Over the past week, Britain has been hit by three consecutive storms, with winds gusting at over 120 mph.
Three people died, property damage is measured in hundreds of millions, thousands of households lost electricity and still haven’t found it. I don’t know where this ranks on the list of natural disasters, but just getting on that list is bad enough.
But, and that’s where the original proverb about silver linings comes in, energy prices actually fell because a quarter of our electricity is produced by wind farms. And gusting gales made their turbines spin like crazy, creating a temporary glut of energy.
As another electrical effect, broad smiles lit up the faces of our carbon-fighters. Didn’t they tell you that wind farms would eventually enable us to go carbon-free? Who needs hydrocarbons and uranium when we have wind?
Quite. There’s a slight snag though. If strong winds give us plenty of energy, the logician in me can’t help feeling that weak or no winds must give us little energy or none at all. And the dialectician in me insists that the gusty thesis must coexist with the windless antithesis to give us the synthesis of cold and dark houses.
Of course it’s always possible to ask God to keep winds blowing and, who knows, he may agree to go along with such supplications. The trouble is that most carbon-fighters are atheists and therefore don’t have an open channel of communications with the deity.
And even the few believers among them may be rebuffed by God. He’ll probably tell them in no uncertain terms that he has already granted the earthlings ample sources of energy. Rather than playing silly buggers with ideologies, they should just get on with extracting energy from the ground.
One has to marvel at the suicidal impulse energising modern governments, emphatically including ours. They have all bought, or rather pretend to have bought, the canard of anthropogenic climate change caused by our producing about three per cent of a trace gas, atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Using that ideological hoax as a lantern lighting up a path to virtue, they are prepared to destroy our economies, leaving us at the mercy of the elements. The cost of going carbon-free is measured in trillions, but the economic debacle, awful though it undoubtedly will be, isn’t the worst part of it.
By denying themselves any chance of becoming self-sufficient in energy, Western governments put themselves at a strategic disadvantage vis-à-vis regimes openly hostile to the West. And such regimes do all they can to nudge the West to the precipice.
Long before global warming became fashionable, and when global cooling was in vogue instead, the West was becoming heavily dependent on Arab oil. Since most Arab states were Soviet clients at the time, the communists had a vested interest in preventing the West from becoming self-sufficient.
Hence the hysterical anti-nuke campaign whipped up, encouraged and largely financed by the KGB. Those of a certain age must remember CND posters of mushroom clouds rising over nuclear power stations, with the credulous public led to believe that explosions were a distinct possibility.
In fact, explosive, weapon-grade U-235 is enriched to about 90 per cent. By contrast, reactor-grade uranium is enriched only to about 2–6 per cent, making an explosion impossible. Other dangers, such as a meltdown, do exist, but technologically advanced countries know how to prevent, or at least contain, them.
That’s why there has never been a fatal accident at a nuclear power station in a civilised country (the Soviet Union, with its Chernobyl, didn’t qualify as such). Thus no one died in the two major such events, one at Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island in 1979, the other at Japan’s Fukushima in 2011.
Both were described as disasters by the CND and similar groups. That left people wondering what word they reserved for accidents in which people actually died. Meanwhile, the Arab countries were trying to turn their oil into blackmail weapons, and to a large extent they succeeded. Fast-forward to today, and Russian gas is being used in exactly the same way.
In standing up to Putin’s aggression, the resolve of each Western country seems to be inversely proportionate to the amount of gas it imports from Russia.
Thus the US (energy self-sufficient) and Britain (only five per cent of our gas comes from Russia) show a greater inclination towards harsh sanctions than do the EU as a whole (60 per cent, going up to 80 within a few years) and specifically Germany (49 per cent and growing) and France (24 per cent).
Since Europe’s addiction to Russian gas is unlikely to disappear, Putin knows he is on a winning wicket. His is a low-risk strategy. When the Germans and the French get cold enough, so will their devotion to collective security.
This emphasises yet again the costs of Europe’s asinine, suicidal energy policy dictated by the Greens and largely funded by the KGB/FSB. The old anti-nuke campaign is ticking along nicely and it’s still producing results. Germany, for example, is shutting down all her nuclear power stations, leaving the country at the mercy of Putin’s gas.
Yet most European countries, especially France and Britain, have practically unlimited reserves of shale gas that can be produced easily enough by hydraulic fracturing (fracking). Hence the Green scare campaign against it, with earthquakes used the same way as the anti-nukers’ mushroom clouds.
This campaign is equally mendacious. In fact, fracking has been going on in hundreds of thousands of wells all over the US (mostly in Texas) for 75 years – with the blessing of the Environmental Protection Agency. Nothing resembling an earthquake has ever been recorded.
In fact, it takes extremely sensitive instruments to register the microseismic activity accompanying fracking. This is similar in strength to tremors produced by wind, groundwater, traffic, erosion, any kind of mining and normal life in general. Each day sees many natural tremors of a magnitude tens of thousands of times greater than anything fracking ever delivers – but facts have no effect on the scare campaign.
A French friend of mine led the legal team fighting the fracking industry’s corner, only to vindicate Napoleon’s adage about God being on the side of the big battalions – or in this case fat wallets. The anti-fracking campaign was financed by the Russians, and no number of billions is too high for them.
A Europe self-sufficient in energy wouldn’t have to rely on sanctions or, God forbid, military action to contain Putin’s Russia. It would find itself in a position of strategic strength – with sizeable economic gains as a side benefit.
Instead European countries are busily competing among themselves to see which one can destroy her economy faster in the name of a pernicious ideology. Britain, especially the present administration, is committed to winning this race, with an impoverished population, strategic frailty and grinning Greens the only prizes on offer.