This is a tale of three nations, with each writing its own unique story.
Or are they? After all, appearances can be deceiving. There are times when ostensibly unique stories are woven together into a common narrative.
So let’s review our trio of tales and ask ourselves whether the three nations are indeed writing their own distinctive histories. Or, conversely, whether they are each playing a different role within a single universal saga.
First, let’s discuss Great Britain. During Victorian times, the Industrial Revolution roared to life, powered by the coal mines of Newcastle. Did you know that the phrase “London Fog” often referred to smog events? With a heavy manufacturing economy based on burning fossil fuels, the British air was filthy.
But last week, the fifth largest economy on the planet enjoyed its first full day of coal-free energy in its industrial history. This epochal event was made possible by the nation’s embrace of renewable energy sources.
Now let’s discuss China. Two weeks ago, Greenpeace East Asia released a report that predicted that Chinese renewable energy production would replace 300 million tons of coal by the year 2030. They attributed this projected transformation to the planned quintupling of the size of China’s wind and solar power industries between 2015 and 2030.
Finally, let’s discuss the United States. How is America responding to emerging trends in the global energy industry?
Well, four weeks ago, President Trump signed an executive order to repeal his predecessor’s prior actions to minimize carbon emissions. With a group of West Virginia coal miners standing beside him, Trump justified his desire to support “the truly amazing people … our incredible coal miners … (who) love to mine … ”
To a certain extent, these are three distinct actions by a trio of unique nations. Each one resides on a different continent, and each one is confronting its own set of social and economic priorities.
But each nation shares our common planet, and each is managing its interests within an increasingly globalized society and economy. If it’s possible to weave together a common story from these individual tales, it might also be possible to anticipate which nations will prosper, and which will become impoverished, as this tale unfolds.