Food For Thought|
America In Crisis - The Real Issues
Part Two of a Three Part Series
July 22, 2004
David Lawrence Dewey
"Reading provides knowledge...
knowledge leads to answers."
|Part 1 of this series||Part 2 of this series||Part 3 of this series||Candidate Platforms|
A New Book Says U.S. Has Misjudged Muslims' Concerns and Intentions
A new book by a senior CIA analyst who headed the agency's task force on Osama Bin Laden sharply attacks the Bush administration's approach to Islamic terrorists. He sternly criticizes the decision to invade Iraq and chides officials for trying to create a Western-style democracy in Afghanistan. The author, who writes under the name "Anonymous," argues it is not dislike of freedom, democracy and Western culture that led Bin Laden to wage war against America, but rather his disdain for U.S. policies and actions in the Muslim world, particularly America's relationship with Israel.
The author further argues that Senior U.S. leaders, mistakenly urged Americans to believe that the Islamic world is offended by the nation's philosophical emphasis on personal rights and liberties, and "that Muslims hate and attack us for what we are and think, rather than for what we do."
I recently watched a documentary that was filmed in Israel about three Palestinian widows. This was an real eye opener for many reasons. One learned much from watching this film. The sister of one widow was complaining about the other wives her husband had and she wished he would die. At the same time, she was asking her 8 year son if he wanted his father to die so they could have a better life. Another widow was complaining about the Israel soldiers and how she wished they would be killed. Throughout the documentary, all one heard about was killing or they wished someone would die. At the same time, the Israel soldiers who had taken a military position on the roof of the building was urinating and defecating on the roof that the women had to clean up. The average education of Arab women is the fifth grade if they manage to get that far. Men can have as many wives as they wish. The Islamic religion teaches that Christians are infidels and must be killed.
Read more of what this author has to say HERE
THE MOST IGNORANT STATEMENT I'VE EVER READ:
"We should invade their countries, "overthrow" their leaders, and convert them to Christianity." ---Ann Coulter - 9/13/01
"Any idiot can throw a pebble into a pond and a million geniuses can't stop the ripples."
"When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent."
~ Isaac Asminov ~
THE RICH GOT RICHER
The Reagan Economy
Ronald Reagan has many admirers around the globe. Those that gave his eulogy expressed these admirations. Reagan embraced Mikhail Gorbachev late in his term, and without that, the Berlin Wall most likely would not have fallen. Then there was his gallant departure into Alzheimer's 10 years ago, and I applaud Nancy Reagan's noble advocacy since then of government support for stem-cell research. Reagan was one of the best Presidents this country had, except for addressing the economy.
Some will not agree with me on this point, but Reagan's economic policy was mainly destructive, especially for the world's poor and of our own working class. Here are the facts of which Presidents had the best economic growth while in office.Kennedy-Johnson (49 percent over eight years).
The unemployment rate stood at 6.6 percent when Kennedy took office and was at 3.4 percent when Johnson left it. The average over their eight years was 4.8 percent. When Clinton came in, unemployment was at 7.4 percent after the Reagan/Bush years; it averaged 5.2 percent during his two terms and fell to 3.9 percent by the end. What were Reagan's stats?
Unemployment stood at 7.5 percent at his inauguration, and it averaged that same 7.5 percent during his entire eight years. The jobless rate was 5.4 percent when Reagan left office. Inflation did come down -- from just over 10 percent in the oil crisis year of 1980 to just over 3 percent in 1983. Did we pay a price though?
Let's compare FDR, who controlled inflation while doubling output over four years in World War II. During this the process, Roosevelt leveled the pay distribution and created the modern American middle class. Reagan's disinflation came from unemployment over 10 percent. Reagan attacked the unions. From the high interest rates, which drove up the dollar this cheapened imports. Those measures bankrupted much of the manufacturing belt because Americans were buying China and Taiwan made at record levels. The middle class was severely damaged. A vast trade imbalance and a rising external debt created dire consequences that haunt us to this day.
Much of what Roosevelt had built, Reagan did much to destroy. Mythmaking is plentiful around Reagan's economic ideas, many peoples memory blurs from the reality and facts.
In truth Reagan's economic team was a shotgun marriage between ideologues, money lenders and supply-siders, that couldn't stand one another. Supply-side economics held that the rich would work harder if they were taxed less, while the poor would work harder if they were taxed more. The money lenders held that interest rates should go as high as necessary to kill inflation. This combination proved toxic in 1981-82 as the economy imploded. But the effects were seen worse abroad. High interest rates stalled world development and triggered crises across Mexico, Latin America and Africa and in much of Asia.
Around the developing world, imports and living standards crumbled. The already fragile public education and health services felt a deadly blow all just in time for the global AIDS epidemic. Full recovery never occurred in many parts of the world while in America, no supply-side effects were ever observed. The poor still work harder than the rich. Savings-and-loan deregulation was another Reagan initiative, spearheaded by a task force led by Vice President George H.W. Bush who then became President. Remember, Bush had also been the director of the CIA.
What did Americans get from all of this? There was a wave of criminal takeovers, leading to failures that ultimately cost taxpayers over $150 billion and resulted in more than 1,000 felony convictions. Ed Gray, Reagan's appointee to the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, saw what was coming and tried to sound the alarm. But his superiors were deaf or did not care. Navy Secretary John Lehman's dreams wanted a 600 ship Navy. Reagan wanted the MX Missile and Stars Wars missile defense system. We couldn't afford these billion dollar projects and we didn't need them. The Soviet Union was already beginning to crumble from within, as its dismal failure in Afghanistan proved..
Finally, Reagan became more pragmatic and economic performance improved. Monetarism or the money lenders concepts were completely abandoned. Large tax increases in 1982 and 1984 took back much of the 1981 tax cut, over supply-siders' objections. Yes, I said large tax increases that Reagan had to push though after his initial tax cuts to pay for everything else.
What did survive finally kicked in. 1983 and 1984 produced a reasonable expansion. This happened completely by a miracle though. Benefits were still skewed to the rich. The miracle was the 1986 tax reform, whose core ideas the Treasury Department stole from former Senator Bill Bradley, D-N.J.
Defense spending peaked and leveled off. Reagan with his fingers caught in an empty cookie jar, ceased attempting to wreck Social Security which almost every Republican President before him had attempted to do.
The end result of Reagan's recovery largely exhausted the U.S. banking and financial system. The stock market collapse of October 1987 was one sign of the strain. The economy went back into recession in 1990. Banks lay dormant because they had to recover from the losses previously. They were not lending much to the public until 1994. Shortly afterwards came the credit card onslaught from the banks which now have Americans in debt to the tune of over $4.6 trillions dollars. This is what caused the Presidency of the elder Bush not to survive.
Reagan nearly had his name ruined over the Iran-Contra mess with Oliver North.
It somewhat reminded you of the Nixon's Watergate mess. And that is how I also felt when I saw Oliver North reporting on Fox TV from Iraq. Were these another "Wage The War", reports from insider journalists working for either the right or left.
Freedom of speech and news reporting of the real facts are diminishing.
Did you know that AOL Time Warner accounts for nearly a third of all user time spent online. Add in Yahoo and Microsoft and that brings that figure to nearly 50%. The channels available on today's satellite and cable systems are mostly owned by a small handful of companies. Of the ninety-one major networks that appear on most cable systems, 79 are part of such multiple network groups such as Time Warner, Viacom, Liberty Media, NBC, Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation and Disney. If Americans are not careful, wide-open spaces of the Internet could be transformed into a system in which a handful of companies use their control over high-speed access to ensure they remain at the top of the digital heap in the broadband era at the expense of the democratic potential of this amazing technology. This is an area that we must fight to make sure the Internet remains open to all as the present-day analogue of that many-tongued world of small newspapers. The fight for a regulatory market and public opinion environment that lets local and community-based content be heard rather than drowned out by nationwide commercial programming must continue.
Americans must fight to limit conglomerate swallowing of media outlets by sensible limits on multiple and cross-ownership of TV and radio stations, newspapers, magazines, publishing companies and other information sources. Americans must fight to expand a noncommercial media system and to privatize PBS stations. Commercial speech that is controlled by a select few sitting in black ivory towers must not be the only free speech in America! News departments are trustees of the public, not the corporate media's stockholders
AMERICA - WAKE UP!
Every Administration since President Carter has been sleeping at the switch.
"Military men are dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns for foreign policy."
Henry Kissinger statement to Bob Woodward of the Washington Post
-The Final Days (1976)
Does the statement above tell you anything of the mentally of these people?
Fear and horror. That's what most Americans thought of as they began to listen to the events on the 11th of September 2001. So…what's the problem? Have Americans have been taking naps since 1978. Here is a timeline that tells is that we should have been fully awaken before 911.
November 1979, religious and political groups of Iranian students attacked and seized the American Embassy in Tehran. This attack on this sovereign U. S. embassy set the stage for events to follow for the next 23 years.
After this, America was trying to come to grips with the aftermath of the Vietnam experience. What followed was a serious threat from the Soviet Union. President Carter chose to conduct a clandestine raid in the desert. This ill-fated mission ended in ruin, but stood as a symbol of America's inability to deal with terrorism. It set the stage for the rest to follow.
America's military had been downsized after the end of the Vietnam War. It was a poorly trained, poorly equipped and poorly organized military was called on to execute a complex mission In Iran that was doomed from the start. It was shortly after the Tehran experience that Americans began to be kidnapped and killed throughout the Middle East. America could do little to protect her citizens living and working abroad. The attacks against U.S. facilities and ships continued.
April of 1983 - a large vehicle packed with high explosives was driven into the US Embassy compound in Beirut, killing 63 Americans.
This was the first "act of war" against the United States, yet nothing was really done about it. These acts of war then escalate and still nothing is hardly done.
October 1983 - a large truck heavily laden down with over 2500 pounds of TNT smashed through the main gate of the US Marine Corps headquarters in Beirut killing 241 US American servicemen.
December 1983, - a truck loaded with explosives is driven into the US Embassy in Kuwait killing hundreds. America continues to sleep not noticing what was developing.
September 1984 - a van is driven into the gates of the US Embassy in Beirut again, killing 17 more Americans. America still has not awaken.
April 1985 - a bomb explodes in a restaurant frequented by US soldiers in Madrid.
August 1985 - a Volkswagen loaded with explosives is driven into the main gate of the US Air Force Base at Rhein-Main, 22 Americans are killed.
September 1985 - the Achille Lauro cruise shiped is hijacked and Americans watched as an American in a wheelchair is singled out of the passenger list and executed.
April 1986 - Flight TWA 840 is bombed, killing 4.
1988 - Pan Am Flight over Lockerbie Scotland is bombed by Libyans, killing 259.
1990 - Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. Bush stops short of taking down this evil man who killed over 400,000 of his own people with chemical weapons. Why wasn't something done then concerning weapons of mass destruction?
August, 1990 - The Gulf War - finally the U.S. does something, but only to save Kuwait.
January 1993 - two CIA agents are shot and killed as they enter CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.
February 1993 - a group of terrorists are arrested after a rented van packed with explosives is driven into the underground parking garage of the World Trade Center in New York City. Six people are killed and over 1000 are injured.
America is still sleeping. Clinton ignored what should have been done then. Acts of war continue to escalate.
November 1995 - a car bomb explodes at a US military complex in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia killing seven service men and women.
June of 1996 - a truck bomb explodes 35 yards from the US military compound in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, destroying the Khobar Towers, a US Air Force barracks, killing 19 and injuring over 500. The terrorists are now getting braver and smarter as they see that America does not respond decisively.
1997 and 1998 - two attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. These attacks were planned with precision killing 224. America responds with cruise missile attacks and thinks that did the job and goes back to sleep.
October 2000 - the USS Cole, docked in the port of Aden, Yemen for refueling is attacked, bombed killing 17 US Navy sailors. Attacking a US War Ship is an act of war in case anyone wants to know. Instead…it was sent the FBI to investigate the crime and America went back to sleep.
September 11th 2001 - Most Americans think this was the first attack against US soil or in America. Well, you now know different. And America was still sleeping on the switch on September 11th.
In the news, there has been a lot of finger pointing from every high official in government over what they knew and what they didn't know. But if you've read the papers and paid a little attention I think you can see exactly what they knew. You don't have to be in the FBI or CIA or on the National Security Council to see the pattern that has developed since 1979.
The U.S. is now waging three wars
According to intelligence expert Thomas Powers, that is what has occured. One is in Iraq. The second is in Afghanistan. And the third is in Washington. There is an all-out war between the White House and the nations own intelligence agencies.
Thomas Powers, is the author of:
"Intelligence Wars: American Secret History From Hitler to Al Qaeda,"
Read more about Powers findings HERE
You will see in the facts below that America not only actually built up Sadam Hussein, but that warnings of this new terrorism was emerging well before 911.
September, 1980 - Iraq invades Iran. This is the beginning of the Iraq-Iran war.
February, 1982 - Despite objections from congress, President Reagan removes Iraq from its list of known terrorist countries.
December, 1982 - Hughes Aircraft sells 60 Defender helicopters to Iraq.
1982-1988 - Defense Intelligence Agency provides detailed information for Iraq on Iranian deployments, tactical planning for battles, plans for air strikes and bomb damage assessments.
November, 1983 - A National Security Directive states that the U.S would do "whatever was necessary and legal" to prevent Iraq from losing its war with Iran.
November, 1983 - Banca Nazionale del Lavoro of Italy and its Branch in Atlanta begin to funnel $5 billion in unreported loans to Iraq. Iraq, with the blessing and official approval of the US government, purchased computer controlled machine tools, computers, scientific instruments, special alloy steel and aluminum, chemicals, and other industrial goods for Iraq's missile, chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs.
October, 1983 - The Reagan Administration begins secretly allowing Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Egypt to transfer United States weapons, including Howitzers, Huey helicopters, and bombs to Iraq. These shipments violated the Arms Export Control Act.
November, 1983 - George Schultz, the Secretary of State, is given intelligence reports showing that Iraqi troops are daily using chemical weapons against the Iranians.
December 20, 1983 - Donald Rumsfeld, Reagan's envoy, provides Iraq with chemical & biological weapons. Rumsfeld , then a civilian and now Defense Secretary, meets with Saddam Hussein to assure him of US friendship and materials support.
July, 1984, - CIA begins giving Iraq intelligence necessary to calibrate its mustard gas attacks on Iranian troops.
January 14, 1984 - State Department memo acknowledges United States shipment of "dual-use" export hardware and technology. Dual use items are civilian items such as heavy trucks, armored ambulances and communications gear as well as industrial technology that can have a military application.
March, 1986 - The United States with Great Britain block all Security Council resolutions condemning Iraq's use of chemical weapons. On March 21, the US becomes the only country refusing to sign a Security Council statement condemning Iraq's use of these weapons. Did you read the last sentence?
May, 1986 - The US Department of Commerce licenses 70 biological exports to Iraq between May of 1985 and 1989, including at least 21 batches of lethal strains of anthrax.
May, 1986 - US Department of Commerce approves shipment of weapons grade botulin poison to Iraq.
March, 1987 - President Reagan bows to the findings of the Tower Commission admitting the sale of arms to Iran in exchange for hostages. Oliver North uses the profits from the sale to fund an illegal war in Nicaragua.
Fall of 1987 - The Iraqi Air Force begins using chemical agents against Kurdish resistance forces in northern Iraq.
February, 1988 - Saddam Hussein begins the "Anfal" campaign against the Kurds of northern Iraq. The Iraq regime used chemical weapons against the Kurds killing over 100,000 civilians and destroying over 1,200 Kurdish villages.
April, 1988 - US Department of Commerce approves shipment of chemicals used in manufacture of mustard gas.
August, 1988 - Four major battles were fought from April to August 1988. Iraqis massively and effectively used chemical weapons to defeat the Iranians. Nerve gas and blister agents such as mustard gas are used. By this time the US Defense Intelligence Agency is heavily involved with Saddam Hussein in battle plan assistance, intelligence gathering and post battle debriefing. In the last major battle with of the war, 65,000 Iranians are killed, many with poison gas. Use of chemical weapons in war is in violation of the Geneva accords of 1925 and yet the United States had provided these horrors of war too Saddam Hussein. All during the previous years, certain U.S. Corporations made billions of dollars, like Dow Chemical.
August, 1988 - Iraq and Iran declare a cease fire.
August, 1988 - Five days after the cease fire Saddam Hussein sends his planes and helicopters to northern Iraq to begin massive chemical attacks against the Kurds.
September, 1988 - US Department of Commerce approves shipment of weapons grade anthrax and botulinum to Iraq.
September, 1988 - Richard Murphy, Assistant Secretary of State: "The US-Iraqi relationship is... important to our long-term political and economic objectives."
December, 1988 - Dow chemical sells $1.5 million in pesticides to Iraq despite knowledge that these would be used in chemical weapons.
July 25, 1990 - US Ambassador to Baghdad meets with Hussein to assure him that President Bush "wanted better and deeper relations". Many believe this visit was a trap set for Hussein. A month later Hussein invaded Kuwait thinking the US would not respond. August, 1990- Iraq invades Kuwait. This was the precursor to the Gulf War.
July, 1991 - The Financial Times of London reveals that a Florida chemical company had produced and shipped cyanide to Iraq during the 80's using a special CIA courier. Cyanide was used extensively against the Iranians.
August, 1991 - Christopher Droguol of Atlanta's branch of Banca Nazionale del Lavoro is arrested for his role in supplying loans to Iraq for the purchase of military supplies. He is charged with 347 counts of felony. Droguol is found guilty, but US officials plead innocent of any knowledge of his crime.
June, 1992 - Ted Kopple of ABC Nightline reported: "It is becoming increasingly clear that George Bush Sr., operating largely behind the scenes throughout the 1980's, initiated and supported much of the financing, intelligence, and military help that built Saddam's Iraq into the aggressive power we see today."
July, 1992 - Representative Henry Gonzalez, Texas, testified before the House. "The Bush administration deliberately, not inadvertently, helped to arm Iraq by allowing U.S. technology to be shipped to Iraqi military and to Iraqi defense factories..." Throughout the course of the Bush administration, U.S. and foreign firms were granted export licenses to ship U.S. technology directly to Iraqi weapons facilities despite ample evidence showing that these factories were producing weapons
February, 1994 - Senator Riegle from Michigan, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, testifies before the Senate revealing large US shipments of dual-use biological and chemical agents to Iraq that may have been used against US troops in the Gulf War and probably was the cause of the illness known as Gulf War Syndrome. Yet, President Clinton does nothing.
August, 2002 - Colonel Walter Lang, former senior US Defense Intelligence officer tells the New York Times, "The use of gas during the Iran-Iraq war] on the battle field by the Iraqis was not a matter of deep strategic concern... We were desperate to make sure that Iraq did not lose."
After reading the above facts, how could the 911 Commission come to the conclusion that neither President Clinton or President Bush had no blame in preventing 911. Were they not the Chief Executives?
ARMY STUDY OF IRAQ WAR SUPPRESSED, RELEASED ON WEB
Despite extraordinary steps by the Army to limit online public access to a new report on the Iraq war, the study has nevertheless been published without the Army's cooperation.
The Army recently completed a book-length study of Operation Iraqi Freedom entitled "On Point." It is a revealing and fairly critical account of lessons learned from the war. It was not properly planned. And this was not the fault of military planners, but by the micro managing of Donald Rumsfeld.
Last month, the Center for Army Lessons Learned posted the study here: http://onpoint.leavenworth.army.mil/
Incredibly, however, the web version of the Army document is coded in such a way that it cannot be downloaded, or copied, or printed out. It must be read online at the Army site, or not at all.
This may be unprecedented for a government web site. The very notion of a document that cannot be downloaded is antithetical to the web and seems like an artifact from an alternate universe. If the Axis powers had won World War II, the whole internet would be controlled like this.
But in a marvelous feat of textual engineering, the intrepid Francois Boo of GlobalSecurity.org managed to overcome the Army's restrictive coding of the document and to make it publicly available.
It can now be found -- and downloaded or printed -- here:
Among the highlights of the report is the disclosure that the toppling of the statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad was not a spontaneous act of an Iraqi crowd, but was instigated by a U.S. Marine colonel backed by a psychological operations unit as reported in the LA Times July 3.
Was this more "staging" for the masses?
ENRON DOCUMENTS SHOW TOM DELAY'S
REDISTRICTING EFFORTS EXPOSED.
Senator Thomas DeLay requested donations come from a combination of corporate and personal money from Enron's executives, with the understanding that it would be partly spent on "the redistricting effort in Texas," said the e-mail to Ken Lay... The e-mail, which surfaced in a subsequent federal probe of ENRON, is one of at least a dozen documents obtained by POST that show DeLay and his associates directed funds from corporations and Washington lobbyists to Republican campaign coffers. I wonder what other goodies they are finding in the ENRON emails they you are not being made aware of?
Judge Orders Couple Not to Conceive
In March, 2004, a couple has been ordered not to conceive any more children until the ones they already have are no longer in foster care. A civil liberties advocate thought says the court ruling unsealed Friday was ''blatantly unconstitutional.''
Monroe County Family Court Judge Marilyn O'Connor ruled March 31 that both parents ''should not have yet another child which must be cared for at public expense.''
''The facts of this case and the reality of parenthood cry out for family planning education,'' she ruled. ''This court believes the constitutional right to have children is overcome when society must bear the financial and everyday burden of care.''
Over 1,000 illegal immigrants are flowing over the border from Mexico daily. These are not just Mexicans, but illegal immigrants from as far away as Central America. Hospitals in many parts of the country, for example in Houston have become overrun and are going broke taking care of illegal female immigrants who purposely get pregnant before entering the U.S.
Once here and when the time comes to have their babies, they rush to the hospitals because they have learned how to beat a broken system. Since the child is born in the U.S., it is now a U.S. citizen and both the child and mother cannot be deported now qualifies for Medicaid, food stamps and housing assistance. Females from Mexico have an average of 5-6 children.
Finally, there is a person such as this Judge that has common sense and is trying to do something to fix a broken system that our politicians have created and REFUSE to deal with and at the expense of Americans.
American must close its southern border, even if it has to build a 15 foot contrete wall. We cannot take on any more illegal immigrants and foot their medical bills. The countries south of the border are not taking care of their own, why should we?
The Senate passed Trade Negotiating Authority for President, 66 to 30.
No President should have this type of authority. Free trade should not have any interference from any one person.
VERPA, an all volunteer national grassroots movement of United States military, veterans and families announces its proposed legislation and language to abolish the Feres Doctrine entitled the: "Military & Veterans Equal Rights Protection Act," short title: "VERPA Act" has been approved by Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter's Chief Counsel.
The 54-year old judicially created Feres Doctrine injustice denying service members, veterans and their loved ones equal protection of the United States Constitution is best described by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Scalia in the case of United States v. Johnson, (1987):
"Feres was wrongly decided and heartily deserves the widespread, almost universal criticism it has received." Furthermore, "Congress's inaction regarding this doctrine and its doing little, if anything in the way of modifying it to prevent Constitutional claims is clearly unjust and irrational. Again, allowing such power to military leaders can and does result in abuse therefore, where are the checks and balances on the military." With the pending presidential elections and military draft of young American men and women ages 18-26, the time to abolish the Feres Doctrine is NOW! Please contact your United States Senators and urge them to sponsor or co-sponsor the VERPA Act.
For more information as to the human, constitutional and systemic abuses denied redress within the military's command, legal and medical systems under the Feres Doctrine please see http://www.verpga.org
It is time to abolish the Feres Doctrine!
"Military men are dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns for foreign policy."
Henry Kissinger statement to Bob Woodward of the Washington Post
-The Final Days (1976)
Does the statement above tell you anything of the mentally of these people?
ENERGY: OIL-GAS RESERVES ARE LOWER THAN THOUGHT
In December of 2003, Scientists at Sweden's University of Uppsala issued a comprehensive study in which they have predicted that the previous forecast of oil and gas supplies running out by 2040 has been re-forecasted for 2010. The world's oil reserves are up to 80 percent less than predicted according to the forecast. Production levels will peak in approximately 10 years time, the scientists state.
Oil production levels will hit their maximum soon after 2010 with gas supplies peaking not long afterwards, the Swedish geologists say. If you think prices are at an all time high, think again. At that point prices for petrol and other fuels will reach disastrous levels. Earlier studies had predicted that oil supplies will not start falling until 2050, that is not true now according to this new study.
Professor Kjell Alekett, head of the group of scientists, has told CNN that his team had examined data on oil and gas reserves from all over the world and we are "facing a very critical situation globally." Alekett further stated, "The thing we are surprised of is that people in general are not aware of the decline in supplies and the extent to which it will affect production. The decline of oil and gas will affect the world population more than climate change."
Alekett also said that as well as there being inflated estimates, some countries in the Middle East have exaggerated the amount of reserves they had. Coal-burning could easily make up the shortfall. But burning coal would be even more devastating for the planet, as it would create even more CO2, he said.
The predictions of global meltdown by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) sparked the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, an agreement obliging signatory nations to cut CO2 emissions. However, the current administration would not sign the accord. Could this be the reason, because they know what is coming?
These conclusions of the Uppsala team were revealed recently in the magazine New Scientist, and Nebojsa Nakicenovic, of the University of Vienna who headed the IPCC team said it is standing by its figures and projections.
How many Americans are aware of this? Are you and your circle of friends? What will Americans do in 7 short years to be have minimal energy needs met?
"Unless we include Iraq," he says. "If we include Iraq as the 51st state so to speak, suddenly our reserve forecasts balance.
Global oil production will probably reach a peak sometime during this decade. After the peak, the world's production of crude oil will fall, never to rise again. The world will not run out of energy, but developing alternative energy sources on a large scale will take at least 10 years. In the meantime, there will be chaos in the oil industry, in governments, and in national economies. What will happen to the rest of us?
In a sense, the oil crises of the 1970s and 1980s were a laboratory test. Americans were the lab rats. You might remember it. Most Americans real standard of living dropped progressively lower for several years. And those crises were far less severe than what's coming this time.
Do you think I'm crying wolf? No, however, for the first half of the twentieth century oil forecasters did a lot of that. People who divided the then known U.S. oil reserves by the annual rate of production would periodically start screaming that the nation's petroleum industry was going to die in 10 years.
During each ensuing decade, more oil reserves would be added and the industry actually would grow instead of drying up. But something occurred in 1956 that would change the method in how the world would determine its oil reserves.
M. King Hubbert, a world-renowned geologist at the Shell Oil research lab in Houston, pioneered a different method of analysis and predicted that U.S. oil production would peak in the early 1970s. Hubbert's analysis divided those who follow these things into two warring camps.
The controversy raged right up until 1970, when the U.S. production of crude oil started to fall. Hubbert was right after all this time.
Around 1995 several analysts began applying Hubbert's method to worldwide oil production. Most of them estimate that the peak year for world oil will be between 2004 and 2008. These analyses were reported in some of the most widely circulated sources of scientific news: Nature, Science, and Scientific American. Yet none of our political leaders has yet paid any attention to this and you will not read or hear about any of this on your nightly news.
Hubbert realized that, over time, the graph of annual oil production follows a bell curve. For his first analysis, he found the curve that best fit the facts of past oil production and some well-educated guesses about the total output that will eventually be produced from conventional wells. Later, he discovered he could eliminate much of the guesswork. The production curve, he found, lags consistently behind the bell curve of cumulative oil discoveries ( this is all the oil produced up to a given year plus the reported reserves for that year). In other words, the discovery curve is a predictor of eventual production. It was this trick that allowed Hubbert to see into the future.
But reliable estimates of oil reserves are a vital ingredient in a Hubbert analysis, and this leads to the chief difficulty in using the method to predict the peak of world oil production:
In the late 1980s, several OPEC nations reported huge, abrupt increases in their oil reserves. OPEC had recently changed its rules, assigning each member nation a share of the oil market based not just on the country's annual production capacity but also on its oil reserves. Most OPEC countries promptly hiked their reserve estimates.
These increases were not necessarily fraudulent. "Reserves" exist in the eye of the beholder. Oil reserves are defined as future production, using existing technology, from wells that have already been drilled. (They should not be confused with the U.S. "strategic petroleum reserve," which is a storage facility for oil that has already been produced.) Typically, young petroleum engineers unconsciously tend to underestimate reserves. It's a lot more fun to go into the boss's office next year and announce that there is actually a little more oil than last year's estimate predicted. The abrupt increase in announced OPEC reserves in the late 1980s was likely a mixture of updating old underestimates and wishful thinking.
The result is probably an overly optimistic view of future oil production. Despite OPEC's optimism in oil reserves and Hubbert predictions and in addition to others who have used different estimates, the bottomline is, most of the predictions are all in the same ballpark. It's a good guess that the best numbers were available to a firm in Geneva, Switzerland, called Petroconsultants, which until recently maintained a huge private database, to which the rest of us had no access. One long-standing rumor has it that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency was Petroconsultants' largest client. This much is known: The loudest warnings about the predicted peak of world oil production came from Petroconsultants.
So who is listening? Evidently, the OPEC oil ministers. Prices of crude oil have doubled in the past year. I suspect that the OPEC countries know that a global shortage may be only a few years away; and if they can trickle out just enough oil to keep the world economies functioning until that glorious day, they can market their remaining crude at mind-boggling prices. I am almost certain the U.S. Government knows this, but the average American does not.
It is clear, though, the major oil companies are facing up to the problem. There appears to be an orgy of reserve acquisitions in progress.
But one has to understand and that is, internally the oil industry has an unusual mindset. Exploring for oil is somewhat a discouraging activity. In most instances, nine out of 10 exploration wells are dry holes. Only one in a hundred exploration wells will discover an important oil field.
Are they right? Is there some way the crisis could be averted?
Can the oil companies drill better, deeper or someplace new?
One of the responses to the far less devastating oil crisis in the 1980s was to ask for a double helping of new technology. That won't work this time around. Here's why: Before the 1995 dot-com technology period, the oil industry's rate of return on invested capital was higher than any other industry's. When the oil companies discovered that everything else they tried to diversify into was less profitable, they came home and poured billions of investment dollars into the development of petroleum technology. Much of the work was successful. That is the reason why it is difficult for anyone to say new technology will save the day. Technology has already been invented what can be in this area.
In addition, the oil areas so to speak go from about 7,000 feet to about 15,000 feet underground. Temperatures closer to the earth's surface are not hot enough to loosen the organic-rich sediments into oil molecules. Beyond 15,000 feet, rocks are so hot that oil molecules are further cracked into natural gas. Drilling rigs capable of penetrating to the bottom of these oil areas have been available since 1938.
Geologists have explored one end of the earth to the other search of oil. The remaining deep oil pockets are in the jungle located in the banks of rivers and streams. It was known as early as 1923, that the Arctic Slope of Alaska would be a major oil producer. What most people do not know about the Alaska oil reserves is this. We've beem pumping oil from down there for nearly 30 years and most oil finds only last approximately 40 years. The fact is today, the only promising petroleum province that remains unexplored is part of the South China Sea. Exploration has been delayed because of six different countries claim the drilling rights and are feuding over these rights.
There is much debate though that the South China Sea is an attractive prospect, there is very little likelihood that it will be another Middle East source of oil.
The bottom line is, anywhere you drill for oil, it takes a minimum of 10 years to go from a cold start in a new oil find to delivery of the first oil. The United States is far behind in new oil discoveries. The rising prices of oil that we have all seen combine with the supposed magic of the free market won't change that fact. In fact, history shows the price of oil to be mostly irrelevant to finding oil. More oil was discovered in the United States in the 1930s than in any decade before or since. The main problem is, that since then, the world, because of population increases and technology has been consuming oil like soft drinks.
Is this why we really invaded Iraq?
|© All Rights Reserved. Use of these collected data is restricted.
Newspapers, syndicates or publications wishing to use this information or his columns, email your request with details to Mr. Dewey's agent. Email Contacts for DL Dewey. For any other use, DLDEWEY for permission to use column or columns, detailing your request to use which column or columns and for what purpose.
|HOME||Previous Columns||Email Contacts||Advertising|
©1997 - 2005
Updated January 1st, 2005