Monday, September 28, 2009

Foreign Policy Primer

Much has been made of the success of Rudd’s G20 forum success and in particular, his efforts to enhance the forums authority as the main vehicle for developing global economic policies at the expense of the G8 group. Unlike the latter, the G20 members account for some two-thirds of the world's population and 85 per cent of its economy. Our Prime Minister may see it fit to expand the cooperative multilateral base of existing economic forums, which sits right with his visions of greater interconnectedness and cooperative methodologies in relation to global macroeconomics and more loosely, greater spread of international state power. However, what is the long-term price for shifting the geopolitical-economic power architecture away from the present order? That is, away from the established power circle of which present day America is at the helm. Needless to add, Obama’s present foreign policy directions may add to the coming storm …

With this in mind, I present a thought provoking read taken from the Sublineoblivion blog that speculates on how the first half of this century might pan out.

In conclusion, the geopolitical winds are shifting. There is a gathering storm that will sweep away the current liberal globalized order, and a new reality of econo-political blocs competing for markets, land and resources will take its place. The root cause is the accelerating fiscal and economic collapse of the system’s underwriter, the United States. (The even deeper reason would be that limited oil and energy reserves would be more efficiently used in China to make things than spent on American gas-guzzlers).

However, these changes will appear to observers as an incomprehensible cascade of failings of the international system and spreading chaos: jihadi successes (mounting losses in Afghanistan, continuing terrorist attacks carried out by al-Qaeda’s “franchises”, the possible collapse – or radicalization (Turkey?) – of moderate Muslim governments); state collapses (peak in world food prices, out-of-control insurgencies, falling revenues from energy exports and climatic catastrophes like drought – watch Pakistan, Mexico); the confrontation with Iran (whether or not it ends with a Middle Eastern war, this saga is only beginning to get played out); the Russian resurgence (may be manifested in renewed expansionism in the post-Soviet space – Georgia, Crimea and the Baltics are potential flashpoints – and the race of countries like Germany, Finland, Turkey and / or Japan to reach some kind of accommodation with Russia, contrary to US interests) and the continuing secular ascent of China (due to its gradual nature, this is unlikely to result in any “big events” (although a flareup over Taiwan or the South China Sea is always a possibility) – that said, in the longer run this is going to be one of the most significant geopolitical trends).

By 2019, we will look out upon a new world as different from 1989, as 1944 was from 1914, or 1991 was from 1961. A partially revived American superpower will face a real “peer competitor” in China, though their competition will be restrained by domestic troubles and a shared concern for global stability and the future of industrial civilization. Many of the world’s least developed regions will have begun to fall apart, forsaking the torturing lights of civilization for the comforting darkness of simplistic barbarism. The European Union will have fallen apart under the stresses of its contradictions and its constituent nations will have reverted to their traditional balance-of-power rivalries, while Japan decides it would be better off band wagoning with China. A more insular, nationalist and powerful Russia is a wildcard, either in the throes of demographic and economic stagnation – or enjoying new, unprecedented power accruing from its energy wealth and warming landmass. By then, the clouds will be gathering for an even greater storm – the point sometime in 2030-2050 when the limits to growth make themselves really felt, and industrial civilization falls into its moment of greatest peril. The shifting winds will have become a gale.
While this may be overstated we are gradually reaching a historical crossroad of great implications with the creation of a world leadership that may not by design, be able to handle the new sketchy order of global internationalism. Asian together with the weaker second world states may enjoy some superficial benefits in the short term, but if traditional western powerhouses fall by the wayside, they may not be able to handle the global and regional problems that may ensue. We must hope that the new collective leadership is not so raw as to let this go unrecognized.

Globalization needs to be kept in check with nation based hierarchical rules based on military and economic power. Let us not rush into eroding the established order with haste, as I argued in 2008, "is it realistic to believe that consensus between nations can maintain order through a system in which states voluntarily abide by rules? History alone would dictate a negative response. States cooperate because there is an in-balance of power between them not the reverse...."

Globalization is, for better or worse, a happening phenomenon that is set to expand. In light of this, and hence, this forms the core of my argument, I call on G8 policymakers to expand the currently narrowly focused grand plan to something far broader like, securing the future in accordance with the existing order by taking control of the process via a, “recalibration of interaction through positive leadership”.

Understandably, globalization has raised some alarm bells with many questioning whether the principle drivers of international affairs are no longer nation states but rather, some sort of evolving worldly system. The problem here is that it assumes a global system that somehow manages itself, when in reality; the enforcement of political and economic needs must always be underpinned by rules to resolve differences and conflicts; only powerful nation states have the resources and authorities to manage/enforce agreements, to deal with international threats and inter-state rivalries. Tomorrow’s all-inclusive global strategy must, apart from the aforementioned challenges and promotions of democratic regimes, address the consequences of unbridled dilution of the present geopolitical and economic order.

America and Globalization: Strategy for a New Century
America and Globalization: Strategy for a New Century - Part 2

Sunday, September 20, 2009

NOT EVIL JUST WRONG - The True Cost of Global Warming Hysteria

"...The world-wide premiere is to be held on October 18, and we already have numerous screenings arranged around Australia, including Federal Parliament..."

" ... Now on the eve of action on proposed legislation to cap CO2 emissions more than ever, cogent and levelheaded reasons as to why global warming theories deserve real scrutiny as opposed to automatic acceptance is imperative ... "

Not Just Evil But Wrong is a feature length documentary which shows how extreme environmentalism is damaging the lives of vulnerable people from the ban on DDT to the campaigns on Global Warming ...

“In the history of science it has often happened that the majority was wrong and refused to listen to a minority that later turned out to be right.”

Behold the words the now retired American Physicist Freeman Dyson, having been for most of his life a professor of physics at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. The good physicist has also publically said, “The idea that global warming is the most important problem facing the world is total nonsense and is doing a lot of harm.”

We often hear that the global warming debate is over because a "scientific consensus" exists. Indeed, at social gatherings I have time and again been looked upon as being out of touch or out-and-out uninformed for just suggesting that the consensus might be wrong. Fact is, when I question I am merely acknowledging that great body of science that propounds the same question, indeed a great and highly credentialed body of science questioning whether Carbon is the driver of any climate change in the first instance. This is not to suggest that all scientists believe the planet will be ok since vigorous debate continues, it’s just that we rarely hear of it in any meaningful way through mainstream and 24/7 news cycles.

Finding the right way through the emotional nonsense and narrow-mindedness is almost impossible. Sure we have had plenty of good books pointing the way in addition to films as “The Great Global Warming Swindle” but the establishment still rules that the world is in peril, and it’s our fault.

Now on the eve of action on proposed legislation to cap CO2 emissions more than ever, cogent and levelheaded reasons as to why global warming theories deserve real scrutiny as opposed to automatic acceptance is imperative. With this in mind, I am grateful to Australian expat Tim Andrews who alerted me to the impending release of the film, “Not Evil Just Wrong”. In his words:

… a groundbreaking new movie on the true cost of global warming hysteria … At its essence, Not Evil Just Wrong applies rigorous investigative journalism and cutting-edge cinematographic techniques to create a documentary that is not only a compilation of scientific data regarding 'climate change', but also includes personal stories that highlight the very real danger of climate-change hysteria presents. The worldwide premiere is to be held on October 18, and we already have numerous screenings arranged around Australia, including Federal Parliament …
Mind you not just any release, as the website suggests:
Help Us Make History! Be Part of a World Record for the largest ever simultaneous film premiere … OCTOBER 18th 2009 8PM EST
Indeed, I am impressed with the films unconventional yet brilliant distribution strategy, one that we shall all soon learn about.

If the fate of our planet is truly at stake, it is nothing short of critical that all perspectives are considered. The broad communities of the civilized world, and particular so, here in Australia have not made an informed decision, by definition they could not have, if they only listened to one point-of-view, I refer to the stance espoused by the establishment.

In addition to exploring the films website I recommend all readers promote this post, even if you must recycle according to your own needs.

If you are an organization, website, school, church, charity, think tank, university, glee club and think Global Warming Hysteria is a real threat you can help make the premiere of Not Evil Just Wrong on October 18th 2009 the world's largest simultaneous film screening in history, by becoming an affiliate and help raise money for yourself or your organization at the same time.

Finally, I present another related clip:

Friday, September 18, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sign of the times – the fiscally mad times …

Alas, the signs they were talking about, they’re fast appearing at just about every school in Melbourne.

Have to tell you, I am somewhat surprised that an image of either Kevin or Julia is nowhere to be seen, was this, an oversight you think?

As I have noted before, Kevin Rudd has much nerve and audacity to critique the Howard Government. This Governments modus operandi makes Howard look benign, and certainly to date, this appears to have gone over the electorates head.

What was your very first thought upon seeing the image?

Related: School funding signs are ads: Australian Electoral Commission

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Imagery as media strategy - Turnbull and Howard before him, verses Rudd

While reading a recent news story on the ABC I could not help but notice the differences between how PM Kevin Rudd is pictured online at ABC sites when compared to Turnbull and before him John Howard.

This prompted me to provide some feedback to the ABC’s online feedback page where I wrote:

I cannot help but notice that whenever ABC online sites display images of Kevin Rudd he appears to be studious, academic, intelligent, forthright, adept, unruffled, and poised. His opposition opponent in Malcolm Turnbull is all too often captured looking dumbfounded, silly, flabbergasted, frustrated, dull-witted, and at times, malevolent. This is something I noticed as early as mid 2007, in which case the Turnbull descriptors applied to John Howard.

This would not be deliberate on the part of the ABC would it?
In the past, ABC online editors have responded to my commentary. I will publish their response to this latest comment as soon as I receive it, as an update to this post, though sometimes it can take up to a month to receive a reply.