Posted on 14-10-2009
Filed Under (Current Affairs, Environment) by Rashtrakut

As the world considers limiting oil consumption to fight global warming, Saudi Arabia is tossing a cynical ploy to delay negotiations. After decades of profit from the Western addiction to oil Saudi Arabia now wants to be compensated so that it can be diversify its economy.  Given the Saudi logic, maybe the rest of us should be reimbursed by OPEC for the cartel’s manipulation of oil prices.

OPEC’s plea for assistance is very different than that put forward by China and India. For years the rulers of OPEC states have squandered their oil bounty in bribing restive populations or lavish largesse to its leaders. Very few emulated Malaysia and Indonesia in diversifying their economies. This was even after the drop in oil prices in the 1990s showed the folly of relying solely on oil revenues. It is hard to feel sorry for resource rich countries who already have the money necessary to diversify their economies.

As it stands, even with reduction in oil consumption OPEC’s oil fields are not going to run dry any time soon. Even if the oil consumption in the West drops, it will rise in China and India. While OPEC may not enjoy the record profits of the last few years, the shower of oil money will continue for some time to come. Maybe instead of exporting Wahhabi fundamentalism abroad or bankrolling totalitarian dictatorships, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and other OPEC countries will use this as an opportunity to improve their societies and economies. The world will be a better place for it.

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