Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Forget Kyoto #4

At last, someone has said it in public and on the air - live - intentionally.

The US / Iraq /Afghanistan war is all about, and only about oil.

This morning, Alan Greenspan, beeing interviewed by Anna-maria Tremonte about his book, said that Hussein, had he achieved control of the Straits of Hormuz, through which 18 of the world's 85 million barrels of oil used each day passes, he could have brought the world's economy to a halt. By reducing shipments of mere 5-8 million barrels of oil per day the world's economy comes to a halt - that's quite a declaration from the former chair of the Federal Reserve Bank and former Chair of the World Economic Advisory Board.

I have been saying that the US will never be able to leave the Middle East militarily while it is dependent on Middle East oil supplies. Therefore US activity in obtaining oil must increase in countries outside OPEC to ensure multiple streams of supply.

Now that the cat is out of the bag, although the White House hasn't declared this to be the case - they continue to spin this as an idealogical struggle to set Iraquis free of an oppressive dictator and to enable them to set up a democratic government - we can see how important oil is and how scarce it is becoming. I am referring to the peak oil scenario which says that, since world oil production has peaked, every barrel that comes out of the ground henceforth will cost more and be more difficult to obtain than the previous one, - a scenario that says oil prices must climb at an ever increasing rate and will soon be no longer viable as a fuel source for personal transportation.

Home heating must move away from oil fired furnaces sooner or later but probably within our lifetimes.
This puts upward pressure on natural gas prices.
There will be a greater political move towards damming river valleys to create hydro-electric power. Hydrogen fuel needs electricity to produce it
Wind generation, tidal power, thermal generation - all will be viable as energy costs soar.
Terrifyingly, nuclear power becomes the vehicle of choice, on the coattails of new coal burning plants.

However you get it the world economy currently requires the energy of 85 million barrels of oil per day to function, plus the current hydro, coal and nuclear power it already consumes. As oil supplies dwindle alternative sources must be brought on line. Number one is coal, as I have already written previously. It is plentiful, relatively easy to obtain and therefore cheap. The world wants cheap power. It will burn coal. Forget Kyoto. It won't happen.

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