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Why Would Big Oil Ignore Its Own Demise?

By John James

29 April, 2010

Why would the big oil giants ignore the depletion of their ultimate resource and power? Why would they not encourage government to plan for a limited supply in the future? They are intelligent, have more access than we do to information, and call the political shots in most countries.

I can only assume that the silence is deliberate. I will give my reasons in a moment, but let us first consider the immediate consequences:

• By keeping oil relatively cheap we will all continue to use it, become more addicted to it (if more were possible) and will build more of our infrastructure on the assumption that we will always have it. This sets the ground for hasty decision-making when the crunch does come some time in the next couple of years.

• The less prepared we are - lacking alternatives for transport, fertiliser and plastics - the more susceptible we will be.

• Short supply will affect transport, food supply, plastics for consumers and industry, and travel. It is too easy to forget that basic commodities like fertiliser, toys, packaging and … all come from oil.

• The entire global distribution system depends on packaged consumer goods being transported great distances. Whether by air or sea, transport relies on oil.

• Most importantly it will affect the military that will insist on first option on what’s available. What may be a small reduction in overall supply will be made worse as they insist on their normal share, if not more. A small reduction would therefore have a large initial impact.

• The rise in the price of oil adds to costs, which will lessen consumption, which will affect an already weakened financial structure. There will be less tax revenue, and less to spend on infrastructure just when it will be most needed.

• Social welfare, health and other social benefits will then be curtailed, and that will further weaken the economy.

• Within a short time there would be rationing. There will be no choice. Public transport will come into high demand, and few countries have the infrastructure to cope with this. As well, rail traffic would have to be diverted to the transport of food, and this will put additional strain on the system.

• With less food, less work and more stress, the pressures from population growth and religio-political tensions will be exacerbated. There will be more refugees and problems at state borders - requiring more spending on the military who will need more oil.

• And we have not factored in the consequences of global heating in drowned dockyards, flooded rail lines and bridges, increased bushfires and damaged agriculture. At least with less oil being used our climate forcing will be lessened, but for a world in which 2+ degrees and 8+ meter sea level rise are now inevitable, and with less money or oil to employ any of the much-publicised ‘solutions’, that inevitability cannot be changed.

So why do our leaders remain silent? Why does the US push for the truth to be disguised? The risks to a peaceful life are the same for everyone, rich or poor. Why would the great oil companies appear to be so dumb? I suggest they are in fact being extremely canny, and for their own ultimate benefit.

1. With a sudden and ‘unexpected’ crunch on oil those who control the supply will become powerful forces on the world stage. Countries will be eager to dance their tune. These corporations will, in short, be capable of having such a disproportionate influence on the world that they would be able, over time, to become the major political and economic power on the globe.

2. If this seems far-fetched, consider the extent to which a medium-sized country would alter its laws in almost every field to maintain their supply of oil.

3. Then consider that most of this oil comes from Siberia and the Middle East, and from countries that have very different agendas to ours;

4. and that neither India nor China have significant quantities of oil. Both will become more susceptible to any pressure the suppliers may wish to exert.

5. Also ask yourself, why is big oil the major owner of alternate energy technology patents and startups? This ensures control over their hegemony.

6. This has been a long-range plan witnessed by the permanent US presence in Iraq and Afghanistan that is there to ensure the interests of their oil companies are preserved under any future scenario.

In other words, denial that there is a problem until the last moment ensures that a few corporations will exercise long-term political and financial control over the globe and everyone on it. Its not about money, its about hegemony and power!

If we were prepared for the crunch then these corporations would lose much of their potential to control the world.

They will form a world government, or at the least become the world policeman, using their control of a limited resource as the ultimate weapon.

Scarce oil in an addicted world is the tool of rulership.

Also Read

The Imminent Crash Of Oil Supply:
Be Afraid, Very Afraid

By Nicholas C. Arguimbau

A graph drawn by the United States Department of Energy, and the United States military's Joint Forces Command indicates that world oil supply is going off a cliff. Not in the distant future, but in a year and a half. Production of all liquid fuels, including oil, will drop within 20 years to half what it is today