The Iraq War is good for the environment
July 27, 2007
Contrary to popular opinion, Western countries should use more foreign fuel resources to save the environment. The price of oil is influenced by the OPEC cartel and the global marketplace. If the West reduces demand for oil, the price of oil will fall. There are actually lots of caveats there since OPEC can manipulate prices by throttling supply. However, developing countries around the world have a growing appetite for large amounts of oil, particularly India and China. Therefore, demand from these growing economies could easily replace the lost demand from the West. OPEC will see little change in their net revenue. The big difference, however, is that oil will now be consumed by countries with no environmental protections, rather than by the relatively clean West. A barrel of oil burned in the West will produce fewer pollutants than the same in the other countries. Ignore Tom Friedman‘s idiotic ranting: reducing oil consumption in the US will have no serious impact on the Middle East nor the global environment.
Conversely, the West can drive prices up by increasing consumption of oil, delaying development of more oil fields, and starting hopeless wars. Developing countries will be forced to use energy more efficiently, which generally means more cleanly. The West can vastly improve their efficiency and cleanliness, too. This means less pollutants will be produced per barrel of oil. The unfortunate side effect is that OPEC will be rolling in mountains of cash. In an ideal world, they would use the money to develop their country and improve the lives of their people. In the real world, they will buy off their enemies and choke the life out of their country. Personally, I don’t care what they do over there as long as they stay over there. In a weird way, the Iraq war drove the price of oil up and forced the world to use energy more efficiently. The Iraq war is good for the environment.