Crazy they call him.
Since he invaded Ukraine, there has been much speculation as to the mental state of Vladimir Putin. Some “experts” have said that an inordinate fear of COVID has kept Putin isolated to the point that his sanity is in question. Some in the media claim to see a “changed” Vladimir Putin from the one they might have interviewed in years past.
The fact is, no one knows the state of Vladimir Putin’s mental health and none of us can read his mind. But we can know this. Vladimir Putin can do elementary school math.
Putin knows that Europe produces 3.6 million barrels of oil every day but uses 15 million barrels. He knows that Europe produces 230 billion cubic meters of natural gas every year but uses 560 billion cubic meters.
He also knows that he produces 11 million barrels of oil per day but only uses 3.4 million barrels; and that he produces 700 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year but only uses 400 billion cubic meters.
So, he is well aware of the fact that Europe has an energy production deficit and he has an energy production surplus.
And while he’s probably aware that some in the West might think he’s insane, he knows for certain that Western leadership actually is. That’s because Western leaders like Angela Merkel of Germany and Joe Biden (together with very nearly every other Democrat in America) have allowed their economies and the prosperity of their citizens to be subsumed into the “climate change” movement.
In the name of “saving the planet” from the “climate emergency” Western democracies have hobbled their oil & gas industries in the hope of promoting “renewable energy” and “green energy” and seemingly any kind of energy except the energy that can actually be used in the here and now.
Putin (along with his new bestie Xi Jingping of China) are laughing at the spectacle of the most powerful nations on Earth allowing themselves to be made poor by the media’s hyperventilation over a 15-year-old Swedish schoolgirl cum climate activist named Greta Thunberg. They can’t stop giggling over the fact that the term “carbon footprint,” about which lefty hypocrites like John Kerry never stop fulminating, isn’t actually a scientific term. It’s a term that was coined by the PR firm Ogilvy & Mather on behalf of its client, British Petroleum.
Putin knows that renewable energy won’t replace energy from fossil fuel – certainly not quickly enough to replace the oil & gas production that Europe and the United States keep taking offline. He further knows that Germany will need enormous amounts of his natural gas to generate the electricity that no longer comes from the nuclear plants that Germany shut down.
Putin, whatever his mental state, knows that he now has Europe by the you-know-whats.
Thus, he is simultaneously enriched and emboldened to pursue his strategic interests as he defines them – which includes invading Ukraine – secure in the knowledge of the upper hand that Western leaders have so fecklessly given him.