Dealing With the Peak Oil Critics
Report; Posted on: 2005-09-24 02:59:20
A challenging opinion piece from British National Party Chair Nick Griffin
As with any unusual, new and discomforting theory, Peak Oil is ignored by many, ridiculed by others and attacked by some. None of which proves that it is wrong, but obviously it is essential to keep an open mind, and to examine all positions.
Anti-Peak Oil arguments fall into six main categories, several of which are related. With the whole question of rising fuel prices and energy shortages back at the centre of British political and economic life, it is useful to examine these arguments and try to assess whether the present difficulties are caused by a one-off combination of greedy oil producers, Gordon Brown’s tax rip-off, the war in Iraq and Hurricane Katrina. Or are the Peak Oil theorists right and are price hikes, fuel protesters and panic buying queues just a glimpse of far worse problems to come?
Here then are the main points made by Peak Oil sceptics, and the responses of a Peak Oil convert:
1) “It’s an oil company scam to allow them to jack up prices”
This one is more easily dealt with. First, the oil companies have no control over how much oil the OPEC countries pump, and thereby very little control over the price. Second, if Peak Oil is a scam to explain high prices now, why didn’t the oil giants use it as an excuse to jack up prices and profits ten or fifteen years ago? Third, note the clash between this theory and theory number 6 – that the alternatives will save the day by reducing our dependence on oil. If there really is no looming problem with oil supply, why on earth would the oil companies create a powerful rumour which will encourage and speed the development of technologies which will make their product obsolete, or at least much less desired?
UK Chancellor Gordon Brown has come up with a refinement of this “blame the oil companies” theory, slamming the OPEC nations instead for failing to increase production. Of course, the whole crux of the Peak Oil theory is that the crisis begins at the moment when increasing total aggregate production becomes physically impossible, but demand continues to increase.
This, it appears, is precisely what is happening at present. Even optimistic mainstream commentators agree that Saudi Arabia is the only ‘swing producer’ of any size left, and a far few of even them are now unsure as to how much spare ‘swing’ capacity even the Saudis have. There are serious concerns that the millions of barrels of sea water that the Saudis already pump into their oil wells every day to boost the oil flow could cause serious damage to their future productivity. Pressing them to pump even harder could ironically hasten and worsen the Peak Oil crisis.
Once these facts are understood, Brown’s criticism of OPEC for being unable to overcome basic laws of nature and physics marks him out as a strange hybrid between King Canute and Joe Stalin. Come on Gordon, how about executing one or two OPEC heads of state for failing to reverse the tide of depletion and so sabotaging your Glorious Plan for increasing oil production? Oh, sorry, I forgot, Tony’s already got that in hand. Goodbye Saddam, hello a new and endless flood of oil.
2) “There’s plenty of oil out there, especially once rising prices make it worth finding.”
This argument appears to fall for several reasons:
First, the dramatic drop in large-field discoveries, a trend which is now sufficiently well established to rule out the argument that the oil glut on the last ten years of the last century inhibited exploration. The truth is that plenty of exploratory drilling still goes on, but that the finds are not impressive. True, oil companies might have cut back on exploration because it hasn’t been so worthwhile, but their moves to scale-down their exploratory capacity may also be connected with the message from the geologists: They’ve scoured the world looking for oil and there just aren’t any really big and practically accessible oil fields left to be found.
Second, for all the anti-Peak talk about there being plenty of oil, the fact remains that production in various parts of the world which used to produce huge amounts has fallen for some years and continues to fall. The USA itself and – more recently - the North Sea, are cases in point. These declines are not propaganda, they are simply fact. Why on earth would oil companies which have invested huge amounts to develop these fields voluntarily scale back production, thereby having to buy more oil from Arabs and others at higher prices and hence lower potential profits? Does anyone really believe that the short-termist British government would happily stand by as North Sea oil tax revenues slumped if they could do anything to get the companies to go back to pumping the larger amounts they did a few years ago? Of course not, production is falling because those wells are running dry – they have peaked. Of course, that doesn’t mean that world production is peaking, but it does prove that, sooner or later, it will.
Third, the “there’s plenty about” argument, in the end, comes down to belief in the magical power of market forces. High enough demand, so the story goes, will stimulate supply. Herein we see the problem of clever intellectuals with more university degrees than commonsense. The only cure for such fantasies is to drop them in a desert with just one glass of water each. Of course, once they’ve each drunk what is available to them, their glasses will automatically refill once the demands of their thirst get strong enough.
Fourth, to return to more practical things: Much of this argument is based on unaudited reserve claims made by companies and countries with strong vested interests in overstating their reserves. The anti-Peak people claim that the oil companies have created a Peak Oil ‘lie’, so they’ve already accepted the idea that large companies are capable of lying. Is it really so unlikely that companies whose share prices and stability rely on having plenty of reserves are going to massage the figures (i.e. lie) in order to maintain those share prices and their Chief Executives’ dividends and salaries?
As for oil producing nations, all the OPEC countries without exception declared enormous increases in their reserves around the time when it was decided to link their annual production quotas to their the size of their stated reserves. But it is those highly dubious self-certified ‘reserves’ which form the basis of the “there’s plenty of oil left” claim. Tell me this - would you buy a used camel off any of the charmers of the House of Saud? If so, please contact me, because I have a bridge in London to sell you.
3) "It's all a Zionist scam."
The disproportionate role of Jewish and non-Jewish Zionists among advisors and financiers to Bush and Blair, and in the mainstream media, is an oft-denied but simple fact. Therefore, goes this theory, anything Bush and Blair do is determined by conspiratorial Zionists, and anything the media tell us is a Zionist lie. Undoubtedly, sometimes, there is some truth in this, but also much folly. Those who automatically blame "the Jews" for everything are blinded by their knee-jerking to a multitude of other factors, not least the age-old facts that "power corrupts" and that the monopolising aggression and greed which are the flip side of the short-term efficiency of capitalism know no borders or ethnic distinctions.
Those who claim to believe that no Jew ever does anything wrong, or that to criticise any Jew or group of Jews is a mortal sin against a group singled out by God or Hitler for special treatment and in consequence entitled ever-after to carry a globally valid ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card, are clearly in the grip either of PC self-censorship or the last misguided upholders of the late 19th century ‘Master Race’ fantasy.
But equally, those who believe that only Jews are capable of abusing great power for their selfish personal or group benefit are sadly lacking in any grasp of the realities of human nature. Give an elite - any elite - power, especially over decades or generations, and that elite will abuse that power, and scheme, cheat and kill to maintain and extend it.
The tendency to blame wicked shadowy groups of 'bad advisors' doesn't always require Jews - the same nonsense was spectacularly present in England at the time of the Peasants' Revolt - but it has always helped those 'on top' to stay there, and rendered the efforts of the 'common masses' (that's you and me, in case you still haven't realised) to secure justice and self-determination.
Similarly, while a number of Jewish intellectuals and lobbyists – including the Frankfurt School and most of the leaders of the Civil Rights movement – have played a key role in providing the academic and ‘moral’ justification for the multi-racial assault on the survival of separate races and cultures, it is utterly wrong to overlook the fact that the key practical motor for mass immigration is and always has been the greed of wealthy individuals, companies and corporations.
This was true in the days of Deep South slavery; when the British Empire carted indentured coolies all over the world; when the mill-owners of Lancashire and West Yorkshire placed adverts for workers in newspapers in Pakistan, and it is still true today in the food processing plants in small towns from mid-Wales and the Highlands of Scotland to the American mid-West.
It is perhaps no surprise that US-based ‘nationalists’ raised in a mental cocoon of free enterprise American Dream drivel are often unable to see that flaws in the very basis of their society are the root of the problem, but for nationalists in the European and radical British tradition to swallow the same pro-capitalist nonsense is frankly remarkable and shameful.
In modern times, the insistence of the naive and the bigoted that "the Jews" are to blame for everything that goes wrong in the world and their own lives allows those of us who do criticise genuine abuses of power and influence by some Jews (and, contrary to liberal mythology of the second half of the last century, they are not all blameless saints) to be painted by the media as crazy "anti-Semites".
The paranoid mentality that blamed "the Jews" for causing the Black Death by poisoning wells, and which now blames them for the soaring price of oil, only allows those who clipped coins or who promote the anti-white mind-rot of MTV to escape justified criticism by convincing ordinary people that those with genuine criticisms are as misguided as the paranoid cranks. If Professor Kevin MacDonald's writings are not evaluated sensibly and fairly, it is partly because his realm of study has been discredited by drivel.
It is certainly true that most of the media went along with the absurd WMD justification for the invasion of Iraq. And it is equally true that assorted Zionists – particularly around President Bush - played a key role both in pushing for that invasion and in telling the lies that created a degree of public support for it. It seems that they thought that having the Yanks and Brits go in and obliterate Saddam was a good thing for Israel, and perhaps it was (though for "all-seeing masters of global manipulation" they seem to have got it spectacularly wrong; did it really benefit Israel to turn Iraq from a stable socialist tyranny basket case which used to give handouts to the families of a few Palestinian suicide bombers into a giant hands-on training centre for Islamic fanatics from all over the world?). But while this was clearly a key reason behind the decision of various Jewish media bosses to back the invasion, it does not automatically prove that it was the real, or the only, reason for it.
The strategic doctrine that the USA would use force to secure unrestricted access to oil supplies was first formulated by President Nixon, a man who, despite having some Jews - including Henry Kissinger -in his administration was also notorious for foul-mouthed anti-Semitic outbursts. In applying this doctrine, Bush and his people may well please various Zionists, but are also demonstrably operating in accordance with other agendas as well: The military-industrial complex; the fundamentalist ‘End Times’ Christians, and that of an American imperialism that was well-established and leading the Yanks to invade other countries long before the ancestors of Henry Kissinger and America’s Jewish media moguls were even allowed into the country.
And, of course, Bush is an oil man, and oil industry insiders, logically, should have a better grasp of the real situation than anybody else. But even if they accepted the Peak Oil thesis, the oil companies couldn’t possibly admit publicly that it is true, for their share value would collapse overnight. So Bush may well – rightly or wrongly – believe it. If he doesn’t believe in Peak Oil incidentally, it would be helpful if the sceptics would explain why he has recently announced huge programmes for the development of nuclear and alternative energy sources. These are going to be massively expensive and politically very costly, so why undertake them if Peak Oil is an unfounded fantasy designed merely to stampede the masses into backing a Zionist war? Is it not more realistic to accept that, although America’s neo-cons have been driven by their ideology and ethno-centric obsession with the interests of Israel to push for the invasion of the Middle East, they only got their way because other sections of the US Establishment decided to go in so as to secure access to the oil that is the basis of the American way of life that Bush himself has described as ‘non-negotiable’?
4) “Oil isn’t a fossil fuel, it’s created constantly deep in the earth and will never run out.”
This abiotic oil theory has some very scientific sounding (or pseudo-scientific – I’m just not qualified to judge, and nor, in all probability, are you) papers to back it up. The basic idea is that oil and coal aren’t formed under heat and pressure from the remains of dead sea creatures and plants, but well up from deep inside the earth.
But don’t worry about the scientific jargon, just think about the implications of this claim: If the oil reserves we’ve been tapping for more than a century are self-replacing, why have so many wells been exhausted? Either the theory is wrong or, even if its suppression is one of those Big Lies, then it seems that the rate of replacement is so slow that it isn’t going to help prevent an Oil Peak and subsequent production decline.
Think back to being in the desert with that empty glass – even if it somehow was capable of turning moisture in the air back into water, it wouldn’t be any help to you if it only did so at the rate of one drop per day.
If, on the other hand, abiotic oil is down there and does percolate up on its own accord at a worthwhile rate, then we have to explain not just those stubbornly dry exhausted old wells but also the fact that the world wasn’t flooded with black goo millennia ago. Why doesn’t it pour out from fault lines and geysers? Where are the torrents of oil that would be released by earthquakes?
There is a story of one Mexican Gulf oil well which apparently recovered from falling production all by itself, but even if this is true having one small area in which some fluke of underlying local geology gave one particular oil reserve a second wind cannot be extrapolated into a claim – without any evidence whatsoever - that all the others do the same and that some gigantic and inexplicable conspiracy by every oil man on the planet is keeping this fact hidden from us.
Inexplicable, because if the early oil companies of the last century had found that their wells in continental USA refilled naturally from below then they would never have bothered undertaking expensive exploration in other parts of the world, let alone investing in places like the Middle East where their massively expensive infrastructure was likely to get nationalised (as indeed it was) by assorted stroppy Sheiks.
5) “The Russians know about abiotic oil and are exploiting it by deep drilling.”
This is the second strand of the abiotic oil theory, and it claims that the Russians have exposed Peak Oil as a Zionist propaganda hoax by drilling down to depths of 40,000 feet and finding vast reserves of oil – according to the theory wherever they fancy making a deep enough hole. Apparently they’ve even done it for the Vietnamese, and found a field that yields a whole 10,000 barrels per day. If you think that sounds something to write off Peak Oil with, take a look at the daily Russian consumption figures two paragraphs down.
There are several things that strike one as odd about this claim. First, if it’s as easy as that (and if Russian technology can do it then, with respect to President Putin and his great but hard-done by people, the Americans certainly could) then why isn’t everyone doing it?
Second, if they can now get all the oil they want, forever, then why are the Russians set to pour huge amounts of scarce foreign currency into a joint venture with the French to try to build a nuclear fusion reactor? Given that nuclear fusion appears at present to be only a marginally more realistic prospect than the old alchemists’ trick of turning lead into gold, it beggars belief that the Russians would bother unless they foresaw a coming energy crisis.
Third, if the Russians have found a way to extract limitless reserves of oil, why does Professor Poleo (quoted, oddly enough on Joe Vialls’ “Peak Oil = Zionist Conspiracy” site) find that Russia’s oil consumption has dropped from 8.4 million barrels per day in 1990 to a mere 3.2 million barrels per day?
The truth is that Russian oil production may well have peaked as far back as 1986 (with the Soviet Union’s collapse three years later perhaps not being unrelated to that fact) and is widely regarded as being in decline now – as the consumption figures indicate.
While their drop could be related to a massive drive for exports, it would still seem odd for the fiercely patriotic President of a very cold semi-democratic country to subject his people to a decade of falling oil supplies, with the crisis causing whole cities in Siberia to be effectively abandoned as uninhabitable. If all they’ve got to do is drill down wherever they want and wallow in the resulting abiotic oil, why wouldn’t the Russians drill a few more holes so as to supply their own needs as well as those of the oil-guzzling West and energy-hungry Chinese?
Looked at as rationally as that, one has to wonder if the propaganda theory designed to push the masses in a certain direction isn’t abiotic, rather than Peak, oil. Those who put their trust in the former should stop to ask themselves if perhaps it isn’t a cunning Zionist plot to keep the Goyim quiet for another few years while Patriot Acts and similar measures are put in place to keep them under control when the post-Peak hard times really start to bite. Or is it all a double bluff, or a triple one, or … But that way lies madness. Isn’t it better to stick to the most likely explanation – that oil is a finite reserve, and that we’ve used up the most easily exploited stuff so that now our addiction to it is going to get costly?
6) “Don’t worry, someone will invent an alternative to replace oil before it runs out.”
There are several problems with this one too:
First, Peak Oil isn’t about oil running out, it’s about available supplies and their energy values reducing as demand increases, it’s about not finding enough new stuff to replace what we’re using. We don’t have to run out for modern civilisation to be in trouble, if not untenable, so we don’t even have the thirty or so years that Shell’s Chief Economist recently gave us before oil exhaustion to come up with something to save the day. We need it now, and at present it just isn’t there.
Second, virtually all the possible alternatives are less rich in energy, and yet need large amounts of energy (which mainly comes from oil) to develop and build. More information on these related problems is to be found elsewhere on this site, so let’s leave it at that. Believe me, as British nationalists, if the BNP panel which has been examining this issue for months had found a realistic full replacement (as opposed to filling some of the energy gap) technology that would free us from reliance on foreign suppliers, we would be extolling its virtues to everyone who would listen. Sadly, however, the miracle technology hasn’t yet appeared.
Which brings us to the third point, the idea that the new invention will appear when we need it badly enough. This brings us back to section 3 above – the economists’ fantasy that enough demand creates supply. Again, if you really believe that, off you go to the desert with that glass of water.
Of course, there is no doubt that, historically, various members of the white race in various nations have shown themselves to be amazingly inventive. And, in recent decades, a number of East Asian peoples, principally the Japanese, but Koreans and others as well, have shown similar abilities.
But the fact that, between us, we’ve invented wonderful things in the past, and are still inventing wonderful things right now, does not mean that we will automatically be able to invent a truly effective replacement for oil, gas and coal. After all, we’ve been able to make diamonds, but not gold. We’ve been able to crack nuclear fission, but not nuclear fusion. We’ve been able to build tunnels and bridges a few miles long, but not one to cross the Atlantic.
We have to face up to the fact that we – even the best of us – are mortals and not Gods. We cannot break the laws of nature or physics. So responding to the Peak Oil threat by assuming, like Dickens’ famous optimist that “something will turn up”, is too irresponsible to contemplate. Particularly given the fact that, despite vast sums of money and effort already poured into searching for effective energy replacements, by governments, corporations and individual geniuses, nothing has been found that can realistically replace fossil fuels. Nothing, so far, has ‘turned up’.
So there you have it, the six main criticisms of Peak Oil in a largish nutshell. By all means go looking for more. But take it from me that, like the wonderful new invention that isn’t there yet, it’s likely to be a fruitless search.
Perhaps that could all change tomorrow, and if it does we will happily throw Peak Oil in the same bin as the theories of the Reverend Malthus. But unless if does, we have to regard Peak Oil as a very real and imminent danger. One, in fact, that could yet cause people to learn that the gloomy Rev. M. was not wrong, just ahead of his time.
British National Party
( http://www.nationalvanguard.org/story.php?id=6251 )
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