Russian President Vladimir Putin may have just revealed something to the world: Western environmental policy consists of luxury virtue signaling.
When Amerikan politicians indulge in performative rhetorical hard blowing over Global Warming, they are indulging in class-based and ideologically based virtue signaling. This happens to the demise of less powerful and defenseless working class Amerikans. Environmentalism in Amerika is frequently both a luxury good and a grift racket.
Former US Senator John F. Kerry will find luxury good rackets with the very same alacrity with which a wandering dog will find every fire hydrant on the block. He has successfully lofted his private jet to the front of the formation of Amerika’s faux-crusade athwart Global Warming. This involves the rich and the beautiful casting scorn upon the dirty jobs, hard work, and regrettable negative externalities of resource extraction industries. Nobody in the upper crust of our Potemkin elite would ever allow themselves to be associated with such dirt people.
Kerry was in high dudgeon when the Russian armor crossed into The Ukraine. He saw this as a potential distraction. The corpse mounds and bonfires could render his entire racket overtaken by events. Kerry reminded us all from where much of his current paycheck was being derived.
President Biden’s climate czar, John Kerry, warned that Russia’s war against Ukraine could distract the world from the climate change crisis and produce “massive emissions” that will negatively impact the globe.
Russia suffers from a similar problem to many other second world economies. The Russians have an asset that can make them incredible amounts of money, but they do not have enough diversity in assets to sell much else to the rest of the world. This problem gets worse because the asset in question happens to be fossil fuels. This makes Russia’s energy industry a good news/bad news story.
The good news for Russia involves the overall technological stagnation in the energy industry. The average industrial nation had an existential dependence on fossil fuels back during WW II. One popular theory of why Japan bombed the US Navy Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor involves an energy embargo that began to cripple Japan’s economy. The sanctions worked so well that Japan saw this embargo as an act of war against their civilian population. The Japanese responded accordingly, and the sunken ruins of The USS Arizona remain hallowed ground. Russia will always be able to sell at least some LNG or oil to the rest of the world.
The bad news for Russia involves asset price volatility. The Russians are far from the only people walking the planet who can lay hands on large stocks of fossil fuels. OPEC, Canada, Venezuela, and The United States can all tap into vast reservoirs of combustible hydrocarbon energy sources. The supply and demand curves from each of these sources vary with natural constraints and political decisions. Russian energy firms know that they will sell their wares for at least the next two decades. They honestly have no clue what price they can reliably nail down for a barrel of oil ten years hence.
This makes Russia’s somewhat limited economy a prisoner to what they can predict, and to what other nations decide to do with their economies. Amerikan energy policy and OPEC price discipline both partially dictate Russia’s near-term future. Hence, Russia remains invested in Syria, Kazakhstan, Iran, and Afghanistan against the commonweal of their people and by dire necessity.
Russia’s continued national survival is inexorably linked to international petrochemical politics. This reduces Russia to actually having to care what happens in Caracas, Venezuela. Nations who actually have to care about places like this need about a thousand ICBMs to remain in consideration as super powers.
So why would Amerika have to care about what happens in The Ukraine or Caracas? The answer may well be because having to care allows our pathetic excuse for a managerial elite to indulge in the luxury good of virtue signaling. In 2019, The United States of America did not have to import energy. Gasoline prices were significantly lower, the production input costs of energy was significantly lower, and the indirect costs associated with freight handling and transport were non-significant to overall price levels.
Then President Biden opted to fight Global Warming on behalf of intestinal parasites such as John F. Kerry. The Keystone XL Pipeline died of Executive Orderitis, and the leases allowing smaller firms to extract fossil fuels from US Government land expired. Petroleum supply chains dried up and Amerika became a net energy importer again. A few months into Biden’s anti-AGW crusade, he was already begging OPEC to pump more oil. It was as if Biden and Kerry believed oil from Russia or Saudi Arabia magically emitted less CO2 than similar petrochemicals extracted by domestic firms.
This obviously is not so, but the negative externalities are just less visible except when motorists fill up at the pump. As long as the imported supply is copious, the environmentalists can pretend they are taking a brave stand against Global Warming without passing the costs on to others. The foreigners have decided to restrict supply, muscle in on John F. Kerry’s racket, and are thereby making the impacts of Joe Biden’s crusade to virtue signal painfully obvious to anyone still allowed to drive in to work. Now we get a foreign crisis in The Ukraine to make this entire racket go bust out.
On a pleasant day, Vladimir Putin would appreciate not having to acknowledge that The Ukraine exists. The bad history between Russia and The Ukraine goes back to when The Kiev State still built motte and bailey castles to defend medieval estates near The Black Sea. The high and mighty in Kiev considered the Rus in and around Muscovy nekulturniks*. This goes both ways. The Ukrainian peasants subjugated by Joseph Stalin hungered for more than just a better day. The two countries share a mutual detestation that will not go away until one of the two entities no longer remains in existence.
Now we get Joseph Biden installed in The White House like a defective electrical fixture made in China. Biden is professionally considered a moron, and is surrounded by idiots who are willingly enriching the Russian petrochemical industry so that they can fake virtue signal in a manner reminiscent of Rev. Jim Bakker.
Russia now has enough money to actually fix, arm, and fuel the 10,000 tanks they inherited from the now-defunct CCCP. We nearly invite Putin to remove that geopolitical rotten tooth known as The Ukraine. We have all but made it easy for him and our Feckless Leader, Joe Biden, even told him he would not object to a limited incursion.
I’m robustly optimistic that this will be a limited incursion. There is an upward bound on The Ukraine’s population. After that number attains, President Putin will declare the region De-Nazified and stop running 10-Year-Old Girls through the wood chipper. By that time, Brent North Sea Crude settles on a new price point, and the entire Russian Oligarchy will have enough bank on hand to retire on The French Riviera. War is over, if you want it.
Now we have Climate Czar Kerry actually griping about the rather decisive actions of a serious Russian Czar. He reminds me of a round-heeled harlot wondering why Chad Thunderkock isn’t texting her the morning after. Amerika has not only bankrolled this Russian military adventure, they have done everything in their power to provoke it. They have waved that red, flowing cape in front on an angry bull. They are now discomfited that they have gotten the calcified horn clean through the intestinal tract.
The anger comes from the obvious impact of this on Monsieur Kerry’s current political racket. This impact is manifesting in places like Los Angeles, CA. Things like this could totally distract from the problems of Global Warming. Here’s what people will pay more attention to instead.
Geopolitical realism requires energy realism. It also demands realism about the prospects for net-zero. Last week, Alok Sharma, the British president of the UN COP 26 climate conference, maintained that net-zero “remains alive,” but admitted, “the pulse is weak.” Achieving this barely-alive objective requires global emissions to be cut in half by the end of this decade. That’s not going to happen. The basic math of the West vs. the Rest’s greenhouse gas emissions means that what the West does has a diminishing effect on the trajectory of global emissions.
In an age when Russia invades a sovereign state on a baseless pretext and denies its right to exist, it’s high time Western leaders got real. The West either understands what is at stake and plays by the rules of geopolitics or the West loses. The speed with which the West adjusts to this new reality will determine how much ground Russia and China can take.
Therefore, Vladimir may have just busted his own racket. People could actually vote these environmentalists out of office. They could make Greenpeace a pariah less palatable than a BLM mob at a NASCAR race. They could demand that Amerika become fossil fuel independent as a prophylactic geopolitical action.
This could have effects that are actually unpleasant. There are a few legitimate environmental problems. These will be quickly swept under the rug. We have managed to give ourselves a completely new Cold War to wage against a reinvigorated Russia. We could get nuclear kiloturds of Global Warming if the All-Amerikan hypocrites and morons of our deleterious managerial elite ever disgusted Czar Vladimir to the point where he cooks off his nukes out of sheer contempt.
*- The short explanation here is that nekulturny is Russian for Knee-Grow.
Tags: environmentalism, greenism, ukraine