, or their internal carbon trading shell game, and last fall President Xi Jinping made noises to the UN about cutting emissions. That kind of talk always wins them praise from credulous western environmentalists. But the reality is, net zero is a western preoccupation and China isn’t part of it.
When I say “China” I don’t mean the geographical entity, of course. Nor do I mean the people who live there. It’s standard shorthand for a political organization called the Chinese Communist Party or CCP that rules China and its people in a thoroughly undemocratic, brutal manner.
The CCP was formed in 1921, and after decades of military insurgency it won control of China in 1949 under the leadership of Mao Zedong. It is an authoritarian communist movement that aspires to be totalitarian and control all aspects of the lives of the Chinese people including their thinking. It now has about 90 million members, but not because it’s popular. Because you pretty much have to be a Party member to have a significant job in Chinese business or government. Until the Party turns on you, that is. And then there’s nowhere to hide, no matter how important, rich or well-connected you seemed to be. There’s no such thing as free speech in China, or separation of powers, or rule of law, or private property, or security of any kind. Westerners by and large have no idea how powerful the CCP is.
For instance, China does not have a military the way normal countries do. Instead the so-called “Peoples’ Liberation Army” is the military wing of the Chinese Communist Party. Imagine the hoo-hah if Donald Trump had proposed having the US Army swear an oath of loyalty to the Republican Party instead of the US Constitution. But that’s what the CCP has done, and it now has the largest military in the world as its private enforcers.
China also does not have an independent court system, of course. Judges in China are CCP officials whose sole loyalty is to the Party if they know what’s good for them. The CCP controls the school system, the media, the universities, the internet, all local municipal governments, and of course the central government in Beijing. Leaders in any of those systems have to swear loyalty to the CCP and its ideology to hold their positions. What’s more, all Chinese companies are effectively branches of the state including under the National Intelligence Law that makes enterprises like, say Huawei, explicitly tentacles of Beijing’s espionage.
It’s not accidental and it’s not because of any external threat and there is no intention of reforming it. China made a show of moving towards democracy in the 1990s, just long enough to win a membership in the World Trade Organization in 2001. But what was really going on internally was a purge of reformers in the wake of the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 and the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.
By the time Xi Jinping took power in 2012 the hardliners had cemented their control. And in 2013 Chairman Xi delivered a confidential speech called Document Number 9, which outlines the seven “false ideologies” that the CCP must repress at all costs: Western-style constitutional democracy, the belief in ‘universal values’, civil society (or individual rights), free market economics, independent journalism, ‘historical nihilism’ (i.e. questioning Maoist doctrine), and anything that undermines the socialist nature of China.
In that speech he also referred to “the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation”. According to China expert Michael Pillsbury, this is code for righting the historical wrongs that have prevented China from reaching its destiny of being the dominant nation in the world. They don’t simply want to be successful, to be secure, to be an equal and respected partner in a multipolar world. They believe in the saying attributed to Confucius that “there can only be one sun up in the sky.” There can only be one dominant superpower.
According to this chauvinistic, belligerent and frankly rather weird reading of history, China was destined to fill that role until its humiliation by the aggressive west in the 1800s. But by 2049 they will have righted that wrong and completed their rejuvenation. Or died trying. Along with anyone who gets in their way.
Delusions of grandeur, you might say. As we said of the Soviet Union and before that Hitler. Yes, I’m putting on that annoying historian’s mortar-board again and saying we’ve been there, we’ve done that and, you’d think, got the point. Instead while we’ve spent decades praising the CCP’s quest for social justice, building statues of Norman Bethune and praising Pierre Trudeau’s youthful visit to China, and indeed taking pity on China as a poor, weak developing nation to whom believe it or not Canada still sends foreign aid, they’ve become the world’s top producer and user of energy, steel, cement and chemical fertilizer (like Khrushchev’s U.S.S.R. before them with similar ambitions). They own over a trillion dollars’ worth of US government debt, they control over 90 percent of the world’s supply of rare earth minerals which gives them effective control over global electronics production, they took over the mobile phone infrastructure in Africa and are seeking dominance over the new 5G global communications network, and through that Belt-and-Road Initiative they have been acquiring vast amounts of transportation infrastructure around the world.
The reach of the CCP is astonishing. They own Pirelli tires, Syngenta chemicals, 40 percent of the Philippines’ national electricity system, and ports in Rotterdam, Antwerp, Greece, Bilbao, Valencia, Panama, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nicaragua and elsewhere. In Canada they own Nexen Inc., one of Canada’s major oil and gas companies. And the Canadian government still hasn’t formally barred Huawei from the 5G network’s key infrastructure, the only one of the “Five Eyes” still determined to see no evil here.
And bear in mind, we’re not talking about individual Chinese investors buying assets. These are Chinese state-owned, state dominated enterprises, all under the control of the CCP. No Chinese firm is independent of the Politburo no matter what the share certificates or formal laws say. What Chairman Xi wants, Chairman Xi takes, with the People’s Liberation Army to back him up.
Well, it’s not to stop climate change, that’s for sure. Throughout this drive for world domination in the name of communist dictatorship, which following Confucius’ policy of the “rectification of names” is exactly what it should be called, their use of fossil fuels, especially coal and oil, have soared, making them the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases by a very wide margin that grows wider every day.
Which brings us back to the climate issue. Because a strange thing about Net Zero is that it was never really discussed anywhere, or voted on. It just one day seemed to become the policy of every government, everywhere. Except China, which is applauding us for it while moving relentlessly the other way.
Net Zero has even recently and rather suddenly been embraced by the global financial system. Groups like the World Bank and major private banks have all announced they won’t lend any more money to big fossil fuel-based energy projects, even in developing countries, including coal-fired power plants. Whereas China will.
And as numerous authors have documented, top leaders in the global finance sphere have been the targets for decades of careful, sophisticated influence campaigns run out of Beijing.
Hold on a minute, I know what you’re about to say: this is all conspiracy-mongering, which you told us not to do. Besides surely it’s just a coincidence. But we already know that Russia operates this way, funding European green groups who have all but shut down energy development in the EU, forcing them to be utterly dependent on Russian gas exports. It stands to reason that China would use the same strategy. It’s not a conspiracy, they talk about it among themselves. And these days China’s resources vastly exceed those of Russia which, for all Putin’s thuggish delusions of grandeur, has been described with some justice as “a gas station for China.”
So how does this work? Well, as Toronto-based researcher Patricia Adams has documented, western green groups have been conspicuous in their fondness for the ruthless Chinese government. While everyone else has been growing increasingly alarmed at the proliferation of concentration camps, slave labour factories, crushing free speech including in Hong Kong and all the other hallmarks of totalitarian repression under the CCP, even genocide of the Uighur Muslims, environmental groups are conspicuously glowing about the Chinese leadership. As Adams says:
The big exceptions – those who have yet to have their eyes opened to the dangers posed by the CCP – are Western environmentalists and their funders. Rather than becoming cautious about China’s role in the world, these groups lavish it with praise for its environmental efforts
So do you think it’s just coincidence that, as Adams notes, some $330 million worth of funding for North American green groups can be traced to one single source, Energy Foundation China, which is managed by Ji Zou, a long-time senior official in the Chinese government?
Zou, as a paymaster for the Western environmentalists, decides what projects to fund, enabling him to effectively solicit work desired by his former employers in Beijing from the Western environmental organizations, who give it their imprimatur of legitimacy.
Still, let’s keep the rose-coloured blinders on and say it’s all just a coincidence. It’s still remarkable, and worrisome, how it all happens to work to the CCP’s advantage. Where does the Net Zero doctrine leave developing countries who need to build up their electricity grids? China is now the only place most of them can look to for funding. And it’s a role China has enthusiastically embraced, since the terms they impose on the recipients lock in their control over those governments for decades to come.
Consider BlackRock Inc, the world’s largest financial firm with $6.5 trillion in assets under management. In 2019 its President, Larry Fink, announced a plan to ensure the company’s future growth by aggressively expanding in China. To do this he recruited a team of talented financial executives, headed by Tang Xiaodong, a banker and former Chinese government official, to lead BlackRock’s Chinese operations. And right on schedule, Fink just announced they’re going to use their massive financial clout to force companies they own to commit to net zero by 2050, or face being cut off from financing.
Will BlackRock apply this rule to CCP-controlled enterprises, or the entire Chinese economy for that matter? Dream on. Once again, it’s only western companies that will be strangled and tossed in a ditch, after being plundered of their proprietary technology, while BlackRock and the CCP cash in on unrestrained growth in China driven by fossil fuels.
In other countries though, there is a conspicuous connection between governments being overly friendly with China and imposing Net Zero on themselves. Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his former Ambassador to China John McCallum have been positively giddy over the regime in Beijing, although McCallum did eventually have to be fired when his handling of a diplomatic row with China caused the Canadian press to wonder aloud where his loyalties lay because he was giving the Chinese advice on how to defeat the Canadian government, in public. Meanwhile Trudeau has, of course, announced that Canada is committing to Net Zero by 2050, notwithstanding the fact that it will wipe out our oil and gas sector and may split our country, while China is allowed to grow theirs without limit or reproach.
In the UK, where Net Zero is now gospel, connections between the CCP and the social elite are particularly deep. The 48 Group Club is a Who’s Who of top UK government, banking, university and industry elite who regularly rub shoulders with a select group of high-ranking current and former Chinese officials, ostensibly for the purpose of developing trade relationships and business deals. But as Hamilton and Ohlberg detail in Hidden Hand, the 48 Group Club has really become an organ for the Chinese government to influence British public opinion and politics through their uncritical repetition of CCP propaganda.
In a scathing conclusion, Hamilton and Ohlberg write:
In our judgment, so entrenched are the CCP’s influence networks among British elites that Britain has passed the point of no return, and any attempt to extricate itself from Beijing’s orbit would probably fail.
Well, I say try anyway. Especially if it’s all just a coincidence and those nice Chinese government agents are plying westerners with money and flattery, and sometimes other favours as well, out of the stunning benevolence of their hearts. But before accepting that preposterous assertion, or trying to hand me a tin foil hat, ask yourself this question: Suppose the CCP really did hatch the scheme of using its global influence networks to push Net Zero by 2050 on the rest of us as an integral part of its Hundred Year Marathon strategy. How would the outcome look any different from what’s been happening?
If the answer is that it wouldn’t, it’s either a plot or it’s a plan that’s getting a lot of venal, ideological or simply careless support from our side. Remember, Lenin didn’t say that the useful idiots were cynics, but he did say they were fools.
Whatever the cause, the world is traveling on two paths towards 2050. And while they seem unrelated, with one all about saving the planet from supposed climate doom and the other a dark totalitarian ambition to rule the world, they converge in a remarkable spot where the West is hobbled economically, politically and militarily by climate alarmism and its misguided schemes to slash energy abundance and squash economic growth, while China’s communist regime secures unchallenged global economic, military and ideological dominance.
The two visions are stereoscopic. Even if you close one eye, or the other, you see the same picture. But I want nothing to do it. I say it’s time to open our eyes wide and see what’s in front of us, surprisingly close, big and ominous.