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Saturday, March 19, 2005

Saudi Arabia's Secret Agenda

Nowhere on Earth can you name a more tightly held theocratic nation than Saudi Arabia.

Devoutly Muslim, Saudi Arabian government is based on the dictates set forth in the Quran centuries ago. While scholars argue aver the arcane trivia of this religious text, the Saudi's map their legal practices directly to the scripture. The standards set forth for justice in the Quran are literally embodied in Saudi law, as seen in it's many "unique" legal practices.

However, beheading and ritual torture are not the only principals described in the Quran.

Avoiding the trap of interpretation of specific passages, suffice to say there is no shortage of condemnation for the "lesser" religions of our world. Allah is the one true god, Islam is the one true path etc...

There is indeed a sentiment which prevails in the Quran, as well as many Muslim cultures, that these non-Muslim peoples will destroy themselves through their unholy ways basically. Ask any mainstream Muslim that question. After all the polite squirming and posturing is over, what emerges is that Islam is a superior way of life, and that sinners will suffer by their evil deeds.

So I picture myself in Riyadh, a devout Muslim with control over the primary energy resource for the world. I realize that if I ever withhold my oil for any serious period of time, I invite certain attack by nations like the US hungry for my oil. So an embargo or two besides... that's out. At some point I also realize that my vast oil fields won't last forever, and will actually "peak" in production at some point and decline afterward. I know if prices for oil rise too high, demand for my oil will be destroyed and oil alternatives encouraged, so my best bet is to find ways to keep my wellhead production at maximum levels unless prices drop. This allows me to maximize the amount of my original endowment of oil being sold for the most money by avoiding the demand destruction higher prices would bring.

I also know that Western cultures in their greedy and sinful lives, are utterly dependent on my oil for their economic health. If I allow natural depletion to gradually be absorbed by the world's economy through higher prices over decades, the impacts of this transition are minimized. However, what happens to these oil dependents if I artificially maintain production well past my field's natural peak production? Not only do I sell my oil for maximum profit today and tomorrow, but I can give the heathens enough rope... and let Allah do the rest.

It seems pretty unlikely to me that Saudi Arabia has never considered what significant drops in oil production numbers would do to many country's economies.

Given the certainty of peak production in any oil field, and the terrible consequences to global markets with commodity shortages, OPEC's policy of publishing only bland assurances of production capacity are a terrible gamble for our planet.

Can anyone name a more potent weapon?

I sometimes visit a local liquor store where a friendly Muslim man is the clerk. He's always polite and nice to everyone and does his job well. Being a good Muslim, he does not drink himself, and in fact considers it a sin. He's way too polite to ever say so out loud of course, but the unspoken fact of our relationship is that in his heart he considers me a sinner for buying & consuming his alcohol, and that I will get "what's coming to me" as a result.

Is the west being setup so we "get what's coming to us"?


yovo68 said...

yeah - I know the feeling at the liquor store. The friendly, tea-totaller Baptist lady surely thinks I'll go straight to hell ...

Not sure what all this has to do with the oil nations maximizing their profits, though... or why that would be a _secret_ agenta ...

Mike said...

Yeah Aaron, I know what you mean and agree, but the big problem is how to know what is true or fiction. Obviously the average US citizen will never accept even the concept that oil may be getting low and that the gas guzzlers and SUVs etc might really be a thing of the past sooner than they think, so the truth of peak oil won't make much difference anyway. See the yovo68 comment for that attitude.