NATO was formed on April 4, 1949 by Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and the United States. The outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950 convinced the allies that the Soviets might act against a divided Germany. This lead to Greece and Turkey being admitted in 1952 after Soviet support of a guerrilla war in Greece. West Germany was admitted in 1955 on the condition that she did not manufacture nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons. In 1966 President Charles de Gaulle withdrew from the treaty but not the alliance. In the 1970s the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT I) began but achieved little.
The Scenario begins in December 1979, Iran is in a process of rapid Modernisation aided by her close Ally the United States, whose vast Military Industrial Complex depends on Iranís Oil. The Shar who governs Iran is autocratic and uses inhuman methods to retain his control of the Country. The only real opposition is the Religious Establishment who are opposed to Modernisation, Women's Rights, Israel, and the West (Just about everything really). The Clergy stage a coup aided by their Fanatical followers promised a place in Heaven if they lay down their lives for Ala. This revolution upsets the Westís strategy in the region where it has tried to build a Pro-Western Alliance to contain the Soviet Union, and keep the Oil flowing. However Iran is not prepared to play ball with the Godless Communists, and join the Soviet Bloc. So America is free to move, it engineers a War between Pro-West Iraq (with a rather dubious Human Rights Record) and Iran over Iraqi access to the gulf. Iran shouldn't complain too much about this, as it was doing much the same thing to the Ancient Greeks two thousand years ago when it was the Persian Empire. Both the West and the Soviets provide each Country with Weapons, when one side grows too strong they ship more or better Weapons to the other side, thus neutralising both Countries and gaining money to buy their Oil. As OPEC had Octupelled the price of Oil when the Muslim Alliance of Egypt, Jordan and Syria lost a War with Israel. Israel having been supplied with better weapons by America. Israel couldn't be in a much worse place from the Muslims point of view, it divides African Muslims from Asian Muslims and has Islamís third Holiest City within its boarders, added to this it creation created a vast number of refugees who too this day live in poverty stricken refugee camps, which are breeding grounds for terrorism.
Historically the Oil Price Rise couldn't be sustained. As Mrs. Thatcher says "You can't buck the market". The increased price made it profitable for Oil Companies to prospect in hostile environments like the North Sea and Alaska using Robots, which had the effect of making Europe and America somewhat less reliant on Middle Eastern Oil, and reducing the strength of the OPEC Cartel. It also made Norway one of the top Oil Producers, thus allowing it to stay out of the European Union. Also the increased price drove Technological innovation, to produce more fuel efficient cars which pollute less.
Unfortunately the new sources of Oil mean even more Carbon Dioxide will be let out into the atmosphere, meaning Global Warming may still happen without a Nuclear War. If this occurs the Oceans will rise drowning many small Island States and Large Coastal Cities (half the Worlds Population lives in Coastal Areas, due to Fishing, Trade, the high Coastline/Land Ratio, and Colonization by European Powers). Paradoxically Britain may turn into a second Siberia as the change in Environment may course the Gulf Stream to fail and the Artic Current to take its place. Pollution (and Population) has stabilised in the Developed World, and is being cut back slightly in Europe and Japan. The former Soviet Blocs Pollution Levels have been slashed due to the collapse in its economy and access to cleaner Western Technology, which was prohibited in the Cold War, as it might have had Military Applications. America is the Chief Villain polluting 3 times as much per head as France (probably because they have no concept of History). The developing Countries are also a growing treat particularly China and India, as they have such vast Populations, and are unable to afford clean up Technology. Technology can solve a lot of problems, but for every one it solves, it seems to make a new one. The Rio Summit hosted by the UN tried to solve these problems, by getting rich Western Countries to help poorer Countries to pay for clean up Technology in exchange for being allowed to pollute more, but it seems to be a case of too little to late, as the UN has no real power, and US refused to cooperate.
If you want to see an extreme case of Global Warming, take a look at Venus (which is almost like Earth in every other respect - except being a bit closer to the Sun). It has temperatures of 400 Degrees Centigrade, Acid Rain (Real Acid), a Crushing Pressure (like at the Bottom of the Ocean), and you can't even see the Sun from its surface.
One thing Civilization doesn't take accounts of it the Forest Cover which can absorb Carbon Dioxide and turn it in Carbon (which ultimately becomes Coal over Millions of year) and Oxygen. Lose of Forest Cover wasn't a major problem when the techniques of land clearance were primitive (e.g. axes approximating to Settlers), but when better techniques came along (e.g. chain saws approximating to Engineers) the rate of loss became a lot worse. Further accentuated by the demands of Population Growth and the fact that most better types of Land had already been improved. Environmental degradation is not a new thing, the Ancient Greeks used to have Forests but cut them all down, that is why Greek Style building have Stone Pillars instead of Tree Trunks.
Ocean Life also absorbs Carbon, which ultimately becomes Oil (think of that when you next see a bit a Plastic, itís made up of a lot of Bug Corpses). But the rate these absorb Carbon is less than the rate we re-release it, it took Millions of Years to get buried, and we're releasing it in a matter of Decades. Once itís gone there won't be any more for a loooong time.
The myth of the Electric Car still purists, but it is obvious this will never work, first you loss energy in the Power Station converting the Fuel to Electricity, then you loss more transmitting it down the Power Lines, and then you loss more in the car converting it back into Mechanical Energy. Oil only has one loss, NOT three. And batteries weigh more and have a reduced range. There are however more promising hybrid technologies which use Electricity (the Battery can charge when you go downhill) and Oil, or Chemical Reactions with Gas. When and if, Fusion Power becomes available, Electricity may be more desirable, as it could be created from a safe, cheap, pollution less fuel.
This would also accelerate the Space Race as the Fuel required by Fusion Reactors can only be found on the Moon in quantity - but that's a whole new Scenario! The Space Race has already hotted up a bit now water has been found on the Moon, this means it won't need to be shipped there for Agriculture, and can be used as a Rocket Fuel. It will still be phenomenally expensive to go to the Moon, but not super duper phenomenally expensive. There are also prospects for a Lunar Observatory on the Far Side of the Moon, untroubled by Radiation from Earth Communications, better quality Computer Chips (made in Low Gravity or Earth Orbit), and it can be used a base to explore the rest of the Solar System (as its Gravity is less things can be made and launched with a lot less fuel - near Earth Asteroids would be even better for this purpose).