I have a novel idea. Why not power Europe and Asia off of Russia’s and Iran’s energy resources until renewables tip Earth’s balance back toward sustainability? I know this may seem like a crazy undoable theory, but if we start thinking differently, we may arrive at that new world that so many leaders have preached about for decades. And better yet, what if there is, indeed, another way to run the planet?
The reason you are reading this report is that an article at Then Guardian with the headline; ‘We cannot drink oil’: campaigners condemn east African pipeline project” gave me an idea. The story about France’s Total and China’s CNOOC getting ready to build a controversial crude pipeline from landlocked Uganda reveals a telling reality. Energy competition is destroying our world because we cannot cooperate to optimize ultimate outcomes. And in the broader context, our lack of comprehensive cooperation can only end in cataclysm. If we focus on energy dynamics for a moment, we can more easily understand why there has to be a better way.
New exploration in the remotest places on Earth is a supra-capitalistic enterprise, just like all the enterprises that brought about global warming, proxy wars, and even disproportionate wealth distribution in the world. Early on, during the Industrial Revolution, wild cat profit-seeking made sense and had a very little global impact. Even in the 1970s, during the OPEC embargo, there seemed to be a good reason, strategically and business-wise, to seek out new sources of energy. But 21st century Africa should not even be considered as an energy resource sink. Why? Because Russia and other energy-producing nations already have vast technological, logistical, and supply advantages. If the world is truly globalized, our leaders should be looking at strategies, even regulations, that would see humanity out of the fossil fuels era and into the next phase of our development. Interestingly, even ironically, someone hinted at “another way” of doing things some years back.
West-east geopolitics being what they are, instead of new cooperations between nations, we still have a continuing crisis, sanctions, proxy wars, and adverse business leveraging like never before. When we should be running Russia, Iran, and Venezuela out of these resources, out of necessity and efficiency, on the way to alternative energy freedom, big business interests in the west have gone on the offensive against Vladimir Putin and Russia. Instead of pumping natural gas into energy-hungry Europe, we are engaged in a strange kind of unsustainable misuse. And nobody out there is generating alternative thinking where emerging nations like Uganda or Tanzania are concerned. At the end of the day, their oil can last for eons of time, used to grease the wheels of electric trains powered by the sun. While you wrap your mind around that, let’s look back at something Vladimir Putin said over a decade ago.
In 2009 and 2010, then Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin made huge waves with his suggestion of a Vladivostok to Lisbon free trade zone. Putin said it would be worth trillions in capital and unimaginable possibilities outside the profit sector. He put it this way:
"The current state of cooperation between Russia and the EU is not consistent with the challenges that we face. To transform the situation, we need to take advantage of the advantages which already exist and the possibilities for progress in the EU and Russia."
Putin was also provoking thought about how we should be looking 50 years into the future. And here is where my premise comes into focus. In 50 years, the United States and Saudi Arabia will have run out of oil. By then, it is hoped, new age energy technologies and currently available alternatives will have either been fast-tracked or drastically expanded to meet needs. But underneath, every other facet of business, industry, and commerce will have already changed dramatically. A decade ago, Mr. Putin hinted at cooperative technical projects to solve many of humankind’s most pressing issues. In previous reports, I have discussed something that became known as Putin’s “Third Way,” a set of ideas and potentials that, since the west’s renewed Cold War against Russia, have been allowed even to be attempted on a large scale.
This Third Way, as I discussed before, mirrors some of the ideas of Russian philosopher Ivan Ilyin. He believed that the right “way” of governance is something between totalitarianism and "formal" democracy. Like Putin, Ilyin was an advocate of a society governed by morality and religiousness. Although Putin and his ministers would downplay the latter a bit, Ilyin's views influenced many 20th-century Russian authors such as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Since Mr. Putin reads every night, I am sure the best of their ideas have not escaped him. And where Putin’s ideologies reside, in the deep intelligentsia and intrigue of Russian history and tradition, western analysts are always clueless to understand how difficult his task is of propelling Russia forward. But, I digress.
In this discussion, we must get past crucial aspects of Russian internal politics and society, I was going to lay out how the Russian president is trying to reconcile age-old differences in his country, such as those between the Russian All-Military Union (ROVS), which is a deeply nationalistic and patriotic group formed from the so-called “White Russian” idealists, and what remains of the so-called “Reds”, or hardliners of past Soviet doctrine. While this is an interesting departure, I only need to mention it here to show Putin’s real job, his real character, and that this “Third Way” is real. As he has said many times, “I have a lot better things to do than interfere in American politics.”
You see, from the outside we get only the Washington think tank or corporate media viewpoint on propped-up dissidents like Alexei Navalny, or official narratives that paint Russia, always, as some kind of evil empire reemerging. This is why public opinion is so skewed these days, nobody is really talking about what Putin or Russia are up to. Underneath, where the real work of reshaping Russia takes place, there are no researchers busied, no reporters taking notes, and the only media or academia one can find is in Russian language. For those who might be unaware, readers of the Wall Street Journal and so on, the only reason Russia has not already begun to institute a new society and governing system is because of old enemies are doing everything in their power to stop Putin, a new European expansion, and especially a Russia that might demonstrate a better way of operating in the decades and centuries to come.
For those who think Putin a more shortsighted leader, you are decidedly wrong. This is a man who would never ask for a statue, but one who knows his is begin designed right now. However, to honor his father, mother, and brother, the former KGB colonel has to have everybody in Russia standing behind. And in the west, if Putin does manage to drag Russia into the forefront of global progressiveness, the old guard that is spending billions making him a villain will lose everything. In fact, since their system is failing top to bottom anyhow, they will eventually lose no matter what. So, what does all this have to do with leaving Uganda’s oil in Uganda? Well, for one thing, Russia has all the power to transform herself and the world sitting just underneath the tundra of her distant republics. A vast infrastructure is already in place to ship natural gas and oil almost anywhere on the globe. Linking this network with Iran, the two countries could power three continents for long enough for us to flip the switch to other solutions. After all, for Russia, all that is needed to rocket the average citizen to the top of the earnings heap is more GDP and more revenue.
This is why the United States has been on a Kamakazi run to disrupt the rouble and Russia’s business elite. This brings me to Total and France and building new pipelines all over planet Earth. What’s wrong with using what’s already in place, and figuring out practices and strategies to optimize production, consumption, transport, and so on? Some will argue that the people of Uganda and other African nations will suffer because of the lost revenue from French or Chinese investment. But this is a fallacy. There is no proof that any of the neocolonial investments by outsiders have ever truly helped any African. Uganda should be using her own oil and developing sustainable industries.
So, what kind of “plan” for Russia and the world am I talking about here? Okay, so Uganda utilizes its own natural resources, and exports only those that have a sustainable footprint. What about this “Third Way”? Some readers may remember a BBC story some years back about a strange device known as the Nooscope, which was developed by Vladimir Putin’s current Chief of Staff Anton Vaino. The device, which records changes in the noosphere, is the first such instrument that allows for the study of humanity’s collective mind” (Hartshorn, 2016; Stanley, 2016). I mention the controversial device here not to suggest its effectiveness, but to show that Vladimir Putin is in fact aiming to shift Russa into another gear. It will surprise some of you to learn that Rand Corporation is studying the Nooscope, Putin’s so-called “Third Way”, and Rand also explains what a “noocracy” by definition, would mean.
“But, curiously, Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed him chief of staff in 2016, a position he holds today. This has aroused speculations about whether Putin’s ideas for a “Third Way” and “managed democracy” might mean that he aims to install a noocracy…”
The term was described by the Greek philosopher Plato, and means “rule of the wise”. The Rand report is informative and fascinating (for once), discusses how Gorbachev and Sakharov held beliefs and interests in line with a kind of Noocracy in Russia. Of course, western liberal order pundits scoffed at Vaino’s invention, made fun of the whole idea of government powered by a collective conscience, and even tried to say Putin was going to take over the world via some kind of mind control project. But, what Putin has been working on, the reshape put on hold by a new Cold War, is really trying to find a more successful way of governance. And trust me, there is deep deliberation in Russia, in Washington, and in other capitals about the Noosphere and the potential of harnessing it.
I won’t go into the particulars of how the Nooscope or western variants measure the “noosphere”. And for the purposes of this report, arguing the veracity or viability of such new-age projects is undoable. Also, some say the Nooscope is a myth created by Putin’s team in order to place Russia in the technological race with the west. However, if you study the “noosphere”, the philosophy behind is tailor-made for Vladimir Putin. And perhaps, the perfect solution for Russia in the future. There’s not space to get into the theories of Vladimir Vernadsky, but if you know anything about Putin, you know he understands Russian philosophers and history better than anybody. It’s no stretch to say Putin is a proponent of the Noosphere theories, one of his closest advisors claims to have begun creating the machine and the system.
And, if you look at the projected capability, preventing climate disasters or nuclear war makes advisable capabilities for any leader or governing system to possess. In fact, NASA and Cisco are currently collaborating on something called the Planetary Skin Insitute, a cousin or competitor to the Nooscope. There’s also the FuturICT project from Europe, another similar effort into predictive analytics. And for those who are thinking all this is far-fetched nonsense, I assure you the noosphere is a very serious, and a very real potential future. A paper by Dr. Arkady Vasilyevich Sokolov, a former Soviet scientist and a specialist in social communications theory, frames this noosphere concept as a theory in keeping with the strategic plans of Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation. "Ascending to the noosphere. Bibliofuturologic scenarios" shows clearly the development of humanistic elements of this Third Way:
"With attention to the strategic tasks of the Russian Federation, proclaimed by President Putin. The necessity of the purposeful forming of "Noospheric Man" as creator and inhabitant of reasonable noosphere is substantiated. The decision role of libraries is shown in this process. Bibliosphere is the primary and central area of noosphere. Studies about a noosphere include bibliofuturology as one of the divisions."
If you dig deeper, this Noospheric Man idea looms large as a concept for all humanity, and not just Russia. In another paper by Sokolov the choices of humankind are made crystal clear. The pioneer in the field of Social Informatics (SI) presents the alternatives of future development of humanity in this century. He says we have the choice of developing in a technocratic way, which he says will eventually lead to a necrosphere. Alternatively, humanity can proceed in a humanistic way, by cultivation of the Noosphere Man, who will be the creator and inhabitant of steadily developing noosphere.
The Russia Underneath
Now that I’ve intrigued (or bored you) with the far-reaching vision of the legend Vladimir Putin and his Russian geniuses standing behind, we must return to my theory of energy resource management, and how we must help Africa build something besides oil pipelines to help French and Chinese companies. If those who envisioned the Noosphere, like Jesuit priest/paleontologist Pierre Tielhard de Chardin were to express their vision today, I am 100% sure they would agree that Earth is conscious and that the planet is shuddering from our pitiful incorrectness and lack of vision. De Chardin believed that the natural processes of evolution were leading humanity toward a kind of higher and more perfect unity. I believe that the enigma Vladimir Putin, the man Washington think tanks claim they know all about, is really dedicated to creating something far bigger than they imagine.
In my early dealings with Skolkovo and the Russian space program, I quickly became aware of a much brighter version of Russia. The positive Russia that sits waiting underneath all the sanctions and geopolitical craziness is ready to be attuned to the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, geosphere, and biosphere in a way few theorists thought of before. What could go more wrong if we divert our attention to a collective purpose, a noosphere where the problems of our past are solved? Noosphere pundits say democracy won’t work because voters are irrational? Is this true? Absolutely. They also say Democracy spawns rashes of bad policies that negatively affect billions of people. And the recent economic success of some countries that have a sort of noocratic ruling element provides reveal the wisdom behind this new form of governing. Detractors say, such a system creates a kind of demographic injustice. And this criticism is valid. But the greater point is, what have we got to lose in pursuing such ideas? For western elites entrenched in old ideas and geopolitical machinations, the answer is obvious.