Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Over half of all the oil in the world has been used up in less than a century. This natural resource has been used up at an amazing speed with little thought for the future. And it has been sold amazingly cheaply. I am always amazed that a litre of petrol is still cheaper than a litre of bottled water.

I wonder if part of the reason is that most of the oil fields in the world are effectively owned by the state. Politicians have very short time horizons. They only look as far as the next election. Dictators only look to the end of their reign. Therefore, politicians want to see as much oil pumped as soon as quickly as possible. They have not interest in conserving their asset for later generations.

Maybe it would have been different if the oil fields were owned by families. I suspect that they want to keep more of their oil as an asset for their familes future. Maybe the price of oil would have been higher and this resource not used so quickly, if it were not in the hands of politicians.

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