Energy Crisis: La Grande Bouffe (Part 2)
Energy Crisis: La Grande Bouffe (part 2)
The World Climate Conference in Sharm-al-Sheikh has come to an end, and the outcome is hardly surprising. Leading EU politicians express disappointment that oil and gas will still be allowed to be extracted. They are also upset that China wants to continue to be treated as an emerging economy. The country ranks first in climate-damaging emissions, but wants to retain its "development status". What was agreed upon is the creation of a joint support fund to compensate for climate damage in poorer countries. Those states that are considered "developed" according to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, first and foremost the USA, Canada, Australia and the EU, are to pay. We know who will pay into this pot and who will not.
In Part 1 of my reflections on the "energy crisis", I mentioned the energon theory of the Austrian biologist Hans Hass. A basic principle of this theory is that permanent survival for all structures of life is only possible if they can constantly improve or at least maintain their "energy balance". When states, above all the member states of the EU, now pay for environmental damage in developing countries, they violate this basic principle. They are paying for something that others have caused. They reduce their own "energy balance" in favour of that of the polluters. They make themselves tools of the "energy acquisition" of others.
The example of Africa alone shows - without going into detail - who is improving their "energy balance" on this continent: for example, the energy companies Shell, British Petroleum (BP), Total Energies and Exxon Mobil; or companies like Rio Tinto, Queensway Group, Glencore, Bellzone, Vale or BSG Resources. They do not feel beholden to any nation, but see themselves as a new transnational elite. Chinese corporations have their own model: they grant loans for infrastructure projects and get paid in diamonds, gold, energy and metals. The technostructure operates according to the motto: profits are privatised, the costs incurred are socialised.
There is a fundamental difference in the "energy acquisition" between states and the technostructure: the state is basically a large community body, its costs are paid proportionally through taxes. The most important tasks of the state are external protection (against enemies) and internal protection (property, security, etc.). The social state, committed to welfare, must provide "energy" to all those belonging to the community. The technostructure, on the other hand, represents a small group of interested parties that does not have to redistribute its "energy acquisition" to a community. Their "energy balance" is usually positive and can be used for further "energy acquisition", i.e. also for power and domination purposes.
Struggle for scarce resources
For a long time now, this energy-hungry technostructure has included not only classic industrial corporations, but also the pharmaceutical, digital and financial industries. Hans Hass already referred to this in 1970:
"The only real power potency is capital. It can move - within the limits of its transferability - to wherever the best chances of acquisition are. Capital has become an independent and largely autonomous variable. Just as land ownership was once the real key to power, capital became that key through industrialisation."
So the technostructure - as far as energy resources are concerned - is not only in competition with each other, but also in competition with the states. In the process, what Hans Hass calls the "energy balance" is increasingly shifting into the negative for the states, but more and more into the positive for the corporations.
Economic and ecological exploitation of resources is permitted by states because economic or military pressure is exerted on them. The technostructure that drives this "energy acquisition to exhaustion" keeps most of the profits for itself. The states that are exploited participate only marginally in this "energy acquisition", but have to bear the costs.
Mining and energy companies exploit raw materials in Africa - the costs for the environmental damage are to be borne by others. Pharmaceutical companies develop drugs and vaccines based on new technologies - the costs for the damage to health are to be paid by others. Hedge funds raid states, exploit their resources and then retreat into state structures that support this form of "energy acquisition". Argentina had to pay several US hedge funds 4.2 billion euros 15 years after its state bankruptcy and after protracted legal disputes. At 75%, the hedge funds received more than all other creditors for the Argentine government bonds they had once bought cheaply. Only after this agreement was Argentina able to issue new debt on the international financial markets again.
Let's return to the rotten compromise that the EU made at the World Climate Conference.
According to the statistics of the International Energy Agency, the world's largest consumer of electricity is industry (41.9%). The picture is similar for gas. In a scenario for 2014 - based on current consumption data - total global energy consumption is assumed to be 515,848 petajoules. Almost 60% of this is accounted for by industry and transport. The World Development Agency (UNIDO) estimates that industry is responsible for more than one-third of global primary energy consumption and energy-related carbon dioxide emissions and will require 1.8% to 3.1% more energy annually over the next 25 years.
Consequently, it is of little use if only some of the states commit to protective measures. It is of no use if the states do not at the same time commit themselves to enforcing worldwide regulatory interventions in the "energy acquisition" of the technostructure.
Politics of obedience
The European states, for their part, would be strong enough together to put a stop to the hustle and bustle of the technostructure. The corporations of the technostructure know this, which is why they enter into a quasi-parasitic relationship with states such as the USA (or even Ukraine).
In their slipstream, they assert their hegemonic claims to power. The technostructure uses the states or their power structures for its own "energy acquisition". The economic war against Europe is a war of the technostructure, waged by means of the United States.
In Part 1, I said that promises of salvation and oppression are close to each other in the "energy acquisition" of the technostructure. We have already seen this in the Covid 19 crisis. Now the same applies to the energy crisis and the climate crisis. As long as leading politicians and state leaders in the EU allow themselves to be used as stooges, the "energy balance" of the member states will constantly deteriorate.
The climatic consequences of the exploitation of raw materials will not be alleviated if the EU pays reparations.
The Ukraine war will not end if the EU states stop buying Russian oil and gas.
Digitech corporations will not cut back on their energy consumption if there is less heating and showering in Europe.
The consequences of this European "policy of obedience" are further national debt, inflation, economic recession, impoverishment and a further increasing dependence on the technostructure and the states protecting it.
How can the European states, and the societies they represent, turn their "energy balance" back into a plus?
a) The states must immediately shift down a few gears in this so-called "climate and energy crisis". They must ensure that their national, location-based economies and industries can continue to operate with the technologies and energy sources currently available until a global agreement on resource consumption - especially with the technostructure - can be reached.
b) The economic sanctions against Russia and against Iran must be stopped.
c) The process of de-industrialisation must be interrupted so that the states of Europe become (again) self-sufficient in "energy acquisition" and remain viable.
d) Research and development presupposes a functioning industry and economy. Therefore, the necessary technology and energy transition can only be managed if the de-industrialisation in Europe is stopped.
e) This means that some taboos must be broken in the states (including France and Germany in particular). Resources must be cut that have little or no effect - for example, in over-bureaucratisation or in social structures that have little impact.
The "energy balance" of the European states must be improved so that a survival of these states with their societies is possible! If this does not happen, we will soon see the disintegration of our states. Corrupt elites, bad governance, failed economic development concepts are the harbingers. Inflation, recession and migration are the accelerators. A massive loss of wealth, unrest and a prolonged economic crisis will be the result.
This article was first published in Courrier des Stratèges on November 25th, 2022.
 "Energy" is defined broadly as a term in this paper and refers to the fundamental physical quantity that plays a central role in all sub-fields of physics as well as in technology, chemistry, biology and the economy.
 IEA World Energy Balances 2021 (Daten Stand 2019): https://iea.blob.core.windows.net/assets/52f66a88-0b63-4ad2-94a5-29d36e864b82/KeyWorldEnergyStatisti...