NOTE: YOU ARE LOOKING AT AN ARCHIVED VERSION OF THE HIGHTOWER LOWDOWN.

We're working on migrating all of our archives to the new website, but in the meantime, you can read this older version. Just note that some links may not work -- if you experience a serious problem or otherwise need help, just email deanna@jimhightower.com.

GUESS WHO'S DOING GREEN ENERGY

Cowboy hat By Jim Hightower and Phillip Frazer - Sat., 3/7/09
Bookmark and Share

If you want to see the bold future of alternative energy, don't look to the relatively timid plan coming out of the Obama White House--look to the Persian Gulf.

Yes, the oil-soaked monarchies of such Gulf States as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates are designing, developing, funding, and building clean, renewable energy. It reconfigures the meaning of "ironic" to see these OPEC oligarchs become the pioneers of a green world.

On January 13, New York Times writer Elizabeth Rosenthal reported, "They are aggressively pouring billions of dollars made in the oil fields into new green technologies. They are establishing billion-dollar clean-technology investment funds. And they are putting millions of dollars behind research projects at universities...and setting up green research parks."

In just one small country, Abu Dhabi, the crown prince is investing $15 billion in renewables-- as much as Obama has proposed for all of the United States.

From developing "green concrete" and new solar devices to building a model city that generates no carbon emissions, leaders of the Gulf States are funding breakthroughs that will redefine the world's energy economy. They also are gaining patents, manufacturing capacity, and market power that could put them in a familiar position: the world's dominant energy provider. Indeed, they candidly state that they intend to be the Silicon Valley of alternative energy.

Time for our leaders to think much bigger than they are now about green energy--and also about democratizing it.



Bookmark and Share
Filed Under: Environment, Middle East