Energy and Inflation

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Energy and Inflation

by Fjordman

Many countries are currently experiencing rising inflation rates. Some of this has been blamed on the Russian invasion of the Ukraine on February 24, 2022. This war between two of the world’s major food exporters will certainly make matters worse. Yet the truth is that many countries, from the USA via Russia to Germany and other European nations, had already experienced rising prices throughout 2021 and early 2022. The war between Russia and the Ukraine simply made a bad situation even worse.

What are the causes of rising inflation? In some sense, the Western world has still not fully recovered from the financial crisis in 2008. Central banks have been printing money for years without truly fixing most of the underlying problems of the economy. Many European countries have higher levels of debt now than they did a couple of decades ago. The USA suffers from enormous levels of public debt, and the U.S. Congress keeps raising the debt ceiling again and again. In this situation, the administration of President Joe Biden has irresponsibly increased government spending in 2021 and 2022.

Another factor is the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus known as COVID-19 spread worldwide during 2020 and 2021. It was first recorded in late 2019 in the city of Wuhan in China. Partly due to Chinese censorship, we may never know the full truth of what happened there. However, the most likely explanation is that the coronavirus spread from the virus laboratory in Wuhan, perhaps by an accidental leak. The virus also bears indications of having been deliberately altered by humans. If that is true, the Wuhan coronavirus is the first known case of a global pandemic created by a pathogen that had been actively manipulated by humans.

The coronavirus has made many humans sick and killed millions of people. Yet its greatest negative effects have arguably been economic. Several billion people from India to Canada have been affected by strict coronavirus lockdowns imposed by the authorities. Critics argue that some of these restrictions may have caused more problems than they solved. Millions of people have lost their jobs, and hundreds of millions of people have suffered negative effects from the lockdowns. Western countries have become more authoritarian and less free in just two years.

The war between Russia and the Ukraine thus came before the world had a chance to recover from the global effects of the coronavirus pandemic. This added another layer to the international economic turmoil.

An emerging energy crisis, largely created by political decisions, seems to have contributed directly to rising rates of inflation. On both sides of the Atlantic, Western politicians proclaim that the world is threatened by alleged man-made climate change and global warming caused by greenhouse gas emission from the use of fossil fuels. The European Union has approved a European Green Deal. It is supposed to make the EU climate neutral in 2050 through huge and costly changes to the economy and energy supply. Such drastic changes are allegedly needed to save our planet. The Biden Administration promotes similar policies in the USA.

Despite claims to the contrary, not all scientists are convinced that human actions are causing big changes to the Earth’s climate. Moreover, some of the suggested policies will probably not make any major difference to future climate if they are implemented. These policies will first and foremost cause major economic harm, and undermine the energy supplies of the Western world.

The Neolithic Revolution was the great transformation that occurred when hunter-gatherers became more settled and started growing their own food through the domestication of plants and animals. This changed human societies forever. It was also a gradual change that took thousands of years, and seems to have started independently in many different places.

The Industrial Revolution was another great transformation that changed the face of this planet. However, this revolution began in one civilization only, and spread everywhere within a few generations. Britain had an early leading role, followed by other European countries, North America and eventually the rest of the world.

The Industrial Revolution took place shortly after Europeans had created the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment. Some economic historians such as Joel Mokyr suspect that there was an indirect link between the Scientific Revolution and the Industrial Revolution. By the 1700s, Europeans had spent several centuries exploring new lands, developing new ideas and systematically experimenting with new tools and machines of various kinds. All of this laid a fruitful basis for the innovations that spawned new industries and production methods.

European scholars experimented with electricity throughout the eighteenth century. When the Italian physicist Alessandro Volta announced the invention of his battery (voltaic pile) in the year 1800, humanity had its first device capable of producing a continuous electric current. Over the next two hundred years, Europeans spread the use of electricity throughout the entire world. Every city on this planet is today full of electrical devices. Of course, this also means that vital functions of a modern society may quickly collapse without a steady supply of electricity.

Yet the Industrial Revolution would not have been possible without the use of fossil fuels. It began with coal, which the British had an ample natural supply of, and gradually included oil and natural gas.

Civilization is based on energy. Early civilizations had to rely on the muscle power of animals and humans. Some civilizations, such as Europe during the Middle Ages, also experimented with watermills and windmills. The use of coal, oil and gas made it possible to establish a more complex civilization for a much larger number of people. Fossil fuels cannot be replaced easily or in a hurry. However, that is precisely what Western countries are attempting to do now, through harmful environmental policies.

Renewable energy sources such as windmills or solar panels are not yet efficient enough to fully replace fossil fuels. They will probably remain supplemental energy sources for the foreseeable future.

If you want to reduce your dependency on oil, gas and coal, you simply cannot ignore nuclear power. Yet that is precisely what Europe’s largest economy has done. Germany has already switched off several of its nuclear power plants, and is scheduled to close the rest of them in 2022. At the same time, after the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Germany wants to stop importing Russian natural gas. That leaves Germany dangerously reliant on windmills to generate its energy supplies. Can you really base a modern industrial economy on windmills?

Messing up a country’s energy supplies is dangerous. It will have instant ripple effects throughout all parts of society. Farmers use energy and machinery for the production, harvesting and transportation of food. The production of fertilizers also requires energy. Rising costs of energy will therefore immediately lead to rising costs of food and transportation. The effects of this will soon be felt by everybody. They already are.

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12 thoughts on “Energy and Inflation

  1. Once upon a time, before I switched to Islamophobia, my hobby was conspiracy theories.

    We had an Internet leader – an Armenian programmer living in the USA. (He disappeared somewhere in 2013. Maybe he lost his mind, or maybe the Masons closed his mouth)

    This conspiracy theorist had a favorite trick: disassemble films for hidden meanings. Moreover, not all films were suitable for this, but only absurd ones, but in which famous actors are involved.

    For example, Jarmusch’s film “Only Lovers Left Alive”. At the end, one of the heroes asks “People still fight for oil?”, “Yes, but soon they will fight for water.” I think the war in Ukraine is for this – water and fertile soil.

    As our conspiracy guru said, “We live in a world ruled by warlock alchemists”

    • I don’t see that there is much difference between a conspiracy theorist and someone who works for the one of the intelligence agencies except for resources. So you should relabel yourself as a former amateur intelligence analyst. It will elevate the term conspiracy theorist.

      • By the way, about the Jarmusch film.
        Then our “guru” emphasized that one of the heroes was played by a Russian actor, and the other heroine was an actress of Polish (Ukrainian) origin.

    • Of course Oersted was first – honour to him who should be honoured – for he was a compatriot of Messrs Steen and Fjordman. But the other subsequent boys were however a little more important.

      Oersted’s publication caused an immediate sensation and raised him, formerly a hobbyist, to the height of being a scientist.

      Others began to investigate the newfound connection between electricity and magnetism.

      French physicist André Ampère developed a mathematical law to describe the magnetic forces between current-carrying wires.

      About a decade after Oersted’s discovery,

      Michael Faraday

      showed the opposite of what Oersted had found – that a changing magnetic field induces an electric current.

      The table on which he conducted his experiments in front of
      an audience is still there at the R.I.
      This is where the greatness began.

      Following Faraday’s work, James Clerk Maxwell then developed his equations, which formally unites electricity and magnetism.

      What remains today, now that the mobile phone has been invented,
      and Faecesbook has been introduced is for us humans to be transhumanised with a chip implanted in our brains.
      Welcome, brave new world.

  2. .
    .
    The word habil comes to mind when reading Fjordman’s essay. Nothing new, certainly nothing exciting, except a flawed and inaccurate portrayal of the impending “climate crisis”, but otherwise a well-crafted and detailed, but superficial and impersonal, account of the prevailing, man-made and devastating problems on the only known inhabited planet in cosmos. Fjordman is ambitiously detailed and obviously well-read on the subjects, but has nothing new or the least exciting or engaging to add.
    Viewed as a student paper before 1968, for example, I would still award it a grade of cum laude.

  3. I think we all agree, lots of hot air blowing through wind mills is not going to save us! However hard the elites blow!. I keep telling those who listen the only sustainable (survivable) place is QLD where the sun shines most of the time, very little heating required, few clothes. Can almost live off the grid and still have comforts. The elevated building style of the early 1900’s meant sea breezes at night and wide verandahs meant shade in the day. Brilliant! This was the early English settlers.
    Unfortunately, the geniuses we have now decided everyone must build on a slab on the ground to conserve energy and they all just got flooded in our second 1000 year flood in 10 years LOL. Experts here are complete morons. I have to admit though, even the elevated homes were sometimes submerged this time, but the solution is build higher NOT flat on the ground!

  4. It’s true that sky-high energy prices were leading to runaway inflation of many products long before the invasion, especially here in Poland – highly impacted by energy supplies from Russia…

    And Germany’s shutting down of its nuclear power stations and increasing reliance on Renewables, which require other sources as backup (most often, gas turbines), has only served to make the problem more severe.

    As a result, now with the invasion and sanctions, there is a perfect storm. I have no idea, how it will finally turn out and can only hope that Baltic Pipe between Norway and Poland is completed and functioning this year, as planned – with no more impact from the Greta people…

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