In March 2011, a subterranean earthquake literally moved Japan by eight feet and triggered a massive tsunami wave which shattered ports and towns along Japanese coastlines, and causing 16,000-odd deaths. The Fukushima nuclear plant’s emergency power and cooling systems were overcome by this huge wall of water, three of the four reactors were damaged by hydrogen explosions, contaminated water swept into the ocean; and 571 died from disaster-related deaths including radiation poisoning. The tragedy occurred because no-one had even thought of the possibilities of a thirty-foot high wall of water smashing through the retaining walls of the nuclear plant’s back-up power and cooling systems. This tragedy was seized on half-a-world away by Green(ie) politicians in Germany, who cordially detest the very idea of nuke power, it being nasty, and dangerous, and totally un-Green. They hold a variable amount of political clout in the Federal Republic, and used this clout to have all the nuclear stations, already under threat of premature closure because of whipped-up panic after Three-Mile Island and Chernobyl; to be placed on either full shut-down or premature closure. As there have been no earthquakes of any comparable size or ferocity in Federal Germany, or anywhere else in mainland Europe for decades, if not for centuries, the push to get rid of the nukes was, again, purely political; as well as featuring prominently in the plan to get Germany towards the queue towards ‘Global Warming’ or else ‘Climate Change’ which is the term favoured now it is commonly accepted that the world isn’t warming due to Man’s activities.
As the only possible power plant alternatives to nuclear power, which are able to provide long-term uninterrupted base electricity load; are thermal power stations utilising coal (oh, terrible, full of Carbon; the Dioxide bit is normally not published as it would confuse the readers. Confuse? The fact that Carbon Dioxide comprises approximately 0.04 % of Earth’s atmosphere is not normally publicised because; well, it might publicise that fact to the ordinary plebs who provide the cash for all this so-called ‘reduction in Carbon technology’). The ‘approved’ technologies, (approved, that is, by the Greenies and the ‘Warming’ crowd, are of course wind power from huge bladed turbines, and solar energy derived from photo-voltaic cells laid out in vast arrays. What is always left unsaid, or rather not admitted, is the fact that wind power is only available when the bloody wind blows: and if the sun sets, away goes the solar power as well. So. nuclear power, which is, incidentally the only “Carbon-free” source available which can, and indeed does, provide safe, constant, easily-available electricity, is being shut down because the Greenies just don’t like it!
But Germany, along with just about all of Western Europe, depends for another vital source of power to heat its homes, provide energy towards industry, and this is of course Gas., providing the energy to power the CCGT : Combined Cycle Gas Turbines – these use Natural Gas to power a Turbine which turns a Generator; making electricity. A second system uses the heat to produce steam which is used to turn a turbine which powers a generator making more electricity: Gas comes to Germany from both Norway and from the Netherlands, but an increasing percentage comes from Russia. The actual figures are concealed, in Germany at least; but the increase follows record years for Gazprom exports to Germany in 2016 and 2017, with the country receiving 53.4 b.c.m. last year alone. Germany is the largest buyer of Russian natural gas, and makes up 27.5% of Gazprom’s total exports in 2017.
As the Washington Times stated:- Russia has long shown a willingness to use its energy supplies as a weapon. Does anyone really think that Moscow would hesitate to blackmail Berlin with the threat of supply interruption if the Russian President Vladimir Putin thought it would help achieve his political, military and security goals?
As the Russian economy limps along, hamstrung by Western sanctions over Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine, Mr. Putin would like nothing else than to gain additional leverage over Germany with Nord Stream II. It would give Russia the leverage in a future crisis to make Europe an offer it couldn’t refuse: Do what we want or no gas for you. Nord Stream 11 is a pipeline which runs from Vyborg in Russia, direct to Germany’s gas receiving installations in trenches sculpted in the rocks along the length of the Baltic Sea, thus bypassing all those pipelines passing through the Ukraine. That nation, which has the unfortunate ability to shut the gas off completely if that once-subservient nation gets pissed-off with the once-mighty Russia. By building the NordStream pipeline, Russia has virtually captured the whole power requirements of Germany for itself, as the Germans, ever eager for a deal, can throw off the Dutch and the Norwegians to gain an illusory advantage by signing up to the Big Bad Bear (alias Putin’s Russia).
Enter the one man who sees things from a totally different perspective. Not from Europe’s viewpoint, certainly not from the vast majority of appeasement specialist Western politicians: but instead from the viewpoint of a patriotic business-minded American: President Trump. During a NATO leaders’ meeting, he stated categorically that “We’re supposed to protect you from Russia, but Germany is making pipeline deals with Russia. You tell me if that’s appropriate. Explain that.”
With this tirade delivered to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Donald Trump began his visit to the annual summit of NATO allies in Brussels. It was an extraordinary departure from normal diplomatic protocol. For the first time, a U.S. president was openly acknowledging NATO’s role as a military protectorate over Europe in the post-Cold-War era, rather than keeping a pretence of an alliance of equals. It was also the first time that a U.S. president has so explicitly linked America’s economic interests to America’s offer of military protection.
Fair enough, President Trump has not forgotten that the United States, by virtue of its huge gas discoveries and also by the ‘fracking’ technology, has lots and lots of surplus gas to sell to anyone. He would love to have more customers for America’s gas such as the Lithuanians, whose domestic gas market used to be the sole purview of Russia’s Gazprom. But the Lithuanians, having really bad and totally justified memories of the Russian occupation during and after the Second World War, were the first to kick off the chains which bound them to Russia, organised and found a dock for Independence, and can now import 75% of all three Baltic nations’ gas needs.
Germany ought to pause, and consider whether she should be building two import terminals: one for NordStream 11, and one for imports from America, or anywhere else in the world which is not dominated by a KGB-bred power-hungry dictator!