Consequences of the impending decline of oil
By Dr John O'Dowd
As oil prices go through the roof it is perhaps a pity that little attention has been paid to the important Peak Oil UK conference that took place on April 25 in Edinburgh. Those who attended heard Colin Campbell, former oilman and founder and chairman of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil, state: "The second half of the Age of Oil now dawns and will be marked by the decline of oil and all that depends on it, including financial capital. It heralds the collapse of the present financial system, and the related political structures . . . I am speaking of a second Great Depression."
They also heard Matthew Simmons, chairman of the US energy investment firm, Simmons & Company International of Houston, whose book Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy has just been published, state: "Embedded in this thinking [that the world will easily be able to grow its use of oil over the next three decades while bringing down oil prices] is a concept that higher prices will soon induce vast amounts of new supplies and spur technical advances . . . and make the use of non-conventional oil easier. This case is simply an illusion and why the current tightness in global oil markets is likely to be a permanent feature as a growing number of key producing regions have peaked and as the world nears peak oil output."
Things have become much much worse since April.
In his new book, Simmons's chilling conclusion is that Saudi oil may have already peaked. If Saudi has peaked, the world has peaked.
This is bad news, indeed, for with no credible substitute, and economies utterly dependent on cheap hydro-carbons, we face what James H Kunstler describes in his new book, The Long Emergency: Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the 21st Century (Atlantic Monthly Press): "The long arc of depletion – economic, political and social change sooner than we think . . . Even mild to moderate deviations in either price or supply will crush our economy and make the logistics of daily life impossible . . . The decline in fossil fuels is certain to ignite chronic strife between nations contesting remaining supplies. These resource wars have already begun."
Interestingly, new reports are emerging from the US of the revival of the neutron bomb (the one that kills people, but leaves infrastructure intact).
Mr Simmons is a member of the National Petroleum Council and the hugely influential (CIA front) Council on Foreign Relations. He was a petroleum adviser to George W Bush. He might well have whispered some of this stuff to Geordie before Iraq (and his pals may have expained its meaning).
This might also have something to do with the emerging Police and Security (shoot-to-kill) States on both sides of the Atlantic, and the pretexts being manufactured, and plans now being hatched, to "deal with" (bomb) Iran, the major oil supplier of India and China.