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Buddy’s Soap Box
Ukraine, the failure of Leadership There and Here
A patriotic Texas howdy from Buddy,
I just watched “Ukraine on Fire” on the cable network One American News (OAN). The executive producer is Oliver Stone. I think you’ll find “Ukraine on Fire” to be both fair and balanced and, equally important, rich in historical perspective. I very much recommend “Ukraine on Fire” for those wanting to better understand the Ukrainian situation. My perspective changed based on what I learned. While our opinion of Vladimir Putin in no way improved, it remains that the situation is a good bit more complex in ways not covered by other networks, from CNN to Fox.
Regarding the situation in Ukraine, there is plenty of blame to go around, although most certainly, the greatest guilt lies at Vladimir Putin’s feet.
Having watched “Ukraine on Fire,” I find that I knew little about Ukraine’s past history, and little more about its recent history and turbulent relationship with Russia following the collapse of the Soviet Union. For that knowledge deficit, I and other Americans may be rightly excused. However, we pay a lot of people in government to be informed in such matters and to act honorably in America’s self-interest, and by extension in the best interests of the world. That should not be too much to ask of our State Department, our CIA, our embassies, and our elected representatives, right on up to our president.
Again, the first and foremost priority of our government and the leaders we elect should be to foster world peace and prosperity.
Had that been our nation’s priority, Russia’s war on Ukraine might have been avoided. Instead, three counterproductive elements got in the way.
1) Rather than acting as a mediator, our nation used Ukraine as yet another tool for the purpose of containing Russian goals and ambitions, some of which are reasonable goals, mirroring those of our own nation and others.
2) Ukraine is the most corrupt government in Europe. Some American politicians and their families benefit from that fact. It then follows that those benefiting from graft are not likely to seek its elimination. One need only cite the Clinton Foundation that took in millions of dollars from Ukrainian kleptocrats, and the millions of dollars “earned” by Hunter Biden from other Ukrainian sources. To their credit, neither President Obama nor President Trump are on this list.
3) The lie, it was more than a false “claim,” that President Trump had colluded with the Russians in his bid to be elected president (a fraud that came directly from Hillary Clinton’s campaign), made our relations with Russia worse and made communication between President Trump and Putin much more difficult.
Had these three factors not been in play, had we been open to listening to the Russian point of view, had our leaders not been busy lining their own pockets, and had President Donald Trump been free to communicate frequently and openly with Russia’s head of state, maybe, just maybe the horrible events we are seeing unfolding in Ukraine might not be happening.
And above all, had we not experienced a fraudulent election, the world most certainly would be in a better place.
It would be one thing if the shrieking, hysterical predictions of climate doom that inform administration policy that is hostile to America’s oil & gas industry were credible. But the environmental left lost its credibility long ago. That’s because none of the apocalyptic predictions that the eco-left has been spewing for five decades has ever come true.
Time and space permit only a few examples:
In 1967, Professor Paul Ehrlich of Stanford University wrote that it was already too late to avoid a worldwide famine by 1975. We would go on from that prediction into the full flower of our society’s greatest health challenge, obesity.
When I was a kid in junior high school, we were told unequivocally that Lake Erie was totally dead and would never support life again. Fast forward to today and the Nautica Waterfront District on the bank of Lake Erie is billed as, “Cleveland’s Premiere Location to Live, Work & Play.”
In 1974, Time magazine, among others, published lengthy scientific articles describing the crippling ice age that was in the process of descending upon the earth, wiping out numerous animal species and greatly curtailing agricultural output.
By 1988 the tune changed when NASA scientist James Hansen said with absolute certainty that “global warming” would very soon mean miserably long, hot summers, crops burning up in the field and polar ice melt that would raise average sea level anywhere from one to six feet. One “top scientist” predicted that New York City’s West Side Highway would be underwater by 2019. It’s not.
Al Gore told us in 2008 that the Arctic would be ice-free by 2013. As of today, Arctic sea ice covers five million square miles.
In May 2014, Secretary of State John Kerry, in a joint statement with the French foreign minister, declared that we had a mere 500 days to avoid “climate chaos.” I’ll spare you counting the days. May 2014 was nearly 3,000 days ago.
There’s more but space doesn’t permit.
Suffice that it isn’t a stretch to say that doomsday, far-left environmentalism has reached the point that it’s responsible for getting people killed. Curtailment of U.S. oil & gas production via Biden administration executive action has served to raise prices to levels that greatly benefit a net energy exporter like Russia. In practical terms that means that a portion of what you pay for every tank of gas is working its way through world energy markets to help Vladimir Putin finance his murderous adventures in Ukraine.
The inflation to which high energy prices add fuel is serving to weaken the dollar and weaken America’s prestige and standing in the world. Strongmen like Vladimir Putin notice such things.
Leftist environmentalism has been around a long time and has mostly been an expensive nuisance. But now it’s provocative. Today, environmental extremism is weakening the United States while enriching and emboldening the likes of Vladimir Putin and Xi Jingping.
Energy transactions have for a long time been denominated in U.S. dollars. Anymore, the currency is becoming human lives.
And here follows Buddy’s comments:
Of the “shrieking, hysterical predictions of climate doom” examples you cite, my favorite is the 1974 Time Magazine penguin on a field ice cover titled, “How To Survive The Coming Ice Age,” with the subtitle “51 things you can do to make a difference.”
When I was a freshman in high school in the mid-1960s, during the Russian missile crisis, the “experts” were saying that early in the next century the world would run out of oil and gas. And so, here we are in that new century and the future supply of oil and gas is now pegged at 100 years or more. So much for peak oil!
Folks my age will recall watching “Our Friend the Atom,” the 1957 Disneyland television episode. Back then we were told that nuclear power would take up the slack as fossil fuels dwindled away.
Wind and solar, the new kids on the energy block, are still in knee pants and will be there for years to come, unable to replace the big boys–oil, gas, and coal.
Fracking turned out to be a technological breakthrough for natural gas production. Maybe, in time, wind and solar will experience similar breakthroughs, making both affordable and abundant. No sane person opposes such a development. But until such breakthroughs occur, no sane person imagines that we can leave fossil fuels in the ground.