Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Improve National Security by Importing Less Oil

Malcolm Maiden is right when he says in Today’s Age that reducing our oil imports could make Australia safer. He says every barrel of oil saved would tighten the funding equation for Islamic State and its supporters, and that the connection between oil money and terrorism is toxic and chronic. This is true. An analysis for Thomson Reuters last year by Jean-Charles Brisard and Damien Martinez found that 38 per cent of Islamic State funding comes from oil sales. It also gets money from donations, and some of the money behind the donors comes from oil sales.

The methods we have used so far to defeat Islamist terrorism ever since Osama Bin Laden’s September 11 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre have not been successful, and the world is every bit as dangerous as it was then, arguably more so. Given this, it makes sense to me to do everything we can to throttle the funding sources for Islamic State and other Islamist terrorists. Transitioning out of oil and into electric vehicles and battery storage technology would be an excellent place to start. And the UN Climate Change talks in Paris would be a deeply appropriate time and place for the world to become fair dinkum about this transition.

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