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China And India Will Watch The West Destroy Itself – OpEd

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China and India will allow the west – led by the United States (US) and European Union (EU) – to destroy themselves through dysfunctional, domestic, and continent-wide politics. This isn’t a Donald Trump or EU issue, but electorates having a vague understanding of how societies function, particularly, when it comes to energy.

The “Green New Deal” is evident of that fact, which has no chance of ever working under current technology, taxpayer monies available, and the first “New Deal” was a failure. China and India will allow the US, EU, NATO and their Asian allies to:

“Muddle through endemic crises menacing to its very existence (e.g., economic stagnation, demographic decline, rising unassimilated Islamic populations in many EU democracies, high taxes, mounting debt and the fiscal unsustainability of Western European social democracy)”

Without energy you have nothing. China and India understand this better than the west since their citizenry and leaders view energy through the lens of what will help over two-billion-combined-citizens; join the prosperous, western, consumer-driven world. Most western, environmentally sensitive nations believe fossil fuels are evil. Instead, western countries strive for a renewable energy, carbon-free world. Even if the US were to cut its CO2 emissions, “100 percent it would not make a difference in abating global warming.”

China and India have never bought into that notion of energy, or economies based on supposedly carbon-free renewables that inspire their nations toward a cleaner world. I wish they would, but that isn’t reality. Both countries will continue importing, exporting, and excavating tankers full of coal, oil, and natural gas from countries that are authoritarian, human right abusers such as Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Iraq, Nigeria, Angola and Algeria.

Furthermore, Chinese and Indian politics, and increasingly Africa, will never allow lack of pipelines, domestic politics, or sensitivity to western environmentalists keep them from first world status enjoyed by the US, EU, and Asian nations like South Korea and Japan.

Naïve-thinking, bordering on western suicide, believes China and India will stop using fossil fuels, led by coal. Each country understands coal is plentiful (“estimated 1.1 trillion tonnes of proven coal reserves worldwide that at current rates of production will last 150 years”), and it is scalable, reliable, cost-effective to the end user, and has the best energy density of all fossil fuels or renewables available.

China is currently building hundreds of new, coal-fired power plants. To counter China, “India has 589 coal-fired power plants, they are building 446 more, bringing their total to 1,036.” These figures are after both governments signed the Paris Climate Agreement, and touted their green credentials.

Since the US, Russia, China and India have the largest global coal reserves, and each country is vying for geopolitical dominance, they will continue using coal in record amounts. Energy is then a geopolitical weapon. Europe does not understand this fact.

Only Trump seems to have gained clarity on this issue, with the US using their newfound shale oil and natural gas power, to their geopolitical and global advantage. Daily global, media onslaughts, US Democrats, and Never-Trump Republicans constrain Trump at every turn, and facilitate the US’ waning power. China and India sit back and do nothing, knowing the west is too weak to come to the US or Trump’s rescue.

Renewable energy advocates can speak, write and publicly lobby that solar and wind-produced electricity is the same cost, or dropping compared to oil, natural gas, coal and nuclear. This claim is false. Renewables cost more to ratepayers and nations compared to fossil fuels or nuclear.

Without having a basic understanding that every single wind turbine and solar panel is intermittent and has to be continually backed-up by fossil fuels, the west is committing environmental degradation, and putting itself at risk against China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea. Based on self-interest rightly understood, India will then choose aligning with countries hostile to western interests over environmental concerns.

A great power struggle has broken out between the world’s largest democracy – India – and the world’s largest authoritarian state – China – and whichever country uses the most energy will win Asia for the rest of this century. National security and the competition between them over Asia are at the crutch of why they will watch the west destroy their economies over bad energy policies.

Sure, India and China will use natural gas, nuclear and oil, but coal is where each economy finds its basic energy resource. Horrible for world emissions, air pollution and global health, but how do westerners, the United Nations, and environmental organizations tell both, growing countries they cannot have access to the same energy opportunities and growth the west has now had for over seventy years?

It simply won’t happen; world health organizations, research universities, think tanks, and multinational corporations interested in global longevity and clean air should begin working towards clean coal technology.

All great nations, including China and India, view energy as a domain of power. The west already has their power, but no longer knows how to use it the way it did during the Cold War. Global warming, abortion, gay marriage, and renewables versus fossil fuels have overtaken realism in all facets of government, military strategy, economics and countering the global threats from China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela and North Korea.

Raw, amoral geopolitics that will grow economies, engage realist strategies, house militaries and feed energy-hungry populations is the new Cold War. Social issues are important, but unless you are talking about the unintended consequences of abortion in the US and China, these issues have no valid correlation within energy geopolitics. Energy and electricity are at the forefront, of which ideological viewpoint, will win the 21st century.

Accessible energy becomes more important than ever, as the competition between China and India heats up. Unless something drastically changes the west will diminish significantly – ushering in the “Asian century” – with China and India biding their time to take over the US-led, liberal order that was created after World War II ended.

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Todd Royal

Todd Royal

Todd Royal, M.P.P. is the Managing Partner for Energy development, Oil & Gas, and Renewables for Ascendance Strategies, a global threat assessment and political consulting firm that is based in Los Angeles, California

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