Peak Oil and 9/11: Part 3
A Short List of Some Environmental Victories in 2005
February 25, 2005
Peak Oil and 9/11: Part 3
|With global oil supplies running dry, oil-dependent economies will be forced to take desperate measures. The question remains: "How desperate?" Credit: www.bigfoot.com|
Michael C. Ruppert
From an August 31, 2004 address before the San Francisco Commonwealth Club
The Last Days of the Oil Economy
Somewhere by 2015, global oil demand is expected to increase by over two-thirds 60 mbpd (millions of barrels per day) beyond current global consumption of between 75 and 80 mbpd. To meet that demand, we will have to find the equivalent of 10 new North Sea oil fields within a decade. In the meantime Britain's North Sea (like Alaska's North Slope a decade ago) is running dry. Rigs are shutting down and employees are being laid off.
To quote former British Environmental Minister Michael Meacher, we are facing, "the sharpest and perhaps the most violent dislocation (of society) in recent history." (I should add the Meacher, along with former German Cabinet Minister and former Parliamentary Secretary Andreas von Buelow has stated publicly and in writing that the attacks of September 11 were perpetrated by the US government.)
Britain's wholesale energy prices have doubled in the last year as
the decline in North Sea production is creating a trade gap which is now threatening to cause widespread unemployment. Argentina, facing its worst energy crisis in 15 years, is becoming unstable to the point of threatening the security of the entire region. It has cut its natural gas exports to Chile by 15%, which is threatening Chilean power generation. Argentina is now moving into the world oil market in search of oil for power generation and transportation as its own domestic supplies have dwindled.
High oil prices are threatening many Asian economies. China, in the midst of rapidly diminishing harvests, a growing economy and expanding population is fearing a major food crisis. This, even as Hong Kong, Hangzhou, and Shanghai are facing mandatory blackouts which are disrupting manufacturing, trade and retail activity. Chinese oil imports increased by 15% in just the first quarter of 2004 alone.
Japan, ignoring stiff opposition from Washington, has signed a major oil contract with Iran. Three bills have been introduced in the Japanese Parliament that would suspend its nonviolent Constitution and permit a full-scale rearmament.
In Thailand, mandatory evening curfews have been imposed two nights a week, requiring all businesses to shut down in order to conserve energy.
The Australian government ordered an emergency fuel review in anticipation of future crises. In June , it conducted a test to see how the government and country would respond to a "disruption" in oil supplies.
Germany has undertaken serious and well-planned efforts to reduce energy consumption. Chancellor Schroeder called upon the G8 nations to move to mandate total and verifiable transparency in all oil reserve figures.
India, whose oil imports jumped 23% in one month, has moved to create a strategic petroleum reserve. Indonesia, a member of OPEC, has announced that its oil production will drop significantly by 2008.
Russia, having recently admitted that its oil reserves might start to decline sharply within the next five years, has announced that it will build a pipeline from its Siberian fields to the Pacific ports of Vladivostok and Sakhalin, to sell its oil to Japan, Korea and the Philippines.
On August 24, 2004, Britain's Oil Depletion Analysis Center confirmed that [global] daily oil depletion is now exceeding one million barrels per day. In other words, every day, the world is producing 1.14 million barrels per day less than it did the day before.
By analyzing data from the 18 largest oil producing nations, Petroleum Review calculated that production from these countries peaked in 1997 at 24.7 million barrels per day and that by 2003 it had fallen to 22.1 million barrels per day.
Moving towards the 'Fifth Revolution'
All over the world, oil companies are downsizing, selling-off assets, laying off employees and merging. In the US, rising oil prices have forced major airlines like United to consider raiding corporate pension funds in order to offset rising oil costs as an alternative to bankruptcy.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is just the beginning. And neither presidential candidate has even remotely addressed the real issues or dared to tell the American people the worst. The one overriding concern I have seen expressed everywhere is: "Oh, no. We can't do that. It will crash the markets!" Is that the sum total of human expression and achievement? The markets?
To close this presentation tonight, I would like to offer you quotes from two distinguished gentlemen whose names might carry a bit more weight in this room than Michael Ruppert. The first is from Sir Charles Galton Darwin who, in 1952, just one year after I was born, wrote:
"The fifth revolution will come when we have spent the stores of coal and oil that have been accumulating in the Earth during hundreds of millions of years.... It is to be hoped that, before then, other sources of energy will have been developed . . . But without considering the detail [here], it is obvious that there will be a very great difference in ways of life.... Whether a convenient substitute for the present fuels is found or not, there can be no doubt that there will have to be a great change in ways of life. This change may justly be called a revolution, but it differs from all the preceding ones in that there is no likelihood of its leading to increases of population, but even perhaps to the reverse."
In November 2002, James Kenneth Galbraith wrote an article titled "The Unbearable Costs of Empire." None of these problems will be cured so long as war remains our dominant political theme. But serious though they are, they pale in comparison with the larger problem of the international trade-and-financial order under conditions of permanent war. It is a straightforward fact that if global oil production starts to decline but US consumption does not, everyone else will be required to cut purchases and uses of oil.
But how can oil prices be held stable for Americans yet be made to rise for everyone else? Only by a policy of continuing depreciation in everyone else's currency. Such a policy of dollar hegemony amid worldwide financial instability of crushing debt burdens and deflation throughout the developing world is perverse.
It will make our trading partners' exports cheap, render their imports dear and keep their real wages low. It will price American goods out of world markets and lead to unsustainable dependence on foreign capital. It will be a policy, in short, of beggar-all-of-our-neighbors while we live alone, in increasing idleness and inside the dollar bubble.
Crossing the Rubicon
This is the policy that Bush and Cheney are actually imposing on the rest of the world. But they cannot make it last. It will make lives miserable elsewhere, generating ever more resistance, terrorism and military engagement.
In the end, that world will arrive much more abruptly than it otherwise would, shaking the fragile edifice of our oil economy to its foundations. And we will someday face a double explosion: of anger against our arrogance and of actual shortage and collapsing living standards, when the confidence of investors in the dollar finally gives way.
Compared with this future, a new commitment to collective security, to a new world financial structure, to a rational energy and transportation policy, and to spending to meet our actual domestic needs would be a bargain. At the end of the constitutional convention, Benjamin Franklin was asked what type of government the framers had given our new country. He famously replied, "a republic, if you can keep it."
In 49 BC, Julius Caesar, fresh from a battlefield victory in central Italy, ordered his legions to cross a small creek called the Rubicon. Under the laws of the Roman Republic, the army was not allowed to enter the capital city. As Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon, the Roman Republic died and the Roman Empire was born. Our task, if we and much of human civilization are to survive, is not to keep our republic, but to take it back.
Mike Ruppert, a former Los Angeles Police Department narcotics investigator, is the Publisher/Editor of From the Wilderness, a newsletter read by more than 16,000 subscribers in 40 countries. Ruppert is widely known for his groundbreaking stories on US involvement in the drug trade, Peak Oil and 9/11. Ruppert's web site (www.fromthewilderness.com) averages more than 12,000 visitors a day.
A PDF file of the complete speech is downloadable at http://www.fromthewilderness.com/PDF/Commonwealth.pdf
And now for some good news:
A Short List of Some Environmental Victories in 2005
Katelyn Sabochik / SaveOurEnvironment.org
As 2004 came to a close, SaveOurEnvironment.org took some time to look back on some of the many successful campaigns to protect the country's air, water, forests and wildlife.
In 2004, we waged successful campaigns to prevent drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, block a massive and misguided energy bill, and slow the flawed and misnamed Clear Skies Initiative that would have added to the pollution of our air.
Exciting victories on several key state ballot initiatives showed the power of grassroots support for environmental causes. In Colorado, voters passed a ground-breaking initiative that will require the state's major energy companies to get 10% of their energy from renewable sources by 2015. In Montana, voters soundly rejected a mining company-sponsored initiative that would have polluted the state's rivers, streams and drinking water by overturning a ban on dangerous open pit cyanide leach mining.
Environmental activists spoke out against President Bush's plan to open 58.5 million acres of our national forests to drilling, logging and mining by submitting one million comments opposing his proposal to rollback the Roadless Rule. Nearly 85,000 of those comments came from SaveOurEnvironment.org supporters! Our forests thank you, and so do we!
With your help, we also worked hard to protect mothers and children from the dangerous effects of mercury pollution. Concerned citizens flooded the EPA with over 600,000 comments (the largest number of comments ever submitted to the EPA!) in favor of stronger mercury controls after it had announced its weak proposal favoring the polluters. SaveOurEnvironment.org activists like you were responsible for submitting over 34,000 of those comments.
Challenges ahead for 2005
Since both the President and the Congressional leadership haven proven to be no friends of the environment, we will need your help in 2005 to continue to protect our air, water, wild lands and wildlife. Here is some of what we're facing in the year ahead:
Endangered Species Act is in danger of becoming extinct. The administration and some in Congress have launched a multi-pronged attack against the legislation that has protected our endangered species from vanishing forever for over 30 years. We need your help to protect our most vulnerable species of plants and animals from extinction. If you haven't done so already, go the www.saveourenvironment.org website and sign the Endangered Species Act Legacy Pledge!
The battle to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge promises to rear its ugly head again in 2005. Despite strong public support for protecting Alaska's wilderness, both the administration and Congress seem determined to open this pristine wild land to roads, pipelines and oil rigs. This time, Congress has launched a sneak attack by trying to attach pro-drilling legislation to budget legislation.
President Bush intends to spend his "political capital" on reviving the dangerously flawed Clear Skies Initiative. This cleverly misnamed initiative will do the opposite of what its name suggests by delaying the enforcement of public health standards for smog and soot until 2015. By expanding the pollution trading system, many communities will actually experience an increase in air pollution that puts their health at risk.
We have our work cut out for us and, as you can see. We all need to pitch in to protect our environment in 2005.
Katelyn Sabochik is Save Our Environment's Online Campaign Manger. The SaveOurEnvironment.org Action Center works with the nation's most influential environmental groups in the crucial battles to protect our air and water; our lands, forests, and oceans; our wildlife; our children's future; and our planet's climate.
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