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Energy Wars of Attrition


Energy Wars of Attrition

Michael Klare

Three and a half years ago, the International Energy Agency (IEA) triggered headlines around the world by predicting that the United States would overtake Saudi Arabia to become the world’s leading oil producer by 2020 and, together with Canada, would become a net exporter of oil around 2030.


This article illustrates the problem with being ‘immersed’ in oil. You get tarred by it. The professor wrote this whole piece from the oil industry perspective and only at the very last did he even mention global warming.

All that economic analysis from the oil industry perspective without discussing the meteoric rise of renewables and its effect on fossil fuel demand and investment? Or call that divestment! Lower demand indeed but almost as if renewables had no appreciable effect? The good professor needs to get out of the tar pit and look around. Moreover he characterizes it as a hollowing out of the oil market? An oddly ambiguous descriptive. How about the continuing decline of oil and in fact the end of oil. A concept that anyone involved in the industry including outside analyists find impossible to believe.

There is a huge push to invest in alternative energy production… It is telling. Also telling is that analyists told us about peak oil and we paid through the nose. We have and had more oil than can safely be burned even back then but like in this article we are actually talking about the oil market and price fluctuations per barrel… Not science nor sanity.


Actually Michael Klare has written previously about Peak Oil and Climate change.
But he has had his blind spots for many years.
In this article he claims Peak Oil theorists were wrong - not really.
Peak global conventional oil production already occurred. But fracked oil,
tar sands oil and deep water oil extend our Oil Addiction but the amount of energy returned per energy invested is less. This is one of the reasons scraping the bottom of the oil barrel so to speak is worse for the Environment because it ironically consumes more oil and energy to get the oil remaining.
Furthermore Michael Klare like many others is in denial that Auto Addiction is the Root of Oil Addiction or that we can do anything about that. I corresponded with Michael Klare some years ago that Amherst in fact could be Green Transit accessible by Rail. He denied such a change was possible. But in fact small steps are being taken towards Green Transit like the concrete proposal for High Speed Rail from Boston to Springfield where Railcars are being manufactured again. See http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/02/lawmakers_consider_pitch_for_b.html enter link description here


Appreciate the info thanks. He and others are too close to the industry/oil economy and like some prehistoric animal in the La Brea tar pits, they have gotten stuck in it. It all seems logical from the industry perspective that we simply have to keep using oil just as they have always believed that. I’m waiting for them to say using oil preserves jobs (oil industry jobs)!

The oil economy mindset confronts the inexorable approach of global warming. Klare and others do not personally feel at risk from global warming as yet. They will change their minds when they realize that scientists have underplayed their estimates of the rate of change ahead. In this next decade, even oil industry insiders will be facing that things are going haywire with the world and yes we need to stop adding all that extra carbon into the environment.

As yet he doesn’t think that way nor do many but they soon will be. The truth is that it may get far worse than we ever imagined and far more quickly too in just the next decade. The fact is that it has gotten far too warm too fast and it will obviously keep getting warmer too. We are presently experiencing the weather that we had actually predicted to happen twenty years from now. It is happening to us way too quickly but some people still can’t see it. They will soon enough.

If you are young… Let me apologize on behalf of my generation because we have really left you guys a mess to clean up.

Btw where are our bullet trains that would lessen the need for air travel and such?

Edit added -

I meant where are the high speed bullet trains crisscrossing the whole country? Place solar panels all along the track right of way and it is virtually energy neutral.


Isn’t this the same Klare who wrote several volumes on Peak Oil in the early 2000’s? Why is he now claiming other Peak Oil “theorists” somehow got it wrong? I’ve seen him on panels several times in the Amherst area years ago talking about his theory of Peak Oil and I never believed it was based on hard fact. Obviously, then, and now, the planet has too much oil. Now he’s a revisionist of his own works? Hmmm.


As Jimmy Carter’s former Energy Secretary James Schlesinger said a number of years ago: “Peak Oil is not a theory, it is a fact.” The US hit Peak Oil production way back in 1970. That was why the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973 which sent the US economy into stagflation during the 1970’s could be so effective - before the US hit Peak Oil it could defeat the Arab Oil Embargo by just producing more oil. That was no longer possible. Despite all the hoopla about the temporary production of fracked shale oil the US still has never exceeded its Peak oil production of 1970. Moreover the US continued to be forced to import 30% of its oil for its own hoggish consumption for endless Wars and Auto Addiction. Think about that. The US, with all its technology, its money, its rapacious oil companies has never exceed its oil production of 1970 for 46 years! Despite Deep sea drilling, fracked shale oil, Tar sands oil (actually that is mostly Canadian)…
There is only so much oil on our finite planet produced by millions of years of captured sunlight.
Once we squander and burn up the legacy of millions of years it is GONE!
What the hell are we doing??
When we will stop the endless Wars wasting 6% of US oil consumption and transition away from Auto Addiction wasting 70% of US oil consumption, 2-3 times that of Europe or Japan?
Bernie just won Michigan which means it is likely he will win the Democratic nomination.
Which means contrary to all the pessimists like Michael Klare who say we cannot change from Auto Addiction or endless Wars, in fact a better world is possible and necessary.
It will be a struggle against hugely powerful interests and money but as activists stopped a single nuclear power plant from being built after the No Nukes movement, we can stop the endless Wars and get serious about Green Transit walkable communities and Main Streets instead of Auto Addiction.


So are you suggesting that when a scientist or other type of analyst like Klare discards or modify a theory or adopts and tests new hypotheses for incorporation into the revised or new theory, then he or she is somehow personally discredited?

Will you please learn how science works?

The concept of “peak oil” and “peak-any-non-renewable-resource” is a mathematical and economic fact, its just that the introduction of technology can significant push the timing and breadth of the “peak” further into the future. Unfortunately, the development of high-volume fracking with direction drilling opened up enormous amounts of oil and gas resources in shale formations that were formerly thought to be unextractable.


To discuss the rate of extraction of oil without regard to the danger of global heating, and the consequent climate mayhem whose early stages we now see, is fatuous at best.


Right, so one must be a scientist to know most of the planet’s oil hasn’t yet been discovered? Insulting the writer doesn’t make you smarter. It makes you look like an ass.

But, I’ll play with you anyway cuz’ there’s fun to be had with asses.

As you said, "fracking with direction drilling opened up enormous amounts of oil and gas resources in shale formations that were formerly thought to be unextractable.” So, the theory of peak oil is bunk as far as you believe it, since whatever data (that’s a scientific word,don’t you know) was used to conjure the theory is irrelevant since it can’t possibly take into account how unused or uninvented extraction methods could extract oil yet unfound or once thought to be unextractable. So, Klare’s theory is based on speculation at best. Of course the resource is finite (like your thinking). As far as one can think of oil as it exists now, since know one knows how much oil there is, much of Klare’s vision for near term doom is just that, a vision. Go back an read what he said about those other peak oil theorists, as if they were incorrect, yet he conveniently neglected to admit he himself led the peak oil campaign and made some nice cash selling it to people like you. Go to saudi or Iraq and see for yourself all of the oil fields that haven’t been developed. You’ll see what you think you know is wrong. Or don’t, stay home and keep glued to CNN. I don’t give shit. That’s for the insult, you dick. Go back to school.


Yes, agreed. That’s kind of what I meant to say about Klare.