Why Modi’s “Green Response” to China’s “Belt and Road” Is Doomed to Fail

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This article was originally published on June 7.

India was once known as the Crown jewel of the British Empire before gaining independence in 1946. Sadly, like most of the post WWII history, that leap to independence was tainted by a fair dose of propaganda.

Of course many great patriots arose to powerful positions in India during the past seven decades bearing such names as Homi Babha (the father of Indian nuclear science), Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and her son Rajiv Gandi (assassinated in 1984 and 1991 respectively)… but so too have British stooges more loyal to British intelligence agendas than their own nations’ well being.

Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in 2014, the populist leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party has vacillated between those two extremes, occasionally breaking from Anglo-American pressure to treat China, Pakistan or the New Silk Road as enemies, but more often than not bending to the geopolitical demands of the empire.

Modi’s Green Response to the BRI

A recent case of the latter slavish behaviour can be seen with Modi’s renewed call to counter the spread of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with a strange doppelganger known as the One Sun, One World, One Grid Plan (OSOWOG). This three-phased global plan was first announced in 2018 and promises to transition the world into a single international green energy grid by 2050 in order to meet the COP-21 demands for mass carbon dioxide reduction. Part of the plan also involves creating a ‘World Solar Bank’ to offset the China-dominated Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank and New Development Bank.

The OSOWOG Plan targets a vast region encapsulating two broad zones which basically receive lots of sun light: 1) the Far East of Asia and Middle East and 2) North Africa. In essence, the plan calls for spreading green energy infrastructure across these sun-soaked regions and a generating a new integrated green grid as a way to counterbalance China’s BRI. The first phase calls for enmeshing the Middle East, South Asia and South East Asia into green grids followed soon thereafter by North Africa and then finally, the world. Indian secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Anand Kumar stated: “this would be the key to future renewable-based energy systems globally. Creation of regional and international interconnected green grids can enable sharing of renewable energy across international borders.”

Currently receiving start up capital from the World Bank, the OSOWOG Plan is managed by another entity created during the COP-19 Conference in 2015 and headquartered in New Delhi entitled the International Solar Alliance (an umbrella organization of 66 nations).

According to the project’s Request for Proposal of bids, “the vision behind the OSOWOG mantra is ‘The Sun Never Sets’ and is a constant at some geographical location, globally, at any given point of time”.

This may look nice on the surface, but when one looks at the partners of OSOWOG and the anti-BRI geopolitical dynamics underlying its deployment, it appears that the British Empire’s still-active controlling hand has more to do with the mantra than the presence of the sun’s rays on the earth.

In June 2019, Modi’s International Solar Alliance (ISA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the British Commonwealth of 52 nations of the “former British Empire” which is still headed by Queen Elizabeth herself and of which India is still a member. According to their press release, these nations “agreed to work in partnership to promote the development and scaling-up of solar power within member countries common to both organisations.” The head of the ISA stated: “Together, ISA and Commonwealth will be able to look at country-wide strategies to promote the Paris Agreement on climate change, and Sustainable Development Goals 7 and 13 on clean, affordable energy and climate action.”

Why China’s BRI Works

The fact is that under the ever-growing Belt and Road Initiative, nations which have suffered under decades of neocolonialism and abject poverty have now recognized a tangible hope for sustained growth and freedom from want.

China’s win-win paradigm is premised not on debt slavery as some of the BRI’s detractors maintain, but rather on long term, large scale infrastructure development which simply benefits all participants.

What makes this project so successful is that unlike 50 years of globalization promises that have only created a world of neocolonial debt slavery, China actually gets things done, as 800 million who have been lifted out of poverty in 25 years can attest to. Frustrating the armies of western mathematical economists sitting in their ivory towers, the BRI is not formulaic and uses practices that have some characteristics of “market-driven/capitalism” as well as others that are “socialist/protectionist”.

To put it simply, the BRI defies formalism because reality is not formal. If you care about helping nations become self-sufficient while uplifting the material/cognitive/cultural conditions of the people, then the path to attain those principled goals may take on many forms, but the substance is the same. I would characterize that substance in the simplest terms the following 3-fold way:

1) Have a plan for every nation state and city you wish to cooperate with.

2) Make sure these plans are in harmony with a larger unifying plan that organizes the local and regional parts from the top down.

3) Make sure that the fruits of building these plans are of a type that benefits all players- private, public, rich, poor, agricultural and industrial.

This is the essence of the Belt and Road Initiative.

By building the largest dams, high speed rail grids, electricity programs, ports and bridges in history, concrete, steel, aluminum, iron, tin and rare earths have been used and deployed in amounts far exceeding anything the USA has done in the past 60. These feats require energy. Lots of energy.

But not all energy is created equal.

The Imperial Fraud of ‘Green’ Energy

If we are simply measuring energy as calories, then from a purely mathematical standpoint one can say one calorie of nuclear power, one calorie of coal power and one calorie from a solar farm are equivalent. However, if we assess the quality of the organization of energy, then those three are no longer equal with one gram of nuclear fuel performing the equivalent amount of work as 3 million grams of coal (which itself is exponentially more efficient and cheap than solar power).

While it cannot be denied that China has become a world leader in “green” energy projects, and Xi Jinping speaks of “green power” a lot, the thrust of China’s international projects are not successful due to such forms of energy but rather vast investments into nuclear power, coal, hydro power and natural gas- all of which are considered verboten by the green technocrats in the west preaching a global decarbonization pipe dream for climate offending nations in the developing sector.

For those on the left still hanging onto the misinformed belief that windmills and solar panels can replace “dirty” fossil fuels and nuclear power, it is useful to review Michael Moore’s recent documentary Planet of the Humans which has thrown many an eco-activist in an existential funk since its April 2020 release. [Warning: Moore’s film excellently demonstrates the fraud of green energy, but still falls into the cynical Malthusian belief that ultimately humanity’s only chance for survival is to bite the bullet and wilfully depopulate ourselves].

In spite of its misanthropic narrative, Moore’s film does effectively capture the fact that while wind and solar look good on paper (or in the mathematical fantasy lands of technocrats), the reality is that such energy sources are the very opposite of “sustainable”… as windmills and solar panels cannot be even be created using windmill and solar energy!

Here is where the fraud of Modi’s “Sun Never Sets” Initiative comes in.

By attempting to create a green belt cutting across Mackinder’s World Island, from Asia through the Middle East to Africa, the OSOWOG plan promises to do essentially what the British Empire of yesteryear did to the world for centuries: Ensure no industrial growth, infrastructure or national sovereignty while keeping all nations foolish enough to jump on board in perpetual debt slavery with no means of production necessary to extinguish ever growing debts. This lesson was learned by the earlier Club of Rome promoters of Desertec which promised to convert the Sahara into a solar super hub to power all of Europe forever and which Siemans CEO Peter Loscher stated would be “the Apollo project of the 21st century” in 2009, but which turned out to be a failed boondoggle by 2013 as nations decided their future was best guaranteed by joining the New Silk Road instead.

With COVID-19 being used by the most powerful financial forces on the earth as an excuse to ram through a Green New Deal under the UN’s Global Compact (which has the support of the largest western corporations and banks in the world), it is obvious that OSOWOG is really just another lame attempt to revive the British Empire as an anti-development strategy for the 21st century.


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Matthew J.L. Ehret is a journalist, lecturer and founder of the Canadian Patriot Review.

Featured image is from Wikimedia Commons

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