Friday, July 1, 2016

Brexit: a subversive in Brussels

The man from Gazprom: Ugo Bardi's speech at the hearing "EU Energy Security Strategy under the conditions of the Internal Energy Market" at the European Parliament, in Brussels, on Nov 5, 2014. 

I already described this experience of mine at the EU parliament in Brussels, in 2014 but, f you have 12 minutes, you may like watch this clip with my full speech. You can notice how I had noted the start of the collapse of the oil price. I couldn't imagine, at that time, that prices would tumble to less than $40 per barrel, but I had correctly identified the troubles that would befall on the shale oil and the shale gas industry. Nor I could exactly predict when shale oil production would peak in the US (it did in mid 2015). But I warned the parliament not to put too much trust in these overhyped new sources of energy.

Not shown in the clip is the reaction of the audience. After I had stopped speaking, someone from the public took up the microphone, saying, "I completely disagree with what you said." Then, he rose up and he left the hall. Later on, they told me that he was a member of the UKIP. During the debate, someone raised the old canard that the US had attained "energy independence" by means of shale oil and that they were becoming a net energy exporter, but I had no possibility to answer back. The whole hearing had been carefully engineered to give the impression that Europe would soon receive plentiful supplies of oil and gas from the booming shale industry in the USA. No need to bow down to the evil threats of Putin and his minions. Some days after that the meeting was over, I was told that in the halls of the European parliament people were saying that I was paid by Gazprom. 

So, you see? It is not just the Britons. There has to be reason for this:


  1. I am surprised anyone at all has "trust" in the EU. Nobody is accountable for anything, and they stumble from one policy debacle to another. The individual countries that comprise the EU are each themselves a complete mess, so what you have here is an organization of the disorganized. How can you get anything effective out of that?

    Stack on top of this that the Euroclowns each live in a state of denial and simply buy what they are sold by energy industry shills. Probably not a single one of them realizes the underlying causes of their financial and political problems are resource depletion and population overshoot. Probably every single one if asked what the solution to their economic and political problems is, the answer would be "Growth". Therein lies the fundamental problem.

  2. Dear Ugo,
    Is there anyone who studies political systems in a scientific way - i.e. using stocks, flows and feedbacks of information, funds, etc?

    My view is that the EU in its current form is not a very stable entity. It lies somewhere between a customs union (a stable structure I think) and a federal superstate (theoretically possible - e.g. US - but in practice highly fissile).

    It is clearly unable to react proactively – i.e. to solve problems like resource shortages, effects of CC, all it can do is respond sluggishly to shocks, e.g. the economic slump.

    In other words, could you model the EU and ‘run it’ under a range of political, economic and environmental trends and disturbances?

    1. Of course! We are doing exactly that in a EU sponsored research project called MEDEAS, in turn inspired by the earlier "Limits to Growth" model. But I am not optimistic about anyone listening to us!



Ugo Bardi is a member of the Club of Rome and the author of "Extracted: how the quest for mineral resources is plundering the Planet" (Chelsea Green 2014)