Are you ugly? That is Russia’s fault. Fat? Putin did it. Broke and bankrupt? A nefarious commie plot by Putin and his Russia cronies, who are not communist. But why let troublesome facts get in the way of telling a gargantuan lied.
This headline from Bloomberg, Holiday Season Airfares Soar on Pricey Fuel and Revenge Travel, is representative of the collective dishonesty and madness that has seized Biden and the clowns of Europe:
Russia’s strategy of curbing supplies of natural gas to Europe has sparked a full-blown power crisis and spurred a rush for alternatives such as diesel that can be used for heating, industry and electricity generation. That’s creating a shortage of jet fuel — which is made from the same type of oil as diesel — just as demand soars.
Airfares to Europe and the Americas from Asia have at least doubled from pre-pandemic levels on the back of limited capacity, as well as the jump in jet fuel prices,” said Mayur Patel, head of Asia at OAG. Prices aren’t likely to get back to 2019 levels until at least early 2023, as it will take a while for “the frenzied travel demand that has built up in recent years” to taper off, he said.
The surge in aviation fuel is most pronounced in Europe, where the energy crisis is most acute. Prices there are up about 56% this year, with Asia and the US not far behind. By comparison, global oil benchmark Brent crude has risen around 21%.
Excuse me. Russia’s strategy? Now I realize that the demented Joe Biden cannot remember what day of the week it is, but what is the excuse for a supposedly professional economic news outlet like Bloomberg. Let us stroll down memory lane. Do you remember this announcement from the Biden White House in early March of this year:
Today, President Biden will sign an Executive Order (E.O.) to ban the import of Russian oil, liquefied natural gas, and coal to the United States – a significant action with widespread bipartisan support that will further deprive President Putin of the economic resources he uses to continue his needless war of choice.
The United States made this decision in close consultation with our Allies and partners around the world, as well as Members of Congress of both parties. The United States is able to take this step because of our strong domestic energy infrastructure and we recognize that not all of our Allies and partners are currently in a position to join us. But we are united with our Allies and partners in working together to reduce our collective dependence on Russian energy and keep the pressure mounting on Putin, while at the same taking active steps to limit impacts on global energy markets and protect our own economies.
These guys make Alec Baldwin look like a professional firearms safety instructor. They are not shooting the director. They pointed the gun at their own heads and pulled the trigger. BOOM! The United States and Europe imposed sanctions on Russian oil and gas and shutdown the international financial system, which provided a mechanism for Russia to sell oil and gas to the west, and that is Putin’s fault?
I have always lived by the motto, if you’re going to jump out of a plane at altitude make sure you have a parachute attached to your body. The same principle applies to imposing economic sanctions. If you are going to try to punish one of the world’s largest producer and exporter of oil and gas, make damn sure you have ample alternative supplies.
Paying higher airfare is chicken feed compared to the economic ass whipping the United States and Europe, especially Europe, are now starting to feel. Here is some cheery news, also courtesy of Bloomberg, about the energy tsunami that is clobbering Britain:
Soaring energy bills are threatening to put six in 10 British manufacturers out of business, according to a survey that lays bare the extent of the crisis facing the next prime minister.
“The current crisis is leaving businesses facing a stark choice,” the report said. “Cut production or shut up shop altogether if help does not come soon.”
Just taking a wild guess here, but it seems that losing 60% of your manufacturing capability is a pretty big deal and might, just might, hurt the national economy of the Brits. Again, I’m spitballing.
The news from Germany is similarly bleak:
German exports and imports both fell in July as surging prices and the war in Ukraine threaten to send Europe’s largest economy into a recession.
The trade surplus shrank to 5.4 billion euros ($5.4 billion) from 6.2 billion euros in June, as exports dropped by 2.1% and imports by 1.5%, Germany’s statistics office said Friday. Goods sales to the US, the country’s biggest market, fell by almost 14%.
Why is that? What could have caused such economic turmoil in Russia. Reuters provides a tantalizing clue:
Germany faces the “bitter reality” that Russia will not restore gas supplies to the country, the German economy minister said on Monday, ahead of planned halt by state energy giant Gazprom (GAZP.MM) of exports to Europe via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.
“It won’t come back … It is the bitter reality,” Robert Habeck said in a panel with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
Russia will halt natural gas supplies to Europe for three days at the end of the month for unscheduled maintenance to the Nord Stream pipeline, Gazprom said on Friday, piling pressure on the region as it seeks to refuel ahead of winter.
Golly gee willikers. It only took the Germans six months to figure out that kicking Russia in the testicles would make Russia reluctant to be friends and sell the Germans gas at cut rate prices. The Russians understand how to fix the problem, but many European leaders are blind, intransigent and certifiable cretins:
“The energy security of Europe without Russia is impossible,” Volodin wrote, noting that the EU had two options: “The first one. Lift illegal sanctions against our country and launch Nord Stream 2. The second one. To leave everything as it is, which will lead to problems in the economy and make life even more difficult for citizens,” he said, according to Reuters’ translation.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnston accused Russia of weaponizing natural gas in retaliation to western sanctions at a press hearing on Wednesday, though he emphasized Europe would not back down from its support of Ukraine, with countries like Germany shifting away from Russian energy supplies entirely. Europe is also on track to meeting its natural gas storage targets this winter, a positive sign as countries try to get by without Russian energy flows.
There you have it. The west impose sanctions on Russian oil and gas, but it is Russia, not the west, that is weaponizing gas. I have a suggestion for Vladimir Putin–let the western politicians and their people who embrace sanctioning Russia, suck on the results. Winter is not here yet, but it is nigh. Soon the stinky, sweating Europeans who have been compelled to cut back on hot water and air conditioning will be shivering in the hovels trying to figure out how to kindle a fire without putting their whole complex up in flames. I recall another relevant aphorism, “revenge is a dish best served cold.” Looks like Europe has conjured up its own wintry buffet. Bon appétit.
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