Peak Oil Media: "Humans > Yeast?", Moyers, Kunstler, Rubin, Olbermann & Krugman

A good many videos this week. First, wanna learn about exponential growth? Here's a short video entitled "Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?" (mentions Bob Shaw even!--basically an 8 min version of Al Bartlett's hour talk over at GPM on exponential growth) Perhaps a smidge rudimentary for this crowd, but pay special attention to the three points around 5:45 into the video.

Under the fold, a few short videos apropos of the problems we face: Bill Moyers on PBS provocatively talking big oil last night, Kunstler talking the long emergency on CBC, Jeff Rubin on CNBC talking $7 gas, VMT, light rail, and other things, and then finally Olbermann and Krugman talking both US presidential candidates' "energy policy." Include other links in the comments.

Kunstler on CBC talking the long emergency, suburbia, and life without cheap oil...(8 mins)

Here's a provocative Bill Moyers essay on big oil that is not for the faint of heart, which aired last night on PBS. (; 6 mins). "America has become little more than an energy protection force, doing anything to gain access to expensive fuel without regard for the lives of others or the earth itself." I wonder why that is, perhaps because the easy energy is getting harder to get? Hmmm...

Jeff Rubin of CIBC predicts $7 gasoline on CNBC with Erin Burnett, which he says would take 10 million cars off the road. They talk about a lot of the variables and different ideas involved in the situation--it's really good (4 mins).

Krugman with Olbermann on "The Energy Question of 2008" (critical of McCain and Obama both) from MSNBC's Countdown...(7 mins)

Also a conversation with Daniel Yergin, Chairman of Cambridge Energy Research Associates

on Charlie Rose .... interesting comments

Direct link to Moyer's piece on the pbs site (the one above is no longer working):

working for me.

Hello TODers!

Keep up the great work and thanks again for all your comments!

To update you since Glenn's post let me know what you think of this video interview with JHK:
( what is the future of the cheese doodle? )

And, this weeks kriscan video is Surfing for Peak Oil:


Wow, Moyers doesn't pull punches! I've seen some of his earlier stuff on other issues and he's been much more toned down and analytical. Not that I disagree with him on many issues and he even left out a lot of additional facts.

As a thought game, I wonder what would happen in the US, if the first three videos from this page were run on rotation on all major channels for a couple of weeks? Denial? Anger? Admittance? Action?

There's also a new Richard Heinberg video from Alliance for Sustainability.

I found Moyer's touchy feely rant to be too heavy on conspiracy theory (what were those energy people plotting out when they met with Cheney in the secret energy summit prior to 9/11?) and too light on the possibility that American intelligence (Wolfawitz) missed the Black Swans.

One Black Swan is the notion that Communism was good for America. It kept the Chinese and Russians down on the farm and in a de-industrialized state. Once America "won" by converting China into a supposedly capitalist, and thus free state, America lost its position as the prime world customer for oil. This is where the American gambit in Iraq backfired. Our boys died (err... I mean, made the ultimate sacrifice) so that China could have more of the cheaper oil. No wonder Cindy Sheehan is mad. But then again, she's already been "marginalized". So let's not mention her name ever again.

Another Black Swan is the notion that America floats on nothing but an ocean of fast printed dollars. As long as the dollar remains the currency of trade for getting oil, everybody has to get their hands on dollars. So the US $$$ remains buoyant. Sadam was threatening to switch to Euros and to thereby upset the American apple and dollars cart. That's the real reason he had to go. Not just for the oil, but also to save the dollar. With American/British Big Oil moving in to operate Iraq, we know that those fields will continue to be safe for the dollar. That's the real reason Casey died. The noble cause was to preserve the American dollar. Free trade is free trade. But that "don't tread on me" snake isn't hissing simply about "freedom". It's the dollar stupid. He died for the dollar.

Bullshit. "conspiracy theory" has become a pejorative term used to denigrate the notion that the powerful sometimes do things in concert and in secret. The idea that this is crazy has become ingrained and is very convenient. The collusion between the CIA and mafia uncovered by the Church committee was a conspiracy. The illegal efforts to overthrow governments during the fifties and sixties were conspiracies. The real history of this country is riddled with what the ignorant would call conspiracy theories. This, history will show is another in the long inglorious list.

"Conspiracy theory" has become a pejorative term

I'm not going to say BS right back at you because you are right.

There is a reasonable probability that much of this was pre-planned including a false flags operation by the US government against our own twin towers. And it all worked out very beautifully at first.

GWB had some brilliant passionate speeches ready to roll out right after 10-1/10+1. He had that picturesque moment with the "bull" horn and the NYC firefighter. We all rallied round the flag and round our president. It played out like a fine tuned violin.

Then the strings began to unravel. They didn't greet us with flowers. The oil didn't start pouring forth right away. And China had the audacity to start "growing" their economy and to insist that their citizens should have cars too. The conspirators didn't foresee those parts of the equation unfolding in that way. Those were the Black Swans that swam their way into the story.

It had to be a false flag operation, started by Bill Clinton. All of the highjackers entered the country under Bill and took their so called flight training. Nobody knew where they were, so Bill had to tell George where they were and how to get in touch with them. Bill almost got caught, but his security advisor Sandy Berger went in and destroyed the documents, and got a wrist slap. Then Bush's genius took over. The twin towers and the whole complex were under armed guard 24 hours a day. And the world's best demolition companies take months to strategically place the charges to take down old structures. But, Bush & Cheney were able to do this, perhaps in a matter of days, and probably using jews who worked there, while outwitting all of the guards. And here is where Cheney shined, he paid off 10's of thousands of people to falsify videos of the highjackers going through the airline check points and people to say that they talked to them. And, he bribed the people on the airplane with untold riches for their families if they would only call them just before the crash and lie to them and say that Arabs had taken control of the planes and killed stewardesses in the process. Cheney had secretly cloned himself, and his clones were the pilots of the planes. I mean, it is soooooo obvious that only a retard would not know what happened.

Maybe you should examine your personal fear about this issue.

Retards like this?

Here is the truth about 9/11 with proofs from reliable sources:

Thank you for sharing your antisemitic beliefs with us. However the true truth is that aliens have come here from other planets to test your devotion to our blessed deity, blessed be his name. Mumble, mumble.

The Hebrew Hammer says, "Zionist conspiracy? I'll show you Zionism!"

"Shabbat shalom, motherf***ers!"

How did you find out? I thought we covered our tracks so well.

Dick C.

From an early ASPO newsletter:

Governments have evidently long employed deceptions to achieve their ends. But the age of mass media and the nature of modern democracy have combined to bring the art of deception to new heights. Is Deception too strong a word? It may well be, but it does come close to describing the misleading imagery and choice of words by which governments seek to secure support from an impressionable and often ill-informed electorate.
(see also : )
They are not being quite straight. The American people, who are as generous as any, do not naturally seek to dominate the world, or attack distant people. But they are ready to loyally support their government if they can be led to believe that they are threatened or at risk. Saddam Hussein is said to be constructing, not a good old familiar Atomic Bomb, such as the US dropped on Hiroshima, but Weapons of Mass Destruction: they sound more sinister and threatening. Men in London are filmed running around in white protective clothing to simulate their reaction to an outbreak of unspecified germ warfare. No such attack is under way, but the imagery conveys the sense of threat. Troops and tanks are sent to London Airport at the end of a Muslim feast. Television has greatly increased the scope for promulgating the imagery. “Freedom” is a word frequently used by the US President, both in relation to his own country and now for the Iraqi people after the invasion. It is a euphemism for globalism and the principle of free access to resources by the highest bidder, irrespective of the rights, traditions and wishes of those who live in the territories where the resources occur. The European settlers in the New World faced a similar issue in earlier years but solved it by virtually exterminating the indigenous people. That is now a better-forgotten, distant memory.
The US government must recognise that it depends on rising oil imports to maintain the way of life its people like. It must realise that its growing imports will cost much more when by 2010 as much as 40% of world supply will be coming from just five key countries in the Middle East which regard their oil as national assets. It may fear that its entire economy and world status, along with the strength of the dollar, would be undermined if inflows of foreign investment failed to match its towering foreign debt. It may fear that the Euro would replace the Dollar as the preferred currency for world trade. Such fears may have prompted a radical new foreign policy to try to restore confidence. Deploying military might has been a traditional means of doing so. The pound sterling used to be a world currency, with the Bank of England promising to back it in gold. People had faith in it thanks in part to the British gunboat.
The events surrounding September 11th have been widely questioned by those who find the account full of curious elements. For example, John Fulton, a government official at a homeland security meeting in Chicago, reportedly responded to an accusation that the authorities were ill-prepared, by saying that in fact they were that very day running a simulated attack by a hijacked airliner on the NRO Office in Virginia. Could that explain why the normal defences were shut down? and was the timing a coincidence? They sound like legitimate questions, but others dismiss such doubts as being the crazed expressions of paranoiac merchants of Conspiracy. Whether or not the US government, or elements within it, contrived or connived at the events of September 11th, the incident did provide the practical justification for opening a new “War on Terror”. Those who did not support the United States were declared enemies. It aimed first at Afghanistan, which borders the Caspian and was supposed to be harbouring those responsible for the events of September 11th, before it turned on Iraq for apparently unrelated reasons. An already vilified Saddam Hussein presented a ready-made pretext for a threatened attack on the country, which has about 60 billion barrels left in known fields. That is a much bigger prize than the Caspian, where exploration is giving disappointing results.
Some may imagine that Iraqi oil is there for the taking by simply opening the valve, but in fact an immense amount of work, investment and, above all, time would be needed to rehabilitate the ageing fields and bring the undeveloped smaller ones into production. Under optimal conditions, production might double the current 2 Mb/d by 2010, but that would still meet much less than half US needs. In reality, conditions are most unlikely to be optimal: the fields may be fired during the invasion, and patriots may continue the struggle, as did the Resistance fighters in France during the last world war. So it is more likely that production would fall after a successful invasion. ...
But a military occupation of Iraq would place US forces in a strong strategic position from which to control oil supply from the entire region, quelling local insurrections and propping up puppet regimes. That seems a much more logical explanation for the move than a grab for Iraq’s oil itself. In the event that Saddam Hussein does or may pose a military threat: the only significant targets in range would be the oilfields of other Middle East countries.
An interesting new twist is provided by Turkey, which talks of reclaiming its rights to what is now Iraq, deriving from its centuries of ownership prior to the First World War when the victorious allies broke up the Ottoman Empire, dividing its oil between themselves. Its government offered a bridgehead for the US invasion in return for substantial payments, but the move was defeated in the Turkish parliament, as massive anti-war demonstrations erupted. Germany, Belgium and France have broken ranks with NATO by declining to go to the “defence” of Turkey, preferring to join with Russia in opposition to the threatened attack. Europe has as great a need to access Middle East oil as does the United States, now that North Sea production plummets from depletion.
On February 14th, Dr Blix, the lucid UN inspector, gave convincing evidence to the UN Security Council that Iraq posed no immediate threat to anyone, and that any future threat could be readily controlled by increased surveillance. Television viewers have also seen Tariq Aziz, the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq, who is a Christian, on his knees praying at the tomb of St Francis of Assisi, following cordial meetings with the Pope. Massive anti-war demonstrations throughout the world from Stavanger to Skibbereen, not to mention London where over a million marched, show that people are far from convinced by the explanations offered to them as reason for going to war. They were not encouraged when the British government released an intelligence document justifying its support for the war that turns out to have been lifted from a student’s thesis, written long ago. The Times of London carried an admirably measured response in a leading article on February 11th, entitled “There is no virtue or safety in a war like this”, summing up the views of the great majority of people in the country. It remains to be seen if the government will finally represent the views of the people who elected it to do so, facing a courageous revolt in its own party in Parliament.
It seems obvious that if the United States and Britain do invade Iraq, they must have some motive other than the declared one. Oil has to be at the head of the list of suspects.
In terms of depletion, what would control of the Middle East mean? If the people there can somehow be subjugated, then western companies would presumably move in to ramp up the production of oil as fast as they could, which could lead to a fall in oil price, encouraging demand. The consequence would be that global peak would be higher and sooner, giving a steeper subsequent decline. It would make a bad situation worse. A better policy for dealing with growing oil shortage would be for the consuming countries to agree to match their oil demand with the depletion rate imposed by Nature.

[note: the NRO "911" simulation apparently was an emergency exercise about an accidental crash into their headquarters, near Dulles Airport in Virginia - not a terrorism scenario. However, it seems likely that the exercise did serve to confuse the Air Defense response for a critical period of time, allowing the attacks to succeed]

9/11 research is a rabbit-hole of Byzantine complexity full of snares and delusions and peopled with false friends, lunatics, earnest lost souls and a few heroes. It's not necessary to understand all the nuances of science and bureaucracy that allowed the government to get away with mass murder, blame it on swarthy foreigners (of whom many are eager accomplices) and use the incident as (in the words of the Cheney, Jeb Bush et al cabal, the Project for a New American Century) "a new Pearl Harbor." At this critical juncture in human history, it's only necessary to understand why they did it. The motive was Peak Oil, a disaster which will affect everyone on the planet, about which all must enlighten themselves and for which all must prepare.
-- Jenna Orkin, World Trade Center Environmental Organization


Crossing the Rubicon: Simplifying the case against Dick Cheney
by Michael Kane

Means - Dick Cheney and the Secret Service: Dick Cheney was running a completely separate chain of Command & Control via the Secret Service, assuring the paralysis of Air Force response on 9/11. The Secret Service has the technology to see the same radar screens the FAA sees in real time. They also have the legal authority and technological capability to take supreme command in cases of national emergency. Dick Cheney was the acting Commander in Chief on 9/11.

Motive - Peak Oil: At some point between 2000 and 2007, world oil production reaches its peak; from that point on, every barrel of oil is going to be harder to find, more expensive to recover, and more valuable to those who recover and control it. Dick Cheney was well aware of the coming Peak Oil crisis at least as early as 1999, and 9/11 provided the pretext for the series of energy wars that Cheney stated, "will not end in our lifetime."

Opportunity - 9/11 War Games: The Air Force was running multiple war games on the morning of 9/11 simulating hijackings over the continental United States that included (at least) one "live-fly" exercise as well as simulations that placed "false blips" on FAA radar screens. These war games eerily mirrored the real events of 9/11 to the point of the Air Force running drills involving hijacked aircraft as the 9/11 plot actually unfolded. The war games & terror drills played a critical role in ensuring no Air Force fighter jocks - who had trained their entire lives for this moment - would be able to prevent the attacks from succeeding. These exercises were under Dick Cheney's management.


Michael Meacher, Member of the British Parliament, former member of Tony Blair's cabinet,12956,1036687,00.html
"This war on terrorism is bogus: The 9/11 attacks gave the US an ideal pretext to use force to secure its global domination"
Michael Meacher, Saturday September 6, 2003, The Guardian
Massive attention has now been given - and rightly so - to the reasons why Britain went to war against Iraq. But far too little attention has focused on why the US went to war, and that throws light on British motives too. The conventional explanation is that after the Twin Towers were hit, retaliation against al-Qaida bases in Afghanistan was a natural first step in launching a global war against terrorism. Then, because Saddam Hussein was alleged by the US and UK governments to retain weapons of mass destruction, the war could be extended to Iraq as well. However this theory does not fit all the facts. The truth may be a great deal murkier.
We now know that a blueprint for the creation of a global Pax Americana was drawn up for Dick Cheney (now vice-president), Donald Rumsfeld (defence secretary), Paul Wolfowitz (Rumsfeld's deputy), Jeb Bush (George Bush's younger brother) and Lewis Libby (Cheney's chief of staff). The document, entitled Rebuilding America's Defences, was written in September 2000 by the neoconservative think tank, Project for the New American Century (PNAC).
The plan shows Bush's cabinet intended to take military control of the Gulf region whether or not Saddam Hussein was in power. It says "while the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein."
The PNAC blueprint supports an earlier document attributed to Wolfowitz and Libby which said the US must "discourage advanced industrial nations from challenging our leadership or even aspiring to a larger regional or global role". It refers to key allies such as the UK as "the most effective and efficient means of exercising American global leadership". It describes peacekeeping missions as "demanding American political leadership rather than that of the UN". It says "even should Saddam pass from the scene", US bases in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will remain permanently... as "Iran may well prove as large a threat to US interests as Iraq has". It spotlights China for "regime change", saying "it is time to increase the presence of American forces in SE Asia".
The document also calls for the creation of "US space forces" to dominate space, and the total control of cyberspace to prevent "enemies" using the internet against the US. It also hints that the US may consider developing biological weapons "that can target specific genotypes [and] may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool".
Finally - written a year before 9/11 - it pinpoints North Korea, Syria and Iran as dangerous regimes, and says their existence justifies the creation of a "worldwide command and control system". This is a blueprint for US world domination. But before it is dismissed as an agenda for rightwing fantasists, it is clear it provides a much better explanation of what actually happened before, during and after 9/11 than the global war on terrorism thesis. This can be seen in several ways.
First, it is clear the US authorities did little or nothing to pre-empt the events of 9/11. It is known that at least 11 countries provided advance warning to the US of the 9/11 attacks. Two senior Mossad experts were sent to Washington in August 2001 to alert the CIA and FBI to a cell of 200 terrorists said to be preparing a big operation (Daily Telegraph, September 16 2001). The list they provided included the names of four of the 9/11 hijackers, none of whom was arrested.
It had been known as early as 1996 that there were plans to hit Washington targets with aeroplanes. Then in 1999 a US national intelligence council report noted that "al-Qaida suicide bombers could crash-land an aircraft packed with high explosives into the Pentagon, the headquarters of the CIA, or the White House".
Fifteen of the 9/11 hijackers obtained their visas in Saudi Arabia. Michael Springman, the former head of the American visa bureau in Jeddah, has stated that since 1987 the CIA had been illicitly issuing visas to unqualified applicants from the Middle East and bringing them to the US for training in terrorism for the Afghan war in collaboration with Bin Laden (BBC, November 6 2001). It seems this operation continued after the Afghan war for other purposes. It is also reported that five of the hijackers received training at secure US military installations in the 1990s (Newsweek, September 15 2001).
Instructive leads prior to 9/11 were not followed up. French Moroccan flight student Zacarias Moussaoui (now thought to be the 20th hijacker) was arrested in August 2001 after an instructor reported he showed a suspicious interest in learning how to steer large airliners. When US agents learned from French intelligence he had radical Islamist ties, they sought a warrant to search his computer, which contained clues to the September 11 mission (Times, November 3 2001). But they were turned down by the FBI. One agent wrote, a month before 9/11, that Moussaoui might be planning to crash into the Twin Towers (Newsweek, May 20 2002).
All of this makes it all the more astonishing - on the war on terrorism perspective - that there was such slow reaction on September 11 itself. The first hijacking was suspected at not later than 8.20am, and the last hijacked aircraft crashed in Pennsylvania at 10.06am. Not a single fighter plane was scrambled to investigate from the US Andrews airforce base, just 10 miles from Washington DC, until after the third plane had hit the Pentagon at 9.38 am. Why not? There were standard FAA intercept procedures for hijacked aircraft before 9/11. Between September 2000 and June 2001 the US military launched fighter aircraft on 67 occasions to chase suspicious aircraft (AP, August 13 2002). It is a US legal requirement that once an aircraft has moved significantly off its flight plan, fighter planes are sent up to investigate.
Was this inaction simply the result of key people disregarding, or being ignorant of, the evidence? Or could US air security operations have been deliberately stood down on September 11? If so, why, and on whose authority? The former US federal crimes prosecutor, John Loftus, has said: "The information provided by European intelligence services prior to 9/11 was so extensive that it is no longer possible for either the CIA or FBI to assert a defence of incompetence."
Nor is the US response after 9/11 any better. No serious attempt has ever been made to catch Bin Laden. In late September and early October 2001, leaders of Pakistan's two Islamist parties negotiated Bin Laden's extradition to Pakistan to stand trial for 9/11. However, a US official said, significantly, that "casting our objectives too narrowly" risked "a premature collapse of the international effort if by some lucky chance Mr Bin Laden was captured". The US chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, General Myers, went so far as to say that "the goal has never been to get Bin Laden" (AP, April 5 2002). The whistleblowing FBI agent Robert Wright told ABC News (December 19 2002) that FBI headquarters wanted no arrests. And in November 2001 the US airforce complained it had had al-Qaida and Taliban leaders in its sights as many as 10 times over the previous six weeks, but had been unable to attack because they did not receive permission quickly enough (Time Magazine, May 13 2002). None of this assembled evidence, all of which comes from sources already in the public domain, is compatible with the idea of a real, determined war on terrorism.
The catalogue of evidence does, however, fall into place when set against the PNAC blueprint. From this it seems that the so-called "war on terrorism" is being used largely as bogus cover for achieving wider US strategic geopolitical objectives. Indeed Tony Blair himself hinted at this when he said to the Commons liaison committee: "To be truthful about it, there was no way we could have got the public consent to have suddenly launched a campaign on Afghanistan but for what happened on September 11" (Times, July 17 2002). Similarly Rumsfeld was so determined to obtain a rationale for an attack on Iraq that on 10 separate occasions he asked the CIA to find evidence linking Iraq to 9/11; the CIA repeatedly came back empty-handed (Time Magazine, May 13 2002).
In fact, 9/11 offered an extremely convenient pretext to put the PNAC plan into action. The evidence again is quite clear that plans for military action against Afghanistan and Iraq were in hand well before 9/11. A report prepared for the US government from the Baker Institute of Public Policy stated in April 2001 that "the US remains a prisoner of its energy dilemma. Iraq remains a destabilising influence to... the flow of oil to international markets from the Middle East". Submitted to Vice-President Cheney's energy task group, the report recommended that because this was an unacceptable risk to the US, "military intervention" was necessary (Sunday Herald, October 6 2002).
Similar evidence exists in regard to Afghanistan. The BBC reported (September 18 2001) that Niaz Niak, a former Pakistan foreign secretary, was told by senior American officials at a meeting in Berlin in mid-July 2001 that "military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October". Until July 2001 the US government saw the Taliban regime as a source of stability in Central Asia that would enable the construction of hydrocarbon pipelines from the oil and gas fields in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, through Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the Indian Ocean. But, confronted with the Taliban's refusal to accept US conditions, the US representatives told them "either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs" (Inter Press Service, November 15 2001).
Given this background, it is not surprising that some have seen the US failure to avert the 9/11 attacks as creating an invaluable pretext for attacking Afghanistan in a war that had clearly already been well planned in advance. There is a possible precedent for this. The US national archives reveal that President Roosevelt used exactly this approach in relation to Pearl Harbor on December 7 1941. Some advance warning of the attacks was received, but the information never reached the US fleet. The ensuing national outrage persuaded a reluctant US public to join the second world war. Similarly the PNAC blueprint of September 2000 states that the process of transforming the US into "tomorrow's dominant force" is likely to be a long one in the absence of "some catastrophic and catalyzing event - like a new Pearl Harbor". The 9/11 attacks allowed the US to press the "go" button for a strategy in accordance with the PNAC agenda which it would otherwise have been politically impossible to implement.
The overriding motivation for this political smokescreen is that the US and the UK are beginning to run out of secure hydrocarbon energy supplies. By 2010 the Muslim world will control as much as 60% of the world's oil production and, even more importantly, 95% of remaining global oil export capacity. As demand is increasing, so supply is decreasing, continually since the 1960s.
This is leading to increasing dependence on foreign oil supplies for both the US and the UK. The US, which in 1990 produced domestically 57% of its total energy demand, is predicted to produce only 39% of its needs by 2010. A DTI minister has admitted that the UK could be facing "severe" gas shortages by 2005. The UK government has confirmed that 70% of our electricity will come from gas by 2020, and 90% of that will be imported. In that context it should be noted that Iraq has 110 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves in addition to its oil.
A report from the commission on America's national interests in July 2000 noted that the most promising new source of world supplies was the Caspian region, and this would relieve US dependence on Saudi Arabia. To diversify supply routes from the Caspian, one pipeline would run westward via Azerbaijan and Georgia to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. Another would extend eastwards through Afghanistan and Pakistan and terminate near the Indian border. This would rescue Enron's beleaguered power plant at Dabhol on India's west coast, in which Enron had sunk $3bn investment and whose economic survival was dependent on access to cheap gas.
Nor has the UK been disinterested in this scramble for the remaining world supplies of hydrocarbons, and this may partly explain British participation in US military actions. Lord Browne, chief executive of BP, warned Washington not to carve up Iraq for its own oil companies in the aftermath of war (Guardian, October 30 2002). And when a British foreign minister met Gadaffi in his desert tent in August 2002, it was said that "the UK does not want to lose out to other European nations already jostling for advantage when it comes to potentially lucrative oil contracts" with Libya (BBC Online, August 10 2002).
The conclusion of all this analysis must surely be that the "global war on terrorism" has the hallmarks of a political myth propagated to pave the way for a wholly different agenda - the US goal of world hegemony, built around securing by force command over the oil supplies required to drive the whole project. Is collusion in this myth and junior participation in this project really a proper aspiration for British foreign policy? If there was ever need to justify a more objective British stance, driven by our own independent goals, this whole depressing saga surely provides all the evidence needed for a radical change of course.

Michael Meacher MP was environment minister from May 1997 to June 2003

Do you actually imagine that anyone is going to read all that?
Line breaks would help, but plonking two essays in a row onto the blog is not reasonable - FWIW the last paragraph sounds sensible.

The "conspiracy theory" label is habitually used as a tool to cut off discussion by those that offer there own preposterous explanation instead, the “just coincidence theory”.

Accept that we will never know the true truth of what happened just as we will never know the full story about almost anything else.

What's done is done.
Thousands died that day.
Thousands more American boys died shortly after.
Hundreds of thousands of nonAmerican nonhumans died in the wars also.

We are where we are.
What's next?

100 more years of the same?

I don't think you understand what a Black Swan is.

An event or occurrence that deviates beyond what is normally expected of a situation and that would be extremely difficult to predict. This term was popularized by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a finance professor and former Wall Street trader.

Mistakes and idiocy are not Black Swans, they are just mistakes and idiocy. When they are created by blind ideology and fear, all the more so. 9/11, were it not itself a conspiracy, would be a Black Swan. The current flooding in Mississippi is not. Floods happen.


Moyer was absolutely spot on. Provide one fact that shows otherwise. In the meantime, go talk to the survivors of the Liberty and the anyone connected to the Tonkin Gulf incident. There are two real conspiracies both happening in my lifetime.

And should we forget Reagan and Bush's extra-Constitutional patty cake with Iran?




You're right about Moyer. Even though he's talking about oil, he's not talking about the problem. His underlying theme is that it's the big oil companies that are the reason oil is at $140 a barrel and gasoline is at $4. Except they are not the reason, and they probably wish the price of oil would come down too.

No, the reason prices are so high is essentially because of rising demand and shrinking supply. Because the American economy relies on the stuff. And because they're no longer able to pump it out of the ground like they used to.

Yet it's fairly clear that this is what is happening to those who even slightly understand peak oil, yet liberal beacons of talk and TV don't mention this at all. When will even the outer-mainstream media get the point?

You're right about Moyer. Even though he's talking about oil, he's not talking about the problem.

Maybe he's talking about a different problem which is also quite large. Specifically:
An illegal war, slaughtering hundreds of thousands of Iraq people and costing literally trillions. Oh, and a few Americans are dead too. And the motivation of those starting the criminal war was access to oil.

As long as the dollar remains the currency of trade for getting oil, everybody has to get their hands on dollars.

Reality check: We all know oil is priced in dollars. But does that mean it's purchased with dollars? Or does the purchaser just take the current dollar equivalent in their local currency and exchange it for the dollar equivalent in the seller's currency to complete the transaction?

The repeated claim that the dollar's value is higher because things are priced in dollars seems empty. Things are priced in dollars because historically it's been a strong, stable currency, and the US is still an extremely large market for most things, especially oil. But does Saudi Arabia insist that European purchasers, for example, pay them in physical US dollars? Or will the Saudis happily accept the equivalent amount, at current exchange rates, in euros or riyals? If it's the latter, then pricing oil in dollars does nothing to create demand for more dollars to be printed or circulated.

It makes no difference whether it's paid for in US dollars or merely priced in US dollars.

If the US dollar falls in value relative to other currencies, then the oil at price X will get them less Riyals or whatever than it used to.

For example, if oil is US$100/bbl and US$100= 1,000 shekels, then the producers receive 1,000 shekels, great.

But if the US dollar plummets to half its value, the US$100/bbl oil, well US$100=500 shekels, so that each barrel only earns them 500 shekels instead of 1,000.

Thus, changes in the value of the US dollar against other currencies, and in the US economy generally, affect exporters' decisions about how much oil to produce and export; and how much oil they produce and export affects the US dollar.

Since oil is priced in US dollars, if the US economy is seen to be tanking, the value of US currency will drop against other currencies. So if they still want their 1,000 shekels a barrel when US$1=0.5 shekels instead of US$1=1 shekel, they'll have to double the price of oil in US dollars.

Alternately, they can seek a more stable currency to price oil against. Like the Euro.

In which case the US$ loses its implied backing in a commodity everyone wants, and turns out to be backed by... not much at all.

And I could continue ad nauseum with REAL WORLD
"The oil revenue will pay for the war"
"Not two days or two months but no longer then two years"
"Aluminum tubes that could only be used for enrichment
of uranium"
"Yellow cake from Nigeria"
"Mission accomplished...smokin em out....few dead enders em on the run...turned another corner...makin progress...winnin hearts and minds..
they will welcome us as liberators..throw candy at our
feet...we know exactly where the WMD are,east west north and somewhat south of Bagdad.
The chutzpah it takes to sling the "conspiracy kook"
label is only equal to the lack of an adversaries
ability to argue the facts.
Moyers is the messenger...attack his message if you can.
I couldnt find fault with anything he said .
Of course I dont have a PHD or even a GED but I do
have common sense...which doesnt seem too common after all.

A "Black Swan" is an unpredictable event. Neither of the two examples you give are Black Swans. They are unintended consequences, but they were not unpredictable. (N.B. Not predicted is not the same as not predictable).

Re: The attempt to convert communist countries to capitalism is surely the attempt to bring them into a global market economy. The fact that policy makers didn't consider what adding 1.5 billion people to the world market would do to prices is a lack of forethought, not unpredictability.

That's the real reason he [Saddam] had to go. Not just for the oil, but also to save the dollar.

And how has that been working out for the dollar?


I had a very similar thought to your SamuM. I think all four of the videos under the fold, taken together, paint a very different picture from that we are getting from the MSM, even though they are all technically FROM pieces of the MSM!

It's all about integration. I have maintained that people here at TOD are complex integrative thinkers--they have the capacity to put a whole bunch together. The problem is that it's self-selection. We can't just put these on people's computers. That's why I hit "spreading" us around more and more, so that we can find those people who can get it.

That's why I picked up the Krugman video too. Over at his blog yesterday, he made the point that energy is "one of those issues that’s orthogonal to the usual political divide…"

I think he is dead on. The solutions, centralization and decentralization, are patently ideological, yes. However, the bases for having the attitudes to subscribe to those ideological stances are going to be increasing determined by "where you sit" class-wise and access-to-cheap-energy-wise...which is very different from where we are in our current political universe.

Energy has never been a big deal politically because we have had it cheaply.


I like the video summaries on a weekly basis. It's a nice change from reading and a good counter to the Sunday morning talking heads blather.

From PG (Prince George).

I'm surprised Moyers didn,t go beyond the obvious -- all the way to the truth, which is we invaded Iraq because Sadaam got tired of being bombed daily for years and decided to sell his oil in euros, threatening the almighty dollar. Not only is oil $140 but our economy and our dollar is in the toilet. Way to go. Oh and Iran is planning to sell their oil in euros or gold. I guess that means another war. Too bad we burned through all of our oil as fast as we possibly could.

Saudi-US relations, American elections, and the price of oil

Given the lack of transparency re Saudi oil assets and production capacity, what follows is conjecture. But what if...

Go back to the TOD analyses posted in March 2007 or so and revisit the Saudi oil production graphs displayed against the OPEC quota for KSA. Compare the graphs with the events.

Does ahyone have a credible explanation for the huge excess production over quota that occurred in the Summer and Fall of 2004 leading up to the Nov election? Was it political? The Saudis weren't happy with Bush for going into Iraq against their wishes, but the alternative may have been even less to their liking - a Pres. Kerry asking for a second time (re another unpopular war), "Who will be the last soldier to die for a mistake?" The price of oil was rising even with the huge bump-up in Saudi production, and Bush only won by, for example, 150,000 votes in Ohio - what would have happened had they produced a million b/d or so less in those months? Would a higher gas price spike going into November have made a difference and did KSA not want to take a chance on the consequences of an abrupt Kerry withdrawal from Iraq - a serious shift in the Sunni-Shiite balance of power in the region? I don't know and neither does anyone else, though many of us have opinions.

Now turn to the 2006 elections. By this time, were the Saudis so fed up with Bush's poor prosecution of the war that a calculation was made to encourage a divided American government by cutting production, keeping prices high, and shifting power Democrats in Congress. Admittedly, conjecture. But remember, KSA's oil policy is that the facts are secret and that, at no time in recent years has the Kingdom ever relented from its assertions that it maintains substantial surplus production capacity - not for one month, not for one minute.

But now, surely with all the trouble high energy prices have been causing in the world for almost a year now, but esp. in 2008, prudence (self-preservation) would have dictated Saudi action to restore production levels - not to perpetuate protected lifestyles in the OECD countries but to avoid the risk of politically destabilizing events, such as the Bhutto assasination, political strife in Egypt, etc. At this point, a US-centric view is unhelpful. The Saudis have to see what's going on in the rest of the world; so their inaction may say a lot about the validity of their (repeated and continuous) assertions of healthy production capacity margins.

This in turn leads to the question of whether something more resembling a market has emerged - some buyers can't afford to buy, some can; some sellers can't sell more (KSA), and some sellers won't (Libya). A market where the "swing producer" no longer exists and can only affect prices by withholding supply - not a particularly useful attribute in the current circumstances. The background on 2004 events is presented to ask this - in far less extreme circumstances than now, KSA bumped up its production suddenly by a large amount. But now, after many months of a far more apparent need in the world market, the Saudis only belatedly and by a smaller margin have begun to respond. What does this mean?

"Just my opinion, I could be wrong."

But now, after many months of a far more apparent need in the world market, the Saudis only belatedly and by a smaller margin have begun to respond. What does this mean?

That was heavy sour oil, the Saudi's by being able to only put out heavy sour oil at 140$ a barrel have showed they have lost their political clout and ability to manipulate prices.. I think you relate to much of the Saudi's production with political events, remember the Ghawar is almost 60 years old, along with most the other fields in the KSA. I think right now they are doing as good as they possibly can to keep production where it is..


My intent was to ask questions. My first one, "Does anyone have a credible explanation for the huge excess production over quota that occurred in the Summer and Fall of 2004 leading up to the Nov election?" - was not rhetorical. Go back and look at the graph - KSA's '04 uptick in production from their tired old fields was huge and way above quota - like some prior KSA production decisions made for political reasons, e.g., in the 1980s (drive down the price, hurt the Iranians & the Soviets).

Compare that '04 production surge with what's going on now - a far worse world energy situation with millions of poor folks all over the world hurting from rising prices, combined with increasing instability, and why is the Kingdom sitting on its alleged surplus production capacity? The conclusion I reached is that it's gone, never to be seen again. KSA keeps its data in the dark and lies to the world. . . ?

My next questions are for the US Congressional leadership - What do the CIA/NSA energy analysts know & when did they know it? Is there a Nat'l Intelligence Estimate on energy and when was it produced? What has been shared with Bush/Cheney & Co. and when? What did they know and didn't share with the Hill? Should you be mad as hell, and why aren't you?

Does anyone have a credible explanation for the huge excess production over quota that occurred in the Summer and Fall of 2004 leading up to the Nov election?

Just prior to the invasion of Iraq (March '03), the Saudis promised to increase oil production by a sizeable amount, maybe as much as 1 million barrels per day. They appear to have been on board with the effort to take out Saddam. They knew oil production was going to be down while the war lasted, and they were trying to avoid a huge spike in oil prices when that happened.

I'm sure the US assured the Saudis the war would only last a few weeks and that oil production would be back online in a few months at the most. In fact, as we know, the situation gradually deteriorated and oil from Iraq was a long time coming.

It could be the Saudis were fulfilling their pledge to pump more, but it just took them a year to ramp up production. It could be they rushed extra production online after the war didn't "pay for itself in oil" as the neocons had promised. Or it could be that Dubya ran to the Saudis and begged them to pump more to help him get re-elected. Personally, I would favor the last of those explanations based on what I know about Republican election tactics and the long-standing relationship between the Bushes & the Saudi royals. But other explanations are also possible. Without more information it is difficult to know for sure.

Sorry, wrong guess - KSA responded to the invasion by briefly increasing their production to offset lost Iraqi prod., THEN dropped it back down - you have to look at the 3/07 TOD graphs thaat track KSA prod against their OPEC quota.

Roughly a year LATER, well in advance of the '04 election, they rapidly increased production and kept it there until the election. This second increase was larger and lasted far longer. It was way above quota, and after a diligent search, I have never found an even poor explanation for it.

As a hobby I make mead (honeywine) and I'm very familiar with how quickly a dieoff can take place with yeast. One day your carboy can be burping away quite nicely and within 24 hours its all over as the yeast either use up all their nutrients (resource depletion) to make a dry wine or die in the high levels of alcohol (polution poisoning) to make a sweet wine.

thats the nicest spin on "dieoff" I've ever heard, either way you end up inebriated... :D

"They'll stone you and then say you are brave.
They'll stone you when you are set down in your grave.
But I would not feel so all alone,
Everybody must get stoned." - b dylan

What I don't get is if yeast is so prone to killing itself off, then why is it still around as a species? Some yeasts have been around 100's of millions of years, so whatever strategy they have got, it appears to be successful.

Admittedly a carboy or petri dish are artificially created environments and don't represent natural ones, so the behaviour of yeast in the wild may be different. Either the behaviour of yeast is misrepresented or it is actually a successful strategy, either way this means that yeast is a poor analogy to our present predicament.

In fact, there are many species which successfully use boom/bust population cycles aside from yeast. So I am wondering why yeast is held up as a warning.

The "artificial environment" of the wine bottle is what does it - the yeast can't expand beyond the limits of the bottle and colonize new areas, or escape from it's own toxins (alcohol). In the wild, yeasts would live, for example, on the skin of wild grapes, growing much more slowly and irregularly than in the controlled environment of the bottle - and the yeast would reproduce and spread via wind to other food sources - so even when those particular wild grapes died or were eaten, the yeast species would still survive.

Think of prehistoric nomadic human hunter-gatherers - after the game became depleted in one area, they'd move on to another. Except now in 2008 there's few if any other places to move on to (anyone up for colonizing Mars?)

The new frontier (apologies to whoever dreamed that up in the '60s) is where we are, to use the land we have and the materials available. Engineer-Poet has presented more than one system for making do with what we have. It may be an evolved human trait to want to move on, but for most of us, where we are now is likely where we'll have to stay. Locavores, all. I did a hand-span estimate (WAG, mas o menos) a while back that there are about 3,000 square miles of golf courses in the US - just waiting to be used for locally-grown food.

Why think of terriforming Mars when we can do it to golf courses? (Wasn't it Westexas who wrote a letter to Tiger Woods proposing something like this?)

That's a good point.

For a species apparently intent on regular genocide and suicide, our numbers at the moment just point to another dismal failure to achieve even those goals.

The tagline for our predicted demise might be Yogi's "Nobody goes there any more.. too crowded!"

This is reminiscent of a comment I made earlier. Yeast may be stupid but it will outlive us. Yes, humans are dumber than yeast.

Spore forming for humans who are too dumb to mutate.

Also here, the latest in spore pods for the ultimate doomer!

Maybe yeasts' "strategy" is to not feel the pain and suffering of a die-off...

Seriously, I don't think it's very reasonable to suggest that because "many species use boom/bust population cycles" that this is an acceptable way for human beings to live. We don't have the option of not feeling the pain, and a few straggling humans aren't going to be blown by the wind to another damp spot a few feet away.

The analogy, in other words, is specifically to yeast in a petri-dish, not yeast in the wild.

Given what I expect to be happening in the near future, I'd appreciate any resources you can point to for mead production.





An excellent video-- very thought provoking. I do think that we have overshot and there will be a die off.

BUT this is my main critique of your analogy and perhaps you could respond.

All of the yeast/humans on earth are not of equal status. Some of the humans are better at fighting the other humans. If you maintain consumer capitalism over a long period of time than you will get your outcome.

BUT capitalism/globalization/consumerism will be dropped soon. Let's say there are some yeast/humans that spend close to 1 trillion dollars a year building up their ability to kill the other humans. And let's say that those humans also consume 21 million barrels a day but also let the other humans have access to the remaining 63 million barrels. Let us say these killer humans face a shortfall in the barrels that they consume. Will they still allow access to the other less well armed humans?

Global capitalism is a relatively new phenomenon. Once it is no longer advantageous to the U.S. we will institute the system that is much more common to history: mercantalism.

The U.S. will close off the Gulf and start rerouting ships. The NYMEX price will be abandoned and the third world--non-aggressive humans will die. This scenario turns my stomach but I don't know how the world will avoid it.

How the U.S. does it is the real question. If we do it in a heavy-handed way then the outcome will be quick but if we collude with the other well-armed humans than we can avoid nuclear war but still orchestrate the death of the third world. Both scenarios would be the most immoral act that humans have ever perpetrated.
BLAH!!! Very disturbing to think about.

Your cheap oil from Iraq will be here any day now-unless Bejing pays a penny more, then you don't get any, so start walking to your McJob.

Just biked to my job this morning thank you. The project of mercantalism is doomed to failure. It doesn't mean that it will not be undertaken.

Iraq was a smashing success for the neocons.
1. It increased the defense budget.
2. Created a private army(Blackwater, Dycorp, Aegis etc.) to turn on the international and domestic enemies(Katrina) without all that messy constitutional stuff.
3. It increased the bases put onto the Risk Game in the most strategic area in the world.
4. It allowed a huge transfer of wealth in the U.S.
5. It increased the profits of Lockead Martin, Exxon/Mobile, and Halliburton among others.
6. It furthered the continuing cover for the oil war- The Clash of Civilizations.

Maybe the goal for Iraq wasn't bringing cheap oil to the market. This would only benefit China. Maybe the goal for Iraq was to increase the strategic/military advantage for the coming peak. After all look at the people who grasped the concept of peak long before me or most people at the oil drum. It was James Woolsey, Dick Cheney, James Baker, James Schlessinger, and others. Not exactly a bunch of girl scouts.

Brian- don't confuse understanding the neocons and the game they are playing with agreeing with them.

I guess I overreacted to the bit-"once global capitalism is no longer advantageous to the US, we will"- my understanding is that the "we" group is a lot smaller than people realize.

Bad habit of mine. I will stop using "we" when I mean PNAC that calls for using ethnic biological weapons to kill other human beings.

They(PNAC) have a plan for peak oil and it is going to require that we(true patriots) rise up.

Speaking of this-here is one of those patriots who is standing up to the PNAC plan.

Ron Paul doesn't understand peak oil but I will take him over Roscoe Bartlett who is voting yes on HR 362.

There is a group of people that are bored as hell with Stewart Saniford's, West Texas's and Khebab's charts because they have better data than we do on this sight. If the CIA could do a field by field study of Russian oil in 1977 what makes you think that they can't do the same thing with Saudi Arabia? What company retrofitted Saudi oil wells in 1999- Halliburton. Why are two of the most adamant peak oil people ex-CIA directors?

These psychopaths have a plan- they have known about peak oil for a long time. We've got to come up with a plan to stop them.

"Just because your paranoid does not mean they are not out to get you." Catch 22

Perhaps Simmons may be right about the presidential campaign after all


Boris, haven't you got enough to get on with just organising the last ever olympic games, or more accurately the olympic games after the last ever one?

We are obviously smarter than yeast in as much as we can see what is coming, such as peak oil or global warming. However every single human is wired a little differently. Some can see a problem at face value and then seek out solutions, and then implement them. Others though see the problem as only one of perception, meaning they argue the problem (global warming) doesn't really exist, and those people/politicians become impediments to moving forward to solutions. Others still agree there is a problem but are resigned to do nothing, because it will cost too much or seems too daunting, and others even view it as a positive, such as considering how best to divide the spoils when the arctic becomes ice free in the Summers.

So the problem with humankind is not so much the inability for experts in a particular field to understand a problem, but it then becomes such a massive undertaking to get others to agree. For example, Gore tried to get Congress in the 80's to understand the potential dire consequences of global warming, yet Congress simply just ignored him. Simmons explained Peak oil to Bush in 2000 in a series of discussions, yet Bush did nothing to develop alternative energy except ethanol which is a bust, and invaded Iraq which is a disaster.

Getting on the same page in a democratic system is so difficult that we cannot move off our butts until the pond is at 50% full of lilly pads on the 29th day. On the 30th day as we argue what action to take, the pond fills with fauna. Even after the pond is full we still cannot agree on a solution. Some even claim its a benefit because it keeps the fish cool under all that shade. Others claim the lillies can be ground up for feed for cattle and money can be made. As days turn into weeks the pond becomes a giant block of leaves and time has run out on saving it.

Peak oil is no different than any other problem regarding human responses. Every other possible scenario is exhausted in an ongoing effort to avoid the geologic viewpoint of peak oil. What humankind's failure is that the experts in each field where a problem exists are ignored. Geologists are ignored regarding Peak oil. Scientists are ignored regarding global warming.

However, do we reject the electrician that tells us we need another circuit breaker? Do we reject the plumber that says a roto tool will be needed to clear the sewage pipe? Do we ignore the mechanic when he says the thermostat is shot - you need a new one or your engine will be damaged from overheating and cost you much more?

No, we listen to those experts in their fields of expertise. So why can't we listen to the geologists and scientists? Why are those experts considered conspirators by some?

When we simply listen to the consensus of experts in a field related to a problem, then quickly develop a set of steps to solve it, and implement those steps, then we will solve problems before they become a crisis.

Re: So why can't we listen to geologists and scientists?

Because they are not dealing with the everyday practical problems cited in your other examples.

Clearly Peak Oil is a long drawn out process that will put the average person to sleep compared to getting his car fixed. Global warming is less urgent than getting your thermostat fixed.

Add to that even if the geologists are right about Peak Oil they disagree on mitigation. Witness the anti ethanol campaign.

Just because a geologist is correct on Peak Oil does not mean he knows anything about agriculture or ethanol.

And not all problems have solutions. Peak Oil might be like the problem of death. The best that can be achieved is delay of the inevitable.

x - "why can't we listen to geologists and scientists?"

People by and large see the energy problem and climate change as some far off obscure threat even if they accept the science.

We live in societies that have isolated us from the landbases and eco-systems that sustain our lives. How do you communicate to people that aren't starving or gasping for air that it's all coming to an end? Remember that the curse of Cassandra is "not to be believed".

Dennis Miller did a comedy special from Vegas a couple of years ago and one of the biggest laugh lines was about people fretting over global warming and species loss:

"They tell me that the polar bear is going extinct. Gee that's too bad. But face it folks the majority of us aren't going to Alaska to see the vanishing polar bears. We might go play poker at Klondike Pete's, an Alaskan themed Casino on the Strip, but we're not going to Alaska..."

Try this for an explanation: People believe what they are told. The media is their source of information. The media is owned by corporations which have certain interests which effect the information they provide.

So why can't we just listen to our geologists and scientists?

A good question, but it opens a Pandora's box full of more questions:

1. Why don't smokers listen when their doctors (experts) tell them to quit?

2. Why don't geologists and scientists know how to practice in the dark arts of advertisement and mind control the way that Big Oil and Big Tobacco do?

3. Why aren't we taught in school how the human brain works and how fallble it is to accepting false beliefs?

4. Why do we continue to be fruitful and multiply as if there are no bounds to our wine bottle (aka planet)?

5. Why is everyone except me, crazy, stupid, soulless, inferior and not deserving to enjoy the good life the way I am entitled to do?

6. Why do some people like to pose inconvenient questions just when the ethanol is starting to kick in during a party?

7. Why do people keep reading TOD even though it's nothing but more bad news each day?

It's simple, people are smart individually, but they are fools as a whole. They can only see the future individually, but as a whole only the short term, population growth itself has muddled our old response to such problems, which was get everyone together and figure out the problem and decide what to do. This is pretty much impossible because our social hierarchy has reached such a ridiculous level of complexity and specialization not only are people unable to look at the big picture as a wise generalist or renaissance man would, they are of such numbers there is no such thing as a goold old fashioned town hall meeting where issues can be discussed and delt with efficiently and wisely.

"If two people live in an apartment and there are two bathrooms, then both have freedom of the bathroom. You can go to the bathroom anytime you want to stay as long as you like for whatever you need. But if you have twenty people in the apartment and two bathrooms, no matter how much every person believes in freedom of the bathroom, there is no such thing. You have to set up times for each person; you have to bang on the door, “Aren’t you done yet?” In the same way, democracy cannot survive overpopulation. Human dignity cannot survive. Convenience and decency can’t survive. As you put more and more people onto the world, the value of life not only declines, it disappears. It doesn’t matter if someone dies, the more people there are, the less one person matters."
Issac Asimov, with my view on democracy

Oddly, the evidence is we're smarter in numbers. Ask two people the answer to something where they have to guess ("What is the number of windows on the White House?"). The average of their answers is more often closer to the truth than either answer individually. The effect gets stronger the more answers you average.

This "wisdom of crowds" effect may work better on things where there's at least some clue - where everybody has seen pictures of the White House at some point. So polling strangers on what year we'll see peak oil, well, YMMV.

But individually we're not that smart. That's central to the whole scientific method, which focuses on the collective nature of the enterprise, and especially on replication. It's the opposite of religion, where one divinely-inspired prophet is sufficient. The current state of things is largely because our culture is still looking to advance itself through prophecy rather than science. Thus, for instance, the climate change deniers all focus on demonizing Gore - they think knocking down the supposed prophet of the message they want to suppress should be sufficient. They have little idea that science is something else.

As I understand it, the Wisdom of Crowds refers to exactly the kinds of questions you refer to: Ask people *individually* and take the average as a single answer. This works rather well in "how much does the cow weight?" kind of questions. The Idiocy of Crowds is when a group (especially large groups, such as populations of entire nations) has to agree *before* giving an answer that everybody accepts.

That is a recipe for not doing anything at all - most of the time, sometimes we end up with Germany in '30s and sometimes we end up with Great Britain shortly after... But until the crisis is utterly obvious to pretty much everybody there will not be much action (well the French will put some manure on Champs-Élysées, but it won't do much good).

"Why don't geologists and scientists know how to practice in the dark arts of advertisement and mind control the way that Big Oil and Big Tobacco do?"
Because geologists and scientists don't own the media "the way that Big Oil and Big Tobacco do..."

For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert, so people will just keep hearing whatever they want to hear. Abiotic oil, perpetual motion machine du jure, etc., etc.

Sir Isaac Newton's second law of expert motion?

What's the first?
A mass of experts in motion will continue along the same path unless acted on by an external expert?

Wow! Major scientific progress in the comments section of TOD! Keep up the good work everyone!

Heh-heh-heh, never heard that one before(the quote's not mine, heard many times before).


To the degree that the complexity and magnitude of any problem increases, the likelihood of general consensus decreases. Large problems, such as peak oil and its related issues in this discussion, are largely resolved by brute force or other revolutionary means.

Kunstler, talking about what a post-oil era might be like, reminded me of this passage from a book on 15th-century Spain:

"The obstacles to industrial advance were, however, formidable. Quite apart from the shortage of capital and of skilled workmen, distances were enormous and communications poor. Mule trains and ox-carts moved slowly and ponderously across the meseta, and the costs of transport added terrifyingly to prices: the cost, for instance, of carrying spices from Lisbon to Toledo was greater than the original price paid for the spices in Lisbon."

(J. H. Elliott, "Imperial Spain: 1469-1716")
Your Brain Lies to You

FALSE beliefs are everywhere. Eighteen percent of Americans think the sun revolves around the earth, one poll has found. Thus it seems slightly less egregious that, according to another poll, 10 percent of us think that Senator Barack Obama, a Christian, is instead a Muslim. The Obama campaign has created a Web site to dispel misinformation. But this effort may be more difficult than it seems, thanks to the quirky way in which our brains store memories — and mislead us along the way. . . .

Journalists and campaign workers may think they are acting to counter misinformation by pointing out that it is not true. But by repeating a false rumor, they may inadvertently make it stronger. In its concerted effort to “stop the smears,” the Obama campaign may want to keep this in mind. Rather than emphasize that Mr. Obama is not a Muslim, for instance, it may be more effective to stress that he embraced Christianity as a young man. Consumers of news, for their part, are prone to selectively accept and remember statements that reinforce beliefs they already hold. In a replication of the study of students’ impressions of evidence about the death penalty, researchers found that even when subjects were given a specific instruction to be objective, they were still inclined to reject evidence that disagreed with their beliefs.

You want to get scared shitless about the American public read Sceptical Inquirer sometime. They periodically report on polls like that and the results never fail to stupefy me.

I wonder if Rubin considered the difference in demand elasticity between those people that he based his reduction in driving on (those with access to public transit) and those he excluded (people dependent on cars). I drive about 5000 miles a year. I walk or take transit to everything of necessity (work, grocery, friends, entertainment etc.

99.5% of my driving is discretionary. Visiting relatives, heading to the beach, mountains, etc. If gas was $10 maybe even $20 a gallon now, it wouldn't change that one bit. In fact, it might be easier to get out to the mountains due to less traffic so I might do it more.

Rubin did not extrapolate from his 50+ million group with accesss to existing transit to the rest of your population. The reductions he talked about are to come from about 20% of that group alone as they make the decision to drive less or are forced to. He mentioned those who have no choices at the moment (or don't need to make the choice)being the next wave requiring huge expansion of public transportation. Totally discretionary driving may be the last to change but even here it will at best represent less cash flow for this group as more is absorbed in the fuel tank. The impact on the vehicle industry will come across the board from falling sales to the production of mainly more efficient vehicles.

BobCousins asked: "So I am wondering why yeast is held up as a warning?"

Look to Darwin and his current "reductionist" off-shoots, who insist on reducing man to a mere replicating machine.

Scientistic materialists -- including the radical Darwinists -- are like defoliants, or people who would take an axe to this beautiful tree that has organically grown over the past 2000 years. Please, I am not being polemical here. When you mess with the fundamental vision that holds a culture together "from the inside," you are messing with the equivalent of nuclear physics on the collective human plane: an Adam smasher, if you will. You just have no idea what you will unloose from the bowels of hell.


The adverse changes in the culture over the past 40 years have been undeniable to anyone who has lived through them. Do I blame only reductionistic Darwinism? Of course not. I blame the general "materialization" of man, of which that is just a reflection. And materialization means dehumanization. Again, it is inevitable.


Perhaps it is my psychoanalytic training which makes me very aware of the thin membrane that separates man from his most primitive and regressive impulses, and which prevents man from seeing his fellow man as prey. But if my fellow man is not even a man, just a self-replicating animal.... To me, this looks like a nightmare come true -- like a living hell. And it will naturally require a leviathan state to keep these animal-machines in check, and perhaps that is the point.


Human beings do not live in world of sense-data. But the postmodern vertical barbarians do. In their small minds, they are "liberated" from the "childish mythologies" of the past. In this regard, such an impoverished scientism "is assuredly cut to the measure of modern man who conceived it and who is at the same time its product" (Schuon).

Excerpt from Religious Humanism vs. Darwinist Animalism, Dr. Robert Godwin

Nice gestalt forming set of videos P. Goose, for instance makes one think that when we get exponential growth of population combined with exponential decrease in oil and other resources we will see the optimist in Mr. Kunstler with his view that the emergency will be a long one. But of course, like me, he is pretty old so any emergency in that time frame is likely to be viewed as long, eh?

Also makes me think that the future will tend towards cultural diversity. I understand that 500 is about the optimum size for a well functioning tribe where all members can recognize each other. Well I would say that that will speak very well for US cultural diversity, as at the current rate of population increase of I person every 10 seconds there can be 8 new tribes formed on every day of the year. I hope that will mean more diverse dinning opportunities for slow food and leisurely dinning (as long, of course, that I am not on the bill of fare).

As I said up above, I think all four of the videos under the fold, taken together, paint a very different picture from that we are getting from the MSM, even though they are all technically FROM pieces of the MSM! To me, it's all about integration. I have maintained that people here at TOD are complex integrative thinkers--they have the capacity to put a whole bunch together. The problem is that it's self-selection...and we can't just put these on people's computers. That's why I hit "spreading" TOD as much as we can, so that we can find those people who can get it.

There is a scene in V for Vendetta, where the detective is asked by his partner if he knows what's going to happen towards the end of the film...

Finch: [...] I suddenly had this feeling that everything was connected. It's like I could see the whole thing, one long chain of events that stretched all the way back before Larkhill. I felt like I could see everything that happened, and everything that is going to happen. It was like a perfect pattern, laid out in front of me. And I realised we're all part of it, and all trapped by it.

Dominic: So do you know what's gonna happen?

Finch: No, it was a feeling. But I can guess. With so much chaos, someone will do something stupid. And when they do, things will turn nasty.

It is a feeling many of us get...assimilating, understanding all these pieces-parts. It's all about integration and understanding the complexity of all of this stuff. (My point up above.)

And it's even harder, because we can't pull a Larry Kudlow and come up with a mantra of "Drill! Drill! Drill! King Dollar!" and summarize the viewpoint...and if we do it's "we're running out of oil" or something stupid like that.

Instead we are left to reason and persuade...and much of that is and will continue to be lost on the American people until they have little choice otherwise.

Peoples' lives are going to change; many will have to learn to live with less mobility.

I tend to think it will be a long slow secular slog downward punctuated by equilibria of acceptance of fate, except for those fortunate enough to be in the right places doing the right things--whatever those are for you, well, you have to decide that.

We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. (Willy)

One right thing, IMO, is not to miss out on the now of life, maybe that is why we are where we are, too much missing and not enough kissing?

Now if one can say something like that in our Kulture he has to be dumber than yeast, right?;)

BTW I will try to find that movie, looks interesting, and also, if you haven't already, try 'The Singing Detective' if you can find it in that original British TV production it is really a treat.

PG: Thank you for that reference to V for Vendetta! It captures my feelings exactly. I try to convey what is happening to my family and friends, but most of them are stuck in "Happy Valley." They can't think for themselves or they do not trust themselves to search and see. They cannot sufficiently reason or connect the dots. They are simply lost in the land of sound bites and false expectations. Perhaps there is no way around the fact that some of us are "hard-wired" to see the whole picture; to investigate regardless. Natural selection seems to always produce, in varying degrees, visionaries and thinkers for the overall benefit of the whole. Let's hope we have enough this time.

Well it's been over a year and 73 vids posted so far....check_out_and_share

RE: Exponential Growth

The way the policies are here in the US, I just can't see us doing anything meaningful until it's too late. From the first video, once half the resources are gone it only take 1 more cycle to use the other half.

What politician would propose an immediate & radical change in the "American way of life" at the halfway point? Or the 1/4 way point which only gives us 2 cycles instead of 1? No, politicians will wait until it is clearly obvious to the village idiot (who he is pandering for his vote) that there is a problem, then propose a "solution" which is a slight change in the future such as increasing MPG to 30+ by 20xx.

Look at the nonsense with mandatory ethanol amounts, bans on offshore & ANWR drilling, bans on refineries, bans on nuclear power, bans on wind farms, bans on solar farms, etc. We should have been doing these things decades ago and transitioned our society to that of Europe - good public transportation, small cars & mopeds, "live-work-play" cities, etc. Instead we did the exact opposite - wipe out public transportation (especially on the West Coast), big, Big, BIG vehicles, and $750,000+ houses in the exurbs.

I'm trying not to sound like a doomer, but with America's complacency to act to do the right thing (when in fact we are doing the wrong things) and with only 1 or 2 cycles left until economic activity is SEVERELY impacted, is there any hope? Just look at how oil is affecting our military.

IMO the hopes and dreams placed on America are totally unrealistic. The USA has shown an ability to take care of maybe 25-30% of the country's population.There was a temporary period, early 50s to early 80s, where this was extended to a greater % of the population. This period coincided with dramatic increases in oil extraction. This was a one time event. The USA is not structured in any way like Japan, Germany, Sweden, France etc. so discussions about post peak mitigation are pointless without realizing this reality. IMHO post peak that 25-30% focus will shrink to maybe 15%, more similar to present day Mexico, which is gradually merging with the USA without any public discussion or understanding.

PedalPusher - "I just can't see us doing anything meaningful until it's too late."

Dmitry Orlov in his book "Reinventing Collapse" called large government programs "Boondoggles" which he defines as "solutions to problems that result in more severe problems than they were intended to solve."

But he asserts that "Boondoggles" are a positive. Since the end result of all of these boondoggles is to push us all down further and further, faster and faster.

"If it pushes us down far enough, when the economic collapse finally arrives it will be like falling out of a ground floor window. So if someone comes along and proposes that we invest in a boondoggle that runs on hydrogen by all means encourage them!"

"Much ado about nothing" W.S.

Are Human's Smarter than Yeast?

You have to be specific which humans you are talking about. Certainly the sumairians, egyptians, mesopotamians, mahrgarians, mohnjodarians, ancient chinese, aztecs, mayans etc were smarter than yeast because they knew how to live in their means, how to keep both population and consumption in check, how to be happy in less and how to give only naturally repairable damage to environment. On the contrary americans, british, russians, modern chinese, french, germans etc etc etc do not know these things.

The egyptians worked like dogs to build useless structures for the after-death glorification of their rulers. Smart people would have spent that effort building hotels at Sharm-el-Sheik.

And are the aztecs' massive human sacrifices your idea about "how to keep population in check"?

Smart people would have spent that effort building hotels at Sharm-el-Sheik.

and kept the world safe for international peace and Disco.

WFP, so where are those guys now that we need them?;)

It was a good talk on growth, but it was sadly lacking something. The words "human population". Human population growth is just an incredibly delicate subject it would seem. The clip talks about growth in pollution and lily pads and a few other things, but it was left for the listener to "connect the dots", i.e. it only IMPLICITLY pointed to human population growth. I think in cases like this scientists need to suck it up and grow a pair. Don't be cowed by the religious, business, economist and political cartel which pushes infinite population growth down our throats. And don't be cowed by the population Polly Annas who say "don't worry - will peak at 9 billion in 2050". At this point the human population needs to shrink, and we can't even get a significant amount of people agreeing that it shouldn't grow. Which is, for lack of a better word - pathetic.

I think in cases like this scientists need to suck it up and grow a pair.

Heh, considering your topic I assume "growing them" is fine, as long as they are never used for their primary purpose? :-}

Overpopulation is not a problem mate. In the resultant expoential oil decline without alternatives, extreme depression, MAD MAX times and regrouping the population will end up about the same as a while back ... ~1.5 Billion. A 3:1 reduction so not to worry.

Yawn. What exponential growth? Human population growth is just barely linear, and the peak population under a BAU scenario as forecasted by the UN has been repeatedly shifted downwards; it is now 9.2 billion in 2075.

If you want a little less vacuous discussion on 9/11 conspiracy theories I can recommend the JREF forums.

Oh hell, that'll be just a wee bloody drop in the moshpit! More about getting ones kishka in knot, more experiential than exponential, eh?

olberman thinks he can put wind farms anywhere?

"wind is not a good answer? try telling that to people who live near Palm Springs."

Wind can help but it can't do the job by itself -- not by a longshot.

the san gorgonio pass is a beautiful location and there are others but you can't put a wind farm just anywhere. It sounds like drill here drill now, never mind if there's an oil trap.

it's all about politics.
the left and the right sound dumb and dumber.

it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the war was about oil. I new that from the beginning. I was one of those original 10% of the country who was still opposed to bush and didn't trust him even though i didn't know about Peak Oil until late 2003.

it seemed like saddam had to prove he didn't have WMD.

We're crazy not to be using our own resources. Much has changed since the 1982 offshore drilling moratorium was enacted. Drilling technology has advanced over the past quarter-century. Oil companies can drill more efficiently in deeper water with significantly less risk to the environment. "Compared to worldwide tanker spill rates, outer continental shelf operations are more than five times safer,'' according to the Department of Interior's Minerals Management Service. Domestic drilling would also create a huge economic boost to America.
Both US political parties cling to long-standing positions on energy - then blame their colleagues across the aisle for blocking their efforts.
The MMS overcharges oil companies just for prospecting rights alone, effectively stealing money that could be used to drill wells and find oil. For example the U.S. government just received $3.7 billion from company bids in a single lease sale in March 2008.
US oil companies have to weave their way through a labyrinth of environmental rules that Congress has imposed on them, plus defend themselves against bogus legal attacks from green extremists. The Government recently got $2 billion from Shell for offshore Alaska leases, then let lawyers stop drilling because the exploration ships "might bump into whales". The despots who sell us oil at $140 a barrel love the US government, we fund their entire bloated economies instead of using our own vast and abundant energy supplies.
Oil is the fuel of the immediate future - you can bet on it! We must move forward to a future in which cleaner natural gas, electricity, and renewable energy fuels cars and heats homes. But this transformation will take 20-30 years. In the meantime, the current Anti-American-Energy Congress has long pursued an energy policy that has done nothing to ease the price at the pump. Yes we need to wean ourselves from oil, but only as fast as technology can replace oil energy while we keep our country and economy safe. This is breaking the backs of American consumers and domestic industry infrastructure still dependent on fossil fuels, This is unacceptable anti-social, Anti-American behavior. Change is urgently needed.
Drill and drill now. We must take any and all action necessary to solve this very real crisis.
House Democrats keep blocking efforts to expand domestic offshore drilling. Not only has the Democrat controlled Congress failed to end our reliance on the Middle East for essential energy, they've actually helped grow that dependence to historic and dangerous new levels -- all because of their doctrinaire refusal to allow responsible energy production here at home.
Oil is the ultimate pocket book issue. Polls show that the price of gas is the No. 1 issue on voters' minds. A recent Consumer Reports survey found people place the blame for high gas prices first on the government, then on the foreign oil companies, and third is a tie between Congress and Middle East conflicts. In short, you the people are fed up.
Democrats need to announce their support for immediate domestic offshore drilling for oil and gas, ANWR oil production and oil-shale developments, to rapidly increase supply paired with investments in energy efficiency, if they are to have any hope of winning in November. Their "It Will Take Too Long, So Let’s Never Get Started" mantra is just plain stupid. Developing alternative energy will take even longer.
Creating alternatives to oil and gas isn’t as simple as flipping a switch or passing a mandate. Biofuels requirements for corn-based ethanol have already caused food inflation and global food riots. As for solar and other renewable sources like wind power that the daft media promotes. Both have serious disadvantages: the sources are inconsistent (the sun goes down and the wind stops blowing) and currently we don’t have the technology to store the power on a large scale. And they cost a lot more than existing energy supplies.
ANWR alone could be replacing 10-15% of America's imported oil within 3-5 years. Is anybody home in la la energy land?
The energy needs of the United States have made oil our number one import and the biggest factor in our imbalance of trade. It is not just that oil holds us hostage to the rest of the world. This imbalance of trade means we cannot support ourselves and must borrow from other countries every day just to get by.
There is an Urgent Need for Affordable Transportation Fuels Sourced in America;
1. There is no substitute for energy. The whole edifice of modern society is built upon it…. It is not “just another commodity” but the precondition of all commodities, a basic factor equal with air, water and earth. E. F. Schumacher (1973)
2. Energy is vital in order to create and sustain economic and social development. Our whole economy reflects the relative costs of energy: the cars we drive, the houses we occupy, the kinds of factories we have, and the equipment in them.
3. Hydrocarbons feed the world: About 97% of nitrogen fertilizers are derived from synthetically produced ammonia. Natural Gas-based Nitrogen fertilizer made it possible for us to populate the Earth, and now we're hooked. 40 percent (soon to be 60 percent) of the Earth's inhabitants thus owe their survival to natural gas, a non-renewable fossil fuel.
4. ...If we lost all oil and gas products tomorrow, .the world would simply collapse. There would be an immense depression beyond anything we saw in the 1930s -- the economy would go back to a primitive state. There would simply not be a functioning society. It would be as if there had been nuclear war, minus the casualties from blast and radiation... In a word, we cannot as a modern society or even a modestly industrial society live without oil and gas. That is, [it is not] a luxury or a narcotic. [It is] a basic necessity of life, as basic as almost any commodity there is. Ben Stein
"Before you get all excited about tearing down the energy industry, stop and think for a moment about what makes your comfortable life possible. Your heat and most of your electricity are provided through the burning of oil and natural gas. The thousands of plastic items in your home, car and office are all made from crude oil. Much of your clothing is woven of fibers made from petroleum.
Without the hard work and ingenuity of the men and women who work for the energy companies, we would be living in the 17th century - no electricity, running water, cars, trucks, airplanes, ships, factories, waterproof clothing, soda bottles, safety glass, sterile food and medical containers, air conditioners, televisions, microwave ovens, X-Boxes, I-Pods, or any of the millions of other products made using power generated from the burning of fossil fuels."

"You would have to grow your own food, or ride your donkey to a nearby market, where there would be no refrigerators or electric lights. You'd have to kill and clean your own meat and cook it over an open fire. You'd have to chop down the trees for your home, and provide your own light by making candles from the fat of animals. Every single thing in your modern life is utterly and completely dependent upon a steady supply of oil. Without it, the entire Western world would collapse completely in a matter of weeks; tens of millions would perish from starvation, exposure, and disease." Todd Keister
The concept of using the rest of the world's oil first before exploiting our own is outdated; at $140 a barrel its either the result of mendacious policies or just plain stupidity. It has resulted in incredible unearned wealth being taken out of the pockets of every hard working American and bestowed upon entities in other countries, including governments and despots, some who fund terrorism aimed at murdering Americans.
Rep. Scott Garrett (R-5) said that "it is our responsibility to develop sound policies that will ensure energy security. What is a good energy policy? A good energy policy gives you more energy. More supply. A bad energy policy is one that makes us less secure and more dependent upon foreign sources like Saudi Arabia, Russia, and unstable regimes like Venezuela. Using 21st-century technology, the option to pursue deep-sea exploration would allow for the increase of American supply and result in a decrease in gas prices."
US current batch of elected officials have a better chance to reduce Earth’s gravitational pull than to reduce gas prices using their current anemic plans.
Help the World's Poor: by developing our own energy supplies America would free up the 10 million barrels per day currently imported, for other poorer country's needs and thus help ameliorate energy and food prices. This would go a long way in assisting the developing country's populations to enjoy a better standard of living.
China is expected to have 140 million automobiles plying its roads by 2020, seven times more than now, fueling demand for transportation infrastructure and services. If you think oil is going to go down in price with all this demand increase, think again.
OPEC Chief Sees $150-170 Oil in Coming Months; Crude oil prices could rise to as high as $170 per barrel in the coming months but are unlikely to hit $200 and should ease towards the end of the year, OPEC President Chakib Khelil said in an interview on Thursday. Source CNBC 26 Jun 2008.
OPEC President Chakib Khelil also said "...Threats against Iran would also support prices during the summer. A political crisis that would stop Iran's oil production would push prices over $200 a barrel, to possibly $400 a barrel, he said...." Source Bloomberg June 26th 2008
"....Are the ridiculously high prices we’re paying the fault of the big, bad oil companies? No, the lion’s share of the blame goes to politicians, who have locked away vast amounts of American energy -- both oil and natural gas.

In the 1980s, Congress began restricting more offshore areas from energy exploration -- prohibiting drilling in more and more places around the country. With energy relatively cheap, it was easy to give in to the carping demands of radical environmentalists, who (then as now) exaggerated the impact of drilling and downplayed the benefits.

Then, in 1990, President George H.W. Bush issued a directive restricting new offshore exploration and drilling. President Bill Clinton compounded this error in 1998 by extending the directive to 2012.

Fast forward to 2008, and it’s abundantly clear that we can’t leave huge deposits of energy to remain buried in our own backyard for another four years...." Source
Poll: 74 percent support offshore oil drilling in U.S.
Three in four likely voters – 74 percent – support offshore drilling for oil in U.S. coastal waters and more than half (59 percent) also favor drilling for oil in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, a new Zogby International telephone poll shows. Zogby International, Thursday, June 26, 2008
June 26th 2008. Alaska Governor Sarah Palin believes more oil and gas production from ANWR and offshore is crucial to America’s future..
"...the people who live here, want it drilled"
"Obama is way off base on all that. I think those politicians who don’t understand that we need more domestic supply of energy flowing into our hungry markets, you know, they’re living in La-La Land. And we’re in a world of hurt if their agenda continues to be to lock up these safe, secure domestic supplies of energy... "the people who live here, want it drilled. So that tells you that we have confidence in the safety and the responsibility that we’ll see there with the development of ANWR......"
Kudlow: Why don’t we just liberate, and decontrol, and deregulate the whole bloody energy business – whether it’s oil, gas, shale, nuclear, coal, natural gas, as well as wind and solar – why don’t we just decontrol, deregulate, go for an America first energy policy? Get independent of Saudi Arabia? America first. Create all of these millions of high paying jobs. Why isn’t anybody talking about that in this race? That’s the natural, Reaganesque thing to do. Isn’t it?

Palin: Yeah absolutely! You’re hitting the nail right on the head. That’s what so many of us normal Americans are asking. The same thing. Why aren’t the candidates talking like that? Where we can secure America and we can be more independent when we talk about energy sources if we could drill domestically.

Here we sent [Energy] Secretary Bodman overseas the other day, and our president had to visit the Saudis a few weeks ago, to ask them to ramp up development. That’s nonsense. Not when you know that we have the supplies here. You have the supplies in your sister state called Alaska, where we’re ready, willing and we’re able to pump these supplies of energy, flow them into hungry markets across the U.S. We want it to happen. It’s Congress holding us back...."
It would help if Politicians from both parties should stop telling energy mistruths to the America people.
The Congress's current energy plan is a bit like saying that during a famine the solution is to tax the farmers more. The Democrats energy policy unfairly punishes their union base. More US oil and gas exploration would mean millions of good paying jobs for American engineers, oil field workers, pipeliners, steelworkers and all the associated and downstream service industries involved.
Under our energy plan all these millions of people working in US on domestic energy projects would be able to buy a house here not fund someone else's in Venezuela or the Middle East.
Democrats now propose punishing everyone in sight; giving the federal government more authority to crack down on price-gouging by oil companies and smaller vendors, a bill requiring energy producers to relinquish any land not currently being tapped for oil or gas production, and a measure creating new restrictions for commodity traders whose speculation who they consider might have driven up the price of oil. Even a small child could figure out that none of these punitive measures will have any measurable effect on supplies or gas prices. We need more affordable supplies not more useless rhetoric.
Currently, sending $600+ billion a year overseas for imported oil is creating millions of jobs and untold wealth in other countries!
The American people don't need psychological relief or meaningless gimmicks ... they need real energy relief that will help them fill up their tanks at an affordable price and jobs to put food on the table. They need a new aggressive America-First Energy Plan.
The facts are:
There is an urgent energy emergency facing America today, causing the current recession to deepen rapidly. Much of the recessionary causes can be traced back to the increasingly high price of energy and the fact that 60% of the US oil requirements are imported resulting in $600 billion + p.a leaking out of the US economy. The energy crisis negatively impacts every citizen, business, and government entity in the country, as well as world markets.
The American economy is in dire peril at this time. Most of the malaise can be directly traced back to energy supplies and the ever-increasing price. Net petroleum imports represented 41 percent of the total 2007 US trade deficit and the number will be much higher this year.

Most oil producing countries around the world are nationalizing their oil reserves, increasing export taxes, cutting off needed investment, and many are reducing export production capability in order to supply their own rapidly growing local needs.
There needs to be recognition that the depletion rates of existing mature oilfields world-wide are rising, and new oilfields are not coming online fast enough to replace the existing production capacity.
We are entering a new world order in which other countries with increasingly larger financial resources are competing for internationally available oil and gas resources and increasingly winning dwindling supplies by paying more, (China, India etc.).
Just as the developing world’s oil demand is exploding, the world’s largest and oldest oilfields (and some newer offshore fields, too) are declining more rapidly than oilfields used to decline in the past. Just at this juncture of rising demand and stagnant supply, five countries that together produce some 13 mb/d of oil and, more importantly have the potential to produce an additional 5 - 10 mb/d, have become saddled with governments that are so incompetent, corrupt, and/or crazy that they cannot operate their oilfields rationally.
At the same time, oil producing countries have created State-owned companies to control their own oil and gas resources and extract the maximum revenues from them, resulting in the locking up of over 80% of the world’s energy reserves from access to independent oil companies (IOCs).
America is the worst offender in blocking off access to its own oil and gas resources due to politically-created offshore and onshore drilling moratoriums, onerous taxes, imposts, bizarre regulations and laws. For example only a shameful 3 percent of the United States’ 1.76 billion acre outer continental shelf (OCS) is leased for oil and gas exploration and development.
Virtually every other country in the world is drilling on their continental shelf and onshore sedimentary basins to find oil and gas, very often using American capital and technology. Why is this happening? It is primarily because American politicians at the Federal, State and local levels have made it increasingly difficult if not impossible to produce oil and gas in America by closing the Offshore Continental Shelf (OCS) and other areas with moratoriums and with an ever-increasing array of permitting requirements as well as onerous taxes and imposts. Hence American energy exploration companies have moved resources to other countries where energy prospects are available for development and the permitting requirements are easier. IOCs often accept a very small profit participation because increasingly that is the only business opportunity open to them. Hence vast amounts of American financial, engineering and entrepreneurial capacity have been wasted away.
For politicians and commentators to continue blaming independent oil companies for the high price of energy is an outright falsehood and a bald-faced lie. It is the decades-long inactions of American politicians themselves who have created the current American energy crisis.
With America facing it’s worse energy supply crisis it is high time for bipartisan affirmative action.
It is fiscally irresponsible (no, mindlessly stupid) to send more than $600 billion each year to other countries that are a lot smarter about energy than we, because they are willing to develop their own oil resources and sell them to us at a huge profit while we are not. This includes America-hating despots who sell us oil every day at a huge profit and are laughing all the way to their Swiss bank with our billions.
Without sufficient domestic oil and gas production Americans are being held hostage to foreign producers.
Environmental Impact Misconceptions
Oil exploration and production off the coast of Louisiana has been going on for decades, providing a shining example of the safety, effectiveness and limited environmental impact of modern exploration technology. All around the world today, countries drill offshore without significant environmental consequences, then sell the oil to us and make their companies people rich off our backs.
There is something immoral about refusing to drill in your own backyard because "it is bad for the environment" while being perfectly willing to buy the oil pulled out of someone else's back yard. We use oil and gas, therefore we should be willing to accept the responsibility to find it on our own soil and deal with the (minimal) environmental risks of that process.
There hasn’t been any significant oil spill from U.S. waters in over thirty years. The oil industry now has an excellent environmental record. The amount of new technology, redundancy testing all but eliminate that as a possibility today.
True effect of Oil Spills
Vast amounts of oil and gas are constantly leaking out of the world’s natural oil and gas reservoirs. Global emissions of potent greenhouse gas methane from natural marine seepage have been underestimated and are beneficially decreasing because of oil production reducing reservoir pressure. A huge fraction of the world's total oil and gas is episodically or continuously bypassing underground reservoirs completely and seeping from surface sediments on a large scale. Recent satellite photographs show numerous of oil slicks which go for miles in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere, in areas where no oil production is occurring.
There are even naturally occurring microbes that live off oil and gas seepages.
Example; The 1969 Santa Barbara spill that occurred after an oil platform blew out six miles offshore leaked oil into the ocean.
But Santa Barbara oil reservoirs are today naturally leaking an estimated 187 barrels of oil each and every day. That’s around 70,000 barrels a year, or nearly 3 million barrels since the 1969 oil spill.
Yet the local population, faced with these incontrovertible facts, still blindly refuses to let oil companies extract the oil, which would result in reducing the offending reservoir pressures hence stopping the damaging leaks.
The local offshore natural oil seepage causes more air pollution than all of the vehicles in Santa Barbara. These natural seeps are a large source of air pollution in Santa Barbara County. One estimate suggests air pollution is equal to twice the emission rate from all the on-road vehicle traffic in the county. Redondo also has huge ongoing natural oil seeps, read this article.
Timeline Lies
Many shortsighted politicians dismiss the opening up of US moratorium areas with statements such as, “it would take decades to bring the oil and gas to market, so let’s not bother”. This a not correct.
Its simple to get new American energy supplies quickly, Appeal to Corporate Greed: If oil companies are given enough financial incentives, they will move much faster than anyone believes and could find and start producing new oil and gas within 2-3 years, then ramp quickly up to produce enough energy to completely replace oil imports within 10-12 years.
Come November any candidate for any seat who does not wholeheartedly support developing America's own energy resources immediately, is likely to get hit by a virtual "voter rejection train", poetically loaded with imported $5 a gallon gasoline from Chavez, Iran and Russia.

Proposed Presidential Executive Orders:
Declare an energy emergency and set aside the OCS and ANWR moratoriums and some permitting requirements so as to fast-track various critical new energy developments.
Declaration granting a tax holiday for declared special "American Energy Economic Zones" (AEEZ), see below.
Declaration temporarily eliminating up front oil and gas lease payments, royalties and other imposts, as well as regulatory delays.
Declaration making available $200 billion p.a. in low-cost construction financing guarantees and other incentives for new energy projects in AEEZ areas.
Proposed Government Actions;
1) Cancel the Moratorium on drilling on the US Continental Shelf today.
2) Cancel the Moratorium on drilling on the Artic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) 1002 area today.
3) Support the three international waters resources rights Claims made by American Companies to contiguous oil and gas reserves that could be developed without any regulatory lags. (See; and ).
4) Put aside most of the timeline and permitting requirements for urgent, identified critical energy projects as listed here in declared "American Energy Economic Zones" (AEEZ) “in the national interest” by creating a fast-track office to evaluate and approve requested leases within 90 days.
5) Allow unsolicited OCS Lease Applications anywhere immediately, grant them on a first-in first granted basis.
6) Enlarge new OCS post-moratorium lease block sizes from the paltry 5 mile by 5 mile area to a more realistic size of perhaps 100 miles by 100 miles in frontier regions.
7) Provide a ten year tax and impost holiday on strategic new oil and gas development projects in AEEZ areas. Offer matching funds for seismic and EM surveys to be repaid from eventual production to get oil flowing sooner.
8) Provide low-cost loan guarantees for development of urgently required new oil and gas project infrastructure in AEEZ areas.
9) Provide low-cost Government guarantees or loans for offshore oil and gas ("Energy Liberty") ships and vessels built to work in the US AEEZ areas for the next 5 years.
10) Temporarily exempt approved oil and gas projects within the AEEZ areas from the US Cabotage laws so that projects can more quickly secure production equipment from overseas shipyards.
11) Set Aside Regulatory Delays for projects within the AEEZ areas. Make regulatory bodies set up departments to “fast-track” approval of energy projects to clear hurdles within 3-6 months.
12) Eliminate Frivolous and Mendacious Lawsuit Delays for projects in AEEZ areas: Create a special court to hear energy related cases with a mandate to adjudicate cases within 7 days. Example: the lawsuits currently stopping Shell from drilling off Alaska, partly on the basis that their ships might bump into whales; if applied to the rest of the world’s oceans would cease all shipping and world trade!
13) Provide 250,000 new grants for students to pay for college for future petroleum engineers and geologists, and for technical petroleum production job training programs.
14) Eliminate any royalties, taxes and permitting costs on critical new energy projects in AEEZ areas for ten years, to enable energy companies to spend every dollar of risk capital they have on US drilling, building production equipment, and related expenses, as only holes in the ground will solve the energy problem.
15) For transport; Provide tax and other incentives to build distribution infrastructure and car-truck conversion stations to switch 25% of the US vehicular fleet to compressed natural gas (CNG) within 10 years. This will lower demand for oil and lower CO2 emissions, and would require approximately 5 Trillion cubic feet (Tcf) per annum of gas.
The Solution to high oil prices: An Energy Mini-Marshall Plan
Why this will work:
These are real solutions not thinly disguised and choreographed political stunts designed to win elections rather than bring Americans gas price relief.
Create an American Oil and Gas Rush: We need to get those independent oil and gas companies, their money, explorationists, engineers and drilling rigs back into American waters promptly.
The US government must make it so financially attractive for oil companies to immediately explore and develop American oil and gas resources that the new policies create a veritable stampede to bring new domestic oil and gas to the market in record time.
If American politicians created the financial and other incentives outlined here, all those drilling rigs that are working in other countries’ continental shelf regions will come back to the US and find affordable oil and gas for Americans.
This plan promotes improved National Economic Security through common sense domestic oil and gas developments.
This plan will result in energy jobs coming back to America. It recycles virtually all of the energy money back to the US economy in taxes, dividends, jobs – high paying blue-collar jobs and white collar jobs. Billions of Dollars would get recycled through taxes. A lot of those billions could go back to the adjacent states and help them balance their budgets.
This plan would unleash an immediate tidal wave of exploration and development in the American OCS , resulting in early and growing domestic oil and gas production, that would soon replace all imported fuels.
Rapidly developing America’s own energy resources would have a price-damping effect: The mere threat of future US domestic supply competition would cause Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to cut their prices. The U.S. Congress should take notice: economics do work - not just cutting demand, but robustly increasing supply of transportation fuels will get us out of the current oil crisis.
How to get new American energy supplies quickly, Appeal to Corporate Greed: If oil companies are given enough financial incentives, they will move much faster than anyone believes and could find and start producing new oil and gas within 2-3 years, then ramp quickly up to produce enough energy to completely replace oil imports within 10-12 years.
Example: Kellog, Brown and Root ( recently designed and built the world’s largest floating oil production platform in just 12 months, the "Agbami". Where did it go? To Nigeria, where the "Government" is taking 90% of the revenues off the top, much of it disappearing into Swiss accounts.
Time to first oil and gas could be compressed from the typical 5-8 years to 2-3 years for some American resources if enough manpower and capital was directed to the projects. Just give the companies enough incentives and they will rise to the challenge.
American companies are bringing some oil and gas projects into production in less than 3 years in other countries right now.
This viable energy plan would significantly increase the security of the American homeland, create ten million new jobs for Americans and their communities, provide for America’s energy independence for 50-100 years as well as generate untold trillions in new taxes all within America and hence rapidly improve the general economic well-being.
We urge the US government to adopt this simple Energy-Economy Revitalization Plan - this is a blueprint that could be refined, improved and launched within just a few weeks.
All of the above measures would create a massive stampede of exploration and oil and gas production infrastructure on the US continental shelf and other US onshore areas, creating near-immediate increases in oil and gas production, hence rapidly lowering US consumer’s energy prices.
Much of the new offshore energy production would be in the form of Low CO2 natural gas, which, when used to make electricity or compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle fuel, reduces CO2 emissions significantly, thus helping to meet much of the proposed US Cap-and-Trade carbon reduction objectives.
Stop Bureaucratic Tax Creep: Unfortunately US bureaucracies often tend to make decisions based on the individual Department’s staff’s own perceived self interest. For example, the more royalties and fees they secure, the larger and more important the department is and the greater salaries and benefits that accrue to the staff. These fees, payments and imposts are today a major drain on oil and gas exploration capital. It is money that would otherwise be spent exploring to produce more oil and gas.
Government must leave these department heads out of the room when making critical decisions about the energy issues. The issue is too important to let self-interested bureaucracies to continue to destroy the American economy with ever-increasing arrays of hidden energy taxes and imposts.
The benefits of developing America’s own oil and gas include an estimated $600-$700 billion per year in oil payments, currently going overseas, that under our plan would stay inside America creating millions of new jobs and prosperity, here, not there.
In order to salve the consciences of the affected bureaucracies perhaps the small amount of revenue lost could be simply replaced by adding a small tax (5cents/gallon) on at the consumer end (the back end) to replace the current onerous crushing front end pre-exploration imposts. It is likely that the resulting ultimate revenue flows to the various bureaucracies would be much higher in the long term. Thus America’s security would be enhanced. The consumer would enjoy lower prices and a secure supply for 50-100 years, as well as enjoy the benefits of millions of new jobs for Americans.
This plan is not a gift to the oil companies, its simply giving back to American's what we already own, our own oil and gas supplies, on our own soil, owned by us all, which have been inadvertently taken from us by our own government and bureaucracies.
The above measures would bring about the transformation of the American energy industry and indeed create a boom in the entire US economy within five to ten years.
Note; Nuclear, solar, geothermal, coal and other static energy sources are not covered or dealt with in this proposal, which focuses primarily on QUICKLY providing more domestically sourced transport fuel.


You know, I wonder. If yeast were as intelligent as humans, would it change its doubling time?

After all, isn't competing for a scarce resource what causes evolution, and therefore a GOOD thing in the eyes of the winners and their descendants? And, aren't the majority of countries led by the most competitive psychopath they can produce?

Of course WE all hope for a peaceful power-down, because we're democratic, but most OPEC countries are not democracies. Their leaders may just be kidding us for now. They might secretly be hoping for a real war, because they expect they'll come out on top of whatever smoking mess is left.

It's in their psychopathic nature - like the yeast.

I hope I'm wrong of course.