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China and the US – the unthinking in pursuit of the unthinkable.

Oscar Wilde described the “English Country Gentleman galloping after a fox – the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable”.

The last few years of world politics has set us all back – it is difficult now to see cross border collaboration over any major issue and it is easier to see conflict. 

For the next 50 years or so individual nation states will blindly put their own priorities far ahead of those of other states. They will each seek superficial independence over sophisticated interdependence – and the costs may be very high. Take oil and natural gas. The US has a great deal of both – China does not. Instead of talking up soy beans we could be building a new fuel delivery program to help China. More to the point we could be collaborating at the same time over replacing fossil fuels altogether. Helping each other, helping the planet and helping our children.

Instead in the furtherence of its own independence, China is watching carefully the Senkaku and Spratley Islands in the East China seas. Senkaku may have enough offshore oil and gas to supply China for the next 50 years. The Spratleys have an estimated 100 billioin barrels of oil in the waters around them. US is a committed ally of the counterbidding nations. We are looking at the prospect of super power warfare over the very fossil fuels they should be abjuring in preference to alternative sustainable sources of power.

With all due deference to Oscar Wilde we are looking today at two powers “unstoppably pursuing unmitigated disaster over an unusable fuel – the unthinking in pursuit of the unthinkable.” 

Have a good day, James