Huntsman Believes in Science - So?
Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, who - pay attention, world, here comes a big endorsement - is rapidly becoming my personal choice for the office (default is a choice too), has staked out a bold position: He believes in science.
Wow! How controversial is that?
Apparently pretty controversial. He specifically mentioned evolution and climate change as subjects we should pay attention to. Come on, tea partiers, give the guy a break. Get real. He's right.
Unfortunately, on the climate change (global warming, if you will) front, any solution is not only out of sight, it is moving further away. Whatever the efforts of the current administration, or a future Huntsman administration, or even the endless ranting of Al Gore, America is becoming progressively less of a problem.
The real problem is China, and, to a lesser extent, India and other rapidly industrializing nations. They may pay lip service to managing the pollution that is raising the temperature of the planet (yes, it is), but their main concern is, like ours, jobs, jobs, jobs, and they're not going to let a little industrial crud stand in the way of creating them.
While we, and the entire Western world, dither over turgid economies, debt and green energy, China is busy cornering the global market in fossil fuels and industrial raw materials.
SINOPEC (China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation) has a $100 billion, 30-year contract with Iran for natural gas and petroleum development. Petrodollars for the ayatollahs.
China has a $3 billion contract with Venezuela for delivery of oil, as well as exploration rights in undeveloped areas. Petrodollars for Hugo.
China is competing with Japan for oil exploration and pipeline rights in Siberia. Petrodollars for Vladimir.
There are agreements with Brazil, Algeria and Kazakhstan.
The port of Newcastle, Australia, is backed up with coal shipments to China, as port facilities are limited and there are not enough ships available to move the coal at the desired rate. China also has rights to explore for uranium in Australia.
China has contracted with Chile for copper and Cuba for nickel.
The Chinese are being very democratic in their quest for the Earth's resources; they carry on without regard to race or religion. Equal exploitation for all.
In their various international exploration projects, especially in third-world countries in need of money, the Chinese have been notably uninterested in environmental protection, leaving piles of debris and clear-cut jungles in their wake.
China is importing all this stuff, building two new coal-fired power plants per week, and industrializing like crazy so its government can keep the peace and hold power over 1.3 billion people who want to drive cars and have toasters and electric lights.
And they are doing it while accumulating the debts of much of the world, notably ours. They also pay no attention to various world bodies trying to keep trade "fair" or the planet green.
Jon Huntsman's comment on believing in science got me started on this track. It is a puzzle to me why the most articulate Republican, the only one who has been ambassador to China and actually speaks Mandarin, who has been a businessman and a governor, is apparently at a dead end in his presidential campaign.
It might be time to try out a president who is experienced, smart, and actually knows something about our biggest creditor and economic rival. It might even be all right if he believes in science.
Fred Wolferman lives in Southern Pines. Contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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