American Elephants

Global Warming? Be sure you’ve got your long johns on! by The Elephant's Child
January 8, 2009, 11:20 pm
Filed under: Energy, Europe, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Socialism

Europe’s vaunted green policies are in shambles. Even as the World Wildlife Fund insists, insists, that what Europe needs are more windmills, Europeans are freezing.  Russia is in a power struggle with Ukraine; supposedly a bitter commercial dispute over natural gas.

Europe made a decision that in the interests of being green, they would depend on Russia to supply their natural gas. One would think that a study of history would give them pause, but such was not the case.

From The Times in London: “States of emergency declared across Europe over gas.”

Governments across Europe declared states of emergency and ordered factories to close as Russia cut all gas supplies through Ukraine yesterday in their worsening dispute over unpaid bills. …

Schools and factories were closed and trees were felled to keep home fires burning after Russia turned off the gas taps to more than a dozen countries.  Itr was a clear demonstration of the dpendence of the Continent on Russian gas supplies.

Despite temperatures as low as minus 27°C and the threat of heating cuts to millions of households, Moscow said that it had no choice but to cease supplies because Ukraine, the country through which 80 percent of Russian gas bound for Europe flows, had closed its pipelines.  The claim was denied by Kiev.

Countries tapped into their reserves and urged the use of alternative fuels but at least 15,000 households in Bulgaria — which gets 92 percent of its gas via the Ukrainian pipelines — found their heating cut off overnight.

Twelve countries received no Russian gas at all yesterday:” Austria, Bulgaria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Bosnia, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Turkey.  France, Italy, Germany and Poland reported that their supplies from Russia were markedly down.”

David Satter, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute reports that:

The gas war between Russia and Ukraine is not what it seems.  It resembles a bitter commercial dispute, but in fact, it is a power struggle.  Russia, by cutting off the gas to Ukraine, is pressuring Ukraine to submit to its will…

Most of Ukraine’s gas came from Russia, but much of Russia’s export pipeline network was in Ukraine, outside Russian control.  This meant the two countries were trapped in a marriage they could not annul, and in which negotiations quickly came to resemble threats of suicide.

Russia could threaten to cut off supplies to Ukraine.  But with 80 percent of Russia’s gas exports going through its territory, Ukraine could steal the gas intended for Europe.  It was in this unstable situation that Europe elected to increase its energy dependence on Russia.  The security of European gas supplies thereby depended not only on the reliability of Russian and Ukrainian commitments but, much more problematically, on their ability to behave in a civilized manner toward each other.

In the wake of Ukraine’s efforts to join NATO, Russia is in no mood to be civilized toward Ukraine.  This is the reason for the suggested price increase from $179 per 1,000 meters to $450…Each side quietly hopes that European pressure will force the other side to submit.

Global average temperatures have been declining since 1998.  Governments at all levels are still anxious, for reasons that have nothing to do with energy efficiency, to depend on “alternative fuels”.  Windmills break down in very cold weather, or throw off huge chunks of ice, or arms go flying.  Alternative diesel fuel solidifies in cold weather, stopping movement at inconvenient times.  Huge amounts of cash from UN grants, government grants, wind farms, carbon trading, and billions and billions are squandered on superstition generated by unreliable computer programs.

As usual, the old adage “follow the money” leads to some enlightenment.

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