May 9, 2016
A New Beginning in A Post Carbon Saudi Arabia
Breaking News: As this blog was about to go out to our readers, Saudi King Salman made a major step forward towards implementing his son, Prince Mohammad’s, plan to transform Saudi society. Salman removed Ministers seen by his son as obstacles to reform — a major move in a normally very cautious monarchy. Stay tuned.
Days before an aging King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia was admitted to the hospital, he reached out to a 59 year younger, once estranged nephew. Both had become preoccupied by the next phase of the country’s development — a post carbon Saudi Arabia. After their rift, both the uncle and his nephew Mohammed had forged ahead, laying a plan to embrace the vast potential of a carbon free future in Saudi Arabia – minus the oil revenues.
Now Mohammed’s father, Prince Salman was about to claim the throne. As Abdullah intended, Salman gave his son unprecedented control over the oil monopoly, the national investment fund, economic policy and the Ministry of Defense. The young prince is the anointed leader and power behind the throne. Author Peter Waldman writes that “Western diplomats call him Mr. Everything. He’s 31 years old.” This young prince defies Saudi norms and reflects a new genre of thinking, even “as he tries to emulate Steve Jobs, credits video games with sparking ingenuity and to top it all, he works 16 hour days.” This to my mind reflects a long awaited new vision in Saudi Arabia led by the younger generation of princes.