We Indians are endowed with a सुजलाम् सुफलाम् मलयजशीतलाम् country, and like our Vedas and mandirs, we have even an ecological heritage to conserve – our protected ‘tiger’ed forests.
The less Indians depend upon fossil fuels, the less we need the Middle East.
Most of the major countries that sell oil to India and other countries are Islamic. These Islamic countries either directly fund Islamic terrorist outfits or provide sanctuary to terrorists that have attacked India. While these oil-producing Islamic States fund terrorism in many other countries, the amount of Islamic terrorism unleashed in India is as high as India’s dependency on oil import.
India, dependent on Middle Eastern countries for fossil fuel and also at the receiving end of Islamic terror funded by the sale of the same oil from the same oil-producing countries, needs to invest immediately, heavily and whole-heartedly into clean, renewable energy: energy derived from sunlight, tidal movements, wind, biogas, etc.
With conventional and nuclear fuels, Indians will remain dependent on overseas sources, be at the mercy of pollution, be prone to nuclear disasters (like Japan’s Fukushima or like Chernobyl), be prone to having to bear politically steep pricing and will be circularly funding one’s very own enemies. Only as long as fossil fuels are there in the Middle East can they fund Jihad; the chunk funding for Islam / Arabic politics ends with that.
All our conventional fuels, especially fossil fuels, are a finite source. Hence, every nation needs to make preparations for power, after the eventual time when fossil fuels would not be available anymore, regardless of religious conflict and geo-politics.
Clean, renewable energy is energy derived from sunlight, tidal movements, wind, etc.
This is the dangerous phenomenon whereby reserves of petroleum resurrected the defeated religion of Islam, which had its Khalifate country – Turkey – go secular after world war happenings in Europe.
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Just how directly funds from petroleum fund Islamic terror is a topic India has to invest in studying.
To quote a website:
“The phenomena of religious extremism and jihadism all over the Islamic world is directly linked to the Wahhabi-Salafi madrassahs which are generously funded by the Saudi and Gulf’s petro-dollars. These madrassahs attract children from the most impoverished backgrounds in the Third World Islamic countries because they offer the kind of incentives and facilities which even the government-sponsored public schools cannot provide: such as, free boarding and lodging, no tuition fee at all, and free of cost books and stationery.
Apart from madrassahs, another factor that promotes the Wahhabi-Salafi ideology in the Islamic world is the ritual of Hajj and Umrah (the pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina.) Every year millions of Muslim men and women travel from all over the Islamic world to perform the pilgrimage in order to wash their sins. When they return home to their native countries after spending a month or two in Saudi Arabia, along with clean hearts and souls, dates and ‘zamzam’, they also bring along the tales of Saudi hospitality and their ‘true’ and puritanical version of Islam, which some Muslims, especially the rural-tribal folk, find attractive and worth-emulating.“
But what after there is no oil at all? Then we face another grim danger, a collapse of the current finite version of world civilisation based on an assumption of availability of fossil fuel ‘forever’ to drive growth and materialism.
The urgency is that we have already reached the highest ever point of oil extraction, called “Peak Oil”, a term denoting the graph of oil extraction (wrongly called ‘production’) best propagated by Hubbert and on which books have been written to influence international policies.
Facing the fossil fuel crisis: Peak oil
While the end of fossil fuels would end the Arab consumer markets and automatically stunt the growth of Wahabism, how would the world we see today and India within this comity of nations, survive if there would be no more petroleum?
To quote a sample chapter from the book whose image is given below:
“Global oil production will probably reach a peak sometime during this decade. After the peak, the world’s production of crude oil will fall, never to rise again. The world will not run out of energy, but developing alternative energy sources on a large scale will take at least 10 years. The slowdown in oil production may already be beginning; the current price fluctuations for crude oil and natural gas may be the preamble to a major crisis.
In 1956, the geologist M. King Hubbert predicted that U.S. oil production would peak in the early 1970s. Almost everyone, inside and outside the oil industry, rejected Hubbert’s analysis. The controversy raged until 1970, when the U.S. production of crude oil started to fall. Hubbert was right.
Around 1995, several analysts began applying Hubbert’s method to world oil production, and most of them estimate that the peak year for world oil will be between 2004 and 2008.“
To quote another book on Peak Oil and Hubbert:
“The Oracle of Oil is the untold story of M. King Hubbert, one of the twentieth century’s top scientists.
Known as “the father of peak oil,” Hubbert made bold forecasts about crucial turning points in oil supplies—the timing of the peak of production—for both the United States and the whole world. Despite holding one of the top research positions in the oil industry, and despite being one of the nation’s most respected geologists, his predictions were widely rejected.
When his predictions did come true, The New York Times and Washington Postboth celebrated him as a ‘prophet’. Some called him an ‘oracle’.“
Ever since peak oil, we can only get less oil every passing year till this finite source is exhausted fully in about three to four decades.
After we get no more petroleum, whither civilisation in the modern sense? Whither ‘development’? When we won’t have fuel to drive a vehicle to the next town or to go to work, or to fly or go by train or ship, we need to make arrangements for that energy now.
India or any other nation cannot afford to go without power / fuel. India and indeed the whole world need to take recourse to clean renewable energy.
In this sense, we need to think of ourselves as a human race too, not just as Hindus, as survival depends on all of us working in concert.
ENERGY WITHOUT FUEL:
Energy harnessed this way circumvents the need to first procure fuel.
It is possible to run a vehicle even on electricity without gas, diesel or petrol.
The pursuit of all that is big and grandiose: HYDEL POWER
Hydro+electric = HyDel; meant to build a reservoir of water and also generate electricity.
Hydroelectric projects have already taken up immense investment. Supplying water to Gujarat’s arid regions from the great Mother Narmada was a feat, but with socio-ecological costs. The displaced forest dwellers who lost lands to inundation by dam reservoirs needed compensation which wasn’t coming their way; in contrast, the resettlement of the Koyna – Krishna dam affected, in Chiplun and Satara (Maharashtra’s Sahyadri or Western Ghats) was far better managed.
Dams in seismically prone regions like our Himalayas, especially North Eastern India, can bring disaster which is not being properly calculated by India’s development lobby.
Clean energy and renewable energy
Clean, renewable energy is the future.
Clean energy is that which is produced without damage to the environment in the form of mining pollution, socio-ecological costs and without noxious fumes or waste.
Renewable energy is that which is produced from available non-depleting resources.
As long as the ocean has tides and waves, tidal energy is renew-ably available. As long as the sun shines, solar energy is renew-ably available.
India has vast coastlines which are the cynosure of land-locked nations. India can produce unending tidal energy that can only cease with Pralaya; is not India already producing water by desalination?
India has some of the hottest hinterlands; Rajasthan, Gujarat, Deccan provinces to name just a few. These can be tapped for solar energy on both individually decentralised and grand federal levels (it is already being done). The prohibitive costs of solar batteries need a lot of research for being brought down.
And this is precisely where more original research can be directed with the best talents and institutions that India should produce. Engineers who understand thermal energy physics, climatology, the wonderful world of chemistry and above all, have a heart dedicated towards a clean resurgent ecologically intact India can bring forward a solution.
The eastern coast of India is one of the places in the world that is often hit by cyclones and typhoons. India also has some of the windiest spots atop our mountains.
As long as wind mills do not interfere with bird migration and do not cause noise pollution, they can be set up.
This is energy produced from the heat of volcanoes and hot springs.
ENERGY FROM FUELS:
Fuels are a finite source of energy, released by a reaction, mostly the oxidation chemical reaction by burning, or even by a nuclear reaction of radioactivity.
Types of fuels: Conventional fuels, nuclear fuels and biofuels
Conventional fuels would include firewood and fossil fuels which release energy by combustion. Fuel burning transforms stored chemical energy into thermal energy, which can then be converted into mechanical energy (like to move steam engines) or into electrical energy, which becomes power we have at our disposal in our switchboards. Fuel burning leads to increase in temperatures directly from burning and also by releasing carbon dioxide which sets up global warming.
Firewood comes from chopping trees. This has to be controlled for preventing deforestation among other things.
Fossil fuels – coal and petroleum – are called so because they were formed from buried fossils which had geo-chemical reactions transforming them over eras of time.
Coal is found in many parts of the world but petroleum (crude oil) is found abundantly mostly in the Middle East.
Petroleum is dealt with in other paragraphs of this blog.
Nuclear fuels are radioactive substances. While radioactive minerals are spread across the whole earth, they are more concentrated in certain places. Radioactive reactions release enormous amounts of energy from very small masses of original material, hence nuclear power attracts world attention. Nuclear fuels are useful for submarines which cannot burn conventional fuels underwater or store so much electricity. Energy from nuclear sources can also be put to good use.
Yet, nuclear energy from disintegrating radioactive matter is a hazard. Nuclear waste has to be saved (can be locked up in a strong chamber for some thousand years – but what after that?); waste from nuclear plants is often dumped somewhere, and any mixing with water (like in Fukushima) or release of material (like in Chernobyl) has disastrous consequences.
Nuclear explosions can kill entire cities and maim lakhs of people. Nuclear fuel is mostly used to make nuclear bombs, which – if mounted atop an intercontinental missile on a warship or on a land base – can destroy life. Nuclear fuel falling into the hands of malevolent warmongering countries like Pakistan, North Korea and Iran as also unscrupulous China can create worries for the world influencing international politics even without getting misused and can spell disaster if actually (mis)used (used = misused= same thing).
Nuclear fuel empowers Corporates and countries which control the chain of supply of raw nuclear material and can leave a politically vulnerable geo-culture or community or some remote island prone to nuclear waste getting dumped there, oblivious to the fact that with all of us sharing one planet, over time, the waste will reach the shores or homes of the most distant places.
The urge to mine radioactive minerals (like uranium, plutonium, etc.) triggers resource grab of lands and regions rich in radioactive mineral ore. Also, when setting up a nuclear plant, there is a case of forced land acquisition from reluctant local communities, threat to the local agro-ecology and exploitation by opposition parties which simply exhibit turncoat acquiescence after riding to power on a manufactured electoral anti-incumbency wave.
It has been observed that elected and dictator governments alike, not only do not stop land grab / other forms of resource grab, but actually facilitate such resource grab in an officiated manner, either as a willing vassal government dependent on hand-outs or wary of intervention by corporate-capitalist interests. This causes public unrest as it undermines democracy, devastates forests or natural and Dharmic locations like Ram Setu, and leaves coasts prone to crises like Fukushima A Japanese coastal town – Fukushima – where Tsunami water entered a nuclear reactor; the radioactive waste is now headed towards the West Coast of the US.
Countries struggle to get included into elite clubs of nuclear users or suppliers and try to block the entry of other States, which then resort to gatecrashing into an elite league. It also creates lobbies of nuclear suppliers.
Conversely, nuclear capabilities work as excellent deterrents when used by conscientious States like India, though very often the stalemate never allows issues to get resolved.
Thus nuclear fuel is not without its own involvement in geo-politics, is not clean (hazardous and also tainted by reputation). Nuclear fuels are a dangerous option and are not recommendable for widespread use, except for peripheral use in defence – that too for deterrence; they are our BrahmaAstra, which have been warned about by ancient Hindu seers and by God – by Krishna Himself in the Mahabharata.
In contemporary times, if even a nuclear physicist like Dr. Vandana Shiva who understands nuclear science so well, can support decentralised organic farming over the usage of nuclear energy, we have a case to learn…
Biofuel is fuel extracted from plants. The solution sounds green but the enormous amounts of plant crops needed to be grown for biofuel manufacture may cannibalise production of food crops, triggering wars. Richer countries may force smaller countries to grow biofuel crops keeping their poor millions hungry. At best biofuels are not a reliable source, more research is needed and this research is already being lobbied against by the crude oil lobby.
Renewable and almost clean: Biogas
Biogas is also a fuel – it releases stored chemical energy by being burnt – and hence biogas is a source of partly clean energy but it is renewable – biogas is produced all the time in nature’s carbon cycle by breakdown of organic matter (biomass and animal waste material) and does not require mining, only a clever way of collecting the gas and storing it. Very little energy is accompanied by which releases carbon dioxide but is not formed from extraction from deep under the earth’s surface but from gases produced from waste recycling and biomass disintegration.
Resources include land, water-bodies, mountains, etc. which belong to everybody empirically and to the government which has been electorally vested in power of ruling the people.
When the commons are grabbed, there is unrest.
India has seen unrest in the coal-mining areas like the Santhal-Munda-Kond forests, at places like Dabhol and Jaitapur (Ratnagiri, Maharashtra Konkan), etc.
All these situations are career fields to leftists – and have to be controlled by upright nationalists without distturbing agro-ecology and without harming the interests of the local communities.
THE INTERPLAY OF PEAK OIL AND CURRENT ETHNIC GEO-POLITICAL CONFLICTS:
All geo-politics and speculative economics till that eventual end of fossil fuel is like a wasteful brawl amongst two brawlers by a roadside, ignoring injury by the rapid approach of an unstoppable vehicle, on the same road, sure to hit both the brawlers, with the mathematical certainty of an accident being put off as a matter of time alone.
Peak oil can change or complicate parameters and paradigms of international conflict, from ethnic divisions, to instead / also having / not having possession of / access to the last leftover reserves of oil, before those too would cease to yield oil.
When there will be very little oil, the countries (like the US) which hoard supplies, the countries which extract oil and the countries in dire need of oil, could get locked in a conflict.
Islamic countries could fight Islamic countries; Western powers could fight each other. Or, it is also possible though, that the comprehension of the common danger of implosion of a fossil-fuel-driven civilisation can bring warring factions together to save the earth. It remains a Gandhian quest.
Before that, though, Islamic terrorism could lay hands on nuclear arsenal in concert with China and an Islamic country can destroy lives and culture of a victim nation, Hindu India being a prime target. While most Hindu leaders are agroecologically illiterate, the pugnacity and malevolence of Islamists is hardly a case of agroecological sensitivity.
While there will always be fringe groups that deny global warming or peak oil (dubbing ‘Peak Oil’ a theory but not a certainty), the impending collapse of peak oil is likely to be a mere 35 years later or so, from now. Also the same time frame wherein European nations like, say, France or the Netherlands, could become Muslim majority countries, if the influx of Muslim refugees and immigrants is continued as a policy by overliberal Western governments.
If world conflict of a world war scale is likely to be pushed further away, there also may be no fossil fuel to carry on a grand war which again would have required fossil fuel. Low-intensity conflicts like terrorism could be the next instrument of harming a target group.
A pious Abrahamic could blame the West, Israel and Hindu India for even the end of oil.
Or, if Islamic clerics realize that they have very little time before the world oil reserves get sucked dry, they may try to prepone an ISIL-style world Jihad, trying to make use of what oil the Arabic sands conceal, for their own armed vehicles, hoping to close a Jihadic victory with an oilless world Sharia-compliant government.
As oil gets more and more difficult to procure, both because of falling reserves and lack of access due to political reasons, corporate are busy influencing governments to ‘frack’ oil; fracking is extracting oil in an even more crude and impure form, with even more energy input,, from lesser reserves which aren’t desert sand dunes, but fragile ecosystems like the bed of a sea. That sea could be the Arctic or the Pacific Canadian-Alaskan coastline (Eg. British Columbia). Putin has pushed for Arctic drilling, the US and Canada have corporates who want to frack oil from British Columbia. In fracking, explosions are triggered at the earth’s crust, with seismic and polluting effects, as aquifers of water can get contaminated by oil and earth matter by human-caused activity. Fishing communities and concerned citizens have opposed such activity. So have native indigenous people (Eg. Amer-Indians opposing the Dakota pipeline).
It is interesting to note that:
- those who show concern for and spread awareness about the socio-environmental effects of peak oil related eventualities are leftists, while the capitalist right supports fracking or felling of forests, or denies global warming or peak oil crises;
- the groups who welcome refugee Syrians or Muslim immigrants are letftists again, who are allowing a demographic swarming of their democracy by rank outsiders who are granted social security benefits, while the groups who caution or actively oppose such unchecked immigration and freebies out of concern for their own nation and society, are rightists;
- the leftists and rightists show no concern for India’s ethnic issues vis-à-vis Jihad and missionary or Maoist intervention;
- India remains fumbling and also is led by a largely an agroecologicaly illiterate polity;
- “left” and “right” are not nuanced but increasingly arbitrary labels assigned to groups. David Frawley has said, the New left of the West has more in common with the Hindu Right.
- Modi’s indulgence with the OPEC and OIC is fruitless and redundant if he develop’s India with renewable energy.
Challenge for India’s betterment:
India has potential for wind, solar, tidal and of course cautious hydel power generation.
Our economists and industrialists can rise to the occasion by funding research and by competitive business, in the whole field of renewable energy.
E-references, image courtesies, video courtesies and further reading:
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