The world is facing the prospect of an existential crisis. No, I don’t mean climate change. I mean the worst case scenario of Putin’s war on Ukraine. His vision of restoring a Russian empire. First it was Georgia, then Crimea, now Ukraine with all the other former Soviet possessions to follow, many of which are now NATO members. This would be World War III with the possibility of a nuclear holocaust.
The 24-7 TV images of the destruction of lives and property inflicted on Ukraine by the Putin’s forces have outraged people across the world. The courage of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians defending their homeland has been inspirational. NATO is providing weapons to the Ukrainian resistance along with life-supporting aid to civilians. For well-intentioned Americans, the thought of our military rushing to the rescue of Ukraine like John Wayne leading the cavalry in western movies is seductive. But taking on the Russians directly on the battlefield or in the air defending a no-fly zone at this point is fraught with risk. This would put us at war with Russia.
Putin is thought to be a shrewd calculator. He seems to have badly miscalculated Ukrainian resistance, NATO resolve and worldwide opposition. Withdrawing from Ukraine now in defeat and humiliation might offend his oversized ego. If he’s a crazed megalomaniac, like Hitler, he may persist. If he does and faces defeat, in desperation he could go for broke with nuclear weapons. That would trigger a U.S. nuclear retaliation, perhaps massive. A better outcome would be increasing indirect military support to Ukraine and ramping up worldwide economic sanctions to drive the Russians out. If Putin’s next step were to invade an actual NATO member, like Poland, a full-blown war would be certain.
It’s difficult to overthrow a dictator like Putin supported by a large military. If it becomes clear that Putin has irrationally overreached, endangering the Russian homeland in an unwinnable and costly war, it’s just possible that his general staff could depose him. There were several unsuccessful plots within the German general staff to do depose Hitler. That would seem to be the best immediate resolution for Ukraine and the rest of the world. We’ll see.
Apparently, Biden’s appointed climate czar, John Kerry, has bigger concerns. In an interview with GZERO Media’s Ian Bremmer, Kerry feared Putin’s invasion of Ukraine would have a “monumental impact on the ability and willingness of people to do what’s necessary to curb emissions” and will be “very tough for the climate agenda.”
Climate change may or may not pose a real threat to the planet a hundred years from now, much less an “existential” one. Despite doomsday claims of alarmists, humankind would adjust to a changing climate. I’m not a climate change “denier.” That’s a politically-motivated slur used by climate alarmists to equate their critics with anti-Semites who deny the actual Nazi holocaust on Jews and others in the European extermination camps of World War II. I don’t deny this planet has endured extreme swings in climate, like the Ice Age, over the five billion years of its existence going back eons before animals, humans, fossil fuels or automobiles.
Factors beyond our control, principally solar activity, dwarf the effects of human activity on Earth. It may even cool the planet. The notion that wind and solar energy will effectively and economically replace fossil fuels, hydro and nuclear power anytime soon, or ever, is a prayer masquerading as policy. The metaphor, “watermelons,” was coined to describe left-wing environmental radicals who exploit climate change alarmism to advance their socialist political objectives. Like watermelons, they’re green on the outside but red on the inside.
There are no facts about the future. But there are facts about the past and present, one of which is that the dire predictions forty years ago of alarmists like Al Gore have turned out to be greatly exaggerated. The false assumptions built into their computer models haven’t produced the dramatic sea level increases they predicted. And global temperature increases have been considerably lower as well, stabilizing within about 0.5 degrees centigrade over the last twenty years.
Biden has pleaded with other nations, including Russia, to increase oil exports and has supported the building of Russian pipelines to carry natural gas to Europe that’s made Germany and others dependent on Putin. Domestically, he killed the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada by executive order and took other actions to suppress U.S. development of oil and natural gas. This has flipped the U.S. from a net exporter to a net importer, destroyed high-paying American jobs, transferred profits and resultant government tax revenues from American firms to foreign ones, and, by reducing U.S. output of gas and oil, has contributed to the surge in world prices. As for the environment, replacing U.S. output with foreign output only enriches other nations at our expense and doesn’t reduce overall emissions. This is crazy governing from Bidden and Democrats blinded by their climate change ideology.
I have no illusion I can persuade climate radicals to abandon their crusade, but for heaven’s sake can’t they at least suspend their war on U.S. fossil fuels until the Ukraine crisis passes?
Longtime KOA radio talk host and columnist for the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News Mike Rosen now writes for CompleteColorado.com.
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