Woman in water amidst boats

Die drohende Welle der Ölflüchtlinge

NAIROBI – Die Idee, Ölreichtum könne auch ein Fluch sein, ist nicht neu – und bedarf wohl keiner Erklärung. Alle paar Jahrzehnte steigen die Energiepreise in den Himmel und lösen eine fieberhafte Suche nach neuen Ölquellen aus. Und dann übersteigt das Angebot irgendwann die Nachfrage, und die Preise landen unsanft auf dem Boden. Je härter und abrupter der Fall ist, desto großer sind die sozialen und geopolitischen Auswirkungen.

Der letzte große Zusammenbruch der Ölpreise fand in den 1980ern statt – und hat die Welt verändert. Als ich im Frühling 1980 als junger Mann im texanischen Ölgebiet arbeitete, erlebte ich, wie der Preis für den US-Bezugswert Crude bis auf 45 Dollar pro Barrel stieg – was heute 138 Dollar entspricht. 1988 dann erzielte Öl weniger als neun Dollar pro Barrel, nachdem es allein im Jahr 1986 die Hälfte seines Wertes verloren hatte.

Natürlich profitierten die Autofahrer von sinkenden Benzinpreisen. An anderer Stelle aber waren die Auswirkungen katastrophal – nirgendwo mehr als in der Sowjetunion, deren Wirtschaft stark von Ölexporten abhing. Die Wachstumsrate des Landes fiel auf ein Drittel des Wertes der 1970er. Mit dieser Schwächung der Sowjetunion kam es zu sozialen Unruhen, die 1989 im Fall der Berliner Mauer und im Zusammenbruch des Kommunismus in Mittel- und Osteuropa gipfelten. Zwei Jahre später gab es auch die Sowjetunion selbst nicht mehr.

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