A Looming Energy Collapse Forces Europe To Confront the Possibility of Another Dark Age Ahead


Harry G. Hutchison

September 8, 2022

6 min read

Foreign Policy



Last week approximately 70,000 people filled Wenceslas Square in the center of the Czech capital in Prague. This follows the Italian government's collapse, the Argentinian government's looming collapse, the implosion of the government of Sri Lanka, and the farmers’ revolt over soaring energy and nitrogen prices in the Netherlands, all of which seem sparked by the so-called green revolution.

This week the International Atomic Energy Agency announced that Ukraine’s nuclear plant, the largest nuclear facility in Europe, has suffered damage as part of the Russian-Ukrainian war. Last week, the Russian energy giant Gazprom announced that it would not recommence European gas deliveries through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. Recently, President Emanuel Macron, referring to the looming end of the “limitless availability of products, energy, and water,” explained that “we are living through the end of abundance.”  In Germany, an early 2022 projection forecast electricity prices might rise by 200 percent.  In other news, 60 percent of British factories in the United Kingdom may fail, crushed by exploding energy prices. Analysts believe this move will signal an economic depression due to a very cold winter. This backdrop recalls the European Dark Ages during the medieval period.

At the same time, of course, America has become increasingly reliant on unstable energy sources such as wind and solar power. Dependence on wind and solar power is driven by a misplaced focus on climate change and green energy. These moves displace ultra-stable energy sources like nuclear, coal, and natural gas. This means blackouts in California in the summer and grid blackouts in Texas in the winter after a cold snap caused wind turbines to fail, thus triggering a chain reaction that knocked out the Texas grid for days, killing at least 200 people and costing almost $300 billion.

The world’s looming energy disaster raises several questions. What is the source of this energy crisis which has cost American lives and will likely cost more lives in the future as the loss of dependable sources of energy place the West on the path to the Stone Age? Several things immediately come into play. First, western hubris is exemplified by President Biden’s decision to kill the Keystone Pipeline on the first day of his presidency; and second, his knuckleheaded decision to give up American energy independence and throw American energy workers out of work in favor of gaining popularity with the World Economic Forum (WEF) with its focus on shrinking the world population from 6-7 billion people down to the goal of 500 million. At the same time, elites, after fawning over the possibilities associated with a Green Energy Revolution, travel in private jets emitting tons of carbon.

A second causal factor is western Europe’s failure to either plan or think ahead as part of its headlong and highly irrational plunge into energy dependence on Russia while simultaneously eliminating coal and nuclear power plants.  Eliminating nuclear power plants and fossil fuels suggests that elites cannot learn from history. History shows that fossil fuels enabled western advancement, thus saving countless lives and increasing the world’s agricultural production for humans in both the West and underdeveloped areas of the globe.

As one example, consider Germany. German journalist Roland Tichy confirms that the situation in Germany and elsewhere is even worse because Germany’s political class has become highly dependent on journalists' often-singular viewpoint, meaning that journalists rather than Germany’s elected leaders now determine Germany’s foreign and energy policy. Offering uniformity and conformity rather than different perspectives and a low level of intellectual effort, the media has uniformly supported placing sanctions on Russia, leaving rank-and-file Germans at the mercy of Russia’s gas exports.

Indeed, with its currently limited intellectual effort, the German media and the European community media have reached the quite remarkable conclusion that Russian gas is the leading source of renewables available to this community. This is particularly true since Germany itself, in a transparent attempt to engage in virtue signaling, has almost halted natural gas production in its country, which has vast gas reserves. So now Germany, like much of Europe, imports its gas from Russia, from Qatar, and from the United States while leaving its own gas in the ground. Meanwhile, Germany’s foreign minister has announced that Germany will support Ukraine “no matter what my voters think.” This is not democracy. This is rule by smug autocrats on the way to totalitarianism with which Germans are all too familiar. The foreign minister’s attitude of moral superiority should be familiar to Americans who looked on with disgust as the German delegation laughed at President Trump’s warning at the United Nations. He suggested that they would rue the day they gave up their energy independence to Russia. Doubtlessly, Vladimir Putin of Russia is laughing now.

Since Europe continues to be constrained by the wishes of globalist elites, including the chattering classes made up of lawyers, journalists, academics, and bureaucrats, consumers will pay the piper. In the United Kingdom, for instance, consumers will likely see an 80% rise in their energy bills this winter. And British energy regulator Ofgem announced recently that next year could bring even higher prices. Given the commitment by the United States and Western Europe to bad energy policies and given the unwillingness of Western leaders to mollify their stance toward Russia, British consumers face a price cap that could double from current levels by the spring of 2023.

This backdrop begs the question, what will happen to the United States and U.S. consumers? While oil prices have recently stabilized as Benchmark West Texas Intermediate is trading near $94 per barrel, oil prices may rise further because OPEC will likely reduce oil exports because of a slowing global economy. In addition, the gas shortage in Europe will likely drive up natural gas prices here as U.S. producers ship more liquefied natural gas to Europe. Gas futures contracts are trading near $9.20 per million British thermal units, close to the highest level in 14 years. So, Americans can look forward to hefty heating bills this fall and winter even though their situation is not nearly as bleak as that of the Europeans.

While President Biden prefers to spend his time dividing the nation and attacking conservatives when he is not undermining the prior Administration’s energy policies that gave us energy independence, the question becomes, what can Americans do in the face of a difficult energy future that will likely have knock-on effects on food prices and on the costs of producing goods and services? First, since elections matter, Americans who believe in the Constitution need to exercise their right to vote and canvass in favor of candidates who offer sound energy and sound policy prescriptions, including U.S. energy independence. Second, after making a concerted effort to convince their fellow citizens that America now needs energy independence more than ever, we must make our concerns known to Congress. Third, we should work to ensure that President Biden stops his war on American families. At the ACLJ, we are working to ensure America once again achieves critical energy independence. We are all living witnesses to just how crucial this is for our own national security and well-being.