The Choice Ahead: Entrenched Fossil Fuel Dependence Or Climate Change Management

According to Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard economist Linda Bilmes, the Iraq War cost three trillion dollars. While much of the money used to conduct the war was borrowed (most notably from Chinese institutions), ultimately American taxpayers will be responsible for many years to come for footing the bill, including the high interest payments on the funds loaned. This is because the federal budget, especially between the military and big business bailout costs, far exceeded the annual and shrinking amount taken in by taxes.

Was it worth it? The answer partly depends on whether one works for or has holdings in one of the oil companies that made out well in the aftermath.

The final major prize in the war, southern Iraq’s giant Rumaila oil field, was finally awarded on November third with mixed results from an American standpoint. This is because the only successful bidders for it were BP and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and the second organization, it can be assumed, will primarily support Asian interests over ones favoring Western nations.

Nonetheless, plans are moving forward by the BP-CNPC consortium to invest $US15 billion into Rumaila, the fifth biggest known single reserve of oil in the world, to almost triple production from one million barrels daily to 2.85m and, if successful, the field would be the world’s second biggest in existence. While BP will own a 38 percent stake, CNPC will retain a 37 percent share and Iraq will hold 25 percent.

Meanwhile, the US government, that invested so much in the Iraq War, is said to be disappointed in the overall outcome, particularly in that CNPC was awarded another favorable ($US3bn) deal in Iraq — rights to the Ahdeb field in Wasit province in southeastern Iraq. On account, it is by far the largest foreign player.

This being the case is probably above all vexing since the Chinese people did not have to sacrifice lots of lives and taxpayer money into the Iraq war since their focus was concentrated on strengthening the economy in their homeland all the while the USA and its NATO allies remained largely set on trying to gain control of the fossil fuels for themselves through invasion. Even so, the USA and NATO partners, despite an all-out effort to dominate the region, lost most of the reward.

“The Chinese are very aggressive here.” According to Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh, “They are very eager to build up their presence in Iraq’s oil industry.” Furthermore, a CNPC-led consortium is one of the three bidders for West Qurna 1, another gargantuan field. A group overseen by Russia’s Lukoil and another conglomerate commanded by Exxon Mobil are also in the running for this field.

In consideration of its tremendous success to date, CNPC has developed, along with another Chinese oil company, a special Iraq-focused joint enterprise, called Al-Wah — an Arabic term meaning ‘the oasis’ — to expand the Chinese presence and work in Iraq. At the same time, the Chinese, along with not having to subsume any of the war costs, do not have to bear any guilt over the heavy human toll — assessed by some groups to be a million and a third Iraqis killed, along with 4,680 American military personnel and additional foreign forces from other nations.

At the same time that various organizations involved with fossil fuels are competing to obtain profitably favorable arrangements for themselves and the respective countries to which they supply fuels, leading climate change scientist around the world are putting out an entirely contrary message. They are indicating that, very quickly, global fossil fuel dependence has to greatly shrink to avoid run-away climate change that would cause much of the world’s surface to be inhospitable to life. In other words, an almost complete cessation of its use must occur fairly soon despite ever increased worldwide demand.

For example, John Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the main environmental scientist for the German government, told officials from Barack Obama’s administration that U.S. carbon emissions must fall from its annual 20 tons per person to zero if there is going to be an even slight possibility for the climate to stabilize with a 2C increase.

As Stephen Leahy points out in “Four Degrees Of Devastation“: “Eighteen months ago, no one dared imagine humanity pushing the climate beyond an additional two degrees C of heating, but rising carbon emissions and inability to agree on cuts has meant science must now consider the previously unthinkable.”

He goes on to add:

A four-degree C overall increase means a world where temperatures will be two degrees warmer in some places, 12 degrees and more in others, making them uninhabitable.

It is a world with a one- to two-metre sea level rise by 2100, leaving hundreds of millions homeless. This will head to 12 metres in the coming centuries as the Greenland and Western Antarctic ice sheets melt, according to papers presented at the [UK international climate science] conference [recently held] in Oxford.

Four degrees of warming would be hotter than any time in the last 30 million years, and it could happen as soon as 2060 to 2070.

As Clive Hamilton, Charles Sturt Professor of Public Ethics at the Australian National University, points out in “Is It Too Late to Prevent Catastrophic Climate Change?“, “It is clear that limiting warming to 2ºC is beyond us; the question now is whether we can limit warming to 4ºC. The conclusion that, even if we act promptly and resolutely, the world is on a path to reach 650 ppm and associated warming of 4°C is almost too frightening to accept. Yet that is the reluctant conclusion of the world’s leading climate scientists. Even with the most optimistic set of assumptions — the ending of deforestation, a halving of emissions associated with food production, global emissions peaking in 2020 and then falling by 3 per cent a year for a few decades — we have no chance of preventing emissions rising well above a number of critical tipping points that will spark uncontrollable climate change.”

At the same time, his views are echoed by Lord Stern, former World Bank chief economist, who stated, “A rise of 5C would be a temperature the world has not seen for 30 to 50 million years. We’ve been around only 100,000 years as human beings. We don’t know what that’s like. We haven’t seen 3C for a few million years, and we don’t know what that looks like either.”

“Do politicians understand just how difficult it could be, just how devastating rises of 4C, 5C or 6C could be? I think, not yet,” Lord Stern shared with a group of scientists gathered in Copenhagen after which he went on to warn that the risk associated with governments not adequately addressing climate change in time to avert the brunt of the disaster would lead to horrendous consequences. According to him, these involve risking at least a third of the world’s aggregate wealth, including a minimum of a thirty percent reduction in consumption per person worldwide or, put another way, global GDP would drop to at least 70 percent of current output.

Meanwhile, the mainstream media (MSM) in the United States reveals little information about the degree that the public must radically change lifestyle habits and expectations for economic growth. Little is mentioned about the degree that climate change could have catastrophic impacts across the globe and no government or business leaders are suggesting that reduced consumption of material goods, delimitations in fossil fuel use and other major changes should be carried out very soon. Likewise, none are encouraging ecologically friendly, self-sustaining, financially vibrant communities to be strengthened, nor hinting that transnational patterns of commerce drain dollars out of the country.

In a similar vein, none indicate that these very same globalized patterns that enrich corporate tycoons exacerbate our reliance on fossil fuels due to long distance transportation of raw materials and finished products, as well as the extraordinary amounts of energy used in a massive production of lots of unnecessary merchandise. Obviously, their doing so would be run counter to their extraordinary financial gains at the expense of the poorly paid, everyday work force.

So instead, we have “a business as usual” mentality shoveled forth with bailouts for major commercial organizations, policies to purchase cars subsidized by the federal government, happy-go-lucky TV programs that focus on trivial topics and plenty of advertisements informing the populace that it ought to purchase this or that item to have the latest look in fall fashion, the best anti-aging formula or whatever else for which doing so will, obviously, raise one’s personal carbon and overall ecological footprints in most instances.

At the same time, one can assume that there are no immediate plans to direct society into a pattern of living that is regionally self-reliant (so as to avoid carbon footprints from imports derived from other areas) and restricted in terms of the types of goods available from distant locations. In light of the financial recession and the desire for ever more economic growth based on further globalization of transnational industry and fossil fuel use, quite the opposite pattern is emerging despite the disastrous implications in terms of our breaching climate change tipping points, and the fact that, at some point, fossil fuels, themselves, will no longer be available.

On account, a wise program would be to jumpstart an all out effort to put the means for alternative benign energy sources into place while using the larger portion of fossil fuels to build and install these alternatives across the landscape, as well as help communities to transition away from fossil fuel use altogether. Without a doubt, this would especially be positive in light of the fact that almost 71 percent of electricity in the U.S. is currently supplied by fossil fuels while modern agriculture, industry and transportation all have petroleum at their cores.

Meanwhile the largely consensual opinion reached at the annual conference of the U.S. contingent for the Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO-USA) is that conventional crude peaked in 2005. Further, biofuels are not expected to be any sort of panacea to make up for pending large-scale oil deficits. ((A review of the ASPO-USA conference from Chris Nelder: Oil and Gas Outlook. A further assessment from Steve Connor about the views of Fatih Birol, the chief economist at the International Energy Agency (IEA): Warning: Oil supplies are running out fast.))

Despite the increasing number of indicators that humanity needs to change course in its fossil fuel use, the policy makers sit in their safe government offices planning new dangerous military operations for others to conduct in resource rich regions abroad regardless of the fact that the death toll is rising in these invasions and it seems highly unlikely that the Taliban or any other groups defending their homelands will be easily defeated if at all despite that ever more Pentagon funding is provided toward that aim.

Added up, the expenses to contain Iran, strive to obtain Venezuelan and newly found Cuban oil, fight for arctic fossil fuels, carry out Afghanistan and Pakistan operations, and ramp up covert or military operations via AFRICOM in Africa all together create a recipe for extreme U.S. bankruptcy and assorted other disasters. At the same time, the U.S. undertaking such endeavors merely postpone the inevitable fossil fuel shortfall, anyway, while not ensuring that the country and its citizens are prepared for the huge transition away from fossil fuels. In addition, such ever enlarging, Pentagon run ventures entail an inordinate amount of national sacrifice as money that could be used to support programs at home drains into war costs and the military’s ramped up fossil fuel use.

In relation, is there any question whatsoever as to the reason that there are proposals for greatly diminished funding of certain key social programs, including ones connected to healthcare and public education, in the homeland? How could outcomes be otherwise when 54 percent of every U.S. federal tax dollar goes to plans related to the U.S. military and another 19 percent goes to interest payments on the current federal debt, which leaves 27 percent for all other provisions (excluding the further sums to be borrowed to fund costly bailouts, war expansion plans, etc). Accordingly, the federal budget is at present almost twice the amount taken in from American taxpayers — an irresponsible and disastrous state of affairs with dire repercussions for many years ahead.

In addition, it’s difficult to imagine that, starting with Reagan, U.S. Presidents did not see the long term ramifications in their push for:

  • Deregulated globalized U.S. industry, which led into greater oil use due to greater reliance on importation, along with offshoring and outsourcing of U.S. jobs so as to effectively hollow out the economic base at home and harm the average American worker. Ultimately financial contraction in the U.S. and tangentially abroad could be the only anticipated outcome.
  • A lack in adequate oversight of Wall Street activities and the banking industry.
  • An ever enlarging, expensive war program for obtainment of fossil fuels and other finite resources.
  • Ratification of many other destructive patterns, such as the huge repeated government bailouts, and acceptance of costly no bid contracts in response to various Pentagon requests.

Just where did they think that such a set of irresponsible orientations would ultimately lead? Could none of them see the consequences, such as the federal deficit reaching a record $1.42 Trillion, representing 10 percent of the economy or the highest amount since W.W. II, along with continuing to rapidly shoot upward?

It’s hard to imagine that they were all of them so ignorant, nefarious or outright stupid so as to not see where their intended trajectories would in combination land, especially when the speed with which rapidly diminishing oil reserves would disappear is thrown into the mix. Likewise, the quest for unbridled economic growth is equally if not ever more calamitous when the long view’s taken.

It’s simply not supportable, as Michael Bond points out in these three sections from “Why Economic Growth Is Unsustainable“:

The present economy is obliged to grow annually at between 3% and 6%. Too much less than 3% for too long and the economy will collapse from lack of currency. Too much over 6% for too long and inflation will spiral out of control, rendering currency meaningless.

Below is a table that points out how long it takes for something to double, triple, etc. in size, when it increases at rates of 3%, 4%, 5% and 6% per year. For the last 15 years, the global economy has been growing at an average of about 4% per year. Note that at 4% growth the economy doubles every 19 years, and grows 10 times its size in a mere 59 years.

The second problem stems from the fact that in order to sustain 4% annual economic growth, global debt must increase at about 10% annually. Because it is annual growth, this means it is exponential rather than mathematical growth. The difference between the two is shown below.

The Global Economy is on course to collapse well before 2030 due to a looming global inability to repay annual interest. The reason why debt outpaces economic growth stems from a fault in global money supply. This fault is described in the article Money – Deadlier Than Plutonium

Moreover, people collectively can’t keep taking and taking ever more resources from the natural world and expecting that they can keep raising ever higher the human population and the standard of living for all. It just won’t work because the world is largely limited. At the same time, it should be absolutely clear that our current economic programs for the most part do not work either. Anyone who asserts otherwise perhaps needs to be reminded that nearly half of the world comprising of over three billion people live on less than $2.50 a day. How could this possibly seem like any sort of a success, especially when others, parasitically siphoning the wealth towards themselves off the backs of underpaid laborers and through ravage of the natural world, individually make a financial killing in the millions and billions of dollars at the same time?

It’s a killing, all right. The signs of the social and ecological costs are all around us to see.

In truth, an expectation for relentless growth comes with a very high price tag as is well explained at “Interconnectedness of World Problems, a Conceptual Map by Fritjof Capra based on Plan B 3.0, by Lester Brown” — a vision that goes well beyond a simple, barely accurate, linear model. Likewise, the evaluation of Joel Kovel’s “The Enemy of Nature” is a well thought out, comparable assessment, as are Bill Mckibben’s “A Timely Reminder of the Real Limits to Growth” and David Model’s analysis at “The Elephant in the Room. Ignoring Unsustainable Growth.” ((PowerPoint – Earth Policy Institute – Building a …, Derek Wall’s review of The Enemy of Nature, by Joel Kovel; A Timely Reminder of the Real Limits to Growth (), and OpEdNews – Article: The Elephant in the Room. Ignoring …))

Real limits in mind, this excerpt from Wikipedia’s coverage of the Carter Doctrine is particularly dicey. Simultaneously, it shows a fallacious (arrogant?) sense that the U.S.A. can enact any course of action that it pleases, is completely invincible and is impervious to any internal or external influences, whether social or environmental in nature, that would undercut its kingpin position in the world.

The Carter Doctrine:

Meeting this challenge will take national will, diplomatic and political wisdom, economic sacrifice, and, of course, military capability. We must call on the best that is in us to preserve the security of this crucial region.

Let our position be absolutely clear: An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.

This last, key sentence of the Carter Doctrine, was written by Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter’s National Security Adviser. Brzezinski modeled the wording of the Carter Doctrine on the Truman Doctrine, and insisted that the sentence be included in the speech “to make it very clear that the Soviets should stay away from the Persian Gulf.

In The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power, author Daniel Yergin notes that the Carter Doctrine “bore striking similarities” to a 1903 British declaration, in which British Foreign Secretary Lord Landsdowne warned Russia and Germany that the British would ‘regard the establishment of a naval base or of a fortified port in the Persian Gulf by any other power as a very grave menace to British interests, and we should certainly resist it with all the means at our disposal.”

All the same, Mamoun Fandy of the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University identifies, in “U.S. Oil Policy in the Middle East,” that the U.S. faces some key problems in its quest for oil dominance. These difficulties include:

  • Controlling oil access is a cornerstone of U.S. Middle East policy.
  • U.S. reliance on imported oil is very high.
  • Oil from the Persian Gulf accounts for 10% of the oil used in the U.S.
  • Dual containment of Iran and Iraq, along with a broader military engagement policy, is key to U.S. strategy in assuring the flow of oil.

Despite the absolute need to drastically and immediately rein in fossil fuel use for a number of compelling reasons, the U.S. government continues to pursue a forceful and antagonistic policy abroad aimed toward unilateral control over global energy supplies. Using a combination of outright military invasion in an expanding number of countries and threats (i.e., towards Iran and Venezuela), U.S. legislators demonstrate little noticeable remorse over the high fiscal (bankrupting), environmental and social costs of these operations. These include that “The Pentagon Is The Largest Consumer Of Oil In The World,” the number of war related deaths continue to rise, there’s depleted uranium (DU) spread across the Middle East, the war efforts and resultant obtained oil ensure that the climate change devastation to come is sped into place, inadequate funding is allocated for provision of alternative energy supplies and improvement of the electrical grid, public transportation is not sufficiently expanded, and other tragic outcomes will unfold.

There are many ways that humanity can move forward to create “the good life” as long as a plan is sound. In 1970, Henry Kissinger claimed, “Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.” However, one group’s domination of oil and food stocks, while denying the needs of other groups, is reckless, unethical and expensive.

Frankly, we’ve had enough of resource wars. More to the point, conflicts can only get worse as fossil fuel reserves increasingly dwindle and the perception of the diminishment merely strengthens that we have to have the dregs regardless of the grave social and environmental consequences.

No, we do not. In fact, we can no longer afford to fight over material supplies — particularly the ones, like oil, that are going run out or, like food, be at risk to largely run out due to climate change effects brought on in large measure by our lust for rich energy sources.

Sometimes it’s rueful to ponder the way that the present would be different had the U.S. followed Denmark’s example on the same timetable while using the funds that were to become allocated to fossil fuel wars towards development of the self-reliant energy security as Tomas Friedman indirectly suggests in “Flush With Energy” in which he states “Unlike America, Denmark, which was so badly hammered by the 1973 Arab oil embargo that it banned all Sunday driving for a while, responded to that crisis in such a sustained, focused and systematic way that today it is energy independent. (And it didn’t happen by Danish politicians making their people stupid by telling them the solution was simply more offshore drilling.)”

Meanwhile, there’s growing public awareness that the Pentagon’s worldwide mission IS to get command over oil and gas supplies — as is explained in an elucidating report by Rick Rozoff with many outstanding factual details. Likewise, it is obvious that the IMF and WB goals are en simpatico with the mission and, as a result, are on a disastrously wrong track as “The grave ecological destruction sponsored by the World Bank,” by Eric De Ruest and Hélene Baillot, undeniably indicates.

As an aside, the first TV announcements routinely popped up, several weeks ago, to suggest that the U.S. populace ought to pitch in and cut it energy consumption by 3 percent per person. While the objective is admirable, the recommended curtailment is far too small and the diminishment process is starting around twenty OR MORE years too late. Besides, why don’t we even go a few steps further and take Walden Bello’s advise from “The Virtues of Deglobalization“:

The aim of the deglobalization paradigm is to move beyond the economics of narrow efficiency, in which the key criterion is the reduction of unit cost, never mind the social and ecological destabilization this process brings about. It is to move beyond a system of economic calculation that, in the words of John Maynard Keynes, made ‘the whole conduct of life…into a paradox of an accountant’s nightmare.’ An effective economics, rather, strengthens social solidarity by subordinating the operations of the market to the values of equity, justice, and community by enlarging the sphere of democratic decision making. To use the language of the great Hungarian thinker Karl Polanyi in his book The Great Transformation, deglobalization is about ‘re-embedding’ the economy in society, instead of having society driven by the economy.

In tandem, let’s realize, as did Shamus Cooke, that “the industrial basis for an alternative energy superstructure needs to be created. Only by doing this can we seriously address the needs of the planet. Transforming our giant auto plants — many laying idle — into producers of solar panels, windmills, electricity–producing buoy’s, high-speed trains, electric busses and cars, etc., while massively investing in new research and technology to deal with climate change, is the only realistic way to drastically change direction in the time allotted.”

The alternative path to his, of course, is the exact one that we are following. We all know to where it leads — a 4C (or even) hotter world filled with massive loss of human and other forms of life, ruinous economic consequences, devastating weather patterns, an ocean level rise that puts many coastal regions at risk, massive fresh water shortages, food shortfalls, spreading pestilence and invasive species, and an extremely tenuous future for many generations to come.

Like our ancestors before fossil fuel were discovered, we can live without its benefits. Humankind, throughout our history on this planet, has been able to adapt to widely varying circumstances. Anyone who doubts this to be the case simply needs to compare the way that Inuits live in relation to 67 different uncontacted tribes in Brazil.

In other words, we CAN still adjust to widely varying conditions — even ones without fossil fuel. However, we, absolutely, cannot prepare to exist in a world that has states outside of the ranges that gave rise to and support of human life. All the same, we — out of willfulness, wishful thinking or ignorance — are willing to gamble that we can, it seems.

Perhaps we find it just too hard to give up our current ways of life even though our not doing so ensures that a large portion of the Earth will likely become unable to sustain life towards the end of this century. How tragically demented and selfish of us if, indeed, this is the case!

Of course, our drastically relinquishing fossil fuel use as much as is possible right away is not an easy action to endure. Yet, it can and has to be faced despite that the happening will mean hardship, privation and myriad kinds of losses.

After all, the sorts of difficulties that will exist after we forgo fossil fuel will be minor in comparison to the horrific adversities that would definitely be present if we do not deeply cut our collective carbon footprint in the near future. If anyone thinks that this cutting action is simply too hard to bear, he should for a moment picture the harshness that severe and worsening climate change could bring. Then, it becomes quickly clear about which trouble is doubtlessly preferable.

Emily Spence is an author living in Massachusetts. She has spent many years involved in human rights, environmental and social services efforts. She can be reached at: Read other articles by Emily.

28 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Deadbeat said on November 14th, 2009 at 1:15pm #

    There are some good points in this article unfortunately the undercurrent of the article is the promotion of the “WAR FOR OIL” mantra. There is absolutely no mention of Zionism’s influence in Middle East policy whatsoever. And that is the problem with many of these “Chomskyite Leftist” articles.

    There seriously seems to be an AWFUL lot of effort to EXCUSE and cover-up the racist ideology of Zionism by the Chomskyite Left under the guise that “oil” is the root of all evil. In fact there’s very little mention about how the banking industry benefits from war — it’s all the fault of “BIG OIL”.

    The point is not to ignore oil interests as a factor in the influencing of U.S. Foreign Policy but to completely IGNORE the role of other factors ESPECIALLY Zionism raises more question about the author’s agenda and discredit those parts of her article that perhaps are useful.

    However when I read an article that promotes “Peak Oil” and “Climate Change” and IGNORES Zionism it begs the question whether “Peak Oil” is a bait and switch to get the public from being aware of Zionism as a major force in the rise of the consumption of oil since WARS have to be fought and militarism inflated in order for this RACIST ideology to achieve its goals.

    Also I notice there was no mention of Capitalism at all in the article. Which again advances the critique of the “Chomskyite Left” of deflecting Zionism and downplaying Capitalism which leaves reader with little understanding of Marxist theory. This has been a huge problem of the Left for the past 40 years and Ms. Spence’s article exacerbate and does a disservice by not informing her readers of the underlying problems, factors, and influences and possible solutions and actions needed to confront the current crisis.

  2. bozh said on November 14th, 2009 at 3:21pm #

    The label theft of land appears quite satisfactory. The label “zionism” obscures this clarity. To steal other poeples lands, a thinking is necessary. But i wld not call such ideating-thinking as an ism or ideology.
    Theft of palestina, of course, being an unique theft in some aspects of the robbery. Stealing land in americas was also unique in some phases-aspects of it.
    In both of these modes of stealing land with murder in mind, ‘religion’ [cults] have played significant role in such thievings.

    It can be noted that christian empires realized that sooner or later they’d have to leave near-,mid-, and fareast and wanted to permamently control at least parts of near- or mideast.
    So why not use ‘jews’ for that purpose?
    That’s what happened since ’17; is happening now. Let us admit that Israel on its own cldn’t manaufacture more than cutlery. Certainly not heavy guns, artillery, tanks, aircraft, ships, etc.
    Neither palestine nor israel has any mines, There is not nickel, molibdenum, copper, iron, silver, gold there in any amounts.
    People say israel has the fourth strongest army with best weapons US, germany, france, UK cld make.

    ‘Jews’ do know that they are hated by the world and bleeding for west. And want to be paid and listened too. And if ‘jews’ influence or design US foreign policy, hey, that is in accord with the holy book, called euphemisticly “constitution”.
    So what is happening or whatever is happening, it is constitutionally commanded-demanded.

    Let us recall please that hallowed US constitution in 1850’s cld not end slavery politicly or humanely. And, to boot, the professed infallible constitution did not prevent the civil war nor terror against blacks after that war.
    What people don’t know is the fact that US constitution is dead as a door nail. It comes to life only when read and studied for yrs or over life time.

    In add’n, meanings are not in words but in people. Thus, we can be certain that judges who intepret constitution will come up with just the ‘right’ interpretation each and every time.
    And thus indeed rises an infallible constitution. That’s the alpha and omega of US system of rule; it’s infallible.
    U wanna nuke a country, kill mns, destroy, threaten, mine harbors, assasinate leaders, etc., all of that is actually sanctified.
    And u worry about a few clazed ‘jews’ and not jefferson, hamilton, adams, kennedy, clinton, obama, and other warlords and feudal lords. tnx

  3. Deadbeat said on November 14th, 2009 at 7:01pm #

    . The label “zionism” obscures this clarity. To steal other poeples lands, a thinking is necessary. But i wld not call such ideating-thinking as an ism or ideology.

    Bozh what obscures clarity is IGNORING Zionism’s influence upon U.S. Middle East policy and promoting the “War for Oil” mantra in its place.

  4. Don Hawkins said on November 15th, 2009 at 2:52am #

    Emily well written and so far what is the big plan? It appears the easy way out and easy it will not be. It is strange as in our attempt to make it easy we have now made it very much harder kind of. Helping to finish a school and the amount of waste I see is insanity. That will change and so far not in time to slow this little problem down. So far what is being done almost nothing and just more short term thinking and talking and talking, foolishness. Take, take, take ok and how does the take take take look so far? Is the water suppose to be black like that? Your going to put that on the field cool and how is the stock market doing are we going back to normal? Rather hard to do when we let a few people keep telling us just what that is.

    ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, I have a grave announcement to make. Incredible as it may seem, both the observations of science and the evidence of our eyes lead to the inescapable assumption that those strange beings who landed in the Jersey farmlands tonight are the vanguard of an invading army from the planet Mars.

    Isn’t it strange what the thinking has come to in the first part of the twenty first century? In 1938 it was only a radio program and yet many people thought it was the real thing. Today this second the problem, problems we face are big and very real and we are made to believe by people who control sort of the bank’s the policy the media business and our thoughts that the biggest problems the human race has ever faced are not real it’s under control sure it is. We can not solve these problems with missiles and bombs will not work. If you watch Fox New’s the talk seems to be bomb bomb Iran and on CNBC last night this man Larry said cap and trade and this health care bill will hurt the stock market, what. We just saw a random noise generator in Pittsburgh and in the coming years I am sure more of that because you see these problems so far are being solved with something called illusion. Illusion of knowledge on a grade scale. The big plan so far appears for some old thinkers in mind and body get to go out in style I guess that’s what they call it as the rest of the human race goes down the drain in not such so motion. The problems are of course climate change and nuclear weapons not strange beings from Mars. Although there are strange beings among us and now control sort of the bank’s policy media business and our thought’s. You see them on TV with suits and designer dresses and use second grade level thinking illusion of knowledge and foolishness so I guess some of them can move to Hawaii in 20 years and we that’s we the people get random noise generators as a start. There is away. Face the problems for what they are use knowledge, imagination, working together reason and the big one something called a soul. A good start would be for the President the leader of the free World to give a speech.

    “Ladies and gentlemen, I have a grave announcement to make. Incredible as it may seem, both the observations of science and the evidence of our eyes lead to the inescapable assumption that we are all in deep do do”.

  5. Hue Longer said on November 15th, 2009 at 3:24am #


    2 more questions to you to add to my list…

    Now Chomsky downplays capitalism?

    You put peak oil and climate change in quotations…any offerings as to why?

  6. bozh said on November 15th, 2009 at 7:43am #

    US constitution and its ruling class, as far as i know, welcomes influence by land robbers. Land stealers with intent to murder are now united like never before.
    US had been expanding by murder for over two centuries. It has done most of it without any help and with no influence from ‘jews’.
    Now it is expanding with help and influence of not only most ‘jews’ but also all of europe, save russsia.
    Even parts of asia are onside; some afrikan lands, too. We cannot ever know that US/nato wld have not expanded without the few hundred influencial ‘jews’.
    What we do know is that US until ’48 had expanded without influence on expansion by ‘zionists’!
    We also cannot determine whether influence of the ‘zionists’ on US foreign policy tips the scale towards more warfare by US. In short, is its presence and activities the difference that makes the difference?
    I do agree with you that over-representation of ‘jews’ in US governance is an iniquity.
    However, nevertheless, constitutionally OK! Sorry!

  7. Deadbeat said on November 15th, 2009 at 1:58pm #

    Hue Longer writes …
    2 more questions to you to add to my list…
    Now Chomsky downplays capitalism?
    You put peak oil and climate change in quotations…any offerings as to why?

    [1] The folks that bring you “war for oil” tend to downplay or are mute when it comes to a Marxist critique of the system. This is true of Chomsky and many others. In fact Chomsky tends to sing the praise of Adam Smith who was more a tools of the system then philosopher. Chomsky tends to rightly point out the symptoms of the system but avoids demanding its overthrow — which is what you’d expect from a “radical”.

    [2] My point of critique is that the author’s framing of Middle East policy as SOLELY in the interest of oil follows in the footsteps of the Chomskyite propaganda which discredits her overall message. Blaming “Big Oil” has become a way of obscuring and excusing the Zionism’s influence upon U.S. policy making.

    With that in mind you can see then how it taints any acceptance of the “Peak Oil/Climate Change” idea because it raise questions whether this is just another way of contination of the “Big Oil” bait and switch.

    Truth is the only way to win trust.

  8. Max Shields said on November 15th, 2009 at 4:27pm #

    Deadbeat, it seems once again you read what you want to read and not what is being said. But you have an ax to grind – why I don’t know, but it is a regular refrain about Chomsky/Zionism and a “left” that ignores Zionism for oil causes, etc.

    Big Oil (as in companies) are not the issue. Energy is the issue. There is absolutely NOTHING without energy. All living things need it. But to build a “civilization” energy is the end all be all. There is no economy of any sort without it. It’s that clearly true. It is not something a sane person argues. Those with some kind of irrational faith in the “will of God” will make such arguments.

    Big oil once played a role, during the cold war, but have since taken a back seat to governments. Governments (major players) are driving the control of energy resources, primarily fossil. I’ve repeated why fossil fuel has built the Western human world as we know it and that there is no replacement for it to sustain what is. Oil has a particularly unique set of characteristics and it is those characteristics that cannot be replaced by wind or solar or biofuels; though all can and should be used. But more about peak below.

    Here is what is: During the Cold War, the United States and other Western powers largely relied on market forces and international oil companies, rather than state-directed efforts and outright military intervention, to ensure adequate supplies of energy. Freeing these companies to establish worldwide operations in the pursuit of corporate profit, so the argument went, was the best way to ensure the maximum production of energy and avoid crippling inefficiencies. The oil majors were also credited with developing new fields in “frontier” regions of Africa, the Middle East, and Sotheast Asia.

    NOW, the pendulum is swinging back: Lacking confidence in the capacity of private firms to overcome the many callenges on the horizon, government leaders are again taking the lead when it comes to acquisition of energy. Certainly, as their colossal profits of the last few years indicate, private energy compainies still play significant roles, BUT key strategic decisions are increasingly being made by government officials. This became most evident during the Clinton administration and has continued.

    The reason is the energy sources, and particularly petroleum, is strategic, and the head-to-head cannot be left to the market, but requires the full power of nation-states (hence the move into Iraq which was not a Big Oil “decision”). Those who have it are fast becoming “leaders in the world” and nation’s such as the US have become ever more dependent.

    How we look at the situation can always be controversial – such as do we know for CERTAIN that globally there will be Peak Oil. Peak oil is a complex of considerations. It has as much to do where oil is located as whether or not there are oil fields somewhere on the planet. There , for instance, is tough oil, which requires trillions of dollars in private investment to extract, at great risk making it dubious at best. Then there is the issue of when and if we can find enough oil to off-set every increasing demand. And of course there is the blind faith in technology which does more to deplete oil fields by more efficiently sucking it out of the earth.

    Peak oil is not a linear problem – it is non-linear and governed by thermodynmics and expotential demand. These are volatile, highly agressive phenomenon that cannot be matched by replacement sources of energy. There is simply no alternative to fossil – coal, oil, natural gas. And of the 3 petroleum is the most comprehensive form of energy in uses; hence dependency is vast and deep.

    This is not Chomsky, Deadbeat. This is verifiable and it has nothing to do with ideology. Science is premised on uncertainty. It is not a devotion to science for science sake. I have not read an attempt to refute peak oil that does not err in misunderstanding or distortion of the very argument that Peak Oil poses.

    If you have an argument, Deadbeat, that does not have to do with Chomsky or Zionism…I would be very interested.

    Until than your arguments are baseless because they are premised entirely on red herrings.

  9. Deadbeat said on November 15th, 2009 at 5:04pm #

    Max Shields has return to pump out more distortion. My argument is not with the Peak Oil/Climate Change supporters but to point out that the authors desire to adhere to the War for Oil explanation of Middle East policy TAINTS her entire message.

    It is clear that if there is an AX to grind it is with Mr. Shields who has pretty much lacks credible arguments with his “green” rhetoric.

  10. Max Shields said on November 15th, 2009 at 5:43pm #

    Deadbeat, Well first, you have finally changed your tune(?) – you no longer hold that you have an argument with Peak Oil/Climate Change!

    This is NEWS!!

    As far as War for Oil (and you did refer to it as Big Oil – not the author), while you may feel that more should be said about a Zionist role in the invasion of Iraq and the occupation of US bases in the Middle East, there is little doubt that the US is preoccupied with the Middle East because of the energy (oil) that is extracted from that region, not just in Iraq, but throughout the region. The US cannot exist without it; and it is in a head-to-head, fight to the death struggle with its competition (China, to a lessor degree India, and Russia, and even the EU and Japan). This fact makes Zionism look like a grain of sand on the Sahara Desert.

  11. dan e said on November 15th, 2009 at 6:15pm #

    IMHO the facticity or lack thereof of climate change/planet warming should be considered separately from the “Peak Oil” thesis. I think it’s pretty clear that the colonizing countries have been abusing the natural environment to an alarming degree, but I see no evidence that progressive-minded folks need to give a high priority to worrying that the energy companies will run out of stuff to keep us addicted to.

  12. dan e said on November 15th, 2009 at 6:55pm #

    After going back and catching up with the nonsense Max posted before I hit the submit on my last, I think I need to reiterate my opinion that this Peak Oil rap is crackpottery. And so is Max’s attempt to squirm out of his previous statements echoing the “Big Oil Did It” line peddled by the erudite Dr. Juhacz et al.
    Max displays his ignorance of the workings of capitalist society when he tries to tell us how “government” has shoved “the private energy firms” to the sidelines.
    It won’t wash, Max. All you present is a bunch of unsupported assertions, so I’m not going to waste my time repeating facts that you are determined to ignore.
    Readers interested in investigating the relationships between economic power and political power in capitalist society need first of all to thoroughly digest what Marx and Engels had to say on the subject, and then consider the contributions made by James Connolly, V I Lenin, Rosa Luxembourg, WEB DuBois, CLR James, Amilcar Cabral, and Immanuel Wallerstein, among others including Trotsky and Mao Zedong. Once you have acquired a solid grounding, I’d suggest you consider Louis Althusser’s analysis of imperialist state structure, the Power Structure Research tradition started by Wm Domhoff and continued by Dr Val Burris at the U of Oregon sociology dept via his PSR website, the classic “Community Power Structure” by Floyd Hunter, “The Godfather” I, II, and III by F. F. Coppola, plus recent work by Petras, by Sniegowski, and by Grant F Smith.
    There is no “government interest” separate from the interest of “major firms” in our Free Enterprise Democracy. You can draw a distinction between the interests of Principals and those of top level Employees, aka “retainers” but the visible “summits” of both the official governmental institutions and of the economic institutions are staffed by glorified flunkeys such as Obama, Bernanke and Carly Fiorina. The real players avoid getting their names in the paper.

  13. Deadbeat said on November 15th, 2009 at 7:02pm #

    Deadbeat, Well first, you have finally changed your tune(?) – you no longer hold that you have an argument with Peak Oil/Climate Change!

    Max you are looking to argue with yourself. I haven’ t changed my tune. I still have doubts and question about “Peak Oil” but that is not my critique it about. What I am saying once again because YOU are determine to distort the point, is that the author’s promotion of “War for Oil” as the premier purpose of U.S. Foreign policy in the Middle East cast DOUBTS to her entire and subsequent arguments.

    Because she uses the same Chomskyite miscasting of the Middle East policy it bug the question of motive and opens the door to ask question about her entire agenda regarding “Big Oil”. Is her rank against “Big Oil” a ruse to obscure in the Chomskyite mode Zionism or does her arguments have merit.

    Now that you’re here interjecting your “green” B.S. I’m inclined to think not. I think that the “Peak Oil” issue is a RUSE. I have heard other opinions that refute the “Peak Oil” arguments. Regardless I have no hard evidence to back up my suspicion other than my experience dealing with the “War for Oil” canard and other dishonesties of Chomskyite Left.

    But to reiterate my argument is that the author desire to obscure Zionism’s influence and role in shaping U.S. policy cast serious doubt and taints her entire article.

  14. Max Shields said on November 15th, 2009 at 7:05pm #

    dan e, if you are going to make an argument, than I suggest you eliminate frivilous statements.

    The arguments that have been made about climate change or warming are varied – such as Is it not occurring at all? or Is it really do to human activity vs ecological cycles?

    But climate change and peak oil have some common denominators.

    Peak oil, as I’ve said, is a complex consideration. It is both observable and non-linear. It happens in bursts. There is a powerful expotential effect created by consumption. Wars can effect reserves such that more oil stays in the ground (as is the case in Iraq), keeping reserves stable, but worthless. Once the oil is available for extraction it moves quickly and steadily toward peak.

    Climate change similarly is governed by a non-linear trajection. If humans do impact it, through the unleashing of fossil into the atmosphere (remember fossil is buried for millions of years), than there is a nexus between energy peak/climate change. If our consumption of fossil drives peak, it likewise drives atmospheric changes.

    Fossil is finite. It is non-renewable. Energy companies DON’T make it; they extract and refine it for use. That’s a fact beyond refute.

  15. lichen said on November 15th, 2009 at 7:16pm #

    Deadbeat’s first post at the top of this article has to be the one of the dumbest responses to climate change I’ve ever read–the off-topic summarization of his stock arguments about “chomskyites” “zionism” and “capitalism” as if they have to be brought up here are simply ridiculous. And I’ll tell you, it is you who are the problem of the “left”–staunch, blind ideologues only interested in their own rhetoric and their own issues. Leave the oil in the ground, and we can stop talking about “big” oil. The left is the victim of fossil fools who watch and stand in line away from harm.

  16. Max Shields said on November 15th, 2009 at 7:22pm #

    Deadbeat said:
    “However when I read an article that promotes “Peak Oil” and “Climate Change” and IGNORES Zionism it begs the question whether “Peak Oil” is a bait and switch to get the public from being aware of Zionism as a major force in the rise of the consumption of oil since WARS have to be fought and militarism inflated in order for this RACIST ideology to achieve its goals.”

    Your statement above contradicts what you just (and I responded to earlier). You suggest a “bait and switch”. You think that Zionism is the “real” reason for our recent invasion(s) and that Peak oil and so-called war for oil (your phrase not the author’s) are just used to subvert the real cause – Zionism and Capitalism. If you are not saying that than you are mis-using the English language.

    If this was your first mention, one could almost be suckered by your feigning a distortion of what you’re “saying” or trying to say.

    But you are on record, more times than one can count, in terms of your denigration notion of peak oil. How you view anyone one who uses oil in the same article with US wars is predictable. You see any such explanation a “cover-up” or a “leftist” blind eye, all contrived by Noam Chomsky and foisted on the mindless left who read Chomsky in a genuflected position, repeating his chants.

    It is you, Deadbeat who is arguing with yourself. You distort all to conform to a view that the writer of the above article clearly did not intend. She makes no reference to Chomsky. You do. She makes no reference to Capitalism because Capitalism does not have a monoply on energy. Besides, who are the capitalists now? Is China socialistic, Marxists? How about Russia, or India? They all have Communist/Socialist parties; hell France does as well.

    The world may just be a little too fuzzy for you Deadbeat for a clear understanding of what is happening.

  17. Deadbeat said on November 15th, 2009 at 8:58pm #

    Deadbeat’s first post at the top of this article has to be the one of the dumbest responses to climate change I’ve ever read–

    Perhaps lichen the basis of your dubious perspectives is based on your own lack of insight. If you want to absorb and not question the facts as being presented by this author that is your own problem. The fact of the matter is that U.S. policy in the Middle East is not solely based on oil and “energy” demands. The Chomskyite Left has used “oil” as a foil to obscure Zionism. Your riducule and distorting of the argument being presented here will not be able to cover up that fact.

    What it does do however is TAINT your promotion of climate change / Peak Oil because the Chomskyite Left has been dishonest in its rants against the oil companies.

  18. kalidas said on November 15th, 2009 at 9:03pm #

    Perhaps one day soon the US Congress may take a page out of the European’s playbook, handbook, protocols.
    Pass laws to make it a criminal offense to deny both “big oil” and “climate change.”

    Then people like Deadbeat won’t have to worry about this complex world and its fuzzy truths.
    It’s simply a matter of keep their mouths shut. (or else)

  19. Deadbeat said on November 15th, 2009 at 9:20pm #

    Max you can continue to argue with yourself. I’ve made my stance and arguments very clear.

  20. lichen said on November 15th, 2009 at 9:20pm #

    Climate change is proven scientific fact and one with great consequences for every aspect of our lives so yeah, you should go along with a carbon-neutral world and shutup. There is nothing “fuzzy” about it. The oil companies are criminal, and should be prosecuted. Deadbeat, your defense of the oil companies makes your claims suspect–perhaps the oil companies think zionism gets in the way of their profits, so they send you out to defend them. Either way, you make a ridiculous footnote to this article.

  21. Deadbeat said on November 15th, 2009 at 9:38pm #

    It’s simply a matter of keep their mouths shut. (or else)

    Thanks kalidas. At least other here understands nuance.

  22. Hue Longer said on November 15th, 2009 at 9:38pm #

    Careful DB! Chomsky has our personal information and reads our posts

  23. Deadbeat said on November 15th, 2009 at 9:46pm #

    Climate change is proven scientific fact and one with great consequences for every aspect of our lives so yeah, you should go along with a carbon-neutral world and shutup. There is nothing “fuzzy” about it. The oil companies are criminal, and should be prosecuted. Deadbeat, your defense of the oil companies makes your claims suspect–perhaps the oil companies think zionism gets in the way of their profits, so they send you out to defend them. Either way, you make a ridiculous footnote to this article.

    Don’t you mean “climate change”. The issue surrounding “climate change” is whether it cause is due our Capitalist mode of production or whether it is due to the Earth’s natural cycle. The context that I’m raising the issue is whether climate change and “Peak Oil” are being used as a foil to obsure Middle East policy especially since the author used the same Chomskyite rhetroic to argue Middle East policy.

    Apparently lichen you are incapable of distinguishing a nuanced argument so you rather distort it and use that distortion to make nonsensical ad hominem attacks.

  24. Deadbeat said on November 15th, 2009 at 9:47pm #

    Careful DB! Chomsky has our personal information and reads our posts

    Yeah Hue. I’ll be more careful as apparently Chomsky has a huge fan base.

  25. Deadbeat said on November 15th, 2009 at 10:06pm #

    Here’s the part of my original commentary that both Max Shields and lichen totally ignore …

    However when I read an article that promotes “Peak Oil” and “Climate Change” and IGNORES Zionism it begs the question whether “Peak Oil” is a bait and switch to get the public from being aware of Zionism as a major force in the rise of the consumption of oil since WARS have to be fought and militarism inflated in order for this RACIST ideology to achieve its goals.

  26. Max Shields said on November 16th, 2009 at 5:35am #

    When Petras provides his version – Zionism – he doesn’t include Peak Oil or Climate Change. Where is his balance. In fact, he has continued to think that Big Oil rules and therefore if Big Oil was not pushing for the Iraq invasion, than it must be Zionists. But as I’ve stated in my first post here, Big Oil and the market have been replaced at the end of the Cold War and certainly under the Clinton Administration with government initiatives to ensure – at whatever costs (even the Jimmy Carter Doctrine supports this) oil flowing to US and that includes invading and securing bases under the guise of creating democracy, or weapons of mass destruction, or global terrorism – whatever it takes.

    These are government head-to-head strategies to secure energy sources the world over.

    Deadbeat you are fixated on Zionism. YOU are the bait and switcher who denies what has become more and more accepted as a strong and perilous trend toward global peak oil. Here you simply marginalize it so you can have your rant about Zionism.

    Other than the obvious Zionist-apologists that visit DV, no one else here seems to make any case for Zionism. You are the one arguing with yourself; it is not enough that most here agree on the evils that have created the human destruction brought on by Zionism/Israel. But it is not ALL about Zionism. Zionists don’t make us consume. Such accusations begin to make your arguments more about a boogey man than facing our real problems, which are deep, complex, broad, cultural, and predatorial. Calling the American Imperial Empire (and what it needs to do in the world to sustain its thirst for energy) the tool of Zionists is a major red herring.

  27. Max Shields said on November 16th, 2009 at 7:14am #

    dan e your arguments of phony because they mean to deride an honest argument and make it into a food fight. You have no credibility when you “behave” such.

    So peak oil is a Capitalist’s ploy? Or is it a Zionist ploy? Or a Chomsky ploy? (You know Chomsky thinks breathing air is good for you…now everyone hold your breath….here comes another Chomsky ploy.)

    dan e then goes on to say that there is no government interest except private firms. Perhaps dan e there is no government at all!!! But you are kinda saying that there are just government flunkies, not the real power. Reagan was just a figment of his B-movies.

    Ok, let’s just see what you’re saying. Things are run by private interests, but big oil (according to Petras, et al) did not want to go into Iraq, but the US/GWB did anyway and soooooooo, it is not private firms but here we gooooooo…Zionists who got the US military into Iraq.

    But your last post, dan e NEVER mentions Zionism. It says it’s all controlled by private firms. Now maybe your rejoinder is that all private firms are Zionists owned and run(?)!!!

    Here’s the deal dan e, while you and your buds are chomping at the bit to have at it with some Big Private firms – oil is being sucked out by the millions every day. Sometimes you have to concede that the human invention is not the only game in town. Wake up and smell the roses…they’re not there because of capitalism or private firms or Zionists.

    For for sheer fantacy, dan e, you weave one helluva incomprehensible narrative.

  28. bozh said on November 16th, 2009 at 9:40am #

    Wldn’t it be better to start an analysis of nato/us reasons for latest wars from an assumption? We cannot start analyses from facts. We cannot read minds of the masters of wars and serfs and then say, Eureka, we found out why nato/us wage wars now!

    And even if our masters told us explicitly why they wage wars now [and in the past] it still wldn’t be factual knowledge; it wld be still inferential knowledge.

    Damn it, it is not pleasant starting to talk ab causative factors and rationalizations for warfare from a guess.
    It cld be compared to a doctor treating a patient from his/her intuition, guess, etc.

    My guess is that the world plutos, most of which one finds in christian lands, want to obtain the planet and everything that is in it or on it; it may not include some of ist people.
    Regarding oil and how warfare [again going from a guess] have affected price of gas, we arrive at the fact that prices jumped once US/allies invaded iraq.
    And now we can spin an endless guseses whether the invasion was a main or partial cause for price rise.
    And here i alight from the topics.

    As an aside, i don’t like to read posts that attack people and what they say. It does not matter how wrong a or all statements are to a reader.It wld be better to fill the space with own facts, conclusions, wishes, etc.
    Let the free speech flow! Just apply own censure!
    That’s what i do. And please let us stop being meritocratic. That, too, to me, is an iniquity as we will ?always have ‘smart’ and not ‘smart’ people. So if a nature and environment has hurt an individual, we do not need to add to his/her misery!