Saudi Arabia – oil or ethics, a hard choice

Realpolitik often leads to dirty deals as harsh pragmatism demands solutions to intractable problems. Which is Boris Johnson’s excuse as he bowls along like a ball of tumbleweed across the international stage to the Middle Eastern oil producing kingdoms to persuade them to increase oil production to lower prices which have rocketed since Russia invaded Ukraine.  Opposition leader Keir Starmer acidly remarked that “going cap in hand from dictator to dictator is not an energy strategy”. This visit comes two days after 81 Saudi state executions; and Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince, with whom Boris evidently has a personal relationship, is still on the pariah list after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.  

 Even if successful his request is unlikely to have a significant impact this year and may anyway be unlikely given that an agreement which lowers oil prices would mean risking Saudi’s own budget, now heading towards surplus again after years of deficits.

  While relocating Boris’s chart to Riyadh does put a ‘relaxing’ Jupiter on the IC and his social butterfly Sun Venus in Gemini in the fun-loving 5th, it is not a great place for him. Good for the high life, bad for finances.

   His ‘personal’ relationship with Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), 31 August 1985, is equally suspect with MBS’s Virgo Sun conjunct Boris’s Uranus Pluto opposition Saturn square Mars which is a load of aggravation and disruption; MBS’s controlling Pluto is conjunct Boris’s Moon; and MBS’s Saturn in Scorpio squelching Boris’s Neptune opposition Jupiter. Now that I look more closely – MBS does have a superficially charming Venus in Leo opposition Jupiter square Pluto – so all of those impact Boris’s Moon which  must have hooked him in. Only Boris could be hoodwinked into imagining MBS is a protective mother hen.

  Their relationship chart is worse with a bad-tempered, cruel, chilly, one-sided Saturn opposition Mars Venus in a controlling square to Pluto. There’s nothing cooperative about that.

 Saudi Arabia has been going through tough times with the 15 January 1902 chart catching the tr Pluto conjunct Saturn, Sun, Jupiter in the past three years or so. If this chart is accurate with a 3.45am start time, then Saudi will not return to being the force it was at the height of the oil boom in coming years.  The Saudi 23 September 1932 chart is going through a discouraging slog with hardship rather than largesse in 2022/23 and a fair few wobbles of instability.

 MBS’s Crown Prince chart, 21 June 2017 (which only holds good until his father dies and he steps up) is moving through a destabilizing and uncertain two years with tr Pluto square the Uranus and tr Neptune square the Saturn.

  At least the USA is heading for an energy self-sufficient policy with fracking. There must be a UK answer that doesn’t involve snuggling up to these dictators.    

11 thoughts on “Saudi Arabia – oil or ethics, a hard choice

  1. Here in Texas USA, where I live, (one of the 20th century locations where SO much money was made on oil, as many know) a lot of companies are hard-selling solar, to the point of being like “your car’s extended warranty” telemarketers. And not a few folks are having panels installed on their rooftops to sell power back to the beleaguered Texas power grid. It’s a wise move in the greater scheme of things. We have large-scale solar and wind energy already operating here in the state; Gov. Greg Abbott was just plain dumb to blame it for the blackout last winter. A new solar farm is planned for the county where I live. And I have the option to select to use 100% Texas wind power for my electric supply. So, you know, just lick your finger and stick it in the air to see which way the wind is blowing. Alternative fuel technologies are the future. I think Pluto in Aquarius is going to force the issue.

  2. Thanks Marjorie. Currently gazing at a Sahara dust sky here, a most eerie light for these turbulent times. It will be interesting to see what transiting Neptune, ruler of gas and oil, brings to the late Gemini planets in these charts you’ve posted here. And then to see what happens when Neptune enters Aries. The things we’ve all used for so long are well overdue for a massive change.
    Apparently, the world’s first man made plastic (also ruled by Neptune I think) was invented in 1862 by Alexander Parkes – plastic waste and use being another huge issue we must deal with as soon as possible. Neptune was then in Aries. First oil well is said to be 1859 in the USA, with Neptune entering Aries in 1861. The use of natural gas is harder to track, since it has a very long history. As Neptune returns to Aries, perhaps it is time to review the ultimately damaging ‘dreams’ of the 19th century?

    • @Jane, a couple of observations about plastic, since I have some industry knowledge. Not to say it’s unproblematic, but there have been giant leaps made in sustainability of industry in the past years. First of all, making plastic is much more ecological than most used alternatives. Those paper straws that replaced plastic ones, or paper bags used in place of plastic ones? They are truly infuriating given how much more energy and resource consuming making paper than making plastic is. For these products, it’s up to 3.5 times for energy, and then there’s water, reason papermills have to be near big waterways, and polute. More over, nowadays most plastic can be recycled, and is recycled in developed countries. There are, obviously, some applications this is not wise for. And, there are also forms that decompose, used for instance as “biobags”. And, latest discovery, there is now “plant based” plastic like subject, not needing oil. I suppose here environmental footprint is high in that it takes space from food consumption.

      But overall, I’ve learned sustainability experts are definitely turning to plastic for many 21st century applications. Obviously, every Western person above National poverty line (and some even below), should consume less, have fewer things. Still going to say that plastic packaging of certain items, most importantly cosmetics, doesn’t feel that bad anymore.

      • I don’t know if any of you have ever watched “Ocean Conservation Namibia” on Youtube. They post every day – each video is usually only a couple of minutes long. Nothing is safe from plastic. It’s harming so much that has no way of fighting back. It’s down to us to stop it.

      • Thanks Solaia! Yes, I know there are and will be more sustainable versions of plastic and that’s a great improvement. Plastic, though, has entered the eco system in a major way – very Neptune no boundaries I think. It is in our food now. Where I live a major water and sewage pipe took many months to clear, it was blocked with so many wet wipes, which all had plastic in them and would not break down. It’s the many examples like this that must be addressed. I did read about the possibility of some kind of plastic eating micro organism – you probably know more about this than me. That, potentially, might be signalled by a more pro active Neptune in Aries?

        • @Jane, yes, Neptune in Aries might see something to that direction, especially with Uranus moving to Gemini and Pluto in Aquarius.

  3. Thanks for this one Carol, I was about to reply with exactly the same comments. Fracking, especially in such a small country as the UK is lethal to our water supply and underground aquefers. And most certainly produces earthquakes too. Water is used in fracking to force out whatever it is they want to extract, when the water is separated out it is full of harmful chemicals and has to be stored, what happens to it then is debatable as it cannot be returned to the land or the sea without serious contamination.

    Alternatives to fossil fuels have been around in many forms (and I do not include present nuclear sites in this) which big business do not want to use, better for them short term gain for long term pain.

    When Pluto enters Aquarius we will have no alternative but to search out new ways of providing energy, many years ago I read it would be possible to extract energy from a grain of sand in the future, indeed Tesla found a way to have free electricity using his special rods but the giants in the industry really did not want everyone having access to free electricity, so this was rubbished.

    Pluto in the anaretic degree of Cap. has most certainly not finished with us yet, also note that since the middle of January 2020 when the Moon’s nodes changed signs to Taurus and Scorpio we have been held in the bowl between the two with all the planets being in this bowl (and we still are) the north node in Taurus, on the (bulls) horns of a dilemma, and south node Scorpio, the sting in the tail. Only the Moon escapes every two weeks only to return to the bowl again.

  4. The solution is not fracking, in the USA or otherwise, but in learning to wean ourselves off fossil fuels entirely. This is seems “impossible” in the short term but the combination of political and societal will it could be achieved. With perhaps a difficult transition, what would be gained would be priceless, a liveable planet with countries who achieved it, not in hock to these violent regimes. The alternative is our desire for business as usual literally burning us up. All this boys’ toys war stuff is distracting us from the real apocalypse looming.

    • I totally agree – also the concept of “Peak Oil” (that supplies are on the downward curve and running out at an alarming rate) has disappeared somewhat from the narrative – but it still exists. All of the oil producing nations are known to have overexaggerated their estimates of the remaining number of barrels in the ground. The irony of the “technology will save us” trope is that to produce that technology; solar panels, windfarms etc, we need the oil/gas power and the rare earths and minerals for manufacture. The Chinese have taken liens over many of these rare earth elements so……. we will potentially unhook from Russian oil and gas and move onto being beholden to China. Terrific. Another country to have to cosy up to despite Human Rights issues.

    • “All this boys’ toys war stuff is distracting us from the real apocalypse looming.”

      This thing just likely killed 1000-1200 civilians today, when New Tsar and his minions bombed a theater sheltering civilians, so calling it a “distraction” is more than a tiny bit disrespectful. Also, what’s to tell that if we tolerate this, our children won’t be next (yes, a reference here) when the real resource wars begin?

      I’m positive in that by showing resolute in defending our values now, we will be better equipped with what will follow in the 2040’s and 2050’s. Giving up to a murderous thug will do nothing but encourage others. So, for us to give in to Putin now will probably create a worse version of MbS in 20-30 years.

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