By Christopher B. Daly
Even the Saudis get it: fossil fuels are ready for the dustbin of history.
One of the rising princes in the House of Saud announced this week that his oil-dependent nation is taking steps for life after oil. Some Saudis may actually have to develop skills and do work that the rest of the world values; some may even have to pay taxes. (In fact, my hope is that all Saudis soon have to pay taxes, as the government’s share of oil revenues declines. That way, Saudis will feel a growing sense of ownership over their own government. As it is now, the government can tell its people to get lost, because they don’t pay for it. In the future, the Saudi people may come to resent a regime of taxation without representation. They may even decide to overthrow the whole rotten system.)
Not since the collapse of the whale-oil industry have we seen such a dramatic shift in economics and ecology.
Elsewhere in fossil fuels:
–BP reported quarterly losses of about half a billion dollars. (Remember that p.r. slogan “Beyond Petroleum”? They might want to bring that one back and say it with feeling next time.)
–And China (usually tied with India for worst polluter on the planet) has decided to put the brakes on more coal-fired power plants.
All of which makes me wonder: How long before Obama pulls back his “all of the above” energy policy and declares that the faster America moves into renewables the better it will be for the planet and for the U.S. economy?