Opinion: If you needed more proof that a fossil fuel economy fuels conflict…

 

Iraqi security forces and volunteers who have joined forces to fight militants. Photo credit: Reuters / Stringer.

By Anders Lorenzen
In the last half a year we have seen further evidence mount against fossil fuels and the role they play in creating conflicts. But you would not know that because this is not how it’s being framed by our politicians and mainstream media.

At the two big conflicts these past six months, energy issues have been at the heart of them or should we say the gas and oil industry.

There might be one simple solution to limit the risks of such conflict breaking out and that is moving towards renewable energy.

Last week we saw, after countless threats, the Russian state owned oil and gas company Gazprom cutting off their gas supply to Ukraine. This follows the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine or maybe more correctly framed Russia vs Ukraine and the EU. Russia are using their muscle and secret weapon of oil and gas, of which Ukraine and many EU countries heavily rely on, without that their economy and the structure of countries fail to function. Could you imagine if Ukraine were self reliant in energy via renewable energy for instance – how would Russia then play that game? Suddenly all the aces would be in Ukraine’s hand.

Take the current unrest in Iraq where insurgents are taking over and have captured several strategic towns including Iraq’s largest oil refinery. The terrorist network ISIS, an Al Qaeda breakaway group, say they want to create a large Islamic state. Of course we’re being told that these are ruthless terrorists and we must stand up and defeat terror. That is true, but we must look deeper at the picture and try to see why this is happening? Could it be the highly desired western interest in Iraqi oil reserves? Have those Interests been fuelled by the desire to enter and control so-called unfriendly countries rich oil reserves to play the market to western advantage? And could our thirst for more fossil fuels be spreading hatred against western governments and creating conflicts?

It’s time that we add terrorism and security issues to the long list of reasons why we must switch to a renewable energy system. It’s quite simple – it really is, we must as quickly as possible divest our national governments from fossil fuels, halt reckless plans for yet more drilling and extraction of fossil fuels, rapidly scale up our deployment of renewable energy and on full throttle establish energy independence through renewables. Only then can we really begin to deal with security threats rife across the planet, conflicts fuelled by fossil fuels and yet more fossil fuels.

Sub edited by Charlotte Paton

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