Vom Öl zur Information

Scheich Yamani, der frühere Ölminister Saudi Arabiens und Mitbegründer der OPEC meinte einmal: „Ebenso wenig wie die Steinzeit aufgrund eines Mangels an Steinen zu Ende ging, wird das Ölzeitalter aufgrund eines Mangels an Öl zu Ende gehen.“ Stein hatte ausgedient, weil der Menschheit mit Bronze und Eisen bessere Materialien zur Verfügung standen. Wird auch Öl ausgedient haben, wenn andere Energietechnologien ähnliche Verbesserungen bieten?

Seit den Ölschocks in den 1970er Jahren bestimmt die Bedrohung durch die Erschöpfung der Energieressourcen das Denken der Menschen. Unsere Ängste sind aber nicht auf Öl beschränkt. So wurde in dem 1972 erschienenen Bestseller Grenzen des Wachstums für 1981 das Ende der Goldvorräte prognostiziert, Silber und Quecksilber hätten im Jahr 1985 folgen sollen und Zink im Jahr 1990. Wir haben den Vorteil, dass man im Nachhinein immer schlauer ist, aber sogar heute gründen sich noch die meisten Diskussionen zu diesem Thema auf die Logik der Grenzen des Wachstums .

Außerdem geht es nicht nur darum, dass uns die natürlichen Ressourcen nicht ausgegangen sind. Der amerikanische Ökonom Julian Simon schloss 1980 mit einer Gruppe von Umweltaktivisten eine Wette ab. Simon behauptete, wenn höhere Preise ein Maß für Rohstoffknappheit wären, sollten die Umweltaktivisten doch in Aktien irgendeines Rohstoffs investieren. Die Aktivisten investierten ihr Geld in Chrom, Kupfer, Nickel, Zinn und Wolfram und wählten dazu einen Zeitrahmen von 10 Jahren. Im September 1990 war der Preis aller Metalle gefallen: Chrom um 5 % und Zinn sogar um kolossale 74 %.

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