The future’s not green
Necessity is the mother of invention, according to an age-old saying. Undoubtedly, dire need for something pushes people to brainstorm, use their imagination and exercise discipline.
And its precisely necessity that initially triggered our energy-dependent world to foray into renewable energy. With a peak in global oil production in the last three decades, there has been a massive effort to develop alternative sources of energy like solar and wind. The pursuit of developing green sources of energy has especially intensified in the last decade, because US leaders have been particularly keen to achieve energy independence. The imperative of acquiring energy has been the primary reason behind the West’s strategic interference’s in the oil-rich Middle East. But with the disastrous occupation of Iraq, the Obama administration has realised the importance of developing renewable sources of energy.
However, recent developments in the energy sector have put the exploitation of clean energy on hold. Technological advancements have enabled the exploitation of new forms of energy — mainly shale oil and gas — that is expected to revolutionise the energy sector and prop up the US economy in the next decade. American analysts are particularly excited about this development because it means energy self-sufficiency for their country and consolidation of its hitherto shaky position as the world hegemon.
Moreover, the melting ice in the Arctic has made the excavation of vast quantities of oil and gas in the North Pole possible. In light of this possibility, the surrounding countries — Canada, America, Russia, Norway and Denmark — have been vociferously making their territorial claims to the Arctic. China, too, is hungrily eyeing the energy reserves in the region; the country recently announced a research-related deal with Iceland on oil-rich Arctic.
While the future revolution in non-renewable energy will definitely prevent devastating warfare and increase security in the world, it will increase carbon emissions, and therefore intensify global warming. With the environment at stake, state leaders need to realise the cost of continuing to exploit non-renewable energy. Faced by the looming possibility of adverse effects of global warming, like freak weather and rising sea levels, the world needs to critically assess what global security actually means.