West’s co-optation of Gulf states’ jihadists created the neocon’s best friend: an Islamist Frankenstein
Brace yourself. You may not be able to tell yet, but according to global experts and the U.S. intelligence community, the earth is already shifting under you. Whether you know it or not, you’re on a new planet, a resource-shock world of a sort humanity has never before experienced.
“Promised Land” is the story of one man’s journey from what he believes is the epitome of decency to an inward struggle with ethical issues he had never anticipated having to confront. In an era of societal unraveling and economic decline, like Steve Butler, we must all return to those two troubling questions: Why am I doing what I’m doing? What really matters?
In a new report out today we explore the impact of sustained high oil prices on current prospects for economic recovery. We argue that economic prosperity is predicated on the availability of cheap oil. This is not just based on simple correlations. In recent years a number of economists have begun to re-write the very foundations of macroeconomic theory, demonstrating that energy plays the most important role in economic growth. This is supported by warnings in the past year from the IEA, IMF and G7 that high oil prices have likely been constraining economic growth and economic recovery from the recession.
Extreme energy will mean an extreme planet….All these processes have at least one thing in common: each pushes the envelope of what is technically possible in extracting oil (or natural gas) from geologically and geographically forbidding environments. They are all, that is, versions of “extreme energy.” To produce them, energy companies will have to drill in extreme temperatures or extreme weather, or use extreme pressures, or operate under extreme danger — or some combination of all of these. In each, accidents, mishaps, and setbacks are guaranteed to be more frequent and their consequences more serious than in conventional drilling operations. The apocalyptic poster child for these processes already played out in 2010 with BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, and this summer we saw intimations of how it will happen again as a range of major unconventional drilling initiatives — all promising that “golden age” — ran into serious trouble.
The seeds of energy conflicts and war sprouting in so many places simultaneously suggest that we are entering a new period in which key state actors will be more inclined to employ force — or the threat of force — to gain control over valuable deposits of oil and natural gas. In other words, we’re now on a planet heading into energy overdrive.
Most analysts focus mostly on two factors: worries about Iran and increased demand from a perceived global economic recovery. However, as we will see, there are also often-overlooked systemic factors in the oil industry that almost guarantee us less-affordable oil.
From competition among hunter-gatherers for wild game to imperialist wars over precious minerals, resource wars have been fought throughout history; today, however, the competition appears set to enter a new—and perhaps unprecedented—phase. As natural resources deplete, and as the Earth’s climate becomes less stable, the world’s nations will likely compete ever more desperately for access to fossil fuels, minerals, agricultural land, and water.
The end of our industrial lifestyle paradigm will be dictated by Liebig’s Law, and by humanity’s response to its consequences. Unfortunately, it is impossible to know at this point which increasingly scarce nonrenewable natural resource (NNR) or NNR combination will ultimately prove to be industrialized humanity’s limiting factor. Consequently, humanity’s global societal collapse may be triggered by scarcity associated with one or more NNRs other than those commonly considered “most critical” to the perpetuation of our industrial lifestyle paradigm—fossil fuels, or oil specifically. After all, the space shuttle Challenger disaster was caused by a faulty o-ring.