Riyadh of the Great Plains
By EV World
"Omaha could be the Riyadh of the 21st Century."
Now that's a pretty audacious statement or a completely stupid one, take your pick, but I made it and I stand by it, though I didn't get a chance to explain in detail why I think this farfetched notion could someday become a reality.
Instead, Jeff Beal and Trenton Magid, the hosts of KKAR's Grow Omaha weekend radio talk show wanted to talk about hybrid cars and how they work and what are the implications of America's dependence on oil imports.
I was more that happy to oblige.
The program graciously provided me with a copy of the interview and I thought EV World listeners would find it interesting. It's in MP3 format, so you'll be able to listen to it through the web or download it to your computer for playback on your favorite MP3 device.
So, what did I mean by the Omaha as Riyadh statement? It stems from a 2002 article in Defense Horizons, written by Robert E. Amstrong, entitled, From Petro to Agro: Seeds of a New Economy. The premise of Armstrong's thesis is that eventually, bioenergy, coupled with bioengineering, will supplant petroleum as the energy and chemical feedstock of the future.
Armstrong writes, "Today, the hydrocarbon molecule is the basic unit of commerce. In a bio-based economy, genes will replace petroleum. So, just as we currently demand assured access to sources of hydrocarbon molecules (oil), in the near future we will demand assured access to a broad-based, diverse supply of genes (plants and animals). This shift has security implications. Relations with oil-rich countries will be of less importance, and relations with gene-rich states -- mostly the biodiverse regions along the equator will assume greater significance. Conflicts may arise between gene-rich, technology-poor countries that control the basic raw materials of a bio-based economy and gene-poor, technology-rich nations that control the production methods".
He continues, "Agriculture will become increasingly important as a part of the Nation's industrial base, as it offers the most economical way to produce large quantities of biological materials. Homeland defense will have to consider heartland defense, as agricultural fields will assume the same significance as oil fields".
And you thought ole' Bill Moore was the "loopy" one. Ha!