There may not be blood, but there will be plenty of losses for those who still hold hope for an age that is passing away..
Soon after the Trump Administration announced a tariff would be imposed on imports of Chinese PV cells and modules, The New York Times ran a headline declaring this was a ‘threat’ to solar. What struck me was not that President Trump had done so much to harm solar, but that the Times knew so little about why this action will amount to nothing in the grand scheme of things — where the outcome is no longer in doubt that renewables will sweep all contenders (even the mightiest fossil fuels) from the playing field.
A click upon the headline in question produced an improved result: the threat level was downgraded to ‘cloudy’. Well, yes, there are clouds in springtime, even in Seattle and London, but there are no hurricanes or tornadoes. (Not so far, anyway; pump a few more degrees into the oceans and that could change). As for the tariff itself, apparently the threat from Chinese PV production is slightly less grave than that from washing machines.
On the same day, the most knowledgeable among us, signaling from their lofty Colorado eyrie, pointed out that 50-cent per watt PV installations were coming around the mountain; it didn’t say if they would be riding six white horses — but let’s just assume that’s the case. Of course, they could be gold, in which case, four should suffice. India is exempt from the tariffs. While we are on the subject of knowledgeable sources, consider listening to the Greentech Media podcast on this matter (at the 11:05 minute mark).
While we Americans are whining about ‘unfair’ trade practices (which has always been code for "those guys are better at this than us”), and Russians interfering in the decision-making process that millions of people go through before pulling the lever on the voting machines, the Chinese and their formidable leader, Xi Jinping, are building the next Silk Road.
Related: Texas Set For Another Oil BoomThis remarkable undertaking should not be underestimated. In fact, it should be closely examined for what it is: the path that leads to the Chinese Century… assuming that this next inning will only last 100 years and not 500 or 1,000. The irony, of course, is that the Trump administration, are by default Making China Great Again, and much faster than Xi Jinping probably could have hoped for when he stepped into the top job five years ago.
The American Century began when Theodore Roosevelt, charging up a hill, finally kicked the decrepit (and broke) Spanish imperialists out of our backyard — or lake, rather — where they were camped out for 400 years. As the Caribbean is to Americans and their territorial pride, the South China Sea is to the reborn and strengthening Chinese. It’s hard for them to understand what business it is that the Americans have here. World War II ended 72 years ago. Ike ended the Korean conflict 64 years ago. (Note that military heroes hate war.) Would the Americans really go to war over Taiwan?
The Romans, authors of the source code for the Anglo-American empire, called the Mediterranean "Our Sea”. Medi-terra is Roman for middle earth, and before the likes of Da Gama and Cook and the coming of satellites, it may have been possible to think they got it right. However, Rome had a somewhat provincial perspective and a better location a name like the Indian Ocean, the wet branch of the New Silk Road. The Indian Ocean, before the withdrawal of the Mings and the coming of the Portuguese around Africa, was always the middle earth sea, and the regular and consistent monsoon winds brought trade back and forth across the then civilized world. Camels did the heavy lifting across Asia.