This is regarding the front-page story, “KSA oil can fulfill energy needs for 80 more years” (Feb. 22). While the exact economic life of oil reserves in Saudi Arabia, or elsewhere, may be debatable as such estimates are a function of a wide and complex set of assumptions, one thing beyond dispute is that oil reserves, like the other fossil fuels, are nonrenewable stocks, which will eventually exhaust.
This makes it imperative on us (as individuals as well as society) to exercise utmost care in their consumption, and instead of feeling relaxed from such news, should utilize this period to switch to more renewable and sustainable sources of energy.
In particular, we must bear in mind the following: First, these reserves were formed through a unique epoch of history that spanned millions of years, and there is no evidence to suggest that once we deplete the existing stocks, we will have more of these. Second, the existing stocks of these resources are a national endowment. As such, they belong as much to our future generations as to us.
We, therefore, have no right to be extravagant in their use, and should strive to leave as much as possible of these for them also so that they will not blame us to have plundered on what belonged to them equally. Third, these reserves are also a natural endowment and one day we will all be held accountable on how we consumed these, as Allah Almighty says in the Holy Qur’an in Surah Al-Hakim (102/8), “Then, on that Day, you shall be asked about the delight (you indulged in, in this world.)” — M. Shahid Rahim, Riyadh