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Leaflet : Peak Oil & Conflict

 
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2005 11:02 am    Post subject: Leaflet : Peak Oil & Conflict Reply with quote

To get the best final 500 word text for this document, I'd like to invite you to use this as the starting text, but please offer ideas for refinement.



With the arrival of the peak of oil and gas production, our fossil fuel dependent society will suffer a series of deepening global recessions, culminating in depression. Throughout this time there will be large pressures placed on our current ways of life, pressures that will either dictate a voluntary change in the way our society works, or, should we chose to reject that course, a series of conflicts and wars over the scraps around the world. This later route, at its best, will be a more painful means of reaching the same low energy society, at worst...depends how far things escalate, but we may not get there at all.



From time immemorial wars have been fought over resources. Actually, virtually all of them: from the expansion of the Roman Empire, to French, Spanish, Portuguese and British Imperialism, to the Japanese conquest of Manchuria, to Soviet expansionism, to the Iraq invasion of Kuwait, and the British and US invasion of Iraq.



At the time the general populace are unaware of the real reasons for the wars, these being disguised, hidden or lied about. Arguments for the wars subtly prayed on people's fears, their race and religions (or those of their enemies) and conjure up scapegoats for their sufferings (which are often economic). The real issues, the mixture of need and greed for resources, are withheld from the people.



Why are the reasons for these conflicts disguised, hidden or lied about? If people knew the truth they wouldn't follow the orders. If people knew the truth, they would tighten their belts, they would seek to change their way of life, to change society, to change how the system works. In effect they would seek to avoid conflict.



With virtually every aspect of the world's people and lives reliant on oil and gas, the stakes are raised. The arguments will be more subtle ("Our way of life is not negotiable"), the bogey men more terrifying ("The Hitler of our time"), the consequences of military inaction more disastrous ("40 minutes").



The last great depressions in the 1920s and 1930s were firmly felt in Germany and the United States. The Nazis, played the scapegoat card to support their expansionist policies. The resultant war dragged the United States out of its depression. Everyone would have preferred a different way out to the estimated 55 000 000 deaths.



We can go down the potentially catastrophic route of conflict. Or we can dedicate the energy, money, resources and time we have left to build for a low energy future. No matter how hard the future is going to be, it will only be made worse by fighting our way there. Either way, it's the common people who fight and die in the wars so let then have the information to decide for themselves.



The choice will not be easy for many. The choice will be between voluntarily taking on a simpler way of life, less travelling, less waste, less consumerism, less money and sending our people to fight other people for oil and gas.



The choice will be hard to spot for all. The advertising will drive consumerism, the arguments will be more subtle and convincing, the press will be complicit and you'll want someone to blame. Hey, we went to war in Iraq and the pressure wasn't really on yet.


Last edited by admin on Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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extractorfan



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2005 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think this is very good, but I will offer the following comments

I think it will sound more gentle to people who are unaware of geopolitical events to us terms like 'we can expect to see' rather than we 'will see'.

Example

Quote:
With the arrival of the peak of oil and gas production, our fossil fuel dependent society will suffer a series of deepening global recessions, culminating in depression


While I think this is correct, I think it would sit better as

Quote:
With the arrival of the peak of oil and gas production, we can expect to see a series of deepening global recessions, culminating in depression due to our dependence on fossil fuels


I'm trying to think like an ordinary person, rather than peak oil aware person.

Again I think this is true

Quote:
With virtually every aspect of the world's people and lives reliant on oil and gas, the stakes are raised. The arguments will be more subtle ("Our way of life is not negotiable"), the bogey men more terrifying ("The Hitler of our time"), the consequences of military inaction more disastrous ("40 minutes").


but would sound more mainstream as

Quote:
As oil & gas becomes scarce, the countries that posses these resources become more powerful. The political motivation will be to prevent this new power base from emerging, as it may threaten the status quo. The arguments will be more subtle ("Our way of life is not negotiable"), the terrorists more active ("The Hitler of our time"), the consequences of military inaction more disastrous ("WMD's in 45 minutes")


And let the reader put 2 and 2 together. By the way, I have refered to terrorists as bogeymen on many occasions and have offended many people. People don't like their entire world view to be challenged, no matter how simplistic it is.
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extractorfan



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2005 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oops don't know what happened there Embarassed
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newmac
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2005 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks extractor fan. I agree with you first comments and have added them in. I've also made a couple of other typo and grammer changes that I spotted but I'm sure there are more.

Your second bit:

Quote:
The arguments will be more subtle ("Our way of life is not negotiable"), the terrorists more active ("The Hitler of our time"), the consequences of military inaction more disastrous ("WMD's in 45 minutes")


I think using words like 'terrorist' is playing to exactly what we are trying to fight happening - the one sided propaganda to support our future inteventions. As I haven't named people I think bogey men is better as it doesn't constrain us to "terrorist", dictators, different political structures.

I think the wording:
Quote:
As oil & gas becomes scarce, the countries that posses these resources become more powerful. The political motivation will be to prevent this new power base from emerging, as it may threaten the status quo.


needs some more thought as I find this reads that: our powerful status quo is fine, anyone who gets powerful is bad, therefore we are probably justified in making sure they don't. - I know this is not how you were meaning it to come across.

I'll have another go at rewording this bit. Below is the original with changes so far:

With the arrival of the peak of oil and gas production, we can expect to see a series of deepening global recessions, culminating in depression due to our dependence on fossil fuels. Throughout this time there will be large pressures placed on our current ways of life, pressures that will either dictate a voluntary change in the way our society works, or, should we chose to reject that course, a series of conflicts and wars over the lessening scraps around the world. This later route, at its best, will be a more painful means of reaching the same low energy society, at worst...depends how far things escalate, but we may not get there at all.

From time immemorial wars have been fought over resources. Actually, virtually all of them: from the expansion of the Roman Empire, to French, Spanish, Portuguese and British Imperialism, to the Japanese conquest of Manchuria, to Soviet expansionism, to the Iraq invasion of Kuwait, and the British and US invasion of Iraq.

At the time the general populace are unaware of the real reasons for the wars, these being disguised, hidden or lied about. Arguments made to justify the wars subtly prayed on people's fears, their race and religions (or those of their enemies) and conjure up scapegoats for their sufferings (which are often economic). The real issues, the mixture of need and greed for resources, are withheld from the people.

Why are the reasons for these conflicts disguised, hidden or lied about? If people knew the truth they wouldn't follow the orders. If people knew the truth, they would tighten their belts, they would seek to change their way of life, to change society, to change how the system works. In effect they would seek to avoid conflict.

With virtually every aspect of the world's people and lives reliant on oil and gas, the stakes are raised. The arguments will be more subtle ("Our way of life is not negotiable"), the bogey men more terrifying ("The Hitler of our time"), the consequences of military inaction more disastrous ("40 minutes").

The last great depressions in the 1920s and 1930s were firmly felt in Germany and the United States. The Nazis played the scapegoat card to support their expansionist policies. The resultant war dragged the United States out of its depression. Everyone would have preferred a different way out to the estimated 55 000 000 deaths.

We can go down the potentially catastrophic route of conflict. Or we can dedicate the energy, money, resources and time we have left to build for a low energy future. No matter how hard the future is going to be, it will only be made worse by fighting our way there. Either way, it's the common people who fight and die in the wars so let then have the information to decide for themselves.

The choice will not be easy for many. The choice will be between voluntarily taking on a simpler way of life, less travelling, less waste, less consumerism, less money and sending our people to fight other people for oil and gas.

The choice will be hard to spot for all. The advertising will drive consumerism, the arguments will be more subtle and convincing, the press will be complicit and you will want someone to blame. Don?t forget, we went to war in Iraq and the pressure wasn't really on yet.
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newmac
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2005 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not really happy with this but it my next attempt, trying to incorporate extractorfan's comments and my thoughts:

Quote:
Because oil and gas have become so important to every aspect of our lives, governments also see control of them as a question of power ? the stakes are therefore raised. The arguments will be more subtle ("Our way of life is not negotiable"), the bogey men more terrifying ("The Hitler of our time"), the consequences of military inaction more disastrous ("WMDs in 40 minutes").


Anyone else?
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extractorfan



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2005 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hope you don't think I'm hijacking or anything, just a very interesting subject.

Quote:
With virtually every aspect of our lives reliant on oil and gas, the political system will suffer extreme pressure. The arguments will be more subtle ("Our way of life is not negotiable"), the bogey men more terrifying ("The Hitler of our time"), the consequences of military inaction more disastrous ("40 minutes").


How about that.

I still don't like bogeymen but I see your point about the term terrorists. How about the term mythical extremists or enemy combatants or mysterious evildoers.

Just an opinoin, I don't claim to be right nor do I claim you to be wrong.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2005 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think we are getting there (although there hopefully will be others that come in and add their thoughts too). How about this:

Quote:
With virtually every aspect of our lives more reliant on oil and gas, control of these resources becomes a question of power and the political system will suffer extreme pressure. The arguments will be more subtle ("Our way of life is not negotiable"), the bogey men more terrifying ("The Hitler of our time"), the consequences of military inaction more disastrous ("WMD in 40 minutes").


Twisted Evil My personal view would however be:
Quote:
In order to support the consumerist society that very effectively brainwashes ordinary people to happily tranfer their wealth to the rich, the neo-conservatives and similar governments misguided and short termist belief is that they must control major oil producing regions either by force or coercively. The use of force also constitutes an effective means of cash transfer through the military industrial complex. Because the people cannot be trusted with the truth, incase they free themselves of the constant propaganda, greater efforts will be made to decieve them into giving their backing and their sons and daughters lives and to supporting illegal resource driven wars. The media, a lapdog to the military industrial complex, through the way it is funded, will be complicit.
Twisted Evil

But I know that would probably scare all those pumped up high on propaganda and patriotic serum. He He Laughing
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2005 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aaahhh

Aint the truth sweet

The prison without bars Evil or Very Mad

Actually the comments are quite slow to arrive, I'd quite like some feedback myself, I did a community one and an overview one.
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EmptyBee



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2005 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've not done a word count or anything, but I thought I'd put down my thoughts on this. I decided to back up my statements with documentary evidence as this is a thorny subject.

* * *

Oil has long been acknowledged as a crucial strategic resource that control over and access to is of critical importance to developed economies.

In 1980 in his state of the union address Jimmy Carter make the warning explicit: America would not allow threats to emerge to its access to Persian Gulf oil.
Quote:
The Soviet Union must realize that its decision to use military force in Afghanistan will be costly to every political and economic relationship it values.
The region which is now threatened by Soviet troops in Afghanistan is of great strategic importance: It contains more than two-thirds of the world's exportable oil. The Soviet effort to dominate Afghanistan has brought Soviet military forces to within 300 miles of the Indian Ocean and close to the Straits of Hormuz, a waterway through which most of the world's oil must flow. The Soviet Union is now attempting to consolidate a strategic position, therefore, that poses a grave threat to the free movement of Middle East oil.
This situation demands careful thought, steady nerves, and resolute action, not only for this year but for many years to come. It demands collective efforts to meet this new threat to security in the Persian Gulf and in Southwest Asia. It demands the participation of all those who rely on oil from the Middle East and who are concerned with global peace and stability. And it demands consultation and close cooperation with countries in the area which might be threatened.
Meeting this challenge will take national will, diplomatic and political wisdom, economic sacrifice, and, of course, military capability. We must call on the best that is in us to preserve the security of this crucial region.
Let our position be absolutely clear:An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force."

This statement formed the basis of what came to be known as the Carter Doctrine, and its political significance, despite the end of the Soviet Union, is with us to this day. Today NATO is in Afghanistan and the 'coalition of the willing' in Iraq. Why are they there?

Consider the following statements:
Quote:
"While the origins of a future crisis are hard to predict,
it is clear that energy disruptions could have a potentially
enormous impact on the U.S. and world economy, and would
affect U.S. national security and foreign policy in dramatic ways."

"For the most part, U.S. oil policy has relied on
maintenance of free access to Middle East Gulf oil and
free access for Gulf exports to world markets, relying
heavily on military preparedness."

"Moreover, a trend toward
anti-Americanism could affect regional leaders? abilities
to cooperate with the U.S. in the energy area. The resulting
tight markets have increased U.S. and global vulnerability
to disruption and provided adversaries undue
potential influence over the price of oil. Iraq has become
a key ?swing? producer, posing a difficult situation
for the U.S. government."

From Strategic Energy Policy: Challenges for the 21st Century (April 2001)
published by the Baker institute, a foreign policy think tank, founded by former secretary of state James Baker.
http://bakerinstitute.org


The Project for the New American Century is another US think tank, with many influential signatories including Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Jeb Bush:

Quote:
"...the Clinton Administration has
continued the fiction that the operations of
American forces in the Persian Gulf are
merely temporary duties. Nearly a decade
after the Gulf War, U.S. air, ground and
naval forces continue to protect enduring
American interests in the region.


"Over the long term,
Iran may well prove as large a threat to U.S.
interests in the Gulf as Iraq has. And even
should U.S.-Iranian relations improve,
retaining forward-based forces in the region
would still be an essential element in U.S.
security strategy given the longstanding
American interests in the region."

From Rebuilding America's Defenses Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century
A Report of The Project for the New American Century
September 2000 http://www.newamericancentury.org


It's no secret then that the United States is willing to use force to achieve energy security, and where the United States goes, Britain usually follows.
What then are the chances of conflict in the Middle East leading to wider conflict? Is the US's interest in the region benign, or self interested? What will decide who gets the oil when there's not enough to go around; the market or politics?
When the reality of peak oil hits home it's clear that the potential for conflict over these dwindling natural resources will go up. That is the political reality that the world is facing. The question is whether we'll allow ourselves to blunder into a resource war (in whatever guise) with our competitors or will we get around the table and decide on a fair and equitable division of the world's oil wealth? The trouble with 'fair and equitable' is that currently the pattern of consumption is far from equitable. The developed world consumes far more per capita than rising stars like India and China. Will we attempt to maintain our access to oil at any cost? Will the rest of the world let us?
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep Emptybee, I'm fully aware of your quotes. I'm fully aware of the fact that they aren't a secret. They aren't however known in the mainstream.

This is where extractorfans "invisible bars" come in.

The fact that they aren't mainstream proves the complicity of the corporate media and the powerful.

Getting to an understanding that virtually everything we are told throughout our lives through the media is essentially propaganda is a harder pill to swallow than Peak Oil.

The PO & Conflict is therefore trying to gently link resources and conflict without scaring people off.

I think people can handle the truth but when they have been subjected to so much propaganda all their lives, telling them the whole truth all at once will lead them to reject it.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To illustrate, I just asked the five people who sit closest to me whether they have ever heard of the project for the new american century. Not one - and these are not people whose access to information is limited in any way.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2005 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

May be worth mentioning the PetroDollar as well - economic motives for conflict.
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