In times of peace and plenty, one tends to take for granted some of the “givens” for life and economic prosperity. Affordable and reliable energy is one of those basic assumptions. With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a week ago, we have been suddenly reminded of the preeminent importance of energy on the global stage. Europe’s over reliance on a single producer of natural gas is suddenly having a geopolitical impact, creating life and death vulnerabilities and granting undue influence to those who choose to abuse their position of abundance. History is in the making, and it’s far from clear how that final chapter will read.
While this conflict is taking place half a world away, the shots fired are shaking global energy markets and forcing some to begin questioning policy decisions made during times of peace and plenty. And the broken peace is starting to raise eyebrows to other potential vulnerabilities, particularly in the technology and manufacturing supply chain space. Supply chains have already been knotted through the Covid19 pandemic, but how will the sudden outbreak of war affect chip manufacturing behemoths in Asia and other suppliers critical for manufacturing in the coming months and years? It’s safe to assume there are some who are carefully watching the actions and reactions and reconsidering their own timeline ambitions.
Affordable and reliable energy with a diverse “all of the above” supply portfolio had lost favor during times of peace and plenty. Complicated, but efficient and effective global supply chains crashed during the Covid19 pandemic and remain far from healthy today. In addition to the tragic loss of lives, the outbreak of war in Europe will also impact global energy balances, supply chains and manufacturing. Let the “unthinkable” drive a more thoughtful evaluation of our own energy policies for the sake of national and economic security.