I found my old article from 2008 and just wanted to see if it is still relevant today.
Text in red is current.
About Peace and Oil 01.11.08
There are many forces that are involved in shaping the future of our planet I just thought I would try to put some sense into what is going on and what may happen in the near future. I may be too pessimistic and you are welcome to disagree. But the purpose of this letter is not to make you feel good but to face reality.
It seems like the whole world is falling apart. It’s as if a giant spring is tightening more and more until the moment when it will release with destructive force unraveling our civilization.
– The world is facing an escalating conflict with militant Islam.
– Russia is rapidly moving to the all too familiar totalitarian regime based this time on Russian nationalism. Why does Germany come to mind?
– China is moving toward a strange society almost from an alternative history in some Sci-Fi stories; an incompatible combination of dictatorship and private enterprise.
– Pakistan is on the brink of becoming a theocracy with nuclear weapons in its possession.
– The Middle East is an unstable set of tribal societies put together by colonialists and ruled by kings and warlords.
– Africa is a lost continent ruined by colonialism and Western civilization.
– Europe with its deep-rooted snobbism is in real danger of being ruled by Sharia law.
– And what about our country?
The way things are going in our country, we will lose our democracy in no time and we won’t even know what hit us.
Just wonderful. Yes – and Global Warming on top of that.
Can things get any worse? Yes. If we sit like a frog in hot water and do nothing. Or if a giant meteorite hits the Earth.
So what is going on?
Let us start with what we call Democratic countries.
Europe. The main danger is the Muslim immigrants who feel like second class citizens and are not allowed to integrate into European societies. As the Muslim population in Europe grows and becomes more violent, Europeans elect more and more conservative governments. And the
public becomes less tolerant to immigrants. That in turn will increase the Muslim hostilities toward the population from inside and outside Europe. Eventually that will leave Europeans with difficult choices: to expel Muslims or to succumb to Sharia law.
But Europe needs energy…oil currently. So Europeans are trying to appease the oil-rich regimes such as Iran, Russia and the Arab countries. In Europe, side by side with the European Union, nationalistic tendencies are growing, especially in Eastern Europe. And as a result hostilities between Christian and Muslim populations are growing.
United States of America – the only hope for Western Civilization to survive.
If the US survives as a Superpower.
Unfortunately our government’s reckless policies and incompetence put the prospect in doubt.
America’s moral credibility and financial power are greatly diminished. Internally our country is in real danger of becoming a pseudo-democracy or a Theocracy. (Plutocracy)
In most countries America is perceived as an aggressor, not as a leader of the Free World. This perception diminished its ability to influence foreign affairs by means of diplomacy. So it is caught in a vicious circle of military interventions. (Hopefully the Obama administration fixed this perception somewhat).
American’s biggest vulnerability is its dependence on foreign oil. But instead of developing a comprehensive strategy to solve the energy problem, America is burning much needed resources in Iraq. And why? To insure that the uninterrupted oil supply will be used up in 50 years.
I guess we call it planning for the future? Being proactive Bush’s way. (Obama supports domestic fracking that reduces dependency but may be disastrous for the environment in the long run).
China is a growing threat and an emerging superpower. It has unlimited human resources. But this dependency on cheap human resources is also a weakness because the Chinese are not hard-pressed to evolve technologically in many areas where they use cheap labor. Chinese society is evolving in a strange way. It is becoming a capitalist country ruled by a totalitarian regime.
It sees America as a competitor and as a threat to its access to the world’s oil (and natural gas) supply. And China is also playing the oil producers against each other. But unlike Russia, China and the US are very interdependent financially. Also I do not think China has any desire to invade other countries. But it needs energy to sustain its growth and if pressed may resort to military action.
Russia is rapidly evolving from a pseudo-democracy to a totalitarian state. Its stagnated technological progress is compensated with newly acquired oil and gas wealth. Russia never knew democracy and Russians feel more comfortable when a “strong leader” takes care of them. Russian nationalism is widely supported by the population partly because of the humiliation felt during the last decade or so. And Russia, just like every dictatorship, needs an external enemy, the USA most likely, in order to survive.
Anti-American sentiments are growing in Russia. Russia is not our friend. Russia also feels threatened by Islamic militants. But Russia is trying to play one Muslim country against the other (divide and conquer). Russia is not willing to help improve the world’s affairs. All it wants is to become Great Russia again.
Pakistan is very unstable and it is only a matter of time before it becomes a theocracy with nukes at its disposal. In my opinion Pakistan is currently the most dangerous country threatening the stability of the world. The main reason – their large, poor population that does not have access to real education and as a result is being recruited by militants. (I wrote this letter before the assassination of Benazir Bhutto).
South America. Because of unwise policies of some governments, there are large portions of the population living in poverty while some get very rich. The middle class is relatively small.
Some of these societies are unstable and are in danger of becoming socialist dictatorial regimes.
Some of these regimes are dangerous because they have money…oil money.
The Middle East is a problem because of oil. The enormous wealth of the ruling class coexists with the absolute ignorance of the rest of the population. This huge mass perceives oil-consuming countries as the cause of their problem and views them as “infidels”. And the ruling class in order to stay in power needs to have an outside enemy to channel the anger and frustration of the population. But again it is just a matter of time before the “Islamic revolution” will change the regimes to Theocracies and establish Sharia Law.
So what’s next?
A lot depends on the United States as the only Superpower at the moment and the biggest energy consumer.
So what do we need to do as a country to save our Republic and to save the world?
The survival of Western civilization depends on Energy.
Not bio-energy – that is just a band-aid. We cannot produce nearly enough Ethanol to make a difference in the long run. Not without depleting our soil and jeopardizing our food supply.
Meanwhile every year the competition for oil (and natural gas) supply will intensify.
In my opinion if a new energy source is not discovered, our planet will be in turmoil for the foreseeable future.
So what should we do as a country, as a superpower?
– Put our finances in order. China does not need to fight the US. They can just call our debt and ruin us financially.
– Comprehensive energy policy to cut dependency on Oil. Such as:
1. Radically new energy source like fusion energy.
2. Conservation and fuel economy.
3. Rebuilding and expanding public transportation.
– Affordable education is the cornerstone condition if this country is to remain a superpower.
4. Affordable health care for all.
Our country cannot accomplish all of the above with a sick population and out-of-control medical expenses. Affordable health care is the foundation of any democracy.
5. To stop the erosion of the middle class.
If the current situation in the world does not change, I see deteriorating relations between Russia and China on one side and Europe and the US on the other. And each side will play the very unstable regimes in the Middle East to gain advantage. And the terrorist organizations will use the opportunity to divide and conquer.
It seems to me that the Energy crisis is looming and tensions are building between camps:
Europe and the US – China and Russia – The Muslim world – the Orient. (I am not sure about the last one anymore).
Is there hope? Yes? EACH ONE OF US IS RESPONSIBLE.
On the bright side I see more and more people, especially younger generations who are willing to change the status quo and who seem to understand what is really important in this world; people with a deep and natural understanding that we all share the same home – Earth. All species – not just humans. Our planet is not just ours to destroy.
So yes, I am an Optimist.
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