Has Putin Ended the Green Movement in Europe?

The European Union (EU) – obsessed with climate change, cutting carbon emissions and saving polar bears – may have been hoist by its own foreign policy petard. Vladimir Putin’s threat to cut off natural gas supplies which supply 30 percent of the EU’s needs means the EU may be forced to become energy self sufficient. 

Wind farms do not have the capacity of keeping the central heating thermostat at a sensible level, leaving Putin’s new Cold War seeming literal as well as metaphorical.

The EU in 2013 prepared an “Association Agreement” with the Ukraine with a view to granting them membership to the EU. Putin’s response to this cozying up was the de facto annexation of the Crimea.

The first energy casualty is the South Stream project, a gas pipe line under construction connecting Russian gas to the EU. They forecasted an “additional gas import {of} 80 billion cubic meters by 2020 and surpass 140 billion cubic meters by 2030.”

Meanwhile the EU Commission demanded action: “Efforts to reduce Europe's high gas energy dependency rates should be intensified, especially for the most dependent member states.” Paradoxically the Commission is still calling “to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40%,” by 2030.

But there's also another solution, in addition to the fracking that the EU still holds suspect.

Aneurin Bevan the socialist Minister for Health and architect of the National Health Service said in a speech in Blackpool on 24th May 1945: "This Island is made mainly of coal and surrounded by fish. Only an organising genius could produce a shortage of coal and fish at the same time."  

Arguably in 2014, the lack of fish can be put down to the European Union’s policies and the coal industry to being uncompetitive. That and a ruinous strike in 1984 led by Arthur Scargill. 

However under the North Sea there is thought to be three trillion tons of coal. Four hundred square kilometres just off Northumberland in North East England has two billion tons alone. While uneconomical to mine, it can be reached by a process called “Deep Gas Winning” by extracting methane and hydrogen gasses not unlike shale gas fracking.

The person behind the initiative is Dr. Harry Bradbury, a geologist by training and the CEO of Five-Quarter Holdings Ltd. Bradbury hopes to sell the intellectual property rights to oil and gas companies, and governments. He recently said: “The area contains more energy than has been extracted from the totality of the North Sea during exploitation of its natural gas reserves are the equivalent of approximately 11 billion barrels of oil.”

The process is not too different to shale gas extraction. The bore hole does not exceed 8.5 inches (22cms) wide, then oxygen and steam are injected into the bore releasing methane and hydrogen to be burnt in power stations. 

It is beyond our drinking water, tremor free and not a blight on the countryside. It guarantees negate the problems associated with having to import carbon fuels from politically unstable regions such as the Middle East and Russia. Napoleon’s “nation of shopkeepers” may yet become a nation of petrol pump attendants.

The EU may well be advised to prosecute this form of energy. The budget would be balanced and there could be a higher standard of living for all, not least the less affluent whose fuel bills continue to cripple the family budget. Faced with the lights going out, the EU will have to abandon its green pretentions. What next for the Green lobby though?

American Secretary of State Dean Acheson said in 1962, “Britain has lost an empire and {has} not found a role.” With Putin on manoeuvres, the green lobby could have the same dilemma.


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