Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

The Power of Deserts

Date and Time
Thursday, March 25, 2021 - 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
The Power of Deserts


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The oil-rich countries of the Arabian/Persian Gulf currently face a dual challenge. As climate predictions for their region suggest conditions could become intolerable later this century, renewable energy stands to eclipse demand for oil. What if these countries decide it’s in their best interest to turn away from oil, harness their immense solar potential, and emerge as vanguards of global climate action?

Dan Rabinowitz (Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, Tel Aviv University) explores this counterintuitive proposition in his new book The Power of Deserts: Climate Change, the Middle East and the Promise of a Post-Oil Era (Stanford University Press, 2020). At this virtual book event, Rabinowitz will deliver a brief talk, then engage in dialogue with Erika Weinthal (Professor of Environmental Policy and Public Policy, Duke University) and respond to questions from the audience.

Organized by the Duke University Energy Initiative, the Duke University Center for International and Global Studies (DUCIGS), and the Duke University Middle East Studies Center (DUMESC).

This webinar is part of the Environmental Institutions Seminar Series from Duke's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, University Program in Environmental Policy, Nicholas School of the Environment, and Sanford School of Public Policy.


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Dan Rabinowitz, Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Tel Aviv University and Faculty Fellow at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, has published books on Israel and the Middle East with Cambridge University Press, University of California Berkeley Press, Ashgate London, and leading Israeli publishers, and has scores of scientific articles in leading international journals.

Erika Weinthal, Professor of Environmental Policy and Public Policy at Duke University, specializes in global environmental politics and environmental security with a particular emphasis on water and energy.