The US and UK Government’s obsession with the “War on Terror”, recently renamed the “Long War” by military commanders is completely counter-productive and misguided, according to a leading UK think-tank. It is also distracting politicians from more fundamental threats to global security, such as climate change.

The independent Oxford Research Group argues in its report “Global Responses to Global Threats” that the effects of climate change – displacement of peoples, food shortages, social unrest – has far greater security implications than those of terrorism. Along with climate, the most likely causes of future conflict are competition for natural resources, social and economic marginalisation and militarisation, it argues.

The report argues that resource conflicts over oil are a major problem too. “Oil consumption is a primary cause of climate change and should be rapidly reduced for this reason alone. In a very real sense, the short-term nature of conflict in the Persian Gulf means that this liability of the oil-based economy should also be used to seek a rapid move to renewables”.

New figures show that the US has so far spent almost £173 billion on the war in Iraq, and a further £48 billion for the war in Afghanistan – so that’s over $220 billion. Just imagine what you could have done with that money if it had been invested in renewables. Doesn’t bear thinking about.