Oil Wars

Back to this subject again Peter, Frank. Kevin Drum is talking about it again, and I just have to link to it.

He pointed to an article in the WP by one Paul Roberts author of “The End of Oil: On the Edge of a Perilous New World.”

Drum agrees with Roberts, noting:

My guess is that 50 years from now Gulf War I and Gulf War II will be considered merely the opening salvos in a single, longrunning conflict: the first of the large, modern wars fought primarily to protect the oil supplies of the West.

Our interest in oil is neither surprising nor reprehensible: without a steady supply of oil the world economy would collapse, bringing untold misery to billions. What is reprehensible is that even after 9/11 made our oil vulnerability as stunningly clear as 3,000 dead can make it, we still have no national effort in place to try and reduce our oil dependency. Literally nothing.

The only thing I’m not sure about is what this says about the Bush administration. Are they so cluelessly ideological that they simply never even consider non-market/non-military solutions to energy security? Or are they really so venal that they’re not willing to consider any other solution?

Responses will be forwarded to Mr Drum himself.

Update: There is also an interview with Roberts in Mother Jones.

2 thoughts on “Oil Wars”

  1. “No Dougall, this one’s small. That one is far away”.

    Drum’s a fool, and feel to pass that opinion on to him with the recommendation that he do some basic research into the empirical data and the work of the real experts before spouting, starting with Smil’s Energy at the Crossroads and Thomas Homer-Dixon’s book on resource conflicts.

    The key intervention is that the US and other Int Energy Ass members runs a 90+ day stockpile of crude to deal with interruptions.

    For ten years to the mid-eighties the US ran a shale oil operation, which was mothballed for being uneconomic at such low prices.

    Now they’re easing, although only very slightly, the restrictions on exploration.

    Meanwhile, there’s lots of conventional and mountains of unconventional reserves near at hand in the Western Hemisphere, in the kind of countries that can’t say no to Uncle if he really wants something.

    Unlike us Europeans, almost entirely dependent on Russian and Algerian natural gas and Mid East crude, Americans probably do have enough on had to run a war, if not avoid big pain.

    I’ll believe this oil war bullshit when I see the energy-insecure Europeans start gearing up. Romano Prodi will probably declare a new crusade against the infidels. Oh yeah, and the Japanese join in.

Comments are closed.