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Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 month ago

So from what I can gather, the Germans expect the whole of the EU to help them by rationing gas simply because their lack of foresight left them totally reliant on the whims of a dictator, whilst at the same time they continue to force austerity on those southern countries whose economies have been struggling since the adoption of the single currency which has benefitted the German economy immensely?

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
1 month ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

 have been struggling since the adoption of the single currency which has benefitted the German economy immensely?

A basic check (Italy aside) of stats will show you Spain, Portugal and Greece are richer now (GDP per capita) than in 2000.
Germany (again, look at the numbers!) had to suffer an overvalued € for its economy (2000-2007) so they did Agenda 2010. Italy elected Berlusconi and instead of fixing the country the man decided to screw not only every single hot Italian (and sometime international) girl but the country too…why not?!
Why did Southern Europeans joined the €? Because those countries wanted the hard currency, they wanted the new D-Mark. Well, they got it!

Will Will
Will Will
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

The rules were broken in order to let countries in which couldn’t meet the qualifying criteria. Germany benefitted by boosting its exports and keeping the value of its currency lower than it would have been otherwise. The Euro has been a disaster for all concerned as many of us predicted before it was launched. We were right then and are right now.

Galilea Harlee
Galilea Harlee
1 month ago
Reply to  Will Will

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Last edited 1 month ago by Galilea Harlee
John Riordan
John Riordan
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

A basic check (Italy aside) of stats will show you Spain, Portugal and Greece are richer now (GDP per capita) than in 2000.”

Are you trying to claim that getting some growth over a 20 year period somehow defends the state of European economic integration? At least you are honest enough to admit that Italy’s economy is the same size as 20 years ago. However, the fact that Spain, Portugal and Greece may have just cleared the bar here proves nothing: the Euro is 20 years old and it has either almost destroyed growth in a significant number of periphery nations and in one case – Italy – completely destroyed it. This is by any standards catastrophic for a continental flagship policy platform that was feted at the start as being a plan to accelerate growth. It has flatly and enormously failed in this respect, and no amount of political goalpost-moving can conceal the fact.

M Dance
M Dance
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

The Germans are still getting a free ride on the Euro. If they had retained the DM it would be far higher!

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
1 month ago
Reply to  M Dance

Well until around April this year anyway

Rob Britton
Rob Britton
1 month ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

When Covid was running riot in Italy during early 2020 the Germans hoarded all their PPE and refused to share it. Now, with gas supplies running out, everyone else is expected to be magnanimous and bail out Germany.

Terry M
Terry M
1 month ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Germans’ “lack of foresight left them totally reliant on the whims of a dictator”.
Where have I seen this movie before? Only then it was their own dictator.
After WW2 Germans’ urgency to prove their virtue by embracing green policies got them into this mess. If only they had coal and nuclear resources! Oh wait, they do, but they shut them down. Fools.

Ross McLeod
Ross McLeod
1 month ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

No only did Germany bring this upon themselves, despite warnings, they remain too arrogant to admit that their decision to shut down their nuclear plants was insane, and must be reversed: https://unherd.com/thepost/germany-still-refuses-to-go-nuclear
The rest of the EU should let Germany suffer alone: they deserve this.

Robet Zaken
Robet Zaken
1 month ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Time to send soldiers into Ukraine get Russia out of the country and remove everything Russian and start production of Ukraine’s gas fields !! The country has the 3rd largest reserves in Europe, enough to supple all of the EU for the next 50 years and there is already a pipe line going from Ukraine to EU ready to go !! problem solved !!
The vast shale gas reserves in the separatist-held Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Lugansk Crimea regions and in the Asov and Black sea are an important element not to be overlooked when analysing the Ukraine crisis, . https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/opinion/russia-s-silent-shale-gas-victory-in-ukraine/

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 month ago

It truly has been a bizarre war and even more bizarre “sanctions”
Leaving aside the fact that the West apparently expected Russia to roll over and accept NATO next door and the squashing of Russian speaking East Ukranian people who were liberated in 1943 at the cost of hundreds of thousands of Russian lives.
Or the holier than thou thumb wagging about how war is inhumane, unless we are the ones doing it.

But nothing beats the fact that clearly, hardly anybody in the West actually thought through the energy security implications at all. Being hypocrites and warmongers is fine, almost expected really, but being this stupid? Shutting down functional, safe nuclear plants while keeping lignite based units open, or provoking a country that supplies the bulk of your gas while having no back up plan or alternate sources.

So we are treated to the spectacle of the NATO bloc simultaneously sanctioning Russia, begging them to not cut off gas supplies, paying them more money in roubles than was being paid earlier at a much higher price and icing on the cake, insulting poorer countries like India for letting down the “side” (by purchasing less fossil fuels than the Europeans are still buying from Russia, if the numbers I read are correct)

Imbeciles. Scarcely believable levels of irresponsibility and incompetence.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 month ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Exactly. The Duran, among others, has been saying all this for a couple of years. And we both agree that the West has been run by imbeciles for many years now.
In the UK, much of the damage to the supply of energy was done by Ed Milliband and Ed Davey, which offers conclusive proof that two Eds are not better than one.
As for the Germans rationing gas, one can only wish they had thought of this 80 years ago. Talk about a day late and a dollar short.

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
1 month ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

‘..thumb-wagging..’ – is that a thing? I’m not sure I’ve ever wagged a thumb or had one wagged at me. Anyway, to wag a thumb at you, what actually was the solution to a Russian invasion of a European country? Should other European countries have agreed that the events of 78 years ago outweighed the intervening developments, socially and politically, and stood cheerfully by? Would that have been the statesmanlike thing? And would it have been the correct message to send to an odd geezer like Putin?

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 month ago

Ha. Touche. Never post late at night when half drunk!
I would suggest a lot could have been done in the decade or so BEFORE the invasion. Getting the Minsk agreements implemented and accepting Russian concerns on NATO, while doing more to arm Ukraine against any invasion and reducing reliance on Russian gas…none of which was that difficult to implement really.

Roger Irwin
Roger Irwin
1 month ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Being so dependent on Russian gas was not a clever move. I think people placed too much faith in Russia as having reformed from its empire building days.
But as for NATO, you seem to ignore the wishes of the people who actually live in the countries.
If Putin is concerned about NATO enlarging, then perhaps he should ask himself why countries have been so keen to cut ties with Moscow and join NATO.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger Irwin

Exactly, how dare free and independent countries that suffered immensely under Russian rule (be the Tsar or the Commies) want to chose their geopolitical orientation!

B N
B N
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Maybe a history lesson here is in order, but besides that, there are more Russians in Ukraine that want to be part of Russia, than there are Irish who want to be part Great Britain (read England), so let’s tone down the sanctimony a little bit.

Graham Strugnell
Graham Strugnell
1 month ago
Reply to  B N

Nonsense

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 month ago
Reply to  B N

Not in terms of percentages there isn’t

martin logan
martin logan
1 month ago
Reply to  B N

So why did Putin need to ethnically cleanse more than a million people in the Donbas–and move them to Russia (his figures, not mine)?
Simply Stalin’s exile of whole nations rebooted.
Oh, and he’s also deliberately bombing hospitals in the same “pro-Russian” areas…

P Branagan
P Branagan
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger Irwin

Because they’re dumb stupid clucks?

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
1 month ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Nothing can be done to assure the Russians or Putin.

Martin Johnson
Martin Johnson
1 month ago

Spending more than a decade provoking a war with Russia while doing nothing to prepare for the war you are trying to start does not sound like a winning strategy.

martin logan
martin logan
1 month ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Agreed.
Everyone was far too trusting of Putin’s assurances that he would never attack Ukraine. HIs refrain that “Ukrainians are Nazis–and Ukrainians and Russians are exactly alike,” should have alerted everyone to the psychotic nature of this regime.
Supporting Ukraine with far more weapons in the last 8 years would have prevented the deaths of probably a million soldiers on both sides.
Show weakness to an aggressive, revisionist power, and one only invites more aggression and revisionism.

Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago
Reply to  martin logan

Excellent Martin. I never spotted that before – the “Ukrainians are Nazis–and Ukrainians and Russians are exactly alike,” argument ! Priceless.

Terry M
Terry M
1 month ago
Reply to  martin logan

Show weakness to an aggressive, revisionist power, and one only invites more aggression and revisionism.
Now do China re Taiwan. Pelosi should go and we should station a few dozen nuclear armed subs in the western Pacific.
Of course that would cut Hunter off from his sugar Pooh.

martin logan
martin logan
1 month ago
Reply to  Terry M

Hunter IS the centre of this vast conspiracy to make your world suck.
It’s well that he has now been unmasked!

David George
David George
1 month ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

“Scarcely believable levels of irresponsibility and incompetence”.
Yes Samir, here it is beautifully summed up. What does it mean for Russia to lose.1 minute https://youtu.be/rLtjuQwuyuE

stephen archer
stephen archer
1 month ago
Reply to  David George

I’m sure that there are millions in Europe who for the last 4-5 years have reasoned exactly as Jordan described. What does that say for the leaders with their heads in the clouds or in the sand?

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
1 month ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

“Imbeciles. Scarcely believable levels of irresponsibility and incompetence.”
Having observed western governments over the past decade or two, I’m not sure it’s that surprising.
If this is the death knell of Western Society, I hope the Darwin Awards hand out a special prize for this mob of special fools.

Terry M
Terry M
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

When you can’t define ‘woman’ and accept grooming, you really are doomed.

Roger Irwin
Roger Irwin
1 month ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Whose begging them not cut off supplies? Europe needs to find ways to not be dependent on Russia, however harsh the consequences.

Paul O
Paul O
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger Irwin

Easy to say “however harsh the consequences” when you’re not a ninety year old widow shivering to death, or a single parent Mum who can’t afford to eat and heat.

Denial A River
Denial A River
1 month ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Perhaps you’d care to explain to everyone who exactly it was who were “quashing” the East Ukrainian people? As far as everyone else could see, they were pretty much unquashed until an ignorant and evil dictator invaded them. Same applies to the Crimea.

Whilst you’re at it, maybe you can explain why the people of Kiev and Kherson needed to be unquashed? Ignorant does not even begin to cover your comments.

P Branagan
P Branagan
1 month ago
Reply to  Denial A River

Gosh! you are so uninformed about the history and cultures of Eastern Europe. Best write about something you something about – maybe Peppa Pig?

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 month ago
Reply to  P Branagan

A general insult is not an argument. For those of us who are not deeply immersed in Eastern European politics perhaps you could elucidate what you are implying.

P Branagan
P Branagan
1 month ago

Frankly I’m not really into arguing with people who ingest the sickening propaganda spewed out by the Western MSM without question.

Anyone who’s interested knows there was a civil war in Ukraine since 2014. One side was being armed to the teeth by the US and was preparing to invade the ‘separatist’ regions with a view to crushing the people there and their culture – as Nazis tend to do. Russian speaking civilians on the Donbas and have endured shelling day after day for 8 years resulting in over 10,000 deaths. In other areas of Ukraine Russian speakers were systematically discriminated against by the ultras in Kiev.

On Feb 24th 2020 Russia came to the assistance of the ‘separatists’ who wish to claim their sovereign right to live as a free people separate from the coke deranged dimwit in Kiev.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 month ago
Reply to  P Branagan

Do calm down a bit. How can the Ukrainians invade their own flippin’ country? Sure, once the USSR broke up, Russian speakers in Ukraine moved from being dominant citizens of a Russian-led empire to being a minority of suspicious loyalty in an Ukrainian nation state. That is not a fun place to be, granted, but when empires break up, that kind of thing happens. Ukraine, being a legitimate nation, had every right to maintain order, and work for a Ukranian national identity for their new nation. Of course the minority also has rights, cultural and legal, which may or may not have been violated, but that is as long as they remain peaceful. When armed separatists try to secede, Ukraine has every right to bring in the military to stop them.

Before you condemn the Ukrainians as Nazis who crush the soverign rights of Russian-speakers to live as a free people, how about looking to US history for a comparison? The plight of the Donbas inhabitants seems no more terrible, and no more unjust than that of the Confederate States of America.

Aaron James
Aaron James
1 month ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

“The plight of the Donbas inhabitants seems no more terrible, and no more unjust than that of the Confederate States of America.”

haha……

Paul O
Paul O
1 month ago
Reply to  Denial A River

So you are just dismissing all the lives lost in the Donbas since 2014? Do they not count?

Will Will
Will Will
1 month ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

That is a Franco German EU dominated Europe for you, a Europe which until recently we weren’t permitted to criticise in polite society, a Europe which we were informed we were told did things far better than us, a Europe we should emulate and a Europe in the form of the EU it would be disastrous to quit.

burke schmollinger
burke schmollinger
1 month ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

On behalf of the US fossil fuels industry, I can assure you we thought through the cost of Europe losing cheap Russian energy and determined we were perfectly OK with that.

Just because Europeans decided they didn’t need to focus on energy independence doesn’t mean it’s a Western issue.

Banning Fracking, Closing Nukes, making coal investment impossible, Becoming dependent on Putin…

Did children make these decisions?

Terry M
Terry M
1 month ago

In the US it’s a demented idiot making similar decisions. Don’t be so condescending.

J Bryant
J Bryant
1 month ago

Never waste a good crisis. I predict there will be European energy shortages this winter but Europe will weather the storm. Then progressive European governments will declare they’ve demonstrated how quickly Europe can wean itself off non-green energy and so there’s no need to return to pre-2022 levels of fossil fuels. Europe can soldier on through freezing winters until renewables come fully on-line in five years (ten years? twenty years?). It’s all part of the Great Reset aka The Giant Virtue Signal.
Unless there are widespread, popular uprisings. Does anyone believe the sedated Germans, French, or Belgians are up for that?

Raymond Inauen
Raymond Inauen
1 month ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I’m not sure but the full flow of gas from Russia hasn’t reached its maximum. Added to this one of the main pipelines runs through the Ukrainian and the one running in the North Sea isn’t fully finished, or just finished. If I’m not correct Germany covers about 20% of its energy needs with natural gas. It will pinch but is that a reason to go and panic? That reduced investments in the past ten years on infrastructure to further oil by the Middle East and North America (globally) in an attempt to move towards green energy have also resulted in shortages and higher prices. Compound this with the past 15 years of global hype about global warming and bad policies taken up in the attempt to achieve ideological impossible goals and the vilification of a gas in the atmosphere that is vital to the planet and plant life, you get the perfect cocktail for the momentary situation. This is truly a man made situation.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 month ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I really hope thy are

Roger Ledodger
Roger Ledodger
1 month ago
Reply to  J Bryant

They won’t have much choice. If the Eurozone collapses in a currency mess, the EU is done for and the carnage will spread to the global banking system. Italy’s ‘doomloop’ for banks is well known. Perhaps that was what prompted the Reuters headline months ago;-
“If Italy fails the EU fails.”
Draghi was shoehorned into Italy as PM to save Italy, or more accurately , the Eurozone. He resigned 2 weeks ago. German’s under economic stress won’t be overjoyed if the ECB tries to save Italy at there expense.

Will Fleming.
Will Fleming.
1 month ago
Reply to  J Bryant

You can add the comatose Irish to that list.

Jim Jam
Jim Jam
1 month ago

Europe, and Germany in particular, should have listened to Bad Orange Man, rather than laughing at him.

Have a ganders:

https://youtu.be/1JpwkeTBwgs

What a sorry mess.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Jam

Priceless. Bad Orange Man was correct again.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
1 month ago

Years ago:
“Are you sure we should move away from nuclear power? I don’t think wind and solar can make up for it.”
“Nah, everything will be fine. After all, we are super smart people.”
Several Months ago:
“Are you sure we should go along with these sanctions since Western Europe is currently dependent on Russian fossil fuels for most of its energy needs?”
“Putin puppets! We have nothing to worry about.”
Now:
“Oh no, we are in an energy crisis! Who could have seen this coming!?”

Last edited 1 month ago by Matt Hindman
Ian Barton
Ian Barton
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

The answer is always “nuclear and renewables”, it’s just the question that keeps changing.
The idiotic move away from this by the Germans must surely have been driven by some form of corruption.

Last edited 1 month ago by Ian Barton
Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

There was certainly a hint of corruption in Schroder’s closeness to the Russian energy providers, and he was on the board of one them (or something like that) from the moment he left office.
As for Merkel, back in 2010 or 11 when she decided to abandon nuclear my immediate reaction was ‘She’s a lunatic’.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 month ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

‘She’s a lunatic’. No …..a Communist born and bred! They never change.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Considering the astronomical levels of corruption recently revealed in the German ‘Dieselgate’ scandal is any of this really surprising?
The myth of the ‘good’ German is precisely that; A myth.

John Hicks
John Hicks
1 month ago

”Dieselgate” was a corrupt response to legislative compliance;- a forgivable business model according to many holding positions of “forgiving leadership” in the EU. For actual corruption inspired business strategies from the get-go (and one thoughtfully encouraged by elected office-holders and officials), “Wirecard AG” remains a leading contender for an outstanding German business corruption Award. Interestingly, like a Chancellor or two before them, Wirecard AG “bankrupt” and unrepentant leadership reportedly now enjoy patronage and respect in Moscow where a number reside.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
1 month ago
Reply to  John Hicks

1) Dieselgage – companies behave badly all the time. Plenty of other car companies were caught lying about their pollution levels (Hyundai, Kia, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Subaru). VW was just “more sophisticated”.
2) Wirecard – just regulatory and investor incompetence. (Think of Madoff scandal in US). Nothing new. It is going to happen again.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
1 month ago

‘Dieselgate

Companies behave badly all the time! What is new?! Enron? Rolls Royce? BA Systems?
By 2007/8 my fellow Americans (fully encouraged by banks, brokers, regulators, estate agents, etc.) committed fraud on truly astronomical scale. So catastrophic that it inflicted on the whole global economy a major financial crash – aka NINJA loans.
The British citizens did the same (not as astronomical) with their “self-certified mortgages”.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

As always we, the UK, “were the the best of a bad bunch”!

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Not really. Nobody ever said ‘Nothing to worry about..’ – that’s a straw man. We all knew this was going to be a Bad Thing, but most people thought we had to respond vigorously- just like most people would have voted against Iraq/Afghanistan incursions, given the chance. And we were already in an energy crisis, btw, it just got worse.

Owen Morgan
Owen Morgan
1 month ago

Thomas Fazi’s case might be stronger, if he didn’t ignore the real origin of Europe’s impending energy disaster: its addiction to ludicrous eco-fantasies. Parts of Europe sit on vast reserves of coal and shale gas, but the EU as a body and individual governments (including our own) saw fit to pretend that these could be cut out of energy provision without adverse consequences.
That was always self-evident nonsense. For all the claims about the capabilities of “renewables,” only hydro-electric schemes can function consistently and they have obvious limitations. Norway can power itself with hydro-electricity because it has a small population in a relatively large surface area and has suitable topography. There’s a reason why Lincolnshire’s a bit short on similar schemes.
Germany, Denmark and Spain all discovered, quite a few years ago, that the other renewables (solar panels and wind turbines) had the blindingly obvious flaws of being quite incapable of delivering anything like the amounts of electricity claimed by their suppliers, or of delivering any electricity reliably.
Then along came the Fukushima tsunami. It is not to belittle the human tragedy to say that the event was a freak. Yet, apparently with no consultation, discussion or consideration whatever, Angela Merkel announced the termination of Germany’s nuclear power programme, despite the fact that Germany has no active volcanoes and is seismically inert, to all intents and purposes. The chances of a German Fukushima were about the same as those of an asteroid strike.
Reverting to coal was one option, which Merkel adopted as a temporary measure, but her long-term plan was the same one we now associate with Joe Biden: flaunt your green credentials, while getting your fossil fuels out of someone else’s patch of ground (also British government policy, now, since Blair’s time).
And that is where dependence on Russian gas and vulnerability to Putin came in.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 month ago
Reply to  Owen Morgan

Yes, in my view the eco-loonies should be in the dock at The Hague along with Putin, Blair, Bush, Campbell and Cheney. It is their insane belief system that has led the politicians down the path of equally insane eco virtue signalling

Will Fleming.
Will Fleming.
1 month ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Good point. Right now,any competent,reasonable leadership would have suspended EU climate ‘ targets ‘ ,ramped up oil & gas production AND imports in addition to incentivizing food production by increasing national herd’s EU wide. If the green lobby objecteth,then off to the gulag with them. This is now about survival. OUR survival !

Roger Irwin
Roger Irwin
1 month ago
Reply to  Owen Morgan

The UK generates moe than 40% of it’s energy from renewables. Theoretical limits on peak generation are many times in excess of demand. The biggest problem with totally replacing fossil fuels will be the intermittent nature of non fossil fuels.
BTW, Biomass is not intermittent. Currently it is producing about twice as much energy as coal in the UK.
However the UK, along with many European countries, is investing in nuclear as well. The UK also has a program of developing small factory built reactors which promise to be much quicker and cheaper to deploy.
However, any energy generated by renewables reduces the demand on gas. You seem to confuse the concept of reducing gas by renewables with replacing gas with renewables.
There are plans to eliminate fossil fuels by 2050. Whether they are realistic or not is another story. However I would note that experimental plants are already managing synthetic gas conversions at > 90%, so the
Right here and now the more renewable energy that can be generated the better

Roger Ledodger
Roger Ledodger
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger Irwin

This crisis began before Putin did anything. It began when a) Windmills in Europe failed to provide the expected power, the EU gas reserves were used to fill the gap. b) Hydro power in Brazil and Portugal also failed during serious drought, so both turned to LNG – thus raising demand as Biden reduced it by hammering the US frackers with restrictions. The UK gas suppliers were going bust before Xmas, and Putin I believe pushed Biden for a commitment to no NATO for Ukraine & EU for a no membership for Ukraine. Then when they were both turned down he took advantage of the Net Zero inspired gas supply crisis by invading Ukraine.

Roger Irwin
Roger Irwin
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger Ledodger

Not only was Putin building up his war machine long before last winter, so was the UK and the US helping Ukraine prepare for the probable invasion.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger Irwin

Renewable or low CO2? Make up your mind because the two aren’t the same.
Coal and oil were being pushed out before we are ready, based on “global warming,” not because they were non renewable (there is still plenty of gas and oil to go around)

Curiously, when they are replaced largely with “biomass” the term changes conveniently from low emission to renewable.
Because biomass is wood. Usually from forests, then compressed into pellets (costs energy), then shipped over on CO2 belching container ships, then burnt to produce MORE pollution and possibly CO2 than local British coal.

And we pay Drax a billion quid a year for that, while British soldiers don’t have proper equipment and our A&E s have 4 hour waiting lines.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 month ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

There is no reason why you can’t have both re-newables and low CO2 (solar and nuclear), but I do agree that bio-mass can be problematical, rather like bio-fuels which take agricultural land out of food production,

Roger Ledodger
Roger Ledodger
1 month ago
Reply to  Owen Morgan

The Greens and Extinction rebellion are funded by Putin and the CCP respectively according to the Guardian and Unherd. Money well spent it would seem.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger Ledodger

Interesting. I didn’t know that. It doesn’t surprise me.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger Ledodger

This is very interesting, could you possibly give a link to the Guardian article; if even they are saying this, it may be worth considering.

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
1 month ago

It’s time for a more grown up conversation about all of this. We might learn from the Covid experience.

In early 2020, faced with a new and unexpected mortal threat, governments reacted by shutting down activity to “save lives” and appealing to our moral sensibilities to exhort voluntary changes to individual behaviour in a vain attempt to achieve the false binary that is “zero-Covid”, to eradicate the bogeyman and keep everyone safe. They then entered a moral spiral in which they appealed to people’s sense of compassion to care for one another and stay at home. The populace, fearing for their lives and their loved ones, demanded more and more restrictions and many, intoxicated by a heady cocktail of moral righteousness, fear, and general anxiety, sought to try and police the behaviour of their neighbours & peers through moral suasion or outright psychological bullying. It turns out that the lockdowns did little to prevent or frustrate transmission of a virus, but they did cause many lives to be lost and more to be ruined. There were many adverse, unintended consequences that policymakers didn’t fully consider in their haste. But having adopted such a publicly visible, morally unambiguous, position it was impossible for many ordinary people and politicians alike to row back. Excess non-Covid deaths were, and remain, elevated.

In early 2022, faced with a new unexpected mortal threat in the form of the outrageous Russian invasion of the Ukraine, governments reacted by shutting down almost all economic and other relations with Russia, appealing to our moral sensibilities to sustain mass support for their funding of a war in what could well, sadly, be a vain attempt to inflict a decisive military defeat on Russia and achieve the false binary of “zero-Putin”, to eradicate the bogeyman and keep everyone safe. They then entered a moral spiral in which they encouraged the populace to continue to be morally outraged and fly their flags in entirely legitimate sympathy with and out of compassion for, the suffering of the Ukrainian people, and the populace demanded more and more sanctions and “things to be done”, many being ready psychologically to bully anyone who dares question whether perpetuating a war with a major energy supplier, rather than negotiating a truce, is really such a great idea. It may turn out that, sadly, the Western policy response and the brave resistance mounted by the Western-supported Ukrainian military could ultimately do much more overall harm than good. There do seem to be many adverse, unintended consequences that policymakers didn’t fully consider in their haste. But having adopted such a publicly visible, morally unambiguous position it seems impossible for many ordinary people and politicians alike to row back. People go on dying and suffering in the Ukraine, and Europe faces the prospect of deadly energy shortages.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Is anyone in a position of authority in the West going to be able to find the courage to face up to painful truths, to tell those truths to the people, and to stop telling them only what they want to hear?

martin logan
martin logan
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

Sadly, Putin simply cannot “negotiate a truce.”
His Army (mostly destroyed now) badly bungled the operation. Moreover, except for two small cities in Donbas, he’s made no significant gains in 4 months. Most of his weapons and munitions are Soviet-era, and are often inoperable.
Putin is now in the impossible position of not having taken enough territory to make the war worthwhile–yet lacking an army that can make any further gains.
A truce would signal weakness to every Russian–and mean his almost inevitable fall.
In order to survive this debacle, Putin needs to keep appearing strong. But now every Russian can see he is only a ditherer, not a genuine strongman. So he will inevitably be replaced by a much harder-line regime, which will then try the same failed strategy with far fewer resources.
So be glad you are European.
Being Russian is going to be quite unpleasant–and for quite some time.

Roger Ledodger
Roger Ledodger
1 month ago
Reply to  martin logan

His army isn’t badly destroyed. Mauled? Maybe. But for the past 2 months the Ukraine (smaller force and smaller reserve) has been suffering casualties at a rate equal to or greater than Russia. The BBC and Zelensky published figures a month ago on a day rate that if calculated to a month as for the Russian figures also published, showed the Ukraine losing about 1/5th more men than Russia in the Donbas artillery war. Ukraine’s propaganda was excellent, but the witch hunt amongst his ministers and the charges of Treason for helping Russia tend to suggest the propaganda is better than the reality. The only thing we should be pushing for is a ceasefire then a negeotiated peace. That ASAP.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger Ledodger

So, what are your friends offering in those negotiations? A pause while Russia restocks its arsenal? One-sided disarmamament now, so the next war will be over quicker?

A durable peace would require strong, credible guarantees that Russia would henceforth leave other nations, including Ukraine, in peace and let them run their own economic and foreign policy undisturbed. No point in making promises unless you can get the other side to believe them. A minimal gesture of goodwill might be for Russia to stop supporting TransDniestr and hand it over to Moldova. Somehow I do not see it happening

Last edited 1 month ago by Rasmus Fogh
Roger Irwin
Roger Irwin
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger Ledodger

It is always the case that an invading army needs to be much bigger than the defending one.
Ukraine has no shortage of potential troops, millions. Their biggest problem is training them.
Russia is already having trouble recruiting, there is a big difference between defending your homeland and going off to die in a foreign field.
Whilst I would hope it does not go to a war of attrition, if it does then Ukraine would eventually win.
Under those circumstances it is very unlikely that Ukraine would agree to cede any territory in a negotiated peace. Not least because they already did that in 2014…they know Russia will just come back for more when it has healed its wounds.

martin logan
martin logan
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger Ledodger

You are comparing apples and oranges–and incorrectly using a single figure from months ago.
!) The Ukrainian daily rate of 100-200 KIAs was BEFORE HIMARs, and all the other western weapons were introduced. Russian artillery strikes are now way down because of them;
2) Ukraine has made every Ukrainian male between 18 and 50 liable for military service. Putin dare not mandate a similar mobilization, so he has to offer bonuses to anyone who will join.
3) The Ukrainian army now outnumbers the Russian, and the advantage is growing. The fact that they have attacked for over a month on several fronts without taking a single significant town shows that.
Naturally, once Putin’s offensive has stalled, he probably will be asking for peace.
But it won’t be to save poor Ukrainians from further attacks by Big, Bad Russia.
It will mean he is acknowledging that he’s lost the war.

Michael Walsh
Michael Walsh
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger Ledodger

Yeah, but Zelensky had a Vogue shoot, so there.

Carl Valentine
Carl Valentine
1 month ago
Reply to  martin logan

Wow, such insight, you must be great friends with Putin to know all this?

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

One person tried, but the swamp drowned him.

Robet Zaken
Robet Zaken
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Horsman

PUTIN ATTACKED UKRIANE AFTER IT WAS FOUND GAS RESERVES IN UKRIANE IN 2013 (PUTIN ATTACKED IN 2014 ) THAT WAS ABLE TO DELIVER EUROPA FOR THE NEXT 50 YEARS Time to send soldiers into Ukraine get Russia out of the country and remove everything Russian and start production of Ukraine’s gas fields !! The country has the 3rd largest reserves in Europe, enough to supple all of the EU for the next 50 years and there is already a pipe line going from Ukraine to EU ready to go !! problem solved !!
The vast shale gas reserves in the separatist-held Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Lugansk Crimea regions and in the Asov and Black sea are an important element not to be overlooked when analysing the Ukraine crisis, . https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/opinion/russia-s-silent-shale-gas-victory-in-ukraine/

martin logan
martin logan
1 month ago

Welcome back to something called “history.”
Now Europeans (and Britishers) will once again discover what it was like for people in the Napoleonic Wars, and the two world wars. In each case there was no choice: either an aggressive, militaristic regime rules the continent of Europe, or it doesn’t.
No third option.
There certainly is blame aplenty for politicians who were far too trusting of Putin. History never ends, because human nature never changes.
So enjoy the ride.
And if you begin to feel sorry for yourself, and how your whole future has been blighted or destroyed by international events, remember that literally billions of people have had the same experience.

Last edited 1 month ago by Martin Logan
Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
1 month ago
Reply to  martin logan

Very well put. ‘Events, dear boy, events..’

Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
1 month ago
Reply to  martin logan

Thank you. You’ve saved me adding my 2 cents. Just roll over Ukraine, Putin. Bitte!

Roger Ledodger
Roger Ledodger
1 month ago
Reply to  martin logan

The 3rd option was destroyed by the US. George F Kennan, the author of ‘NATO Containment of the USSR’ actually spoke up about the mistakes and urged Clinton (IIRC) to accept Russia into the western fold after they broke up the Soviet Union and allowed the reunification of Germany. The US wouldn’t do it, they didn’t want Russia to become anywhere near to equalling their global power so they screwed Russia (like the Bidens are screwing Ukraine) Putin came to power after Yeltsin to address that. He replaced the West’s oligarchs with his own, but still was amenable to co-operation. The US/NATO refused & the EU wasn’t blameless. No one believed Putin, even this year, had Biden answered Putin’s demand that he announce Ukraine would be refused NATO membership with a firm ‘No membership of NATO’ the chances are Putin would have not invaded. Biden refused and we are where we are. It isn’t suprising to many who have watched the treatment of Russia descend into effectively proxy-war. The EU and West are going to regret not treating Russia as leniently as they treated post WW2 Germany and Japan.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger Ledodger

So you are saying that Russia claims the right to become a superpower equal of the US (which is more than even the USSR managed)? And that the West should have helped them to get there?

Now, what would have been the first action of the newly powerful Russia? My guess would be to take back control of the lands and client states they lost when the Soviet Union broke up. After all, no one could have stopped them. Just why should the West have collaborated in that endeavour? Putin invaded Ukraine because western backing made Ukraine feel strong enough that they dared say ‘no’ to Russian demands. And that was intolerable. The only way to avoid that invasion would have been to hand Ukraine to Russia on a platter.

Germany and Japan were treated leniently after WW2, in return for accepting defeat, accepting territorial losses, and renouncing imperial ambitions. Both countries had constitutions largely set by their conquerors. Russia could surely have got a good deal, in return for accepting a status as a middle-sized power in line with their GDP, and giving credible guarantees that they would not go back to conquering their neighbours. What they want is their old power back – and more – revanchism it is called when you talk about Germany. No one will cooperate in bringing that about.

Last edited 1 month ago by Rasmus Fogh
Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 month ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

You write precisely what I was going to write. I fail to understand why people on this site are so willing to allow unfettered agression on the part of Russia, have they leared nothing from history? When wouldbe conquerors are allowed full reign they will not stop until they have gained all that they desire, and for Putin it is the Greater Russia of yore – and, frankly the Russian people are allowing him to do this. I know that the latter point is not a popular one, we are supposed to differentiate between Mr Putin and the Russian people, and we are told that they can’t get news; I find this hard to believe, it is more that they don’t want to know and are willing to allow it all to happen.

Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger Ledodger

How can we be so sure that NATO membership was Putin’s main reason for his Ukraine invasion, and not a pretext? There seem to be plenty of other grounds for explaining his inept move, one being his yearning for a revival of the USSR, and another his ignorance of military realities. After all, he is not a military man.

Iris C
Iris C
1 month ago
Reply to  Wim de Vriend

It may not have been his main reason but if Ukraine had declared neutrality and this had been supported by the USA and the EU, then the invasion could not have been justified on any level.

Last edited 1 month ago by Iris C
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 month ago
Reply to  Iris C

If Ukraine refused to take Moscows orders, a pretext could easily have been found. The obvious one would be to foment rebellion in the Donbas. If Ukraine did nothing, sooner or later there would be a Russian-controlled province that could be used to control the Ukrainian government. Or one could move on to the next province. If Ukraine did something to stop the rebellion, this could be spun as persecution fo Russian-speakers and used to justify an invasion.

Have we not seen this story already?

Robet Zaken
Robet Zaken
1 month ago
Reply to  martin logan

PUTIN ATTACKED UKRIANE AFTER IT WAS FOUND GAS RESERVES IN UKRIANE IN 2013 (PUTIN ATTACKED IN 2014 ) THAT WAS ABLE TO DELIVER EUROPA FOR THE NEXT 50 YEARS Time to send soldiers into Ukraine get Russia out of the country and remove everything Russian and start production of Ukraine’s gas fields !! The country has the 3rd largest reserves in Europe, enough to supple all of the EU for the next 50 years and there is already a pipe line going from Ukraine to EU ready to go !! problem solved !!
The vast shale gas reserves in the separatist-held Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Lugansk Crimea regions and in the Asov and Black sea are an important element not to be overlooked when analysing the Ukraine crisis, . https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/opinion/russia-s-silent-shale-gas-victory-in-ukraine/

Alexander Morrison
Alexander Morrison
1 month ago

The lack of foresight (and indeed magical thinking) of European leaders is a fair target for criticism – but the sanctions themselves are not. Contrary to the Kremlin-inspired narrative that they are making Russian stronger, they are seriously degrading its ability to fight a modern war. I suggest Fazi reads this report from a group of Yale economists who make this argument with chapter and verse, and have the data to prove it. However even they would say that these effects will be felt mostly in the medium to long term – in the short term Russia can indeed do a great deal of economic damage to the west, though in ways that are unsustainable and will wreck its state finances for years to come. This is why we need to hold our nerve in the face of what is a 21st-century version of Fascism, (as an Italian I am sure Fazi is familiar with Umberto Eco’s definition). Articles like this do not help: “Put to one side the fact that waging “total economic and financial war” on a nuclear-armed regional power that shares more than 2,000 kilometres of borders with Europe could hardly be considered a sensible move.” It may have escaped Fazi’s notice, but it was the Russian regime which launched an actual war on a peaceful if dysfunctional neighbouring state. What exactly does Fazi think the West should have done in response? Rolled over? Left the Ukrainians to their fate? I’d have more respect if he advocated NATO entering the conflict rather than relying on the supply of weapons and economic attrition, but this piece is advocating appeasement, and we all know where that leads.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 month ago

Bravo!

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 month ago

You make many good points. But since when has a group of economists been right about anything?

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
1 month ago

Fazi is just a lefty BSer that lives in a parallel universe.
The politicians are not beamed from space, they are elected and they are product of their respective societies.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jeremy Smith
Roger Ledodger
Roger Ledodger
1 month ago

Yale economists? Hmm, how many U.S. “Facts” have proven to be anything but when it comes to ones that may help the Democrats and Biden? I am not reading any of the niche financial reports and press that say anything other than Russia is coping (tho’ it made a serious misjudgement about it’s foreign assets in Western control) It now has the Rouble as a gas backed currency, and it was stronger last week than it was prior to the Invasion. Putin is making more money for less gas thanks to the current price. AND he has acquired billions of oil/gas assets from the likes of BP/Shell at phenomenal discounts thanks to sanctions. He also just effectively nationalised the Sakhalin project. The irony of all this is Germany thinks that Biden’s US is going to provide the LNG to replace Russia’s gas. The US environmental departments in Biden’s Government are currently planning to totally screw the US oil producers & frackers, and that in defiance of the Supreme Court. Russia also trades with the 52% of the globe by population that take no notice of the US sanctions. The aim should be the push for peace and initially a ceasefire. Putin cannot be beaten, for 2 reasons. a) He rules a nuclear power, any material gains in terms of land for the Ukraine due to NATO support risk his use of tactical nukes b) Before that he’ll bring down the EU by stopping all gas, and the banking crisis that would follow would sweep across Western banks, including the US. Quite frankly Putin has us at his mercy.

burke schmollinger
burke schmollinger
1 month ago

From your link:

“Looking ahead, there is no path out of economic oblivion for Russia as long as the allied countries remain unified in maintaining and increasing sanctions pressure against Russia, and The Kyiv School of Economics and McFaul-Yermak Working Group have led the way in proposing additional sanctions measures.“

Anyone believing that group has a shred of independent intellectual honesty is fooling themselves.

Perhaps Russia will collapse. I doubt it.

Ri Bradach
Ri Bradach
1 month ago

It’s really very simple: stop heating homes to ridiculous temperatures!

Growing up between the ME and rural Ireland, I’d find the summer transition from 50-55 degrees in the desert to 20-25 degrees in the Irish summer quite a shock. Winters were even more shocking – 30-35 degrees to -5 – 0 degrees.

However, my grandfather never moved the heating above 16 degrees – 15 was the norm. If I was cold, I would be told to do some work and or put a jumper on. My father continued this approach when he took over the farm.

The European average is 22 degrees. Ridiculous.

“According to the IEA, the average temperature of buildings in the E.U. is currently above 22°C (71.6°F). “Adjusting the thermostat for buildings[‘] heating would deliver immediate annual energy savings of around 10 bcm for each degree of reduction while also bringing down energy bills,” the agency said.”

That’s a saving of 70 BILLION cubic metres of gas!!!! In other words, halving the demand.

So, stop living in cuckoo land and heat your homes appropriately. Dress appropriately for winter. Stop expecting others to pay for your inability to do either. In short:
GROW UP SOCIALIST EUROPE!!!

martin logan
martin logan
1 month ago
Reply to  Ri Bradach

Having lived in Germany many years ago, I do recall how warm and cozy the homes were. Sometimes you even had to open the window because it grew too hot.
Everyone better admit that those days are over.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 month ago
Reply to  Ri Bradach

Until I went to University I had never experience central heating.
We had a gas fire in the living room and that was it. And the landing of the utility bills would invariably result in a row.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 month ago
Reply to  Ri Bradach

Well said, a person after my own heart. I have had people visiting who ostentatiously shiver, I just tell them to put on a woolly. I frequently go to hotels where I find I can’t sleep in the rooms because they are so hot, and there is no way of turning down the heat. Rarely do you hear any polititian saying “just turn down the d*mn thermostat!”.

Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago

In what way exactly will Europe “not survive” without Russian gas. I’m sure European countries have been through far, far worse in the last 100 years and can survive one winter of energy rationing. We had petrol rationing during the 1970s. Electricity and hot water rationing was quite normal in parts of the Warsaw Pact for many years.
Frankly, Germany and the EU fully deserve what’s coming. Without such a major shock, I doubt they will ever come to their senses on energy security, organising theior own defence or the threat from Russia.
The question is not whether we can put up with some temporary hardship, but whether we have the will to do so. I believe we do and that the pessimists and defeatists like this author are offering no solutions or leadership. The author has no solutions to offer and would apparently happily just kick the can down the road. I have no time for this moral cowardice, appeasment and collaboration. For that is what not seeing this through is.
The assertion that the Europeans started “this game” (a telling phrase – this is no game) is once again blatantly untrue. Only one country invaded Ukraine. Repeatedly (2014, 2022). The motivation was always there – 2022 was simply another opportunity. If it hadn’t been 2022, it would have come later.

Roger Ledodger
Roger Ledodger
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter B

German industry is effectively gas powered. Currently in reports I’ve read the economists predictions for ‘growth’ have been ridiculed. The reports suggest that 16% reduction in output following gas reductions are likely. Putin cuts it off and that figure rises. German economy fails, the Eurozone fails. The Eurozone fails and the EU fails. Ask Reuters they ran an article of Italy bringing down the Eurozone and so the EU some months ago. Now Germany is as, if not more, likely to bring it all down if Putin cuts off their gas. That is why they should be pushing for a ceasefire then peace.

Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger Ledodger

The Eurozone is failing anyway. It doesn’t need any help from Russia.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter B

…and certainly not under a Trump administration.

Matt M
Matt M
1 month ago

The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt M

I fear you may be right

Scott C
Scott C
1 month ago

It was a no brainer for so many years that Russia could turn off the gas tap at a time of their choosing. The Germans were fools to trust Muti – history has shown them to be easily led.

Last edited 1 month ago by Scott C
P Branagan
P Branagan
1 month ago

There are so many smart contributors to Unherd – after the fact, of course.
The enormous success of German and Italian heavy industries over the past 40 yrs was, in no small part, due to the incredibly cheap (~ 1.7c per kWhr) gas from Russia. No other energy source could remotely compete on price – including other fossil fuels, nuclear or renewables+storage.
So it is simply a matter of fact that much of the wealth accumulated in Europe during those 40yrs was dependant on Russian gas.

We are now about to see the terminal decline of European heavy industry which will become totally unsustainable when the most competitive sources of energy available are going to be, at minimum, cost 5 times what Russia charged historically.

Building renewable energy infrastructure requires viable heavy industries and vast amounts of mainly fossil fuel energy to make the steel and concrete involved.

Are we Europeans in a doom loop?

burke schmollinger
burke schmollinger
1 month ago
Reply to  P Branagan

Most likely. Europe will of course survive but there is no chance for the beating heart that is German and Italian industry to compete with Asia without cheap Russian energy. Even if domestic sources are now ramped up it’s hard to square the numbers.

Europe will continue its trajectory of becoming a beautiful retirement home that is even less important globally than it is today. This will of course be coupled with a Europe that is more and more the victim of events than it is the writer of its own destiny.

Jonathan Weil
Jonathan Weil
1 month ago

“The EU started this game.” But it is not a game. And the EU did not start it.

Roger Ledodger
Roger Ledodger
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan Weil

The EU was in on the scheme. The US started it when lying to Russia about NATO not expanding Eastwards IF Russia broke up the Soviet Union and withdrew from East Germany and allowing reunification. Search for Der Spiegel’s article on “Nato’s Eastward Expansion – Did the West Lie to Russia?”
They did, Putin warned repeatedly for it to stop, it didn’t and now we have this. Even then, it wasn’t started in February, this was started in 2014 with the US/NATO/EU supported Coup in the Ukraine.

Tom Watson
Tom Watson
1 month ago

On the plus side, at least we’re all spelling it ‘Kyiv’ now.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 month ago
Reply to  Tom Watson

Yes, I can spell it, but I still can’t get the pronunciation quite right, despite have hired a Ukrainian language coach and practiced for hours each day. On the plus side, my ‘Mumbai’ and ‘Beijing’ are coming on quite well. And my ‘QuIslington’ is perfect.

Last edited 1 month ago by Fraser Bailey
Tom Watson
Tom Watson
1 month ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Heh, Quislington. Hadn’t heard that one.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 month ago

“ Austerity would simply make a bad situation even worse.”

I think the author has it backwards, profligate spending and ever increasing debt simply makes bad situations worse, but only when it’s time to pay the piper. We have all held the piper at bay for way too long.

Jayesh A Patel
Jayesh A Patel
1 month ago

John Joseph Mearsheimer has made the case for neutral Ukraine on the Russian border. The US military has other ideas that to drag Russia into a war which will disrupt its economy, ultimately weaken it. But the price has been paid by the Ukrainians in blood and Europeans in treasure. Trump held the Russians in check but they saw an opportunity with a weak successor Biden. The Germans and European were happy to trade with Russia and China without examining energy security.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 month ago
Reply to  Jayesh A Patel

Why would the US military want to disrupt the Russian economy? As long as Russia is willing to keep its army at home and not use it to threaten its neighbours the US has every reason to leave Russia in peace and concentrate on other enemies. The problem is that Russia is not so willing.
As for a neutral Ukraine, I am sure the Ukrainians would have been happy to remain militarily weak (as they used to be) – as long as they were still free to decide on their own trade and foreign policy and suppress separatist movements. Again, Russia was not willing to grant them this freedom. The choice for Ukraine is between being militarised and free, or neutralised and in thrall to Moscow. Regrettably.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
1 month ago
Reply to  Jayesh A Patel

Yes, I have watched many of Mearsheimer’s videos on this subject (and others). He seems to be far more right than wrong.

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 month ago

Or perhaps they thought they could engage in a unilateral energy war with Russia, at their own pace and conditions (which is why they excluded Russian oil and gas exports from the sanctions regime), without the other side firing some shots back at them.”

This is something I said myself right at the start of the sanctions regime: how could Europe’s leaders be so utterly stupid as to believe that Putin would simply sit back and wait for European economies to find alternative energy supplies? It is a near certainty that Putin will cut off gas to Europe in the autumn, just when demand for energy starts to rise for the winter. The effects of this will be economically catastrophic, but nobody can claim they weren’t warned.

Victoria Cooper
Victoria Cooper
1 month ago

Nice to see Russia doing its bit against global warming.

Roger Ledodger
Roger Ledodger
1 month ago

The ulitimate stupidity was NOT to believe Putin when he said Russia would respond if the West and NATO contuined to break the promises made to Russia that if they broke up the Soviet Union, withdrew from East Germany and allowed reunification then NATO would not expand Eastwards. This war started with the Coup of 2014, but Europe wasn’t interested in the conflict in the Donbas until a Jet Liner got shot down. But it’s origins are earlier than that, with the US/NATO fomented colour revolutions and the expansion of NATO East up to Russia’s borders. Putin behaved with more restraint than any US President would have done had the Warsaw Pact been moving into Mexico.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger Ledodger

There are alternative candidates for the ultimate stupidity:

  • How about believing the Russian promise that if Ukraine gave up their nuclear weapons, Russia would not attack them afterwards?
  • Or believing that Russia would *not* take back control over her old satellites as soon as she was strong enough to do so?
  • Or allowing yourself to become dependent on Russian gas and trusting that this would not be used against you?
Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger Ledodger

Putin is a thief – the man (and his gang) has stolen hundreds of billions from the Russian people. What do you expect from him?!
We should have believed Putin and made Ukraine a NATO member. Or we should have armed to their teeth after Crimea. But better late than never.
So give Ukraine weapons and let them defeat Russia.

Roger Irwin
Roger Irwin
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger Ledodger

This is very much Putin’s opinion; that it is all a US plot.
It’s a logic which ignores the fact that it was the east European countries, which had been invaded by the Soviet Union, which were keen to distance themselves from Moscow.
The USA has been trying for many years to reduce its presence in Europe and get the Europeans to take a bigger role in their defence.
I think Putin pushes this US rhetoric because it is easier for Russians to accept than the reality of the fact that they have, to all intents and purposes, declared war on the rest of Europe.

Steve White
Steve White
1 month ago

Part of what we’re seeing here is our own fault. We all assumed a hierarchy of competence among our institutions and leaders. That somewhere in the system there were some smart people doing the right things. Covid really exposed that, and now we’re seeing it again in the way they agreed with Joe Biden’s agenda to try and weaken Russia through ineffective, self-harming sanctions and making sure the Ukraine war became an unwinnable quagmire to “weaken Russia” at the expense of Ukrainian lives.
What the US was after was a stop to Russia and China influencing the West against the US “we’re always the good guy” world-control efforts. I have no doubt that Russia and China are not good guys, but I have serious doubts about the recent, present, and future good-guy-ness of the US led Western leadership. A toppling of the status-quo political class seems as inevitable as the continued decline and suffering for the average European citizen does. 
We should keep in mind that it’s these very same leaders who promoted globalism, our connections to, dependence on, and therefore opening the West up for influence from these nations. So, they hollowed out our manufacturing, impoverishing whole regions harming millions of citizens, and creating a sort of cultural malaise, and poverty where there had been prosperity. Now they’ve understood that it might affect their own ability to control everything, so they’ve slammed on the brakes, and reversed course and tells us to take cold showers and bundle up for winter. 

Last edited 1 month ago by Steve White
burke schmollinger
burke schmollinger
1 month ago

Not going to be possible for Continental Ingsoc to compete with EastAsia while at de facto war with Eurasia.

Here in the USA we should limit LNG exports so our domestic energy costs don’t rise to anywhere near European levels. There is no reason why Europes lack of foresight should be an excuse for ours.

European industry is doomed. We shouldn’t be dragged down with it. Europe will become less and less important as a result of this war crushing the cheap energy that allowed German industry to grow.

As German industry becomes more competitive, we should take advantage. Otherwise it’ll all go to EastAsia.

It’s almost like the whole goal of this war is to move the center of the worlds economy.

Roger Irwin
Roger Irwin
1 month ago

What the author appears to be suggesting is that Europe should let a dictator do what he wants as the alternative would be too harsh.
Would it be harsher than being obliterated by artillery?
You cannot simply reduce everything to an economic equation. The scope of not using Russian energy is so that Europe is not dependent on it.
It’s not a question of ‘if’ Russian supplies are cut, it’s a question of finding how to manage the crises when he cuts if off.
Europe will win the energy war by affronting that problem, however harsh. Anything else is failure.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 month ago

I’m curious that there wasn’t mention of Germany’s shutting down their modern nuclear power plants as an added element to this stupidity. France has near energy independence at roughly 80% nuclear power now, and Germany was headed that direction awhile back at 55% as I recall. But now they’re firing up their old coal plants again. I swear you couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
1 month ago

The politicians are not beamed from space, they are the product of their respective societies and are democratically elected.
The Italian people (including Mr. Fazi) will soon have the opportunity to elect into power the government that can best deliver.
UK has a small election right now, the Tory members (as we know are the True English people not those libtards in Islington) will vote for their next leader and PM.
Truss in in the lead…why?
In an interview with the Spectator‘s Katy b***s, a ‘Truss backer’ explained why the ‘negative’ Sunak campaign was failing. Tories did not want miserable facts, they said. ‘If people think there is an imaginary river, you don’t tell them there isn’t, you build them an imaginary bridge.’
These are your voters!

Mike Michaels
Mike Michaels
1 month ago

All planned. Destroy everything and the people will beg for special measures. Which they will be happy to oblige. Our old life is over. Good luck.

Bryan Dale
Bryan Dale
1 month ago

Yes energy is the lifeblood of the economy. It’s time that the eco-nutcases stop playing games with it.

William Shaw
William Shaw
1 month ago

Did anyone else notice the change in perspective in the middle of this article?
It went from they (the EU), to we.
Suddenly we (the UK) were somehow included in EU stupidity and the problem became the responsibility of European, as opposed to EU, leaders

Last edited 1 month ago by William Shaw
Martin Johnson
Martin Johnson
1 month ago

After the tale of woe, I was glad to see the author fixed responsibility where it belongs, on the West for turning a conflict between only Russia and Ukraine, which it is clear Russia wanted to keep limited to only those two, into a general economic war that Europe was not prepared for. Genius!

Without even getting into how the West has been using Ukraine to provoke Russia since 2008 and failed to learn anything from the events of 2008 in Georgia or 2014, provoking a coup in Ukraine the led Russia to seize Crimea.

No adults in charge anywhere in the West.

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin Johnson

Really, I am wholly persuaded that the West bears considerable responsibility for the series of strategic errors over the past 30 years as regards Russia, but it is nonetheless absurd to let Putin off the hook on the matter at this point.

Any chance of drawing equivalence between the West and Russia in this context evaporated as soon as Russia chose to conduct the Ukraine invasion on terms that broke the Geneva Convention. It is not often that life resolves so neatly into goodies vs baddies in any given situation, but this does appear to be one of those times.

Last edited 1 month ago by John Riordan
Preston Lennox
Preston Lennox
1 month ago

hmmm. same words have read elsewhere many times. problems require solutions. so lets read about the solutions.brainy people should write clever stuff. brimming with how to resolve the problems.

Carlos Baylac
Carlos Baylac
1 month ago

European leaders are not at fault, they dance at the tune of political correctness – lest their popularity drops and be replaced by rival political correct leaders. Forcing Ukraine to come to terms with Russia would have been the logical, yet politically incorrect solution.

William Shaw
William Shaw
1 month ago
Reply to  Carlos Baylac

EU leaders are almost always at fault.
The cancerous organisation they are part of is an abomination.

Melanie Mabey
Melanie Mabey
1 month ago

Love the phrase ‘polycrisis’

Robet Zaken
Robet Zaken
1 month ago

Time to send soldiers into Ukraine get Russia out of the country and remove everything Russian and start production of Ukraine’s gas fields !! The country has the 3rd largest reserves in Europe, enough to supple all of the EU for the next 50 years and there is already a pipe line going from Ukraine to EU ready to go !! problem solved !!

Robet Zaken
Robet Zaken
1 month ago
Reply to  Robet Zaken

Time to send soldiers into Ukraine get Russia out of the country and remove everything Russian and start production of Ukraine’s gas fields !! The country has the 3rd largest reserves in Europe, enough to supple all of the EU for the next 50 years and there is already a pipe line going from Ukraine to EU ready to go !! problem solved !!
The vast shale gas reserves in the separatist-held Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Lugansk Crimea regions and in the Asov and Black sea are an important element not to be overlooked when analysing the Ukraine crisis, . https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/opinion/russia-s-silent-shale-gas-victory-in-ukraine/

Mark Denman
Mark Denman
1 month ago

This ignores the basic fact that Europe’s purchases of Russian oil and gas are funding Putin’s war machine, which is killing thousands of Ukrainians and destroying the country (which we will all have to pay to help reconstruct in the future). Economic hardship is not as bad as death.

martin logan
martin logan
1 month ago

This talk of a terrible winter ahead for Europe (and how awful all that green stuff is, and how nobody can stand up against Putin’s Siberian ski troops, and how…) seems more than a little amusing.
Actually, the balance seems to be shifting rather decisively against Vova.
–Ukraine has been fully mobilized since 24 Feb, while Putin still dare not do so. Ukrainians now outnumber Russians in the field.
–No new cities taken in over a month.
–The troops that might help in that endeavor are being shifted to the South to stop the Ukrainian drive there.
–But they can’t bring their heavy weapons across the river to defend Kherson, since the bridges have been knocked out.
–Ukraine continues to get the latest western weapons, while Putin’s lads have to rely on 50-year old Soviet models.
–27,000 Russian strikes on civilian targets, vice 300 on military targets, suggesting that Putin now lacks both the intel and capability to hit military point targets. It’s really Hitler’s V-1 campaign Redux.
Sorry to bore you with real facts, but this may end well before winter, arguably with a Ukrainian offensive that takes back more territory lost since Feb 24, and a face-saving deal for Putin.
If he’s still in power…

Lisa I
Lisa I
1 month ago

I live in the EU and use the euro currency. I will openly admit that I care more about the risk of Germany de-industrialising than I do about a war in a country on the far side of Europe.

John Hilton
John Hilton
1 month ago

The EU needs to lean on Canada. The provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan have a large potential oil and gas production that is currently not in use, because Canada has not put pipelines to the East Coast sufficient to meet European needs.

Jeff Andrews
Jeff Andrews
1 month ago
Reply to  John Hilton

Canada already had its hands burned by Joe Biden to waste more money relying on the EU not to change there minds.

Malcolm Webb
Malcolm Webb
1 month ago

The problem is not sanctions against Russia ( which are working), the problem is a hopeless energy policy – trusting in the fairytale of heavily subsidised renewables “ saving the planet”. In that German politicians are not alone in their vacant minded “ planning”.

Robet Zaken
Robet Zaken
1 month ago

Time to send soldiers into Ukraine get Russia out of the country and remove everything Russian and start production of Ukraine’s gas fields !! The country has the 3rd largest reserves in Europe, enough to supple all of the EU for the next 50 years and there is already a pipe line going from Ukraine to EU ready to go !! problem solved !!
The vast shale gas reserves in the separatist-held Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Lugansk Crimea regions and in the Asov and Black sea are an important element not to be overlooked when analysing the Ukraine crisis, . https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/opinion/russia-s-silent-shale-gas-victory-in-ukraine/

Robet Zaken
Robet Zaken
1 month ago

  STOP THE WAR KICK RUSSIA OUT AND START PUMPING 
THE GAS FROM UKRAINE !!
UKRIANE HAS shale gas reserves at 1.2 trillion cubic meters (tcm).[21] There are two potentially large shale gas fields.[21] The Yuzivska gas field located in Donetsk Oblast (province) and Kharkiv Oblast, and the Olesska gas field in Lviv Oblast and Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast.[21] Ukraine signed a 50-year production sharing agreement with Royal Dutch Shell on 25 January 2013 involving the Yuzivska shale gas field.  https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-shale-ukraine-idUKBRE90N11S20130124

Jeff Andrews
Jeff Andrews
1 month ago

I agree with all of this except ‘barbarity of Putin’s war’, it would have been more barbarous for the peoples of the Donbass if Zelinsky had been allowed to finally put the resistance down, ie invade and kill everybody there.


Justin Clark
Justin Clark
1 month ago

So what you’re saying is… Trump was right?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7Owe-MxNu8

Ukunda Vill
Ukunda Vill
1 month ago

What if there was an evil empire across the sea. Every day looking across the waters monitoring its arch enemy supplying its friends with an abundance of cheap energy. Let’s call that supply line nordstream. The enemy is building additional tentacles around the friendly nations. Let’s call that nordstream2. What better way to put this to an end by starting a fire storm on the enemies doorstep step with a little help from some unsavoury thugs, lets call them azov nazi battalion. Now the evil empire has cut off the cheap energy and can supply its own expensive energy via ships. The aim is to break the arch enemy but unfortunately the enemy has lots of massive customers who are happy to buy thier energy. But unfortunately or fortunately, the evil empire loses its trump card in the process – the petrodollar cycle which has around $20 trillion in circulation and the backbone financial system called swift is broken too. The plan back fires. The ultimate loosers are the evil empire and thier friends across the sea.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 month ago

Nomen, omen:
Fazi-oso

Nothing more worth saying.