Peak Oil News

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

This is a site worth exploring.

The Institute for the Analysis of Global Security
If we don't change our course we'll end up where we're headed. Chinese proverb

Since September 11, it has become evident that there is a close connection between America's national security problems and global dependence on oil. Throughout the world, oil money has fueled terrorism and armed conflict and has sustained oppressive regimes. As consumer of a quarter of the world's oil and holder of only three percent of its reserves, the U.S. is heavily dependent on foreign oil. Since half of America's oil is imported, terror organizations like al-Qaeda and its affiliates can disrupt the free flow of crude oil into the U.S. by cutting oil transportation routes and by attacking tankers and pipelines. The U.S. is forced to pay a growing price in blood and treasury to maintain the uninterrupted oil supply upon which our economy depends. Without expeditious action our dependency is only going to grow in the next decade.

Conservation and exploration of new oil fields can at best buy us a few more years of status quo. The only way to ensure long-term energy security is to reduce overall demand for oil. This can be done through a shift to a global economy based on next-generation fuels. We are fortunate to live in an age in which technology provides us with a wealth of other energy sources that can be easily, cleanly, safely, and more cheaply used as fuel for automotive transportation, among them 25% of the world's coal reserves, built and unutilized nuclear energy infrastructure, and renewables. There is therefore no reason for us to continue to be dependent on hostile countries for our energy needs. There is also no reason for us to compromise our lifestyles, to settle for small cars or give up the joy of driving the open road that is so deep a part of the free spirit of America. Through technology we can develop cars just as comfortable as the ones we have, powered by fuel cells and run on American made next-generation fuel.

Moving beyond oil and the internal combustion engine could be our best economic stimulus. Every industrial and technological revolution in history brought with it an economic boom. The energy revolution will likely do the same. Building an infrastructure for mass production of next-generation cars and fuels would generate millions of jobs around the world, and revitalize the automobile industry as well as other related industries.

The shift from oil will bring about significant geopolitical changes and could reshape America's strategic landscape in a way more conducive to prosperity and global security. Shifting to next-generation fuels will allow more countries to generate growing portions of their energy needs domestically. The U.S. and its allies will no longer be forced to fight oil wars in the Middle East or be subjected to supply disruptions and price manipulations as during the 1970s-1980s. Above all, a shift from oil is the best weapon against America's enemies, who derive their power from oil and use it to fuel terror and spread hatred toward our nation.

There is no better legacy we can leave our children than a secure, energy independent nation. Though the transition to an era of energy security and independence is a monumental task, nothing we do will have more lasting benefit for more people.


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