Peak Oil and Iraq
For sure Iraq's oil was a major concern for those who plotted the war against Iraq. It's likely that they believe (or pretend to believe) the Peak Oil theory, which says that world production of oil is nearing a peak (or may already have reached it) and that thereafter oil production is all downhill — bad news for oil-gluttonous societies, especially for the most oil-gluttonous of all by far, the U.S.A.
Certainly the demand for oil by the industrial economies of the world continues to grow, and with the industrialization of India and China this demand can be expected to accelerate. If the U.S. were to gain control of the Middle East's oil production then it would have an economic weapon to use against any countries it considered a threat to its domination of the planet. Oil can thus be seen as the major motivation for the U.S. invasion and present occupation of Iraq.
Here are some articles which either accept Peak Oil and warn of the dire consequences, or regard Peak Oil as the Bush administration's main motive for invading Iraq:
- Ruth Rosen: As ordered, it's about oil [Page removed]
[An executive order recently signed by Bush] appears to give U.S. oil companies in Iraq blanket immunity from lawsuits and criminal prosecution. ... Jim Vallette, senior researcher at the liberal Institute for Policy Studies, said, "This order reveals the true motivation for the present occupation: absolute power for U.S. corporate interest over Iraqi oil."
- George Monbiot: Bottom of the barrel
... the notion that the war with Iraq had nothing to do with oil is simply preposterous. The US attacked Iraq (which appears to have had no weapons of mass destruction and was not threatening other nations), rather than North Korea (which is actively developing a nuclear weapons programme and boasting of its intentions to blow everyone else to kingdom come) because Iraq had something it wanted.
- F. William Engdahl: Iraq and the Problem of Peak OilIt is increasingly clear that the US occupation of Iraq is about control of global oil resources. Control, however, in a situation where world oil supplies are far more limited than most of the world has been led to believe. If the following is accurate, the Iraq war is but the first in a major battle over global energy resources, a battle which will be more intense than any oil war to date.
- The Oil Crash and You
Summary: This document reveals that within ten years:
- Oil extraction from wells will be physically unable to meet global demand (the evidence is from the oil industry itself).
- Alternative energy sources like nuclear and natural gas will fall far short of compensating for expected shortages of oil. There is simply not enough time to convert over to them.
- Massive disruptions to transportation and the economy are expected around 2010 when the final peak of production of all petroleum liquids (globally) is followed by decline.
- The fall of petroleum civilization
means the end of consuming the planet via oil-based transport and natural gas-aided agriculture is happening. These practices have enabled the largest economy and population the world has ever seen. The dominant oil-based culture has warped society into a precarious state of out of control consumption and diminished family and community values. It is the end of abundant world oil supplies that will change everything.
- Peak oil in a nutshell
After an almost instant depression seizes the modern industrialized world, and nation-states break down, the frantic attempts of people to feed themselves, stay warm and obtain fresh water (pumped presently via petroleum to a great extent), there will be no rescue. Die-off begins. The least petroleum-dependent communities will survive best.
However not everyone believes that the Peak Oil theory (or rather, prediction) is true. Some say that there's an ocean of oil in Alaska and "enormous reserves in the horn of Africa, Mexico, Alberta Canada and off both coasts of the USA". And some claim that oil is not, as is commonly believed, a non-renewable resource. Here is a short article concerning theories of oil as biogenic or abiogenic: Fossil Fuels Made without Fossils
This article says that some oil fields are being replenished: Oil Fields Are Refilling ... Naturally — Sometimes Rapidly
The Clusterfuck Nation Chronicle severely doubts that, and the writer believes that Americans are living in fantasy-land:
It is estimated that the US kicked off the oil age in the mid-nineteenth century with about 210 billion barrels of oil underground. According to United States Energy Information Administration (EIA), we now have about 21 billion barrels left, one-tenth of what we started with. ... [The] "cornucopians" often claim that oil is a self-renewing resource, that a great master pool of oil exists deep in the earth's core, like the creamy nougat center of a bonbon, always seeping upward and replenishing the oil fields. If this is so, then how come US production goes consistantly down year after year?
But the theory that oil can be traced back to hydrocarbons present at the formation of the Earth has been advanced by an eminent scientist, the late Thomas Gold. See Oil Doesn't Come from Squashed Ferns and Fish?? (which compares evidence for both theories of the origin of oil).
Here are several articles which regard Peak Oil as a hoax, either as a justification for the invasion by the U.S. of countries it wishes to control, or simply as a way of pushing up the price of oil so that the oil companies make even more profit:
- The Coming Panic over the End of Oil — Coming to a Ballot Box Near You
- Joe Quinn: Exposing the Big Con — Lies and Disinformation At The End Of Civilisation As We Know It
- Joe Vialls: Russia Proves 'Peak Oil' is a Misleading Zionist Scam
- Xymphora: Yergin on the oil 'shortage' (But read the comments.)
- Joel Bainerman: If hydrocarbons are renewable- then is "Peak Oil" a fraud?
- Several articles by William Bowles:
- The truth about 'Peak Oil'
- 'Well Oiled'
- Warming to the subject of oil
- (S)Peaking of oil — again
- Out Damn Spot — Oil Prices that is!
- Selling the biggest lie of them all — Capitalism
- The Worm Ouroborus
The views of these three people are always worth thinking about:
- Wade Frazier: On making a difference with the Iraqi people
As the Peak Oil crowd is fond of saying these days, earth can probably only support around a couple billion people without the energy that fossil fuel provides, so we had better get ready for a drop off of four billion people or so. They are waiting for the four horsemen to ride again. That is partly what my life's work has been trying to forestall, and it often seems a dim hope anymore, but I still think it is possible if only a tiny fraction of earth's population woke up just a little.
- Kurt Vonnegut: Cold Turkey
We the people have absolutely no say in whatever they [Bush and his cohorts] choose to do next. In case you haven't noticed, they've already cleaned out the treasury, passing it out to pals in the war and national security rackets, leaving your generation and the next one with a perfectly enormous debt that you'll be asked to repay.
Nobody let out a peep when they did that to you, because they have disconnected every burglar alarm in the Constitution: The House, the Senate, the Supreme Court, the FBI, the free press ... and We the People. ...
We are all addicts of fossil fuels in a state of denial, about to face cold turkey.
And like so many addicts about to face cold turkey, our leaders are now committing violent crimes to get what little is left of what we're hooked on.
- Richard K. Moore: The Post-Bush Regime: A Prognosis
The primary mission of the Hillary administration [as it turned out, the Obama administration], under the banners of ‘doing something about climate change and peak oil’, will evidently be to undertake a massive resource grab in the global South, leading to the selective and massive elimination of certain populations through starvation. In other words, the mission is to expand the starving-Africa model globally, a process that will presumably be helped along by the usual shadowy suspects in their usual destabilizing roles.
- Richard K. Moore: Obama's Economic Agenda: a Timely Review
With peak oil looming on the horizon, any rational energy agenda, particularly if it is willing to consider change and hard choices, needs to be aimed toward achieving sustainability. Marginally reducing our energy consumption, while continuing to depend on highways and jet planes for most of our transport, and petroleum-intensive agriculture for our food, will never make us sustainable.
Here are four articles on this site by Andrew McKillop, an expert in the field of energy studies. He definitely does not believe that Peak Oil is a hoax.
- The Chinese Car Bomb
We therefore have a laughable fantasy, or an insight into exactly why three nuclear armed powers, China, India and USA, are ever more likely to fight amongst themselves, or confront EU importers, including two nuclear weapons states, for the last oil reserves of the planet.
- Sure and Certain Oil Shock
The only real solution is planned, organised and constant energy demand compression in the rich world OECD countries, led by fast and continual shrinkage of oil demand, with natural gas and coal intensity reduction close behind. Restructuring the economy and society are the only ways to do that.
- Get Ready for the Last Oil Wars
When there is world economic crisis, as in 1929-36, this is nearly always a ‘Mother of War’. When we have global economic crisis at least equal in intensity to the 1929 crisis, we can assume we also have the basic geo-economic conditions able to trigger Oil Apocalypse, especially where recession is thought of, and presented by media as, “only due to oil supply shortage and high prices”.
- Dual Fuels and the New Kuwait
The economic spinoff, or economic impact of much higher oil and gas prices spilling through the economy, will simply mask the underlying physical causes of economic recession. In the 'longer-term’ future of about 2015-2018, it is not certain the alternate energy sources, including biofuels will have any larger role to play than today, simply due to the world economy practicing — for force majeure — the kind of de-growth that is the only solution for fighting climate change and limiting outright destruction of the biosphere.
Washington's Blog (the best blog on the internet) published on November 14, 2011, a long article entitled Energy Independence — the Big Lie by JimQ. This provides data on how much from each of the five energy sources (oil/petroleum, natural gas, coal, renewables and nuclear) is used by the major energy-consuming sectors (transportation, industry, residential/commercial and electricity). He points out that 95% of the energy used in the transportation section comes from oil, and that there is no hope in the foreseeable future of substituting any significant amount of non-oil energy sources for oil. Transportation is essential to the functioning of society as it currently works. To name just one item, the food in your supermarket only appears there because it is transported in fleets of 18-wheeler trucks. Take out transportation and most people will starve to death.
The oil which has been extracted so far is oil that has been easy to get at. There may be plenty more, but it is in places hard to get at: in tar sands, a mile under the ocean, in the arctic, etc. And to get oil from these sources is increasingly expensive. It is economic to extract oil only if the amount of energy you get from oil is larger than the amount of energy needed to extract the oil. When it takes 1.1 barrels of oil to extract 1 barrel of oil then that oil will stay in the ground (or under the ocean).
Most manufactured products in modern industrial society require oil to make them. As the cost of a barrel of oil goes up (say, beyond $150/barrel) the cost of manufactured products also goes up. Eventually a point is reached where people can't afford to buy them. Then manufacturers won't make them, and won't employ the people who used to make them. This means social collapse, which has already begun. Read JimQ's article for more information.
Concentration on peak oil issue distracts from a more immediate problem: the fact that the perpetrators of the 9/11 atrocity remain free to pursue policies that are an imminent threat to world peace and the survival of life on Earth. Actually the two things are connected. Those who are responsible for the US policy of military aggression are motivated by a desire to sustain and control oil-based industrial society (as long as they can keep it going) for the sake of the profits it provides them with. Identifying those responsible for 9/11 (and removing them from power, if not putting them in jail) would be a good first step to dealing with the world's problem of its addiction to oil. It is not going to happen, however, because most people who live in the U.S. seem now (in 2011) to regard 9/11 as ancient history, if they ever thought about it at all.
- Nicholas A Biniaris: The quicksand of self-deception
Saudi Arabia is paying huge subsidies bribing its idle population, student stipends and social handouts to keep its people quiet and uses a heavy hand against the Shi'ites who sit upon the main oil sources of the kingdom. ...
This deceptive stability is threatened by the selfsame jihadists and Taliban (students of the Koran) who are educated and subsidized by the Untouchables [Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states]. These jihadists hold them hostage to their pathological views about an Islamic Caliphate, a return to the days of the Prophet, an ossified society where girls seeking education are shot and schools (carriers of western ideas) are destroyed. World history is replete with examples of groups of mercenaries or fanatics who were used by states and political systems to defend and support them. The end result was the overturning of the masters by their guards. Whoever has the resolve to fight and die is far ahead in the game of power grabbing. The future of these Satrapies is bleak and so is ours.
What will happen when and if the flow of oil is disrupted by acts of terrorism or by acts of inter-state wars or civil strife in these areas? We have already put in place an embargo for Iranian oil. Iraq is in a "low intensity" civil war with 1000 people blown up only in May this year  and most of the fabulous oil riches some 7.5 million bbl/day are still lying in the desert.
If the feared but fully expected — it is a matter of time — upheaval reaches the sands and shores of the sanctum sanctorum of Islamic orthodoxy [the House of Saud in Mecca] and the supply of oil, then the West shall be forced to take extreme and painful military and economic measures at a period where its economy is still shaken by the mindless banking collapse of 2008. Europe in particular, with an austerity program and several countries virtually bankrupt, will collapse as a house of cards. The cost of energy, mostly a deficit of current accounts, will skyrocket; industrial production will be cut with millions of unemployed joining the ranks of the already army of millions in Europe's south. ...
The inertia imposed by stark necessity for oil, the delusional beliefs about the West's invincibility and mastery of the political game world-wide, has produced an inchoate ad hoc policy. The West has painted itself into a corner.
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