Energy Wars: Saving Lives By Living Green

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Oil Is Death

Global energy wars can be difficult to understand. For others it’s a fact of life. Those who oppose this view are usually affiliated with those who profit from it or have subscribed to a world view that is not based in reality. Those who have suffered endlessly because of it know it to be a simple truth akin to water is wet and the sky is blue.

For decades the oil and gas industry has influenced political policy around the world. They are the largest globally subsidized entity aside from the banking industry itself. The IMF estimates a global subsidy of over $5 trillion US.

Eliminating global energy subsidies could reduce deaths related to fossil-fuel emissions by over 50 percent and fossil-fuel related carbon emissions by over 20 percent. The revenue gain from eliminating energy subsidies is projected to be US$2.9 trillion (3.6 percent of global GDP) in 2015. – IMF

That of course is from a purely environmental standpoint that does not take into account war, fracking and economic terrorism. There is no way to encapsulate the entirety of the damage caused by our global implementation of fossil fuels. Looking at a few topics we can make the connections on our own and come to our own understandings.

Energy Wars

Nafeez Ahmed, one of the most respected independent journalists who cover such topics, had a very revealing report on one such example of how the situation plays out. Wherever there is war there is a good chance that energy appropriation has something to do with it.

A study for a global oil services company backed by the French government and linked to Britain’s Tory-led administration, published during the height of the Arab Spring, hailed the significant “hydrocarbon potential” of Syria’s offshore resources.

The 2011 study was printed in GeoArabia, a petroleum industry journal published by a Bahrain-based consultancy, GulfPetroLink, which is sponsored by some of the world’s biggest oil companies, including Chevron, ExxonMobil, Saudi Aramco, Shell, Total, and BP.

GeoArabia’s content has no open subscription system and is exclusively distributed to transnational energy corporations, corporate sponsors and related organizations, as well as some universities.

Developing Countries Exploited

While drilling for oil in Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest region, Texaco – which merged with Chevron in 2001 – operated without concern for the environment or local residents. The company deliberately dumped billions of gallons of toxic wastewater into rivers and streams, spilled millions of gallons of crude oil, and abandoned hazardous waste in hundreds of unlined open-air pits littered throughout the region. The result is widespread devastation of the rainforest ecosystem and local indigenous communities, and one of the worst environmental disasters in history.

Illegal Wars

The United Nations secretary general, Kofi Annan, declared that the US-led war on Iraq was illegal. Mr. Annan said that the invasion was not sanctioned by the UN security council or in accordance with the UN’s founding charter.

In an interview with the BBC World Service, he was asked outright if the war was illegal. He replied: “Yes, if you wish. …I have indicated it was not in conformity with the UN charter. From our point of view and from the charter point of view it was illegal.”

Energy Wars For Oil In Iraq

War and occupation directly and indirectly claimed the lives of about a half-million Iraqis from 2003 to 2011, according to a groundbreaking survey of 1,960 Iraqi households. The violence peaked in 2006 and 2007, say public health experts who were part of the study.

From The Guardian 2014:

The real goal – as Greg Muttitt documented in his book Fuel on the Fire citing declassified Foreign Office files from 2003 onwards – was stabilizing global energy supplies as a whole by ensuring the free flow of Iraqi oil to world markets – benefits to US and UK companies constituted an important but secondary goal:

“The most important strategic interest lay in expanding global energy supplies, through foreign investment, in some of the world’s largest oil reserves – in particular Iraq. This meshed neatly with the secondary aim of securing contracts for their companies. Note that the strategy documents released here tend to refer to ‘British and global energy supplies.’ British energy security is to be obtained by there being ample global supplies – it is not about the specific flow.”

When deciding to convert to renewable, local clean energy the benefits go way beyond anything most citizens who live in developed countries can comprehend. Yes you will save money, live healthier and independently. You contribute to a better environment and healthier local economy.

You also take power away from the machine of perpetual war for resource appropriation and contribute to the solution. The more people who do not use fossil fuels, the less motivation that our policy makers will have to act on behalf of the oil and gas industry.

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Born in Vancouver, B.C. , Canada. Father, musician and philosopher, lover of people, culture, eco-tech, hockey and craft beer. Thinking of solutions to global issues since 1994 when I was awakened due to the Rwandan genocide and the lack of action by the G7 nations. Adopted the Buckminster Fuller philosophy that in order to solve a problem you create solutions that make them obsolete.