British MP interviews David Strahan, author "The Last Oil Shock"

British Member of Parliament George Galloway interviews David Strahan, award-winning investigative journalist, documentary film-maker and author of the 2007 book “The Last Oil Shock – A Survival Guide to the Imminent Extinction of Petroleum Man”.

Interview broadcast 26th June 2007.

Here is Strahan's article in the Guardian: The real casus belli: peak oil

Strahan’s website:

Terrific Interview between two straight-talking, well-informed gentlemen. Would love to see our US MSM replay it exactly on all the premium TV news outlets for one solid week.

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Is there a transcript available of this interview? One would hope so, given that it was broadcast on 27 June 07. As astounding as it may seem, there are still many, many Americans who do not have broadband or high speed internet. I am trying to download the interview, but don't know how long it could take (it will take some time, if it will download at all)

In commentary based on what we already in America of the British situation:

It has been astounding to us across the pond that the Brits have taken the situation so well to this point. I once called the U.K. "the canary in the mine" in regards to true peak oil. Only the Japanese have a comparable situation.

Britain, like Japan, is an isolated island market, but one that is a major world economic power. As the North Sea declines, they will be returned to the world market for oil and gas in a way they have not known since the 1970's, but it is a different world market, no longer a market of growing production, but one of level or declining production and extreme competition for world oil. If the U.S. and mainland Europe should be deeply concerned and planning for peak oil, the British and Japanese actually should have already went into full and inclusive emergency planning, conservation, and change.

The fact that planning for and acceptance of a major oil emergency is recieved in such a lukewarm way, and not accepted at all by many in the U.K. is a very scary harbinger of things to come in the U.S.

Apparently, change will not be accepted until it is absolutely forced on people, and then with extreme resistance. Not at all a good sign.

Roger Conner Jr.
Remember, we are only one cubic mile from freedom

Apparently, change will not be accepted until it is absolutely forced on people, and then with extreme resistance. Not at all a good sign.

Careful Roger, you are starting to sound a might bit doomerish.

Repeat after me: PV will save us... PV will save us...



You are right, I did sound a bit doomerish on that one, but as you guys like to say, we have to face facts even when they are unpleasant.

The logic of some people astound me, I will admit it. I have friends in the investment community. I know one who considers the idea of installing PV a waste of money...the return isn't there, etc, etc., but he recently bought enough Blackstone Group stock to put full PV on 2 houses! I don't know if PV will "save us", but there was no complaint about whether it would work or not (helll, you get a 20 year warrenty on it now), just that it "wasn't worth it". I hear that all the time by financial people.

I don't think that undercuts my view that alternatives are available and will work technically, but the doomers are correct when they say you cannot force people away from stupidity. I know people who are buying large new cars and SUV's right now....with 6 year payment plans. They have to assume the fuel is just going to get here, one way or the other for 6 more years (that's 2012 before this crate would be paid for) Of course, the money isn't the issue, even if crude oil goes to $100 a barrel, the depreciation and interest payed for the car will cost far more than the fuel by far. (someone said oil may go to $100 plus per barrel, and I asked, would anybody but us energy fanatics even notice?) The economics does not make sense if we are actually facing peak. That does not mean we are not facing it, but economics, the drivng engines of Western culture will NOT provide any warning.

Doomerish? Maybe....such is life.
Roger Conner Jr.
Remember, we are only one cubic mile from freedom
(If freedom is what we actually want)

"Of course, the money isn't the issue, even if crude oil goes to $100 a barrel, the depreciation and interest payed for the car will cost far more than the fuel by far."

Except that if the peak is past, oil won't cost $100 in 12 years. It will cost just enough for people like this not afford it.

Economics keep making sense. It just people that have to learn it (and convince themselves that things change on a rupture situation).

[Read it last month: good book go get it!]

Insanity: I live in a 120 flat apartment block in London and there is currently a study underway to replace the communal boiler with individual ones run on gas...

Thing is we could certainly put solar on the roof to supplement the coming high gas prices but as single units we are stuffed. Can you think of a more stupid thing to do -my point is that people are totally unaware of this issue -maybe 1 in 100.

If this goes ahead then "That's it I'm Outta there!"


That's a really interesting decision making process. Many stakeholders and an incomplete situation awareness. What is the justification for the change? Is the existing (gas?) boiler at end of life? Is heat currently a public (within the building), non-rival good leading to inefficiencies? "Privatisation" is expected to lead to increased efficiency?

It might be worth designing a flyer detailing the situation with UK gas, our coming reliance on imports etc., questioning the wisdom of major gas investment.

With a large building like that a large common boiler sounds like a good idea - could it be replaced with a single combined heat and power boiler? With many users, load would be smoother than single residences.

Hi Chris -the decision to go from the water and space heating communal boiler to individual ones for water/heat is being driven mainly by the high price of replacing all the communal pipework from the boiler to the individual flats...

And I have already made a flyer! I'm serious about this -if they go ahead with this I will sell up as I don't see a future here. Of course I will try and get 120 new TOD readers first!


It's not necessarily the case that individual units are less efficient:

- modern condensing combi boilers are 90% efficient in their conversion of gas to energy (+90-92%)

- because they are 'on demand' there is no large waste of hotwater tanks, heating water to basically let that heat go away, and the total system capacity can be lower (because it doesn't have to cope with 120 people drawing a bath at 9pm, which the other system will do, even if it never happens)

Also you don't lose heat pumping hot water through pipes through the whole building, that loses that energy.

I can also add that central building heat is *very* bad for encouraging cockroaches, who love to move along the warm pipes between flats. It's cold barriers between flats that prevent them doing that.

someone said oil may go to $100 plus per barrel, and I asked, would anybody but us energy fanatics even notice?

I've said a few times that with Europe's large fuel taxes we wouldn't even notice $100 barrel oil.

The demand destruction will come from America first. Large engines plus volatile fuel prices (in % swing terms) mean large exposure...


No that's incorrect:

1. transport fuel *used for trucks and cars but not planes* is highly taxed in Europe. Aviation would be hit hard by a 1/3rd rise in fuel costs.

2. some kinds of fuel (farmers, possibly trains) are tax reduced or exempt. Again the proportionate impact would be large.

3. non transport uses for oil would be hit (chemicals, fertilisers, electric power generation, lubricants etc.)

4. generally energy prices move with oil prices-- gas and coal as well. What happens is industrial consumers (who are often dual fuel) switch to gas, driving up demand for gas, and hence prices

5. oil is used for home heating purposes in a number of places in Europe

So the impact on Europe of $100/bl would be significant on the economy.

I'm going to go order a copy tomorrow from my local, independent bookstore who I like to keep in business. I'd also like to see a transcript of the interview, I'm just too deaf after decades of loud rock to listen to it and make out all the nuances.

I'm hoping of course that were fixing to see a real sea-change in peoples attitudes, but frankly, I doubt its possible with the media control.

I'm going to go order a copy tomorrow from my local, independent bookstore who I like to keep in business.

Thanks for "localizing" that purchase, Bob.. (small business owner here...)


Is there a transcript available of this interview? ... there are still many, many Americans who do not have broadband or high speed internet. I am trying to download the interview, but don't know how long it could take

Why bother with video when all the content is in the audio? (Just a couple of talking heads in the video)
Here is a 10MB MP3 of the sound channel only:

Best of all, you don't have to watch Galloway's publicity hogging face.

Where's the FIRE?
Where's the BRIMSTONE?
Ooops! Sorry! Wrong continent!
Have at it mates!

If you go to his book website you will find this fascinating map:

It really is a most excellent way to present the depletion problem (though no doubt some of the information contained will be the subject of some debate 9ie the predictions of future peak).

Thanks for the response andyh,
Unfortunately the AAV (Average American Viewer) would have changed channels had this been on their telly.
Soon after the opening remarks too!
I just wanted to "characterize" the problem of bringing THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE FACING HUMANITY to the conciousness of the AAV!

If anyone's interested, the map applet he uses on that site is available for anyone to use.


Each country can have a colour, some text and a URL attached to it by editing an XML file.

But hey, there's good news!

For those who keep saying "population is the key", it turns out that sitting with a laptap on, where else, your lap, may actually raise the tempeture of the family jewels enough to lower sperm count...

Now all we have to do is get all our males a laptop and train them to sit using it on their lap!

I told ya' technology would work! :-)

Remember, we are only one cubic mile from freedom

This one is random... A few days ago I first heard David Bowie's 1970 song "The Man Who Sold the World." This music and lyrics makes my skin crawl! And I blame the peak oil doomers! :)

"We passed upon the stand, we spoke of was and when
Although I wasn't there, he said I was his friend
Which came as some surprise I spoke into his eyes
I thought you died alone, a long long time ago"

"Oh no, not me
I never lost control
You're face to face
With the man who sold the world"

"I laughed and shook his hand, and made my way back home
I searched for form and land, for years and years I roamed
I gazed a gazely stare at all the millions here
We must have died along, a long long time ago"

"Who knows? not me
We never lost control
You're face to face
With the man who sold the world"

"Who knows? not me
We never lost control
You're face to face
With the man who sold the world"

I have a favorite poem from John Brunner's marvelously dreary look at the future in "The Sheep Look Up"

There's an`eathin bint out in Malacca
With an `orrible `eathenish name.
As for black, they don't come any blacker--
But she answered to "Jill" just the same!
Well a man `oo's abroad can get lonely,
Missin` friends an` relations an` such.
She wasn't me swee one-an`-only--
But there's others as done just as much!

I'm not blushin` or makin` excuses,
An' I don't think she'd want that, because
When she stopped blubbin` over `er bruises
The long an` the short of it was
That I'd bust up `er `orrible idol
An` I'd taught `er respect for a gun--
Yus, I broke `er to saddle an` bridle
An` I left `er an Englishman's son!


In a hundred years, war hasn't changed in any important way. Should I blame the cornicopians? :)

The concept that war should "change for the better" as the world "develops" is fundamentally absurd. We can only blame ourselves for accepting the "rebranding" of war as "defense" of "freedom."

Here is a Q&A with Clinton's Secretary of State on the TV program "60 minutes," about sanctions against Iraqi children in the 1990s. I don't think the Republicans act any nicer, but it's rare to see Republicans speak as candidly. You can Google this if you don't believe it.

"We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that is more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?"

"I think that is a very hard choice, but the price, we think, the price is worth it."

Let's ponder this a moment. The American Secretary of State casually said on TV that policies which killed 500,000 children over a few years are "worth it," without really any explanation why. I don't recall her resignation over this.

I've Googled archives of Nazi propaganda, and I can't find much worse they ever said.

That was Madeline Albright. I remember thinking that half a milion children dying under the age of five might be more shocking if you loved your own children or grandchildren. My wife claims that Americans really don't love their children as a whole, and certainly not for their own sakes, but rather as another possession. Maybe that's true. Certainly we don't teach them anything of value in light of peak oil.

You can't establish a moral equivalence between what the Nazis did, and what the United States has done.

Arguably maybe during the Indian Wars of the 18th and 19th century, which were to some extent genocidal in intent. But even then, the context was entirely different.

Whether the US was right or wrong to isolate Iraq (which was governed by a guy who had used nerve gas against Iran, and against his own people, and who was a bloodthirsty murderer and torturer) and embargo it, it's not the same as rounding up 6 million people and putting them in Concentration Camps, nor as starting a war in Europe which killed 30+ million people, nor designedly starving the POWs and citizens of the occupied territories.

Calling someone a 'Nazi' is simply a proof that you've lost the ability to understand what a true crime against humanity is.

You devalue your website by including George Galloway on it. He leads an extreme fringe party called 'Respect' in the UK that is a combination of unreformed trotskyists and extreme muslim fanatics. They joined together for electoral convenience.

He was an unashamed and fawning apologist for Saddam Hussein, and a consistent propagator of absurd conspiracy theories.

He is most famous in the UK for getting down on all four while appearing on Big Brother, and pretending to be a cat. This while important and controversial legislation was being debated in the UK parliament. As an MP he should have been in the house of commons representing his constituents.

He will not be an MP following the next election.

I must admit I did cringe when I saw it was 'Gorgeous george' who was doing the interview. He is an odd fish, a non mainstream MP [or rather a small party as you say]. I have no sound on this PC so I will have to hear it another day.

My understanding of George re Iraq is that he thought they would be worse off without Saddam, for which I give him ~95% correct so far.

His political principles are certainly unclear to me - but then if I was an MP, I doubt many would get my POV either, and the media would misreport it anyway.

I am certainly no fan of bipolar politics, maybe all MPs should be independent.

To explain so non-uk people can understand a little more and get the correct perspective ... George Galloway is a British 'Member of Parliament' (MP) and is from the 'Respect' party.

Respect is not the biggest party ... George is it's only MP ... there are 646 MPs in the House of Commons.

George was a well known sympathiser with Saddam Hussain who campaigned against the Iraq war. He is to be suspended from the house of commons ... (not by a rope around his neck like his friend Saddam I hope!)

But all of this doesn't mean he doesn't have anything sensible to say ... he's just not very 'mainstream' ... but then, neither is Peak Oil!


My reading of Galloway’s suspension (MPs still have to vote to approve the recommendation) is that he has been found to have brought parliament into disrepute – and critically that he wasn’t found of have personally benefited from Iraqi oil money and monies raises had been spent on humanitarian aid.

His response was:

It's like being told off for slouching by the Hunchback of Notre Dame! A Parliament stuffed with millionaire donors, prime ministerial flatmates, whose big parties take donations from thieves and frauds.

This follows a previous litigation with the Telegraph newspaper were Galloway won the libel case concerning the same matter.

It should also be pointed out that whilst Galloway is currently an “independent” being the only MP from the Respect Party (elected 2005) – from 1987 to 2003 is was a member of the Labour Party (governing party since 1997). He was expelled from the Labour party in 2003 following his strong opposition to the 2003 Iraqi invasion. In hindsight it seems he spoke a lot of sense back then.

Whilst Galloway is certainly controversial I think he talks more sense than rubbish, he seems to have a clearer understanding of the Middle East than most politicians and appears to speak his mind more readily than most.

However, Galloway shouldn’t be the focus of this post (I didn’t realise he’d be in the news today!). This is really about David Strahan’s fantastic book and his key point that the Iraq invasion was undertaken with a clear understanding of peak oil.

I've never had much respect for George Galloway. But if you actually watch the interview you will see he comes across as remarkably intelligent, surprisingly balanced and very well informed. And Dave Strahan's book is excellent.


I've never had much respect for George Galloway...

Ditto -- indeed IMO his 'Respect' party sucks. And yet if I hadn't known the interviewer was Galloway, I would have thought not only that he's intelligent, balanced, and well informed, but that I would vote for him if I had the opportunity.

Goes to show what a complicated place the world is.

At least as regards peak oil he has one non-blind spot!

He is certainly a powerful orator, whatever you think of his views. His shredding of the US Senate inquiry into him was a truly impressive performance. Transcript here:

Not sure he actually supported Saddam, he certainly opposed the sanctions though.

Ummm... lobbying for someone in return for goodies might be construed as support. And of course there was that little speech of his where he said he saluted Saddam and would be with him until the end (and the re-conquering of Jerusalem, etc.)

One problem with the article was that it was stated oil might peak within 10 years, when in fact there is some evidence that oil production might have peaked in 2005. The peak is not confirmed by a large set of data.

I wonder what the Galloway naysayers think about Tony Blair and the crimes he's committed.

That's not necessarily relevant.

You can be opposed to Tony Blair, and the War in Iraq, as the Liberal Democratic Party, is, for example, without having fellow travellers of extreme leftists and Islamic fundamentalists (which is what Respect is).

Just because someone agrees with you, politically, does not mean he is a good guy you want to be asssociated with.

Thanks for the clip.


Let's leave it that George Galloway is not someone to be trusted.