A few days after Russia invaded Ukraine (I will not call it a “war,” as that might offend Czar Vlad and his friends) for the nth time, my thoughts turned to the consequences for the CERN laboratory and for upcoming research at the Large Hadron Collider [LHC]. It was clear that Putin would blackmail Europe using his oil and gas supplies, leading to a spike in energy prices and a corresponding spike in CERN’s budget.
Of course I didn’t foresee the heat waves and drought that have swept Europe, or the maintenance problems at France’s nuclear plants, which have made the energy crisis that much worse. (Even though global climate change is now quite obvious, and the trends are partially predictable, one can’t predict what will happen in any given year.) I am not familiar with the budgetary consequences of these higher energy prices for CERN operations, but they cannot be good.