Europe Amid an Energy Crisis

How Europe Handled Winter Amid a Looming Energy Crisis

At the beginning of the war in Ukraine, many western nations sanctioned Russia, banning the import of Russian natural gas. It was significant because Russian natural gas keeps European towns and businesses running. Everything from manufacturing goods to heating homes is fueled by Russian natural gas. Initially, prices spiked, but it was not anything of serious concern beyond paying more for fueling cars. After the Nord Stream pipeline was blown by an unknown party, prices spiked higher, and the flow of already limited Russian natural gas was even stricter than before.

As Europe grew closer to what was supposed to be one of the harshest winters in recent history, Russian state television and officials made short videos and statements showing European people burning fires and eating pets to survive the winter. Those videos show that without Russian gas, there would be no way to cook food, heat homes, and people would ultimately collapse into primitive ways of survival if the western nations do not lift sanctions on Russia. To prepare for the winter, many Europeans began engaging in drastic energy cutbacks to afford the energy bill at the end of the winter, such as unplugging computers, gaming consoles, televisions, and other energy-draining devices. Surprisingly, predictions about this winter being one of the coldest in history were wrong. Instead, there was record-breaking heat across Europe. For those not in abnormally hot areas, they did not turn to anarchy, but instead, the prices to heat their homes were not as wallet-breaking as Russia claimed they would be. This did not stop Russian television from making statements like, “What do Ukrainian borsch, French onion soup, and German sausages all have in common? To make them, you need Russian gas!” and “In the West, they’ve just opened a museum of hot water and heating.” These quotes came directly from Russia’s New Years broadcast. With winter ending, the once dangerous threat of not being able to keep the heat on was snuffed out by an unusually hot winter. Hopefully, there will be a change from traditional natural gas to greener energy such as hydroelectric. 

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