The Geopolitical Consequences of Peak Oil
By EV World
"You'll forgive me if I sound a little shrill," began Professor Michael T. Klare, the author of "Resource Wars" and its sequel "Blood and Oil", who directed his presentation at the 2006 Association for the Study of Peak Oil conference at Boston University to the families and loved ones of young people under 25 "who may chose to or be coerced to put on the uniform of the United States military."
Volatile words that could easily be construed as un-American, but meant to "speak truth to power, " as another speaker at the conference, Randy Udall of the distinguished Udall family of politicians and environmentalists, put it.
Klare pointed out that there are two aspects of peak oil: the famous "Hubbert's Peak" of the oil production bell curve in which less and less oil is produced as oil fields and oil provinces go into depletion; and the fact that all the easy, safe oil is pumped first and the harder to reach, more dangerous, heavy oils are left to exploit later. The latter point, he contended, is not talked about as much. This is the oil in deep waters and Arctic regions and in politically unstable regions of the world that will be very costly to extract technically, monetarily and politically.
"We have used up all the easy-to-get-at oil," he stated. "It is gone." He noted that this is the position taken by ChevronTexaco's Chairman and CEO David O'Reilly who initiated the Will You Join Us? advertising campaign, issuing a series of ads, one which reads, "Energy will be one of the defining issues of this century. One thing is clear: the era of easy oil is over."
Klare contends that of the remaining trillion or so barrels of oil that is left, 62% of the reserves are located in predominately Moslem nations, some like Iraq with long histories of religious and ethnic strife that predate the discovery of oil. He believes that as more and more of the world depends on petroleum and gas from this part of the world (see chart below), that it will only further enflame violence in the region.
"The pursuit of oil, itself, is the source of violence, because it divides faction against each other. Take Iraq. What is the driving force of violence today? It's not just Sunnis against Shiites against Kurds. It's the fact that the Kurds and the Shiites want control over the oil revenues exclusively for themselves... freezing out the Sunnis. That's what the constitutional changes they propose are all about. The Kurds already effectively have control over oil production in the northern zone. The Shiites are now ramming through the Parliament effective control over oil production in the South. This will exclude the Sunnis from any oil revenues whatsoever. it is hardly surprising therefore that the Sunnis are the driving force behind the... insurgency in Iraq."
It is this struggle over who controls the oil of Iraq that is the driving engine of the violence there and is putting American lives at risk.
"The more we pursue their oil (in the Moslem world), the more resistance there will be to the United States."
"What has been the response of American foreign policy elites to this situation," he asked?
To find out and see why Klare received a standing ovation at the end of this 17 minute talk, be sure to watch the streaming video above.
EV World thanks ASPO USA and the conference organizers for granting us permission to record the conference and making it available to both our Premium Subscribers but also selected presentations to all of our readers/listeners.
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