Der Spiegel has published a shocking report which shows how oil is about to change the political climate of the world. This will have a huge influence on Scottish politics.
Military Study Warns of a Potentially Drastic Oil Crisis
The report has been leaked and was written by the German military. The issue is enormous for the political landscape and will have far-reaching consequences in terms of international security. Scotland will be right in the thick of it.
We are warned of:
shifts in the global balance of power, of the formation of new relationships based on interdependency, of a decline in importance of the western industrial nations, of the "total collapse of the markets" and of serious political and economic crises.
And you thought the financial crisis and global warming were problems. All these crises together is enough to make you head for the hills. What will it all mean for Scottish politics though? It seems that countries with oil will grow in status.
In summary the report looks at the changing landscape:
For importers of oil more competition for resources will mean an increase in the number of nations competing for favor with oil-producing nations. For the latter this opens up a window of opportunity which can be used to implement political, economic or ideological aims. As this window of time will only be open for a limited period, "this could result in a more aggressive assertion of national interests on the part of the oil-producing nations.
Britain has managed to avoid all debate about the significance of North Sea oil. Indeed many think that is has no effect at all on the UK's finances. This will no longer be the case. It's import will not be lost on the business and political communities, especially during crisis. Consequently, now is the time for the SNP to bring the subject on to the political agenda. The oil slogans of the past were easily neutered by the unionist press and perfidious civil servants and politicians but a coherent case backed up by oil industry experts will have an energising effect on Scottish politics just at the time when the issue of 'independence' takes centre stage.
The glut of North Sea oil discoveries in the last few weeks is there as an impetus. Salmond, himself an oil economist, should be expertly lining up industry witnesses to underline the case. In the near future the issue of peak oil will move centre-stage on the international agenda lending even more credibility to the nationalists' prospectus.
The nature of the 'peak oil' debate will allow the SNP to point to an independent Scotland gaining influence in Europe and beyond. Moving from an appendage of England to a desirable trading partner with all the benefits that go with that sort of energy muscle.
Summarising again from the Der Spiegal leak:
The Bundeswehr Transformation Center writes that oil will become one decisive factor in determining the new landscape of international relations: "The relative importance of the oil-producing nations in the international system is growing. These nations are using the advantages resulting from this to expand the scope of their domestic and foreign policies and establish themselves as a new or resurgent regional, or in some cases even global leading powers.
Now, some people don't much like the idea of the EU and others will tell you that Scotland has bargaining power because of the weight of the UK. Sorry but Scotland is the biggest oil producer in the EU. If the EU wants Scotland as a member or with some kind of affiliate status then oil is going to be a huge bargaining chip. In or out we'll have no shortage of friends as an independent nation. A far better state of affairs than being marginal and having the worst poverty in Europe.. Add that to having embassies, direct UN representation and delegates at other bodies as oil production gets you on the guest list and an image of an emergent Scotland starts to take shape.
The German report pulls no punches. Der Spiegal summarises that nations will have 'bi-lateral' trade agreements meaning you won't be able to buy oil on the open market, that price shocks in oil will threaten the entire global economic system with collapse (meaning supply will be central to security in every region especially advanced economies), that dependence on oil will lead to the collapse of 'market economies' as oil prices which effect 95% of everything that's produced may have to be fixed, that lack of preparation for 'peak oil' will mean a rebalance in regional power brokering or geo-politcal balances and that the effects of 'peak oil' can lead populations to a sense that their government and civic institutions have lost political legitimacy.
Oil is used in everything from make-up to plastic bags to shoes to cables etc etc. When it becomes more scarce what will drive industrial society? A sobering thought but there'll be no time for reflection as cities downsize and people start working in food related work all over again..