We need to be realistic about energy – and lights that go out could call attention to awkward truths

A few years ago I bought an old oil lamp. It has a brass Corinthian column, a porcelain well and a glass globe. There was one like this in our house when I was young, and since blackouts were quite common, it was used often. Nostalgia aside, I’m even happier with my purchase now as it could come in handy this winter if we run out of power. How did it come to this?

Fortunately, there are random factors beyond our control and convenient enemies to blame. Unfortunately, there are some inconvenient truths as well.

Convenient truths are true. Internationally, Asia had a cold winter last year and bought huge stocks of gas globally. Then Vladimir Putin spotted an opportunity and cut gas supplies from Russia to Europe in the current strain on the Nordstream 2 pipeline.

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