There is nothing wrong with that statement, as delivered by Russian President Vladimir Putin. It is perfectly true.
What he actually is reported as saying is:
“In this sense, discarding the purest hydrocarbon like gas seems utterly bizarre. When these types of ideas [the complete abandonment of hydrocarbons – TASS] are promoted, it seems to me that the human race may find itself again in caves, just because it won’t be consuming anything.”
“Technologies are such that right now mankind cannot survive and preserve its civilization without raw hydrocarbons, without nuclear energy, and without hydropower.”
And that is also clearly true. But to use those arguments as reasoning for continuing to use hydrocarbons (and nuclear energy) in the way that we currently do, reveals that he is just as trapped into the same self-destructive thought patterns as every other world leader.
Of course he has no choice in that. No single nation can afford to give up current temporarily civilisation maintaining practices as long as other nations continue on the current path (short lived as these practices will undoubtedly soon be seen to be). It is the same dilemma the whole civilised world faces.
It is undeniable that the only thing which is keeping the modern world in a state of suspended delusion that everything will remain as it is, is our continued consumption – our consumerist societies, built on making and buying stuff – all based on the power and energy that our use of hydrocarbons have given us. But it is also undeniable that we can’t go on doing that forever, or even for much longer. It is only our selective blindness to that truth that is keeping human societies going. Though it is clear that this project we are unwilling to let go of, is not travelling well and even bumpier and more difficult roads lie ahead for us.
So, what is the alternative? Do we keep going for as long as we can? Or do we revert to ‘cave dwelling’ – which will be (or something like it – a much reduced standard of living – but more freedom) the inevitable consequence no matter what choices we make?
Our global leaders, revered or derided, can not and will not make those choices for us. We choose, by our actions, the path ahead. And I dare say that we will choose the easy way – for as long as it lasts – since we too are trapped in the same dilemma.
(Please note that I have not provided reasons or proofs of the statements I make here. Those reasons and proofs are perfectly obvious if you think about it and have taken the time to know and understand the world you live in.)