Coalitions and Competitors

It seems so logical to assume that tackling major issues should cause good people to work together? How can anyone argue with that? You can’t … until and unless you consider reactions from others. You would think it is obvious that there is another profound truth these coalitions ignore … what will devious people do who see that coalition competing with their devious contrary ideas?

The conflict in the middle east is a profound example. Leaders of both sides may reach some agreement but factions within or without their “parties” see the negotiations themselves as a threat to their agendas. As a result, they violate the agreement’s intents and thereby defeat the peace process.

Think about it, an even more subtle example from recent history. Cigarette companies initially fought the scientific evidence that their product harmed people. They hired lobbyists and bought their own research studies refuting what almost anyone would have known. Cigarettes were bad …even with filters. That stall tactic worked for years, perhaps decades.

But once the cigarette company leaderships knew the jig was up, they formed coalitions with seeming competitors (vaping startups) to buy time to figure out whether their business models would scale and agreed to use public education to stop people from smoking. It was an obvious ruse. They labeled their products indicating they were bad for us. But they kept making them. They bought up or started their own e-cigarette aka vaping companies once it was clear that people who stopped smoking were indeed now using these ideas.

The energy utility industry has a parallel. When Edison commercialized electric light, the natural gas industry that had been providing energy for light at the time saw his invention as a competitor to the use of natural gas for light. What did they do? They decided to back Edison’s commercialization.

As we go through yet another cycle of national politics and one promising to continue to include many very expensive solutions to the claimed climate emergency, watch how the players position themselves. There are so many nonsensical and whimsical ideas in the mix: air capture, hydrogen, banning ICE, banning natural gas in new home and business construction, and even fusion reactors.

You will hear claims similar to Edison: this or that is dead … to be replaced by that or this. You will see seemingly amazing startups similar to the way cryptocurrency took the headlines for a time. There is another clue here. Do you know what cryptography is? It is the technique of obfuscating or coding data, ensuring that only the person who is meant to see the information–and has the key to break the code.

It is the deliberate attempt to keep anyone but those who are “in on the secrets” from profiting from the situations at hand. What seems like a coalition is in fact a deep conspiracy.

Be afraid … be very afraid!

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