The End of The Age of Oil
"Our ignorance is not so vast as our failure to use what we know."-Marion King Hubbert
"Here in the United States we're now consuming about three gallons of petroleum per person per day. That's twenty pounds of oil per person per day.
We only consume about four pounds of oxygen per person per day. We're consuming five times more oil each day, here in the United States than we are
oxygen. We've become the oil tribe."-Randy Udall (Film:Sprawling from Grace: Driven to Madness)
[peak oil will bring about]"...the greatest preventable holocaust in the history of planet earth"- Mike Ruppert (investigative journalist, author of
Crossing the Rubicon and Confronting Collapse)
"The species Homo Sapiens may not become extinct, but the sub-species of Petroleum Man most certainly will." -Colin Campbell (a retired petroleum
"[The report 'World Energy Outlook 2006'] reveals that the energy future we are facing today, based on projections of current trends, is dirty,
insecure and expensive."-Claude Mandil, (Executive Director of the International Energy Agency)
"We've embarked on the beginning of the last days of the age of oil."-Mike Bowlin, Chairman, ARCO
One of the first men to calculate peak oil and describe its ramifications to a broad audience was Marion King Hubbert. He was a geophysicist who
became famous for his predictions about fossil fuels from 1949 until near the time of his death. In 1956 he predicted U.S. oil production would peak
in 1970. He was very, very accurate in his prediction.
He also predicted in 1974 that world oil production would peak around the year 1995. He was fairly close, but it actually is still at the bumpy
plateau stage right now. World peak oil production peaked in the year 2005. However, energy per capita peaked in 1979
! This means that the
scenario we are currently in is an ever decreasing energy supply and an ever increasing population. The most basic economic law that determines the
price of something is supply vs. demand. So the price of oil, while fluctuating on a week by week and even month by month basis, will inevitably go up
over the next few years rather quickly.
Now, many who attempt to "debunk" peak oil will point out oil company books showing they have plenty of oil reserves and lots of new discoveries of
reserves to this day. However, oil companies have an incentive to overstate their reserves because in the oil business reserves= the value of the
company. Many companies overstated their reserves in the past and only began revising them after the Enron scandal (another reason I suspect they have
begun drawing them back is they know they are getting close to the end and they don't want to be caught in their lie). As to the new discoveries, oil
companies also have an incentive to spread out a single discovery of large reserves over many years. Why you ask? Because the tax code makes oil
companies pay taxes on the discoveries they claim even before they begin making money on them. This means it is better for them to claim they find
large deposits over multiple years because it a) allows them to space out payments, because they may not be able to make them in the beginning and
b)could keep their stock prices up by instilling extra confidence in investors.
Accounting for this manipulation is crucial to understanding what is going on. Another factor that needs to be taken into account is that fossil fuels
are used to make many things, not just burned for energy. Plastics, tires, pesticides and many other products. My intention is to go over the problem,
the reasons solving this problem is so difficult, and what we need to do to prepare for it individually and collectively, NOW.
The problem is, directly, peak oil. The problems to the solutions to peak oil are short-sightedness and greed. The short-sightedness of individuals,
politicians, energy companies and corporations. The greed of the politicians and corporations. The last problem is the intentional blinding of the
people by those in power, and in turn our willful ignorance of looming disasters. What are the proposed solutions?
1) "Clean Alternative Energies": A popular topic on ATS (and rightly so), but none will replace all the uses of fossil fuels, and none have yet come
2) "Lowering Consumption": Will only put off the inevitable. I think some price spikes in the past were used this way, as well as to make money in
the short term. The cap and trade schemes and other "green government" type of energy taxes and regulations were going to be used in the same way,
but they chose to base it on the "science" of "global warming", and it fell apart (but its coming back!).
3)"Ethanol": You put more energy in than you get out. It wouldn't be profitable if it weren't for government subsidies. This is one of the reasons
peak oil hasn't hit full force yet.
We could have a chance of fixing this looming disaster if everyone was told the truth and we agreed to a cut in our living standards and worked very
hard for the next 10-20 years, but we will not. It is because the average person would be angry and could possibly revolt, and because TPTB are greedy
and limited by their lifetimes, they do not want to go to a lower standard of living either. They also know we would never accept lower standards of
living and greater control if we saw them keeping their standard of living. Even though they already have a much greater standard of living, the
transfers of wealth and power have been largely indirect and behind the scenes.
The rich and the powerful are stretching this for all it is worth, but the age of oil is starting the slide into inevitable collapse. If you think of
the events of the last ten years in terms of peak oil, it all begins to make a lot more sense (consider 9/11, invasion of the middle east, the
National Energy Policy Development Group headed by Cheney, the push for global energy based government, global warming being pushed, large scale U.S.
military operations, recent market volatility, and so much more). (continued)
[edit on 20-5-2010 by time91]
[edit on 20-5-2010 by time91]