So I have been kicking around this idea for a week or two now and it certainly isn’t a entirely new concept, but it is the concept that by taking actions on the green front, will actually enhance our security. Now before we get into this, I would like to steer clear of political aspect of this discussion, with the side note those who focus on Green initiatives are sometimes seen as the polar opposites to those who focus on National Security. I think many would disagree with this view and those who didn’t could be brought to the table and see both sides. The other thing that I would assert is that this concept isn’t exclusive to America, I speak generally about the world. So here are a few examples of the threats I see and their solutions.
To expand on what I consider national security I think it is important to note that national security extends beyond terrorism and nuclear armaments. It includes anything from any source that can threaten our safety, well being and long term livability. This includes drought, blight, natural disaster, war, terrorism, etc.
If you have ever seen the documentary Food Inc. (which I highly recommend) talks about how 90% of the corn and 60% of all soy beans come from one company that are one strain. This means that a blight, whether engineered or natural, were to hit our country, we would loose 90% of all our corn in one fell swoop. This is pretty concerning when you truly understand how much of our food comes form corn and in really unexpected forms. If you look at how many individual strains of food we actually grow for the majority of our food, we are talking 22 types of plants with a specific strain make up 80% of our food. Can we afford to lose 80% of our food?
So how to fix it. We first need to encourage a larger diversity of plants, the idea being that some blights will effect some strains of plants and not others. We then need to decentralize our food production, moving food production closer to the people. This will take time, money and in all honesty could turn out to be more expensive as economies of scale decreases, but we also need to put a price on sleeping soundly at night.
I don’t think it takes any stretch of the imagination to see how us depending on other countries for oil is a bad thing. Especially when you consider that most sources of this oil are in politically unstable areas. One thing we see as an option is to drill off shore, which as of late, we have seen how bad that has turned out to be. The fact is that there may be a large volume of oil out there, but it is still a finite resource and it is getting harder and harder to get to. With increased difficulty comes increased risk and while innovations can mitigate those risks, I am still left doubting it.
So the solution, I say save what we have in our country and lets focus on sustainable technologies. While people talk about nuclear, I have to remind them of the heavy subsidies they get every year. Nuclear is a pretty mature technology, I assert that if we took these subsidies and used them to develop solar/wind into mature technologies that we could come out on top. The added benefit to this is that we can then decentralize power production to avoid 50 well place bombs to take out most of our power production.
To sum up I think that we are beginning to see how Green is better for everyone in many ways. I found this video done by Pew which is pretty interesting.