Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Oil in the Middle East

Kirthi Rao

AC-SS- 3


How has oil affected the people of the Middle East?

The distribution of oil in the Middle East has affected the development in both a positive and negative way. For countries with little oil on their land, the interruption of the distribution of oil causes both economic and political problems. However, for countries in the Middle East, the fear of no oil is small. OPEC, or Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, has the power to affect economies in countries worldwide, because of the world’s dependence of oil. POEC decides the price and amount of oil produced in its’ countries. In 1970, OPEC declared an embargo which caused a major economic decline in many countries, even developed countries. Many countries around the world are interdependent on each other, especially in the Middle East. The Persian Gulf War shows the link between economies of many nations. Oil has brought jobs, trade, and international communication and agreements.

The primary product in the Middle East is OIL and petrochemicals. Sadly, oil is a nonrenewable resource, meaning that It takes billions of years to create. Once the countries in the Middle East dig up and use all the oil, there will be on more and a severe economic decline. The Middle East is dependent on their oil, but they will soon need to find another product. The burning of fossil fuels, that include petroleum and oil, drills holes in the ozone layer, the Earth’s blanket that protects it from the Sun’s harmful rays. The ozone is thick with excess CO2, and that causes bits and pieces of harmful rays warm the earth, thus the name Global Warming.

How does the water supply influence the development of the Middle East and North Africa?

Desertification is, quote Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “the degradation of natural resources in an ecosystem such as soil water, vegetation and wild lifeHuman and natural intervention decides the rate of which desertification occurs. Iraq, for example, is already experiencing the painful affects of desertification. The people of Iraq wake up to, instead of smelling clean air and cool breezes, feel dust storms, which occur nearly every day. Reid Hussein, age 31, says quote “"We suffer from lack of electricity, we suffer from explosions, and now we are suffering even more because of this terrible dust.” The lack of water, electricity, and trees also adds to the building desertification crisis.

"Severe desertification is like cancer in a human being," says Fadhil Faraji, director-general of the ministry's Department for Combating Desertification. "When the land loses its vegetation cover, it's very hard to get it back. You have to deal with it meter by meter.”

The flows of the Tigres and Euphrates rivers have been altered. Iran has been building dams on the tributaries of the rivers that eventually reach Iraq, which leads to dry river beds. Drinking water is scarce to the people of the Middle East. Wars have broken out because of the need of water. The dust causes health issues, and the Iraqi government can’t afford to fix it. Desertification is an extreme issue, especially due to the fact that the Middle East was already a dry region.

Thanks for my brother's high school World History textbook (World History McDougal Littell, Georgia Edition: Patterns of Interaction) and to my own middle school textbook.