Total Pageviews

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I Lost a LOT of Respect for Paul Craig Roberts...,

when he posted this piece that was run over at Counterpunch: "The Left, Reagan and Cockburn".  After a nice little tribute to Alexander Cockburn upon his death, PCR states:

What causes some people to feel compelled to make uninformed digs at President Reagan? Is it just that they are brainwashed or, if they are thoughtful people, just too involved with other matters to be well informed about Reagan?  How many of the digs at Reagan are deflective activity by Clinton/Bush/Cheney/Obama shills diverting attention from the real causes of our woes?

Reagan and his administration are not above criticism, but Reagan most certainly is not to blame for the financial crisis or for the neoconservative wars for American hegemony.

I have been seething ever since I read it.  I am on record over at The Agonist as saying that I believe that Saint Ronnie and his administration marks the beginning of the dire straits we find our country in today..., here with "The Election That Changed the World"  and a piece from Alternet.  I wanted to respond to Robert's piece..., but thankfully..., Counterpunch ran this piece yesterday..., so I don't have to.  "Rotten Ronnie".

Reagan was a tout for a group of big capital con men who simply wanted to work a mafia type scam on a national basis: to take over the government so as to have the power to guide public money flows into the pockets of their corporate associates. They could call the movie “Mister Al Capone Goes To Washington.” The Reaganites were so vocal about being against the government, but since the government in a representative democracy is merely the physical and bureaucratic realization of the machinery needed to enact the popular will (read Rousseau, Jefferson did), the Reaganites were entirely anti-democratic crooks who wanted to extract value from the masses against the public interest (e.g., more weapons, kill alternative energy, more Central American bloodshed, defend apartheid, rape the environment for private profits), to distort the functioning of government for the preferential enrichment of their factional associates, and the higher economic classes with preferred racial mixes.

There is lots more where that came from..., highly recommended reading.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Peak Oil

National Photo Co. Fossil Fuel 1920
Washington, D.C. "Penn Oil and truck."

Nicole Foss (Stoneleigh) over at "The Automatic Earth" blog posted Unconventional Oil is NOT a Game Changer. She does a great job of exposing many of the myths surrounding the Peak Oil denial being spouted these days.  Though the price of crude oil has fallen very recently, she discusses how the near $100 per barrel price has inflated a speculative bubble in "fracking" and other unconventional methods of extracting oil from the oil shale in the Bakken formation in North Dakota and Montana, as well as the Eagle Ford formation in Texas.

At the same time, in the case of oil, we are seeing a sharp reversal of perception - from one of scarcity to one of glut - as pundits discuss how technological innovations, including horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, will increase global supply dramatically. De-conventionalization of oil supply is touted as the solution to peak oil for the foreseeable future.

She explains to us cost of producing oil from those formations in terms of money and energy resources is a speculative bubble that is bound to burst..., and that the recovery rate and sustainability of available oil is being extremely exaggerated.

You really should read the whole piece if you want to understand Peak Oil and what it means for your future.  Nicole sums up the piece thus:

Humans are prone to grasp at straws and believe in fantasies rather than face unpleasant realities. Believing that unconventional fossil fuels can maintain business as usual is a fantasy. We cannot run our current complex society on low EROEI energy sources.

We are still facing peak oil, and, on the downslope of Hubberts Curve, we will be running faster and faster on our accelerating treadmill just to slow the decline in supply. Unconventional supplies with lower and lower EROEI are not going to change that picture, and the crash of prices that will happen thanks to economic depression will aggravate the situation considerably in the short term. We can expect prices to fall faster than the cost of production, and many corporate casualties to emerge as boom turns to bust, as it always does.

The next few years will be remembered for financial crisis, where it will be money in short supply rather than energy. As economic contraction proceeds, and purchasing power falls substantially due to the collapse of the money supply, demand for energy will - temporarily - fall a long way. Beyond that, as the deleverging comes to an end and the economy begins to stabilize somewhat (probably between five and ten years down the line), we are likely to see a supply crunch develop.

With that we are likely to see a major price spike, and the potential for resource wars will grow dramatically. Oil is liquid hegemonic power, and conflict can be expected to develop when it is perceived to be scarce. Thats not where we find ourselves today, but it is where the future is taking us.