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The U.S. and the West are coming to terms with bad decisions made by politicians. To placate radical movements and interest groups that explain ecological destruction, climate dysfunction, pollution, poverty, and other perceived degradation of the environment through an anti-capitalist worldview, policies have been enacted that jeopardize free societies. Green socialism is detrimental to America’s health. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine shows us why this is so.
Vladimir Putin has devised a non-democratic regime that, after 22 years in power, has structurally emulated its predecessor’s place in the globe. This less ideologically focused, and lighter version of the Soviet Union has the same fatalistic relationship with oil and gas. Both dictatorial models claim the sale of fossil fuels as its main source of hard currency entry. The presidency of Ronald Reagan capitalized on this in the day of the USSR. The Reagan Doctrine of rolling back Soviet communism strategically used energy production and prices as a key tool in its war arsenal. Donald Trump initiated an intelligent approach to energy independence premised on concerns of national security, not just economic growth.
Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders’ blessing of the Biden-Harris candidacy and subsequent administration foretold that its power would be wielded strictly within the confines of green socialist fundamentalism. Deconstructing the energy independence that the United States had achieved under the 45th president (Trump) is proving costly. This is the case, not just as the 40-year historic inflationary pressures that reflect, in part, the increases in gas prices at the pump. The cause of freedom is being held hostage by nonsensical, neo-Marxist policies that only serve ideological purposes and not the greater good.
Rejecting fracking and nuclear power and seeking a utopian fossil-fuel-free world, in the short term, is not feasible. In Europe, particularly Germany, the Putin regime has filled the gap that eco-socialism has abdicated. In 2016, the European Union received 30% of its natural gas from Russia. By 2021, the figure had risen to almost 47%. In the early 2000s, Germany received 30% of its electricity from nuclear energy. Guided by radical environmental dogma, by 2020, nuclear-powered electricity was down to 11%. Putin’s Russia, up to the Ukraine incursion, provided Europe with 40% of its gas, and 20% of its oil and coal.
The tough decision between aiding a democratic partner like Ukraine or betraying ethical obligations because of systemic dependency factors, is a miserable choice. Democracies cannot formulate state planning strategies that include the commercial comingling of goods and services with dictatorships. The objectives and guiding principles between them are in conflict. The case against partnering with Putin’s Russia, is the same that exists against doing so in communist China.
A fossil-fuel-free planet is a worthy, long-distance goal. Consider electric cars, for example. A world of electricity-powered vehicles requires a free world that is not dependent on lithium batteries, which are mainly produced in China. As long as the Marxist-Leninist regime in Peking is the world’s leading refiner of raw materials needed for batteries, it would not be safe for this transition. Renewable energy such as solar energy, wind-produced, plant biomass, hydropower, and geothermal variants are all worthy proposals. However, they require, a priori, an infrastructure that is supportive of these mechanisms. Until that moment comes, fossil fuels are the cheapest and most viable alternative.
The Biden-Harris administration insults American intelligence every time its spokesperson repeats that “there are 9,000 unused approved drilling permits.” The green socialist war against the fossil fuel industry has been adamantly carried out by the executive branch since they took office. While this hostile worldview prevails in the White House, no energy producer in their right mind would invest a penny to increase domestic oil production. The fact that the Biden-Harris presidency is considering buying oil from dictatorships like Venezuela’s Maduro regime and the Ayatollah tyranny in Iran, both lethal enemies of liberty and Putin allies, tells us that their objectives have more to do with implanting eco-socialism, than it does with the environment.
Julio M Shiling, political scientist, writer, director of Patria de Martí and The Cuban American Voice, lecturer and media commentator. A native of Cuba, he currently lives in the United States. Twitter: @JulioMShiling // Julio es politólogo, escritor, director de Patria de Martí y The Cuban American Voice. Conferenciante y comentarista en los medios. Natural de Cuba, vive actualmente en EE UU.