Han advarede os, minder Michael Schellenberger om i Common Sense. Rusland forsynede Europa med 20% af dets olie og kul og 40% med dets gas. Man havde helt ignoreret at energipolitik er sikkerhedspolitik og russerne er russerne. Så hvorledes parkerede man sin sikkerhed i Putins garage?
These countries are in the grips of a delusional ideology that makes them incapable of understanding the hard realities of energy production. Green ideology insists we don’t need nuclear and that we don’t need fracking. It insists that it’s just a matter of will and money to switch to all-renewables—and fast. It insists that we need “degrowth” of the economy, and that we face looming human “extinction.” (I would know. I myself was once a true believer.)
John Kerry, the United States’ climate envoy, perfectly captured the myopia of this view when he said, in the days before the war, that the Russian invasion of Ukraine “could have a profound negative impact on the climate, obviously. You have a war, and obviously you’re going to have massive emissions consequences to the war. But equally importantly, you’re going to lose people’s focus.”
But it was the West’s focus on healing the planet with “soft energy” renewables, and moving away from natural gas and nuclear, that allowed Putin to gain a stranglehold over Europe’s energy supply.
As the West fell into a hypnotic trance about healing its relationship with nature, averting climate apocalypse and worshiping a teenager named Greta, Vladimir Putin made his moves.
While he expanded nuclear energy at home so Russia could export its precious oil and gas to Europe, Western governments spent their time and energy obsessing over “carbon footprints,” a term created by an advertising firm working for British Petroleum. They banned plastic straws because of a 9-year-old Canadian child’s science homework. They paid for hours of “climate anxiety” therapy.
Europeans—led by figures like Greta Thunberg and European Green Party leaders, and supported by Americans like John Kerry—believed that a healthy relationship with the Earth requires making energy scarce. By turning to renewables, they would show the world how to live without harming the planet. But this was a pipe dream. You can’t power a whole grid with solar and wind, because the sun and the wind are inconstant, and currently existing batteries aren’t even cheap enough to store large quantities of electricity overnight, much less across whole seasons.
In service to green ideology, they made the perfect the enemy of the good—and of Ukraine.
Green campaigns have succeeded in destroying German energy independence—they call it Energiewende, or “energy turnaround”—by successfully selling policymakers on a peculiar version of environmentalism. It calls climate change a near-term apocalyptic threat to human survival while turning up its nose at the technologies that can help address climate change most and soonest: nuclear and natural gas.
At the turn of the millennium, Germany’s electricity was around 30 percent nuclear-powered. But Germany has been sacking its reliable, inexpensive nuclear plants. (Thunberg called nuclear power “extremely dangerous, expensive, and time-consuming” despite the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change deeming it necessary and every major scientific review deeming nuclear the safest way to make reliable power.)
By 2020, Germany had reduced its nuclear share from 30 percent to 11 percent. Then, on the last day of 2021, Germany shut down half of its remaining six nuclear reactors. The other three are slated for shutdown at the end of this year. (Compare this to nextdoor France, which fulfills 70 percent of its electricity needs with carbon-free nuclear plants.)
Germany has also spent lavishly on weather-dependent renewables—to the tune of $36 billion a year—mainly solar panels and industrial wind turbines. But those have their problems. Solar panels have to go somewhere, and a solar plant in Europe needs 400 to 800 times more land than natural gas or nuclear plants to make the same amount of power. Farmland has to be cut apart to host solar. And solar energy is getting cheaper these days mainly because Europe’s supply of solar panels is produced by slave labor in concentration camps as part of China’s genocide against Uighur Muslims.
The upshot here is that you can’t spend enough on climate initiatives to fix things if you ignore nuclear and gas. Between 2015 and 2025, Germany’s efforts to green its energy production will have cost $580 billion. Yet despite this enormous investment, German electricity still costs 50 percent more than nuclear-friendly France’s, and generating it produces eight times more carbon emissions per unit. Plus, Germany is getting over a third of its energy from Russia.
Germany has trapped itself. It could burn more coal and undermine its commitment to reducing carbon emissions. Or it could use more natural gas, which generates half the carbon emissions of coal, but at the cost of dependence on imported Russian gas. Berlin was faced with a choice between unleashing the wrath of Putin on neighboring countries or inviting the wrath of Greta Thunberg. They chose Putin.
Because of these policy choices, Vladimir Putin could turn off the gas flows to Germany, and quickly threaten Germans’ ability to cook or stay warm. He or his successor will hold this power for every foreseeable winter barring big changes. It’s as if you knew that hackers had stolen your banking details, but you won’t change your password.
This is why Germany successfully begged the incoming Biden administration not to oppose a contentious new gas pipeline from Russia called Nord Stream 2. This cut against the priorities of green-minded governance: On day one of Biden’s presidency, one of the new administration’’s first acts was to shut down the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to the U.S. in service to climate ideology. But Russia’s pipeline was too important to get the same treatment given how dependent Germany is on Russian imports. (Once Russia invaded, Germany was finally dragged into nixing Nord Stream 2, for now.)
Naturally, when American sanctions on Russia’s biggest banks were finally announced in concert with European allies last week, they specifically exempted energy products so Russia and Europe can keep doing that dirty business. A few voices called for what would really hit Russia where it hurts: cutting off energy imports. But what actually happened was that European energy utilities jumped to buy more contracts for the Russian oil and gas that flows through Ukraine. That’s because they have no other good options right now, after green activism’s attacks on nuclear and importing fracked gas from America. There’s no current plan for powering Europe that doesn’t involve buying from Putin.
Det har skabt en alliance mellem de neo-konservative høge og tidens politisk korrekte venstrefløjsere, ingen af dem tåler at se deres indre universer modsagt.
Just over a decade ago, former President Barack Obama defeated Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary to become president due in no small part to his opposition to the Iraq War. At the time, the Left despised neocon hawks for pushing the Bush-Cheney administration’s disastrous Forever Wars in the Middle East. Moreover, the Left supported Obama in his policy toward Ukraine when he refused to escalate with Russia over Crimea, pointing out that America has no vital security interests in Ukraine, though Russia does. As a result, Russia would always be able to maintain “escalatory dominance,” Obama said. “This is an example of where we have to be very clear about what our core interests are and what we are willing to go to war for.”
But since neoconservatives largely walked out of the Republican Party over Trump and disavowed all of their conservative domestic policy views to become commentators on MSNBC, the Left has discovered a new love for interventionist foreign policy, as long as it serves “democracy” and opposes “autocracy”—an increasingly malleable term that both the wokes and the neocons now use to define not just Putin but also democratically elected leaders like Viktor Orban in Hungary, Giorgia Meloni in Italy, and Donald Trump in the United States.
Despite voting for Obama because he promised to break with neoconservative foreign policy, the Left has now joined with neocons to oppose Obama’s restrained foreign policy in Ukraine.
This shift is disorienting, but on a purely tactical level, it makes a certain amount of sense. Neocons invented the cancellation game before there was even a Twitter board on which to play it. Neocons arrogantly dismiss the other side’s point of view as argued in bad faith and not worth considering, and label anyone who dares question the cause as a heretic or traitor.
David Frum set the neocon standard for this tactic when he branded the small number of pundits on the Right who opposed the Iraq War as “Unpatriotic Conservatives” at the outset of that strategic disaster. Fast forward to today and anyone who suggests that NATO expansion could have been a contributing factor to the current Ukraine crisis, or that the sanctions imposed on Russia are not working and have backfired on a soon-to-be-shivering Europe, or even that the U.S. must prioritize avoiding a world war with a nuclear-armed Russia, is denounced as a Putin stooge.
Warping the debate in this way allows delusional and contradictory thinking to go unchallenged. Thus, we get the argument that Putin is a madman who will kill indiscriminately to achieve his aims—but he is also somehow definitely bluffing about using nuclear weapons. And he’s only using that bluff because he’s losing the war—but if he’s not stopped in Ukraine, he will go on to conquer the rest of Europe. Putin’s regime must fall because he has killed or jailed all the liberal reformers and yoked himself to a hardline Far Right, but somehow he will be replaced by a liberal reformer when his regime collapses.
It’s nonsensical, and a real debate would expose some of the delusions in this thinking. But we aren’t allowed to have one.
As long as this woke-neocon alliance is allowed to set the terms of the debate, we will continue to see a one-way ratchet toward greater and more dangerous escalation of this conflict.
There will be no peaceful resolution to this conflict that America doesn’t at least have a hand in negotiating, and we should be leading the effort. Instead, we’ve been deferring to the Ukrainians and their maximalist demands, upping the sanctions on Russia as Putin ups his rhetoric against the West. Someone blew up the Nord Stream pipeline just in case another key nation such as Germany had any thoughts about coming to the bargaining table. And now we are playing a game of nuclear “chicken” with a Russian leader who, if his unhinged “War against the West” speech last Friday is any indication, has thrown away his steering wheel.
A regional war turned into the First World War because all parties made maximalist demands and assumed others were bluffing. It can happen again, especially if the media, social media, and foreign policy elite join forces and use woke cancellation tactics to preclude discussion of any alternatives. Right now, we are locked on an escalatory path, and the destination ahead is Woke War III.
Se på den tyske delegation, som de sidder der, med indforståede bedrevidende blikke til hinanden. Hvad taler han dog om, den orange nar? Det er tydeligt at han blot er en næringsdrivende og ikke en del af de voksnes karriereræs, om det er som politiker eller embedsmand, skolet i at gå i lærerens forspor, som hans lærer før ham.
En eneste opgave havde embedsværkets eksperter, at påpege at energipolitik er sikkerhedspolitik. De svigtede og politikerne De griner, som de fører deres land i rørte vande og ikke en af dem sidder i fængsel for landsforræderi eller bliver fyret for grov inkompetence og pligtforsømmelse. De voksnes karrierer fortsætter uanfægtet for de definerer deres egen virkelighed, hvis konsekvenser vi andre betaler.
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