We have been watching in dread and sadness as the drumbeat of war grew louder and louder, and now it has finally culminated in a violent attack on the people of Ukraine. We have also been reading at length about the role of the oil and gas industry, the petrochemical state, that is at the heart of this conflict. As journalist Rebecca Solnit wrote with such clarity on facebook today:
Note that war is good for the fossil-fuel industry, which will profit mightily from high gas prices, and note that the Putin regime is essentially a fossil-fuel corporation with an army, and note that a world that did not depend on this unevenly distributed poison would not face these petro-fascists, not be fearful of losing access to fuel, would not be unstable from dependence on an unstable resource, and of course would be taking the right route away from runaway climate change. Renewables would allow almost every country to be energy-independent. Had Europe moved a lot faster to transition away from gas, they would not have been so deferential to their supplier of gas for so long. What we need to do for climate we also need to do for peace and justice, and that was always true. The age of fossil fuel was always an age of war and violence, including a war against the earth and the future. Fossil fuel is many kinds of violence. p.s. And yeah, the Bush II regime was an oil regime that invaded Iraq for among other reasons control over its oil, Trump installed Exxon's CEO as his first secretary of state, and the US has its own crimes over oil and its own need to speed the retreat from this stuff that is political and literal poison.
The EU, and Germany in particular, are belatedly seeing the light, delaying permits on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which would have prolonged their dependence on Russian gas, and "doubling down on renewable energy," as detailed in this article in the Washington Post. If only it had not required the start of war and the death of many to see the wisdom of energy democracy and independence.
When the basic needs of the people are not captive to another nation, or in the case of New Mexico, on monopoly energy providers or a single extractive industry, the threat of blackouts and brownouts, of lost revenue or of increased energy prices can hold no sway over Governments and leaders.
A state independent of exploitive fossil fuel based industry hegemony can focus on the wellbeing of its citizens, the development of a sustainable and just economy and the protection of its land and people from climate catastrophe
We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine today, and hope for their protection and victory in the face of overwhelming odds. We hope that this tragedy will open the eyes of leaders around the world so that the peace and justice humanity longs for can be achieved in time to save all that we love.