Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sobering Thoughts on a Green Future

David Rothkopf is an author, blogger, consultant, and visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is also president and CEO of Garten Rothkopf whose  "largest practice is in the intersecting areas of energy choice and climate change."

So, when Rothkopf writes about security and energy issues in a greener future, I think it would be wise to listen!

In his August 24/09 article "Is a Green World a Safer World?" in Foreign Policy, Rothkopf discusses the ramifications of conversion to greener technologies. He sees five areas as the most critical.

First, "green trade wars" may be a future green feature, wars arising from "tariff regimes" and "fiddling with trade laws to 'protect' local jobs." 

Another area of concern is from the "complex consequences of the simultaneous rise and decline of petrostates." Imagine the negative potential of a super-rich petrostate faced with the coming death of the golden goose.

Stress on already diminishing water supplies will be a further consequence of the development of greener technologies, as they are "water hogs." The need for lithium and the concentration of supply in mostly Chile and Bolivia raises the potential for serious political consequences.

Finally, any reliance on nuclear power raises concerns about the safety of the technology itself and also about security of the fuel and possible plans of terrorists and shaky, cash-strapped governments.

Sobering thoughts, but necessary to consider in the usual romantic rush to a future green utopia.

Rothkopf's most recent book is Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making.

I would like to invite David Rothkopf to my soiree.

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