Putin’s Green Fifth Column

Environmental activists at a protest against fracking at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, in 2015. The signs read “Fracking harms our climate” (left) and “Fracking harms our fields.” (Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)

German environmentalists have made the country dependent on Russian energy, a weakness with geopolitical implications we are seeing now.

Sign in here to read more.

German environmentalists have made the country dependent on Russian energy, a weakness with geopolitical implications we are seeing now.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE I t is now apparent that unless further actions are taken to deter him, Vladimir Putin intends to proceed with his plan to mount a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Yet any effective military or economic deterrent is being undermined by Germany, which has refused to agree to any meaningful threat of sanctions. Indeed, Germany has gone so far as to attempt to block other NATO nations from sending Ukraine any arms to defend itself. According to the Germans, Putin needs to be free to slaughter and subjugate Ukrainians, because otherwise he might cut off Germany’s natural-gas supplies.

In fact, Germany’s dependence on Russia for its natural gas is an entirely self-inflicted weakness.

Let’s compare the sources of German and French electricity.

Table: Source of Power in Germany and France. (Data for January 22, 2022, courtesy electricitymap.org)

A number of important points stand out from this data. In the first place, note that the Germans get far more energy from coal than from natural gas Note also that while Germany now only gets 4 GW of power from nuclear energy it previously obtained 22 GW of nuclear power, nearly twice the total amount it gets from all gas, not just the 40 percent that comes from Russia. Finally note that Germany’s “green” power has resulted in 541 gms of CO2 emission per kWh. This is six times the 95 gm/kWh of nuclear-powered France.

In short, Germany’s dependence on Russian gas is entirely an artifact of Germany’s decision to shut down its nuclear-power plants. This dependence is not only driving Germany to sabotage any effort to deter Russian military expansionism, it is also funding the Russian war effort itself.

Russia’s foreign gas sales totaled $54 billion last year, while its defense budget was $62 billion. Through their gas purchases, the Germans are literally financing Russia’s war on Ukraine.

There is no limiting principle to this dependency. While Ukraine is not a member of NATO, the German argument for passivity in the face of Russian aggression would hold if Russia attacked the Baltic states or Poland as well. Sorry we can’t help you, dear Poles. Germany needs Russian gas.

Not only that, but like a drug addict seeking to induce his friends to join him in enslavement to his pusher, they are trying to increase Russian leverage over all of Europe by pushing the EU to replace nuclear power with natural gas on a continent-wide basis. Thus, in the EU’s deliberations over its energy “taxonomy” they are arguing that natural gas should be considered carbon-free, but that nuclear power should not.

In making this case, the Germans are maintaining a position that is precisely the opposite of what all know to be physical reality. Not only that, but the Green movement, which effectively dominates Germany’s political ideas, has had a continent-wide campaign — with vocal Russian backing — to prevent Europe from becoming independent in natural gas by fracking its abundant shale resources  The Greens have also acted to block the establishment of liquid natural gas (LNG) terminals that would allow the importation of LNG from the Unites States or the Mideast. So the Germans and their Green international allies are not really in favor of natural gas. They are just in favor of Russian natural gas.

In the United States the Green movement operates primarily through the Democratic Party. While they do not completely control the Biden administration, they have a strong voice in it. Accordingly, to appease his Green supporters, President Biden has acted to sabotage American oil and gas production while calling on OPEC nations to increase their output, lest prices rise too high.

These actions do not align with the claim of the Green movement that it is simply trying to protect the global environment. Oil and gas produced in Russia and OPEC nations do not merely create the same amount of pollution as the oil and gas produced in the West, they create considerably more. This is because Russia and OPEC countries have much weaker environmental enforcement than Western countries. Furthermore, many of them flare enormous amounts of natural gas associated with oil production. In contrast, because the United States has a well-developed pipeline system that can bring associated gas to market, only a small fraction of our gas is flared. Furthermore, the claim of Green advocates in Germany that they must close their nuclear-power plants because of fears that they might experience a domestic Fukushima is simply absurd. Germany has never, and can never, be swept by tsunamis. As for other kinds of accidents, the record is clear. Close to a thousand pressurized water reactors have been operating worldwide on land and sea since 1954, and not one of them has ever harmed a single member of the public. No other energy source has a safety record remotely as good.

The positions of the Green movement make no sense whatsoever from the point of view of their alleged goals of reducing pollution, carbon emissions, and risks to public health. They make perfect sense, however, if viewed as a central effort in support of Putin’s war on the West.

Nuclear power and fracking are essential to the defense of the West. In fighting to shut them down, the Greens are serving as Putin’s fifth column.

Activists symbolically set George Square on fire with an art installation of faux flames and smoke ahead of the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, October 28, 2021.
Members of Extinction Rebellion Red Rebel Brigade take part in a protest during the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, November 12, 2021.
A man in a costume reacts as he demonstrates during the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, November 7, 2021.
Demonstrators perform in a protest during the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, November 6, 2021.
A person demonstrates near the U.N. Climate Change Conference venue in Glasgow, Scotland, November 12, 2021.
Ocean Rebellion activist Rob Higgs protests against bottom trawling during a demonstration ahead of the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, October 30, 2021.
Ocean Rebellion activists protest against destructive industrial fishing during the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, November 4, 2021.
Ocean Rebellion activists dressed as Merpeople protest against bottom trawling during a demonstration ahead of the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, October 30, 2021.
Extinction Rebellion activists hold a "die-in" protest in front of the Mercer Building during the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, November 8, 2021.
A demonstrator holds a sign during a protest during the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, November 6, 2021.
A demonstrator holds up a sign during a protest during the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, November 6, 2021.
Demonstrators at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, November 5, 2021.
A giant baby balloon inflated by Climate Change activists at Glasgow Green during the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, November 8, 2021.
You have 1 article remaining.
You have 2 articles remaining.
You have 3 articles remaining.
You have 4 articles remaining.
You have 5 articles remaining.