Michael Sena’s article “Who Crosses the Bridge?” in the July/August issue of “The Dispatch” is absolutely chilling.
Sena argues that the West’s obsession with climate change is handing China an insurmountable competitive advantage. The West is subjugating economic prosperity to the remediation of the existential threat of climate change. Efficient coal-fired power plants are under assault by environmental activists to be replaced by “sustainable” energy sources. Not so in China. China has no plans to make a sincere effort to reduce greenhouse gasses. They continue using coal-burning power plants and may even build more.
Ironically, they will happily make and sell us electric cars and wind turbines at a cost advantage that the West has sacrificed for the unachievable goal of eliminating greenhouse pollution. Sena says “unachievable” because without the cooperation of China (as well as India) our atmosphere will hardly benefit from our well intentioned elimination of ICE powered vehicles and coal-burning power plants.
The result? China continues to pollute the environment, gaining economic dominance and ultimately political supremacy while the West achieves nothing except “well, we tried” and a lower standard of living.
You can read Sena’s article:
WE’LL CROSS THAT bridge when we come to it. It’s a common phrase, a proverb. We’ll deal with the situation when, and not before, it occurs. Don’t look for trouble before it shows up. Don’t try to solve problems that we don’t have. We need to get through the territory we’re in right now, and if we don’t make it we won’t be crossing any bridges.
There are three possibilities implied in the proverb: you never get to the place where you would need a bridge; you get to the place where you need to cross and build the bridge to get over to the other side; or, you get to the place where you would need a bridge, but you can’t build the bridge that would take you over to the other side, so you don’t get there. Maybe at some point in the future someone might come along with a new invention (like a hot air balloon, for example) to get you to the other side, or a natural event (like a severe drought that dries up what had been a roaring river) eliminates the need for a bridge. There is a fourth possibility that is not implied in the proverb: you decide that you don’t want to cross over to the other side because you don’t want what is there.
Why am I talking about crossing bridges? It is an excellent metaphor for understanding the different positions that individuals and their governments have on the issue of global warming and its resulting effect on climate change. Climate refers to the long-term regional or even global average of temperature, humidity and rainfall patterns over seasons, years or decades. Global warming is the long-term heating of Earth’s climate system, observed since the period beginning in 1850 to today, due to human activities, primarily fossil fuel burning, which increases heat-trapping greenhouse gas levels in Earth’s atmosphere. The term ‘global warming’ is frequently used interchangeably with the term ‘climate change’, though climate change refers to both human- and naturally-produced warming and the effects this warming has on our planet. Global warming is most commonly measured as the average increase in Earth’s global surface temperature.
Climate change deniers don’t believe there is a bridge waiting out there somewhere to be crossed and certainly not one that has to be built. In 2018, the deniers were in the majority in Russia, Nigeria and Israel according to a PEW RESEARCH survey (see sidebar – note that China is not included among survey respondents).
YOUGOV, apparently with the acceptance of the Chinese government, has managed to recruit a panel of members in China. There is no information about how these members were chosen or whether their responses are monitored by the government, but China is included in a climate change survey YOUGOV performed in July 2019 (second chart in the sidebar). In this survey, only 1% of the Chinese respondents say that the climate is not changing, and only 2% believe the change is not caused by humans, while 93% say that that it is changing and it is mainly or partly the fault of human activity. In the same survey, 6% of Americans deny that the climate is changing and 9% say if it is changing, it isn’t our fault. 75% of Americans believe that it is changing and it is human activity that is at fault.
Some climate change believers and agnostics put their faith in human ingenuity and are sure we will be able to build the bridge if and when it is really needed. This is the group who view climate change as a minor threat. There was a rather large number of countries with 20-30% of their people who saw climate change in 2018 as a minor threat, even countries such as The Netherlands which has a good chance of disappearing if water levels rise as a result of melting glaciers (i.e. land ice). Maybe the Dutch believe in the fable about Hans Brinker putting his finger in the dike and saving his town.
Climate change alarmists are certain we will need a bridge, have decided on the absolute latest date when it will be needed (2050) and want everyone to basically drop everything and start working on building that bridge right now. One of them spray painted the phrase “There is a climate crisis!” all over our community, including on several perfectly innocent boulders that had been sitting there minding their own business for longer than there were Swedes. This is the group who see climate change as a major threat. In the PEW survey, fully 90% of the Greeks saw it as a major threat as did 69% of Swedes and 59% of Americans. The median was 69% who were certain it was a threat, 9% who were sure it wasn’t and 20% who were unsure. Two years later, a 2020 Yale University Climate Program survey found that 72% of American adults responded ‘yes’ to the question: Do you believe global warming is happening? 12% said ‘no’ and 16% were unsure.
The fourth group include those who believe that climate change is happening, and that it is the result of our own collective actions, but decide that what they are doing is more important for achieving their own objectives. This group includes governments, individuals, businesses and organizations. A government may have a public stance, which may or may not be supported by the majority of its citizens, but could have a completely different position that is aligned with its goals and ambitions for the country. Individuals may say they are concerned about climate change, but will work against any changes that affect their personal welfare. Members of this group do not want to build a bridge because it would mean giving up what they have on this side.