Peak Oil News: Peak Oil Scam

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Peak Oil Scam

Once more I find myself returning to the subject of ‘peak oil’ as it seems that a good deal of the ‘left’, alongside all the usual suspects are peddling this Peak Oil nonsense. It seems the output of ‘peak oil’ articles is actually outstripping the output of oil. We have to ask the question why?

Intimately connected to the issue of ‘peak oil’ but well camouflaged, is the issue of ‘over-population’, for make no mistake, ‘peak oil’ is a replay by another name of the ‘over-population’ BS made so fashionable in the 1960s. For once more (and this is it what makes me really angry), people who should know better are again dumping on the poor of the planet, for as with the ‘over-population’ disinformation campaign, at the root of the ‘peak oil’ propaganda offensive is the fight for the control over resources for the rich minority of the planet’s population.

Note that the ‘peak oil’ issue is always set in the context of countries like China and India, for nowhere do I see these harbingers of doom advocating changing their OWN consumption patterns, it’s always someone else who has to change theirs eg, 1.6 billion Chinese, but never these comfortable pundits. So screw Michael Ruppert and the host of other alleged progressives who badly need to get a reality check![1]

Whenever the subject of ‘peak oil’ comes up it’s invariably in the context of rising Chinese and Indian demand for the stuff, in other words, they’re competing with ‘us’ for the stuff and by what right do these people who are “darker than blue” have to take ‘our’ oil. This is why the ‘over-population debate’ goes hand-in-hand with the peak oil rubbish, they are, in fact, two sides of the same (devalued) dollar bill.

Firstly, so that there’s no misunderstanding here, I am by no means advocating the unrestrained and wasteful use of oil or indeed any other energy source or primary product, but the fundamental issue here is not ‘running out of oil’ but the fact that it’s the advanced capitalist countries who have to alter their economies, whether we’re running out of oil or not. The Earth is after all bountiful but obviously not a bottomless pit of resources. As with food production, it’s not the amounts but the distribution that’s the crucial issue here.

In addition, it has to be said that the entire history of the development of technology shows that we continually achieve the same or better results with less; less materials, less energy, less labour and so forth. It should come as no surprise then that the ‘peak oil’ disinformation campaign comes along at just the ‘right time’ for the imperium, hovering as it is on the edge of economic meltdown.

If one looks back to the run-up to the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the subject of oil inevitably came up but the Western media poured scorn on the idea, branding it as coming from the ‘conspiracy nuts’ and one should note that of late, the subject of oil in the context of Iraq is almost never mentioned. As far as the media are concerned it’s a non-issue. Instead, the focus is suddenly on ‘peak oil’ and according to the Guardian’s John Vidal, you can “kiss your lifestyle goodbye”[2].

Vidal’s article goes into the subject at length, if not to the depth at which oil is found, quoting the arch-doomsayer of them all, Colin Campbell

"About 944bn barrels of oil has so far been extracted, some 764bn remains extractable in known fields, or reserves, and a further 142bn of reserves are classed as ‘yet-to-find’, meaning what oil is expected to be discovered. If this is so, then the overall oil peak arrives next year"

Wow, as soon as that! How convenient that it should be next year but closer reading of the piece reveals that it’s not as simple as that, as it depends not only on how ‘reserves’ are measured but who you talk to

[T]he Campbell analysis is way off the much more optimistic official figures. The US Geological Survey (USGS) states that reserves in 2000 (its latest figures) of recoverable oil were about three trillion barrels and that peak production will not come for about 30 years. The International Energy Agency (IEA) believes that oil will peak between “2013 and 2037" and Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq and Iran, four countries with much of the world’s known reserves, report little if any depletion of reserves."

The doomsayers have been predicting ‘peak oil’ since the 1980s just as in the 1960s we saw a comparable bunch of doomsayers talking about ‘over-population’ and indeed, it seems that ‘over-population’ is once again in the gun-sights of the same bunch of Malthusian hangovers. And it’s no accident that ‘over-population’ and ‘peak oil’ go together in a case of oily feathers flocking together (to mix and ruin a couple of metaphors)[3].

And once again, without getting into a debate about the origins of oil and its relationship to exactly how much oil there actually is, the amount of oil is connected not to the total amount whatever the number is, but whether it’s economically viable for capitalism to extract it[4]. - Anomaly News Chat 05-13-05


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