Stacy VanDeveer: Will Using Less Oil Affect Petrostate Stability?July 12, 2010 By Schuyler NullIf we were to actually use less fossil fuel, what would happen to today’s petrostates? “If the oil revenues dry up or even decline a little bit you might have a real serious crisis,” said Stacy VanDeveer of the University of New Hampshire, during an interview with ECSP. We spoke to VanDeveer following his presentation at the Wilson Center event, “Backdraft: The Conflict Potential of Climate Mitigation and Adaptation.”
VanDeveer pointed out that for many countries, from Russia, Latin America, and the Middle East to Africa, huge portions of government funds come from oil revenue. Few in the environmental or security communities have begun thinking seriously about the potentially destabilizing consequences of a more carbon-restrained global economy in these places.
While some, such as Thomas Friedman, assert that falling oil prices could lead to regime change in places like Iran, VanDeveer disagrees. He said that while these countries may end up being more democratic, there could be a great deal of bloodshed in the interim, especially if the change occurs quickly in a place with no history of democratic institutions.
Stay tuned to the New Security Beat for more in our series on “Backdraft: The Conflict Potential of Climate Adaptation and Mitigation.”