No, the energy mix is ​​not a playlist on Spotify…

This week, Ukraine reduced the transit of Russian gas to Europe by closing a gas pipeline. And Duke University in North Carolina has opened a course to become an influencer on TikTok, if I believe it. the Bloomberg agency. You do not see the report? Me niether. And that is precisely the point.

The United States, Europe; the web, the gas; the anecdotal, the telluric: these two small events have strictly nothing in common other than the concomitance. And yet they both seem to have earned their place in the economic pages of the global gazette, since I am telling you about them, I who am neither in Durham nor in Lugansk. So they must be bound by something.

Dematerializing Frenzy

This something, here it is: our dematerializing frenzy, the one that transforms by clicks and to the general fascination of schoolgirls with hair extensions into ringing and stumbling millionaires, hangs by a thread. Or rather a stream. Gas, or oil, that a good old tap lets or no longer lets through somewhere in a big pipe.

To put it more simply, at a time when we collectively fantasized and without really thinking about a future relatively free from the physical trivialities of the old world, here they are setting the record straight, their own. Above and below ground, that is to say very far from our uprooted obsessions.

Big deal, you will tell me, everyone has understood for a long time that energy and the flow of matter have always been the sinews of war, of all wars. Perhaps. But then why and how did we abandon this priority subject in favor of blinking files?

Until February 24, at three o’clock in the morning, social networks, big data, cryptocurrencies, NFTs, the blockchain, the metaverse, cyberthis and cyberthat seemed to have become the unsurpassable horizon of humanity, like debate. The place of all the discussions, of all the possible and imaginable afters.


Logically, there was an urgent need to prepare future generations for this, to teach them to code, to disrupt, to monetize in order to get by, and ideally from an early age. And said generations did not wait for us to teach them a lesson: at 15, any teenager juggles with 0s and 1s, and speaks HTML fluently.

On the other hand, to draw the route of a pipeline or locate a refinery on a map, there are not many people left. If you don’t believe me, stop someone on the street and ask them where Switzerland buys its gas, how it runs its factories, and ultimately on whom depends his heated fate… No idea.

As terrible as it may seem, the Ukrainian tragedy may therefore have a virtue: to remind all those who need it, since we have to start somewhere, that the energy mix is ​​not a playlist on Spotify.

Alexis Favre’s previous column was…

… this one: A bit of lily of the valley in the clafoutis?

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