Newsletter no. 2
Melting Glaciers and Squabbling Nations
March 28, 2022
The headlines tell us that the glaciers at both poles are melting. Along with the increasing intensity of storms, the rising ocean level will make much of Florida uninhabitable. Who knows?
Maybe when the bottom drops out of the real estate market there, the state will cease to be in denial. Maybe some who lose their homes will wish that other choices had been made.

But meanwhile, as we struggle to return to normal after the worst of Covid, we seem more vigorously to return to “normal” in international policies. For a few months it seemed that paralleling U.S. commitments to be the undisputed No. 1, there was also an interest in working with China to respond to global crises. There was a spark of hope for those of us who think that without cooperation between the world’s two greatest powers and two greatest polluters, the melting of glaciers and the intensity of storms will speed up, along with many other threatening changes. The Living Earth Movement came into being to fan the spark.

For a moment, it seemed, Biden listened. There is a committee representing the two governments, charged with coming up with proposals.
The Living Earth Movement came into being to fan the spark of hope that U.S. and China will cooperate on climate change and other critical ecological issues.
But it seems that we are slipping back into the long-established pattern of keeping environmental matters on the margin, issues that could be seriously considered only occasionally, and then pushed aside. Now, the primary focus on American foreign policy is to force Russia to end its invasion of Ukraine.

But there is a problem. Because Russia and China were identified as the two great opponents of the United States, they had decided they needed to support one another. And now, the Chinese alliance with Russia made the success of American destruction of Russia’s economy much more difficult. So, back to the old chess game of power struggle. We must pressure China into joining the Western world in destroying Russia.
I use the word “pressure” advisedly. Biden tells the world what he is going to demand of China. He assures the American public that, if China does not obey, it will share the punishment of Russia.


The Chinese would have preferred to be friends and partners of the United States rather than allies of Russia. But that would have been possible only if the United States treated China as a friend and partner. Instead, we named China as our No. 1 enemy.
The Chinese would have preferred to be friends and partners of the United States rather than allies of Russia. But that would have been possible only if the United States treated China as a friend and partner.
At the time of the Glasgow meetings President Biden sought China’s cooperation on global environmental matters, and progress seemed possible. But since the United States continued to build foreign policy around opposition to China. In Europe, he continued to strengthen NATO as a military alliance against Russia. This recent history makes it unlikely that China will want to abandon its recent alliance with Russia. Will it succumb to threats?

What do those of us who hope that opposition between the United States and China will be replaced by cooperation hope for in this situation? At one level it would seem that we would see promise in the American recognition that it needs China to work with it. Perhaps if China works with the United States in the destruction of the Russian economy, a deeper and wider partnership might develop.


Something like that may have been possible even a year or two ago. The United States might have sought partnership with the rising power. China would have been pleased. But the United States saw China as a threat to be nipped in the bud. The task was to stop China’s rise to world power. China could not trust a country that views it mainly as a threat.
We believe that if we Americans understand the cost of global dominance, we will support willing partnerships in saving the planet.
So, what can we, who hope for cooperation of the United States and China to slow the melting of the glaciers, do? We can believe that the American people can put the lessening of global catastrophes above the goal of eliminating all threats to American domination of the planet. We can believe that if we Americans understand the cost of global dominance, we will support willing partnerships in saving the planet. We can believe that, even now, the American people recognize that we must choose between global domination of a dying planet and cooperating with other nations for a living one, they will choose cooperation.

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