The most important lesson to take from all this is that there is no way to confront the climate crisis as a technocratic problem, in isolation. It must be seen in the context of austerity and privatisation, of colonialism and militarism, and of the various systems of othering needed to sustain them all. The connections and intersections between them are glaring, and yet so often resistance to them is highly compartmentalised. The anti-austerity people rarely talk about climate change, the climate change people rarely talk about war or occupation. We rarely make the connection between the guns that take black lives on the streets of US cities and in police custody and the much larger forces that annihilate so many black lives on arid land and in precarious boats around the world.
In the transition from the mentality of the evil Other to the mentality of interconnectedness, we all face, from time to time, moments of doubtful hesitation: “Is it OK to trust? Is it OK to relax control? What if the Other doesn’t respond in kind? What if he just takes advantage of our ‘weakness’ (our trust)?” For warring factions with, in some cases, generations-long grudges, to take that step requires huge courage. For our own leaders it takes a bit of courage as well. What if they are called soft? What if Assad truly is a monster and he takes our declining to bomb him as license to commit horrors? What if he doesn’t want peace but only, like a James Bond villain, to dominate and destroy? What will happen to the United States if we can’t build a gas pipeline  through Syria controlled by U.S. interests? If I listen to my heart, will I be OK?
So listen carefully as the highly paid military and political analysts parade across your television screens, proclaiming the need for this latest “kinetic action.” Observe how these shrewd distorters evade the three paramount characteristics of war that I have just discussed. None of them will address what war really is. Nor will they mention that those who benefit from war do not suffer its horrors. And finally, they will not admit that war never brings good into the world and is actually a plague that sickens the human project.
The seeds of energy conflicts and war sprouting in so many places simultaneously suggest that we are entering a new period in which key state actors will be more inclined to employ force — or the threat of force — to gain control over valuable deposits of oil and natural gas. In other words, we’re now on a planet heading into energy overdrive.
From competition among hunter-gatherers for wild game to imperialist wars over precious minerals, resource wars have been fought throughout history; today, however, the competition appears set to enter a new—and perhaps unprecedented—phase. As natural resources deplete, and as the Earth’s climate becomes less stable, the world’s nations will likely compete ever more desperately for access to fossil fuels, minerals, agricultural land, and water.
The Great Unraveling: Tunisia, Egypt, And The Protracted Collapse Of The American Empire, By Nafeez Ahmed
No wonder then that the chief fear of Western intelligence agencies and corporate risk consultants is not that mass resistance might fail to generate vibrant and viable democracies, but simply the prospect of a regional “contagion” that could destabilize “Saudi oil fields.” Such conventional analyses, of course, entirely miss the point: The American Empire, and the global political economy it has spawned, is unravelling — not because of some far-flung external danger, but under the weight of its own internal contradictions. It is unsustainable — already in overshoot of the earth’s natural systems, exhausting its own resource base, alienating the vast majority of the human and planetary population.