Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Piracy and the Danger to Fossil Fuel Supplies

Over the past few weeks the dangers that the world faces from piracy have been more and more apparent. At first, a Ukrainian ship carrying a number of Main Battle Tanks was taken by Somali pirates. Then came one successful engagement by the Indian navy with the pirates where they drove some of these thugs off, immediately followed by the taking of a ship with mainly Indian crew who seem to have been released following the payment of a substantial ransom. In fact, over 70 ships seem to have been taken in recent weeks by the same thieves who seem to operate with impunity in the region.

Now comes the most audacious act of these pirates, the taking of the Saudi oil tanker, the Sirius Star owned by the huge Saudi Aramco business. The tanker is reputed to be carrying crude oil worth $ 100 million at today's low prices, still an enormous amount of money by any standards you may want to use. From the raison d'etre of this blog, there is an argument to be made against fossil fuels using the hijacking of this tanker as an example. If frustrated, the pirates could do what Saddam Hussein did when he set the Kuwaiti oilfields ablaze - set this tanker ablaze. Or, they could damage the vessel and dump crude in the sea causing a major ecological disaster like Saddam did, again, when his army was driven from Kuwait and he wanted to render the Kuwaiti water desalination facilities unusable. These are all pointers to the risks that arise solely from using fossil fuels in an increasingly dangerous world. The situation in Somalia, therefore, is one more reason why this filthy fuel, oil, and its family in coal need to be done away with the world over.

There is too much at stake to continue to use this trash anymore.

No comments: