Tuesday, July 31, 2007

 

The Ethanol Scam

I’ve said — over and over — that ethanol is nothing but a giant scam to enrich a few people at the expense of the planet and the rest of us. Ethanol is not environmentally friendly, and it won’t replace oil (nothing can replace oil). Those who need more convincing can check out this article.

Monday, July 30, 2007

 

History of Your Life for a Plane Ride

The US government will be demanding even more personal information from fliers. Likely this has little (or even nothing) to do with saving lives, and lots to do with (1) populating databases with our personal information and (2) helping demand destruction.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

 

More 9/11 Money Flows

I have written a lot on how 9/11 created a never-ending gravy train for connected companies, and now yet another cash-laden boxcar is about to be added to the train: Congress has sent Bush a bill on “security” spending that follows the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, and we are told that Bush will sign the bill. You bet! Billions of dollars will now be disbursed to contractors offering “security” services. It must be a great business to be in.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

 

Net Export Crisis

There’s more to the dark clouds on the energy horizon than peak oil. Petroleum geologist Jeffrey Brown warns that major oil exporting countries will in the near future be forced to divert increasing percentages of their oil to domestic use because of declining production capacity and, especially in the case of developing countries, rising demand at home. In sum, that means the portion available to oil importers will decrease much faster than previously thought.

Brown is not alone, for the net export crisis he speaks of is in fact predicted by the Export Land Model.

If your country is heavily dependent on oil imports, it is not an encouraging picture.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

 

Blaming China Is Absurd

Lately there have been many news reports in the US and Japan about the dangers of foods and other products imported from China, and Japanese and American consumers have been sounding indignant. I won’t buy anything from China, you can’t trust the Chinese, and so on.

But all this posturing is totally absurd because the Chinese are only doing their best to satisfy the strong demand that developed countries make on China: Produce lots of stuff cheaply. You can talk all you want about safety and sanitation and quality and not exploiting workers and not using prisoners as free labor and blah blah blah, but the Chinese are under tremendous pressure to produce lots of stuff cheaply to supply rich American and Japanese consumers who are spoiled rotten and expect to buy, at dirt-cheap prices, things made with someone’s labor and with resources scraped up from around the world. You want quality and safety? You gotta pay for them. But spoiled-rotten Japanese and American consumers think they are entitled to get high-quality products for dirt-cheap prices, and to that end make this unreasonable demand.

Of course you can see this within any one country as well. One hundred spoiled-rotten city people want a single farmer to grow lots of food for them. They want their produce to be picture-perfect, with no bugs or discoloration or malformation. So the farmers are forced to dump chemical fertilizers and pesticides on everything. They want farmers, or cheap migrant labor, to work all day under the hot sun for a pittance. In other words, to produce lots of stuff cheaply.

So condemning the Chinese for doing what we tell them to do is absurd. You can’t tell them it’s their job to produce lots of stuff cheaply, and then attack them for cutting corners to accommodate our demands.

Monday, July 16, 2007

 

Liquid Coal: A Bad Idea

Liquid Coal will produce far higher CO2 emissions than fuels derived from petroleum, but even if you are from the school that believes anthropogenic CO2 emissions have nothing to do with global warming, there is still good reason to oppose this stupid idea: It is incredibly inefficient. Especially now that we know there is far less coal than we thought, it’s clear that building a bunch of liquid coal plants would just be another giant boondoggle like the ethanol industry.

Instead of implementing such wasteful and desperate measures to prop up the moribund petroleum civilization, it would make much better sense to use that time and money to start powering down society. Instead, our politicians and the corporations that own them are racing us right off a cliff.

Happy motoring!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

 

The Military and Energy

Modern military forces are prodigious users of oil, as we can see in this article about the effect of high fuel prices on the US military. It’s obvious to anyone that countries will go to any lengths to secure supplies for their military forces. After all, it’s either oil or horses, and if you were running a country — especially an Empire — what would you do? Would you be content to depend on a 19th-century military while other countries have jet aircraft, trucks, tanks, ships, and other oil-powered conveyances? Get real! If you were in charge of maintaining the Empire, you’d be trying to grab whatever oil you could while the grabbing is good. Hence, people who claim that the US is not in Iraq for the oil seriously need a reality check. The military is not going to run on hydrogen or biofuels or solar power, or any combination thereof, and to the neocons’ credit, they understand this, unlike their energy-illiterate detractors.

Friday, July 13, 2007

 

Why Billions on Anti-Terrorist Measures?

In an item over at the Daily Reckoning, the writer is wondering why billions of dollars are being spent on protecting us from terrorists even though those terrorists seem to be surprisingly few and even more surprisingly inept and lacking in creativity and imagination. He observes, quite perceptively, that it would be very easy for people with a little imagination and no weapons to create havoc. And he wonders why it’s not happening.

Actually, this is a no-brainer. While the US and British governments will tell you that their vigilance and security measures are preventing terrorists attacks, the real reason for all these “security measures” (other than an excuse to create a police state) is that they are a honey-pot of cash for connected corporations. And, as I have repeatedly shown, this leads right back to 9/11, which started the gravy train rolling.

So-called security measures require security consulting services, security equipment, and security personnel. It’s a gold mine if you are positioned to provide such services, equipment, and personnel.

So there is nothing mysterious about why billions are spent on security and anti-terrorist measures to deal with a threat that is very small, especially when you consider that 9/11 was an inside job.

 

Secret Meeting of Elites in Moscow

Apparently a team of US elites led by Henry Kissinger gathered on Friday the 13th at Putin’s presidential residence near Moscow to discuss... sorry, but we hoi polloi are not privy to the discussions of a bunch of unelected elites who decide how the Rest of Us live or die. It’s anybody’s guess what was discussed (staged terror attacks? peak oil? carving up the Middle East?), but it’s a safe bet that the Rest of Us will not be consulted about whatever decisions are made. Democracy in action!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

 

Vain Attempts to Save a Dying System

It seems to me that some of the attempts to maintain the oil-based consumer socioeconomic system are actually working at cross-purposes to that very system. For example, a big component of the system is the auto industry, which hopes that we will all own a car, or two or three, and drive lots. But the practice of carsharing works against that industry because in carsharing many people co-own a comparatively small number of vehicles and share them. The whole idea is that you don’t own a car and only use one when it’s really necessary, otherwise relying on public transport or a bicycle or walking. But that means a lot of lost sales for the auto industry, which is already on the ropes. And that all comes back to how attempts at conservation (which is of course good) are antagonistic to a consumer society that exhorts us to keep those cash registers ringing. What it comes down to is that the socioeconomic system either has to undergo a radical transformation to eliminate this fatal contradiction, or crumble.

Friday, July 06, 2007

 

Airline Demand Destruction

What do you do when the airline industry is beginning to fall apart because of high fuel prices and you need to cut demand? Make it more and more aggravating to travel by air. That’s one of the real reasons for “airport security,” but there’s more demand destruction going on in the form of incredible flight delays. The situation is apparently going from bad to worse. Look for more people to just give up flying as “security” hassles and delays worsen.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

 

The True Mission in Iraq

It was never weapons of mass destruction, of course. And nothing to do with terrorism or 9/11. It was indeed the oil, but not only the oil. In fact, the whole country of Iraq has been turned into an experiment in the corporate takeover of a state. We already know about the oil grab. Now we have found out about plans for privatizing just about everything else. And as everyone is aware by now, privatization of the occupation has been going on for a long time, and is now well underway.

And because the invasion was triggered by 9/11, this further bolsters my theory that 9/11 was also the launching pad for an endless series of money-spinning scams and corporate grabs.

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