The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Interview on Climate Change, the New Cold War and the Rise of China

I did an interview few weeks ago with Chris Oestereich, which he’s putting up in three parts. I listened to part three today and, while I rarely say this, I thought it was quite good and if you’re interested in any of these topics, probably worth your while. It clocks it at under 24 minutes.


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Listen to the podcast here.


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  1. Raad

    I’ve loved all of it – should do more when your able man, not bad!

  2. Stormcrow

    Bear in mind that the China we’ll see in another 2 years will be a far cry from the China most of us expected to see by the end of 2024, just two short months ago.
    Bottom line here is that their leadership, which was doing an acceptable if far from perfect job up to then, decided to yield to public pressure and relax it’s most important Covid controls, just as another wave began to hit them. They could not have timed this worse if they’d used a stopwatch.
    Now they’re looking at a growing panic, as the virus starts chewing through the Chinese population’s bodies, while the realization that their leaders have failed them out of political cowardice fills their minds. Meanwhile, the virus is doing exactly what it did before China first got a lid on its ancestor, back in 2020: it’s spreading through the unprotected segment of the population at an exponential rate. The only difference is, that the strain hitting them now is the product of almost 3 years of rapid continuous genetic adaptation to human hosts. It’s far better at reinfection than the Wuhan strain was, it’s able to evade every single monoclonal antibody in the medical arsenal, it continues to evolve it’s way around vaccine conferred immunity, and it’s insanely better at transmission. It’s now, arguably, the most transmissible disease in all of human history.
    At this juncture, I do not see how China’s going to avoid the same type of crisis the rest of the world is already enduring. When a bus in the wrong traffic lane is coming right straight at you, you cannot afford to blink. If you do, it’ll take literal truckloads of cops and paramedics to sort out the resulting mess, and you might not be alive to see that happen.
    China’s ruling elites blinked.

  3. Trinity

    Ian, I skipped the first episode, but this one is excellent. I’m also not surprised people who like to “get things done” are going to China, even with the social disadvantages. They will eventually form into expat groups that will alleviate the worst of the social downside.

    And doubly agree on American bosses. I have worked in various enterprises, mostly non-profits because those are the biggest employers available in rural areas, who also had the best bosses. The few corporations I worked for were poorly managed, both financially and in terms of personnel, one leading to the other.

    This was before the tech explosion in SillyCon Valley, and I gathered that it was just as bad, if not worse, in financially successful companies, where early hires were the most successful financially, and became those really bad bosses. The bottom line, profit, is always the most important focus in the US, and it’s always been that way. It’s just that regulations existed before that reined in some of the worst employee abuses in the mid 20th century.

  4. different clue


    The Square Deal-New Deal-Fair Deal was about recognizing that the Really Bad Boss Class would always be really bad, as individuals and as a class. So our predecessors created an iron webwork of laws, rules and regs to keep their natural really badness within tolerable channels.

    They resented it because it worked well enough to keep them confined to a system of Ordered Capitalism Under Law. So they worked over the decades to remove the laws and the rules and the regs, and re-established their Golden Klepto-Kakistocracy.

    I sometimes ask college-age waiters and waitresses in this college town whether they have heard the words . . . ” The New Deal”. Some of them have, some have not. Education about The New Deal is very effectively prevented in the diseducation-industrial complex that many of them are forced to pass through. Old holdovers who remember should find a way to hold thousands of teach ins, etc. all over America to describe to people of today what actually used to exist here.

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