The definition of insanity: the world’s greatest oil producing nation is looking to dramatically increase its use of solar and other renewable energy sources, while the Republican Party of the world’s greatest oil consuming nation is saying “drill baby drill”.
The Saudi government has decided that, for both economic and environmental reasons, it should reduce its consumption of oil in favor of renewable energy. The plan is that by 2032 a third of the country’s electricity will be solar. Given that the Saudis are planning to invest US$109 billion in solar power it appears that they are putting their money where their mouth is.
The Saudis are not stopping at solar either. Their oil minister has described global warming as “among humanity’s most pressing concerns” and as such, there are also plans to invest in other forms of renewable energy including wind, geothermal and nuclear power.
In the meantime in the good old USA, the world’s greatest oil consumer, the Republican Party is denying that global warming even exists, while at the same time taking the Obama Administration to task over a half billion dollar loan guarantee to a failed oil company called Solyndra.
The mantra of the Republican Party, “drill baby drill”, suggests that America can drill its way out of oil dependency. All the experts say that is not even remotely possible. The Republican position becomes even more preposterous when one considers that the IMF is warning that oil prices will double over the next ten years.
In summary, the world’s greatest producer of oil is turning to solar energy, the cost of the oil is predicted to rise dramatically and America has only limited supplies of the commodity. One would think that even if Republicans did not believe in global warming, which in of itself is an absurd position, the economics of oil would drive them to support alternative energy.
Yet, they remain steadfast in their opposition to green technology.
The answer of course is simple—this is how the power of money and lobbying corrupts the American political system to the detriment of both the public and the economy.
Jonathan Ledwidge is the author of the books Clearing The Bull: The Financial Crisis and Why Banks Need a Human Transformation and a Mannequin for President.