An advantage of living in the Arabian Gulf as a citizen of the U.S.A. is that I sometimes see things in a different way. That's what this post is about - a different way of creating a sustainable economic and environmental future. I have no idea where the idea might go but, for fear no one has thought of it before, I share it here and I will share it privately with some of my colleagues in Qatar who might be able to do something about it.
One of the most negative impacts of the post-9-11-01 era is the suspicion in the West over being dependent on the Arabian Gulf and broader Arab world for oil. This has driven the West to risky off-shore drilling the likes of which brought us the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The impact of the BP gusher will be felt for generations and untold millions of people are suffering and economies risked – all in the name of avoiding dependence on oil from the Gulf. The West needs to stop being so paranoid and taking unnecessary risks but they won’t do it without some assurance of stability and security.
What if OPEC, perhaps even led by Qatar, proposed a steady supply of oil/gas at a stable price for the next ten years (maybe more)? A steady price would assure the oil producers of a constant source of income and it would avoid the precarious ups and downs of the commodity market. During the ten years, the West, in cooperation with the Gulf, would pursue research to perfect other energy sources that would gradually replace oil/gas over the next 50-100 years (the projected natural lifetime of these resources). By proposing an idea like this, the West could stop risky practices, achieve financial stability, and create new energy markets. The Arabian Gulf would have an immediate steady source of income while it sought other partnerships for new energy sources that will secure its long-term future. Both the West and the Gulf benefit as a more trusting and mutual relationships is established and we all get a glimpse of what a sustainable environment would be like.
Securing freedom is at least partially dependent on creating economic vitality. Suspicion, exploitation, and self-serving purposes have failed us. Perhaps it is time to look at what we have to gain by joining together in resolving the globe's energy and environmental challenges...