By Steve MacDonald, Granite Grok
If ever there was a dead donkey to kick again, it’s this one, especially in the Northeast. Windfarms and solar installations will never keep us warm in the Winter. Absent a nuclear ramp-up with some hydro and natural gas backup, the all-electric future is not one coming soon, but Winter is!
Winter is coming!
That classic line from Game of Thrones, uttered by Ned Stark and later by almost everyone, has a new meaning for Europe. Winter 2022 is coming, and these children of the green energy summer are not prepared. They invested billions across the continent, chasing an emissions reduction fairytale that has left them naked in the face of the coming cold.
For months, European leaders have been haunted by the prospect of losing Russia’s natural gas supply, which accounts for some 40 percent of European imports and has been a crucial energy lifeline for the continent. That nightmare is now becoming a painful reality as Moscow slashes its flows in retaliation for Europe’s support for Ukraine, dramatically increasing energy prices and forcing many countries to resort to emergency plans …
“This is the most extreme energy crisis that has ever occurred in Europe,” said Alex Munton, an expert on global gas markets at Rapidan Energy Group, a consultancy. “Europe [is] looking at the very real prospect of not having sufficient gas when it’s most needed, which is during the coldest part of the year.”
Here in the Northeast, while activists were stopping new gas and electric infrastructure projects, we were sharing a few unpleasant energy truths on our pages. New England needs more natural gas infrastructure to meet basic demand. Forget new demand.
The establishment response has been no mas.
It’s a bell that has been rung for years. A peal ignored by policymakers and opposed by the climate cult, so my question is this. Will anyone here learn one damn lesson from what is happening in Europe today?
European countries are at risk of descending into “very, very strong conflict and strife because there is no energy,” Frans Timmermans, the vice president of the European Commission, told the Guardian. “Putin is using all the means he has to create strife in our societies, so we have to brace ourselves for a very difficult period.”
The pain of the crisis, however, is perhaps being felt most clearly in Germany, which has been forced to turn to a number of energy-saving measures, including rationing heated water and closing swimming pools.
Blame Putin all you like, but it’s not his fault. The energy experts in Europe are to blame for a problem that a novice logistics intern could see and, if not avoid, at least prepare.
Getting yourself into a situation where your livelihood hinges on sole-source supply is never a good idea. Whether you are building widgets, smartphones, automobiles, or an energy plan, a single-source product will be a problem that the great minds of Europe are solving with government takeovers of the energy sector.
I’m just assuming that was the plan all along. They can’t all be that stupid, can they? And it fits the progressive template. Mismanage something with regulation and policy until it fails and then take it over as if the same people could fix what they broke.
And if they didn’t want to break it, how are they suddenly competent to fix it?
They are not, but trapped as they are in governments where the people still have some right to expression that can manifest a change in leadership means they need to be experts at something else—blaming others and manipulating the system to stay in power.
How many people freeze to death as part of this ancient dance (or die from the flu or its vaccine or violent crime or an overdose or starvation) is only a concern if it results in regime change where the new regime is not simply a shade of the old.
But Winter is coming.
In New England, it can get cold long enough to kill, so energy policy matters. But no one has taken it seriously in years. Even the all-electric future is FUBAR, with prices doubling, while activists’ answer to any energy question is more of the same failed policies and opposition to anything that might help.
Europe is on that path and finds itself at a precipice today. We’re on that path too. But why would we follow them when we have vast oil and gas reserves at our disposal?
New leaders, anyone?
The author is the founder of Granite Grok, a New Hampshire news and commentary website.