Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Black Gold


An exerpt from Greg Palast's new book, Armed Madhouse reprinted at the Chimp.

There is a lot of information there that I'm assuming is true. I've read Palast's Censored 2005, and I like the way he writes and his facts seem spot on. It's kind of hard to tell these days who is dealing in reality and who is not.

I would be very interested to hear everyone's take on this.


Anonymous ML said...

The biggest problem with Palast is that he is in denial about Peak Oil. Simply blaming oil companies for high gas prices and oil shortages ignores the fact that global oil production is maxed-out right now, that no new major fields have been discovered to offset declines in global production, and that the pattern of oil extraction where production has peaked and then declined has been shown to model the production curve of every oilfield on the planet.

Such claims are reminescent of those who still deny global warming.

It may be politically and rhetorically satisfying to bash the oil companies, as they deserve every bit of it, but denying peak oil is myopic at best, disingenuous at worst, and is dangerous in that it ignores the need to evolve sustainable communities and renewable energy sources. In other words, it diverts attention from more serious root causes.

I generally appreciate Palast's fine investigative reporting, but his overzealousness place the sole blame on BushCo and the oil companies here, and ignoring the reality of peak oil merely distracts from a gravely serious problem.

The good folks at Counterpunch also suffer from peak oil denial, yet recognize global warming. This is the one area in which they do their readers a disservice.

Wed Jun 14, 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

My curiosity on the subject of Peak Oil is hampered the ability to trust the information.

Uswually every subject of political and social controversy has several different takes on the subject from authors and reporters whose views to the right or left inevitably skiew to the right and the left. I've learned to be skeptical of veeryone and try to sift through the rhetoric to the raw data and make up my own mind.

Writers about Peak Oil are either establishment apologists denying it or so far into left field (literally) that I supect their data as well. At least this has been my experience. If there are any impartial or somewhat impartial sources out there, throw me a link.

Wed Jun 14, 05:23:00 PM  
Anonymous ML said...

The myth of impartiality is Wikipedia's gimmick.

I have found the informed replies to peak oil denial shatter the claims made that oil production is nowhere near decline. In fact, the evidence for global peak is as strong or stronger than evidence for global warming.

James Howard Kunstler destroys the unlimited oil wet dream in his book The Long Emergency.

The most socially responsible reporting on peak oil at From the Wilderness goes beyond Kunstler, and addresses the need to convert to sustainable ways of living with the earth (permaculture), and wean ourselves off our cheap energy guzzling lifestyles in favor of renewable energy sources. makes the case for permaculture and cover peak oil realities well, but misses the mark if they think permaculture can provide for 9 billion people on a planet with a sustainable carrying capacity of perhaps one billion at most.

The Post Carbon Institute is way ahead of the pack in offering viable transitions from a cheap-energy addicted planet. Life After the Oil Crash is another excellent web site that explains the threat declining production poses to our economy and lifestyles. ASPO is another. While oil will not completely disappear in the next 100 years, it will become unaffordable to almost everyone in a much shorter time.

Ignoring peak oil realities today is more perilous than ignoring global warming 50 years ago. The ability to feed 6.5 billion people is only made possible by cheap fossil fuels; it does not depend on gradual warming or cooling of the globe. Waking up in a decade to find the Netherlands and Key West under water is a minor disaster compared to waking up in a decade on a planet of 6.5 billion people, with only enough food to feed a billion or two. It will take at least 10-20 years to transition to sustainable agriculture, as demonstrated by Cuba. I can speak from experience on this: after a 5 year crash experiment of working to grow my own food and live sustainably in an ideal location, I'm still at least 5 years away from being self-sufficient as far as food and water go.

The best time to start preparing for peak oil was 10 years ago; the next best time is today.

Wed Jun 14, 08:42:00 PM  
Anonymous ML said...

Note that (cheap) grain production today is completely dependent on (cheap) fossil fuels: natural gas to make the fertilizer, diesel fuel for farm equipment, and oil-based pesticides and herbicides to make industrial scale agriculture possible.

Grain Prices Starting to Rise

Thu Jun 15, 01:59:00 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Thank you, my friend for the links.

I'm covered up with working overtime riight now and I will get to each of them soon.

Couldn't do it without you...

Fri Jun 16, 12:48:00 AM  

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