A few months ago, The Guardian did a five-month investigation into “carbon bombs,” or fossil fuel projects that would, over the course of their life, emit over one billion tons of carbon. They found that there are 195 planned oil and gas carbon bombs around the world, and if they proceed as planned, these projects alone would blow past internationally agreed upon climate targets. Six of those projects are at the Ghawar Oil Field: a site in Saudi Arabia that is considered the largest oil field in the world. This region is home to the government-owned fossil fuel giant Saudi Aramco, but it is also one of the most climate vulnerable regions in the world. Saudi Arabia is now grappling with the question of how to stay relevant in global energy markets as the world transitions toward clean energy and their country is on track to be too hot to inhabit by 2070. Today, we explore what makes the Ghawar Oil Field so lucrative, what environmental and economic challenges face the region, and some possibilities for Saudi Arabia’s energy future. With special guest Dr. Dan Rabinowitz: Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Tel Aviv University.
The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise.
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Writers: Isabel Plower, Maddy Schmidt, Ethan Brown
Editor: Will Andronico
Producers: Ethan Brown, Shannon Damiano
Ad Voiceover: Maxwell Pociask
Music: Brett Sawka
The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the host and guests. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Peril and Promise or The WNET Group.