Published on Aug 4, 2015
Michael T. Klare is a Five Colleges professor of Peace and World Security Studies, whose department is located at Hampshire College, defense correspondent of The Nation magazine, and author of Resource Wars and Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America’s Growing Petroleum Dependency (Metropolitan). Klare also teaches at Amherst College, Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Klare also serves on the boards of directors of Human Rights Watch, and the Arms Control Association. He is a regular contributor to many publications including The Nation, TomDispatch, Mother Jones, and is a frequent columnist for Foreign Policy In Focus. He also was the narrator of the movie, Blood and Oil which was produced by the Media Education Foundation.
He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.
In November 2005, Klare alleged that a major factor motivating the George W. Bush administration to attack Iraq would be its desire to distract attention from domestic political difficulties and to increase popularity for the President. US popular support for Bush increased by about 10% during the 2003 invasion of Iraq and only dropped back to its previous level several months later.
Klare originated the concept of extreme energy. Extreme energy is a range of techniques for the production of energy from unconventional resources which share characteristics of being environmentally damaging or risky. Examples include exploitation of oil sands and shale oil, deepwater drilling, hydraulic fracturing, mountaintop removal mining, petroleum exploration in the Arctic, and natural gas hydrates.
This movie, Blood and Oil, which came out before the end of the Bush Administration explains Klare’s view on oil as an instrument of national policy. Using sources including statements from official government sources and statements by media commentators, Klare pushes for alternative energy and warns that energy will be hard to get in the next century. The website for the movie describes the movie as follows: “The notion that oil motivates America’s military engagements in the Middle East has long been dismissed as nonsense or mere conspiracy theory. Blood and Oil, a new documentary based on the critically-acclaimed work of Nation magazine defense correspondent Michael T. Klare, challenges this conventional wisdom to correct the historical record. The film unearths declassified documents and highlights forgotten passages in prominent presidential doctrines to show how concerns about oil have been at the core of American foreign policy for more than 60 years – rendering our contemporary energy and military policies virtually indistinguishable. In the end, Blood and Oil calls for a radical re-thinking of US energy policy, warning that unless we change direction, we stand to be drawn into one oil war after another as the global hunt for diminishing world petroleum supplies accelerates.”
In a number of articles, Klare has commented on the future of oil. In an article published on March 13, 2012, he discussed “the principal cause of higher oil prices.” He concluded that “a fundamental shift in the structure of the oil industry” has occurred because of “the disappearance of relatively accessible and inexpensive petroleum”, and that countries will have to grasp for the harder oil in the future. In another article, he continues this thesis, noting that of this he notes that sanctions on Iran make not only Iranians suffer, but also those that buy oil from Iran. That same month, Klare noted the sensitive spots of conflict in the “Geo-energy era”. They include the Strait of Hormuz, East and South China Seas, Caspian Sea basin, and Arctic polar region. In another article in 2011, Klare expanded his thesis to something more radical. He noted that America and oil were falling together.