This Magazine

Progressive politics, ideas & culture


There’s a Link Between War and Oil? Wha?

This Magazine Staff

American spy-master Alan Furst wrote a very entertaining book called Blood of Victory, about the central importance of Romanian oil reserves in the Nazi war machine. During WWII, oil was literally the lifeblood pumping through the expansionist German corps. With it in large quantities, there’s no telling how far Hitler would have gone. When he ran out of it in 1945, he lost. Determination and ideology only go so far. If you can’t start the Panzers, the end is nigh.

Canadian journalist Linda McQuaig’s latest book, It’s the Crude, Dude, possibly the least seriously-titled book about world domination ever (but then again, Blood of Victory was already taken), charts the ever-expanding circles of political and military influence around the world’s ever-dwindling easily accessible oil supply. Nothing new here. Supporters of the Iraq war occasionally admit that controlling Iraq’s oil supply is a perfectly reasonable motivation for invasion and occupation, considering just how crucial oil is to everything we do on this planet right now.

Comes the question – what will we fight about when all the oil is gone? Or better yet, if we are eventually forced to fight wars using renewable, alternative energy sources, how does one gain strategic fuel advantage? Will we need to capture vast tracts of cornfield in order to secure the ethanol supply? Will desert nations hold the advantage with their superior solar powered arsenals?

Paul Martin take notice. As the oil-addicted dinosaurs punch it out on their way to extinction, the smart governments would be those investing heavily in alternative fuel development. The environmentally conscious geeks of today are the world-power brokers of tomorrow.

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