The Catastrophe of Nord Stream 2
There is a real possibility that the European Union (EU) will endure major fuel shortages this winter. Record-high electricity prices are currently the norm with no end in sight. Russian president Vladimir Putin astutely understands that the EU heavily relies on Russian natural gas, which the Nord Stream 1 and now 2 (NS2) natural gas pipeline will provide. This $11 billion line to the German coast spanning 764 miles under the Baltic Sea will double the capacity of Russian natural gas and be used as a geopolitical leverage point against Ukraine, Poland, NATO, the EU, and most of all Germany, the largest economy in the EU.
Germany continues its “disastrous” Energiewende transition to a low-carbon or net-zero future by shutting down reliable, resilient, and affordable natural gas, coal, and nuclear plants. In early 2021 German federal government auditors found the “country would need to spend over $600 billion between 2020 to 2025 to maintain grid reliability.” This is on top of the $580 billion already spent by the Germans on Energiewende while closing the Brokdorf, Grohnde, and Gundremmingen zero-carbon nuclear reactors on December 31, 2021.
Instead, the Germans and EU are opting for intermittent, grossly expensive, land-gouging, and dangerous industrial wind and solar farms for baseload electrical generation. Make no mistake -- we are a fossil fuel world. If Germany doesn’t change, blackouts are its future. Same for the EU. As energy analyst Vaclav Smil says:
"Energy transitions are protracted affairs: large-scale energy conversions are still dominated by prime movers and processes invented during the 1880s or during the 1930s and no techniques currently under development can rival any of those conversion during the coming two to three decades.”
The Germans and EU have created a geopolitical nightmare for every EU member state, NATO, and the U.S. by following net-zero dogma, allowing Putin to dictate whether the Europeans are going to receive enough Russian natural gas to heat their countries this winter. The Texas blackout of mid-February 2021 should make the EU realize the foolishness of relying on renewables, the push for net-zero, or attempting to electrify entire economies. This will only lead to energy poverty, death, and the demise of European security backstopped by NATO.
While NATO’s original intent was to keep the Russians out of Europe, it is now beholden to Gazprom, the Kremlin-owned oil and natural gas firm and majority owner of NS2. Putin weaponizes his energy resources to further Russian interests, fund his military to invade countries such as Ukraine, and uses military alliances with China to threaten the post-World War II liberal-led order. With NS2, the EU, led by the Germans, has allowed Russia a foothold into Europe that hasn’t been seen since World War II, using natural gas over military arsenals. If natural gas is a soft power weapon, then Russia is the new kingmaker of Europe.
Add to the fact the U.S. is being led by the most anti-fossil fuel, energy clueless administration since hydrocarbons came into widespread use during the Industrial Revolution. The U.S. President is also against sanctions on NS2 and Russian weaponized energy actions.
The new dawn of the weaponization of energy is now blanketing the EU, NATO, and the U.S. The EU’s full-blown energy crisis is of its own making. Europeans have recklessly pursued a green agenda without clearly defined goals and objectives. Malthusian-inspired environmental activists now dictate energy policy. Caring for the environment has turned into authoritarianism.
The EU’s energy meltdown leading to NS2 reliance is obvious:
“Underinvestment in hydrocarbon production, overinvestment in weather-dependent renewables, premature shuttering of its (EU’s) coal and nuclear power plants, and overdependence on imported natural gas, particularly from Russia.”
These variables allow Russia a stranglehold on EU energy policies, livelihoods, and viability. Europe’s energy catastrophe is quickly becoming a permanent fixture, “which will devastate its economy” and way of life, and decimate NATO. But why has this taken place?
Michael Shellenberger, a sensible environmentalist from America, has nailed the German psychosis destroying the EU, NATO, and the continuation of America in European affairs. The German renewable Energiewende experiment is over the guilt of the Holocaust and World War II. If the Germans can save the world from global warming and climate change then the Germans have gone from being world destroyers to world saviors. The German publication Handelsblatt echoed this sentiment along with author Ramez Naam, who breathlessly said, “the real impact of German (renewable) subsidies was to drive down the cost of wind and solar for the whole world and enable future global deployment.”
Shellenberger takes Germany’s national breakdown further when stating the German Energiewende “has always been about returning the world to Germany’s pre-Holocaust and pre-Industrial past than taking the world into a post-fossil fuels future.” German historian Rolf Sieferle’s book Finis Germania explored the Germans committing national suicide over their guilt and shame over the Holocaust and following a Jew-hating, merciless madman. Sieferle understood German progressive ideals and cosmopolitan attitude were one step away from reopening concentration camps and raping and pillaging an entire continent and world.
Auschwitz has collectively never left the German psyche and is taking down the EU, NATO, and leading to the possible use of the U.S. nuclear arsenal to keep the Russians out of Europe. This is no longer about a natural gas pipeline, but the collective security of the entire framework responsible for the world prospering since the end of WWII and the Cold War in a way it never did before.
The U.S. and NATO will pay the price for the German-led EU cozying up to the Russians. Exploding gas prices and debilitating gas shortages are the new norms to assuage German guilt. NS2 has revealed the tendency for gas and energy prices to swing widely on a whim or even prompted by “offhand remarks from one man: Vladimir Putin.” Either energy reality overtakes the EU, NATO and the U.S., or Russia will. That’s the choice. The days of childlike decision-making are over.
Image: Nord Stream 2