July 23, 2004

Is Al Queda Waiting Out the Oil Age?

In this article on SoxBlog a bit of Dr. Barnett commentary on competing future timelines just stopped me in my tracks.

Al Qaeda timeline in terms of "waiting out" the oil economy

The idea of Al Queda thinking that the end of the oil age will be the end of the current regimes is highly tempting. Ultimately, I think it's just not going to work.

If part of Al Queda's strategy is to gather strength for the end of the oil age regime collapse then part of our intricate dance to thwart them is to ensure that the end of the oil age does not end the demand for hydrocarbons. And we've already accomplished that if the oil age is eclipsed by the hydrogen age. Hydrogen is plentiful in hydrocarbons and currently the most common way to generate hydrogen on a large scale is to use hydrocarbons as a feedstock.

Hydrocarbons become much less geopolitically critical in a hydrogen age but they don't lose any value as an economic commodity. They just gain a whole host of competitors and OPEC loses its ability to impose crippling price spikes in world energy markets by temporarily slowing or halting exports.

Current regimes may not survive the demise of their power to roil world energy markets but energy income will likely remain very high for a long time to come, certainly well beyond the age of oil.

Posted by TMLutas at July 23, 2004 02:36 PM