Impact of the Peaking of World Oil Production on the Global Balance of Power
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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This thesis explores how the peaking of world oil production influences the global balance of power. On the one hand, the geological phenomenon of peaking, modeled by Hubberts peak curve, gives the timeframe and the evolution of oil depletion. On the other hand, the impact of energy resources on economic and global balance is perceived differently in world politics. Idealism, realism, and offensive realism lead to different societal behaviors. In this context, oil, as one of the main sources of power for transportation, has a particular role to play. In this context, the relation between the peaking of oil and the global balance of power is scrutinized under the lens of systems theory. Therefore, a simple model to describe the world is developed. This research has found that the peaking of world oil production will increase the resource awareness of great powers. While oil production declines, nations will try to preserve their high level of organization. World politics will shift from idealism, typical of our present growing economy, to realism and offensive realism. Economic rules will move to those of a negative-sum game. As a consequence, minor geopolitical players will have to align with great powers to ensure minimal losses in their oil supply. These great powers will wait until the last moment to start mitigation measures against oil depletion, as too early a transition towards new sources of energy would constitute a risk to their current geopolitical position.
- Government and Political Science
- Geology, Geochemistry and Mineralogy
- Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering and Control of Production Systems