Frack the Russians

It is well known that, during the Cold War, the Soviet Union quietly funneled money to Western peace movements. It funded people who opposed nuclear weapons and wanted unilateral disarmament of the West. It funded people who opposed strategic nuclear weapons in central Europe. It funded parts of the anti-war movement.

To be clear, most of the people involved in these movements had no affiliation with the Soviet Union or knew of Soviet involvement. They were “useful idiots”. But many in the leadership knew. And, to be clear, Soviet funding did not make these movements illegitimate, per se. You could oppose Vietnam and nuclear weapons and not be a Communist stooge. But the Soviet Union had and pursued an interest in certain factions within Western politics that overlapped with their own interests.

Nothing changes, does it?

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen recently announced that the Russian intelligence service was covertly funding European environmental NGOs to support their campaign against fracking. The former Danish Prime Minister stated that he had “met allies who can report that Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organizations – environmental organizations working against shale gas – to maintain European dependence on imported Russian gas.”

The accusations do not seem too far-fetched. Russia is very keen on dissuading Europe from exploiting its shale reserves. Disregardful of their own massive fracking projects in Siberia, Vladimir Putin uses environmental arguments to push an EU-wide fracking ban. In a similar fashion, he tries to discourage the US from exporting of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to Europe. This is an option some European politicians such as Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague suggested as a way to reduce European energy dependency from Russia. It is currently on the table in the negotiations on the trade agreement between the European Union and the United States (TTIP).

Right now, much of Europe is dependent on Putin’s oiligarchy for their energy. Fracking is not only a threat to that but a threat to all of Putin’s imperial ambitions. Wide-scale fracking would deliver a huge blow to the Russian economy. So naturally he opposes it. Naturally, as former KGB, he’s willing to fund anti-fracking groups. And I suspect that, like the Peace movement, some within the anti-fracking leadership are aware of this and more than willing to take his money.

Fracking opponents will, of course, claim that Putin’s money doesn’t matter; fracking is so awful that they have to oppose it. They will, of course, claim that what they want is a world that runs on renewables, with neither fracking nor Putin having a role. But that’s living in fantasy world. Even under the most optimistic assumptions, Europe will not be able to provide more than a fraction of their power through renewables within the next few decades. And with nuclear now on the wane, that means they will need tons and tons of fossil fuels.

So it really is a matter of picking the lesser of two evils. In fracking, you have some legitimate environmental concerns (most of which have been addressed or are being addressed). But you have a less carbon-intensive source of energy and companies that are accountable to Western nations. Russian oil not only props up a bloodthirsty tyrant, it supports one of the dirtiest polluters on the planet. As bad as fracking may or may not be, Russian oil is far worse for the planet, for Eastern Europe and for global security.

Fracking opponents will tell you that fracking is being pushed by “dirty money” from natural gas interests. But, good Lord, is there any money dirtier than Vladimir Putin’s?

Comments are closed.

  1. AlexInCT

    To be clear, most of the people involved in these movements had no affiliation with the Soviet Union or knew of Soviet involvement

    Oh, pardon me, but I disagree. Most of them knew where not only their money but their marching orders came from. Definitely in the leadership of these various organizations, and frankly, quite often in the membership as well. Sure, many of them feigned lack of knowledge, or even indignity, when you pointed this out to them, invoking shades of McCarthyism (the guy was right after all as the Venona project documentation proves) and accusing people pointing out their connection to the KGB of being the ones doing the nefarious work, but if you scratched even a little bit at the surface you found the red below. And these organizations didn’t disappear after the fall of the USSR: they morphed. Just look at the greens and their affiliation, for example. They are called watermelons for a reason, and they are not alone in taking their marching orders from some of the most vilest and evil entities on the planet. Also dig to find the roots of the Islamic jihad movement, and you will find Arafat and his KGB connection. At least ina delicious twist of irony that dog bit them right back in the ass after the fact.

    BTW, the place the KGB had the most success in corrupting the American system was not in the political or private sector arena: it was academia. The halls of higher education are the cesspools of anti-American and anti-Israeli marxist thinking and excuse making – for a cult that has oppressed billions and murdered millions while peddling the idiotic notion that they were fixing all the world’s ills – they are today thanks to the KGB. I think I understand Putin’s frustration. Had the USSR held on for another decade or two, America would have imploded from within. Shit, we even managed to let a media that would do Pravda proud help elect the first red president in our country, despite the fact many pretend he is black, and he has done from within what the USSR never accomplished.

    And fracking isn’t the only thing the FSB (the new KGB) is funding these days either Hal. They are still at their old games, and I have to say the sheep that follow these causes they peddle damned well don’t care at all. In fact, it gives the cause gravitas to these types.

    Thumb up 5

  2. Miguelito

    They were “useful idiots”

    That’s many (if not the bulk of) the Ferguson/$NY_GUY/”black lives matter”/etc protesters going on now.

    You can see the professionally printed signs even have things like ANSWER, revcom, etc right on them.

    Then you’ve got your mix of idiots that just use any excuse to riot and loot.

    Thumb up 3

  3. Thrill

    I’m with Alex on this one. The Left’s attitude varied from “the Russians love their children too” all the way to “fuck capitalist America.” They’ve never really cared whether their stances empowered the nation’s enemies or not, willfully or not. Same as now.

    Thumb up 3