We can knock the energy weapon out of the blackmailers’ hands

That energy can act as a weapon, especially of the blackmail variety, is a matter of historical fact. For example, when in 1940 the Soviets, having suffered a million casualties, finally managed to make headway in their war of aggression against Finland, they were ready to occupy the country. That courageous nation was about to become enslaved, suffering the fate of her Baltic neighbours Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania.

However, HMG let the Soviets know that it would be so upset by such an outcome that it would vent its displeasure by bombing the Baku oil fields, at that time the principal source of oil in the Soviet Union. Thanks to that, Finland didn’t have to wait another 50 years to ensure her independence — oil was too valuable a chip for the Soviets to gamble with.

It has since been disclosed that Stalin’s plans to preempt Hitler’s attack involved a massive raid on the Ploesti oil fields in Rumania whence most of Germany’s hydrocarbons came. Some historians argue, convincingly, that it was precisely this threat that left Hitler no option but to preempt the preemptor by striking first, thus accepting a hopeless two-front war.

However, the Nazis still had a sporting chance of knocking Russia out of the war. All they had to do was take Moscow before the onset of cold weather, thereby hoping to make the Russians sue for peace. However, against his generals’ advice, Hitler rerouted much of his force southwards, away from Moscow. For the south was where Baku was, which is to say oil. That lack of strategic focus allowed the Soviets to regroup and stop the Germans at Moscow. Then it was but a matter of time.

After the war the demand for oil didn’t diminish, and neither did its aggressive potential. The Soviet Union was kept together, in addition to brute force, by the standing threat of shutting off the oil taps should the constituent republics become recalcitrant, a threat Russia still relies upon whenever the spirit moves her. Russia’s Arab clients too learned the trick of using oil for nefarious purposes — until most of them became so wealthy that they could stop being her clients.

With much of the world’s energy in the hands of powers congenitally hostile to the West, what could the West do to counter the threat? No Western government has the fortitude displayed by HMG in 1940, and, in a nuclear age, such an aggressive stance would be ill-advised anyway. But the nuclear age can produce not only bombs but also power stations, and this showed the way for the West to become less susceptible to energy blackmail.

Predictably, the Soviets whipped up a worldwide anti-nuke campaign, spearheaded in Britain by the CND, that training ground for the extreme left, otherwise known as today’s Labour back benches. Scary umbrellas were drawn above pictures of nuclear power stations, displaying that commitment to factual truth for which lefties are so justly known. Every child, unless he is comprehensively educated, knows that the uranium used to produce electricity isn’t purified to weapon standards and therefore can’t explode into the umbrella so dear to Tony Blair’s heart at the time. But never mind — repeat a lie often enough, and some will believe it.

Few people noticed at the time that, for example, while the ruling Communist party of East Germany was having nuclear power stations built all over the country, its West German agents were vigorously campaigning against such a development on the other side. The French, who are often able to separate their despicable politics from their commendable common sense, listened to the demonstrators, nodded and then proceeded to build enough nuclear stations to produce enough electricity to supply 85 percent of the country’s needs — and sell the surplus to Britain, where Jack Straw, Tony Blair and their comrades had done anti-nuke subversion more effectively.

Finally, we are waking up to the strategic significance of energy, and more nuclear power stations will be built — at a time when their cost is higher by orders of magnitude than it would have been when Tony still had long hair. People are finally realising that nuclear energy is the only effective alternative to hydrocarbons, even though wind turbines do have a potential, as demonstrated by the one that caught fire in Scotland a few months ago, thus providing an instant source of light and heat.

Not only is nuclear energy effective, it’s also safe by comparison to any other effective source. People brainwashed by anti-nuke propaganda routinely refer to Three-Mile Island or Fukushima as ‘disasters’ or ‘calamities’, making one wonder what terms they’d use for accidents in which people actually got killed. Conveniently forgotten is the fact that, over 60 years of nuclear power in the West, not a single life has been lost to an accident (those killed at Fukushima lost their lives to the tsunami, not the meltdown). The only accident in which many died was Chernobyl, which only goes to show that nuclear power can indeed become unsafe in the hands of a technologically backward nation.

Neither oil, with its capsizing platforms and exploding pipelines, nor coal, with its mine explosions and black lung, can boast the same safety record. Blank lung, for example, annually kills about 1,500 miners in the USA alone, and yet one doesn’t see too many demonstrations outside the pits.

Nor are the doomsday predictions of oil running out coming true. The estimates, mostly from advocates of putting flowers into our petrol tanks, are constantly upgraded: 30 years ago the oil wells were supposed to run dry in 20 years, now it’s 40, 50 or whatever figure those flower children can pluck out of the air. And yet new possibilities are opening up all the time. High oil prices, combined with technological advances, have made new exploration viable. Deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico has become an attractive proposition, as has the tapping of shale gas and Canada’s oil sands. North America will be able to double its energy output in the next few years, thus disarming the energy blackmailers.

As with any strategic threat, that of energy blackmail has to be dealt with resolutely and intelligently. The first step is to realise that the threat indeed exists, and there are signs that Western governments are waking up to it. That’s the intelligence part taken care of. Now comes the resolve part, whatever’s left from politicking and getting into the US president’s bed (I’m not implying any sexual impropriety, as I hope you understand). That’s the real challenge.



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