The environmental movement is not explicitly pro-war and at times its loudest advocates have even been openly anti-war. But when it comes to what green parties and mainstream parties enacting green legislation actively accomplish, the story becomes quite different.
It is easy to passionately scream “no war for oil” but the fact of the matter is that oil remains vital to every country on earth. The absence of oil or the un-affordability of oil due to destabilising trends in global affairs means that in such circumstances, it is sometimes cheaper to go to war than to be at the mercy of an oil market succumbing to political instability.
Of course, none of this applies to countries that are wholly or largely energy self-sufficient, whilst being able to buy oil from a politically stable and friendly nation guarantees not only a consistent supply but under the right trading arrangements, could even guarantee a favourable price.
It is here where the those in the green movement who are also anti-war must examine their conscience. Governments enacting supposedly pro-environmental policies end up either shutting down domestic energy producing industry or regulating it to such a degree that it becomes un-affordable. Because of this, green policies achieve the following (with or without the foreknowledge of the authors of those policies):
— Domestic energy production including oil, coal or even nuclear is shut down or regulated to the point of being non-viable
–Energy ends up being imported, often from developing countries that ironically have little to no environmental regulations at all
–Demanding on market trends, this process can end up costing the country vastly more than producing energy domestically
–During times of global instability which push up energy prices, a country can find itself at the mercy of foreign events that in the worst case scenarios drag the country into war
These are the consequences of short-sighted, idealistic and ultimately foolhardy green legislation that even many opponents of the increasingly authoritarian green movement haven’t yet fully apprehended.
A war for oil can rarely be stopped by appeals to ethics, but a country that is either energy self-sufficient or has cultivated regional energy supply chains among friendly and stable countries, can avoid being dragged into a war that would be more difficult to avoid for a country at the mercy of Middle Eastern energy markets.
In America, many conservative commentators (some of whom foolishly advocated for the 2003 invasion of Iraq) are now openly condemning any push towards a war with Iran. The pragmatic reason they are giving is that under Donald Trump, the USA is energy self-sufficient and becoming more so by the day.
As such, these commentators do not believe that it is worth fighting a potential war against Iran that would ostensibly secure Saudi Arabian oil supplies against alleged Iranian threats. It is said by such commentators that a war for Saudi Arabia against Iran would be a war to product the price of oil in the European Union. In the age of America First, Saudi Arabia and the EU are not proving to be entities that most Americans feel are worth fighting for – not least because it would require a fight against an Iran that is far more militarily capable than Iraq in 2003, Libya in 2011 or Syria since 2011.
America’s energy self-sufficiency has resulted in a less militant public. This is by definition good for world peace. As Saudi Arabian exports (including even non-energy exports) to Britain only account for .99% of all Saudi exports and seeing as Norway and the United States are by far and away the biggest sources of foreign energy imported into Britain – Britain too has no interest in fighting a war for Saudi Arabia and their big energy customers in Continental Europe.
The overall lesson for Britain is that the green movement has led Britain astray and that whilst buying energy from stable and friendly countries like Norway and the USA is better than buying from the politically manic Middle East, more energy self-sufficiency can only be a good thing.
For those still not convinced, it helps to remember that whilst not a green cultist herself, Margaret Thatcher deployed green arguments in the 1980s when arguing for the closure of coal mines. Whatever one thinks about obsolete arguments regarding ‘left vs. right’, the fact of the matter is that coal is better than war and so too are all forms of domestically produced energy.