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January 07, 2009

The New Cold War...Russia Cuts Off Gas Supplies To A Dozen European Countries

One of Russia's main natural gas pipelines to Europe runs through Ukraine. Unfortunately, the Ukrainians haven't paid their bills agreed on a price for gas this year, so in order to keep them from tapping into the pipeline and taking the gas they need, the Russians are cutting off supplies to everyone. With temperatures reaching 20 degrees below zero, some fear a humanitarian disaster in affected countries.

Slovakia’s Government followed Bulgaria by announcing that it may have to restart a mothballed Soviet-era nuclear power plant.

The Balkan states, which rely almost completely on Russian gas and have failed to develop modern infra-structures or alternative energy sources, have been the hardest hit at the time of the Orthodox Christmas.

In Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, there were bitter memories of the Bosnian conflict from 1992-95, when the population cut down trees to try to stay warm or bought coal on the black market.

Sven Alkalay, the Bosnian Foreign Minister, said: “Four million of our citizens are in danger.” Almir Becarevic, the manager of the state gas company, said: “If this lasts it could turn into a humanitarian disaster. We pray that someone can find a solution.”

...Yet 12 countries received no Russian gas at all yesterday: Austria, Bulgaria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Bosnia, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Turkey. France, Italy, Germany and Poland reported that their supplies from Russia were markedly down.

So who could have foreseen the Russians using their control over energy supplies in this way? Oh, just a guy named Ronald Reagan in 1982.

At that second link Accuweather meteorologist Joe Bastardi notes that the Russian actions may have been designed to coincide with the current drop in solar activity as predicted by Russian scientists.

It's almost as if the Russians aren't nice guys, the Sun might have something to do with temperatures here on Earth and global cooling is a much greater danger than global warming ever was.

And a President who promises to shackle us with expensive anti-global warming programs takes office in 13 days. What could go wrong?

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posted by DrewM. at 11:21 PM

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