Take the Middle East for instance. Except for oil, what benefit does the common U.S. citizen derive from the region that’s worth the cost in blood and fortune? Recent geological discoveries suggesting we have all the oil we’ll require for the next 100 years within our borders raises the question as to whether Middle Eastern oil remains a strategic interest any longer.
If your interest is in protecting the caribou on Alaska’s North Slope, it’s important to keep in mind that you have chosen the caribou’s welfare over that of our young military personnel. If you think you can turn off the oil spigot altogether then you must be prepared for a cataclysmic economic disaster. The rest of us would like to avoid that.
Until common sense on these issues overtakes the American people, we’ll continue buying oil from the Middle East. But what is this costing us and why are we paying for it?
Since 2001 we have spent over $1.6 Trillion waging war defending “our” interests in the Middle East. The money spent on combat raised the dollar cost of Middle Eastern oil by an additional 25% over what you’re paying at the pump.
As well, we can’t attach a price to the human carnage of 10,000 dead and 60,000 wounded American military personnel that we have suffered since 2001 in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, there are on-going real dollar costs attendant to caring for these soldiers and their families that run well above the $1.6 Trillion spent on combat operations. And, despite the best efforts of our combat solders and the cost of “smart bombs,” civilian deaths and injured of the indigenous population are many multiple that of our military personnel,
So who is benefitting from Middle Eastern oil? The oil companies and the American consumer would both benefit from the price stability that drilling at home would provide. What about the caribou? The area of the North Shore required for drilling is a very small tract of land in comparison to the total land area that the caribou inhabit. Beyond that, technology exists to adequately protect their environment. But, even in the off chance that an accident were to occur, it would be contained. At worst a few dozen caribou may be harmed. Weigh that against the massive human casualties and property damage that results from war.
In this case, the extremism of the Green Movement is clearly radical by any standards. If only the mainstream media would report it.