Monday, January 4, 2010

Energy and National Security

“Citizens of 14 nations, including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria, Citizens of Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria — countries that are considered "state sponsors of terrorism" — as well as those from "countries of interest" — including Afghanistan, Algeria, Lebanon, Libya, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen — who are flying to the United States will be subjected indefinitely to the intense screening at airports worldwide that was imposed after the Christmas Day bombing plot, officials announced Sunday.” — NY Times

The US and our allies no longer have the capability, through NATO, the UN or other means, to act as the world’s policemen. We now need to encourage those “countries of interest” to step up their activities to combat terrorism. However, as long as the US remains so dependent on those countries or their neighbors for petroleum based energy, we will lack the leverage to win them over and participate in this battle.

If we can develop alternative energy solutions and conserve energy responsibly, we can become more energy independent. As demand for oil drops, prices should follow, and countries will have to seek other avenues of trade to maintain their revenue stream. This would create an opportunity to encourage many of these countries, through trade and foreign aid, to actively combat terrorist organizations at home.

There are many reasons organizations are supporting alternative energy and energy conservation today, including climate change, environmentalism, sustainability, and energy conservation, and there are also groups opposing these measures. The Copenhagen summit exposed the economics underlying much of the idealism.

By becoming more energy independent, the US can use this economic lever to encourage anti-terrorist cooperation among countries of interest and improve both national and world security. Thankfully, this independence can be achieved by responsible individuals, families, businesses, and state and local government. It’s time to put aside our differences and act.

David Bourbon, RA, CGP

Texas Sustainability
twitter: @greenshelter

Design and Consulting • Remodeling and Additions • Green/Sustainability • Accessibility • Energy Efficiency and Renewables

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