“What is the house of Eorl but a thatched barn where brigands drink in the reek, and their brats roll on the floor among the dogs?” demands the Chinese Communist Party’s consul in Rio about Canada and the Trudeau dynasty. Or rather, over a picture of Little Potato (the nickname Trudeau was given during his 2016 trip to China): “Boy, your greatest achievement is to have ruined the friendly relations between China and Canada, and have turned Canada into a running dog of the US. Spendthrift!!!”
Guess the kid gloves are off… boy.
As readers may know, I am not a fan of conspiracy theories. Believing in stuff like the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” is a sign of mental and moral disorder. And as a historian, I have seen enough of human affairs to recognize that we are not capable of smoothly executing and even more smoothly concealing our cunning schemes. It’s all we can do to follow a grocery list. But humans are capable of colossal, misplaced sincerity and ill-advised plans with disastrous consequences. Indeed, among the great lessons we thought we’d learned from Hitler was the “purloined letter” one that his ambitions, from world conquest to genocide, were hidden in plain sight in “Mein Kampf.”
The same is true of Stalin, from Radio Moscow spewing rhetorical bile to his own sinister if drab manifesto “Foundations of Leninism.” And Pol Pot etc. So why would the 2013 CCP memo “Document #9” not be an accurate statement of Xi Jinping thought?
My claim is not that China invented global warming to do us in, which would be paranoid. The question of the impact of CO2 and other “greenhouse gases” on global temperature arose organically from Western scientific inquiry in the 19th century, and for a free society not to debate it and its possible consequences would betray our foundational principles. (One reason the Climate Discussion Nexus will not be bullied into silence.)
By the same token, for a free society to ignore threats to its freedom, including a highly ideological, tyrannical regime exploiting our delusions, would be both immoral and imprudent. That the Chinese Communist Party funds Western environmentalists is a matter of public if not well-publicized record. As is the fact that Western environmentalists are surprisingly slow to acknowledge the rising menace from Beijing, despite China’s rising GHG emissions and increasingly offensive wolf-warrior tone in what the CCP imagines is its moment of triumph, including pressing Western firms to ignore the Uyghur genocide.
To be fair, Li Yang has a point about Trudeau’s fiscal policy. But that rant about the house of Eorl from Saruman in “The Lord of the Rings,” cornered in the wreckage of his Isengard fortress and of his plans more generally, and still trying to play both tyrant and counsellor and botching both, is where the Politburo increasingly risks finding itself, including on climate.
If man-made global warming is an existential threat to civilization, somebody needs to get China to start treating it as such. If not, there’s no need to. And either way, there’s no justification for our doing so while the CCP smirks and blasts past our thatched barn in a cloud of foul-smelling exhaust with a bumper sticker saying, “Thanks for Net Zero, You Useful Idiots.”