Meanwhile, the brutal invasion of Ukraine by Mr Putin and his cronies is bringing about a growing realization, among those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, that the global-warming narrative so sedulously peddled by the climate-change industrial complex originated in the Desinformatsiya directorate of the KGB. For a detailed background to this story, visit americanthinker.com and click on the archive for March 2022. There, the kind editors have published a 5000-word piece by me giving some history that readers of WUWT will find fascinating. It is a tale much of which, for security reasons, has not been told until now.
It is worth adding a little more about the economic aspect of this sorry tale of Western feeblemindedness and craven silence in the face of the unpersoning – the relentless campaign of vicious reputational assault – to which all of us who have dared to question the Party Line have been subjected.
Do not believe a word of what either the Russian media or the Western media are saying about Mr Putin. He is not a geriatric who has lost his touch. The events now unfolding in Ukraine have been planned since long before Putin’s silent coup against Boris Yeltsin in 2000, after which, over the following five years, Putin put 6000 of his former KGB colleagues into positions of power throughout the central and regional governments of Russia. Some of those who were in post in 2004 are listed above. Many are still there.
The televised meeting of senior advisers at which Putin shouted at those of them who dithered when recommending that Ukraine should be invaded was a classic maskirovka, designed to convey to the West the impression of an unhinged and mercurial dictator who might reach for the nuclear button at any moment.
The chief purpose of the Ukraine invasion was to hike the price of oil and gas, and particularly of the Siberian gas delivered to Europe via many pipelines, some of which date back to the Soviet era.
It was Putin’s Kremlin, later joined by Xi Jinping in Peking, that founded or took over the various “environmental” lobby groups that have so successfully campaigned to shut down the coal-fired power stations, particularly in Europe, which is now abjectly dependent upon Russian gas to keep the lights on when the unreliables are unreliable.
That is why one should also disbelieve the stories to the effect that the sanctions inflicted on Russia by the West are having a significant impact. The truth is that they were fully foreseen, prepared for and costed. The thinking in the Kremlin is that in due course the increased revenue from Russian oil and gas will more than compensate for any temporary dislocations caused by Western attempts at sanctions, which look impressive but count for remarkably little.
But surely sending close to a quarter of a million troops to Ukraine is expensive? Not really. Putin keeps 1.4 million under arms anyway – about five times as many per head as the UK, which has 200 tanks to Putin’s 15,000. The marginal logistical cost of the invasion is surprisingly small: and Putin will gain Ukraine as his compensation. It is the world’s most fertile agricultural area, and it is big. Russia is already a substantial exporter of grain: once it controls Ukraine it will have as much of a stranglehold on world food prices as it now has on world oil and gas prices, and it will profit mightly by both.
Putin’s first decisive act of policy when he became Tsar of Some of the Russias was to slash the Russian national debt, which currently stands at less than a fifth of the nation’s annual GDP. That is the ninth-lowest debt-to-GDP ratio in the world. Once he has gained control of Ukraine and its formidable grain plain, he can add the profits from worldwide sales to his immense profits from the elevated oil and gas price. His plan is to pay off Russia’s national debt altogether by 2030.
In this respect, Putin’s Russia compares very favourably with Xi’s China, whose national, regional and sectoral debts are colossal. For instance, the entire revenue from ticket sales for the much-vaunted high-speed rail network is insufficient even to meet the interest payments on the debt with which it was built, let alone to meet the operating costs.
Once Putin has restored Kievan Rus and Byelorus to the Sovietosphere, he is planning to expand his nation’s currently smallish economy no less rapidly than did the oil-rich nations of the Middle East. Do not bet that he will fail.
It is galling that those of us who have been sounding warnings about the Communist origin of the global-warming narrative for decades have gone unheeded. The late Christopher Booker, who came to the subject after reading a piece by me in Britain’s Sunday Telegraph and devoted most of his weekly columns to the subject thereafter until his untimely death, wrote week after week saying that by doing away with coal we should put ourselves at the mercy of Russia and its Siberian gas.
However, our politicians, nearly all of whom lack any strategic sense or knowledge of foreign affairs, and who are less scientifically literate than at any time since the Dark Ages, paid no heed. Now some of them are waking up, but far too late.
On the far side of the world, in Australia, the land of droughts and flooding rains, the south-east has been getting some flooding rains. The ridiculous Tim Flannery had been saying to any climate-Communist journalist who would listen a decade ago that global warming would cause all the rivers in south-eastern Australia to run dry. Now, of course, the climate-Communist news media are saying that the floods are because global warming. Bah! Pshaw!