The worst of all crises – VG

Lack of energy causes economic crisis, hunger crisis and climate crisis.

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Germany has cut out the hot water in the shower in public bathrooms. The lights are turned off in streets and commercial buildings.

It’s just the beginning. They will have to save. The continent is not getting the gas deliveries it expected from Russia.

The question is whether it is in Paris or Berlin that gets the worst of it. Half of France’s nuclear power has also been put out of action.

CHOKING THE GAS: Vladimir Putin’s Russia is currently sending less gas than usual through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. Russia blames maintenance and Western sanctions. But there is spare capacity in other gas pipelines to Europe.

Two measures are now being taken in the EU: They are saving energy. And they buy alternatives to Russian gas.

And it works. European gas reserves are growing. The EU says they will not run out.

At the same time, this costs them dearly. And it affects other parts of the world.

In Pakistan, they have experienced a black out this summer. Public offices and shopping centers have been ordered closed. In relatively rich Thailand, they have had to cancel gas purchases. Around the world, industry has shut down, because it is no longer profitable when energy is so expensive.

Putin’s gas war has repercussions everywhere. In poorer countries, the problem is that rich Europe outbids them, and buys the energy they intended to import.

Norway “only” has problems with electricity being expensive. The authorities say that they do not think there will be rationing.

With Norway’s large revenues, the authorities should be able to help generously. If the dissatisfaction is too great, the government can lose control so that ill-founded measures are pushed through.

The danger of rationing is much greater in countries other than Norway. From the EU side, it is said that households must be protected. It is the business world that will feel the energy shortage the most.

The countries have their plans ready for which companies must turn off the lights in a crisis.

Expensive electricity and disconnections are not to be trifled with. It brings closures, unemployment, lost income to the state and the risk of rebellion.

But it is far better to have planned rationing than to simply have a lack of energy. Because we can’t stand that at all.

Imagine a major European city that loses power for a week. How many businesses survive that? Not to mention people?

People die in heat waves without air cooling. They freeze to death in the cold. In agriculture, you don’t get to sow, the vegetables don’t get fertilizer, the food isn’t transported to the markets.

Energy crisis can lead to food crisis, hunger crisis, transport crisis, financial crisis. Yes, it can even lead to a climate crisis. This is the mother of all crises.

Europe is now using oil and coal to replace gas. Renewable projects are in trouble because of all the other crises.

Because the prices have long since led to production stoppages and bankruptcies. Last year cut Yara fertilizer production due to high gas prices. Aluminum production in the world is greatly reduced.

Norway is also going bankrupt because energy prices are too high.

How bad it will be in the future depends on the weather. And what Putin is doing with the gas.

He can choose anything from stopping supply altogether to flooding the market with gas to drive the price to zero and destroy the investments that have been made.

Most likely, he will not give up the gas weapon, but rather continue to behave unpredictably.

So far in this war, the big surprise has been how united Europe has been after all, and how well the US has delivered.

Russian propaganda tries to scare and exaggerate the energy crisis. Because the goal is to pressure the West to cut the sanctions. It will be a test of strength for solidarity in Europe.

We must be prepared for the fact that it can be freezing cold and that everyone will want gas. In addition, China can get out of the covid measures and start bidding for the same gas.

If Putin succeeds, it could be a war of all against all.

EUROPE DEPENDED ON PUTIN: The Russian president together with Germany’s then Chancellor Angela Merkel and former US President Donald Trump in 2018.

But it can also go far better than feared. Let’s hope for a mild winter with lots of rain and wind where Russia will have to keep the gas flowing to make money and avoid shutting down production.

Then we can get a year’s respite.

But still, all is not well. Because the plan for Europe is to get rid of all Russian gas.

This can mean expensive electricity for several years to come. The futures contracts on electricity are pigs.

Will we have electricity support for many years? Who else but Norway can afford it? What if we have a dry year, which there is a ten percent chance of?

Vladimir Putin has made it abundantly clear how dependent Europe is on his gas.

We may be forced to phase out fossil fuels before the alternatives are ready. But that creates a poverty crisis, a food crisis and a financial crisis. It is dangerous.

We use oil, gas and coal because we need it. Now the West must find alternatives as soon as possible.

But replacing Russian gas could take a decade. The only thing left to do is to continue chopping wood in southern Norway.

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