In a perilous confrontation over the Black Sea, two Russian SU-27 combat aircraft harassed and ultimately downed an American drone in international airspace. An action which the U.S. promptly slammed as being mean to the Earth in a prissy complaint from its European Command that the fighter planes “dumped fuel on and flew in front of the MQ-9 in a reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional manner.” Doubtless when informed of this accusation Putin will raise a horrified hand to his mouth, apologize, withdraw his carbon-spewing forces from Ukraine and surrender to the IPCC to be tried.
No, wait. The actual Russian reaction, which we struggle to paraphrase in printable language, was xa xa we’ll salvage your silly drone, rip off the technology and wave the bits in your face. Then the Kremlin told one of those lies intended to humiliate rather than convince, namely that we didn’t actually hit the drone, it just crashed due to bad flying. (Sort of like how Putin’s adversaries fall from windows, boats, balconies and so on, including the guy who “passed away following a severe illness” that caused him to fly out a hospital window, though for variety one expired in his swimming pool of a gunshot wound; what are the odds?) Which frankly isn’t surprising and has nothing to do with how supressing Ukraine’s once-mighty fertilizer industry will help fight global warming and keep Siberia cool and comfy.
What is surprising, at least a bit, is that even American military authorities would think their sworn enemies secretly share their preoccupations including that aerial combat must be green. And the tendency to appease is, of course, not directly related to an obsession with climate. In the wake of the incident a U.S. National Security Council spokesman said it might just have been an accident: “What we don’t know is how intentional the collision with the drone was. It is possible that this was just a reckless, incompetent piece of aviation by the pilot.”
We do not understand why it is so hard to realize that mumbling this sort of stuff when the other side is growling “We perceive any actions involving the use of American weapons and military equipment as openly hostile” conveys weakness. It isn’t as though we haven’t been through this kind of thing before. But because it is apparently hard to understand, at least for the people with crucial responsibilities that hinge on understanding it, let us try to explain.
Russia is a major supplier of fossil fuels to western Europe and uses the policies of EU nations to cut their own production of such energy as a way to exert geopolitical leverage. It is playing them for fools, quite openly. Including funding environmental organizations in the West that push for Net Zero while it goes the other way. The Kremlin does not share Western progressives’ priorities in any area including climate.
The same, of course, is true of China, specifically the Chinese Communist Party not the country or even the government, both of which are under the iron heel of the CCP. While the American and British navies obsess over cutting their carbon footprint, as would Canada’s if it had a footprint rather than just a toeprint, the People’s Liberation Army (which as we’ve noted before is not an organ of the state but of the Party) has become the largest military organization in the world.
More generally, the CCP sometimes lies about its climate ambitions to encourage us in our self-delusion. But it keeps building coal plants, at home and abroad, so clearly it does not mean what it says, unlike when it says it’s planning to dominate the world by 2050 including navally. Whereas the current American Secretary of the Navy whimpers that “I chose climate as a focal point for my tenure as Secretary” and the British admiralty fusses over rising sea temperatures causing their few remaining ships to overheat.
The resulting imbalance is pathetic, and funny. But also very serious. Western politicians fall all over themselves to avoid noticing it even if not all are like Canada’s Justin Trudeau, whose public admiration for China’s “basic dictatorship” extended to closing his eyes to its meddling in our elections. And the press are no better; Reuters “Sustainable Switch” tried to whitewash Chinese coal a couple of weeks back with this piece of unbiased propaganda:
“China’s state planner underlined a greater role for coal in its power supply on Sunday, saying the fossil fuel would be used to improve the reliability and security of its energy system. Soaring global energy prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and domestic supply disruption have prompted Beijing to step up its focus on energy security in recent years. The world’s second-biggest economy relied on coal to generate 56.2% of its electricity last year, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, but has significantly boosted its use of natural gas and renewable energy in recent years to lower carbon emissions. Fluctuating output from renewable plants, however, has led policymakers to lean on reliable and easily dispatchable coal power to shore up the country’s baseload supply…. Despite a strategy to boost use of natural gas as a bridge fuel to achieve its 2060 carbon neutrality, China is slowing an aggressive campaign started in 2017 to replace coal with gas.”
Bosh. The “aggressive campaign” was bait for useful idiots. And at some point you have to realize that you’re dealing with very serious people who would blow you up with the dirtiest bomb ever and go home laughing, dump gas on your drone with a smirk, and who when it comes to your Net Zero DEI dreams do not give a, well, let’s just say that look on their faces isn’t contrition.