EDITORIAL: Kudrin Makes a Funny


Kudrin Makes a Funny

Oops! Kudrin makes a funny.

Oops! Kudrin makes a funny.

One thing surely nobody can deny about Putin’s Russia is that it’s always good for a laugh (if you can put out of mind momentarily the tortuous suffering of so many innocent children that results from the insane incompetence of the Kremlin these days).

A great example was the statement by Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin last week that Russia would increase its energy efficiency by 40% within the next decade.  We can’t remember when we’ve heard something come out of Russia that sounded quite so monumentally ridiculous.

We understand Kudrin’s position, he’s a part of the Russian government and he has to be cheerleader somtimes.  What’s more, his statement could be seen as cleverly leveraging Russia  into a position of at least slight environmental consciousness, even as it repudiates global efforts to deal with such issues as global warming and remains one of the most toxic nations on the face of the earth.

But that doesn’t make it any less ridiculous to suggest that Russia could remotely approach such a goal.    In fact, as we see it Russia should content itself with making sure it’s energy efficiency deteriorates by less than 40% over the next decade. The Kremlin is totally without resources, and entering an era of massive deficit spending and ruble-printing that will see a huge drop in the currency’s real value.  It can barely afford to pay its operating expenses, much less to insulate millions of draft Russian apartments built by incompetent Soviets.  Even if the money was there, Russia’s pandemic corruption would make sure it would never be spent efficiently enough to achieve any real results.

Russians are used to having no responsibility for their energy costs, which have always been hugely subsidized by their government as a way of avoiding civil strife. As such, they’ve never developed any energy consciousness, and indeed most Russians don’t even individually control their heating use.  Moreover, the Putin regime has liquidated the environmental movement along with every other aspect of civil society, branding them traitors.  The result is that Russia is hopelessly unable to reform its energy use either for the good of the national economy or the world environment.  Choosing to be governed by a proud KGB spy, after all, is hardly the pathway to a green country.

10 responses to “EDITORIAL: Kudrin Makes a Funny

  1. It’s ridiculous blather because to raise energy efficiency you have to raise utility and gas prices to lower demand to motivate conservation. That can’t happen without a huge backlash.

    A spending package to replace in apartments and dachas better windows, high efficiency furnances and better insulation won’t happen either.

    The Kremlin hasn’t got the message that they are not First World players. Pretending to apply programs to trends that they read about in the US and EU newspapers only makes them look like fools.

  2. There is another option: drive companies and industry into bankruptcy. Perhaps Kudrin is hinting that Russian manufacturing will shrink by 40% within the next decade?

  3. No, it will be done by turning off hot water and heating at an increased rate of 40% in addition to what it is done now.

  4. I think it is more than hilarious that the Kremlin following macro-trends in the West even utters these lame green policies.

    Michel, a decade from now if this very possible generational recession grinds on Russia is going to be a Third World basket case.

    What exactly do they manufacture for export anyways?

  5. What do they manufacture? Well, mainly raw materials (steel, nickel, etc…).

    Why has it been so quiet these past couple of days with comments? We don’t have the usual gaggle of Russophiles. Is there some kind FSB holiday being celebrated that I do not know exists? :)

  6. Michel, I guess I was thinking of finished products – electronics, cars, software -which come to think of it they really don’t have anything in that realm for export but the same tired old weapons and vodka.

    I think the usual suspects have figured out the law of diminishing returns as they are being ignored more. Maybe the domestic ones have been sent by mom to summer camp.

  7. If Russia would be ruled by “normal” politicians, just the average Western type, not too bright, not too corrupt, efficency would immediately rise by more than 40%, no matter in which area.

    The Russians are so inefficient, that such an improvement in percent would be easy to reach by someone who would really try. (But in real figures things would still be bad for a long time… )

    By the way, I have tried to explain the difference between “effective” and “efficient” to Russians. They didn’t understand. That says it all…

  8. Maybe they have somekind of new plan to make the population decrease even faster? :) You put 10% of population in the working camps, like uncle Joseph did and you’re almost there.

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