Blood for Oil: Energy and Climate Security are “Two Sides of the Same Coin”

Hurricane Sandy Destruction

The United States and Europe have both experienced the devastating effects of climate change. Severe storms and unpredictable weather patterns have caused massive damage to coastal cities, including Super-storm Hurricane Sandy. Other threats to our national security include economic consequences. The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) has released a report, titled “The Climate and Energy Nexus: Challenges and Opportunities for Transatlantic Security”, which discusses the national security risks associated with climate change.

This report makes the claim that energy security and climate security are “two sides of the same coin”, and that America’s obsessive reliance on oil makes the U.S. vulnerable to volatile economic prices and increasing dangers of climate change, in spite of the fact that the U.S. has the lowest oil imports in 20 years.

Despite the growing threat of future disasters, the report claims that political leaders, many in the United States, are doing little to address climate change and our oil dependence. The report goes on to say that, even if U.S. and E.U. oil comes from domestic sources, we still rely on prices set by a global marketplace, which are prone to corruption and other vulnerabilities.

More importantly, climate security issues are already seeing the effects of climate change, with shifting disease patterns, sea-level rise, heat waves, droughts, and intensified flooding. Included in the risks of global climate change are insect infestations, receding coastlines along the Gulf coast, and severe wildfires. 2012 broke the U.S. heat wave record, which caused harsh infrastructure damage to bridges, train tracks, and nuclear power plants.

Insight Climate News says that “The report hits hard at those in Congress who deny the scientific consensus on climate and use national security arguments to encourage more production of coal, oil and natural gas.”

Article formerly posted at https://www.hsdl.org/blog/newpost/view/s_4816