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Politics of Clean Fuel - Part II

Continued from Part I

The strategy of increasing domestic oil consumption worked well as the indigenous oil reserves were going well and sufficient reserves were secured in the middle east. But OPEC stepped in and soon after being formed, it caused havoc in 1970s with the oil embargo. Soon, a reverse trend was to set in - just as war had lead to increase in oil production, now oil was to lead to war.

By the mid 1980s it was well clear that the encouragement of oil consumption had backfired on western governments and something had to be done to control the menace of increasing oil prices. Iraq presented a classic opportunity to the US in the early 90's by invading Kuwait and opening doors for a direct and legitimate intervention of the western politicians and regimes into the middle east. The war for oil has continued with stops and spurts thereafter well leading upto into the recent Iraq conflict.

With more than a decade of war and 5 decades of politics behind it, governments in the west can no more allow the consumption of oil in the world to recede. Lest they do, the most major pole of international politics might collapse creating a vacuum . This is precisely the reason why cries of the environmentalists have fallen on deaf ears all this while, from Kyoto to Doha to Djakarta.

So what is the way ahead - will we burn our ends till oil lasts us? Or will pragmatism and environmental concern triumph over war and politics?

No one knows the answers - but I believe any improvement cannot come from the bigoted politics of oil that the western world has been playing. My only hope are the developing countries where growth is still to reach its peak. And it is not possible for us to continue growing if our growth is pinned to the price of a barrel - because it will only make growth more and more difficult as our demand for oil increases - a vicious cycle which can only strangle developing economies.

The importance oil has come to hold in our economies is because of the politics associated with it. The same can be done for alternative energy sources as well. Political will and sound economic policies can convert research, discovery and usage of alternative fuels a cost effective and economically beneficial Enterprise for citizens and corporates alike. It is high time that developing economies came together to promote alternative energy sources.
[continued at Part III].

Comments

  1. Oil and politics have been related for ages. It is well known that George Bush has close links with the Oil lobby in the US, and that is the real reason behind their invasion of Iraq. We also know that the Oil companies in US are against fuel efficient cars and alternative sources of energy. Since most of the cutting edge research in the world happens in the US, no progress has been made on finding alternate sources of energy in the recent past. I don't think the developing countries have the wherewithal to come up with alternate methods of energy. If something good and sustainable has to be found, it has to come from the developed world.

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