Montreal Community Magazine: 2 SOLITUDES : Revue de la Communauté de Montréal -
The Oil Crisis - Have We Peaked?
Bobby Zimalis
"Early in life I had noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper."
~ George Orwell
by/par Bobby Zimalis
Published/Publié 08/30/2007
"My father rode a camel.
 I drive a car.
 My son flies a jet-plane.
 His son will ride a camel."   ~ Saudi Saying

The Politics of Oil...

he War on Freedom!
The War on Terror!
The War in Afghanistan!
The War in Iraq!

Its enough to drive you mad!

Its also enough to get you thinking...

Thinking about questions like, 'How did we get here?' ... and more importantly, 'Where are we heading?'

Unfortunately, there are no pretty answers to either one of these questions, so, lets begin with the 'How did We Get Here?'

Do you remember the 'Cold War?'
Do you remember the collapse of the Soviet Union?
Well how do you think that happened?

In 1985, US President Reagan and his staff came to the brilliant realization that the only way to destroy the Soviet Union - without destroying the planet in the process - and win the Cold War was to destroy the Russian economy.

Render the system unable to function and it will collapse from within.

So how does one go about this nation destruction you might ask?

Well, as it turned out, all that was needed was a little fortuitous regional animosity and some basic economic analysis.

The Soviet Union's economy at the time was predominantly dependent on 2 factors:
The export of Soviet oil to Europe and military weapons and training to anti-Western countries.

To attack the first problem, the Americans needed an ally. As it turned out, Saudi Arabia (under constant threat and pressure from Iraq, Iran and Syria) needed an ally as well.

So the Saudis and the Americans made a deal, a partnership, a coalition of the willing if you will...and then they waited.

In 1979, Russia decided to defend their oil interests in Afghanistan by backing the Communist governemnt against the Islamic fundamentalist Mujahideen insurgents.

They sent in their troops...

In December 1985, the price of oil was $26.46. And then, suddenly, on March 31, 1986, it plummeted to $10.25. The Soviets couldn't keep up, and their already deteriorating economy began to finally collapse.

The Americans eventually repaid the deal with their participation into the Iraqi-Kuwait conflict or 'Operation Desert Storm' and their continuing 'presence' in the region.

But the seeds of the eventual real 'oil crisis' had been sewn.

Addicted To Oil
To be able to drop the price of oil so dramatically within such a small time-frame, required either the discovery of  massive new oil reserves in the Saudi Arabian region (which there were none) or some clever cooking of the oil reserve books...

The latter was the case and the method became very favorable amongst other OPEC nations as well.

In a 1998 report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) finally admitted to knowing about some of OPEC's wizards cooking their books.

Not only were oil nations lying about their oil reserves but major oil corporations were found guilty of using the same deceiptful practises.

Just recently European oil giant "Shell" had to pay $352.6m (£178.3m) to settle investors' claims that Shell had overbooked its oil and gas reserves by 20%.

"For five years, from 1998 to 2003, Shell Oil had repeatedly misled shareholders over its oil and gas reserves.

So with Oil nations and Oil producers lying about the actual amount oil that the were producing or actively discovering, the analysts began to wonder...

Most experts agree that 'Peak Oil' (the point in time at which the maximum global petroleum production rate is reached) will arrive somewhere between 2010-2015.

In practical and considerably oversimplified terms, this means that if 2005 was the year of global Peak Oil, worldwide oil production in the year 2030 will be the same as it was in 1980. However, the world’s population in 2030 will be both much larger (approximately twice) and much more industrialized (oil-dependent) than it was in 1980. Consequently, worldwide demand for oil will outpace worldwide production of oil by a significant margin. As a result, the price will skyrocket, oil-dependent economies will crumble, and resource wars will explode


So what does this mean to you and me and the cat up the tree?
Well, in short, Everything!

Look around you. Everything you see was either manufactured with, inspired by, or as a direct result of the use of oil and petroleum as a means of powering our massive energy demands.

"Without oil as the driving force there would be: No electricity, no flashlights, no plastic, no cars, no telephones, no Starbucks, no sneakers, no health clubs, no computers, no supermarkets (except to sell the wooden products they’ve made), no cell phones..." 
 Source: 'The Truth About Oil' by Energy & Capital  /  download PDF  "The Truth About Oil"

As US President Bush stated in his 2006 State of the Union Address, “We are addicted to oil.”...

Alternatives to Oil
Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Thomas L. Friedman explores ideas for breaking our dependence on oil as an energy source.

Watch Full Video:

Oil, Smoke and Mirrors
The following documentary "Oil, Smoke & Mirrors" reveals the whole ugly truth.

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