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.