Friday, November 18, 2005

World at tipping point; oil peak arrives

Online Journal

Larry Chin
November 17, 2005

The American empire is an energy junkie in its death throes, punching for new veins and final fixes, knowing that the supplies of its drug of choice -- cheap oil -- are virtually depleted.

According to geologist Kenneth Deffeyes, author of Beyond Oil: The View from Beyond Hubbert’s Peak, this long-anticipated world oil peak is now -- Thanksgiving 2005. The holocaust of imperial thrashing -- epitomized by the Bush administration’s Peak Oil-fueled criminal atrocities -- promises to intensify, along with the denial and cover-up.

Confirmation of Peak Oil crisis is everywhere. Oil supplies may be lower than OPEC wants to admit. The second largest oil field in the world, situated in Kuwait, is running dry. The US trade deficit just hit another all-time high.

Yet in the US, we have witnessed the spectacle of rising stocks, in response to temporary and artificially manipulated low gas prices created only by the tapping (and possible depletion) of strategic reserves.
As Mike Ruppert and the From The Wilderness team point out, in the course of their continuous tracking of Peak Oil-related news: “Even today the US media glibly lies and misleads about falling oil prices while failing to tell the American people that most of its domestic production is still shut in or that the 'falling' prices are simply a result of tapping the strategic reserves of this and other IEA countries. Both of those 'artificial' market influences will end shortly . . ."

The Gulf Coast’s energy infrastructure is not even close to repaired, and some damage is permanent. The official data on the impact from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita flies in the face of denials. How is it possible for energy prices to fall if supplies are depleted and the infrastructure to bring supplies to market remains crippled?

Outgoing Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and his likely successor, White House advisor Ben Bernanke, continue to tap-dance, admitting energy and severe trade deficit problems, and the “souring” of critical foreign investment in the US, but insist on repeating old mantras about eternal US economic and market resiliency.
How long before the trick bag of artificial market manipulations and transparent lies comes up as empty as a Caspian Basin dry hole? How long before the Plunge Protection Team fails? How much of the strategic reserves have been wasted, in order to create one last short-term illusion of cheap energy bounty?

Meanwhile, piece by piece, the White House cover-up of its 9/11-Peak Oil war falls apart. After years of intensive White House stonewalling, the Washington Post revealed documents proving that Dick Cheney's 2001 energy task force involved secret meetings with major oil company executives (Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Conoco and Shell Oil). This, along with other related scandals (falsified Iraq war intelligence, the Cheney-Libby-Rove-Plame case, 9/11, etc.) thoroughly vindicate those who have accurately chronicled it all.

When one finds Peak Oil suddenly the subject of major mainstream news (major magazine stories, daily headlines, books, and even television) and oil giants such as Chevron Texaco putting out expensive advertising and public relations about a worldwide energy shortage and Peak (without ever using the actual phrase), and urging conservation, the writing on the wall is beyond obvious. When California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (whose ties to Big Energy and Enron are well documented) is tapped for a tour of China to sell conservation, it speaks volumes. If this is the voice of Big Oil, the era of oil is over.

In a presentation for a Peak Oil-related conference, Mike Ruppert laid out in exhausting detail how the world’s key decision makers have been aware of and planning for the Peak Oil crisis as far back as the 1970s, if not even decades earlier. Broadly, these measures include, according to Ruppert:

1. Rationing
2. More coal and nuclear
3. Suspended environmental and drilling restrictions
4. Protection of critical infrastructure
5. Strengthening and reinforcing military operations -- the suspension of Posse Comitatus
6. Suspension and relaxation of labor and minimum wage laws
7. Changing and tightening the bankruptcy laws, allowing fewer distressed consumers to discharge debts
8. Allowing and facilitating population reduction through famine and disease
9. Strengthening and giving more power to FEMA
10.Destroying demand through economic collapse and allocating scarce resources -- by force if necessary -- to protect the interests of the wealthiest communities and interests in the country

This destructive paradigm provides the explanation for all that has transpired: the protection of what is left for elites, and the “destruction of demand." The Bush faction. Enron. The attacks of 9/11 and the “war on terrorism." The targeting of Muslim and other ethnic populations. Afghanistan-Iraq. The USA PATRIOT Act. The Bush administration’s “let them die” response to Hurricane Katrina. Cold war with China. Bird flu and other pandemics. The looting of Social Security. War against the sick and elderly. The Medicare drug disaster. Etc.
An example of the official response in action is found in the unprecedented and disastrous energy bill quietly and enthusiastically passed by Congress in August 2005. This recipe for disaster is full of subsidies to Big Energy, offering nothing for ordinary people.

Here is yet another. Even though California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Republican Party suffered a largely humiliating election defeat in which virtually all Republican-backed state measures were rejected by voters, Proposition 80, designed to re-regulate California energy (and stop Enron-type manipulations), lost. The elites who control the electronic votes (who likely assisted his previous victory) may permit political faction change, but they will not relinquish the Peak Oil energy agenda.

What next? Whether one chooses to accept the Deffeyes Thanksgiving 2005 forecast, or a more conservative one that places Peak a few more years down the road, the crisis is now.

As pointed out by Tom Whipple of the Falls Church News: “It is nearly impossible to convince people and their elected representatives something very bad is about to happen until it actually does . . . Peak oil is yet another example of denial with potentially much more serious consequences. Nearly every unbiased observer who has looked seriously at the issue comes to the conclusion world oil production will peak within 10 years -- tops.

“There is no shortage of potential events that will lead to higher prices in the next few years. The Gulf of Mexico is not going to cool down any time soon, so we can expect each year the hurricane season will produce a succession of monster storms, some of which will once again tear up oil facilities. The overall political situation in the Middle East is deteriorating. Every month brings us closer to an event that will interrupt a significant share of production . . . Once the flow from Iran, Saudi Arabia or Venezuela is interrupted, the resulting shortages and prices will lead to the rapid formation of a consensus from the White House to the courthouse . . ."It is this “consensus” -- the destruction that is sure to ensue -- that all people of the world must prepare for. The time for denial is over. The jig is up.


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