Woman in water amidst boats

即将到来的石油难民潮

内罗毕—石油财富可能是一个诅咒,这一思想由来已久——也不需要解释了。每隔几十年,能源价格就会一飞冲天,人们争相寻找新的石油资源。接着,供给最终超过需求,价格有从天上落到地下。暴跌越大越突然,社会和地缘政治影响就越大。

上一次石油大崩盘发生在20世纪80年代——并且改变了世界。1980年春,我还是德克萨斯州 油田上的一名年轻工人,我目睹美国基准原油价格上涨到每桶45美元——相当于今天的138美元。到了1988年,石油价格还不到每桶9美元,1986年一年就暴跌了一半价格。

汽油价格大降让司机受益。但是,在其他方面,油价下跌的影响是灾难性的——最为明显的便是苏联,其经济严重依赖石油出口。苏联经济增长率下降到只有20世纪70年代的三分之一。随着苏联的日益疲软,社会动荡开始增加,最终导致1989年柏林墙的倒塌和中东欧共产主义的崩溃。两年后,苏联本身也不复存在。

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