Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Less Than Five Months Away

The thing that bothers me most about the Bush administration, along with the devaluation of the dollar, is their unrelenting devotion to corn based ethanol as a viable energy alternative. Its failure as a fuel, whether in its lack of efficiency, or embedded energy greater than that produced, negates its value as an energy resource. Ethanol depletes our water supplies, is detrimental to the environment and contributes to global warming through changing land use to meet demands for corn. Most disturbing is its effect on global food supplies and contribution to inflation worldwide. While some farmers are happy with the rising price of corn others are in distress over growing feed costs, creating a no gain sum as a voting block.

I recently came across this article on China's precarious economic circumstance and had to ask if this is the goal of our ethanol or monetary policy. China has built a vast navy. Is building extravagant embassies among the Pacific Island Nations, more impressive than any complex in those nations, while buying all their available land as it looks to the oceans to quench its thirst for energy and raw materials. It has been fanatical in its desire to keep its people fed, as hunger has been the most persistent cause of revolt throughout its history. To this end it has turned to South America, buying vast tracts of land, pursuing their ideological goals of world domination in the process.

Food alone will not be enough to assuage the desires of China’s massive population. They have raised their material standard of living; many have gained access to higher education, not dreamed of in the past for some classes, and acquired a taste for western culture as well as products. Now facing the potential of massive inflation its people, appeased by ever improving conditions could find their lifestyle quickly slipping away. And what buried resentments exist over the brutal crack down at Tiananmen Square in June of 1989?

With the 2008 Olympic Games now less than five months away the Tibetan people, suffering cultural genocide, are protesting in the streets not only in their homeland but also around the world, calling for the nations of the world to boycott. But would attending the Olympic Games be more counter-productive for China than a boycott?

The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres recently played an exhibition game in China, playing to a 3-3 tie. Afterwards when Dodger pitcher Chan Ho Park was approached by a group of Korean fans for autographs the Chinese security forces quickly blocked their approach refusing to allow any autographs be given despite promises to the contrary. If you think this an isolated incident you are truly ignorant of the nature of communism. Expect this scenario to be played out a thousand times over for the entire world to see during the Olympic Games and outright detention and arrest for media personnel.

Add to this the ecological nightmare of China as the world debates the effects of greenhouse gases on our environment. (Some athletes are expected to fly in only for their event and fly out immediately afterwards because of the air quality in Beijing.) The working conditions that the Chinese might find improving yet abhorrent to the rest of the world, the quality of it products and produce literally killing people around the world and China’s complicity with North Korea in the suppression and murder its own people on display for the world to see.

The 2008 Olympic Games will be a showcase for China. A showcase of what an atheistic communist regime looks to bring to rest of the world. A system of tyranny that many in the free world thought left in the scrap heap of history, what others hope will never return and still others fight to be free of. Their arrogance, greed and faith that fear and intimidation are the ways of the world will hopefully be the downfall of the communist party in China. How to make it happen with minimal cost to life and how to use the Olympic Games to promote this down fall are questions I hope governments, religious leaders and athletes around the world are asking. One thing we can all do is pray. Recognize the threat and opportunity before us and pray every day.