Notecard: The dreaded “oil curse”

When Exxon started operating in Guyana, Thomas, like Janki, worried that the corrupting force of oil money would threaten the country’s meager political gains of the past few years—the dreaded “oil curse.” Countries that depend on exporting oil are among the most economically troubled, authoritarian, and conflict-ridden nations in the world. Terry Lynn Karl, a professor at Stanford University, documents how, in the past 40 years, the consequences of becoming oil-rich—far from the promise it offers—have tended to be more destructive than positive. Thomas was well aware of this, as well as of the growing efforts worldwide to shift away from fossil fuels altogether. “We know that petroleum is a dead end,” he says.

The Quest to Defuse Guyana's Carbon Bomb by Antonia Juhasz via WIRED

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