Western media has stirred up a puritanical revulsion against carbon-based energy, resulting in calls for prohibition of fossil fuels. Leaders in western democracies responded with regulations and constraints punishing companies either producing energy or operating supply infrastructure. This empowers market dominance by sovereign energy nations, some of whom are autocratic, and one of whom just invaded Ukraine.
Author blasts ‘green delusions’ of Western countries that empowered Putin’s energy advantage in Europe. Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.
‘As the West fell into a hypnotic trance … worshiping a teenager named Greta, Vladimir Putin made his moves,’ Michael Shellenberger wrote
In a Tuesday Substack post headlined, “The West’s Green Delusions Empowered Putin,” Shellenberger argued Putin understood economics better than his western counterparts, citing the latter’s incapability of understanding the realities of energy production, and questioned how countries like Germany allowed themselves to become so dependent on an authoritarian country.
“How has Vladimir Putin … managed to launch an unprovoked full-scale assault on Ukraine?” Shellenberger wrote. “There is a deep psychological, political and almost civilizational answer to that question: He wants Ukraine to be part of Russia more than the West wants it to be free.”
“Missing from that explanation, though, is a story about material reality and basic economics—two things that Putin seems to understand far better than his counterparts in the free world and especially in Europe,” he added.
Shellenberger pointed to the differences in energy production and consumption between other European countries and Russia, noting that Europe consumed more energy than it produced, while Russia produced more than it consumed.
“The reason Europe didn’t have a muscular deterrent threat to prevent Russian aggression—and in fact prevented the U.S. from getting allies to do more—is that it needs Putin’s oil and gas,” he wrote.
Shellenberger argued that the focus on “Green ideology” made European countries “incapable of understanding the hard realities of energy production,” and that their moves away from natural gas and nuclear energy gave Putin command 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,” he wrote, referencing teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg and noting that Putin expanded nuclear energy and oil production in Russia while western countries obsessed over “carbon footprints.”
Shellenberger specifically used Germany shutting down its nuclear energy production as an example and cited figures showing 47% of the natural gas consumed by the European Union in 2021 being exported from Russia.
“The result has been the worst global energy crisis since 1973, driving prices for electricity and gasoline higher around the world. It is a crisis, fundamentally, of inadequate supply. But the scarcity is entirely manufactured,” he wrote.
“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,” he added. “In service to green ideology, they made the perfect the enemy of the good—and of Ukraine.”
The controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany was halted following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last week, something the Biden administration avoided pressing at the request of Germany despite shutting down construction of the planned Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the U.S. immediately after taking office.
In order to counter Russia’s continued dominance over energy markets, Shellenberger implored Biden to have Germany halt any future shutdowns of nuclear reactors and to have the ones previously shut down turned back on, called on Canada and the U.S. to expand their energy production for increased export to Europe, and argued the U.S. needed to expand the construction of nuclear plants rather than shutting them down.
“Putin’s relentless focus on energy reality has left him in a stronger position than he should ever have been allowed to find himself. It’s not too late for the rest of the West to save the world from tyrannical regimes that have been empowered by our own energy superstitions,” he wrote.
See also The Greta/Davos Collusion
And also, about the miniscule contribution of wind and solar to energize the world today:
Many observations are possible by studying these exhibits. For example, some activists insist that passenger air travel is dangerously warming the planet, and ordinary people should stay home, with flights restricted to essential trips by global elites. A glance at the transportation statistics on slide #2 shows Aviation is only 4% of fossil fuel consumption (12% of 34% FF used for transportation). And aviation includes cargo transport, so passenger travel is a fraction of that.
The bulk of FF transport consumption is Road, meaning cars and trucks, which is why some are demanding electric vehicles be the only means of mobility. Yet a look at slide #6 shows that presently only 10% of electricity comes from Wind, Solar and waste fuels. Furthermore, for all of the investment in wind and solar power, slide #7 shows that so called “green energy”` supplies only 2% of the world’s energy needs.