Streetwise Professor

February 28, 2022

Reality is a Mother

Filed under: Climate Change,Commodities,Economics,Energy,Politics,Russia,Ukraine — cpirrong @ 11:09 am

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has not shocked and awed the Ukrainian military, but it has shocked and awed Germany, fo’ sho’.

In a period of hours over the weekend (and remember, German stores close promptly at 6 and are not open on Sunday), Germany announced that it will:

(a) Increase defense spending to 2 pct of GDP.

(b) Build two new LNG import facilities.

(c) Consider delaying decommissioning its nukes.

(d) Consider all options for energy, including gas, nuclear, and coal: there are no longer any “taboos” on energy sources.

What will Greta say?:

The Germans are saying, in effect: Go away girl. The shit just got real.

I note that (a) and (b) topped the list of Donald Trump’s harangues against Germany, which caused the ruling class to shriek in anger: how dare he insult our dear allies? Actions speak far louder than an apology.

Alas, this reality therapy has not penetrated the thick skulls of the Biden administration. When asked about reversing Biden administration anti-fossil fuel policies, spokesmoron Jen Psaki instead continued to ride the renewables hobby horse. She thereby reinforced the message of the Most Clueless Man in the World, John Kerry, whose big concern about Ukraine is that it might distract Vladimir Putin from focusing on climate change.

Yes, reality is a mother. Enough of a mother to snap even the dreamy Germans out of their green and pacifistic reveries. But not enough of one to do the same in the Biden administration.

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  1. Good intentions are mocked by ass holes.

    Comment by Kyle Britt — February 28, 2022 @ 11:52 am

  2. @Kyle. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Mocking those whose good intentions if implemented will have malign effects is a public service. If it takes an “ass hole” to do that, so be it.

    Comment by cpirrong — February 28, 2022 @ 2:21 pm

  3. Good intentions are what your daft old maiden aunt had. Wise actions are a better bet.

    Comment by dearieme — February 28, 2022 @ 2:28 pm

  4. Will Putin’s legacy be that he turned Germany back to its warmongering tradition? Irony of ironies. Beware Belgium, beware Poland.

    Comment by dearieme — February 28, 2022 @ 2:30 pm

  5. @Kyle, here’s some news, reality judges us on results, not intentions.

    Comment by The Pilot — February 28, 2022 @ 3:32 pm

  6. Schoolchildren in Florida will never again get to build snowmen (snowxtn?) in the playground. Breaks my heart.

    Comment by philip — February 28, 2022 @ 6:15 pm

  7. I love all the anti-Trump sentiment that still exists. Idiots. I was looking at Twitter tonight and CNBC’s Ron Insana said yesterday was the first day he ever heard of SWIFT……why is he on a business channel again?

    If Germany would have been doing this all along, Putin might not have invaded. What’s also ironic is the leader of Germany isn’t a conservative. He wanted to be a raving liberal, but instead got slapped in the face.

    Comment by Jeffrey Carter — February 28, 2022 @ 10:44 pm

  8. That’s not what I took from their energy policy announcements.

    Their plan is to accelerate new wind and solar generation to achieve 80% renewable electricity by 2030. It’s at about 45% now. They want to be out of fossil fuels completely by 2035. They will consider the option of extending the life of the 3 nuclear reactors they have left (about 4GW total – compare with the announced addition of 65GW of on-shore wind, 140GW of solar and 20GW of off-shore wind) and to consider keeping some model hard coal plants around after 2030. But make no mistake – this is a full-on commitment to solar PV, on-shore and off-shore wind. There will be no new coal or nuclear.

    Any coal is dead for electricity – there’s about as much chance of the world returning to the use of coal for powering ships. It’s history – it cannot compete with the alternatives.

    Some NG will be required for electricity under this plan but exclusively in open-cycle (peaker) plants to complement intermittents.

    Germany’s problem with natural gas is with domestic consumption for heating and cooking and industrial, not electricity generation. NG was the natural replacement when households gave up on burning coal for domestic heating/hot water back in the 1980s – over half of German homes rely on it for heating and cooking. NG provides under 15% of the electricity.

    Comment by derriz — March 1, 2022 @ 4:10 am

  9. Ahh, I see normal programming has been resumed. So, I see Tucker Carlson has rowed back on his moronic comments about Putin. Quel f*cking surprise.

    Comment by David Mercer — March 1, 2022 @ 7:55 am

  10. @JeffreyCarter, a conservative is a liberal mugged by reality. Olaf got mugged coming on his first week in office. That Insana didn’t know about SWIFT, it’s insane.

    Comment by The Pilot — March 1, 2022 @ 9:39 am

  11. It’s one thing to understand Russian paranoia, it’s another to indulge it.
    Carlson, Freedman and others blame the West for intruding into East Europe. In fact post Soviet Russia was courted to join the democratic concert of nations along with their former satrapies. They joined the Council of Europe in 1996 and if Russia was a normal country would by now be in the EU. But it isn’t.
    It’s too late for historical blame-fests and whataboutery. Now we just have to win.

    Comment by philip — March 1, 2022 @ 6:55 pm

  12. “if Russia was a normal country would by now be in the EU”: as fine a piece of satire as I’ve seen in ages.

    Comment by dearieme — March 2, 2022 @ 11:46 am

  13. This conflict was planned at least five years ago. By the U.S. :

    Comment by Richard Whitney — March 6, 2022 @ 12:43 pm

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