Nice letter in the National Post on ethical oil.
Until that happens, the ethical thing to do is not to eschew all fossil fuels, but to make choices between their sources, just as we have done with other products. To wit: Conflict diamonds are no longer cool. Running shoes made with child labour have become verboten. An international boycott of South African products helped bring the apartheid regime to its knees. All of these goods were boycotted based on human rights concerns – just like oil from Saudi Arabia should be.
While I would not suggest starting with Saudi Arabia, the concept expressed in this letter is worth thinking about. If a commodity like diamonds can be made subject to concerns about the social impact of their production, why not oil? This type of action does not need to involve government action, but it should not be opposed by them either.
One thing I would like to see is social activists standing up for the right of women and other oppressed minorities in Saudi Arabia by launching their protest and resulting arrests in the middle east.