D H
Oct 11 · Last update 13 days ago.

What's behind the numerous recent energy crises around the world?

In recent weeks we have seen various energy crises play out globally across the world, causing blackouts, fuel shortages and shock to various supply chains. We have seen fuel shortages in the UK, energy price hikes across Europe, shortages of coal in India, electrical shortages and blackouts in China, and massive power-cuts and disastrous fuel shortages in Lebanon. A number of these issues have caused concern that energy problems could cause price spikes and downstream supply chain issues internationally, and possibly cause winter blackouts in other parts of the world in 2021, becoming a truly global energy shortage. Are these crises all linked or a number of distinct coincidences? Are these climate or COVID complications? Or are political factors at play in these crises? What’s behind recent global energy crises & are there solutions?
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COVID and Brexit – Problems will be solved over time
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The need to transition away from capitalism
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Transition to renewables & Degrowth
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Underinvestment
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COVID and Brexit – Problems will be solved over time

COVID lockdowns cause dwindling demand, and many supply chains were redirected completely to the account for a sudden strain on medical supplies, and consumer habits were suddenly completely reshaped overnight, the transition away from this sudden change is therefore causing a temporary supply crisis. What we are seeing then is mainly a post-COVID recovery shortage in various forms around the world, which has only been complicated by political reasons in the UK, namely Brexit, which has caused a distinct lack of petrol/gasoline that we are not yet seeing much of elsewhere in the world. An energy crisis is likewise unfolding across Europe as more nations exit COVID lockdowns, China is experiencing similar shortages during this transition that is effecting countries downstream, such as India, and this going so far as to worry US energy insiders who have warned that the US may face winter blackouts in 2021.

In the UK COVID and Brexit have intersected, with so many foreign lorry drivers leaving the country to return to Europe because of these two major issues, Britain is facing such a labour shortage in its haulage sector that fears of fuel shortages mounted to a hysterical run on the fuel pumps. This actually escalated to the point of causing distinct fuel shortages and similar trends are expected to potentially lead to food shortages in the near future. As far as solutions this issue will fix itself as prices stabilise, wages for truck drivers increase and attract more to the field, and the world slowly returns to normal following COVID, but in the meantime we may see more temporary blackouts and shortages.

bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-09-27/uk-fuel-shortage-panic-blamed-on-brexit-covid-pandemic-politicians nytimes.com/2021/09/28/world/europe/brexit-britain-fuel-johnson.html euronews.com/2021/10/05/europe-s-energy-crisis-five-charts-to-explain-why-your-bills-might-go-up-this-winter naturalblaze.com/2021/10/energy-crisis-may-unleash-winter-blackouts-across-us-insider-warns.html

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D H
Oct 15
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DH edited this paragraph
In the UK COVID and Brexit have intersected, with so many foreign lorry drivers leaving the country to return to Europe because of these two major issues, Britain is facing such a labour shortage in its haulage sector that fears of fuel shortages mounted to a hysterical run on the fuel pumps. This actually escalated to the point of causing distinct fuel shortages and similar trends are expected to potentially lead to food shortages in the near future. As far as solutions this issue will fix itself as prices stabilise, wages for truck drivers increase and attract more to the field, and the world slowly returns to normal following COVID, but in the meantime we may see more temporary blackouts and shortages.

The need to transition away from capitalism

The elephant in the room to the climate debate has always been capitalism, the world's economic, and possible more importantly political, infrastructure is built upon capitalism and this inherently puts barriers in the way of effective change. This is at its most clear with the clear change needed surrounding the climate crisis, market forces are not sophisticated enough to deal with the complex situation we have found ourselves in, and capitalism cannot spend its way out of this crisis. Capitalism is a system that inherently exploits and degrades the environment, there is no way around this under capitalism and there is no amount of regulation that could police or keep up with the speed of human exploitation of the natural world. Capitalism is inherently unstable, unsustainable and will inevitably lead to the energy shortages we are seeing around the world, but it is the anti-democratic moneyed interests that are able to interfere politically, that drive the reluctance to change, helping to alienate, creating inequality and turning people and nature into commodities. The outcome of crony capitalism at its worst is playing out in Lebanon, this should be a warning to all over countries of how bad things can get.

aljazeera.com/news/2021/10/9/fuel-shortage-forces-shutdown-main-lebanese-power-plants ourworld.unu.edu/en/political-barriers-to-climate-change-adaptation theguardian.com/environment/georgemonbiot/2014/oct/01/george-monbiot-war-on-the-living-world-wildlife climateandcapitalism.com/2018/09/04/to-overcome-climate-paralysis-unite-for-system-change

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D H
Oct 15
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Transition to renewables & Degrowth

The transition to renewable forms of sustainable energy that the world so eagerly needs to pursue will clearly require a completely reformed global economy, and it is now clear that a post-pandemic world going back to its pre-pandemic economic status quo is just a fast-track to destruction. It is the high consumption markets on which the world economy is built that are the main problem that is fuelling so much waste in the world, and realising that infinite growth cannot be sustained on a planet of finite resources is the only difficult pill that can be swallowed at this point. The transition to renewables will inevitably lead to such things, we are likely to see more energy shortages in the near future and lifestyles and economies will have to adjust, we therefore need a period of degrowth and governments should be preparing for this as soon as possible. We are seeing global investors cutting growth forecasts due to there energy shortages, businesses should be thinking of innovative ways to adapt to consumer-driven degrowth and view this as an opportunity, as the ones that do will be resilient and prevail. The growth myth is over and needs to be replaced with a sustainable mentality.

vox.com/future-perfect/22408556/save-planet-shrink-economy-degrowth hbr.org/2020/02/why-de-growth-shouldnt-scare-businesses edition.cnn.com/2021/09/28/economy/china-power-shortage-gdp-supply-chain-intl-hnk/index.html degrowth.org

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D H
Oct 15
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Underinvestment

Underinvestment is a significant contributor to global energy shortages, what we are actually now seeing is a failure of investment in both renewables and in "dirty" fossil-fuel-driven energy. In a time when so many countries are trying to transition to renewable forms of energy it is clear that such a transition to different energy sources indeed will not happen overnight, and in the meantime less investment is being made into fossil fuels will only lead to major energy shortages globally. Far-reaching legislative proposals to cut down the EU's greenhouse gas emissions are driving such historically high prices in Europe, while UK will be investing in nuclear to bridge the gap between dirty and renewable energy, and clearly in China overly ambitious climate targets will be helping curb supply. Underinvestment is most shocking in Lebanon, were corruption has led to the most shocking shortages of supply and infrastructure, and the Lebanese are plagued by blackouts and fuel shortages.

aljazeera.com/economy/2021/10/4/uk-plans-fossil-fuel-free-power-grid-by-2035-using-nuclear-energy euronews.com/2021/09/23/why-europe-s-energy-prices-are-soaring-and-could-get-much-worse aljazeera.com/news/2021/10/9/fuel-shortage-forces-shutdown-main-lebanese-power-plants edition.cnn.com/2021/09/28/economy/china-power-shortage-gdp-supply-chain-intl-hnk/index.html

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Oct 15
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