The Editors of Spectator World highlight the importance of energy as “the lifeblood of civilization,” explaining that 2022 has been a wake-up call to those living under the “epidemic of amnesia in recent years” and taking energy security for granted. They conclude:
Ahead of the midterms, energy is understandably seen first and foremost as a kitchen-table issue. Yet its importance goes beyond the cost of living. It is also an essential ingredient of a successful foreign policy. Great powers do not last long without a secure supply of energy. Biden promises a strong America on the world stage and claims an unswerving commitment to the international defense of democracy against autocracy. Without the dogged pursuit of abundant energy, victory in that clash will be difficult. But the significance of energy is deeper still.
Energy is nothing less than the lifeblood of civilization — hence why energy crises tend to coincide with broader crises of confidence. It is no coincidence that Jimmy Carter’s infamous malaise speech of 1979 — a wide-ranging attempt to address “a moral and a spiritual crisis” — was about an oil crisis and how America would respond. Carter’s address bombed because no one trusted him to deliver the energy independence he promised. But at least Carter was willing to prioritize that goal. Biden, by contrast, seems reluctant to even take that step.
From Europe’s policy mistakes to their geopolitical consequences, the energy lessons of 2022 are clear. The only question is whether Western leaders, especially Biden, are willing to learn.
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