One would think that going from natural gas and nuclear to coal is a step backwards. From Mike “Mish” Shedlock at mishtalk.com:
Coal provides a staggering 31% of German electricity production, up from 8% in 2015.
Hoot of the Day
The Greens forced a shutdown of nuclear power under Angela Merkel. Now they are both for and against coal, the dirtiest of all electrical power sources.
Police Start Clearing German Village Condemned for Coal Mine
The Associated Press reports Police Start Clearing German Village Condemned for Coal Mine
Police in riot gear began evicting climate activists Wednesday from a condemned village in western Germany that is due to be demolished for the expansion of a coal mine.
Some stones and fireworks were thrown as officers entered the tiny hamlet of Luetzerath, which has become a flashpoint of debate over the country’s climate efforts, on Wednesday morning.
Police spokesman Andreas Mueller said the attacks on officers were “not nice” but noted that most of the protest so far had been peaceful.
By Wednesday afternoon dozens of activists remained camped out in Luetzerath, some in elaborate tree houses, as police slowly moved through the village clearing barricades and a communal soup kitchen.
Environmentalists say bulldozing the village to expand the nearby Garzweiler coal mine would result in huge amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. The government and utility company RWE argue the coal is needed to ensure Germany’s energy security.
Some activists expressed particular anger at the environmentalist Green party, which is part of both the regional and national governments that reached a deal with RWE last year allowing it to destroy the village in return for ending coal use by 2030, rather than 2038.
Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck, a Green who is Germany’s economy and climate minister, defended the agreement as “a good decision for climate protection” that fulfills many of the environmentalists’ demands and saves five other villages from demolition.
Germany prides itself on keeping good records, and its records now are contradicting the government’s narrative concerning vaccine safety. From A Midwestern Doctor at amidwesterndoctor.substack.com:
Germany Has Provided The Means To Quantify The Human Cost Of The Experimental Vaccination Program
Most sane people believe that the burden of proving safety should lie on the party conducting a questionable action, rather than their victim. For example, if a criminal shot someone, the prosecution would not be required to prove that the victim’s sudden death after the gunshot wound was not just a spontaneous coincidence, a result of extreme stress from the situation, or due to a pre-existing medical condition.
Unfortunately, the pharmaceutical industry has been able to establish a special type of privilege within the legal system and has made it very difficult to demonstrate that vaccines (along with many other pharmaceuticals) can ever be at fault for anything. Because of this, we recently had a flood of experimental vaccines mandated upon the population, which were never tested for safety (despite many serious concerns with their design), whose (likely fraudulent) clinical trial data was never made accessible to the public. We then had, as far as I know, the most aggressive propaganda campaign in history, and I watched the majority of my colleagues lose the ability to recognize any problems related to the vaccines. Instead, they developed an almost surreal religious devotion to the coming salvation (the vaccines becoming available).
Once the vaccines entered the market, a variety of red flags began going off indicating that these vaccines were killing people, and rather than address these concerns, the government—in concert with the media—chose to deny any of this was occurring. Instead they mandated the vaccines upon the entire population. I was understandably worried that the vaccines would cause problems and tried to do my part to head this off in 2020, but I did not expect anything on the scale of what we have encountered since then.
Germans are in for a rough winter and they know it. They’re likely to stockpile good old-fashioned cash. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
While Europe has been keeping a generally optimistic facade ahead of the coming cold winter, signaling that it has more than enough gas in storage to make up for loss of Russian supply even in a “coldest-case” scenario, behind the scenes Europe’s largest economy is quietly preparing for a worst case scenario which include angry mobs and bankruns should blackouts prevent the population from accessing cash.
As Reuters reports citing four sources, German authorities have stepped up preparations for emergency cash deliveries in case of a blackout (or rather blackouts) to keep the economy running, as the nation braces for possible power cuts arising from the war in Ukraine. The plans include the Bundesbank hoarding extra billions to cope with a surge in demand, as well as “possible limits on withdrawals”, one of the people said. And if you think crypto investors are angry when they can’t access their digital tokens in a bankrupt exchange, just wait until you see a German whose cash has just been locked out.
Officials and banks are looking not only at origination (i.e., money-printing) but also at distribution, discussing for example priority fuel access for cash transporters, according to other sources commenting on preparations that accelerated in recent weeks after Russia throttled gas supplies.
The planning discussions involve the central bank, its financial market regulator BaFin, and multiple financial industry associations, said the Reuters sources most of whom spoke on condition of anonymity about plans that are private and in flux.
Germany is trying to reach out to Beijing, but it’s not clear what all they’re reaching for. From Pepe Escobar at strategic-culture.org:
The Scholz caravan went to Beijing to lay down the preparatory steps for working out a peace deal with Russia, with China as privileged messenger.
With his inimitable flair for economic analysis steeped in historical depth, Professor Michael Hudson’s latest essay, originally written for a German audience, presents a stunning parallel between the Crusades and the current “rules-based international order” imposed by the Hegemon.
Professor Hudson details how the Papacy in Rome managed to lock up unipolar control over secular realms (rings a bell?) when the game was all about Papal precedence over kings, above all the German Holy Roman Emperors. As we know, half in jest, the Empire was not exactly Holy, nor German (perhaps a little Roman), and not even an Empire.
A clause in the Papal Dictates provided the Pope with the authority to excommunicate whomever was “not at peace with the Roman Church.” Hudson sharply notes how US sanctions are the modern equivalent of excommunication.
Arguably there are Top Two dates in the whole process.
The first one would be the Third Ecumenical Council of 435: this is when only Rome (italics mine) was attributed universal authority (italics mine). Alexandria and Antioch, for instance, were limited to regional authority within the Roman Empire.
Germany role in America’s New World Order will be to do as it’s told. From Michael Hudson at thesaker.is:
Germany has become an economic satellite of America’s New Cold War with Russia, China and the rest of Eurasia. Germany and other NATO countries have been told to impose trade and investment sanctions upon themselves that will outlast today’s proxy war in Ukraine. U.S. President Biden and his State Department spokesmen have explained that Ukraine is just the opening arena in a much broader dynamic that is splitting the world into two opposing sets of economic alliances. This global fracture promises to be a ten- or twenty-year struggle to determine whether the world economy will be a unipolar U.S.-centered dollarized economy, or a multipolar, multi-currency world centered on the Eurasian heartland with mixed public/private economies.
President Biden has characterized this split as being between democracies and autocracies. The terminology is typical Orwellian double-speak. By “democracies” he means the U.S. and allied Western financial oligarchies. Their aim is to shift economic planning out of the hands of elected governments to Wall Street and other financial centers under U.S. control. U.S. diplomats use the International Monetary Fund and World Bank to demand privatization of the world’s infrastructure and dependency on U.S. technology, oil and food exports.
By “autocracy,” Biden means countries resisting this financialization and privatization takeover. In practice, U.S. rhettoric means promoting its own economic growth and living standards, keeping finance and banking as public utilities. What basically is at issue is whether economies will be planned by banking centers to create financial wealth – by privatizing basic infrastructure, public utilities and social services such as health care into monopolies – or by raising living standards and prosperity by keeping banking and money creation, public health, education, transportation and communications in public hands.
Germany is a fairly typical mixed economy, welfare state abomination, not unlike the rest of Europe or the U.S. From Hans-Hermann Hoppe at lewrockwell.com:
Part 2 Transcript
The war in the Ukraine is the most recent and most dramatic and violent attempt at further advancing globalization, centralization and imperialism. The outcome of which is still very uncertain. It is also the latest demonstration of global elites to show in particular Germany (but also Western Europe and the EU) who is boss. In this they are being supported by elitist German collaborators and traitors.
To start with, let me give you a short, general remark on war: In violent conflicts between individuals or rival street gangs, we can normally clearly distinguish the aggressor from the victim, aggressive violence from defensive violence, evil and guilty from good and innocent. This is impossible, however, in the case of interstate war or violence: because all states are aggressors and protection rackets, that conduct their operation, be it offensive or defensive, with means, weapons and finances stolen from their own “protected” populations – just think of Mafia gangs trying to enlarge their territory or turf, or defending and protecting themselves from such attempts by another such gang.
This leads me to the following first verdict or judgment regarding the current war: everyone, Biden, Putin, Zelensky, Johnson, Scholz, Macron, von der Leyen, etc., indeed everyone involved or entangled in the war with means or materials not his own is an evil warmonger, and they all deserve to rot in jail as accomplices to death and destruction. This in addition to their aggression committed against their own domestic resident-victims.
Does Germany have even an ounce of gumption left, or is the government just going to let its people freeze this winter? From Pepe Escobar at unz.com:
It started with Gazprom revealing that the Line B string of NS2 is intact; not only it escaped Pipeline Terror but may “potentially” be used to pump gas to Germany.
That confirms once again that NS2 is an engineering marvel. In fact the whole system: the pipes are so strong they were not broken, but merely punctured.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Novak followed up, with a caveat: restoration of the whole system, including NS, is possible, and “requires time and appropriate funds”. But first, in Russia’s order of priorities, the perpetrators must be conclusively identified.
Sources in Moscow confirmed Gazprom’s assessment of NS2. Even Bloomberg had to report it.
Subsequently in Vienna, attending the Opec+ meeting, Novak remarked the Russian Federation is “ready to supply gas through the second line of Nord Stream 2. This is possible if necessary”.
So we know it’s possible. “Necessary” will depend on a political decision by Germany.
Novak also sharply noted that neither Russia nor the Nord Stream operators are allowed to investigate Pipeline Terror. Russia insists that without its participation the investigation is flawed.
Whatever the modus operandi of Pipeline Terror, incompetence was part of the package. No explosive charges were placed or detonated on Line B of NS2.
That means, as Novak said, it’s virtually ready for business. Line B is capable of pumping 27.5 billion cubic meters of gas a year, which happens to be half of the total capacity of NS.
NS’s capacity had been reduced to 20%, due to the interminable turbine saga, before it was completely shut down. Crucially, Line B of NS2 would still pump 2.75 times the capacity of the recently inaugurated Baltic Pipe from Norway to Poland via Denmark. Which basically profits Poland, unlike NS2 servicing several EU customers.
Michael Hudson was one of the first to suggest that the U.S. proxy war against Russia was also a war on Europe, particularly Germany. From Hudson at unz.com:
In his latest essay, Professor Hudson digs deeper into Germany’s suicidal economic/financial policies; their effect on the already falling euro – and hints at some possibilities for fast integrating Eurasia and the Global South as a whole to try to break the Hegemon’s stranglehold.
That led to a series of email exchanges, especially about the future role of the yuan, where Hudson remarked:
“The Chinese whom I’ve talked to for years and years did not expect the dollar to weaken. They’re not crying about its rise, but they are concerned about flight capital from China as I think after the Party Congress [starting on October 16] there will be a crackdown on the Shanghai free-market advocacy. Pressure for the coming changes has been long building up. The spirit of reform to rein in ‘free markets’ was spreading among students over a decade ago, and they have been rising in the Party hierarchy.”
On the key issue of Russia accepting payment for energy in rubles, Hudson touched upon a point rarely examined outside of Russia: “They don’t really want to be paid just in rubles. That’s the one thing Russia doesn’t need, because it can just print them. It only needs rubles to balance its international payments to stabilize the exchange rate – not to push it up.”
Which brings us to settlements in yuan: “Taking payment in yuan is like taking payment in gold – an international asset that every country desires as a non-fiat currency that has a value if one sells it (unlike the dollar now, which may simply be confiscated, or ultimately left abandoned). What Russia really needs are critical industrial inputs like computer chips. It could ask China to import these with the yuan Russia provides.”
Keynes is back
Following our email exchanges, Professor Hudson gracefully agreed to answer in detail a few questions about the extremely complex geoeconomic processes in play across Eurasia. Here we go.
The Cradle: The BRICS are studying the adoption of a common currency – including all of them and, we expect, the expanded BRICS+ as well. How could that be practically implemented? Hard to see the Brazilian Central Bank harmonizing with the Russians and the People’s Bank of China. Would that involve only investment – via the BRICS development bank? Would that be based on commodities + gold? How does the yuan fit in? Is the BRICS approach based on the current Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) discussions with the Chinese, led by Sergey Glazyev? Did the Samarkand summit advance, practically, the interconnection of BRICS and the SCO?
Hudson: “Any idea of a common currency has to start with a currency-swap arrangement among existing member countries. Most trade will be in their own currencies. But to settle the inevitable imbalances (balance-of-payments surpluses and deficits), an artificial currency will be created by a new Central Bank.
Posted in Currencies, Debt, Economics, Economy, Eurasian Axis, Financial markets, Geopolitics, Governments, Military, War
Tagged Europe, Germany, Ukraine-Russia War
The bombing of Nordstream 1 and 2 precludes any deal between Germany and Russia for Russian natural gas. It also makes Germany that much more dependent on the U.S. The U.S. is quite happy with those outcomes. From Pepe Escobar at thesaker.is:
The sabotage of the Nord Stream (NS) and Nord Stream 2 (NS2) pipelines in the Baltic Sea has ominously propelled ‘Disaster Capitalism’ to a whole new, toxic level.
This episode of Hybrid Industrial/Commercial War, in the form of a terror attack against energy infrastructure in international waters signals the absolute collapse of international law, drowned by a “our way or the highway”, “rules-based”, order.
The attack on both pipelines consisted of multiple explosive charges detonated in separate branches close to the Danish island of Bornholm, but in international waters.
That was a sophisticated operation, carried out in stealth in the shallow depth of the Danish straits. That would in principle rule out submarines (ships entering the Baltic are limited to a draught of 15 meters). As for prospective “invisible” vessels, these could only loiter around with permission from Copenhagen – as the waters around Borholm are crammed with sensors, reflecting fear of incursion by Russian submarines.
Swedish seismologists registered two underwater explosions on Monday – one of them estimated at 100 kg of TNT. Yet as much as 700 kg may have been used to blow up three separate pipeline nodes. Such amount could not have possibly been delivered in just one trip by underwater drones currently available in neighboring nations.
The pressure on the pipelines dropped exponentially. The pipes are now filled with seawater.
The pipes on both NS and NS2 can be repaired, of course, but hardly before the arrival of General Winter. The question is whether Gazprom – already focused on several hefty Eurasian customers – would bother, especially considering that Gazprom vessels could be exposed to a possible NATO naval attack in the Baltic.
Germany is outmatched taking on Russia, but now it’s leaders want to take on China as well. From Finian Cunningham at strategic-culture.org:
Not content with committing its nation to economic suicide from deteriorating Russian relations, the German government now wants to bury the corpse by sabotaging trade relations with China.
Robert Habeck, Germany’s trade minister, has riled Beijing by telling a G7 summit last week that Berlin was aiming to adopt a new China policy to “reduce economic dependency”. Habeck said Germany would strive to take tougher controls over Chinese foreign investment and move away from German reliance on China for key commodities such as semiconductors, batteries and other electronics.
Sounding tough in front of other Western members of the G7 forum (a redundant elite club if ever there was one), Habeck said, “the naivety towards China is over”. He said that trade relations would no longer be viewed in isolation from alleged human rights violations and other international concerns, presumably meaning China’s alleged hostility towards Taiwan.
Beijing slammed Habeck’s remarks and retorted that he was the one who is being “naive” in seeking to damage mutually beneficial bilateral relations.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz doubled down on the provocation at the weekend when he was asked about China’s position on Taiwan. Scholz implied that Beijing was the hostile party in recent tensions over the breakaway island territory. He cautioned China: “It is important that we ban violence from international relations.”