Who Hijacked Our Country

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

No, Saudi America Will NOT Save Europe from Russia's Retaliation

The United States and the European Union are both imposing economic sanctions against Russia.  The conventional wisdom is that Europe has less leverage against Russia than we do, because Europe is dependent on importing natural gas from Russia.  If Vladimir Putin decides to retaliate by shutting off Europe's gas supply and/or jacking the price way up, Europe is toast.

Therefore, the magical solution is for America to drill and frack like she's never drilled and fracked before.  Start up the Keystone Pipeline yesterday, and hundreds more pipelines just like it.  Then, Saudi America can export billions of megatons of natural gas to Europe.  America's economy will boom like it's never boomed before, Europe won't need Russia's natural gas any more, and poor old Vladimir Putin will just fade away.

Dream on.  Europe doesn't need America's fracked natural gas is the title of this article.

In short, we will not be able to wean Europe off of their energy dependence on Russia.  People who fall for this drivel are called weaners by the author.

Most European countries, especially Germany, have made incredible gains in renewable energy development, and they're much more conservation-minded than Americans.  So let's say Russia uses natural gas exports as a way to blackmail Europe.  For most Europeans it'll be just a matter of adjusting and tweaking a few things, rather than Oh my God, what will we do???

Think of it this way:  If you're already busier than a one-armed paper hanger, and somebody drops a few more errands or assignments on you, you'll probably say Hmm, OK, no problem" and then adjust your schedule as needed.  On the other hand, if you spend most of your time lying around watching the tube, and somebody needs you to do something, you'll probably go Ugh!  Oh, man, uh, do what now?  I don't know when I'll be able to do that.

Or (only one more comparison, I promise):  You're already thrifty, a smart shopper, and you suddenly get a huge new expense.  No problem, just start poring over your finances, and you'll see a few minor adjustments you can make.  It's a pain, but not the end of the world.  But if you're used to a large income (probably unearned) and you get a huge new expense, you'll go to pieces.  “Oh!!!  What will I do?!?!?!?  I can't do without my _________, and I need ________________.  This is just unbearable!

So in the event of Russia turning off the gas, Americans are projecting their lack of innovation, and their oil addiction, onto Europe.  Americans go to pieces when there's an energy shortage:  “Oh!!!  What will I do?!?!?!?  I can't do without my _________, and I need ________________.  This is just unbearable!”  Europeans on the other hand will just shrug and go OK, I'll wait 'til next month to get those new shoes, and I can switch to that generic vodka instead of the good stuff.

That's my opinion anyway, as well as the opinion of Dean Baker, author of the linked article.

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Blogger Mr. Charleston said...

We've become a nation of cowards, cowed by every threat either real or perceived. One energy expert after another has said we can cut our energy use by 50% through conservation alone. But then, that wouldn't make big oil any money would it?
I fail to see what everyone's excited about in the first place. The Crimea has been a de facto part of Russia for centuries, making it de jure is no big deal. Before we complain, maybe we should first give up Hawaii, Puerto Rico and American Samoa.

March 26, 2014 at 6:12 AM  
Blogger jim marquis said...

Good piece, Tom. Any chance humans have to get away from fuel that comes out of the ground should be utilized.

March 27, 2014 at 8:33 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Mr. C: Sad but true, Americans are cowering under dozens of real and imagined threats. And paranoid people are easy to manipulate. We definitely need to max out on energy conservation, regardless of whatever energy sources we develop.

Jim: Thanks. We certainly need to do everything possible to minimize our consumption of fossil fuels.

March 27, 2014 at 3:43 PM  

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