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Policy wonks: Can renewable energy and electric cars stop Islamic terrorism?

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by calisnow, Nov 16, 2015.

  1. calisnow

    calisnow Active Member

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    This is slightly off topic, but the Paris attacks got me thinking again about about energy independence and its potential effect on the Middle East.

    My basic theory is this: If we as a nation can wean ourselves off of foreign oil, thus getting rid of our need to constantly meddle in the affairs of Middle Eastern countries - could this eliminate the Islamic extremism problem, or severely reduce it?

    Or is this a naive hope that isn't realistic?
     
  2. freeewilly

    freeewilly Member

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    Although energy play a part of conflicts in Middle East, but the recent events with ISIS is more a religion and revenge issues.
     
  3. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    It's almost eerie to think of Bin Laden's and Al Qaeda's initial actions as being a long time ago, but such a lot has occurred since then....

    You may remember that he tried twice to blow up the World Trade Center. The first time was in 1993, with a car bomb in its parking garage. From that time, his big grief against the USofA was our meddling in the affairs of Saudi Arabia and our making use of Saudi soil for incursions against other parts of the Muslim world.

    In essence, it was the US and our military presence in the Middle East at that time - and in the prior many decades - that prompted bin Laden to begin the events that have continued to today. And that presence has been, as many have expounded over the years, because of the importance to our society of Mid-East oil.

    So...to the extent that we really and truly can end our presence in the Middle East then the catalyzing event for Islamic terrorism against the US will be null. However, I used "catalyzing" with care: the enormous wheel was set in motion and so many, many horrors have occurred since that time that many, many generations of locals will be nursing grudges against the US. Regardless of how many PV panels we install and EV cars we drive.
     
  4. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    Mild-mannered Moderator here:

    Keep it civil. First-time posters, especially, need read and heed forum rules. Calling another's comments moronic are out of line by a long mile.
     
  5. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    While some strains of Islamic terrorism fault the US for its Middle East meddling, ISIS hates us for what we are, period full stop. They hate women having equal say (and being uncovered in public), they hate our religion or lack thereof, they hate democracy, they hate gays, they hate what they perceive as our morally corrupt society. Our disengagement from the Middle East will not change this.
     
  6. beeeerock

    beeeerock Active Member

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    What he said...! :smile:

    Add to that the ability to leave them to their own devices because there would no longer be a need to influence middle east politics and thus, the oil trade. But that would be much like using the person you met at the bar for sex and then discarding them once you got what you wanted. 'Sleazy' would be a good word for it. The west (not just the US) has played a huge part in nurturing the current mess, right back to being the ones who arbitrarily drew borders on the sand, propped up and then removed the dictators who kept things in check... etc. It's a case study on how not to do geopolitics... the study on how to fix it has yet to be written, but I can't be optimistic that it will turn out any better, even if the west had zero self interest in continuing to meddle.
     
  7. hsctiger93

    hsctiger93 Member

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    Interesting question.

    In my humble and not so scientific opinion, troubles in the Middle East boil down to the dramatic separation between wealth and poverty driven by oil. The economy of the region depends on hydrocarbons and a very, very select few have control over the supply. This creates a very poor, very populous class of disenfranchised and uneducated youth. When you're starving, can't read, don't have access to the most basic services that other parts of your society can access you get angry. Then, someone comes along to introduce you to a "religion," feeds you, teaches you to read, gains your trust, then indoctrinates you to a different way of thinking. It's not the rich Arabs you should hate. It's the West and their sinful lives. A martyr is born.

    In the past ruthless dictators like Saddam Hussein could control the disenfranchised by jailing, torturing, and murdering the poor in order to keep the oil flowing through the few wealthy. That's why it took Al Qaeda years to plan 9/11. Today we have a power vacuum in the Middle East. No Iraqi dictator. No Syrian dictator (yes, he's technically still in power but has no control over his country). No Libyan dictator. That's why it took ISIS perhaps weeks to plan Paris. In a sadistic way, these horrific despots actually protected the West through their ruthless acts. I don't propose returning the Middle East to a land of powerful dictatorships, but they did play a role in our security in the past.

    Do I think removing oil from its perch atop the global economy would provide disincentive for terrorists to attack the west? I guess I'd answer the question with a question: If you made all of them poor how do you think they'd respond?
     
  8. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

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    I have to agree with this. If the U.S. became 100% self-reliant on renewable energy overnight, they will still find plenty of reasons to hate us, with our uncovered women, our refusal to behead homosexuals, our religious views, etc. I reject the contention that we can suddenly change this by altering our Middle East policy. However, don't read my comments to suggest that I'm a fan of our Middle East policy. I'd love to see an end to our dependence on oil so we can disentangle ourselves from Middle East politics.
     
  9. Raffy.Roma

    Raffy.Roma Active Member

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    Yes because this way Islamic extremism would lose all the gains coming from the sale of oil.
     
  10. MichFin

    MichFin Member

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    I've always said that every dollar you spend on oil raises the price of oil globally regardless where it comes from. So if we remove the demand then the price will drop and there will be no reason for anyone to care what happens in the middle east. We spent trillions of dollars in Iraq and I have no doubt that we would have never done it if there wasn't a ton of oil there. Just imagine what we could accomplish if we spent a trillion dollars upgrading our infrastructure, building renewable energy, building new nuclear power plants, funding education properly. Our economy would have been set for the next 100 years. Instead we got nothing for it and have to continue pouring money into all the problems it created. Look at this chart and tell me how many of those countries are friends of the west.

    _79755553_oil_breakeven_prices2_464gr.gif
     
  11. MichFin

    MichFin Member

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    You can hate all those things you mentioned and not care enough to do anything about it but when armies come in blow everything up and turn your world into chaos you will lash out. Keep in mind that ISIS was formed mostly from old Iraq army that was disbanded. They basically said to hundreds of thousands of men that they had no more job and by the way take your weapons with you because there is no place for you in the new Iraq.
     
  12. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    #12 Robert.Boston, Nov 17, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2015
    Moderator's Note

    I have moved 10 posts to Politics - Quarantine Thread as they were going off in a direction that was not creating useful discussion. Sorry for some wheat that got caught up among the tares.

    - - - Updated - - -

    The Department of Defense thinks that climate change is a "threat multiplier" that is increasing the intensity of a number of national security threats, including terrorism:
    There is a very high level of scientific consensus that our use of fossil fuels to generate electricity and power our cars, inter alia, is accelerating climate change. Therefore, it's a straight line that increasing our use of renewable power and EVs will lower the risk of global terrorism and a host of other ills.
     

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