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Send a greenboat

02 Dec 2020 | OP ED Watch

One thing Joe Biden might do is revive imperialism. Which a surprising number of unlikely people seem to advocate where climate is involved, including the Guardian's Australia political editor who hopes a President Biden will coerce her own nation into adopting more serious climate change goals than its voters or politicians want. And she was no outlier; the Guardian also had a piece by Richie Merzian, “director of the climate & energy program at independent think-tank The Australia Institute” hoping Uncle Sam would twist his nation’s arm until it turned green. Who knew they liked America dictating to its allies? But Merzian notes that Australia’s Prime Minister Scott “Morrison claims, ‘Our policies won’t be set in the United Kingdom, they won’t be set in Brussels, they won’t be set in any part of the world other than here.’ I wouldn’t be so sure.” Or so happy?

Merzian’s punchline is “When former president Obama pressured the Abbott government to do more on climate change in 2014, it had an impact. Let’s see what happens when Washington calls again.” To which one is tempted to reply that it’s hard to recall now what the Abbott government did and nobody who’s anybody seems to think it mattered, if we now need Big Joe to come by and slap the place around for some real action. But the odd thing is that people want him to try, and the Washington Post seems to think he will.

NBC’s experts who say also favour imperialism: “rejoining the Paris accord will be just the first step for Biden, experts say. He has promised to integrate climate change into his foreign and trade policies and to recommit the U.S. to the Green Climate Fund, a financial mechanism to help developing countries address climate change, which Trump withdrew from, as well, saying it was costing the U.S. ‘a vast fortune.’” So there’s another step – American imperialism must not just pressure Australia but also developing countries so desperate for money they’re willing to do rich foreigners’ bidding to get it. How quaint.

The Guardian also hopes Biden will bully the UK into spending more on climate. And lest you think we are too reliant on that publication for dependable climate strangeness, “UK hopes climate change can warm frosty Biden ties” and “Britain hopes climate action could be a trump card to salvage its ‘special relationship’ with the United States” despite Boris Johnson’s previous “racist comments”, given his wokeness on climate, if Yahoo! News is to be believed. But it probably isn’t on this one since it’s not obvious who “UK” or “Britain” means in this context. Voters? Johnson himself? His colleagues? His partisan foes? Or just a bunch of journalists editorializing under the guise of reporting?

Never mind. Send a gunboat full of money. Powered by wind.

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