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Fossil fuel depletion could cause countries to shrink or grow

Updated on March 22, 2011

As supplies of fossil fuels dwindle,political pressure may change national boundaries.

By now, you have all probably heard the term 'fossil fuel depletion'. When the oil runs out, people in industrialized countries will be thrown into a crisis. The most important aspect of this crisis is food production. Nearly all farms in industrialized countries are dependent upon gasoline, since the farm tractors on these farms require gasoline as fuel. If there is a shortage of gasoline, there will be a shortage of food, as farm tractors run out of gas and farms stop producing food. Widespread food shortages will put national governments under tremendous pressure. It is likely that some of the weaker governments will fall, and their territory will be taken over by stronger, oil-rich states. Essentially, countries that lack oil could disappear, while oil-rich states become larger.

Let's take Africa as an example. Nigeria, which has large reserves of oil, could expand it's boundaries, until it absorbs oil-poor states around it. In the Middle East, an oil-rich state like Saudi Arabia may grow larger and larger until it absorbs oil-poor states like Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. In Europe, oil-poor states like Germany and Poland may become satellites of oil-rich Russia. In South America, an oil-rich state like Venezuela may absorb oil-poor states like Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru. If a state has no oil, it may cease to exist, and will be easily conquered by one of it's oil-rich neighbors.

How long can an oil-rich state co-exist with it's oil-poor neighbors? That depends on what kind of economic and military exhanges are made. An oil-rich state like Saudi Arabia will eventually need large numbers of soldiers to protect it's oil resources. Where will these soldiers come from? They would probabaly come from Saudi Arabia's oil-poor neighbors, like Jordan and Syria. The trade-off could involve trading oil for troops. Saudi Arabia could provide fuel to farmers in Syria and Jordan, so they could produce food, and in return, Syria and Jordan could provide soldiers to Saudi Arabia, to defend Saudi Arabia's oil reserves. Eventually, the border lines between Saudi Arabia and Jordan would be erased. Many states could cease to exist in a similar way.

The only equitable way to handle these impending changes is to create a framework for international negotiation and cooperation. This framework would have to be based on humanitarian ideals, not on the artificial concepts of military or economic domination.     

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