In a speech to the UN in 2018 President Donald Trump specifically pointed out to Germany that they were on the path to becoming completely dependent on Russian oil. They laughed at him.
This did not age well. After Russia invaded Ukraine, the western powers began hammering Putin with economic sanctions and energy embargoes. Germany had been in a mad rush to convert as much of its energy grid to green energy and found itself dependent on Russian energy because of the unreliability of renewable energy. Russia accounted for 55% of Germany’s gas imports in 2021. That does not consider its oil imports.
Germany is not laughing now. They have been forced to trigger their “Emergency Plan Gas.” Even before Putin invaded the Germans were trying to tread a fine line of encouraging deterrence and not pressuring Russia too much given the realities on the ground with their energy needs.
It is a little-known fact that Russia covertly supports green parties all throughout the EU. It is in Putin’s interest for countries within his realm of influence to convert their economies to as much green energy as possible. The tech just does not support a reliable grid when this is done and the logical place for countries to turn to for the shortfall is Russia. This situation was certainly one of the factors that Putin considered before his invasion.
It is not a bridge too far to say that if the EU countries, and the United States, were more energy independent it would have gone a long way to deterring the invasion of Ukraine. That ship has sailed so NATO and its partners must pay the bill in the short term. The long-term plan, however, must include a reevaluation of the West’s fascination with renewables. Until these technologies advance to the point where a stable electric grid can be maintained, traditional sources of energy must be utilized so bad actors cannot leverage the West’s energy dependence.
It was typical for the left to disagree with whatever Trump said, whether it was true or not. The world is destabilizing quickly, and no one has that luxury anymore. It is time to admit he was right and act accordingly.