South China Morning Post (SCMP) North American bureau chief Robert Delaney published a bizarre editorial on Tuesday in which he suggested a war between America and China, sparked by Beijing making good on its threat of a military response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) visit to Taiwan, could be even better than the coronavirus pandemic for reducing the world’s carbon footprint.
Delaney’s long screed, which only got around to his give-war-a-chance grand finale in the final paragraphs, included hosannas for the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic as the luckiest break for the climate change movement in generations, since it significantly reduced energy consumption and emissions.
Perhaps more importantly, the pandemic gave free nations a taste of the Chinese-style authoritarianism that would be needed to make Delaney’s climate dreams come true.
A war between America and China that could quickly spiral into a global conflict would seem likely to release a great deal of carbon and other pollutants into the atmosphere – and, in the worst-case scenario, some rather massive radioactive heat blooms – but Delaney argued it would be worthwhile in the long run, because it would make the West more accustomed to totalitarian control and reduce carbon footprints by impoverishing all of mankind:
Black swans like the [Chinese coronavirus] pandemic tend to make this happen against just about everyone’s will. Russia’s war against Ukraine may work towards this goal on the margins, given that many in Europe will need to curtail power generation until they figure out how to replace the Russian energy supply. But, with talk of fossil fuels filling the gap in the near term, we could see the opposite.
Which brings us back to Pelosi, who has the world guessing whether she will make Taipei part of her Asia-Pacific itinerary. Such a move carries the risk of a military conflict in the Taiwan Strait, which would have dire economic consequences as supply chains run through China and the rest of Asia.
If a conflict ends up severing trade between Asia and the US, billions of us will suddenly need to make do to an extent far greater than when [Chinese coronavirus] disrupted supply chains.
“All things considered, a Pelosi delegation to Taiwan might be just what the Earth’s natural ecosystems need,” Delaney mused.