Accuweather's Bastardi: Global Cooling Reason for Putin Shutting off Gas Pipeline

Expert forecaster sees Putin’s moves with energy as a power play in anticipation of global cooling 20-30 years out.

By Jeff Poor

Business & Media Institute

1/6/2009 8:23:25 PM

It’s not often that meteorology intersects with geopolitics – but Europe could be in store for another Cold War, literally.

Accuweather.com’s chief long-range and hurricane forecaster Joe Bastardi observed that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s recent cut of gas flows to Europe via Ukraine may have been done so in anticipation of a global cooling cycle on the Jan. 6 “Glenn Beck Show” radio program. Bastardi has a solid reputation among Wall Street traders for understanding weather’s impact on energy commodities.

“The thing I want to bring up here – very interesting – most of the solar cycle studies that we know about and that guys like me read have come out of the Russian scientists,” Bastardi said. “But when Glasnost developed, the Russian scientists, a lot of their ideas on the coming cool period that a lot of us believe is going to occur – ice, rather than fire is the big problem down the road here 2030, 2040, and the reversing cyclical cycles of the ocean – it came out of the East.”

According to Bastardi – Putin is relying on the data from the Russian scientists and wants to bring some European nations to their knees by exploiting their reliance on natural gas when the weather is at its coldest.

“Now my theory – something that I put out and it’s something that’s not something that people want to hear is that Putin knows what is going to happen – or he believes the same way I do about the overall climate pattern. So, if you control the pipeline into Europe, you literally can control Europe without firing a shot – if you control the energy.”

Bastardi cited former President Ronald Reagan’s 1982 Cold War-era staunch resistance to a then-$10 billion pipeline that was proposed to deliver natural gas 3,500 miles from Siberia to the heart of Western Europe, as a July 12, 1982 Time magazine article pointed out. Reagan’s stance was criticized by Western Europe Cold War allies and was said to be “riding roughshod over Western Europe’s economies,” by Time.

Bastardi also noted Russia’s invasion of Georgia in August 2008 was evidence of Putin’s willingness to use energy as a strategic tactic, since the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, located in Georgia, transports about a million barrels of oil a day from the Caspian Sea through Georgia to ports in Turkey – and then throughout Europe.

“That is why Reagan was so dead set against the Europeans looking east for their energy,” Bastardi said. “And now we’re seeing it. I believe the invasion of Georgia was nothing more than saying, ‘Hey I can take that pipeline whenever I want’ and he shut the gas off to the Ukraine when it got brutally cold.”

In a follow-up interview with the Business & Media Institute, Bastardi explained that a lot of Putin’s personality traits are at play here – that he is using intelligence, going back to his days as at the KGB.

“The weather’s most certainly involved in this,” Bastardi said. “If look at what those Russian scientists, where a lot of these studies on it getting cold come from – you can see that, what makes you think that Putin doesn’t have some knowledge of that? Here’s the head of the KGB – and forever what you want to say, I’m sure he’s privy to the same kind of information the head of the CIA is privy to here about studies and what people are thinking on a scientific nature.”

And according to Bastardi, Putin’s use of the flow of energy into Europe is just one of the weapons in his arsenal of tactics that he, as the head of Russia, has perfected using – comparing him to a wrestler with a perfected move.

“He’s definitely a type-A alpha male and we can both agree on that,” Bastardi said. “I mean look at him and he is more likely to use weapons – and I use weapons in terms of for instance a wrestler – a single-leg take down is a weapon. If you perfect it, you can use it the entire match. He’s more likely in the art of war to use what he knows how to use, even if it’s only two or three things than try to go use something he doesn’t know how to use or try to create something – that’s a waste of time to use it.”

It’s not a personality fault Bastardi contended on Beck’s program – but just what he considers proper for his country.

“And so, there are a couple of things that line up here that indicate the guy is trying act on behalf of his country and what he believes his country should be,” Bastardi said. “And I believe that he wants to use nature, rather than change nature and that may be what’s going on over here.”

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Phil

If one were to go a bit out on a speculative limb and surmise that the old Soviet machine is still at work through its western surrogates, what better way to regain world power than to get the West to spend untold trillions on ineffective power alternatives such as wind and solar, instead of investing now in the needed nuclear, coal, oil shale, new oil and gas drilling and hydroelectric facilities. Wind turbines are especially useless in very cold weather as icing of the blades can be a hazard. Maybe too paranoid?

crosspatch

It would also be in Russia’s interest to advance the “global warming” and anti-nuclear agendas in Europe as it would cause politicians that fall for it to shift energy generation from coal and nuclear (as has been done in Germany) to “cleaner” gas.
France seems to be the only European country following their own interests and continuing to develop nuclear power. Germany would be well-served to get their nuclear program back up and running, too. Same with the UK.
If temperatures continue to fall, keep an eye on Russian activity with regards to Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan would be Russia’s next natural power grab if weather starts to turn really bad for a long period in Russia.

Pamela Gray

I would think any country that has a budget shortfall and in need of infrastructure investment would look at its exports as an additional money source. There are also countries run by palace living folks that want to stay in their palaces even though their families are getting bigger all the time, that see their exports as a money source. I don’t see Putin getting rich, but his country could sure use the money. If you are set up to export gas, then the gas goes to the highest bidder. I don’t see camel riders getting rich but their kings and princes could sure use the money. I see middle East kings and extended family princes (because the women keep having sons and then those sons have sons, etc) needing more and more money to fund their lavish life style while their fellow countrymen and women tent dwellers burn camel dung to keep warm.
The world is not full of fairness and justice. It’s full of countries, and kings and princes needing money!

crosspatch

“Maybe too paranoid?”
I don’t think so. It is the kind of game Russia excels at playing historically. We sort of did the same to them some years back. We deployed cruise missiles in Europe forcing the old Soviet union to spend billions in “look down” radars. We developed enhanced radiation warheads that could take out mass formations of armored vehicles without laying waste to the countryside for decades. The Russians played a propaganda angle that we developed warheads that could nuke cities killing the population but leave the industry intact when killing civilians is not a military objective. Russia was successful in their agitation through protest groups in Europe to keep us from deploying those weapons until they invaded Afghanistan. When we developed stealth technology we forced them into another research project costing billions and that was apparently the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Russia would absolutely love for Western governments to take the “global warming” fantasy hook, line, and sinker. It would ensure they have greater leverage. It would not surprise me a bit to find Russian money or money from Russian influenced people and organizations flowing into the coffers of “global warming” and other “environmental” groups. When the “reds” lost power, many of them simply donned a “green” shirt and kept on doing what they have always done.
Groups like “Greenpeace” no longer have any basis in science in any of their positions and are simply doing whatever they can to hamstring economic growth and energy development through the run up if legal fees through endless litigation, and “community activism” that misinforms and misleads the average people into making decisions that pile inefficiency upon inefficiency in getting anything done.
Not paranoid. It is pretty much business as usual for Russia in a historical context.

He he.
Gerhard Schröder as Prime Minister fought hard to build the new Russian gas pipeline to Germany (i.e., increasing dependency on Russia), gave it a €1 billion guarantee and then five weeks later took the job of Chairman of the Board of … the pipeline.
Any German consumers shut out of gas this winter may wish to consider why their nuclear power plants are being shut down at the same time that pipelines to Russia are being added.

coaldust

Pamela Gray (21:50:38) :
You have assumed that the kings value their economic interests more than their strategic interests, a common mistake in the west where capitalism has made life easier and made the amassing of money the primary interest. For when war comes, money becomes secondary to security.
“…it is not gold, as is claimed by common opinion, that constitutes the sinews of war, but good soldiers; for gold does not find good soldiers, but good soldiers are quite capable of finding gold.” – Machiavelli

Kevin

Crosspatch,
I seriously doubt Putin and his intelligence agencies need to fund and run a vast international network of fellow travellers like the old Cold War or pre-war Commintern days.
Seems like for the last forty years the western, industrialised liberal democracies have happily picked up the bill to educate and employ in key roles significant numbers of socialists and marxists utterly devoted to the overthrow of the same political/economic systems that have nurtured them.
In the Anglo-sphere, the universities, media, public-sector unions and most particularly the educational unions and bureaucracies are bastions of foment against the current order.
Putin probably can hardly believe his luck that huge amounts of donations from the Useful Idiots and their governments flow into the coffers of so many organisations which, in Europe for instance, are working to open a strategic advantage he will doubtless grab for Russia if he can.
See this one from the guys over at Climate Resistance
http://www.climate-resistance.org/2008/05/well-funded-world-wide-fund-for-fear.html
If anything, Putin is probably trying to figure out how to get the Green Mega NGOs to tip some cash his way.
Still, Russian autocrats have never shown a great tolerance for outspoken intelligensia.
The day Russia has Europe by the natural gas pipeline throat lock, they’ll probably be working out a second rail lift of Useful Idiots to the new Gulag after the initial resistance is picked up and carted off.

Mick

And when Al Gore and Hansen et al, migrating to the USSR, sorry my bad,
R

Mick

Sorry, hit too early,
so saying Russia, and asking for asylum. Then the AGW hypnosis is end.
Mick.

J.Hansford.

It’s not paranoid… Not after Russia’s interference in Ukraine’s affairs, not after Georgia…. Putin wants Russia to be a great power…. He wants to be known for making that happen.
It’s not paranoid to understand, that the hand with the most energy cards wins, in any climate… warm or cold….

During the final years of the Cold War, the CIA slipped software bugs to Russia as they built their gas pipeline from the Urengoi gas field. The result was a very, very large explosion.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4394002

Les Francis

Vladimir Putin has already previously stated that he needs the oil price at $ 80.00 a bbl to sustain Russia’s economic prosperity.
Ukraine has some history of double dealing with the gas flow through the pipelines transiting their country.
Those countries relying on this pipeline were always going to need to tread a cautious line. Note that the most immediately vulnerable are old iron curtain states – e.g Czech Republic etc.
Putin is playing his game of supply and demand. He will win it in the short term. He needs the $$$$.
Meanwhile, IMHO, coming ice age conspirators are in the same bag as AGW alarmists.
The USSR historically financed western dissent. Just playing tit for tat.

As the old saying goes, even paranoids have enemies.
This link [click] is an interview with a former senior KGB [now FSB] agent who defected to the West, Yuri Bezmenov.
When the Korean War ended, the KGB realized that America and the West could never be defeated militarily, and that Communism could not be imposed by military force. But as Stalin said, “Two steps forward, one step back.”
Being the ultimate realists, the KGB changed tack, and instituted a plan to use the West’s freedom of information against it, beginning in colleges and universities, and ultimately moving on to newspapers and the broadcast media. The results are plain to see.
Today, anyone mentioning the word ‘conspiracy’ is derided. But keep in mind that Vladimir Putin was a top KGB/FSB officer. Russia has massive influence on the world stage.
At every turn, the West is now being hobbled by demands to remove dams and hydro electricity, to stop drilling for oil, to stop using nuclear power, to greatly reduce military spending, to corrupt NASA with useful fools in positions of power, to replace extremely cost-effective petroleum with silly wind power schemes, to tax driving and commerce, to end space exploration, to make the UN the arbiter of world government, to end the free flow of information through the internet, to promote the belief that CO2 is causing catastrophic climate change, to promote the argument that taxpayers in industrialized countries must pay exorbitant penalties for “carbon” use, while giving a free pass to all others, to demonizing oil, coal, natural gas, and hydroelectric power, etc., etc.
When the facts fit the hypothesis, the hypothesis is worth discussing. If Mr. Bezmenov [and others] had not defected and informed us of what was being implemented, the facts above would still cause rational people to wonder how the current situation came about. People don’t want to live in mud huts, and our current standard of living is due entirely to our advanced technology and our utilization of petroleum products. The motivation of those who demand that we must stop using what made us successful, safe, and prosperous must be questioned.
As the Romans said, “Cui bono?”

Jim G

Here’s a title consistent with this subject:
Unrestricted Warfare: China’s Master Plan to Destroy America
by Qiao Liang (Author), Wang Xiangsui (Author)
Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Unrestricted-Warfare-Chinas-Destroy-America/dp/0971680728/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1231313534&sr=8-3
First release was 1999 in China.
If you can’t defeat your enemy with tanks, then alternate methods must be used. Think cyberwarfare, financial markets, energy…
The authors, Chinese Colonels, discuss these and more.

The Macolyte

This makes absolute sense, more from the economic view than than otherwise in the short term. Russia needs vast amounts of money to sustain and develop its economy. If anything, I think Russia has learned that it is very difficult to maintain control over a large number of vassal states over any real length of time. I doubt that Russia would want to destroy European economies, merely take them for as much as possible while the going is good.
For what it’s worth I wholeheartedly agree that the evidence suggests we are heading into a prolonged colder period.
I also hope to live long enough to see Hansen, Gore and others of that ilk discredited by the truth, before they – and I – are dead.

John Egan

Just as we’re not going to be turned into toast by next Tuesday – –
Neither are we going to be turned into a frosty by next Friday.

Freezing Finn

Interesting – when pipelines that go through Ukraine (which BTW refuses/has no money to pay long-due bills to Russia) stop delivering gas to rest of Europe, it’s automatically Putin who’s behind it – geopolitically morivated, of course.
It’s the official “peer-reviewed” (by MSM) conspiracy theory, I guess – and Ukraine – a wannabe-nato & EU-puppet – couldn’t have anything to do with it – let alone EU, which OTOH is a wannabe Empire – and which has been admitted too, BTW:
“Barroso: EU is Empire”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2Ralocq9uE
Now, Finland gets its gas – though we don’t use it very much – through a separate/direct line and there has been no problems there – but I guess, soon there will be – for Putin must be “evil” and the EU’s just a bunch of scoutboys and girls…
Well, here are two articles on Ukraine worth reading:
“IMF Sponsored “Democracy” in The Ukraine”
http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO411D.html
“Financial Fraud: Corruption scandal over Ukraine’s emission money”
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=11451
Also – The article states that “Russia invaded Georgia” – and as if Russia started the whole show there. But even Sakashvili himself has admitted in public that it was Georgia that started it – see:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=11211
Also “Sakashvili eats his tie” (on BBC) – and though a bit OT – looks to me Sakashvili could be a bit nut and a manchurian-candidate type of a personality as well:

It’s also known that the US as well as Israel trained Georgians months prior to the war and have been selling a lot of weaponry there too:
“Israel’s Military on Display in Georgia”
http://www.forward.com/articles/14193/
And on “Russia doing what it always has” – well, Russian helped the Americans to fight the British during the American Revolution, but I know – even the Americans themselves don’t seem to remember that – and the British aren’t too exited to remind Americans on such boring little details either, now are they?
Secondly – it was a bunch of bankers and industrialists from the West – Wall Street, London and Berlin – that funded the Russian Revolution. Pretty much the same oligarchy also funded Hitler’s as well as Mussolini’s rise to power – for guess what – without money you can’t have revolutions nor dictators + it’s “good” business, too:
http://www.antonysutton.com/
And on “Russia trying to promote global warming, so that it could sell more gas to Europe” – now, where the hell did that come from? Russia is investing a lot into nuclear power – and they try to sell plants where ever there is interest for it.

King of Cool

The end of global warming may herald a new age of Russian prosperity.
Putin is sitting on a double whammy here in a new game of Russian Roulette with two bullets in the chamber.
First he will make a killing on the carbon credit market with brokers that will make the Lehman Brothers look like the office Christmas fund.
Then he will hike up the price of gas whilst Europe is freezing and bleeding from paying out coal miners their un-employment benefits whilst irate bird watchers and frustrated councils are tearing down windmills along the coast of Scotland.
Good one Vladimir, I am sure that you are hoping you will be sitting next to Barack in Copenhagen this year and it is a warm week.

tallbloke

The UK has unwisely used up it’s natural gas reserves. The pipeline from Norway is now delivering, but the lower prices promised to consumers never materialised. Just the opposite. Despite being told for years that gas prices were rising because the price of gas was “linked to the price of oil”, prices have risen again recently depite the oil price dropping through the floor.
Personally, I’ve decided to reduce my dependence on natural gas by getting out and about with my chainsaw more often. I’va also acquired a generator which runs on bottled propane for use in the event of the electricity grid running into problems. Obviously, bottled propane will rise in price, so I have a stock in my outbuilding.
Strategically, we are in deep do-do. We’ve sold our nuclear energy business to the french, who will hopefully get around to building some new nuclear power stations sometime in the next decade… Our politicians have their heads up the hole when it comes to energy policy. We should be building small scale generators which burn waste to supply local areas and provide resilience to the grid. Ten years ago I visited a prototype rig which was generating a megawatt from 40 car tyres an hour. It used a pyrolysis technique which kept it’s emmissions within E.U. guidelines for small scale plant. Even then, it was running into problems with ever tightening co2 emmission regs though, and the project has been shelved since 2005. The same company is running a 27 megawatt plant which seasonally burns barley straw in scotland.
We missed a huge opportunity for better relations with Russia when Mikhail Gorbachev instituted Perestroika and Glasnost. Instead of crowing over the collapse of soviet Russia, the west should have been helping them restructure and nurturing strong partnerships. Instead, we got Ronnie Reagan twirling his six-guns, and his moll, Maggie Thatcher riding around in a Cheiftain tank for the cameras.

crosspatch

Kevin and Smokey, both good points.
What we need are combined cycle nuclear plants. These would basically be two conventional power plants and one fast neutron plant along with a fuel re-processing facility all at the same location. Scientific American published an article titled Smarter Use of Nuclear Waste back in December of 2005 that describes how we can reprocess spent fuel rather than bury it, eliminate the need to enrich uranium, and reduce the danger of proliferation of weapons grade material by using isotopes that are useful for fuel but not useful for weaponry.
Using modern plants such as the Westinghouse AP series that greatly reduce the complexity and parts count and have passive safety features that do not require a human to operate in case of an accident. These reactors would burn conventional fuel which would then be reprocessed using the reprocessing facility and the on-site fast neutron reactor and then returned to the conventional plant for further use. What waste there is created decays much faster to background levels of radiation in hundreds of years rather than thousands making storage safeguards much easier.
We have the technology. Carter decided not to recycle fuel. Reagan decided to build a test combined-cycle plant but Clinton killed it. Japan, India, France and Russia recycle fuel. India has this past year decided to build several fast-neutron reactors. Doing all of this on-site greatly reduces the amount of nuclear fuel that needs to move around the country in trucks and trains.
We have the technology right now to power this country for centuries in a much safer and cleaner fashion with less waste. We do not need to pour billions into development of something that might or might not produce cost effective production.
As I watch the goings on in the press and in the coffee shops I am constantly reminded that 50% of the population is below the median intelligence level and it only takes 50% + 1 to win an election.

Freezing Finn

“As the Romans said, “Cui bono?””
Indeed – “follow the money”, they say and, naturally, the Russian have a lot of it, right?
Wrong – besides, a lot of the richest Russians are living in the UK nowdays – with their fellow oligarchs – or in Switzerland. Though after the looting in the 1990’s, it’s no wonder they wish to do so – and for the time being – meanwhile they’re trying to get ridd of Putin et el – so that they could continue at the looting again one day.
And please note – I’m not saying Putin is an angel – I’m just trying to remind you that you should be a bit more critical to the MSM of the west as well – for they and the news they produce are owned by someone as well – and usually for a reason.
For example – here’s who owns the media in the US:
http://www.thenation.com/special/bigten.html
Another interesting website on media onwership:
http://www.londonfreelance.org/rates/owners/index.html
Oh, well – so much information – so little time…

Mikey

I was just trying to think like a European for a sec.
I mean, suppose this guy is right, and next winter is colder than this one. So you’re Hanz Franz sitting in his Berlin brownstone, and all of a sudden the heat goes off. It stays off for days. Do you still care about the plight of the polar bears, or does all that non-Russian coal you’re country is sitting on start to look good.
Do you still look up from your morning paper after reading about those plucky Greenpeacers vandalizing coal smokestacks in the UK, and think “Ja iz gut”, or do you hope maybe somebody blows them off of there with a bazooka.
This fantasy works for New York too. No Russians necessary. Methinks interesting times are coming.

evanjones

We deployed cruise missiles in Europe forcing the old Soviet union to spend billions in “look down” radars.
Urg. Must resist. (I cut my teeth on the delicate and subtle art of nuclear strategy. I wrote the introduction for the new edition of Kahn’s On Thermonuclear War) I will confine myself to saying there was more to it than that.

Erik in Cairo

During 1989-1991, I was lucky enough to see the unraveling of the Soviet empire first hand as grad student in Poland. This was a great time to be a historian, since the state archives were summarily opened without restrictions. Trust me, even the Hoover Institution or the Eisenhower Library had more restrictions than Polish state archives did c. 1989-1991.
What I am saying here is that I have seen evidence with my own eyes of Russian machinations which would make no sense at all to a Westerner but perfect sense to them. I am intellectually ready to entertain the notion that it is possible that a Russian leader might enter into almost any conceivable clandestine scheme.
However, in this case, Occam’s razor suggests that Putin’s current plans have nothing whatsoever to do with climate change. The Russians have a perceived interest in blocking Ukraine’s entry into NATO. They also want to make more money from their product. From their perspective, demonstrating that they can cut off natural gas to Europe in the dead of winter helps them to accomplish both of those goals. It’s cold outside right now. That fact alone explains the timing.

Rhys Jaggar

UK and nuclear:
Apparently a German energy company has been acquiring land next to the nuclear power station at Wylfa, Anglesey, hence there may be a second generation of nuclear coming along in the UK.
Gordon Brown is starting to get tougher on our gas suppliers, we’ll see how that plays out. Prices have, however, dropped in terms of petrol at the pump.
There’s nothing wrong with different countries exploring different energy generation mechanisms.
UK: hydro is obvious – lots of mountains and rain. Wave is obvious if we know how to harness it. Solar is stupid – not enough sun and not hot enough.
Key to me is technology to store energy reliably to smooth out generation hiccups.
But at the end of the day, we have to understand that US, Russia, Saudi and everyone else will stop at nothing to further their interests. Dead humans? Tough. Starving people? Tough.
Don’t imply a humanity in politicians when the evidence is that they will murder, starve and destroy with impunity………..

Ron de Haan

Today a GAZPROM representative made the following statement.
GAZPROM has two different contracts with Ukraine.
1. Contract for the delivery of gas
2. Contract for the distribution of gas
Last year Ukraine owned Gazprom 3 billion dollar in outstanding bills.
A settlement was made by which Ukraine would pay the outstanding bills by December 31 2008.
In the mean time GAZPROM raised the prices to 250 dollar for 1000 cubic meter of gas.
Ukraine responded by canceling further negotiations and refused to pay the higher prices.
In January GAZPROM responded by cutting the delivery of gas to Ukraine.
Now Ukraine has responded by closing the pipelines that deliver the gas to Europe.
This is confirmed by the Austrian Partner that manages the european part of the pipeline.
The Urkrainian Gas company NAFTOGAS however declared that GAZPROM also cut the European deliveries.
It must be clear that political and economical aspects play a major role in the conflict.
The Ukrainian President is struggling to remain in power as his position is undermined by representatives of the former Communist, now Pro Russian political forces.
Although Moscow consequently denies any allegation of power politics it is clear that energy is used as a power tool. Ukrain is not in a position to pay the higher gas prices.
The Ukrainian President is Pro Europe, a potential member of NATO and a potential EU member. Russia wants the former Soviet State to stay under Russian influence especially because Ukraine hosts the Russian Southern Fleet and controls a significant nuclear potential.
In the mean time some European countries depending on Russian gas like Hungry and the Czech Republic are very short on reserves under extremely cold weather conditions up to minus 30 degree Celcius.
Hopefully the announced meeting between Russian and Ukrainian representatives for next Thursday will bring a solution.
Italy in the mean time has announced it will no longer depend on Russian Gas.
Other European countries will follow but short term alternatives are not available.
A third pipeline that is planned for gas delivery via the East Sea to Germany will be in service by 2012.
Shipping of Compressed Natural Gas is in need of infrastructure (ships and CNG harbor installations and the delivery of gas from Algeria lacks pipeline capacity.
It must be clear that Europe will have a close look at the future energy policies.

A quick look at the BBC wether website shows that the whole of Russia and much of west Europe is in the deep freeze right now. Russia produces around 600 billion cubic meters of gas per year and uses about 400 bcm for domestic consumption. See chart:
http://www.theoildrum.com/files/russia_gas.png
So when it gets cold at home, Russia must prioritise its home domestic market and this can squeeze gas available for export – especially to countries like Ukraine that don’t pay full market rates. Russia has three super giant gas fields in west Siberia – Urengoy, Yamburg and Medvezhy – all have been producing for decades and production is in decline.
Russia has in fact been a very reliable gas and oil producer to OECD Europe for many years – but cannot deliver gas it perhaps does not have.
Full details of European gas supplies here:
http://europe.theoildrum.com/node/4933

King of Cool

Voting for WUWT
[another cheating strategy snipped ~ charles the moderator, standing in for Evan the robomod]

When I write to the local papers suggesting we urgently need to build new coal fired power stations (with best possible emission controls) in order to generate much needed power -using a resource we have in abundance-you would think I’d suggested murdering Bambi!
Renewables are all very well as a ‘top up’ but our lack of base level power in the UK is very worrying as all our major power stations are ageing and people like Hansen (Kingsnorth) are trying to
stop us building new ones
TonyB

Leon Brozyna

The particulars of the current dispute are distractions. Putin is acting in a manner that I expect Machievelli would approve. He’s not enamored of the fashionably chic green agenda; he’s looking at what the climate will really do, not what some silly model is projecting as possible — an object lesson sure to be missed by the incoming administration with its own green agenda. So, when Europeans start freezing their butts off during the coming years, Russia will be bargaining from a position of strength. Maybe, after a couple decades of a colder climate, Europeans will wake up and start using their own coal resources. Maybe.

Sam the Skeptic

Flying Finn …
I learnt many years ago never, ever, to trust anyone who uses the phrase “It’s also well known that …”
Personally I’m not sure what the Russians are up to but history has taught us always to be wary of the Bear. For sure the Reds morphed into the Greens though they were always related anyway since the Soviet Union was always prepared to use the idealistic left in the west for its own purposes and, boy, were they ever prepared to be “used”!
To say that the current rush away from secure energy sources is the result of a Russian alliance with the eco-maniacs might be over-stating things but Putin’s actions are consistent with Russian habits over generations.
I may not know squat about the science of climate change but I do know my history!

Charles

Bastardi’s assertion that Russia started the Georgia conflict is total nonsense and international UN observers confirm this. That said, Russia did expect the attack as part of the encirclement by the Untited States, via proxies, of Russia e.g. Ukraine, Georgia and Afghanistan. Regardless of whether we enter a cold period or not Europe now knows that we have a major probem with energy supplies now that the continent’s gas and oil production has peaked.

crosspatch (21:57:31) wrote: “Not paranoid. It is pretty much business as usual for Russia in a historical context.”
Nice assessment, crosspatch. Interesting reading; thanks.

Alex

A small solar cycle 24 sunspot popped up today at around 00:00… it was gone by 07:00 though… Check the lastest solar images. Strange because it appears that spaceweather.com has already allocated a number for it… (1010)

Phillip Bratby

It seems like the Russian gas supplies to Europe via Ukraine have completely stopped. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7814743.stm

kim

FF (23:52:40)
Enough apologia. Fee Fi Fo Fum, I smell the blood of a bad ‘un.
========================================

Freezing Finn

Ron de Haan (02:15:53) :
“…In the mean time GAZPROM raised the prices to 250 dollar for 1000 cubic meter of gas.”
Yes, and for obvious reasons.
According to Wikipedia “Ukrainian gas import prices and transit fees for Russian exports to Europe were set in bilateral negotiations, below European levels to some degree.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russia%E2%80%93Ukraine_gas_disputes
The Finnish version of the article – and although a lot shorter – is more precise as to what “some degree” there means – it means they paid 75% below the “European levels”.
And if Ukraine wants to be part of the “West” – rather than the “East” – join EU, Nato and have all the “free trade” benefits too etc. – it’s free to do that, of course.
But what Russia is doing there is simply trying to charge Ukraine the “free trade price” other Western countries are paying for their gas too – for you can’t have both the “free trade” and the gas at the old “fair trade price” – especially after being openly hostile toward Russia.
So, if Russia was about to charge more than what it is charging it’s “traditional enemies” in the west – I’d understand the whining – but they’re not doing that.
And what does “free trade” in the EU mean? Here’s a quote from Romanian Daily (13 Feb 2006) – and right on topic too:
“The gas prices are expected to triple as EU accession stipulations request the authorities to align the tariffs to European ones. Romania agreed during EU negotiations to increase the price of natural gas from internal production to 270 dollars per 1,000 cubic meters, compared with the present price of 115 dollars.” http://romaniandaily.ro/cat53115/art5352622153/
So, that’s 20 bucks more than what the Russians are charging the poor Ukrainians – and in 2006 already. But hey, Putin must be behind that one too, eh? 😉
Ps. how come it took so long for my previous posts (23:52:40) and (00:44:52) to pass moderation? For example evanjones’ post (01:26:17) was out there way before mine… oh well, I’m just wondering – my favourite past time… 😉
Reply: evanjones is a moderator, and as such his posts don’t have to be screened for approval. Nothing personal at all, your post was approved later along with several others by one of the insomniac moderators. ~ dbstealey, mod.

Richard Hegarty

Sam the Skeptic (03:10:52) :
“Personally I’m not sure what the Russians are up to but history has taught us always to be wary of the Bear.”
I agree with Sam we have to watch Russia but i always believe in picking your fights. Instead of giving unconditional support for Georgia when they started the war in the first place, just because you are small does not make you innocent, maybe we should be a bit more balanced and mediate rather than attack. and with the gas well maybe the Ukraine should actually stop stealing gas and pay their bills and if we put pressure on both sides it might get resolved sooner rather than just fearing the bear. Then perhaps the west could have more influence in Russia and we would be in a better position if the bear tries something stupid. Better to have them inside the tent p***ing out than outside the tent p***ing in. Its not in Russia’s interest to cut supplies, it makes Russian energy less valuable because it becomes less reliable.
Burn Polish coal i say, its cheap secure and in the heart of Europe. If this cold snap has taught us anything its that renewable energy might be great for opinion columns and dinner party conversations but when it gets cold you need to burn stuff. I am in Poland now and it was -18c yesterday evening, a little too cold for my liking.

Tom in we don't need no stinkin gas in Florida

C’mon all you conspiratorists, you missed the point that Russia intentionally fudged the Oct temperature data to mislead everyone into thinking AGW is still on a rampage so they could trick everyone into not storing any reserves.
I do think that Putin sees a weak incoming US President and most of his recent actions are moves to establish that Russia will again be the main power in that region.

Ungreen

For someone claiming to know their history, Skeptic Sam misses something.
‘For sure the Reds morphed into the Greens though they were always related anyway ‘ – is palpable nonsense. The UK Greens, for instance, began life as a group of disgruntled Conservatives.
There’s no continuity between Red and Green. It is a myth that conservatives would be well advised to abandon. It gets in the way of understanding the scientific and political claims made by environmentalists.
There are superficial similarities between Green and both the broad categories ‘Left’ and ‘Right’. There is a superficial continuity between the Soviet Union and contemporary Russia. But Cold War language doesn’t help us explain or combat the prominance of environmentalism as much as impede us, and makes us look stuck in the past. The world is very, very different now.

Steve Keohane

Ron de Haan (02:15:53) What I heard on the news on 1/6 was most like what you describe happened. There were protests by Ukraine saying the pipeline was leaky. The Russians said there was nothing wrong with the pipeline, that the Ukrainians were siphoning off gas.

I would like to make a request that Watts-up sticks to climate science and forgoes these forays into energy and geopolitics! It’s not that some of the comments aren’t informative, it is that the majority really show up the prejudices and rather deep ignorance of the European situation held in the USA, and it would be a nightmare to try and engage in corrective action. There’s no blame or judgement intended – I love America – it is a reflection of the national interest and width of the Atlantic. But is is exasperating.
I am a veteran of the European energy policy, risk analysis, green politics, pollution control arena – with over thirty years experience from grass roots, through local councils, regional, national and EU government, commissions, public inquiries and international conventions (on pollution control) – with a long history of publications, interventions and activism. All I can say – is that this prevailing view of Russia as manipulative is extremely naive and driven by some psychological need not to look at the motives and historical policies of the US in relation to world markets and finance – the Russian responses to encirclement and continual attempts at economic destabilisation (which resulted in the Wall) explain a lot – even Marxism can only be understood as a response to Capitalism.
The reforms of the late 80s were driven by Gorbachov and motivated by an incredible maturity and desire to change this pattern – but all the West could do was claim economic victory and gloat, whilst expanding its marketing and military alliances in Eastern Europe and central Asia. That recreated the old Soviet style Putin in response.
But it also liberated an incredibly powerful Russian mafia – remember Russia is now a capitalist country!
Putin has to balance the outside threats, the internal mafia, and the future economy – and energy is all he has going – and with it a huge surplus of dollars!{{ What would the USA do if Mexico brought in a socialist government, allied itself to Russia (or China) but was entirely dependent on the US for energy, and then refused to pay the market price?}}
Against this background, the machinations of green politics in Europe, wind turbines, nuclear power….and all the rest, pale into insignificance. And to speak of Russian money for the green agenda is a nonsense – even if it were on offer (it never was) no green organisation would risk public approbrium by taking it.
Russia is set to receive vast sums in carbon credit trading – more dollars and Euros it can only spend if western economies stay buoyant. That’s why Putin signed Kyoto against the advice of the Academy of Sciences, and why the Academy then changed its tune (Yuri Izrael, Vice Chair of IPCC and Russian Academy placement there, once said that ‘global warming’ was over-hyped nonesense! But he went quiet after receiving contracts from Putin to study cooling the globe by high-level dispersal of sulphur particles!).
But there you go – I couldn’t resist an argument!

Freezing Finn

Sceptic Sam: “…history has taught us always to be wary of the Bear. ”
I live 1 km away from a real bear (though sleeping right now) – and 40 kms from the Russian border – and frankly I’m more afraid of the Western Oligarchy than the Russians. Not because I’ve been taught the “official history” (sponsored by the Oligarchy), but because I’ve learned to doubt it.
For instance – before the Revolution – Russia – or the Czar – gave Finland more freedom than what EU is currently giving. In fact – the EU is taking them all away – and slowly but surely turning into EUSSR 2.0:
“Former Soviet Dissident Warns For EU Dictatorship”
http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/865
Sceptic Sam: “For sure the Reds morphed into the Greens…”
The left-right paradigm is all fake for it’s really all about collectivism vs. individualism – totalitarianism vs. freedom. See http://www.freedom-force.org/freedom.cfm?fuseaction=creed
Anyway, modern socialism was “invented” in the West – in London, to be more precise – and isn’t it curious that Lenin spend quite some time there prior to the Revolution? Again they’re having some “poor refugees” from Russia over there – only this time they at least have their “own” money to plan and execute the next Kremlin coup.
Sceptic Sam: “I may not know squat about the science of climate change but I do know my history!”
Well, I just learnt recently (meaning some years ago) never, ever, to trust anyone who uses the phrase “I know my history”. ;D
History is written by the winners – and I doubt they’re telling me – or you – everything we’d like to know.
Besides – the more I know – it seems – the more questions I have…

Bill Marsh

Charles,
Russia goaded the Georgians into that attempt. They were waiting for it. Georgia was attempting to regain control of its own territory from separatists supported by the Russians. This was ‘payback’ to the West for Kosovo/Bosnia, in which a Russian client State, Serbia, had much the same thing done to it by NATO.
Putin is testing out his economic weapon, energy supply, to ensure that the EU understands that they have to acquiesce to the expansion of Russian influence in the former Soviet States bordering Russia. Georgia was first and it appears that Ukraine is next. The EU’s response to the Russian invasion of Georgia was tepid at best exactly because they understood that Putin would cut their energy supplies. If Russia decides to invade Ukraine in a similar manner this little exercise is intended to send the message of the consequences of EU opposition.
Sad the the EU countries have allowed themselves to become this vulnerable to Russia.

Bill Marsh

Evanjones,
Khan was required reading when I was at the Naval Academy in the early 70’s. Personally, I don’t agree with his ideas about ‘controlled’ nuclear conflicts, city trading, etc. I think the first use will result in a rapid escalation to a full out exchange, with the possible exception of a strike over the open ocean against a Carrier Attack Group. Our expectation was that would be the first use in a general conflict between Warsaw Pact and NATO.
Interesting reading none the less.

The Russians failed to pay a registration fee to maintain their participation in the carbon credits scam run by the UN. It was only about 125k-150k. I know that the Russians have a history of thinking things like dues, etc., are optional. But their failure to participate gives you an idea of how serious they are about the IPCC theories of global warming. To them its one more joke to play for a scam.

Steven Hill

Russia is siding with many middle eastern countries to control the worlds energy sources right now. This may be the intent of Gore and Hansen behind the scenes, I have often wondered this. We will need other sources of energy, problem is, coal is very important. I can see the US telling Russia and China not to use coal or oil. Get Real!

Bobby Lane

Well, as I have said all along, climate change, whether colder or warmer, is more about politics than it is about actual climate. Not that I am the only one to hold that belief, however, I might add.
We’re not entering another Cold War. We’re already in it. We have some of the same enemies in the same general places (Russia, Cuba, Latin America, Western Europe). Whoever started what first between Georgia and Russia misses the point entirely. As Bastardi notes, this is a chess match, or to put it in his terminology a wrestling match. These are merely set up moves.
We once had the concept of “spheres of influence.” Well, Russia has carefully built and controlled an energy network which gives it a sphere of influence over the whole of Europe, and with respect to oil over the whole of the world. Putin isn’t stupid. He knows Russia is not a major military power. As Bastardi notes, that action was only intended to serve notice that he merely needs to give the order and troops can seize the pipelines. Meanwhile, he’ll let the international community, via its proxy the UN, haggle and wrangle. He may eventually have to give ground, literally and metaphorically, but by then he’ll have already got what he wanted. Europe has no military to oppose him. The United States is caught up fighting the same muhajadeen that we supported against the Soviets 25 years ago. A fitting irony in his eyes no doubt. And the Chinese are getting friendlier to Russia as a means to advance their own military technology. So, without firing a shot at anybody that really matters, Putin can make great strides for himself and his nation. And the rest of us will be forced to just sit back n watch helplessly.
Think about it. He supports Iran with nuclear technology for its assuredly “peaceful” nuclear program. This keeps the US tied up with its attention on the Middle East. Meanwhile, he knows that even if we had a lot of troops in Europe we would not invade Russia over an issue like this. No, we’ll try diplomacy first, second, third, and last. He can get the Europeans to oppose our wishes without direct confrontation merely by utilizing control of his natural gas and oil supplies. So we can’t even use the excuse that it is the will of the people of Europe. He can also sell the Chinese technology and know how for advanced military platforms, and get them to oppose the US as well when it suits his interests. I mean, he literally is in the catbird seat. He has the intel, the resources, and the will to use them. And he knows that despite any voiced objections, nobody is really going to stop him.
In that view, Russia is literally the most powerful nation on Earth right now.

Dan Gibson

Must be a horrible way to live, seeing the “enemy” conspiring in every unfamiliar face, every different idea. Reds infiltrating into every aspect and thought of Western life. Pity us dumb westerners who are so easily led astray!!! Seems like we need a another good man named McCarthy
Paranoid?
Yes.

Bobby Lane

Peter Taylor:
So run that by me again? Russia is not manipulative, but the United States is? Say what? I understand national interests myself, and I understand entirely why Putin would make such moves as these. Of course he is trying to survive external and internal pressures – that is verily the definition of being a politician. But you expect us to believe that with the willingness and ability to nationalize or mistreat any company he wishes to, that foreign companies are supposed to turn a blind eye to that and invest anyway?
And I’m sorry but the EU is a joke. It is nothing but a bunch of old men and women sitting around talking in their own little bubble. The EU has no real power outside its own borders. It couldn’t even cobble 12 helicopters together to use in rescue missions in the countries neighboring Sudan and affected by refugees for the Darfur conflict. But if the whole of Europe wants to become dependent on Russian gas supplies, and the price they will cost with the coming cold, by all means.
By the way, I need not point out that these things – climate change and energy supply – are connected. Watts is as perfect a blog to bring it up in, being climate oriented, as EUReferendum would be whilst it is politically oriented. So, no, thank you very much, we will not mind our own business on this one. This indeed is our business.
Let the British mind their own house. The lights will soon not be on there much longer the way HM’s Government is running things into the ground. We have been just fine without the British for 200 years, with all due respect to the WW2 era, and we will be just fine without them for another 200 years God willing.