Future of Oil, Nuclear Energy

Future of Oil, Nuclear EnergyFuture of Oil, Nuclear Energy

Mohsen Maserat, a professor at Germany's University of Osnabrück in a lecture at the Institute for Middle East Strategic Studies in Tehran said, " the emergence of China and India in the oil market resulted in an imbalance in America's equations to set oil prices. However, in trying to maintain their hegemony over the world, the Americans try to interfere in the Middle East energy affairs despite the fact that they hardly have any need for Mideast energy."

Underlining the fact that oil is both a blessing and a curse, he says,"

Imagine there was no fossil fuel in the earth's crust, humans would have no alternative but to resort to renewable. Thus they would focus their scientific and economic effort on optimizing this type of energy. Under the circumstances, it would be highly likely that the world would be dominated by another brand of capitalism and industrial direction. More importantly, nations by and large would be self-reliant and the international landscape would not be burdened with the destructive relations whose origin is crude oil."

Noting that the United States has always controlled the oil market which has been in favor of not only Arab states but also Europe, Maserat said, "The supply and demand theory has never played a key  role in the oil market. Take the 1970s as an example when in spite of a huge increase in demand, prices declined. Between the 1930s and 2005, the oil market was monopolized by the US. However, the emergence of China and India (as formidable economic powers) changed everything and prices soared, yet to marginalize their competitors including Iran, Russia and Venezuela, the Americans joined Saudi Arabia to bring down prices."

Maserat believes that the only way to reduce  reliance on fossil fuels is to forge a global agreement on the framework of Kyoto Protocol that is an international treaty, extending the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that commits countries to reduce greenhouse gases emissions, based on the premise that (a) global warming exists and (b) man-made CO2 emissions have caused it.

The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997 and came into force on 16 February 2005. There are currently 192 parties (Canada withdrew in December 2012) to the Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol implemented the objective of the UNFCCC to fight global warming by reducing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere to "a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system."

"If OPEC keeps to the path of rational economic rent-seeking and tries to reduce production, oil prices will increase, helping OPEC members to shift to renewable energy resources. This win-win situation would lead them to reduce dependency on fossil fuels. The strategy now adopted by the US and Saudi Arabia complies neither to economic nor environmental norms or conventions," the Persian daily Ta'adol quoted the lecturer as saying.

On the critical issue of replacing fossil fuels with nuclear energy, Dr. Maserat said, "As long as there are traditional visions in giant organizations such as OPEC, it is next to impossible to imagine the future without oil and gas. The world definitely will not have any problem concerning fossil resources in the next 500 years, yet their pollution and environmental fallout demands we curb consumption. Should the widespread use of fossil fuels continue as it is now, global temperatures will rise from 2 °C to 4 °C which will put billions of lives at risk."