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dominic
18-09-2005, 12:47 PM
merely thought i'd channel some of the conversation on the new orleans thread (http://www.dissensus.com/showpost.php?p=28390&postcount=45 ) over here

and here's what i said upon reading (http://www.dissensus.com/showpost.php?p=28447&postcount=48) the kunstler article, which luka seems to have taken for a militaristic rant???

anyway, it looks to me like world politics is today a naked competition for control of oil

it's especially important to u.s. that oil continue to be denominated in dollars -- which is why u.s. wants to occupy the middle east, even though most of that oil goes to europe and japan

if oil and other key commodities weren't traded in dollars, then u.s. might be forced to pay its debts in some other currency, perhaps the euro

(simple fact is that u.s. cannot honor its financial obligations to china and japan -- u.s. trade deficits are so large as to be utterly mind boggling -- i.e., china and japan more or less pay the u.s. to consume their goods = vendor financing on a massive scale)

getting back to peak oil -- here's a balanced article (http://prudentbear.com/archive_comm_article.asp?category=International+Pe rspective&content_idx=46517)

and i think all of this throws into question the viability of democracy in america -- i.e., this country has been so misruled!!! -- the whole suburban project completely at odds with the reality of oil scarcity, and so much of the country's manufacturing base shifted overseas in the name of corporate profits

what this country really needs is an ENLIGHTENED STATE to rule with an eye to the common good, regardless of what people want to have and hear and who they want to vote for

in fact i'd be willing to give up the right to vote at this point -- it's proven pretty worthless

of course the circumstances are about to become so dire, that i doubt there's any one person or group of experts smart enough to lead us out of this mess

even so, i pray each morning and night for a leftist egghead intellectual coup d'etat in america

or else something similar to happen in china -- i.e., maybe pay chinese labor a reasonable rate for their toil??? maybe a radical reevaluation of the chinese RMB upward = a radical de-evaluation of the dollar???

and yet even if people were to work out the weird economic relationship b/w the u.s. and east asia to make it healthier and more sustainable -- even were this to happen -- it'd all be set against the backdrop of increasing OIL SCARCITY

it's going to be a rough century -- and it seems we're all too damn powerless to do anything to change the coordinates, the mad acceleration to the end of the world as we know it

(though for people bored by affluence or nostalgic for the good ole days of isolated countries and comunities, the world post-oil and post-global trade might prove preferable -- so long as you can endure all upheavals and pain -- civil wars and global wars???)

D84
19-09-2005, 04:07 AM
and i think all of this throws into question the viability of democracy in america -- i.e., this country has been so misruled!!! -- the whole suburban project completely at odds with the reality of oil scarcity, and so much of the country's manufacturing base shifted overseas in the name of corporate profits

what this country really needs is an ENLIGHTENED STATE to rule with an eye to the common good, regardless of what people want to have and hear and who they want to vote for

in fact i'd be willing to give up the right to vote at this point -- it's proven pretty worthless



Dominic, why resort to such a drastic measure? Why don't you just give up the right to drive instead? Do people really need to drive their kids to school in a 4WD??

What's wrong with public transport?

What's wrong with not having millions of cars on the road? Our civilisation, for what it's worth, has been getting on fine without them for centuries.

Alternative energy sources must be available, surely? My guess is that our whole economic infrastructure is based around satisfying the petrol and automotive and possibly airline lobbies (among others no doubt).

dominic
19-09-2005, 12:49 PM
i wasn't being entirely serious about giving up right to vote

though i do seriously doubt the electability of any candidate who would tell the american the dark truth or threaten their "right" to drive cars or be anything other than stupidly "optimistic" about america's character and destiny

but there's a lot more that depends on oil and gas than merely cars, trucks, etc -- namely, the whole of modern agriculture uses lots and lots of oil, as the kunstler article points out

to the extent that there are no new technological solutions or no new miracle energy, i suppose there'll be a return to steam engines and other 19th technologies -- i.e., it's not as though there won't be any kind of energy -- merely that the other kinds of energy won't be nearly as efficient as oil has been and so will require a complete overhauling of the economy and significantly more pain than gain

dominic
19-09-2005, 12:59 PM
Dominic, why resort to such a drastic measure? Why don't you just give up the right to drive instead? Do people really need to drive their kids to school in a 4WD??

i agree -- govts should have banned private cars and trucks a long time ago


What's wrong with public transport?

nothing at all

but even city electrical grids rely on oil (though i guess there'll be a lot more resort to nuclear energy)

in any case, i'm all for public transportation, don't personally own a car or anything, etc


Alternative energy sources must be available, surely?

yes, but no alternative energy that is known to date is nearly as efficient as oil

again, kunstler points out that "technology" should not be confused for "energy resources" -- the former requires the latter


My guess is that our whole economic infrastructure is based around satisfying the petrol and automotive and possibly airline lobbies (among others no doubt).

yes -- which is the same as saying that u.s. has been misruled on a massive scale and will end up paying a very steep price b/c it won't be cheap to completely reshape the country's infrastructure?

or is this what is known as "creative destruction" -- i.e., we'll simply abandon the suburbs and build anew in the city cores as well as the new agricultural settlements that will surely be required (i.e., agriculture will require a lot more manpower post-oil)

and yet if america is in horrific financial shape thanks to the external trade deficit and federal budget deficit -- i.e., the country will surely default (renege) on its obligations to china and japan -- then where will the money come from to fund all this rebuilding of the infrastructure???

DigitalDjigit
19-09-2005, 02:52 PM
I used to think along 'Peak Oil' lines but now I have an even "darker" scenario. There's technology right now to utilize tar sand oil. While this will result in more expensive oil (once the supply is up and running the price will probably stay around current levels) and a somewhat lower standard of living, things will continue running as is for the foreseeable future. This means even more environmental destruction, more suburbia, more greenhouse emissions not to mention the huge damage from even getting oil from tar sands. The people will demand that tar sands be exploited (at least the media will make it so).

Pearsall
19-09-2005, 03:31 PM
Another problem is that our (American) passenger rail network is in, frankly, pathetic shape. Especially off of the East Coast. We've let out transport infrastructure degrade to a frankly pathetic level.

Explosive population growth doesn't help matters (US population projected to rise to over 450 million by 2050!);

zhao
19-09-2005, 06:30 PM
there are many many groups that are doing work toward viable alternative energy solutions: nano devices based on biological models which form conduits with almost zero loss, advances in solar technologies as well as wind and water and renewable bio-mass.

good old Bucky Fuller warned about all this back in what? the 60s? and scientists have been doing a lot in anticipation, probably more than is publicized.

ofcourse Kunstler is most likely right about a period of atleast 20 or so years of hardship and struggle and violence on a global scale, but the story is a lot more complex with a lot more variables and factors than any one of us can forsee and properly take into account.

all energy is solar energy. just stored in difference forms. the sun emits every 2 minutes more energy than all humans on earth use in 1 year. it's just a matter of finding good ways to harness that energy.

but back to the original hand the environmental situation is very fucking scary. that report I read last year signed by 200+ nobel laureates basically said that it is too late. period. end of discussion. that there is not much we can do but wait for extreme climate changes of the sort that has not occured for a very long period of geological time... and that all of this is supposed to start happening by the year 2020.

optimist or pessimist, how it will fly we can't predict, but the reality is the shit in the air right now will soon hit the fan...

juliand
08-10-2005, 08:21 PM
It may be worth having a look at the chapter on the history of oil politics in Afflicted Powers.

The authors are quite skeptical of both the "Blood For Oil" slogan and 'peak oil'. The book has been attacked by some, often for what seem like strange reasons, but not knowing a ton about this history I found the chapter substantive, succinct, and pretty convincing.

tryptych
20-10-2005, 12:18 AM
Good article in Mute magazine by George Caffentzis with a critique of what he calls " the Peak Oli/National Security Paradigm"


http://www.metamute.com/look/article.tpl?IdLanguage=1&IdPublication=1&NrIssue=29&NrSection=10&NrArticle=1480

MiltonParker
20-10-2005, 01:23 AM
http://www.willyoujoinus.com/advertising/print/

Chevron's new print advertising campaign in Wall Street Journal, the Economist, Financial Times, US News & World Report

'Will You Join Us'... now there's a slogan

the tiny world map that shows where the remaining oil is in the lower left corner of the picture, I must admit I was shocked to actually see it used in the ad. but... yup, yes, there it is

dominic
30-10-2005, 08:01 PM
here's an article on china forging closer ties with western oil companies (http://today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=reutersEdge&storyID=2005-10-26T063159Z_01_MOR623472_RTRIDST_0_PICKS-ENERGY-CHINA-ASSETS-DC.XML)

this is perhaps a "good" development (depending on your politics), in that china is working with the west rather than in league with iran

D84
02-11-2005, 05:29 AM
I just noticed this story on the Michael Moore site:


Oil Execs to Be Asked to Justify Profits

By H. Josef Herbert / Associated Press

Top executives of three major oil companies will be asked by senators next week why some of their industry's estimated $96 billion in record profits this year shouldn't be used to help people having trouble paying their energy bills.

Lee Raymond, chairman of Exxon Mobil Corp., Jim Mulva, chief executive of ConocoPhillips, and John Hofmeister, president of the U.S. unit of Royal Dutch Shell PLC, will be among the industry executives to be questioned at a Senate hearing, according to congressional and industry officials...

The three companies together earned more than $22 billion during the July-September quarter this year when crude oil prices soared briefly to $70 a barrel and motorists were paying well over $3 gallon at the pump after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck the Gulf Coast.
...
There is growing distress among both Republicans and Democrats in Congress about the huge profits reported by oil companies last week.

http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/index.php?id=4754

The first against the wall I tell you...