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Monday, 8 April 2013

TRANSCEND MEDIA SERVICE » A Future after Oil: Six Proposals


by Johan Galtung, eight Apr 2013 â€" TRANSCEND Media Support

Keynote Speech â€" Doha, Qatar â€" 2 April 2013

Peak Oil: Problems and Possibilities in the GCC-Gulf Cooperation Council Countries

Distinguished Participants,

The organizers should have high praise for setting this important, almost existential for some, concern on the agenda for an international meeting. Oil and gasoline currently being constrained there clearly is a peakâ€"in the North Sea some many top quality power outage roller shades accessible years back for Denmark, the United kingdom and Norway. But this conference is not only about regardless of whether the peak is driving us, right now, in the future, and in that case when but about and then what. Diagnosis, prognosis, therapy.

However, the peak may be far more owing to demand from customers than to provide far more thanks to the difficulties induced by converting the energy saved in fossil fuels than to the extraction getting to be too high-priced to spend off. To the contrary, the much more high-priced the greater the earnings as proportion of the expenses, and presented the oil-gas habit the richest in a very inegalitarian globe can often spend. In a much better planet energy for day-to-day requirements ought to be as freely obtainable to everyone as walking on a road, or as well being and training in a good welfare state (they nonetheless exist). We danger fossil vitality for the handful of only, not a peak.

On the desire aspect, all in excess of, far more or considerably less, there is a flip to the different: the many environmentally friendly strength conversions. “The Surgeon Common has made the decision that smoking is undesirable for you” has a adhere to up: “fossil fuels are poor for us“. We are not there, but it also took significantly time for large quantities to give up cigarette smoking. A massive shock, and powerful proof of a causal link, is required. The improve in organic disasters and the erratic weather may possibly soon offer that.

The globe sees other peaks. Peak US Empireâ€"not USAâ€"with China coming up, Peak West with Rest coming up, headed by BRICS, Peak inter-state wars with inter-nation violence coming up. A very dynamic entire world.

China burns coal-oil-gas, but is also a huge pioneer in inexperienced energies with photovoltaic and solar cells and electric powered vehicles, created in ever greener techniques. In the United states of america highly efficient coal-oil-gasoline lobbies avoid the greening and promotes ecologically negative extraction. Politicians are purchased by banking companies, banking companies spend in that extraction.

The globe is relocating East, the East is transferring eco-friendly. And so are tens of millions. Decreasing desire will be a function of Damage X Environmentally friendly, boycotting the firms triggering harm, “girlcotting” the inexperienced. Even a three% powerful boycott cuts deeply into profits. Companies, beware.

A nation seeking for sustainable alternate options ought to give top priority to economic variety. Not one particular sector only, remember to!, but Primary, Secondary, Tertiary and Quaternaryâ€"reproductionâ€"sectors.

Listed here are 6 concrete proposals for Qatar:

[one] For the Primary sector: fish farming, off the coast, secured from storms, with refreshing ocean drinking water, much less vitality intensive than permitting the desert bloom for foodstuff, and considerably less high priced than imports. Fish desalinate the waters that feed them, but want some further foodstuff.

[2] For the Secondary sector: desalination, primarily based on parabolic mirrors reflecting photo voltaic power, with person desalinators like individual time items. Technological innovation for export as money-maker, with a Leontief input-output matrix not too distinct from right now.

[three] For the Tertiary sector: mediation, conflict resolution, like a Switzerland transferring East. This is not what diplomats are trained for, paid out for, and doâ€"promoting the pursuits of one’s very own stateâ€"but promoting the pursuits of mother nature, simple human needs and legal rights, the passions of all nations and states, civilizations and locations, planet interests. Bold, challenging, and not by negotiation to arrive at a ratifiable compromise, but by dialogue in a joint search for a new actuality that can accommodate fairly effectively all genuine interests. For this Qatar, like Switzerland, has to be neutral-nonaligned.

There is no this sort of heart for the entire worldâ€"for GCC, MENA (Center East & North Africa) and beyondâ€"for the time becoming. As a result, SIPRI (Stockholm Worldwide Peace Research Institute) in Stockholm focuses on (dis)armament documentation, PRIO (Peace Research Institute Oslo) in Oslo far more on violence than peace. Qatar has already provided the world a major present, Al Jazeeraâ€"as extended as it manages to be non-alignedâ€"with its remarkable ability to give the word (Russian: glasnost’) to all parties. Insert one issue, “and what would the Middle East/Afghanistan/Libya/Syria you would like to see?”-and Al Jazeera would be the globe peace journalism chief.

For the Quaternary sectorâ€"healing, reproducingâ€"three proposals.

[four] Not only financial development but social progress distribution. Thus, Richard Wilkinson et al in The Spirit Amount: Why Equality is Much better for Everybody[i] finds significantly less violence. Equivalent events meet far more effortlessly to fix troubles, breeding peace. Inequality in societies, locations, worlds breed terrorism and the far more lethal condition terrorism. The crucial is not to take from the prosperous and give to the very poor, but to raise the base up. Qatar should not only mediate peace, but be peace.[ii]

[five] Generating the gentle facet of Islam obvious to other people. When the West engages in its atrocious insults to Muslim dignity under the pretext of “freedom of expression”. Muslims usually slide into the trap of violence alternatively of currently being the nonviolence of the Prophet. Abbas Aroua, The Quest for Peace in the Islamic Custom[iii] states that the Muslim-Arab practice lags guiding the Qur’anic base. Observing is believing very good company methods, museums, Islamic artwork, seminars, dialogues[iv].

[6] The silence of the desert for silence tourism. Modest, monastery like lodgings, for meditation by itself or collectively, searching for non secular, internal expansion, guided, or not by world religions and planet sights.

These proposals can surf on two emerging trends in the planet: far more care for individuals and character, and considerably less materialism, more spiritual values, arts, creative imagination, and Islamic togetherness, sharing.

Building on these tendencies is a safe winner. Peak oil, or not.


[i]. Penguin, 2010.

[iv]. In Johan Galtung and Graeme MacQueen, Globalizing God, TUP 2008, the Epilogue is about that variety of dialogue, as a drama.


Johan Galtung, a professor of peace studies, dr hc mult, is rector of the TRANSCEND Peace College-TPU. He is creator of more than 150 publications on peace and relevant troubles, including ‘50 A long time-one hundred Peace and Conflict Perspectives,’ printed by the TRANSCEND College Push-TUP.

Editorials and posts originated on TMS could be freely reprinted, disseminated, translated and utilised as background content, supplied an acknowledgment and url to the source, TRANSCEND Media Services-TMS, is included. Thank you.

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