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Why the Russian Petro-State Is Actually Terrified of a Bernie Sanders Presidency: The Green New Deal

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/02/23/why-russian-petro-state-actually-terrified-bernie-sanders-presidency-green-new-deal

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This type of article is why I read and follow CD. It makes me think. Now Russia, with its vast land mass and topography can produce renewable energy for itself with relative ease I should think. It can’t, however, export such as effectively as it can its oil and gas resources upon which it has built its economy. Prof. Cole has forced me into thinking about Russia in this manner. Thank you sir, for thinking is what makes my days expand. I am not sold on the “Putin is a bogeyman” narrative, but rather do think he looks out for Mother Russia’s interests, which often do not intersect with those of our nation. He plays smart, so should we. The Orange Pustule ain’t ever going to cut it.


The day that the petroleum industry never sees another dollar from the government, will be a day for celebration for the entire planet.


There’s another party that’s terrified of the GND much closer to home: The US Military (Industrial Complex). Why? Because you simply cannot wage, let alone win, a modern war without cheap and abundant petroleum fuels.

True, we could do a lot to green the 800+ military bases we operate, the ships could be converted to run on hydrogen from renewables, and probably even the ground vehicles could be converted to batteries and fuel cells (at a large cost). Nevertheless, the power-to-weight ratio enabled by engines that burn such fuels still leaves the military utterly addicted to their use in fighters, bombers and helicopters (or anything else where mobility is of the essence), and the top brass knows this very well. Right now, there are no green substitutes in the pipeline: Stored hydrogen is much too heavy for these purposes, and biofuels would be too expensive especially when produced on a scale that cuts in to the world’s food supply (not to mention biodiversity).

Finally, it should be noted that even the Pentagon’s budget would not enable it to find, drill, and refine the petroleum products it needs to function on it’s own; it needs us all to pitch in post-tax and support the industry by continuing to drive gas-guzzlers and fly around the world on petro-powered vacations.

In short, we will not fully implement a GND and go carbon neutral without first reining in the US military-industrial complex. This is the real reason why the US government, under both Republican and Democratic presidents and at least as much as Russia or Saudi Arabia, has fought against any international agreement with the teeth necessary to stop climate change before it’s too late. For a detailed history of how we arrived in this sad place, see “Oil, Power and War: A Dark History” by Matthieu Auzanneau.


Yeah… it is the oil (economy), stupid!

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Yes, Putin looks out for Russia’s interests. That’s his job. Russia might not be in as bad a shape in a post-carbon world as this article says. Renewable energy generation and storage will increase the demand for scarce minerals which Russia also has in abundance.


HI wiseOwl:
Hmm, but everything this writer said about Russia, is exactly the same as the thinking of America. Otherwise, why would America have invaded Venezuela, if not for the oil and gas?And as for looking out for Russia first? No surprise there, as all nations put self interest first!
Actually, what I would like both nations to realize is that the unending wars are what are killing the planet!
I do believe in the climate crisis—the planet is heating —but what I would like to know is:
: Beyond the asteroid that hit the Yucatan—that makes sense as an out of planet event—and I did read of an earth science man in North Dakota who has evidence of how far the water was pushed and effected all life up to North Dakota from the asteroid event in Central America .
I am curious of all the other times that the Earth changed—as when the Arctic area was once apparently said to be like Florida with plants and warm climate. Was that an out of Earth event too?
But then, the Industrial Revolution has been going on for a long time—but I think, that the only positive thing to do is not to war anymore or anywhere. on anyone.


It’s really hard to imagine that Putin’s primary concerns with the US are not military and related to encirclement.

The sort of thesis that Cole pushes here really screams for some investigation of Sino-Russian relationships and the recent decision to go forward with a pipeline east.

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Before there even a transition to fossil fuels, the USA might be dragged into a war with Russia due to Turkey insisting it continues its aggression against Syria.

Turkey is now requesting US warplanes Patrol Idlib province (Syrian territory) against Russian Aircraft.

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I meant FROM…not to.

Earth in Upheaval by E. Velikovsky was a very interesting/good read from 1955 re some of what you write about - as were his other efforts, - I’m sure it still is Gloriana. .

…or, MUCH better yet, close them all down and bring the troops–and the contractors, mercenaries, caterers, and their various dependents–home.

Cold war mentality is alive and well inside Cole’s brain. The guy is turning into a complete Russiaphobe.
Maybe he trying to land a job with the NY Times; or WaPo.

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I just lost some measure of respect for Juan Cole. Yes, he is another Russophobe, and it would be interesting to know how that was formed inside his head. Incessant propaganda I suppose, and his tendency to buy into it.

If Putin were in denial of global warming, why is Russia expanding so much in its frozen north?

Hi Emphyrio:

THANK YOU! A new book to read: and many new ideas -----and from 1955 too. I look forward to finding this person’s ideas. : )

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Well, actually it’s the petrodollar. No need for oil, no need for the US$. No need for the US$, the empire collapses.

They are in a bind. It’s a petro state, but they are also not stupid. They know what’s coming.

You remember when Moscow was choking in smoke some maybe 7-8 years ago? Medvedev was frantic. “Ok, we have to do something different!” he said. Up until then the line was that Global Warming was a plot by the west to keep Russia from selling its oil.

Wow, we never learn, do we? Just because Juan Cole manages to attach oil to Russia Russia Russia is no reason to fall all over ourselves glorying in a new day. We’re a consumer economy. We take huge amounts of the world’s resources to support our extravagant lifestyle. So we go from oil to batteries—so what? Where do you think we’ll get the lithium to make the batteries? We don’t have it. But Bolivia does. So those who want Bolivia’s lithium just overthrew the duly elected leader of that country because he wouldn’t lie down and let the corporations take his lithium for paltry prices. Peru and Argentina also have our lithium. What’s our lithium doing under their salt flats? Irag anyone? You’re all a bunch of meatheads if you think electric cars are a panacea. So is CD for this publishing this simplistic article.

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Hi stardust. The asteroid that hit the Yucatán wiped out the dinosaurs. Velikovsky posited that Venus and Mars transited close to Earth and caused catastrophic events that correspond to events recorded in the Bible. I read his Worlds in Collision as a teen and was amazed by the idea that biblical events could have had their origins by non religious causes. While many people before and since Velikovsky have suggested earthquakes might have caused the walls of Jericho to fall, no credible scientist agrees with his assertion that the planets Venus and Mars came close to Earth and caused catastrophic biblical events. I must differ with Emphyrio as to the merits of reading his fringe ‘science’ but then I do not believe in ancient astronauts either. There are other causational theories as to some biblical events such as the plagues or the Exodus. Nevertheless, his original work spawned some of them. I remember the (at the time for me) surprise I felt to read that a shallow Reed Sea had been parted not the Red Sea. Strong winds might do such a thing but a planet or comet passing overhead (but not crashing into the Earth) is not credible. He was a cause celebre for a time but has been discredited.

Hi Wereflea:
Thank you for your feedback----and the article I rea dread the North Dakota events are pretty amazing, and I read it in a magazine called The New Yorker about a year ago. I haven’t gotten to Velikvosky yet, as I just finished reading “Death in the Air,” the great smog of 1952 which killed a lot of people. in London. Truly amazing ( Kate Winkler Dawson , 2017
published by Hachette Books. Brought on Daedalus Books for a great low price! : )