The (New) Thirty Years’ War: Fighting for Global Energy Dominance
From 1618 to 1648, Europe was engulfed in an interlocked series of brutal conflicts collectively known as the Thirty Years' War. The global energy system has been evolving for a very long time in response to the development of new fuels and their widespread utilization. The events of early 2011 appear to be of a different sort altogether from those of 1979 and 1990, in that they suggest a permanent rather than merely temporary disruption in the global supply of energy. This chapter examines three of these key developments: the Arab Spring, and its effects on global oil output; the disaster at Fukushima in Japan, and its impact on the future nuclear power output; and the signs of accelerating climate change, and its myriad effects on energy supply. Typically, any given block of time incorporates some major developments that affect the global flow of energy. These include both human-induced developments such as political upheavals and wars and natural events.