Beyond the internal costs to these nations we should recognize that we are

Beyond the internal costs to these nations we should

This preview shows page 28 - 30 out of 93 pages.

Beyond the internal costs to these nations, we should recognize that we are transferring hundreds of billions of dollars each year to some of the least- accountable regimes in the world. Some are using this money to invest abroad in terrorism, instability, or demagogic appeals to populism. Now at a time when the international community is attempting to persuade Iran to live up to its nonproliferation obligations, our economic leverage on that country has declined due to its burgeoning oil revenues. If one tracks the arc of Iran’s behavior over the last decade, its suppression of dissent, its support for terrorists, and its conflict with the West, have increased in conjunction with its oil revenues, which soared by 30 percent in 2005. Sometimes observers comfort themselves with the thought that most U.S. imports come from friendly nations such as Canada and Mexico, rather than from Iran or other problematic countries. But oil is a globally- priced commodity and even if our dollars not going directly to Iran, this does not mean that our staggering consumption of oil is not contributing to the price paid to Iran by other consumers. (5) Global Responsibility and Leadership: Fifth, the threat of climate change has been made worse by inefficient and unclean use of nonrenewable energy. In the long run, this could bring drought, famine, disease, and mass migration, all of which could lead to conflict and instability. As there are no unilateral solutions to climate change, I have urged the Bush administration and my colleagues in Congress to return to a leadership role on the issue of climate change. I have advocated the United States
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28 must be open to multilateral forums that attempt to achieve global solutions to the problem of greenhouse gases. Our scientific understanding of climate change has advanced significantly. We have better computer models, more measurements, and more evidence, from the shrinking polar caps to expanding tropical disease zones, for plants and humans. That the problem is real and is caused by manmade emissions of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide from fossil fuels, has been well established. (6) Demand for International Leadership: Sixth, our efforts to stem terrorist recruitment and to prevent terrorist cells and training grounds in the developing world are being undercut by the high costs of energy. The economic impact of high oil prices is far more burdensome in developing countries than in the developed world. Generally, developing countries are more dependent on imported oil; their industries are more energy intensive and they use energy less efficiently. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development estimates that non-OPEC developing nations spend 3.5 percent of their GDP or more on imported oil, roughly twice the percentage paid in the main OECD countries. The World Bank research shows that a sustained oil-price increase of $10 per barrel will reduce GDP by an average of 1.47 percent in countries with a per capita income of less than three hundred dollars.
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