Geopolitical energy expert and author Peter Zeihan joined faculty and students from across the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) for a discussion on the trade and use of oil as an energy resource during the Energy Academic Group’s latest Defense Energy Seminar, July 24.
Zeihan’s presentation aimed to dispell the idea that oil age was over, at least not in the near future. On the contrary, he said, oil is all about trade. He noted that 80 percent of the oil consumed on Earth is internationally traded. Zeihan briefly listed many of the products derived from petroleum and noted it would seem impossible for a world completely void of oil as a significant resource.
Zeihan discussed several of his authored works relating a nation’s economy to the use of its energy resources, and predicted the U.S. economy is better poised to deal with energy challenges than its allies.
After the lecture, NPS student U.S. Army Maj. Alex Pombar took the opportunity to engage Zeihan on regional energy security.
“His presentation was very thought-provoking, and he integrated really complicated subjects in very interesting ways,” said Pombar. “I am always skeptical of academics that are very confident of their predictions of the future, but his analysis and research was extremely thorough and raised some interesting points that will factor into my thesis research.”
The EAG has been supplementing NPS’ multidisciplinary curricula with their Defense Energy Seminar program for years, producing 126 lectures since its inception and thousands of students, faculty and staff attending or viewing online.
Recently, EAG Deputy Director Alan Howard took the reins for managing the program’s speaker lineup, bringing new energy to an already active program. Howard called the Zeihan presentation a “home run,” and says future attendees can expect to see high-caliber experts covering all aspects of energy infrastructure, transport delivery systems, renewable resources and security.