The journey up Bali’s Mount Batur volcano begins in a silent cornfield under the moonlight. There a Balinese farmer wearing flip-flops guides trekkers across jagged lava beds. In the silence, the crowing of roosters, the bell-like sounds of gamelans and even the voices of villagers can be heard clearly at 1,717 metres above sea level.
If the Middle East goes up in flames, the U.S., Europe and much of Asia will need to find alternative sources of energy to replace the shortfall. The state of Alaska is one place that could be opened up further, but it has only an estimated 8 billion barrels of proven reserves, less than 1% of the global total. What about Russia?
A good way to find out what’s wrong with the economies of the Middle East is to go to Jersey City, New Jersey, across the Hudson River from the World Trade Center. There you’ll find plenty of Middle Easterners who planted their entrepreneurial seeds in turf a lot more fertile than that found back home.
Make no mistake, it takes money to run a global terrorist network. Lots of it. Based on interviews with terrorism specialists and businesspeople around the world, FORBES GLOBAL reckons that Osama bin Laden, the man thought to be behind the Sept.11 attacks on the U.S., earns hundreds of millions of dollars a year from various activities, both legal and illegal.