China and Global warming as 21st century containment
This entry will explore the idea that China is the target of a modern American-led incarnation of the “containment” policy. Because I haven’t done much research into the area, some ideas expressed within will be rough and tumble. This also provides an indirect perspective into the threat cold fusion poses to capitalists.
It’s well known in the last century that the United States practiced an aggressive foreign policy toward the Soviet Union. One of the major policies under its umbrella was that of “containment”, the idea that the communist threat ought to be contained to a particular sphere of influence, lest the sphere spread to parts ruled by American hegemony. Of concern was the “vulnerable” nearby nation-state of Cuba, which could spark a domino effect of Communist revolution within the Western hemisphere. This was certainly a central concern behind the American invasion of Vietnam.
I propose that we have a modern analogy to “containment” in our midst today, although it’s not what first comes to mind for most, and the principal targets are China and the third world. The argument I propose is simple. China is increasingly referred to in foreign policy, academic, and media circles as a “rising superpower”, owing in no small part to its rapid urban economic development, shifting diplomatic pivot to the third world, investment and trade agreements with African and signature EU nations, and its ambitious military objectives, which are now becoming more and more of a reality.
Take for instance, the very real possibility of China’s ability to project power beyond its regional straits, with its modern aircraft carrier program. A hegemon like the US has every reason to be nervous, because China’s increasing spheres of economic, diplomatic and military influence, at every step, threatens the erosion of American influence…and the central motivation for hegemons is to maintain the status quo.
Because of its rapid economic development, China’s been the target of carbon gas emissions targets and other measures placing limits on industrial growth, under the ostensible belief that such restrictions will help slow the rapid destruction of the planet, owing to human-caused climate change. It’s notable that China’s developing in much the same way early Industrial age societies did (and still do): emitting large amounts of pollution and waste.
Of course, we might excuse the advanced Western economies for undergoing the same process; after all, the United States industrialized when people didn’t even know what global warming was! How, then, could we be conscious about environmental destruction, and of our responsibility to the planet back then?
The objective behind promoting the CAGW hypothesis is two fold:
a. to contain the rapid development of China
b. the creation of a carbon tax credit market worth trillions of dollars
The first point is significant because the parties involved do not have the political leverage to seriously oppose any restrictive measures placed on them by the advanced capitalist societies. To think that emissions targets would seriously help to scale back planetary destruction is delusion of the highest order, since the capitalist societies have found inventive ways to skirt those self-imposed obligations altogether. Those restrictions are useful, however, in hindering threats. The creation of a carbon tax swapping/credit market will financialize trillions so that Anglo-American bankers can profit off pollution.
Now imagine the threat posed by cold fusion. If China’s industrializing (albeit with massive capital investment and environmental cost!) has the West shaking in their boots, imagine what would happen if multiple countries (e.g. in the third world) could rapidly industrialize to an American level within a generation with little capital investment and no externalities. Those are precisely the three-prong threats that cold fusion poses to the Western-leaning order. The current order is based on a balance of power favoring the West, sustained from exploitation of third-world countries, in particular for their energy resources. If an opportunity arises for ANY country to feasibly industrialize within a generation, then the cards are no longer in American hands. The obvious beneficiaries would be the third world. The implications for decentralizing of power production and distribution are too great to be tolerated.