Like the addict who will sacrifice his family to feed his addiction, western foreign policy has for decades supported tyrants who have oppressed the peoples of oil-producing states across the Middle East
It would be wrong to argue, as many did in the case of the Iraq War, that the motivation for bombing in Syria is to secure our access to oil. But what is clear is that the Syrian crisis and wider destabilisation of the Middle East has direct links to our addiction to oil. As a poignant reminder of the role oil plays in the conflicts of the Middle East, the first British bombing sorties targeted oil wells in eastern Syria.
Like the addict who will sacrifice his family to feed his addiction, western foreign policy has for decades supported tyrants who have oppressed the peoples of oil-producing states across the Middle East. Our interventions in the region have been driven almost entirely by self-interest, taking little account of the wish for self-determination of the people who live there.
The scientific evidence that our addiction to petroleum is also disrupting the climate is now unequivocal. Equally compelling is the suggestion that climate change is leading to conflict. A working group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change wrote in 2014 that there was “justifiable common concern” that climate change increased the risk of armed conflict in certain circumstances.Perhaps they had in mind exactly the sort of circumstances witnessed in Syria.
Scientists believe that an extreme drought between 2006 and 2009 was most likely due to climate change. This drought led to crop failures, forcing the migration of up to 1.5 million people from rural to urban areas. This in turn added to social stresses that eventually gave rise to civil unrest and eventually to the civil war.
Read more: Independent