A billion stranded losers

reg11

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Do the oil states themselves think they will have to go 'cold turkey'? Up to not so long ago Saudi were always trying to underestimate their reserves so as to give oil prices a boost. Something that goes against your logic of an oncoming massive decline. There are millions yet who are hoping and working towards having a Western lifestyle which may offset enough the decline from more developed countries.
 


Splodge

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The Petro states of the Arab world have not developed a manufacturing or tech base despite having had decades of unspendable mountains of money with which to kick start it. They spent the 70's 80's and 90's buying gold-plated cars and building palaces. In the noughties they started to diversify by buying up companies around the world. Those investments may well help buoy them up in the short term but not in the longer term. The only Arab effort to build a car resulted in a production run of seven vehicles which feature diamond encrusted lights and they cost $4.3m each. What is the problem here? Is it just the oil curse? No. More books are translated into Spanish every year than have been translated into Arabic in the last thousand. Greece (population 11m) translates five times as many books into Greek annually than do all the combined 22 Arab-speaking nations into Arabic every year. I have found this is the best way of getting people who've not visited to understand the pathological incuriosity that afflicts this part of the world. It is this incuriosity - not "opportunity" or lack of it which is the problem. So, in response to your post, market-oriented development strategies require more than the free movement of the factors of production from one use to another; they also require a positive work ethic and an energetic and committed workforce. Something the Arab world can currently buy. But for how long?

Road and Belt is about tying China to countries that will buy its goods and extending Chinese influence. It has little to do with the fate of petro-nations come the collapse of oil.
The racism here is disgusting.
 

Kevin Parlon

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Do the oil states themselves think they will have to go 'cold turkey'? Up to not so long ago Saudi were always trying to underestimate their reserves so as to give oil prices a boost. Something that goes against your logic of an oncoming massive decline. There are millions yet who are hoping and working towards having a Western lifestyle which may offset enough the decline from more developed countries.
I'm not suggesting these countries are going to run out of oil. The decline will be driven by technology and climate-change-driven policy changes.
 

Jethro

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I don't take such a benign view. Yes there are many uses for oil beyond fuel but these industries came about off the back of the demand for fuel. "What can we do with all this left-over stuff now we've made the petrol?" It's cheap to make plastics from oil because it's a by-product of fuel manufacturing. Fuel is doing the heavy lifting so to speak. Developed nations provide such a large share of the total demand that a significant reduction in demand there could cause the price of oil to collapse to the point where it would be cheaper to leave it in the ground. Sure, less developed nations could continue to run their economies on oil, but where will they get it if the likely cost for extraction exceeds the market price? It would be wise not to be too certain that the non-fuel use of oil alone will be enough to maintain the price of oil above extraction costs.
A collapse in the oil price would make it more competitive and lead to a rise in demand. Oil can be viably extracted from Saudi Arabia at less than $20/barrel. At that price the only way consumers would not buy is if they were banned from it say on environmental grounds. But it is better to put a price on the environmental damage (eg. a carbon tax) so that the full value of what is available in the world can be captured. The point is that people will not stop buying overnight.

There will be shocks to oil dependent economies in the short run but this has always been so. An argument however could be made that a massive influx of economic refugees to Europe could occur because it is easier to do nowadays and in that respect AEP may have a point.
 

reg11

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I'm not suggesting these countries are going to run out of oil. The decline will be driven by technology and climate-change-driven policy changes.
I know you weren't. The massive decline I was referring to was the decline in demand. So your theory seems to contradict how the oil states have behaved in under reporting their reserves.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
The good old Torygraph is sounding the alarm at last. It is with some schadenfreude that I can point that it was once a stronghold of climate change denial, like other media outlets such the Murdoch press. The Telegraph willingly gave a platform to commentators who attacked the energy transition as completely pointless. It subscribed to the notion that climate change was a conspiracy of wayward left-wing scientists, and succeeded (along with other forces) in delaying climate action for two decades at least.

Now at last, it editorial board sees fit to publish articles crying "Woe! Woe!".
Panic in the Garden Centres. I so loathe the demographic that the Torygraph seeks to address. About as much use in terms of the future as an ashtray on a motorbike.
 

Kevin Parlon

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I know you weren't. The massive decline I was referring to was the decline in demand. So your theory seems to contradict how the oil states have behaved in under reporting their reserves.
How so? I'm not seeing the contradiction you're referring to.
 

Kevin Parlon

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It may (or may not) be informative that the number of attempted answers to the question in the op:

"What is the EU doing to brace itself for this (massive turmoil on our borders)? "

currently stands at a grand total of zero.
 

Hillmanhunter1

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All of those inventions were made hundreds of years ago!

Muslim culture in the 20th and 21st century does not prize learning, unless it is memorizing the Koran. Go into an Arab bookstore in any Gulf country (as opposed to a branch of a Western chain) and all you'll find are Korans and children's colouring books. The national education systems (i.e. excluding the international schools) of the Gulf countries are incapable of producing high-school students of an international standard. A typical student from a local school will require an additional 18-months of specialised tuition to get him (and it is invariably a "him")up to the standard necessary to attend a very ordinary Western university. There are no Emiratis, Saudis, Kuwaitis, Qataris etc in MIT or Cambridge.

This is partly because of the general incuriosity referred to earlier in the thread, and partly because lowly-paid teaching jobs will not attract Gulf Arabs, so all of the teachers are Egyptian, Jordanian, Pakistani etc. and because they are effectively migrant workers they are afraid and unable to impose discipline in the schools.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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Just shows how degeneration is possible. The lettering and numbers we use on this forum are arabic in origin. It is heartbreaking to think that the arabic golden age of mathematics, medicine, science in terms of astronomy gave so much in terms of culture to the world and much of it well ahead of any other civilisation since, should be reduced to the study of a single work of fiction.

It just shows in a very stark way that fanaticism does not necessarily bring success with it. In fact from a look over the historical shoulder at the passages of the past while on the way to the chip-shop of clarity reveals that fanaticism in large groups tends to burn bright but falter and go out much quicker than other ways of life.
 

toughbutfair

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Having such assets has not helped the people in oil producing countries. This will be a spur for them to do something productive like European countries do.
 

owedtojoy

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And can you point to any of the countries which are the subject of the thread doing anything local yet? From what I can see, they're trying to invest in western companies in an effort to maintain their wealth. But what are they doing on the ground, in their own countries to prepare for cold turkey? Also - could you please resist the urge to make this thread about climate change? Because it's not about climate change.
You already admitted that it is about climate change, because climate change is what is driving these changes and forcing them to be much more rapid than they would be otherwise.

The energy transition has always been the obverse of the climate change discussion, because it is the best solution available. It is also why climate change deniers are also renewable-energy-solution deniers.

And, by the way, you are not the first to warn about refugees and chaos on the world's borders because of people fleeing desperate conditions. Climate scientists have been warning about it for 20 years. This is a recent article, but there are similar ones going all the way back to Al Gore and An Inconvenient Truth.


The Syrian refugee crisis is estimated to have caused about a million people to migrate to Europe. This occurred over years rather than a century, giving much less time for countries to adjust. Still, sea level rise driven by migration of this size might threaten the existence of nation states and result in unimaginable stress on resources and space. There is time to change course, but not much, and the longer we delay the harder it gets, the bigger the mountain we have to climb.
Ominously, the number of refugees/ displaced people in the world is at an all-time high, at 71 million people.


Having said my piece, I will gladly oblige by not saying the dreaded words "climate change" again (unless as an aside).
 
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middleground

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The very slow move from the most polluting fossil fuel consumption will create as much of a problem on the demand side as on the supply side with the US incurring expenses for both supply and demand changes. Ireland is lucky in that our rail and road fleets can switch to electric relatively easily given how small a country we are. The huge cost of fossil fuel subsidies will be another problem for companies who depend on them to be competitive and for countries who use them to keep rural voters onside.. Lots of change coming and it won't be the small number of countries mentioned in the article that have to incur the most pain. In Europe, the Polish coal industry will be at the front of the conflict arising from demands for change in our energy mix.
 

reg11

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How so? I'm not seeing the contradiction you're referring to.
If the oil states were concerned about declining demand due to new technologies one would expect them to be in a competitive mode by at least letting the world know about their actual reserves, or more likely by boosting that figure. Trying to scupper costly plans for big energy demanding transition projects around the world. If what you claim is true then oil should already be at comparatively low prices but it's not , it has been on a upward trajectory for years. What are the market projections into the future?

It used to be all about Peak Oil. What happened to that? If there is a decline in actual reserves then that should have an inflationary effect which should mitigate against a possible decline in demand. Swings and roundabouts.
 

owedtojoy

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It may (or may not) be informative that the number of attempted answers to the question in the op:

"What is the EU doing to brace itself for this (massive turmoil on our borders)? "

currently stands at a grand total of zero.
The poor old EU is a fairly ramshackle entity, not only less than fit for purpose, but unsure what the purpose is. It is criticised (hysterically, imho) on the one side for being a centralised "Empire", groaning under the Iron Heel of Cruella de Merkel, while on the other (like this instance) it is unmercifully thrashed for being weak, indecisive, unable to defend its borders and exert any influence in the world.

Both extremes are wrong - and grossly unhelpful. The EU was until recently an economic union, and the Single Market is still its strongest suit. Otherwise, it has been struggling to fulfil the terms of the Treaty of Rome and create an "ever closer union" among European peoples. It is not an easy task.

That being said, the man out ahead is Emanuel Macron, who has a vision for an integrated Europe with its own Defence Policy, its own Border Force, and its own Foreign Policy. That seems to be in line with that the Commission is thinking at the moment, but there is a long way to go. Germany has not expressed an opinion.


I cannot say I agree with this 100% - certainly, Europe needs a Foreign Policy where it can influence events in the Middle East and North Africa, where the US is signalling it will not consider Europe's interests, or indeed any common interests at all. But the devil will be in the details - ending national vetoes would not be in Ireland's interests, for example.

And, going back to the OP, I do not see why Europe (or anyone) should be assisting the elites of Venezuela and Iraq to preserve their wealth, most of it stolen from the people of those countries. At the very least, we should be prepared to repatriate money in the banks accounts of oligarchs and gangsters, from any petro-state.
 

reg11

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It may (or may not) be informative that the number of attempted answers to the question in the op:

"What is the EU doing to brace itself for this (massive turmoil on our borders)? "

currently stands at a grand total of zero.
That question arose here before when the Syrian crisis unleashed millions. It was understood then that when masses of humanity are at borders there's nothing the EU can do but let them in, apart from paying countries like Turkey to harbour them in their countries. That gives massive power to such countries and if that cost gets too great then the EU is in effect snookered. The only other option which nobody in their right mind would do, is for some EU leader to give the order to shoot to kill. In other words they'd have to be taken in. It's a sort of chilling thought considering the Mid East is a powder keg that always in mode of igniting. The odds are that some day it will do so with a domino effect.
 

reg11

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The poor old EU is a fairly ramshackle entity, not only less than fit for purpose, but unsure what the purpose is. It is criticised (hysterically, imho) on the one side for being a centralised "Empire", groaning under the Iron Heel of Cruella de Merkel, while on the other (like this instance) it is unmercifully thrashed for being weak, indecisive, unable to defend its borders and exert any influence in the world.

Both extremes are wrong - and grossly unhelpful. The EU was until recently an economic union, and the Single Market is still its strongest suit. Otherwise, it has been struggling to fulfil the terms of the Treaty of Rome and create an "ever closer union" among European peoples. It is not an easy task.

That being said, the man out ahead is Emanuel Macron, who has a vision for an integrated Europe with its own Defence Policy, its own Border Force, and its own Foreign Policy. That seems to be in line with that the Commission is thinking at the moment, but there is a long way to go. Germany has not expressed an opinion.


I cannot say I agree with this 100% - certainly, Europe needs a Foreign Policy where it can influence events in the Middle East and North Africa, where the US is signalling it will not consider Europe's interests, or indeed any common interests at all. But the devil will be in the details - ending national vetoes would not be in Ireland's interests, for example.

And, going back to the OP, I do not see why Europe (or anyone) should be assisting the elites of Venezuela and Iraq to preserve their wealth, most of it stolen from the people of those countries. At the very least, we should be prepared to repatriate money in the banks accounts of oligarchs and gangsters, from any petro-state.
How is a more integrated Europe going to solve the problem of an avalanche of millions from the Mid East?

The oligarchs and gangsters could cause a massive recession in the world tomorrow by moving their investments. Isnt that why Bush facilitated the repatriation of the extended Bin Laden family soon after 9/11. Isn't there a school of thought that the petro oligarchs and royalty would do our dirty work for us with the armaments sold by countries like our own and kill those who might overwhelm us, in a mutual interest sort of logic?

The problem with your repatriation of funds is that it would facilitate many to leave their troubled countries and to where would they head? Nigeria is an example of a country that has high migration due to individuals having the funds to do so.
 

Kevin Parlon

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All of those inventions were made hundreds of years ago!
Actually every single one of them bar the fountain pen was invented before the religion was founded. It's a (in the true sense of the word) pathetic attempt to counter claims of intellectual sterility.
 

Kevin Parlon

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If the oil states were concerned about declining demand due to new technologies one would expect them to be in a competitive mode by at least letting the world know about their actual reserves, or more likely by boosting that figure.
Which is to misunderstand what's driving the shift away from fossil fuels. It's not being driven by a fear they're going to run out and lowering the cost will only delay the inevitable. This is why the Norwegians are going gangbusters on production this decade. We're in the last hurrah for oil. Also: why would you seek to lower the price of the only thing you have to sell when you know that the market for it is going to disappear before you've pumped it all?

Trying to scupper costly plans for big energy demanding transition projects around the world. If what you claim is true then oil should already be at comparatively low prices but it's not , it has been on a upward trajectory for years. What are the market projections into the future?
No. The world isn't ready to stop using oil and won't be for some decades. And oil has not been on an upward trajectory.

It used to be all about Peak Oil. What happened to that? If there is a decline in actual reserves then that should have an inflationary effect which should mitigate against a possible decline in demand. Swings and roundabouts.
Peak oil was a myth born out of a failure to include technological progress in its extraction. There is a finite amount of oil, but it is nowhere near scarce enough for us to run out of it before we transition (for various reasons) out of it. I never bought peak oil and I think it was pushed by a desire to wean us off of it (a good thing when possible).
 


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