The West's Faustian Pact on Oil Comes Home to Roost

From rising food prices contributing to unrest in Egypt and Tunisia to the role of peak oil and poverty in sparking the Egyptian revolution, there's been plenty of discussion here on TreeHugger about what all the turmoil in North Africa and the Middle East means for sustainability. But we're not the only ones. I've just come across a powerful Leader article over at The Independent that exposes the West's vulnerability tooil price volatility. We have, says The Independent, only ourselves to blame:"The world is reaping the consequences of bad geopolitical decisions going back decades. After the Second World War, the West entered into a Faustian bargain with autocratic Middle Eastern regimes. We would buy their oil exports and turn a blind eye to the repression of their populations. In return, they would buy Western-manufactured weapons and luxury goods. China has made a similar bargain with repressive regimes more recently. But the Arab revolutions are upsetting those deals."

Nothing new here of course, but the case is powerfully made. One can only hope that the conclusion turns out to be true—that the uprisings in the Middle East might finally cement our resolve to pursue energy independence. Anything else would be too depressing, and too stupid, for words.

Tags: Economics | Peak Oil | United Kingdom

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