Friday, June 20, 2008

The Jiddah summit: a critical response

"A Meeting at Jiddah" takes a second look at last week's Saudi decision to increase oil output. It's a subtle article, arguing that this event was actually quite significant. The author thinks the increase isn't as certain as others have thought.

Note, too, this linkage of oil to other huge issues:
A second concern of the Middle Eastern oil producers is the growing cost and scarcity of food. With droughts, floods and the increasing cost of fertilizer cutting world food production, a number of countries are now limiting food exports. This is a major problem for the arid Middle East which must import food for its growing populations. Then there is the effort in many countries to increase production of food-based biofuels which is seen as driving up the cost of food to unaffordable levels for many. Several wealthy Middle Eastern oil states already have begun investing in agriculture projects abroad in an effort to insure a dedicated supply of food in the years ahead.

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