Placing The Blame for Europe’s Energy and Economic Crisis

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From The Manhattan Contrarian

Francis Menton

Over in Europe, things are looking bad for the economy, largely driven by a rapid increase in household and business energy bills. In the UK, average household energy bills have recently risen to about triple where they were just a year ago; and Bloomberg reports that “tens of thousands” of UK businesses are at risk of closure due to soaring energy costs. In Germany, KAKE reports on October 7 that energy costs are “savaging German industry,” with natural gas prices in particular up 400% from January to September 2022.

So how did they get into this mess? You might think, that’s easy to understand. Obviously, they pursued “Net Zero” carbon emissions programs, building weather-dependent wind turbines and solar panels that produce nothing most of the time, while closing reliable coal power plants, banning fracking, and otherwise suppressing fossil fuels, with the sole exception of imports of natural gas. When the gas market spiked, they had no other backup for the wind and sun, and their energy prices soared. For their exit strategy from the mess, they need to diversify reliable supply, start fracking, and get over the idea that intermittent wind and solar can power a modern economy.

On the other hand, if you work for the New York Times, it’s possible to look at the exact same set of facts and draw entirely the opposite conclusions. The lead op-ed in today’s Times is written by a guy named Sam Bright and has the headline “They Wanted to Blow Up Britain’s Economy, and Liz Truss Let Them.” Read the piece, and you will learn that the UK’s current economic crisis has nothing to do with failed renewable energy schemes or spiking natural gas prices. Instead, it is all the result of the nefarious plot of new PM Liz Truss — in office just one month today — and a shadowy group of “libertarians” think tanks, with a plan to “blow up” the UK economy.

Under Ms. Truss, once nicknamed the “human hand grenade” for her ideological obduracy, the libertarian right has detonated the British economy. The cost, for all but the richest, could be incalculable.

Yes, according to Mr. Bright and the Times, the policies of the last two decades to suppress reliable energy production, subsidize unreliable renewables that don’t work most of the time, and make the UK totally dependent on a volatile international natural gas market, have little or nothing to do with the current troubles. Instead, it’s all the fault of the guys who just came into power a couple of weeks ago — when the crisis was already under way — and who supposedly have been able to ruin everything in a matter of mere days, probably just for their own sadistic amusement.

Most of Bright’s piece devotes itself to identifying the real bad guys, who are a group of shadowy “libertarian” think tanks all based in the Westminster area of London on one short street, Tufton Street:

Set in a maze of streets flanking the Palace of Westminster, the red brick townhouses of Tufton Street are anonymous; no corporate logos attempt to catch the curiosity of passers-by. In fact, the street itself is usually deserted. But this sleepy facade conceals a welter of activity. For the past decade or more, Tufton Street has been the primary command center for libertarian lobbying groups, a free-market ideological workshop cloistered quietly in the heart of power.

It seems that this little street is infested with a “battalion” of “libertarian” shock troops, who have now moved into Downing Street with well thought-out plans to destroy Britain in a matter of days if not hours:

This battalion of free-market thinkers has now been welcomed into 10 Downing Street. Five of the new prime minister’s closest advisers are Tufton Street alumni, including Ms. Truss’s chief economic adviser and her political secretary, and at least nineTufton Street alumni are scattered across other major government departments.

According to this narrative, just by getting “welcomed” at Downing Street, they have been able to “blow up” Britain’s economy almost instantly, before even any new legislation has been passed.

The Times then provides a picture of the nerve center of this nefarious movement, a townhouse on the street in question:

Wait a minute! 55 Tufton Street is the headquarters of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, the organization of which I serve as the President of the American Friends affiliate.

My question is, can anybody really believe this incredible spin, that attempts to absolve people who have been creating this mess for twenty and more years, and shift the blame to the people who have been in the wilderness that whole time?

There isn’t an election currently going on in Britain to enable us to assess the extent to which the public may fall for such spin. But meanwhile over in Germany, there is an election going on, in the state of Lower Saxony. No Tricks Zone reports today in a piece titled “Germany’s Green Party in Dire Straits, Isolates Its Hapless Leader.” It seems that the German public has figured out that the Greens and their renewable energy obsessions are substantially responsible for the energy crisis:

The German Greens, who are partners with the SPD socialists in Germany’s government, are sinking dramatically in the public opinion polls as it becomes clear Green Party leader and Economics Minister Robert Habeck is driving the country’s economy into the ground at a dizzying speed.

NTZ says it has gotten bad enough that the Greens are hiding Habeck from the public during the election, not letting him show his face for campaign events:

Blackout News reports reports that the Greens are “hiding” Habeck from the public in order to control the damage, and so far he has “had only one campaign appearance”. . . . “In the polls, Robert Habeck has already experienced a significant plunge in the popularity of German politicians in recent days. So it’s no wonder that the Greens are literally hiding their once most popular politician ahead of the election in Lower Saxony,” reports Blackout News.

NTZ concludes:

Once the darlings of politics, the German Greens have seen their popularity plummet spectacularly over the recent weeks as Germany’s economy crashes due to excruciating energy shortages and price inflation.

Read the complete article here.

via Watts Up With That?

October 11, 2022