Guest essay by Eric Worrall
According to Rolling Stone, the best way to defeat Putin is renewable energy, which despite being cheaper than coal seems to be taking a long time to manifest.
Putin Is a Fossil-Fuel Gangster. Clean Energy Could Cut Him Off at the Knees
Putin’s war on Ukraine is financed by Russia’s vast oil-and-gas wealth, but the conflict may signal the endgame for the carbon mafia
For decades, world leaders and Big Oil CEOs were happy to turn a blind eye to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s autocratic impulses and fantasies of empire building. They were all fossil-fuel junkies, hooked on the easy money of oil and gas, and Putin had plenty of it. They helped finance pipelines and drilling rigs, and then bought as much oil and gas as he would sell them. For Putin, the cash from fossil fuels fired up his darkest ambitions. It not only helped him build the military force that he sent into Ukraine, it also gave him the means to stash billions in offshore banks that he believed would allow him to weather any economic fallout from the war.
Among other things, Putin miscalculated how fast the world is changing. Industrial nations are in the midst of what energy geeks like to call “a great transition” away from fossil fuels and toward clean-energy sources. It is driven by the simple and brutal understanding that if the rich, Western world continues to burn fossil fuels in the future the way it has in the past, we will literally cook the planet, making it uninhabitable for life as we know it today. If there is any good news to come out of the horrific carnage inflicted by this war, it’s this: Instead of slowing the transition to clean energy, Putin’s invasion of Ukraine may well have supercharged it. And however the war ends, Putin will pay the price. Russian oil and gas is now forever linked to autocracy, war crimes, and human carnage. “The war marks the end of Russia as an energy superpower,” says Tsafos.
Predictably, Republicans and their corrupt band of climate crooks and deniers immediately used the invasion of Ukraine as an excuse to deepen our dependence on fossil fuels, not free ourselves from it. They willfully ignored the simple truth that there are better, cheaper ways of powering our world with oil, gas, and coal. To them fossil fuels are the energy equivalent of testosterone. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted that Biden’s “war on American oil and gas” made Putin stronger. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem told Fox News that “from the very day [Biden] got into the White House, he gave Putin all the power.”
…Read more: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/putin-russia-ukraine-fossil-fuels-climate-change-1319417/
If renewable energy is cheaper than fossil fuel, where is it? How many trillions have been wasted on useless renewables in Europe? Yet that Russian gas still keeps flowing.
Putin gets the joke. So long as European rulers and their cheerleaders cling to the delusion that renewable energy has anything to offer in terms of independence from the Russian gas teat, Putin will have a stranglehold on Europe.
It really doesn’t have to be this way. If Europe ditched their delusional belief in renewables, and embraced energy solutions which actually work, like scaling up coal mining and fracking in the short term, and a French style nuclear programme for the medium to long term, they would not be in the pathetic position begging Putin to maintain the flow of gas, even as Russia’s armies destroy one of their fellow European nations.
Why is this happening? Why are European nations finding it so difficult to behave rationally about energy policy, and take obvious countermeasures in the face of Russia’s energy blackmail, and the very real chance the Ukraine is just the beginning of Putin’s territorial ambitions?
I don’t have a good answer to those questions. But history contains plenty of examples of nations which responded irrationally to problems, and didn’t take obvious measures to counter external threats. Such nations are described in painstaking detail, in books whose titles start with “The fall of…”.
Update (EW): Updated the video link, the old link just got censored by Youtube.