A crash course in geopolitics

National security for the rich—the poor will do the dying

"Culture evolves as the amount of energy harnessed per capita per year is increased ..."
This is known as White's law; we better leave "culture" undefined. See White's law, which has been likened to the first law of thermodynamics. It's basic physics indeed: the law of conservation of energy.

This provision became known to its critics as the "Halliburton loophole" named after the oil services firm Halliburton.
This is former Vice President Dick Cheney's contribution to the climate disaster, aka the Halliburton loophole; see Exemptions for hydraulic fracturing under United States federal law

2012: President Obama on Natural Gas in 2012 State of the Union Speech
And nowhere is the promise of innovation greater than in American-made energy. Over the last three years we've opened millions of new acres for oil and gas exploration, and tonight I'm directing my administration to open more than 75 percent of our potential offshore oil and gas resources.
By 2017 U.S. gas imports from eastern Canada will have completely flipped to exports.
It took a little longer, but we'll get there.
Growing Northeast Production Prompting Historic Market Shift, Redirecting Gas Flow Patterns
With the stroke of a pen, President Barack Obama on Friday ended 40 years of U.S. crude oil export limits by signing off on a repeal passed by Congress earlier in the day.
See U.S. Reverses Decades of Oil-Export Limits With Obama's Backing

It [the Energy Policy Modernization Act] would also speed the export of domestically produced natural gas.
See: Senate Passes Legislation Tailored to a Modern Energy Landscape Senator Whitehouse, when publicly asked why he voted for this bill, said that it contained sufficiently many goodies to justify his vote. What those goodies might have been is a well kept secret.

"Once we have a trade agreement in place, export licenses for projects for liquefied natural gas destined to Europe would be much easier, something that is obviously relevant in today's geopolitical environment," Obama said in response to then-European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso's appeal to step up US gas exports.
See: Weaponizing Hydrocarbons: It Was Obama's Idea to Flood EU With US LNG

The Russian Navy will no longer be allowed to dock and refuel in Cyprus after a last-minute U.S. Senate bill was passed on Tuesday. Led by warhawk senators Marco Rubio (R) and Bob Melendez (D), the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee bill requires Cyprus to block all Russian naval vessels from docking at their ports as part of their arms embargo against Moscow.
US Senate forces Cyprus to block Russian ships in eastern Mediterranean

Several months ago, drilling for natural gas in the eastern Mediterranean Sea appeared to be the next great offshore frontier for Big Oil. With Israel, Cyprus and Greece on board, a new geopolitical alliance had greenlit drilling at the behest of major companies like ExxonMobil, Eni, and Total.

2021: Joint Statement on the U.S.-Ukraine Strategic Partnership, September 1, 2021:
The U.S. and Ukrainian governments support efforts to increase capacity for gas supplies to Ukraine from diversified sources.
The Biden administration should pause its hyper-focus on renewable energy and support efforts to prevent Russian energy blackmail against our European allies.
See: The US should link eastern Mediterranean gas to Europe to subvert Russia

Biden visit to Europe was to sell U.S. LNG. Increasing energy prices and inflation? Never mind, the poor and vulnerable can fend for themselves as they deal with higher prices for utilities, food and shelter, while they bear the brunt of the climate catastrophe The 1% will be just fine. An apocalyptic report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change? Never mind; the 1% will be just fine.

Latest additions

  1. March 25, 2022: Joint Statement between the United States and the European Commission on European Energy Security
    Natural gas remains an important part of the EU energy system in the green transition, including by ensuring its carbon intensity decreases over time.

    Little has changed since Senator Whitehouse made the following comment about natural gas in May of 2014: "I actually think that it is a bridge fuel."

    In 2014, the term carbon intensity wasn't used. The term allows one to increase greenhouse gas emissions, while making it seem that this is not happening. Carbon intentisity is the amount of greenhouse gas per unit consumable energy produced. In othe words, one can decrease the carbon intensity, while still increasing the emissions by increasing the energy production sufficiently. The term carbon intensity is afavorite among greenwashers.

  2. March 11, 2022: Coal's on a comeback in energy-desperate Europe
    'Super-expensive LNG'

    One of the bigger questions is how Europe's energy crisis will ripple around the globe.

    American coal producers are eyeing European markets. When Biden banned Russian coal imports earlier this week, Rich Nolan, CEO of the National Mining Association, released a statement saying U.S. coal miners should "play a critical role in helping meet Europe's energy and steelmaking needs in the months and years ahead." The NMA represents large U.S. miners, including coal companies.

    The U.S. Energy Information Administration, a government energy forecasting office, earlier this week estimated that U.S. coal exports will increase on an annual basis for at least the next two years, citing the war's impacts on the broader energy sector.

  3. March 28, 2022: US Natural Gas Production and LNG Exports amid Urgent Demand for LNG from Europe
    The US is the largest consumer of natural gas in the world. For decades, natural gas production in the US wasn't enough to meet demand, and so the US imported natural gas via pipeline from Canada, and via LNG from other countries. Fracking changed the equation, natural gas production began to soar, and along the way the US became the largest producer of natural gas in the world.
  4. March 30, 2022: "Dollar Hegemony Ended Last Wednesday:" Michael Hudson Interviewed by Margaret Flowers on Clearing the Fog

    Well, what happened was that, as I've described in Super Imperialism, when the United States went off gold, foreign central banks didn't have anything to buy with their dollars that were flowing into their countries — again, mainly from the US military deficit but also from the investment takeovers. And they found that these dollars came in, the only thing they could do would be to recycle them to the United States. And what do central banks hold? They don't buy property, usually, back then they didn't. They buy Treasury bonds. And so, the United States would be spending dollars abroad and foreign central banks didn't really have anything to do but send it right back to buy treasury bonds to finance not only the balance of payments deficit, but also the budget deficit that was largely military in character. So, dollar hegemony was the system where foreign central banks keep their monetary and international savings reserves in dollars and the dollars are used to finance the military bases around the world, almost eight hundred military bases surrounding them. So, basically central banks have to keep their savings by weaponizing them, by militarizing them, by lending them to the United States, to keep spending abroad.

    This gave America a free ride. Imagine if you went to the grocery store and you just paid by giving them an IOU. And then the next week you want to buy more groceries and you give them another IOU. And they say, wait a minute, you have an IOU before and you say, well just use the IOU to pay the milk company that delivers, or the farmers that deliver. You can use this as your money and just you'll as a customer, keep writing IOU's and you never have to pay anything because your IOU is other people's money. Well, that's what dollar hegemony was, and it was a free ride. And it all ended last Wednesday when the United States grabbed Russia's reserves having grabbed Afghanistan's foreign reserves and Venezuela's foreign reserves and those of other countries.

    And all of a sudden, this means that other countries can no longer safely hold their reserves by sending their money back, depositing them in US banks or buying US Treasury Securities, or having other US investments because they could simply be grabbed as happened to Russia. So, all of a sudden this last week, you're seeing the world economy fracture into two parts, a dollarized part and other countries that do not follow the neoliberal policies that the United States insists that its allies follow. We're seeing the birth of a new dual World economy.

  5. March 31, 2022

    Scott Ritter on FOREIGN POLICY REVIEW -- MEDIA LIES COST LIVES agrees with Michael Hudson's arguments in Pat's link and adds his own expertise to the cocktail, Scott Ritter uses this rare commodity called common sense to explain how one can recognize propaganda in the media.

    The Russians are winning the economic war that's been going on between the West and Russia. And they're going to win and they're going to win decisively. I can't predict that the dollar is going to collapse, but the dollar is losing the stature that it held prior to this and whether other nations continue to work with the dollar has yet to be seen.

    Saudi Arabia is talking with China about selling gas using the yuan, which is a departure from the dollar, and when a nation like Saudi Arabia is no longer purchasing or selling oil using the dollar that means that all these massive reserves of petrodollars are out in the world start to lose their value.

    As an American I'm very nervous about this because it's going to hurt me. It's going to hurt you it's going to hurt everybody but you know we brought it on ourselves.

    Ritter then goes on to explain that Europe is waking up to the reality of who ultimately is likely to be at the receiving end of the U.S. sanctions. It's all geo- and energy politics in which the security of the people and life on earth play no role whatsoever. Will Germany be powered by wind? For that you need permanent magnets made of which rare earth metals are critical ingredients. Let's see where on earth those can be found: China, Vietnam, India, Brazil, and Russia.