Arctic conditions are sweeping across Europe. They are responsible for hundreds of weather-related deaths. Of course, the homeless and the elderly are under the biggest threat.
In the midst of this icy spell Gazprom, mammoth Russian gas producer usually supplying a quarter of Europe’s natural gas, is facing it’s own problems due to greater domestic demand caused by the freezing temperatures and as a result of its own soaring consumption, Russia is cutting back on gas exports to Europe.
Italy imports 90% of its natural gas, 30% from Russia, and is one country whose supply has been reduced, putting it in a very uncomfortable situation. Although EU officials are denying any emergency, the BBC reports that Italy is initiating emergency measures to conserve its country’s gas supplies. To help homes stay warm, some industrial operations will have their supplies decreased, while some of Italy’s power stations are switching to oil. Eni, Italian energy supplier, is urging people to cut back on usage as much as they can.
And why am I writing about this? Well, here is a brief excerpt from Part I, Chapter 6 of my novel The Zul Enigma which is set in 2068 and looks back on an horrific event that occurred on 21 December 2012, end of the Mayan calendar:
“When Carlos walked into the Chill Out Lounge, Drew was already there, sitting in a big rattan armchair sipping a Mojito. Carlos ordered a drink for himself and also sat down.
‘Did you see the latest headlines?’ Drew asked. ‘You were right. There’s talk Russia’s going to threaten turning off the gas supply to Europe. The Germans are going mental and the EU’s in a complete panic. The Yanks are scared NATO’s going to collapse, leaving their backs well and truly exposed.’”
I hope this isn’t an inadvertent prophesy!
J M Leitch