Thinking about the immaturity of America, I consider the confrontation the West is going to have shortly with China, over the world's remaining oil supply. China has been asserting itself of late, positioning itself geo-politically far longer than that. The West has the superior fire power, but if it comes down pure numbers it's a push. The Chinese have Confucianism, however, and an Imperial past many Chinese would like to resurrect. Add the two together and you have a selfless willingness to die the West has rejected in favor of individual self interest. It is likely to be a bloody affair, probably the end of the Empirical aspirations of America and China.
When the battle is done there will be little oil left, and the world will be very different from anything we know. Hopefully, that won't mean a few decades of nuclear fallout, but that is a distinct possibility.
Such were my thoughts going into a late night viewing of the documentary Cool It, based on a book of the same name, by Bjorn Lomborg. Lomborg argues that the current debate over global climate change is deeply flawed, ruled either by alarmists on the one hand, or self-serving marketeers on the other. Basically, he says the sky is not falling, or at least not as quickly as alarmists would have us believe, and the most talked about solutions for global warming, cap and trade and CO2 emission reduction schemes, are equally ineffective, even counter effective.
What does this have to do with our looming confrontation with China? Well, put simply, the only thing that is going to prevent a confrontation with China, over oil, is a new energy infrastructure. Unless we come up with a new energy source that can replace oil while maintaining something close to the standard of living the West has grown accustomed to, confrontation is inevitable.
So, you might think we are spending billions of dollars to figure out what that new energy source will be. We are not. Not even close. Why? Because of our blind and frankly stupid faith in the Market. The Market is only as good as the people who control it, and the Market is controlled by sky gods who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo, which is the oil/gas/coal infrastructure, which they are likely to reinforce until we commence WWIII. Such a war will consume most of the remaining oil, which we need to help us build a new energy infrastructure.
Energy is everything, literally. Global climate change is a fact, but a global war over oil is likely to dampen humanity's prospects before the warming Earth does. Yet we are doing next to nothing about it. There is no national movement toward a sustainable energy future. We are spending almost no money on research and development. Instead, we give immense tax breaks to oil/gas/coal companies, who are invested in oil/gas/coal exploitation and not new technologies and new energy sources, regardless what their PR departments would have you believe. While Market fundamentalists obfuscate the issue with talk of cap and trade, which is nothing more than a perpetuation of the fossil fuel infrastructure, which is very lucrative for sky gods; and global climate change alarmists call for reductions in CO2 emissions, which very few of the nations of the world are ever going to agree to, or follow through with if they do.
President Obama might take note, considering Democratic Party losses in the most recent election. He might tell America the truth about it's energy prospects, and ignite a flurry of scientific development akin to that initiated by President Kennedy with the space program. If he has the character. More likely, I expect political stagnation, with Republican demands for sky god giveaways stymied by veto, as if simply preventing Republicans from acting will inspire Americans to give him a second term. Two years of status quo, another 60 billion barrels of oil burned up world wide, two years closer to a global confrontation over oil.
As Government isn't likely to do anything about energy, there are sky gods. There has been much talk among sky gods recently, about philanthropy. A few hundred sky gods have pledged to give away much if not most of their wealth. I recommend they devote a significant portion of that to the development of a more sustainable, more Earth and people friendly energy source. There is little that would be more healing for the world.