President Barack Obama and his allies claim global warming will exacerbate terrorism by making poor countries more susceptible to radicalism, but the logical conclusion of this argument is that coal, oil, and natural gas are essential to global economic stability … and thus fighting terror.
“If you buy President Obama’s bogus claim that poverty and lack of hope of economic betterment foster terrorism, then the President should join us in supporting access to affordable energy, which is overwhelmingly from fossil fuels. Producing more coal, oil, and natural gas will bring electricity and cars to the billions of very poor people in poor countries.” writes Myron Ebell, the director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, in an email to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
The cheap energy provided by conventional sources effectively reduces the price of everything, which promotes the kind of social stability and cohesion that make societies poor breeding grounds for terrorism, experts say. Economic adoption of coal, oil, and natural gas correlates with dramatic increases in both life expectancy and income. These sources of energy are both remarkably inexpensive and reliable, making them perfect for bringing electricity to the developing world.
Access to cheap and reliable power is essential in the developing world, and without it, wider economies grind to a halt. Obama’s policy is to block financing options in the developing world for conventional energy sources like coal power, setting back attempts to bring electricity to the 1.2 billion people in the world who don’t have access.
Conventional energy sources are so inexpensive and reliable they provided the majority of all electricity in 2014, even in wealthy countries. Wind and solar power accounted for a mere 4.4 and 0.4 percent of all electricity generated respectively. The Energy Information Administration estimates in 2014, only 11 percent of world energy was from hydro-power, solar and wind. By the year 2040, this number will only rise to 15 percent.
Research shows terrorism is far more closely associated with separatist movements, religious extremism, weak governing systems, and a lack of political legitimacy than with droughts or other weather conditions that could conceivably be created by global warming. The increase of global surface temperature by 0.8°C over the last 125 years likely isn’t driving increased conflict or terrorism.
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