Naïve ‘Green Energy’ Policies Have Severely Weakened The Western World

An obsession with utopian schemes has led to a complete disconnect from reality, empowering ruthless authoritarian states.

As Russia invades Ukraine and seeks to ruthlessly subjugate a sovereign nation, it has become increasingly clear that naïve ‘green energy’ policies have severely weakened the West and empowered authoritarian states.

A zero-sum game?

Often, we talk about the economy as a zero-sum game, as in when one person wins, another loses.

That’s often not the case, as higher productivity and innovation can have broad-based benefits, helping everyone become wealthier.

But when it comes to the energy sector, there is often a zero-sum game taking place.

If Canada doesn’t produce more oil & gas, then we are losing potential profits.

The lack of production means prices are higher, which benefits those who are selling.

Thus, the attack on Canada’s energy sector costs our country twice.

First, we lose out on the money we could have made.

Second, other countries get richer at our expense. We pay more, they make more.

This is particularly egregious when you look at a country like Russia.

The more money Russia makes selling oil & gas, the more money they have to build up their armed forces.

Furthermore, the higher the share of the energy market that Russia is able to corner, the more they have leverage over countries like Germany.

It thus follows that when Canada, the US, and other Western nations restrict their energy sectors, we are missing out on potential military strength and geopolitical influence.

Harsh truths over emotion

What I mentioned above is a simple cause & effect relationship.

Unfortunately, such simple things are often lost on those in power, who instead find themselves obsessed with a dangerously emotional, naïve, and utopian ideology when it comes to energy.

And since energy is so foundational to civilization, the costs of getting energy policy wrong are massive.

Consider the case of Germany.

For years, they’ve been trying to shrink their coal industry, claiming they wanted to transition to renewable energy for the environment.

The share of Germany’s energy that is provided by coal has shrunk from around 45% in 2013, to 24% in 2020.

At the same time, Germany was shutting down their nuclear power plants.

This is probably the point where you’re thinking, “that sounds like a bad idea.”

And, you are 100% right.

Considering that most reality-minded analysts understand that nuclear energy is essential to any so-called ‘green energy future,’ to simultaneously shrink the coal industry and shut down nuclear power plants means there is a huge energy gap.

How did Germany fill that gap?

By becoming dependent on Russia.

Germany became heavily reliant on gas imports from Russia. A full 55% of Germany’s gas comes from the authoritarian Russian state, which gives Vladimir Putin massive leverage over Germany.

How ironic it is that supposed ‘Putin stooge’ Donald Trump was calling out the danger of Germany and Europe’s reliance on Russian energy supplies, at the same time as much of the media was praising Angela Merkel – who made Germany more and more dependent on Russia during her time in office:

“When Trump demanded Germany stop funding Russia and start paying dues to NATO, the press spun this was “weakening the NATO alliance.””

The same – to a lesser extent – is true here in Canada, and even the United States.

Canada – despite our gargantuan oil reserves – imports a lot of foreign oil, including from Russia:

When Canada doesn’t utilize our own energy, our money is diverted to other countries – including Russia. 

Oil prices are higher, benefitting the countries we buy from.

They have more money, and can use it on things like building up their armed forces.

This is a harsh truth to some, as it is simply how the world works, something that many aren’t used to hearing since our society shies away from blunt reality.

So, when you explain this to people who have an irrational hatred for Canada’s energy sector, it seems like it’s the most complicated thing in the world.

Disconnected from reality

Being locked into a utopian and naïve ideology is dangerous, because it makes it impossible to deal with reality as it is.

In the case of Germany, they couldn’t generate enough renewable energy to make up for their crippling of the coal and nuclear energy sectors, but instead of acknowledging their error and expanding coal production and re-embracing nuclear power, they decided to give more of their money to Russia.

We see the same thing in Canada, where those who want to shut down the Western energy sector have no actual alternative in mind, and seem to believe that some sort of magic source of energy will emerge to save the day.

Too much success?

This brings us to the question of why this is happening.

A key part of the reason is that the Western world has been almost too successful.

What I mean by that is so many people have grown up in a world where seemingly unlimited energy was available, and basic issues of subsistence and safety from external threats were problems ‘somewhere else.’

As a result, it became easy for many people to take for granted the basic foundation of our standard of living – abundant cheap oil & gas, and our military power/alliances.

It became easy to elect leaders who prioritized virtue-signalling displays of ‘sensitivity’ and pledged to crush the ‘dirty’ energy sectors in order to make people feel good about themselves, while being completely ignorant of how things actually work.

And yet, being ignorant of reality doesn’t mean reality doesn’t exist.

Raw power

The world still functions on the basis of raw power, power which starts with abundant cheap energy, which leads to economic growth, which leads to military power.

Yes, values and principles such as a love of freedom are vitally important, but those values can only be sustained and defended if a country has access to cheap energy, lots of money, and military power/alliances with a country that possesses those things.

Consider that Ukraine once possessed the third largest nuclear arsenal on Earth.

They gave it up, in exchange for an agreement – the Budapest Memorandum, signed by the United States, the U.K. and Russia, which guaranteed Ukraine’s security in exchange for them completely denuclearizing.

To put it bluntly, Ukraine traded the ability to rapidly kill massive numbers of human beings for a piece of paper.

We are all seeing how that has worked out.

Without the ability to threaten mutually assured destruction, Ukraine is left at the mercy of a country with more cheap energy, more money, and more military power.

The Western world is making a more subtle version of the same mistake now: Giving up something real and tangible for something ephemeral.

The more we strangle our oil and gas and coal industries without actual viable alternatives being available, the more we weaken ourselves and empower countries with vastly different ideologies.

If free nations (or at least nations where many Citizens value freedom) get weaker and weaker, autocracies, Communist states, and authoritarians of all stripes will become more powerful, and the world will get more and more dangerous.

Green turns to red

The more we give in to naïve ‘green energy’ thinking, the more the world will be bathed in red.

Watching our leaders try to talk tough about Russia after having sought to cripple our energy sector (thus enriching Russia), and underfunding our armed forces for years and years is an insult to our intelligence. The words are empty without anything real to back it up.

Thus, if we truly want to be secure and free, and want to stand up for our values, a clear appraisal of reality requires that we maximize our profits by fully utilizing our energy sector resources, build up our economy, and strengthen our armed forces.

Spencer Fernando

Photo – YouTube

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