Oil prices are actually at an all time low as supplies are on at an all time high. This article argues however that the oil corporations are so big that they will just diversify as climate change looms larger. In the end they will sell worthless reserves off to unregulated startup oil companies and oil will become like drugs.Those startups will function like drug cartels function today. Selling oil to those addicted to oil. Pretty picture? NO. Our future. Maybe.
PS – this is an enormously loooooog read.
Shell Is Looking Forward
The fossil-fuel companies expect to profit from climate change. I went to a private planning meeting and took notes.
We think democracy is better,” said the jet-fuel salesperson. “But is it? In terms of outcomes?”
In a conference room overlooking the gray Thames, a group of young corporate types tried to imagine how the world could save itself, how the international community could balance the need for growth with our precarious ecological situation. For the purposes of our speculative scenarios, everything except for carbon was supposed to be up in the air, and democracy’s track record is mixed.
A graph from Chinese social media showing how many trees the country is planting — a patriotic retort to the Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg — had a real effect on the room. Combine that with the Chinese state-led investment in clean-energy technology and infrastructure and everyone admired how the world’s largest source of fossil-fuel emissions was going about transition. That’s what the salesperson meant by “outcomes”: decarbonization.
Regional experts from sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East–North Africa also entertained the democracy question, pointing to Iraqi disillusionment with voting and economic growth in Rwanda under Paul Kagame (“He’s technically a dictator, but it’s working”). The China expert said the average regional Communist Party official is probably more accountable for his or her performance than the average U.K. member of Parliament, a claim no one in the room full of Brits seemed to find objectionable. The moderator didn’t pose the question to me, the American expert, presumably because our national sense of democratic entitlement is inviolable.
Go there and read and read and read. More next week.