One Man’s Opinion: Global Warming and the New Cold War

That low rumbling sound you think you are hearing is the mercury moving up, on both the Fahrenheit and Celsius scales...as rising hostilities and battle blows across Ukraine cause a sudden temperature spike, thawing out a long-dormant Cold War.  And just like a glacier during a freak heatwave, things start moving pretty quickly.

After experiencing real push back and fight from the Ukrainian people, including their young President and their Miss Ukraine, trained and fighting in full battle gear, Russian President Vladimir Putin took to the airwaves to both ‘tsk tsk’ the U.S. and NATO for aiding and abetting Ukraine’s efforts to remain its own nation.  And then vaguely referencing hostile ‘verbiage’ from NATO and EU leaders, Putin placed Russia’s entire nuclear defense system on full high alert.

That is not a joke or a typographical error.  Though Putin may have certainly also sent a coded message to his commanders to actually standby or stand down...The Russian military is dispersed across the globe, not just assaulting the people of Ukraine or adjacent Baltic States.  Nuclear submarines, including the world’s second-largest Navy, prowl the waters of the Baring Straights which separate Russia from Alaska by only 55-miles and have been sighted previously near U.S. coastal waters, as well as Cuba and numerous parts of Latin America and frequently traversing the top of the globe by passing under both polar ice caps.

The high alert means that every Russian missile silo, portable launcher, and nuclear submarine is now on standby awaiting orders, or signs of aggression...and despite decades of successful SALT and SALT II treaties, there are still thousands of nuclear warheads held by both sides, capable of destroying the entire world as we know it, several times over.  Chilling thought and language, as I am reminded of Nikita Khrushchev and his shoe during the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Thankfully, I don’t believe that the President of Ukraine is going to blink or flee his homeland anytime soon.

But these stakes are getting more real by the moment.  And even IF Ukraine had already fallen, as quickly as Russia’s ‘annexation’ of the Crimea in 20014, or the earlier Russo-Georgia war of 2008, which lasted from April - August 2008, there are still plenty of opportunities for misjudgment and misfiring, only when the ‘oops’ is a nuclear missile, the possibility of World War III, and the Cold War becoming a full-scale global engagement cannot be ruled out.  In addition to re-establishing what Putin has described as the historic footprint of the Russian Empire (which would also include Poland and all the Baltic states now members of NATO), his clear goal is taking complete control of the vast energy resources of Ukraine.  And it is easy to forsee that alone will not satisfy the ambitions of this longtime former KGB Director.

The U.S. and EU allies, for now, are providing weapons, fighter jets, as well as civilian aid, in Ukraine and for fleeing Ukrainian refugees, but more like the people of France during World War II, a well-supplied resistance can very effectively keep a conquering army at bay, or at the very least on high alert indefinitely.  Russia and Ukraine have agreed to talks, to be held along the border of Ukraine and Belarus, but it is hard to imagine a compromise that will work for both sides or a cease-fire for those talks to become truly productive.

War is never something to get excited about, but I smiled broadly for the people of Kyiv and Ukraine when hearing about the pilot “Ghost of Kyiv,” who reportedly downed six Russian fighter jets in a single day, or the heroic tales of armed civilians, the nation’s president, Miss Ukraine and global citizens of Ukrainian descent returning to their homeland to fight for the independence of their nation.  Thousands of Ukrainian citizens have fled across the border into Poland, but millions more are bunkered and hunkered down in subway stations as well as across the vast countryside (the largest nation by landmass in eastern Europe).  Armed with Molotov cocktails, long gun rifles, and semi-automatic weapons...knowing that they are going in outgunned and against superior forces.  I will continue to pray for the good people of Ukraine, but however this goes I think we may need to rename and rebrand that long popular restaurant staple, Chicken Kiev, ladling on a bit more Ukrainian Vodka...as Fighting Hen Kyiv.  God speed.

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