The March to a Post Fossil Fuel World Has Begun, Just Ask the Saudis
As Dave Chappelle recently pronounced, we are living in the age of spin. So, when trying to discern what's really going on in the world, it's usually better to judge actions instead of words.
A good example of this pertains to climate science. While, inexplicably, many in the United States debate whether or not to believe the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change, the insurance industry has no such debate. Insurance companies are raising rates to deal with the "new normal" of climate and the disasters related to it. Bond rating company Moody's has told coastal cities that their credit rating will be downgraded unless they begin to prepare for more flooding and extreme weather. This has also been accompanied by an explosion of renewable energy installations, increasing the economies of scale for wind and solar, while dropping the prices of all energy.
But juxtaposed to this is Saudi Aramco--the state oil company of Saudi Arabia--preparing for an Initial Public Offering (IPO). The economics of oil have not been kind the last couple of years, so it seems an odd time for Aramco to sell shares. But the Financial Times has an excellent article looking at an oil titan preparing for a post-oil world by diversifying into other industries like nuclear power and chemicals. The IPO seems to be a key fundraising exercise to fund that post-oil vision.
Aramco isn't getting out of the oil business anytime soon, but it's preparing for when it will.