Energy, Climate, and Security

10/05/2009 04:58 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Posted from Senator Hart's new blog at Matters of Principle.

Oil RigNot too long ago, issues came in boxes.  There was a health box, an education box, an economy box, a defense box, and similar boxes for dealing with energy, environment, and national security.

No longer.  The realities of the 21st century world have been shattering these boxes and merging these issues with massive force.  An argument, though a complex one, could be made that all major social and political issues now interrelate.  But for my purpose here, I argue that, at the very least, we cannot separate consideration of and a search for solutions to energy, climate, and security.

We have an energy policy: we will continue to import up to 70% of our oil from abroad, including from the most dangerous region of the world, the Persian Gulf, to fuel energy inefficient vehicles, and if that oil gets cut off we will sacrifice the lives of our sons and daughters to get it.  Thus, experts estimate that between a third and half of all our defense forces are engaged, one way or the other, in protecting the flow of world oil supplies for ourselves and our allies.

But the scientific community is overwhelmingly of the opinion that combustion of fossil fuels is warming the planet.  And increasingly the defense community now states that climate change represents a threat to our nation’s security.

So, energy, climate, and security.  One big box that must be addressed inclusively.  Though this conglomerate must be the subject of continuing discussion here and elsewhere, suffice it for now to say that reduction of wasteful energy consumption will reduce global warming, make us more secure, and save many lives.

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