Kabuki theater is presentational, not representational. Audience members aren’t supposed to suspend disbelief, as with most Western theatrical formats, and immerse themselves in the story. Instead, Kabuki is all about staging, costumes, makeup, vocal intonations, and the actors’ well-practiced facial contortions.
Aficionados know the stories; they’ve seen them dozens of times. When I saw it at the old Kabukiza Theater in Ginza years ago, the crowd’s reaction reminded me somewhat of the midnight screenings of “The Rocky Horror Show” I used to see when I was a student at NYU. Nearly the entire crowd knew what was coming and readied itself to respond when it happened.
I mention Kabuki theater because progressives and the Biden administration seem to have adopted a Kabuki theater motif to their climate policies. President Biden’s executive order signed early last month gives the appearance of urgent and important action, setting critical timelines for federal government adoption of clean energy alternatives, starting as early as 5 years from now.
It all looks spectacular!
Until it doesn’t.
As with Kabuki, the Biden administration doesn’t want us to look beyond what it has presented. And we also know what is coming: well-worn promises of wind farms, solar panels, and electric vehicles that will “end climate change.” Americans are being told our future is in renewables and that we must reduce our carbon emissions or endure a climate catastrophe.
But those of us who look deeper than the presentation see it as but a thin, phony, unsustainable, veneer.
Biden’s “Build Back Better” bill is replete with incentives for us to purchase electric vehicles, millions of dollars in grants to build out charging stations, and mandates to generate electricity from renewable energy sources like wind and solar.
But there seems to be little consideration given to how to affect the changeover or how it will change daily life in the USA.
Take, for example, Biden’s agenda to make natural gas an environmental bogeyman. Efforts to shut down natural gas use have succeeded or are already underway in New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Denver. Bloomberg reports President Joe Biden would like to “edge natural gas out of the power mix within 15 years.”
But Biden also shut down the KeystoneXL pipeline within the first 24 hours of taking office; then, in November, proposed greater restrictions on federal lands. (He had earlier attempted to ban new oil and gas leases on public lands, but was rebuffed by a federal judge.)
Still, as Biden attempted to reduce domestic production, he turned to OPEC to increase production to reduce the rate of price inflation in domestic fuels.
And just recently, CCP China signed a 20-year deal with Venture Global LNG to supply 4 million tons of LNG from the USA every year with nary a whimper about climate change from the federal government. It appears that, for the Biden administration, “Climate change” is limited only to the airspace immediately above the USA.
In much the same manner, nearly all the most important components of the electric cars the Biden administration wishes us to adopt are found in CCP China, our political adversary and prospective enemy. Neodymium, the rare earth element used for permanent magnets that are the most useful for electric cars, and nearly half a ton of which is required for each wind turbine, is mined almost exclusively in CCP China. Both the mining and processing of Neodymium is horrendously damaging to the environment.
Similarly, the solar panels the Biden administration hopes to use to supply so much future electricity are loaded with deadly toxic chemicals.
As with the struggle against the global pandemic, the challenge of reducing human-influenced climate change needs to be a global effort; a “Moon shot” as it were, involving the development of collaborative, clean, energy technology among the most technologically advanced economies of Europe, the USA, and Asia. It’s not something the United States can fix by outsourcing carbon-based fuel consumption and environmentally devastating mining to other countries. Out of sight will not be out of mind.
The absurd Kabuki theater of Biden administration climate policy—made only for appearances to mollify the U.S. electorate while polluting much of the rest of the world—deeply offends American sensibilities. It is a type of environmental imperialism that will, eventually, create troubled, volatile—even belligerent—relations with the nations we pollute and exploit while doing nothing to arrest the disastrous global effects of climate change.
Kabuki theater on climate policy by the USA will lead to a rocky climate horror show for us and the world.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
J.G. Collins is managing director of the Stuyvesant Square Consultancy, a strategic advisory, market survey, and consulting firm in New York City. His writings on economics, trade, politics and public policy have appeared in Forbes, the New York Post, Crain’s New York Business, The Hill, The American Conservative, and other publications.