Trump ran for president on bullshit. ‘Make America Great Again’ – what malarkey. The United States was already the world’s largest economy, had the biggest military, churned out the most movies, TV shows and rock hits of anyone and even gave reasonable opportunities to immigrants to make a few bucks and start work on their version of the American dream. This great country also had the world’s most obese people, the highest ratio of firearms per capita (with the highest ratio of murders to boot!), a huge lust for racism and a healthy culture where a blatant misogynist could run for president. Nobody could top it.
So the misogynist actually wins. It turns out he is dumber than a box of rocks, has no apparent education and hires a bunch of people just like himself. Off he goes making American great again as his ‘dotard’ mind perceives it to be. He does everything he can think of to dismantle those things that made America what it was and to abrogate whatever leadership she showed the world. But his most lasting legacy will be how he took America’s industrial might and drove it right into the dirt. It was stupidly simple: he branded ‘climate change’ a hoax, undid any law that stood in its way and thereby surrendered the economic leadership of the world to China. What a fucking dumbbell.
Climate change is the most pernicious problem the world faces. Its ramifications are profound: food supplies contract, millions of square miles of land submerge, weather becomes deadly and vicious, green spaces become deserts. It sucks.
However it can be stopped. America, as the world’s largest generator of greenhouse gases could lead the way to reduce them. We could be establishing new industries that create energy without emissions. We could invent technologies that suck CO2 and CH4 out of the air and turn them into something benign or even useful. And we could make a huge amount of money doing each of them. Billions and billions and billions of dollars.
You may not believe that humans cause climate change but no one can deny that a carbon cycle exists and the earth is now on the side that is increasing; heat, rising oceans and violent weather are its consequences. Eliminating CO2 emission slows it down. Developing CO2 extraction technologies begins to reverse the curve. If one is looking for an area in which humans can save themselves, this is it. If stopping CO2 emissions to save the planet doesn’t get your attention, the money that can be made if you can sell the salvation should.
But The Donald is too dumb to figure any of that out. His billionaire buddies see the possibilities but it will take a decade or two before the cash starts flowing in. It is far easier to get some billions now from carbon based fuels. Let somebody else’s great grandkids make money cleaning up the earth.
This is China’s great opportunity. China’s appetite for energy is voracious and will exceed that of the United States within twenty years. The Chinese learned the hard way the heavy price in human suffering caused by unfettered pollution. They have begun embedding reduced carbon usage in every product produced.
For example, the technology to eliminate CO2 from coal emissions exists and has been industrialized. The US doesn’t use it because it raises the price of coal. Since coal is already far more expensive that natural gas, electric companies don’t spend money to burn coal cleanly – they spend it in converting generators to natural gas. Natural gas is scarce in China but coal is plentiful. The Chinese are heavily investing in generating natural gas from coal and they do it with zero CO2 emissions. The moreCO2 capture devices they make, the less they cost. It is a trend which will lead to the commoditization of the technology in ten years. If anybody else wants to use it, China will sell it to them at a hefty cost. If they price it on some type of usage model, the revenue streams will be large and long. The US might think they can play catchup but anytime someone has a ten year advantage in technology, catchup is a pipe dream. Computer chips are made everywhere throughout the world but the guys that own the licenses and make some loot on every chip are still IBM, Intel and QCOM.
The greenhouse cycle is far enough along that no amount of CO2 reduction will be enough to avoid disastrous consequences over the next decades. CO2 must be actually removed from the atmosphere. There are several potential technologies for doing this but all have significant hurdles to overcome before they are viable. The United States has been a middling funder of CO2 removal research but its future is dim – the idiots around the boy president believe the money is wasted on a non-existent problem.
China doesn’t. China is betting on technologies that suck CO2 out of the air with giant fans and turn the gas in carbon hydroxide slag. Today, the technology is cumbersome and expensive. It also requires very large spaces of uninhabited land to both build the CO2 inhaling infrastructure and contain the vast amounts of slag produced. Only four countries have the geography to support this: the United States, Russia, India and China. The only country serious about it now is China.
China has smart people and deep pockets. They are investing millions of Yuan to figure out the most efficient technology solution. Then it becomes a matter of reducing its cost through automation and scaling.
How will they make money on it? Well, in fifty years, the state of Delaware will be under the ocean. So will London, New York, and Marseilles. Losing those areas wold cost hundreds of billions of dollars each year. Just relocation the people that live there is estimated to be at least 10 trillion dollars. Who will pay to avoid those costs once the specter of uncontrolled flooding becomes so pervasive even dotards can’t deny it? Everyone will.
We don’t know how the technology would be packaged and priced but it is easy to envision the Chinese coming up with some type of global licensing scheme whereby everybody pays according to the amount of damage they avoid. 10 billion here, 10 billion there, year after year. Eventually other countries will figure out how the stuff works but the Chinese will have a technology and operational edge that will last many generations. Their use of climate management technology will propel them to become the greatest economic power the world has ever seen. The rest of us will be sending our kids to Chinese schools to learn their wisdom, immigrating to China to find jobs and learning the right way to make white rice.