Politics, Poverty and the Planet

Toby Shelley


Toby Shelley

Distributed for Zed Books

240 pages | 5.4375 x 8.5 | © 2005  
Paper $29.95 ISBN: 9781842775219 Published April 2005 For sale in North and South America only
Access to oil and natural gas, and their prices, are hugely important axes of geo-political strategy and global economic prospects and have been for a century. This book, written by a Financial Times journalist who has long covered the energy sector, provides readers with the essential information they need for understanding the shifting structure of the global oil and gas economy: where the reserves lie, who produces what, trade patterns, consumption trends, prices. The book highlights political and social issues in the global energy sector -- the domestic inequality, civil conflict and widespread poverty that dependence on oil exports inflicts on developing countries and the strategies of wealthy countries (especially the United States) to control oil-rich regions. Energy demand is on a strong upward trend. The reality of the environmental damage caused by fossil fuels cannot be doubted. What are likely to be the human consequences: changing disease vectors, unprecedented flooding, mass migration? And what is to be done both in the wealthy countries where consumerism drives increasing growth in demand and in developing countries aiming to grow their economies faster? Are alternative energy sources a panacea? Or will the much vaunted hydrogen economy still be based on oil, natural gas and coal? Here is a book that addresses what is perhaps the most pervasive and destabilizing of the issues facing humanity.
1. Oil and Natural Gas: The Issues

2. Insatiable Demand and the Quest for Supply
Feeding frenzy
Production now and for the future
Financing the consumption frenzy

3. Conflict, Poverty, Inequality: the Mixed Blessings of Oil
The revenue rollercoaster
Smoothing the ride
Bitter harvest from 'sowing the oil'
Oil and poverty
The petro-economies and the scramble for spoils
Rent allocation and corruption: shades of grey
Oil and civil conflict
Local versus national government
Oil and labour
Cross-border tensions

4. Oil Security and Global Strategy
Cold War years
Producers to the fore
The IEA: meeting collective action with collective action
Garrisoning the Middle East
War on terror: new name, same policy
Securing the Caspian or opening Pandora's Box?
Targets galore
China: tomorrow's bogeyman
Controlling Iraq, replacing Saudi Arabia?

5. Petro-Nationalism
Opec: the producers stake their claim
From bear pit to central bank
Return of the companies
An Opec for natural gas producers?
Rise of the new consumers

6. 'Alternatives' to Oil: Environmental and Security Imperatives
Kyoto: up to the top of the hill (and down again)
The cost of cleaning up emissions
War gaming meets global warming
'Alternatives': blurring security and sustainability
Evaluating the 'alternatives'
Hydrogen economy: Just another hydrocarbon economy?

7. Conclusion: Posing the Questions


1. World oil and natural gas proven reserves
2. Top 10 oil producers
3. Top 10 gas producers
4. Global oil demand: Projections
5. World natural gas demand: Projections
6. Oil Prices: nominal and real
7. Oil and oil products as a proportion export earnings of Opec countries
For more information, or to order this book, please visit https://www.press.uchicago.edu
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