28 November 2006

The Middle East in the Post Oil Era

It's going to happen. Some day, sooner or later, we're going to shake free from our dependence on oil. We'll figure out how to run our cars on hydrogen, solar power, electricity, or some other sort of non-petrol fuel.

What happens to the Middle East then?

I wonder how much they're doing to prepare for that day. Maybe they're all over it, and I'm just not in the loop (it's possible). What I do see is Middle Eastern countries spending millions (billions) on gilded hotel lobbies, swimming pools in the desert, and other silly, trivial consumables. If you ask me, they should be building technical universities, learning to write software, design things, build things, etc... Otherwise, once we kick the oil habit, they're stuck (and it's going to happen, sooner than they think).

Why do I care? It's not entirely altruistic, I admit. I care because chaos in that part of the world tends to have an impact over here. And as Tom Peters said in a similar topic, I'd rather have a million well educated, employed people in India (doing "our jobs") than a million starving, angry people in India, looking at us.... Same goes for the Middle East.


Anonymous said...


Your post is quite relevant and interesting especially because I'm an Indian. Regarding the oil crises you are true that Middle East should spend the enormous money gathered on some long lasting resources but the oil resources which we think of getting exhausted are the only ones which we know. As the oil prices have soared up, even the resources which were regarded as uneconomical have come under the bar. So, in fact, the reserves are increasing. Deep water is still another add on which remains largely unexploited. Therefore, to think about the resource exhaustion is pretty early.

Dan said...

Thanks for the note!

I should point out that I'm talking about the demand for oil drying up, not the supply.

I predict that Western countries will lose interest in oil (at least as a motor fuel) long before the wells are empty.