Already, China has undermined U.S. foreign policy in efforts to gain access to oil resources
in Iran and Sudan. We simply cannot separate the political and economic values of oil.
Jo Ann Emerson
Energy Risks: Supply Disruption
Beyond the impacts of climate change, there are other risks related to the reliable
supply of fossil fuels to remote communities.
Much of the world's supply of fossil fuels depends on nations that are not always
on good terms with the industrialized western world. The embargoes of 1973 and 1978 are
instructive in this regard. If such geo-politics should arise again, it is unlikely
that other nations would even try to make a distinction between remote nothern communities
and the rest of the country in which those communities exist.
Even Canada's primary oil production is now politically charged, being based either on
the Tar Sands that are affecting the Athabaska River and those living downstream from the
projects, or upon off-shore drilling. National political will could be sufficient to
destabilize oil production in Canada in years to come.
There are more mundane threats to supply as well, such as the simple logistics of
moving bulk commodities. Ice roads have a shorter life each year. Calving icebergs are
a threat to shipping.
Ships encounter simple mechanical problems.