Notes on Political Venality, Pomposity and Associated Stupidity.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

It's the End of the World As We Know It...Really

For some time now I've been reading all I can about the issue of "peak oil." I won't rehash it all for you here, except to say that the basic premise is that we are running out of oil, fast. For more details and a very insightful, clearly written and superbly annotated (hypertext wise) overview go here. But be forewarned, this is scary stuff.

If you believe (and I do) that oil will become increasingly scarce very soon, and that the government knows it better than anyone, it is easy to begin to put much of what the Bush administation is doing in perspective. Use the prism of peak oil to illuminate and view their actions and perhaps they aren't as crazy as they seem.

For instance, if, as the peak oil experts claim, we will face massisve economic disruptions and will become engaged in "resource wars" (for oil and water, among others) it is clear that a government, looking ahead, would do what it could to get a foothold in the area of the world where the most oil is. You know, like Iraq. With that in mind, the invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq looks different. It looks like a smart move, a "good opening" in the ultimate global chess game. The rest of the Iraq nonsense, like the WMDs and the constitution and all that "freedom and democracy talk" is just window dressing.

How could we do this, you say? Because, the government surmises (and I think rightfully so) that, when push comes to shove, and oil skyrockets in cost, no one will care who we steal the oil from, we'll just want it!

Think about the Chavez comment from preacher Robertson. A trial balloon, no doubt. Let Pat say this and see how it plays in the media...but again, it's all about oil. Venuzuela is on the short list of potential targets, particularly because it's in our hemisphere.

How about the CAFE standards for automakers? While it might save a bit here and there, most peak oil experts claim it would do little, if anything (and it might actually speed up the process!) to help our oil dependency. So, if that is true, the government would be crazy to push the automakers to spend capital on improved technology. They figure it would hurt the automakers and employees in the short term -- and that's the only term left to us.

If you haven't read up on this issue yet, this may all seem alarmist or nutty. But I urge you to give it your attention and take it seriously. It's just possible that the scruffy guy carrying an "The End is Near" sign down Main Street may finally be right.