ARC Book Talk: Dan Rabinowitz Presents: The Power of Deserts

SEP 10, 2020 | 4:00 PM TO 5:30 PM





September 10, 2020: 4:00 PM-5:30 PM






Advanced Research Collaborative (ARC)



Register online to participate

Dan Rabinowitz, Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Tel-Aviv University will be discussing his new book, The Power of Deserts (Stanford University Press, 2020) with discussant, David Abraham, Emeritus Professor of Law at University of Miami. 

Climate change and the Middle East are often associated with intractable problems, but The Power of Deserts is cautiously optimistic. The imminent demise of oil, it argues, combined with bad climate predictions, create a sense of urgency among the oil rich countries of the Gulf that might convince them to turn away from oil and opt for solar energy.  A counterintuitive argument? Perhaps. But if you read the book I hope you will agree it's based on sound analysis. 

The global transition to renewables has started, but it is being hampered by a robust regime of carbon-subsidies that threaten to artificially extend the age of carbon and turn global warming into climate chaos. Within this context, the oil-rich countries of the Gulf, accounting among them for 30 percent of global oil production, could play a pivotal role. They could decide, for example, that their best interest in the post-oil era lies in an early switch to solar energy, massive  investment in renewable capacity globally and finally in voluntary curtailment of their own oil and gas production.

If they follow this trajectory, they will not only help themselves with the painful transition to the Post-oil era, but also become a linchpin in the universal effort to curb climate change. In fact few states, institutions or individuals anywhere are in as good a position as this small group of Middle Eastern countries to make such a dramatic contribution to the climate effort.