Against the Great Reset: 'China, Covid-19, Realpolitik, and the Great Reset'

Continuing today, and for the next 15 weeks, The Pipeline will present excerpts from each of the essays contained in Against the Great Reset: 18 Theses Contra the New World Order, to be published on October 18 by Bombardier Books and distributed by Simon and Schuster, and available now for pre-order at the links. 

 

PART I: THE PROBLEM

Excerpt from "China, COVID-19, Realpolitik, and the Great Reset," By Douglas Murray

It is a good rule of thumb that one should become skeptical—and perhaps also concerned—whenever everyone in a position of authority starts to say the same thing. Particularly when they also all do so at the same time.

Such a moment arrived in 2020 when nearly every Western statesman, and a few others who might aspire to that role, began to use the phrase “Build Back Better.” Boris Johnson claimed that he might have used it first. Joe Biden seemed to believe that he had. But they were hardly the only people to use it from the early days of the Covid-19 crisis onwards. Almost overnight, it seemed as though absolutely everyone was using the same words. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it down in New Zealand. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used it in Canada. Bill Clinton used it as he was campaigning for Joe Biden. And the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, used it as he was campaigning for himself. Even minor royals could be heard parroting the same alliterative pleasantry. According to Prince Harry, speaking from his self-imposed exile in California, the Covid pandemic “undoubtedly” presents “an opportunity for us to work together and build back better.”

The prince is no stranger to political cliché, as he showed there, managing to pack in two of them into just half a sentence. Yet nor did people far more self-aware than him at any stage seem to realize that the phrase sounded strange in the first place, never mind that they should all also be using it at the same time. A year and a half after the phrase was first being used, President Joe Biden was still struggling to get his Build Back Better bill through the U.S. Senate. The phrase became so ubiquitous that almost no one in a position of power stopped to ask the question that ought surely to have loomed.

Why should a global pandemic be seen as simply an opportunity? In the immediate aftermath of the coronavirus leaking out from Wuhan, China, millions of people around the world died from the effects of contracting that virus. The global economy contracted at an unprecedented rate. Government borrowing soared to rates unknown outside of wartime in order to furlough millions of people who would otherwise have been destitute. Entire economies—including a U.S. economy that was roaring in an election year—were suddenly forced to a halt. None of this looked like a source of optimism. Ordinarily, the mass laying off of the workforce, the racking up of unprecedented peacetime debt, and the ordered shuttering away of the citizenry in their houses would be a source of concern and fury before it was a cause for optimism and opportunity.

But with only a couple of notable exceptions, during the Covid era, Western politicians skipped the rage stage. Indeed, they even skipped over the blame stage. Just as the WHO and other compromised international bodies failed to get to the roots of the source of the virus, so most Western politicians spent zero time or political capital on the question of why the virus had been unleashed on the world in the first place. Instead, they jumped straight to the question of just how much could be achieved by the unprecedented opportunity that the virus had allegedly gifted us.

Within a little over a year, politicians themselves seemed to be laughing at the phrase, even as they could not stop using it. In October 2021, Boris Johnson’s office seemed to imagine that the British public had become so thrilled by the “build back better” tagline that it was time for some riffs on the theme. At this stage, somewhere between lockdowns umpteen and nineteen, Johnson released a number of videos on his social media pages in which the slogan build back better was posted on the screen. Johnson seemed to imagine that the British public was in a playful mood around the theme. The videos included one of him spreading butter on some pieces of toast and looking at the camera and saying “build back butter.” In a second video, with the build back better motif over it, the Prime Minister could be seen unrolling a packet of fish and chips. “Mmm” he says appreciatively, before looking at the camera and saying “Build back batter.” Terms like “pathetic” and “inadequate” would fail to do justice to such political moments.

The obvious comparison to make at this stage is with great plagues in history. And though most were of a degree of seriousness that far outweighs the effects of Covid, it is a sobering consideration. Who, for instance, viewed the so-called “Spanish flu” of a century ago as an opportunity? Who would have dared in the early months or years after that pandemic ravaged the planet to see it as an opportunity to rebuild the global economy in a different way?

There are two things that are most visibly disturbing about the political reaction to all of this. The first is the desire to leapfrog over the most obvious stage in the post-pandemic era. Which should have been a clinical, careful and failsafe analysis of how this novel coronavirus managed to come out of Wuhan. The second disturbing thing is that the leap should have immediately moved on to a restructuring of the global economy and of free societies that seemed already to be sitting there, ready-made.

The extent to which that first stage was leaped over has many reasons. But one of these undoubtedly had much to do with the incumbent in the White House when the “China virus” first came into the world. President Trump was in an election year and was understandably intent on not shuttering the U.S. economy ahead of an election. He was also keen to attribute blame toward the place where he saw the virus originating. Whether the cause of the leak was a Wuhan wet market (as was early on deemed the only permissible explanation) or the Wuhan Institute of Virology (as soon seemed likelier), Trump was keen that China got the blame for releasing the virus into the world. And there was much to be said for this. Even if the leak had been an accident, it was one that the Chinese authorities did nothing to contain, allowing flights out of the region even as the first knowledge of the virus made the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) shutter flights and regions within Chinese borders.

But keen observers will have noticed that Trump was a divisive president and that what he said was the case was strenuously pushed back against by his critics when it was true as well as when it was not. Early in 2020, as Trump continued to talk about the source of the virus, his political opponents decided to claim that identifying China as the source of the virus would lead to an upsurge in anti-Chinese racism. And so Democrat Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, for instance, not only deplored the president’s language but also implored Americans to demonstrate their contempt for the president’s “racism” in a practical way. Speaker Pelosi implored people to visit their local Chinatown and show solidarity with Chinese people. In Florence, Italy, the mayor went one better in the global game of grandstanding against Trump. On February 1, 2020, Dario Nardella urged Florentines to “hug a Chinese” person to combat racism. It is not known how many Italians contracted the virus through this demonstration of Sino-fraternalism.

The point is that from the earliest stage of the virus, the opportunity to point fingers appeared to have been queered by the fact that one of the only people in the world pointing fingers was a person who most of the political class around the world were ostentatiously opposed to. Even to speak of lab leaks or Chinese culpability in those days was to sound Trump-like, a fact that played very well indeed into the public relations campaign orchestrated by the CCP.

The effectiveness of that PR campaign was visible from the very start of the virus, and showed the extent to which a swathe of the scientific, media, and political establishments in the West were already literally or figuratively in the pocket of the CCP...

Next week: an excerpt from "Sovereignty and the Nation-State" by Roger Kimball. 

In Ukraine, Cold War II Meets the 'Great Reset'

Luckily for humanity, the outbreak of the Second Cold War has hampered the Great Reset project by fragmenting the international order on whose concerted coordination it is premised. The international order is split anew. For the first time since the end of Cold War I, Russian oligarchs were not welcome at the annual World Economic Forum gathering. "Russia’s absence at Davos," write Fidler and Simmons at the Wall Street Journal, "marks the unraveling of Globalization... The Davos meeting ... came to symbolize the era of globalization... Now, many participants are convinced that the era is over, its demise accelerated by the war in Ukraine."

Even before Putin's armies actually crossed the Ukrainian frontier, it was clear that an important part of the global world order had broken down. At a speech before the Munich Security Conference on Feb 19, 2022, three days before the invasion, British prime minister Boris Johnson said "we have to steel ourselves for the possibility of a protracted crisis, with Russia maintaining the pressure and searching for weaknesses over an extended period, and we must together refuse to be worn down. What Europe needs is strategic endurance, and we should focus our energies on preserving our unity and on deepening trans-Atlantic cooperation... After a generation of freedom, we’re now staring at a generation of bloodshed and misery."

Four months later, during a visit to embattled Kyiv, Johnson confirmed his prediction based on battlefield events. "I am afraid that we need to steel ourselves for a long war, as Putin resorts to a campaign of attrition, trying to grind down Ukraine by sheer brutality... the U.K. and our friends must respond by ensuring that Ukraine has the strategic endurance to survive and eventually prevail. Everything will depend on whether Ukraine can strengthen its ability to defend its soil faster than Russia can renew its capacity to attack... Our task is to enlist time on Ukraine's side."

Time running out for Plucky Little Ukraine?

Historians in the future may well regard Boris Johnson's "strategic endurance" speech as the equivalent of Churchill's Iron Curtain warning, when the unity of the anti-Nazi coalition collapsed into the first Cold War. "From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent," the old lion warned less than a year after Nazi Germany surrendered. It took a little longer after the fall of the USSR to happen, but Russia and China are also building a separate world.

Foreign Affairs puts the date the split formally began as Feb 4, 2022: "There they were, meeting in Beijing on February 4: Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Shortly before the start of the 2022 Winter Olympics, the two leaders released a remarkable 5,300-word joint statement about how the partnership between China and Russia would have no limits: "the existing world order, which aspired to build a global commonwealth, had already been failing." Twenty days later, Russia invaded Ukraine.

Yet neither the Davoisie nor the Biden administration saw it coming. Instead of recognizing the pandemic that China covered up as the death knell of the global world, they saw it as a chance for its fulfillment. Up until the outbreak of the war both Europe and America were obsessed with "climate change," so when Russian oil and Ukrainian wheat went off the world market Washington was caught completely off guard by the energy crisis and threat of famine that ensued. Biden, reports Politico, is racing against time to unlock Ukraine’s trapped grain. "The Biden administration is desperate to find ways to move as much grain as possible out of the war-torn country. They estimate the blockade is holding back more than 20 million tons of grain from the world food supply, driving food prices and world hunger to near-crisis levels." The current world clearly has higher priorities than the diversity, inclusion and environmentalism envisioned by the Great Resetters. It needs in the first instance, simply to eat.

Time for a volte-face?

There are no quick fixes. The fuel crisis has forced Biden to wrench his energy policy into reverse. But even those desperate reversals, says the New York Times, "which environmentalists and many Democrats oppose because they would retard efforts to combat climate change — would have little immediate impact because it takes months for new oil wells to start producing and pipelines can take years to build." Bill Maher ripped Biden for getting off fossil fuels without a replacement and with the president now begging Saudi Arabia for oil. "But the truth is that when people get off fossil fuels before they have a replacement, they wind up going back to even worse fossil fuels," Maher added, "Germany said, 'We don’t want nuclear power anymore,' which is the cleanest, and what did they have to go back to? Coal."

Coal is what China and India have never stopped doing in a big way. "If you think the world is moving beyond coal, think again. The post-Covid economic rebound and surging electricity demand have resulted in big increases in coal prices and coal demand. Since January, the Newcastle benchmark price for coal has doubled. And over the past few weeks, China and India have announced plans to increase their domestic coal production by a combined total of 700 million tons per year. For perspective, U.S. coal production this year will total about 600 million tons." Edward Grey's famous remark from August 3, 1914 comes to mind. "The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime."

But today Grey might add that the oil would keep the lamps burning in China. Few realized that at best renewables would take decades to implement; that it would take trillions to revamp the grid and other infrastructure before wind and solar could be depended on to any major extent. Biden and the Western Europeans failed to account for this, or assumed that the Woke West could surreptitiously make up the difference from Russian imports indefinitely -- and are now paying the price.

A British military think tank  argues that if the West is to have any hope winning the new long war against Russia and China -- acquire strategic endurance in Boris Johnson's words -- it must reindustrialize immediately. "The war in Ukraine has proven that the age of industrial warfare is still here. The massive consumption of equipment, vehicles and ammunition requires a large-scale industrial base for resupply – quantity still has a quality of its own."

This reality should be a concrete warning to Western countries, who have scaled down military industrial capacity and sacrificed scale and effectiveness for efficiency. This strategy relies on flawed assumptions about the future of war, and has been influenced by both the bureaucratic culture in Western governments and the legacy of low-intensity conflicts. Currently, the West may not have the industrial capacity to fight a large-scale war.

Even achieving stalemate in Ukraine would mean re-shoring industry and reducing dependence on China/Russia. That would mean the end of the global world, and for the moment at least, a halt to the dream of Davos and the Great Reset. While this would be a cruel disappointment to the Left there's no help for it. The West will need vast quantities of everything Woke doesn't make to win Cold War II: food, energy, freedom, healthy demographics and testosterone. It is possible to win Cold War II or be Woke, but not both. This is the fundamental choice Western politics must wrestle with in the coming years.

China Trying to Corner the Solar-Panel Market

We at The Pipeline have noted in the past the fact that the world's solar panel supply chains are utterly reliant on the People's Republic of China. For a sense of just how reliant, check out this WSJ piece on the ongoing havoc in the solar panel industry occasioned by a Commerce Department investigation into allegations that Chinese firms have been circumventing American tariffs and sanctions by moving products necessary for panel through neighboring countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Cambodia.

Auxin Solar Inc., a tiny, struggling maker of solar panels, has thrown the entire American renewable-energy industry into chaos. A petition Auxin filed with the Commerce Department accusing Chinese companies of circumventing tariffs spurred a U.S. probe in March that has effectively halted most solar-panel imports, according to utilities and industry groups, delaying solar projects all over the country. Utility chief executives and politicians including California Gov. Gavin Newsom have protested, warning that the investigation could set back U.S. efforts to transition to cleaner energy sources to combat climate change. A U.S. solar trade group estimates the turmoil could cost the industry billions of dollars. On Wednesday, Indiana-based utility NiSource Inc. said delays of up to 18 months in solar projects meant it would have to keep coal-fired power plants that are slated for retirement running longer than expected.

The article, entitled, "The Most-Hated Solar Company in America," is about the furor directed at this miniscule San Jose-based solar panel manufacturer -- whose name was barely known in the industry before their petition -- because they dared to complain that their competitors were violating U.S. law. Industry insiders have taken to insinuating that Auxin might be some kind of false-flag operation run by anti-environmentalists or suggesting that they are selfishly trying to eliminate foreign competition.

But their justification for the complaint is sound -- the company has been been slogging along, trying to make a profit, but they've found themselves competing against Asian companies "which were able to sell panels at much lower prices — in some cases less than Auxin’s cost of materials," not to mention American companies which were happy to look the other way in order to do business with them. Says Auxin CEO Mamun Rashid, “I don’t think we could have ever imagined how aggressively China would want to dominate the market, and that’s been very tough to contend with.”

China's desire for dominating this particular market is substantial. For years they've been quietly gaining control of areas in Africa and South America that are rich in minerals necessary for the manufacture of solar panels. And some of those minerals are abundant in their own territory -- about half of the world's polysilicon comes from Xinjiang, where the Chinese government have been accused of imprisoning ethnic Uyghur Muslims in concentration camps. In fact, some of these very solar panel companies have been accused of utilizing Uyghur forced laborers. Jim Geraghty notes the odd fact that a recent letter signed by twenty-two senators (including two Republicans) urging President Biden to bring this investigation to a "swift conclusion," mentions neither China nor the Uyghur. Says Geraghty, "if all you knew about this issue was from their letter, you would think the U.S. Commerce Department was investigating the sourcing of these solar panels for no particular reason."

All of this should hammer home the degree to which China, that land of smog filled cities, whose new coal-fired energy capacity alone recently outstripped the rest of the world by 300 percent, is the very heart of the environmentalist project. And why not -- their number one geo-political rival is willing to hand them boatloads of money to manufacture an unreliable energy source to supplant the reliable petroleum products that helped make us a world power in the first place. From their perspective, it seems like a win-win.

U.N. Climate Report: Cloudy, with No Chance of Silver Linings

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has come forth with a new sixth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. In it the IPCC pretends science can predict what is impossible to predict: the variables in something as complex as climate. (If something is impossible to predict it is not based on science).

The IPCC's solutions are no better than its science. Given the IPCC’s leftist political orientation it ignores the data which show that increases in available energy sources and capitalism demonstrably lift more boats and improve the environment faster and more substantially than handing over money to government agencies and restricting conventional energy production.

The proposals the IPCC advances require a lot of fast and fancy footwork to obscure the fact that they can’t withstand close scrutiny:

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Wildfires

The section on the effect of climate change on wildfires begins with an assertion that in the Amazon, Australia, North America and Siberia wildfires are burning wider areas than in the past and human-caused climate change has driven the increases in the forests of western North America but, that “elsewhere, deforestation, fire suppression agricultural burning, and short-term cycles like el-Nino can exert a stronger influence than climate change.” It’s of a piece with claims made earlier by others, including NASA, and just as false.

In fact, bad land-management policies in western North America are a more significant driver of wildfires than anthropogenic climate change.  Depending on moisture content, most fuels must reach ignition temperatures between 644°F (340°C) and 795°F (440°C) to start a fire. The IPCC report makes the same mistake that NASA earlier made:

Stronger winds are more dangerous in part, because they transport larger embers. Small embers lack adequate energy to raise fuels from ambient temperatures of 70°F or 90°F to an ignition temperature of 644°F and higher. More so, the 2°F increase in global air temperatures since the Little Ice Age, increases the fuel’s temperature insignificantly and thus highly unlikely to increase 'the likelihood of a fire starting, or increasing the speed at which it spreads' as NASA claimed.

Reduction in both fire -uppression policies and the creation of fire breaks are a more likely driver of western wildfires. The warmer dry periods in these areas cannot be sufficient to reduce the humidity inside trees so as to affect wildfires: “From a global warming perspective, if relative humidity is kept constant during California’s rainless summers, for every 2 °F increase in temperature anomalies, calculations estimate that moisture content will only decrease by a rather insignificant 0.056% .” In any event the drier air is more closely related to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), the el Nino and la Nina events over which man has no role. Historically, wildfires increased in the southwest when “let it burn” policies were instituted; and ice cores reveal that “maximum fire activity in boreal forests occurred during the Little Ice Age between 1500-1700 AD and was attributed to the failure of Asian monsoons about which, again, man has no control and as to which he had no impact.

Dr. Jon Keeley, a U.S. Geological Survey scientist who researched the topic for four decades was clear: “We’ve looked at the history of climate and fire throughout the whole state [of California] and through much of the state, particularly the western half of the state, we don’t see any relationship between past climates and the amount of area burned in any given year.”

 Every politician, every environmental group and every scientist trying to scare up more funding by uncritically blaming wildfires on CO2- induced climate change are not only ignoring good published science, but they’re also pushing wrong remedies and downplaying the correct remedies needed to benefit society and our environment. Better managed landscapes that control fuel supplies, and the re-introduction of fires via prescribed burns, will create more effective firebreaks and more healthy open habitat that coincidentally also increases wildlife diversity.

I cannot fathom the motives of the IPCC authors of this section but if one were to suggest it was to cover the rear end of California governor Newsom and his blinkered forest management policies, you’d be hard pressed to refute that. Of course, given the overall tenor of the report one might as well suspect the idea is to enrich Third World countries at our expense under the guise of preventing a disastrous climate change.

Trust us.

Plastics

As if there weren’t enough U.N. generated, we’re-all- going- to- die scenarios, it has added plastic pollution to its doomsday tallies. Representatives of 175 nations at the U.N. committed to creation of a plastic treaty that would not only deal with recycling, but as well to the production of plastics. They hope to get it written by 2024, which I suppose gives us some breathing room in which legislative virtue-signalers can further beset us with limitations on useful products.

 “We are making history today,” said Espen Barth Eide, Norway’s climate and the environment minister and president of the United Nations Environment Assembly, which took place for the past week in Nairobi, Kenya. In an earlier interview, he said that, given Russia’s war in Ukraine, it was particularly significant that “this divided world can still agree on something, based on science.”

Based on science? The effort seems, like much in the IPCC report, short on the concepts of human ingenuity and mitigation. Locality after locality in the United States has jumped on the band wagon, banning plastic straws, and banning or taxing shopping bags. For what end, besides virtue signaling and grift? (As in the District of Columbia where the tax on plastic grocery bags supposedly to clean up the Anacostia River went to fund a project by the council member who proposed it and when, having left the council, now heads the non-profit which has nothing to do with cleaning up the river?)

Ninety percent of the plastics in the ocean come from ten rivers, and those rivers are all in Asia. In descending order, the waterways are the Citarum River in Indonesia, the Yangtze River (China), the Indus River (Pakistan), The Yellow River (China), the Hai River (China) the Ganges River (India), the Pearl River(China) the Amur River (China and Russia) , the Niger River( 5 African countries), the Mekong River (China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam).

Most of these countries have several things in common: They are poor or have substantial numbers of poor citizens and are generally poor managers of their public spaces and community hygiene. You can bet that, just like China and India’s exemption from international carbon emissions controls, they will angle for and receive exemption in this yet-to-be devised treaty . Claims that richer nations have fobbed off the environmental degradation caused by plastics by shipping off plastic trash to such countries, ignores the benefit to them and the environment of recycling this material.

Import of plastic waste in lower-income countries like these also has been associated with growth in gross domestic product. It seems a great deal of the plastic waste shipped there from places like the United States and Britain are recycled and used instead of virgin materials to make useful products. That  process results in fewer carbon emissions and  ocean pollution. It’s an economical practice which uses less fossil fuels, the climate-change advocates' bogeyman. For a time, the used plastics from the U.S. and Britain were sent to China, but because of scandals involving mixing toxic waste into these plastics and dumping instead of reprocessing them, China stopped allowing their importation. Naturally, the doomsters believed this would only add to ocean pollution. Instead, it went to even poorer Asian countries where recycling it has been evolving into big business. There people such as Seah Kian Hoe, who as a kid used to collect scrap door-to-door for reuse now employs 350 people to run Heng Hiap Industries one of the top five plastic recycling businesses in his country which processed tons of waste per year.

There's gold in them thar bottles.

It's labor-intensive work and like clothing manufacturing takes less skilled workers and less capital. It’s a normal national economic progression. Such work is done in poorer countries and as they get richer they can hire more skilled workers, invest in more advanced technologies, and they can use those technologies to simplify and increase production, improve workers health and safety, and reduce pollution.

Heng Hiap Industries works with over 28,000 domestic plastic recyclers to buy and convert plastic scraps into high performance resin before selling it to clients that include top South Korean appliance manufacturers and Japanese automotive companies… By digitally transforming its plastic recycling operations, Heng Hiap aims to collect more and better-quality plastic by extending its collection infrastructure beyond informal collectors and grassroots recyclers, all the way to the household level, through a simplified and user-friendly collection process. In the long term, the plastic recycling company envisions creating a truly circular economy for plastics by helping its business-to-business (B2B) customers address the growing pressure from eco-conscious consumers for greater transparency and traceability.

This is not a new phenomenon. We’ve seen over and again how capitalism, ingenuity, and adaptability all combine to lift poor nations up. And higher GDP correlates with better environmental practices. In other places, we’ve seen poor countries go from labor-intensive but capital-short clothing manufacturing to such things as chip manufacturing in a very short time. As the process of recycling plastic has gone from low-level Chinese recycling to countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, we are seeing improved infrastructure, products,  returns for  both the manufacturers and the customers of the end products, and the environment.

China Upping Its Use of Coal

The joke's on you, suckers: as the United States and Europe struggle with energy shortages because they've restricted the use and production of conventional fuels, China ups its use of coal, doubtless laughing at the western idiots who bought the disinformational "climate change" hoax.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has told representatives from its biggest coal-producing region, Inner Mongolia, that China "could not part from reality" and that it is "rich in coal, poor in oil and short of gas," Reuters reported.

China will make full use of coal as a vital part of its energy strategy, leaders and officials said during the nation's annual gathering of parliament this week, as it bids to balance economic stability with its longer-term climate goals. Following a speech by President Xi Jinping reiterating the importance of coal, delegates from across the country called for more investment in coal technology and new policies to shore up profits for coal enterprises.

Xi told a National People's Congress delegation from the top coal-producing region of Inner Mongolia that China, the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter, was "rich in coal, poor in oil and short of gas" and "could not part from reality".

Reason, and economic reality, and "energy security" will overcome "green energy" fantasies every time. "Climate change" can wait indefinitely.

New Sino-Russian Pact Threatens U.S.

Two weeks ago, just as Russia began positioning troops on Ukraine’s border, Russia and China announced an historic accord between the two countries that caught many in D.C. entirely off guard. Their surprise was rooted in the specificity and scope of the accord. This “red-on-red” alliance should be alarming… a warning shot of sorts that should it be disregarded will prove a profound threat to America’s energy security, economic stability, and geo-political dominance.

China and Russia on the opening day of the Winter Olympics declared a "no limits" partnership, backing each other over standoffs on Ukraine and Taiwan with a promise to collaborate more against the West. President Xi Jinping hosted President Vladimir Putin on Friday as the two nations said their relationship was superior to any Cold War era alliance and they would work together on space, climate change, artificial intelligence and control of the internet.

Beijing supported Russia's demand that Ukraine should not be admitted into NATO, as the Kremlin amasses 100,000 troops near its neighbour, while Moscow opposed any form of independence for Taiwan, as global powers jostle over their spheres of influence. "Friendship between the two States has no limits, there are no 'forbidden' areas of cooperation," the two countries said in a joint statement.

U.S. energy producers warned American consumers about such implications during the 2020 election cycle. With the pressures of Covid beginning to bear down on the U.S. economy back then, it was clear that deconstructing the U.S.’s energy sector through pipeline closures, the reduction of federal leases and the defunding of investment capital would have deleterious impact on the larger economy. Industry leaders warned at the time that policies increasing America’s dependence on foreign sources of oil would unnecessarily and consequentially compromise national security. Inexpensive, domestically produced energy is after all the ultimate insurance against geopolitical threats like those currently unfolding in the Ukraine and from Red China's seeking to reach across the South China Sea to overtake Taiwan.

But what if discord in Ukraine is not the ultimate aim? According to sources inside China, Putin’s military movement against Ukraine is a produced event financed by Xi, as part of the accord just signed by the two Communist nations. Putin’s incursion is the distraction the Chinese had hoped the Biden administration would zealously embrace, leaving China, the actual threat to America, unattended as it eyes Taiwan.

The Biden administration’s “deer in the headlights” diplomacy in defense of Ukraine’s non-democratic government reveals the lengths to which its ideological bias toward wind and solar energy sources supersedes its concerns for the economic health, physical security, and geo-political dominance of America. The administration is framing Putin as the scapegoat for rising U.S. energy prices that continue increasing due to Biden’s own energy policies. Higher gas prices, after all are an objective this administration actively seeks with the hope of moving people from fossil-fuel powered vehicles into public transport or electric vehicles. Had Biden not attacked the U.S. energy sector beginning on his first day in office he would not now need to vilify Putin over a territorial disagreement that doesn't authentically involve the U.S.. Putin and Xi understand these dynamics and are happy to collaborate. The forging of the alliance between their two  nations was inevitable in the face of such a weak U.S. president and cabinet, promulgating policies that unequivocally fail to project strength.

I'm thinking, I'm thinking...

After examining the newly signed Sino-Russian agreements, one begins to understand how central energy policy is to the broader stability of Western Europe and United States. It reveals how the energy policy of the Biden administration has fundamentally weakened the U.S. and emboldened our enemies. The consequence of their weakness, however, doesn’t stop at the gas pump. The economic, military and political implications this collaboration portends, ultimately has more to do with the desire of both Putin and Xi to gain territorial dominance in their respective regions of influence than it does with the price of a barrel of crude.

The China-Russian collaboration consists of a series of agreements, fifteen by some accounts. Together, the agreements deepen cooperation between the two Communist countries in the areas of sports, energy, commerce, and trade. Doped athletes aside, the reality is the agreements signify an important convergence of two geo-political adversaries both of whom seek to neutralize the U.S. as a global leader and move away from the U.S. dollar as a reserve currency. The agreements include significant plans to collaborate in key areas relating to energy, but only insofar as the collaboration sets the stage for much more aggressive aims in the Asia Pacific region while protecting against the effects of international sanctions both countries anticipate. Consider some of the key components of the energy agreements:

Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) have agreed to increase the volume of Russian liquid natural gas delivered to China via the far Eastern route. Russia is already sending natural gas via pipeline to China through the Power of Siberia trunk line, which became operational at the end of 2019. New lines will increase capacity and connect Russian supply lines to the Dalian LNG terminal in the south.

The Dalian terminal is an LNG terminal in Liaoning, province. Operational since 2011, it is currently used to offload product primarily from Qatar, Australia and Iran. After regasification, the gas has been being sent to northeastern China. Under the new collaboration, China and Russia will purportedly co-own the ports at Dalian and Luschun. China has additionally increased its strategic reserve capacity by as much as 30 percent, according to sources. Establishing long-term supply certainty in the face of international sanctions limits the West’s ability to dissuade China as it seeks to retake Taiwan and continues its Belt and Road initiative in Africa and South America. Russia meanwhile gets access to two ice-free ports from which it can operate as it sets out to achieve a variety of geo-political objectives that include dominating the Pacific region militarily. According to Reuters, the new pipeline network is expected to be operational within three years and will be settled in euros.

What's Plan B?

In response to the incursion in Ukraine and the new Sino-Russian accord, the Biden administration should immediately turn toward U.S. energy producers and seek their cooperation to re-start production of their portfolios of assets and remove all impediments to re-establishing energy independence. Simultaneously, attention must urgently be paid to China so as to impede its plans to subjugate Taiwan. While Putin flexes his geo-political muscle in Ukraine, China must be made to understand that the same will not be permitted where Taiwan is concerned. Unanswered, this nuclear and biologically weaponized power couple represents a new and potentially ominous threat to the U.S. and all western democracies.

Now They Tell Us

You've got to hand it to the institutional Left: they managed to string out "two weeks to flatten the curve" into two years of "safety" fascism, and to fan the flames of Covid hysteria long enough to win a national election and install a feeble, senile old party apparatchik in the White House. What did they think this was? The Soviet Union in 1984?

Now comes this admission of something we pretty much knew all along:

lab leak in Wuhan, China, is now considered the most likely origin of the Covid pandemic “behind closed doors” in the Government, it has been claimed, after Boris Johnson signalled that security measures would be enhanced to prevent accidental escape.

On Monday, the Prime Minister told the House of Commons that the UK biosecurity strategy would be refreshed to protect against “natural zoonosis and laboratory leaks”, in a public acknowledgement of the threat from insecure research facilities. There is mounting suspicion that Covid-19 leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology which had been collecting and experimenting on dangerous bat coronaviruses in the years before the virus first emerged in the city.

From the jump, it was clear that the proximity of the Wuhan Institute of Virology to the yummy bat comestibles sold at a nearby "wet" (i.e. disgusting) market was a handy way to deflect Chinese governmental complicity in Covid-19 scare. Hey, don't blame it on our scientists, blame it on our charming and vibrant third world penchant for dining on pangolin gizzards and bat rectums! The fact that the entire Western world "elite" now leaps to China's defense in any and all circumstances—how about those amazing Peking Olympics, sports fans!—is simply an indication of how deep the dragon's financial claws are into our society now.

Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, an expert on chemical and biological counter-terrorism and former British Army officer, has submitted evidence for the strategy. He said: “I think the official view [within Government] is that it is as likely as anything else to have caused the pandemic. A lot of people like myself think it is more likely. I think attitudes have changed a little bit. The zoonotic transfer theory just didn’t make sense.

“There is a huge amount of concern about coming out publicly, but behind closed doors most people think it’s a lab leak. And they are coming round to the fact that even if they don’t agree with that, they must accept it’s likely, and they must make sure the policies are in place to stop it.”

Those policies ought to begin in China, but of course they won't. Anthony "gain of function" Fauci will see to that. Because while bat soup may not be his thing, he surely know which side his bread's buttered on.

 

 

THE COLUMN: Sic Semper Tyrannis

On this, the second anniversary of The-Pipeline.org, we present the first of a series of weekly columns that will appear each Monday morning. Everything on the table, nothing off the table. mw

And so we near the end of the Great Pandemic Hoax of 2019-22, an unprecedented and breathtaking power grab by governments around the world to seize powers far beyond their constitutional allotments and to transform a relatively minor flu virus — however originated and for what ill purposes — into a weapon of mass economic and emotional destruction whose effects will be felt for years and decades to come. It has been a textbook example of tyranny.

Consider it a warning shot, though, because while Covid may finally have been exposed for the non-apocalyptic event it always was, such tyranny is only the beginning until we put a stop to it. Put a stop to extra-legal "emergency" measures that are transparently and insultingly fraudulent, and which are invoked in the name of the "greater good." Put a stop to the notion of judicially sanctioned "protected classes" in a formerly classless society. Put to stop the notion of a "New Normal" of privation, deviancy, and spiritual and material penury imposed by Leftists as they continue their centuries-old task of undermining every tenet of Western Civilization in the name of "equity" — in a world in which equality is aspirational at best and equity is impossible.

And, once and for all, put paid to the notion that "when you've got your health you've got everything,"  the motto of a nation of neurotic hypochondriacs that is fundamentally at odds with every principle of the moral and socially productive life. For under this seemingly anodyne contention lies a wealth of mischief, chief among them the idea that your fellow citizens pose an existential threat to you by their refusal to conform, and thus can and should be restricted, incarcerated, or even killed as the need arises. And all in the name of Socialism, whether National or international.

Nicolae and Elena in happier times.

As we've seen via a recent study by the Johns Hopkin University (a study of studies, really), the lockdowns imposed by states, countries, and municipalities everywhere in the name of "mitigating" the spread of an illness with a 99 percent survival rate in the name of public health were completely ineffective.

Far better to have done nothing at all; instead, families were separated, the elderly (those most at risk from the respirational difficulties caused by the likely Chinese-manufactured bioweapon) died alone and often in squalor; weddings and funerals were canceled or held "virtually"; businesses were shuttered and driven into bankruptcy; more than two years of schooling were ripped away from forcibly masked children; and colleges and universities continued their descent into mere parental-money shakedown rackets by offering education-by-Zoom as they continued with their main mission of gobbling up real estate to take it off the tax rolls and fatten their endowments.

And the only people held responsible for this sanctioned crime wave were... you. You, the uncooperative, the recalcitrant, the deplorable. You, the anti-social, the rebellious, the individualists, the fighters, the darers, the doers. You, the people who founded this country in defiance of central authority and rule-by-pronunciamento, you who pledge allegiance not to a political party or a strong leader, but to a flag and to the country for which it stands. One nation, under a God whom the other side has no use for, but only contempt. Just as they do for you.

It's become axiomatic that inside every leftist is a totalitarian screaming to get out. So if there's one positive thing Covid has done is identify those people for all to see: the slave-muzzle wearers, proudly exhibiting their servile natures. They're the Karens, the mask nazis, the buttinskis who can't leave you or your family alone, the ones who screech at the sight of the unmasked like Donald Sutherland ratting out a real human being at the end of the 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers:

These are the same people who want to force you into electric cars but not provide a reliable source of electricity for them. Who wish to destroy the energy industries that built our nation, and leave you freezing or sweltering in the dark. Who condone and even encourage mass looting of shops, the murder of small Asian women waiting for a subway train, the shooting of policemen by the underclass, and the flouting of nearly every law of civilized behavior on the streets in the name of "social justice." And these are the people who, under the rubric of "climate change" and "the Great Reset," want to strip you of your home, your cars, your livelihood and, eventually, your life. No matter which office they hold, high or low or none at all, these people are your enemies and should be treated accordingly.

Make no mistake: Covid was only a beta-test, one that a submissive population passed with flying colors. Instantly repealed, without all that pesky business about amending the Constitution, were the first, fourth, fifth, and the eighth articles of the Bill of Rights. (The ninth and tenth, of course, have long since been rendered null, void, and nugatory. You remember them, the ones that reserve all unenumerated rights not mentioned in the Constitution to the people and the states.) This is why former president Barack Obama infamously referred to our founding document as a "charter of negative liberties." Which is precisely what the Founders desired.

Read 'em and weep.

Ah, but "affirmative" rights sound so much better. Like FDR's Four Freedoms:  what could possibly go wrong with having government affirmatively promise you freedom of speech (already guaranteed by the first amendment), freedom of worship (ditto), freedom from want and freedom from fear. While they were never legislated formally, the first two were superfluous — and have in any case been repealed by Covid — and the latter two have been implemented by stealth under the false flags of "compassion" and "safety."

Affirmative rights, however, are essentially fascistic; your "safety" and material security, in the zero-sum mindsets of governments everywhere, come at the expense of someone else. Feminized guarantees of "safety" and "security" were standard fare in every European communist country until its collapse between 1989 and 1991, It's instructive to note that those are the same terms in which censorious social-media sites such as Twitter (from which I was "permanently banned" in August 2020 for unspecified "targeted harassment") and Facebook (in whose Sugarmountain Gulag I am currently spending another two weeks for "hate speech," which is Zuckerspeak for disparagement) couch their own "rules" and "community standards." The sooner both are destroyed, the better and freer everybody will be.

For when the preference cascade begins, punks, tyrants and dictators need to watch their backs as the real workers of the world unite. I spent the years between 1985 and 1991 shuttling in and out of East Germany and the Soviet Union, was in Berlin as the Wall was being torn down, and departed from Moscow just before the coup against Mikhail Gorbachev in the summer of '91. (The Soviet Union folded four months later.) I stood on Fisherman's Bastion in Budapest with Hungarian friends in late 1989, looking east over the Danube, as they expressed their fears of an imminent invasion from Romanian troops. Hope was in the air — the Wall had just fallen — but uncertainty still ruled. Would the useless George H.W. Bush administration come to their aid? Or, once again, would the fascist-communist tanks roll?

Instead, a miracle happened: the people, united, were not to be defeated.

On Dec. 21, 1989, the old dictator went to the well once too often, and called a rally he couldn't control. As the people's voices rose against him (if the Romanians had had trucks, they would have used them), his voice broke, his expression changed from confidence to befuddlement, the television transmission stopped, and he was whisked away. A rebellion that had started with a lone priest in the ethnically Hungarian town of Timișoara spread eastward across the country to Bucharest. The next day, the evil pair tried to escape by helicopter, but by then the army had switched sides. Ceaușescu and his wife were arrested, tried, and summarily executed.

What's the old saying?

Oh yes: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

China to World: Take Your 'Global Warming' and Shove It

Climate change? What climate change? That's the attitude of China, a country not bent on national suicide, when it comes to the choice between reducing its "carbon footprint" -- an imaginary concept, but let that pass for now -- and keeping its people warm and its industries humming:

China, under fire for approving new coal power stations as other countries try to curb greenhouse gases, has completed the first 1,000-megawatt unit of the Shanghaimiao plant, the biggest of its kind under construction in the country. Its operator, the Guodian Power Shanghaimiao Corporation, a subsidiary of the central government-run China Energy Investment Corporation, said on Tuesday that the plant's technology was the world's most efficient, with the lowest rates of coal and water consumption.

Located in Ordos in the coal-rich northwestern region of Inner Mongolia, the plant will eventually have four generating units, and is designed to deliver power to the eastern coastal Shandong province via a long-distance ultra-high voltage grid. China is responsible for more than half of global coal-fired power generation and is expected to see a 9% year-on-year increase in 2021, an International Energy Agency report published this month said.

Good for China. As Covid-19 hysteria begins to fade in the West (which actually is hell-bent on suicide), look for the phantom menace of "climate change" to return to the Davos front-burner as the globalist totalitarians continue their war on their own nations. Because the Chinese don't care:

Beijing has pledged to start reducing coal consumption, but will do so only after 2025, giving developers considerable leeway to raise capacity further in the coming four years. A report published this month by researchers at China's State Grid Corporation said energy security concerns mean the country is likely to build as much as 150 gigawatts (GW) of new coal-fired power capacity over the 2021-2025 period, bringing the total to 1,230 GW.

In other words, kiss our carbon footprint, bite our emissions on the bum, and take your "global warning" and shove it. Amazing what totalitarian countries can get away with.

 

 

 

The Shape of Things to Come

Our rulers have recently completed another greendoggle on foreign shores, flying in on their private jets to congratulate one another on their plans to deprive us of liberty and property; life, too, if they’re all up for it. How much easier it would be for them if we all just died.

The primary job of any politician is communication. Communications nowadays are instantaneous and global. No reason exists for this gathering to disgorge thousand of metric tons of GHG to gather to communicate about excess GHG. If our entire $20 trillion economy can work from home and on video-calls for well over a year, these few penny-ante taxpayer-and-corruption-funded millionaires can, too.

If they must get together, if drinking maskless and telling happy lies and sitting around watching the same old PowerPoint presentations they heard last year and the year before (which can be emailed to them) are critical to their well-being, well – again, as comms are global (and if they absolutely refuse to videoconference) they can take the train, or a ship and then a train, all of which emit less GHG per passenger than Gulfstreams and Lears and Cessnas and 85-car motorcades. The longer they are in-transit, the less harm they are to the productive middle classes. If they want to extend these ridiculous and childish meets to 24 x 7 x 365, who are we to complain? As long as they are out of our hair and pocketbooks.

Look who's here.

If Congress wanted to pass a useful bill and work seriously on revitalizing friendships with our European “allies,” and do the world a favor, they could strip the citizenship from Uncle Joe while he’s gone, sell Air Force-1 to the French in exchange for screwing them on the Aussie sub deal, and purchase an abandoned castle somewhere in the U.K. for President Brandon to live out his daze.

But – they seem to think they know best, so let’s take a brief look at some of the scare stories in the media being drummed-up by our betters, and the reality behind them. After all, if we’re going to have our liberty and property taken-away extra-judicially, it’s a good idea to understand the problems causing our unprecedented loss of freedom by those who would rule us without our permission. Normally when people are asked to sacrifice, there’s a good reason for them to comply. Invasion, Global War, stuff like that. So let’s take a quick look at some of the things for which our sacrifice (is it a “sacrifice” when it’s not voluntary?) is demanded.

Arguably the biggest problem of Baby Boomers in government (other than they’re not retiring and just going away to prattle amongst themselves and stop damaging the rest of us) is that they have this childish idea that nothing changes – ever. That everything has been the way it has been over their pampered, safe, wealthy lives enriched by the Industrial Revolution they now demand to reverse;  that the world they see through Disney’s lens is the real world. For the rest of us to listen to them is absurd. Seas rise, mountains slump and volcanoes volcano.

Here in the real world, actual data show none of the “ills” with which our betters were entertaining one another in vodka-fueled stories around the Glasgow campfire at COP26. The Lancet, in fact, (via the WSJ) a journal the elite rely on when it tells stories they like, reports that, no, we’re not all going to die from the heat in 12 years.

The Lancet published what is arguably the largest study ever to examine excess mortality associated with temperature. The study’s authors, 68 scientists representing universities and research institutes in 33 countries spanning all regions of the world, came to two clear conclusions: cold temperatures contribute to far more deaths each year than warmer temperatures, and deaths associated with extreme temperatures, hot or cold, are declining. Referencing data on more than 130 million deaths from 43 countries, located in five continents they found that 5,083,173 deaths were associated with non-optimal temperatures per year, with most of these excess deaths tied to cold temperatures.

Maybe our betters are complaining that we aren’t dying fast enough? Perhaps we’re reading the entire global warming fantasy incorrectly and they want us to get colder so we can die more quickly?

Who needs heat?

It’s also what those searching for extra-terrestrial life are saying by looking for an off-world home that is five degrees C warmer than earth for optimal conditions for human life. And, of course, all food plants thrive at warmer temperatures and increased CO2, thus allowing the poor to be fed. I guess the elites don’t really care about the poor.

I’m with 'em – let’s find a warmer place and ship Davos Man there. Better for them. Better for us. Less hot air, too.