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Tuesday, December 14, 2004

My bi-weekly daily peak oil rant

(Okay, I've fallen behind on my p-o rants. But with this one, I'm one-for-one for today!)

I've read a couple of books about peak oil (or "Peak Oil" as Michael Ruppert capitalizes it), both of them by Richard Heinberg. Lately, I've been reading Hubbert's Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage, by Kenneth Deffeyes. Deffeyes is a long-time petroleum geologist, both for Shell and in academia. He doesn't write nearly as well as Heinberg, but he clearly knows the oil biz. Early in his career, he worked with M. King Hubbert, the Shell engineer who accurately predicted that peak US oil production would occur in the early 1970's, and less accurately predicted that world production would peak in the mid 1990's. Deffeyes explains in some detail why there's little hope that huge new oil fields will be found, or that large amounts of additional oil can be squeezed from existing fields. I'll review the book more thoroughly when I've finished it.

In any case, I was struck by one of Deffeyes' asides (one of about a billion of them, mostly silly, in the book):
As I read about the Iraq-Iran war at the time, I had a ghastly fantasy that the United States was helping whichever side was behind, the purpose being to trash both countries.
I don't think there's any "fantasy" to it, Ken; there's abundant evidence that that was precisely the goal. (I think Henry Kissinger stated it more or less explicitly.) Trash them so that, first, they can't threaten Israel, and second, we can invade both and take their oil.

Jonathan writes about one Iranian family that has lived in the U.S. for 18 years, and is now being trashed, again, by the U.S. government:
Wow, we've really done right by the Afsharis! First we give Saddam Hussein a green light to invade their country (talking point #5 here), later on we fire them, and in between we help Saddam kill Aliakbar's brother. Hopefully we can draft the Afshari children soon, then make them invade Iran and kill their own grandparents.
Read his whole post for the sordid details.