Gas Blow Out: Vlad’s Invasion Exposes European Renewable Energy Policy Insanity

You know it’s a cult when innocents are being wiped out by shells and missiles and they’re fretting that we’ll lose our focus on the weather, as a result.

As Russian tanks began shelling family homes across Ukraine, missiles struck home and air raid sirens screamed over Kyiv, John Kerry worried that Vlad’s westward expansion would generate “massive emissions” and distract the world from climate change.

Not much concerned about the slaughter of innocents, Kerry was more worried about the war’s “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, you’re going to lose certainly big country attention because they will be diverted”.

Ukrainians can be forgiven for selfishly focusing on staying alive and, to the extent they’re capable, fighting back.

Kerry, on the other hand, can only be forgiven for the fact that he – along with his buddy Al Gore – are doing precisely what their mercenary self-interests tell them to do: keep whipping up fear and hysteria about the weather and promising to fix it with more subsidies to chaotically intermittent wind and solar, profiting all the while.

Meanwhile, Europe has woken up to the fact that its obsession with wind and solar comes with a kicker: reliance upon the oil and gas produced by their less than friendly neighbour.

Adam Creighton details with delight the reckoning that’s just struck Germany and its fellow renewable energy travellers.

Missiles, not emissions, the hotter threat
The Australian
Adam Creighton
28 February 2022

For years we’ve heard how climate change was the No. 1 threat facing the world. For Kevin Rudd in 2007, it was the greatest moral challenge of our time. For Joe Biden last June, it was the biggest threat to US national security.

Within a week, Russia has invaded Ukraine, triggering the biggest European land war since the 1940s, and put its nuclear arsenal on high alert. Almost on cue, China flew more than a dozen warplanes over Taiwan, a clear reminder of its ultimate intention and how bad things could get if, heaven forbid, Beijing decided to take advantage of the world’s focus on Ukraine to encroach on Taiwan. For good measure North Korea, not wanting anyone to forget about it, launched a missile.

The horrific events of the past week should be a wake-up call. Climate change is far from the greatest challenge facing the world, especially liberal democracies. The chance of a catastrophic war embroiling numerous nations, even if still remote, is greater than at any time in at least a generation. Russia and China, especially in alliance, pose a much greater threat than the Soviet Union did.

Yet the US Army during the Cold War wasn’t rolling out net-zero emissions plans, as it did last month when the Biden administration said the army would slash its greenhouse gas pollution by 50 per cent by 2030 and make non-tactical vehicles electric.

Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said the force would seek to “optimise the use of fuel, water, electricity and other res­ources” to “increase our resilience while saving taxpayer dollars and reducing our impact on the planet”. It’s a fair bet Russia and China won’t be inspired to match the commitment, or make one at all. The obsession with plans for net zero by 2050 not only has been a distraction, it also has weakened liberal democracies, lumbering them with higher energy prices and increasing their dependence on Russian oil and gas.

The price of gas, the most widely used fuel to power households in Europe, has surged 300 per cent in the past year, an extraordinary impost for ordinary people. Germany, in what in hindsight must be the most stupid decision a leading nation has taken in peacetime, has almost finished switching off the last of its perfectly safe and emissions-free nuclear power plants, which in 2011 had provided a quarter of the nation’s electricity.

The madness isn’t limited to Berlin; Belgium, too, is on track to phase out its nuclear power plants, which provide about 39 per cent of its electricity, by 2025, guaranteeing more income for Vladimir Putin’s government as the Belgians inevitably are compelled to buy more gas.

In the meantime, bans on fracking, such as one introduced by the Johnson government in Britain in 2019, have curbed the supply of gas from democracies.

In the US, which depends on Russia for about 5 per cent of its oil imports, the Biden administration cancelled the Keystone XL pipeline that would have brought oil to the US from Canada more efficiently. The White House last month suspended granting new licences to explore for oil and gas. US financial regulators are mulling a rule that would force companies to disclose their carbon dioxide emissions, which could penalise businesses that rely on power generated by fossil fuel within the US.

No wonder the series of sanctions on Russia drawn up by the US, Europe and others have painstakingly excluded any impost on Russia’s vast oil and gas exports, which make up about half of Russia’s foreign earnings.

In short, net-zero policies have enriched Russia, providing the unstable autocrat Putin with the financial resources to invade a neighbouring democracy.

The unnecessarily outsized dependence on gas is pushing up the rate of inflation across Europe, too, which in turn will lead to higher interest rates, further weakening economic growth at a time of geopolitical crisis.

Mario Draghi, the prime minster of Italy, which relies on Russia for 45 per cent of its gas, has mooted turning some of the nation’s coal-fired plants back on in recent days. Longer term, Europeans should provide incentives to encourage their own fracking industries and immediately reverse the bizarre aversion to clean nuclear power, which isn’t subject to the vagaries of gas supply. Biden, who will deliver his first State of the Union address on Tuesday, is in the invidious position of advocating for eradication of fossil fuels from the electricity grid by 2050 – a key plank of Democrat policy – while calling for more oil producers to step up production to reduce the impact on prices.

The oil price is well above $US100 a barrel already, the highest in seven years. So-called green energy remains popular but there’s only so much energy bill pain households can bear, especially as the extra cost hasn’t bought an obvious reduction in emissions but, in Europe at least, subordination to a foreign power.

“It’s very difficult to think about climate change impacts when you have impacts of Russian missiles in our Kyiv, and tanks everywhere,” said Svitlana Krakovska, one of a group of Ukrainian climate change scientist who understandably withdrew from the final round of editing a UN climate change report about the likely temperature in 2100.

Indeed, around the world the Russian atrocities in Ukraine have focused the mind on things that real­ly matter: securing freedom and peace, not trying to micromanage the world’s climate.

British politician Alok Sharma, who was president of COP26, said the goal of limiting the world’s temperature increase to 1.5C has been maintained, “but only with a weak pulse”. It must now be on life support.
The Australian

They’ll be focussing on weather and wind turbines as soon as they can…

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Good to see Nigel Farage heading up a new group that wants to end the UK “ruinous” green agenda.
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10581529/Nigel-Farage-campaign-Net-Zero-policy-referendum.html

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