Steve Apfel
Steve ApfelINN:SA

We speculate on what makes Putin into a Slav conqueror with a zest equal to our speculation about climate and what it forebodes for life on earth. The two have some commonality. Putin may or may not be psychotic. If he is then we are dealing with a sick person who defers to a cranium like yours and mine, calculating what he can afford to do, and picking the moment when to do it. /news/323185

The Russian bear, we learnt, roars when his coffers are crammed. And that happens when the price of crude oil soars like a space capsule. He moved against Ukraine when his war chest permitted of more plunder. The carcass of Ukraine will not long encumber his ardour for military adventure – beware Lithuania or Moldova or Romania – a warlord’s normal outlet for dissipating the spoils of war.

The politics of renewable energy have been the joker in Putin’s hand. ‘The focus on green energy has left the West dependent on Russian energy’ is a recurring lament. One year of the Biden Presidency and America is importing more petroleum products from Russia than from any other country. Germany is another power enfeebled by a reckless obsession. Having closed nuclear reactors in good working order, the Germans became dependent on Putin for nearly half their gas and oil.

Who twisted arms? How come Biden and Germany’s Merkel chose a Russia-first route? The arm-twisters were environment hotheads. Green politics enabled the war on Ukraine. Renewable energy policies filled a watching and waiting bear’s war chest. “Think of Biden’s energy policy as a $100 million per day foreign-aid program for Russia.” The President didn’t stop there. Climate crazies made him pull the plug on the EastMed gas pipeline between Israel and Europe via Cyprus and Greece.

Fossil fuel paranoia has a lot to answer for. Ukraine, its main victim, is not the only one. Thanks to it Europe is an energy cripple. After COP summits set the course for global carbon emissions to reach zero by 2050, the obvious happened. Wind and solar failed their first big test.

In 2021 they failed to produce the goods when the wind dropped and the sun hid behind clouds. Europeans had to fork out 95% more for their ‘dirty’ oil, coal and gas. Britain was forced to turn coal-fired power stations back on. Blackouts engulfed India.

What do we call a priest shouting, the end of the world is nigh? Nutcase What do we call a Leftie shouting, the end of the world is nigh? Environmentalist
And the Russian beast in its lair rubbed and patted his brown woolly belly.

What do we call a priest shouting, the end of the world is nigh? Nutcase

What do we call a Leftie shouting, the end of the world is nigh? Environmentalist

Cult behaviour entails an intense interest in and devotion to an activity or idea. Is there a better case in point than women who won’t bear children because a new doomsday prophecy – one of a string of 12-year windows going back to 1989 – said that mother earth won’t be fit for living in twelve years from now. /news/305783

Or think of the Swedish school kid celebrated on a Time the world’s climate goddess.

Consider Al Gore as the guru. His 2006 film An Inconvenient Truth is the stuff of which folklore is made. And today it is in the school curricula.

Gore made three points: global warming is real, it will be catastrophic, and fixing it must be the world #1 priority. Bjorn Lomborg was among the first to cut the infantile fallacy to shreds. He was generous to give Gore his first point; practical and logical problems beset taking the earth’s temperature. Gore’s other two points are, well – claptrap.

There’s the vacuous assertion about humanity’s moral imperative to fix the climate. The selfsame thing could be said of diarrhoea, malaria, malnutrition, dirty drinking water or basic illiteracy, all of which afflict half of mankind. Gore said that generations to come will chastise us for not committing to COP protocols. “More likely,” said Bjorn Lomborg, generations to come will wonder why in a world full of “inconvenient truths, Gore picked the one where we’d achieve the smallest good for the greatest cost.”

What’s in it for the super rich white men who drive Climate Crisis? Al Gore, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Biden’s Climate Envoy, John Kerry need to drum up heroics. The idea of saving the planet for billions of people must be a nuclear powered hallucination compared to a droll twist of cocaine. Human suffering is the last item in their big scheme of things. Kerry dislikes Putin for killing Ukranians because, “A war is the last thing you need with respect to a united effort to try to deal with the climate challenge.” And, he went on, think of the emission consequences of the invasion. And,“You’re going to lose people’s focus because they will be diverted” from the climate agenda.”

Putin’s war is a powerful denunciation of climate obsession. It sums up the horror today, but what of the horror ahead. He must finish what he started or it will finish him. But in flattening Ukraine, Putin will impoverish the economy, spirit and power of his Russia uber alles. If, as he believes, his destiny is to reconstitute a Soviet empire, he can’t have his cake and also eat it.

Shifts unfold as narratives unravel. Germany has been among the greenest of the green revolutionaries. But look what its new Chancellor said about climate. Olaf Scholz connected energy policy to security. He warned that Germany “can no longer treat energy solely as a question of climate change.”

Who knows: on the spinning wheel of fortune the environment lobby, let us pray, goes down the drain with Vladimir Putin and his hegemonic dreams.

Steve Apfel is an economist and costing specialist, but most of all a prolific author of fiction and non-fiction. His blog, ‘Balaam’s curse,’ is followed in 15 countries on 5 continents