Dave McGowan Newsletter # 52
Mike Ruppert v The Center for an Informed America
[Editor's Note: Dave McGowan has taken head on, a concern
that has nagged at me for a long time: the reliability of Mike Ruppert While
Ruppert has done a bang up job of promoting himself as the quintessential,
anti-New World Order, muckraking, good guy reporter, he made some accusatory
statements about Ted Gunderson a few years ago, that I knew to be untrue,
so I started to ask myself: "Who is Mike Ruppert, really?" I'll
save the details of his false allegations against Gunderson for a separate
article, but the issue which Dave McGowan raises here of Ruppert's
promotion of a looming oil scarcity crisis scenario (which would serve the
NWO agenda very nicely) is telling and makes me wonder with renewed
concern: "Who is Mike Ruppert-REALLY?"...Ken Adachi]
By Dave McGowan <email@example.com>
March 13, 2004
The Most Important Center for an Informed
America Story in Two Years...
On February 29, 2004, I received the following e-mail message
from Michael Ruppert of From the Wilderness:
I challenge you to an open, public debate on the subject
of Peak Oil; any time, any place after March 13th 2004. I challenge you
to bring scientific material, production data and academic references
and citations for your conclusions like I have. I suggest a mutually acceptable
panel of judges and I will put up $1,000 towards a purse to go to the
winner of that debate. I expect you to do the same. And you made a dishonest
and borderline libelous statement when you suggested that I am somehow
pleased that these wars of aggression have taken place to secure oil.
My message all along has been, "Not in my name!" Put your money
where your mouth is. But first I suggest you do some homework. Ad hominem
attacks using the word "bullshit", unsupported by scientific
data are a sign of intellectual weakness (at best). I will throw more
than 500 footnoted citations at you from unimpeachable sources. Be prepared
to eat them or rebut them with something more than you have offered.
Wow! How does high noon sound?
Before I get started here, Mike, I need to ask you just one
quick question: are you sure it was only a "borderline libelous statement"?
Because I was really going for something more unambiguously libelous. I'll
see if I can do better on this outing. Let me know how I do.
Several readers have written to me, incidentally, with a variation
of the following question: "How can you say that Peak Oil is being
promoted to sell war when all of the websites promoting the notion of Peak
Oil are stridently anti-war?"
But of course they are. That, you see, is precisely the point.
What I was trying to say is that the notion of 'Peak Oil' is being specifically
marketed to the anti-war crowd -- because, as we all know, the pro-war crowd
doesn't need to be fed any additional justifications for going to war; any
of the old lies will do just fine. And I never said that the necessity of
war was being overtly sold. What I said, if I remember correctly, is that
it is being sold with a wink and a nudge.
The point that I was trying to make is that it would be difficult
to imagine a better way to implicitly sell the necessity of war, even while
appearing to stake out a position against war, than through the promotion
of the concept of 'Peak Oil.' After September 11, 2001, someone famously
said that if Osama bin Laden didn't exist, the US would have had to invent
him. I think the same could be said for 'Peak Oil.'
I also need to mention here that those who are selling 'Peak
Oil' hysteria aren't offering much in the way of alternatives, or solutions.
Ruppert, for example, has stated flatly that "there is no effective
replacement for what hydrocarbon energy provides today." (http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/052703_9_questions.html)
The message is quite clear: "we're running out of oil
soon; there is no alternative; we're all screwed." And this isn't,
mind you, just an energy problem; as Ruppert has correctly noted, "Almost
every current human endeavor from transportation, to manufacturing, to plastics,
and especially food production is inextricably intertwined with oil and
natural gas supplies." (http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/102302_campbell.html)
If we run out of oil, in other words, our entire way of life
will come crashing down. One of Ruppert's "unimpeachable sources,"
Colin Campbell, describes an apocalyptic future, just around the corner,
that will be characterized by "war, starvation, economic recession,
possibly even the extinction of homo sapiens." (http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/102302_campbell.html)
My question is: if Ruppert is not selling the necessity of
war, then exactly what is the message that he is sending to readers with
such doomsday forecasts? At the end of a recent posting, Ruppert quotes
dialogue from the 1975 Sidney Pollack film, Three Days of the Condor:
Higgins: ...It's simple economics. Today it's oil, right?
In 10 or 15 years - food, Plutonium. And maybe even sooner. Now what do
you think the people are gonna want us to do then?
Turner: Ask them.
Higgins: Not now - then. Ask them when they're running out. Ask them
when there's no heat in their homes and they're cold. Ask them when their
engines stop. Ask them when people who've never known hunger start going
hungry. Do you want to know something? They won't want us to ask them.
They'll just want us to get it for them.
The message there seems pretty clear: once the people understand
what is at stake, they will support whatever is deemed necessary to secure
the world's oil supplies. And what is it that Ruppert is accomplishing with
his persistent 'Peak Oil' postings? He is helping his readers to understand
what is allegedly at stake.
Elsewhere on his site, Ruppert warns that "Different
regions of the world peak in oil production at different times ... the OPEC
nations of the Middle East peak last. Within a few years, they -- or whoever
controls them -- will be in effective control of the world economy, and,
in essence, of human civilization as a whole." (http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/102302_campbell.html)
Within a few years, the Middle East will be in control of
all of human civilization?! Try as I might, I can't imagine any claim that
would more effectively rally support for a U.S. takeover of the Middle East.
The effect of such outlandish claims is to cast the present war as a war
of necessity. Indeed, a BBC report posted on Ruppert's site explicitly endorses
that notion: "It's not greed that's driving big oil companies - it's
On the very day that Ruppert's challenge arrived, I received
another e-mail, from someone I previously identified - erroneously, it would
appear - as a "prominent critic" of Michael Ruppert. In further
correspondence, the writer, Jeff Strahl, explained that he is (a) not a
critic of Ruppert in general, but rather a critic only of Ruppert's stance
on certain aspects of the 9-11 story, and (b) not all that prominent. This
is what Mr. Strahl had to say:
I'm a participant in a relatively new website, http://911research.wtc7.net,
which has done lots of work regarding the WTC and Pentagon side of the
9/11 events, especially the physical evidence which reveals the official
story as a complete hoax. Under "talks" you'll find a slide
show I've done (and will do again) in public on the Pentagon aspects.
This is all simply to let you know I'm far from an apologist for the status
quo. Nor am I an apologist for Mike Ruppert, with whom in fact I got into
a donnybrook of a fight on public email lists over his denial of the relevancy
of physical evidence and the fact that an article full of disinformation
about the WTC collapse, written 9/13/01, was still on his website, unedited
or corrected, two years later. He finally gave in and printed a (sort
That said, I have to take issue with your stance re
Peak Oil, something you say you wish were true, but deny, not on the basis
of any information, but on the basis that you seem to think it's too good
to be true, and that it's all info presented by Ruppert, which you thus
suspect since you suspect Ruppert. Matter of fact, Peak Oil was predicted
by an oil geologist, King Hubbert, way back in the mid '60s, before Ruppert
was even in college. It's been pursued since then by lots of people in
the science know-how, including Dale Allen Pfeiffer, Richard Heinberg,
Colin Campbell and Kenneth Deffeyes. The information is quite clear, global
oil production has either peaked in the last couple of years or will do
so in the next couple, as Hubbert predicted decades ago (He predicted
Peak Oil in the US as happening in the early '70s, was laughed at, but
his prediction came true right on schedule). The science here is quite
hard, facts are available from lots of sources. Perhaps Hubbert was part
of a long-planned disinfo campaign that was planned way back in the '60s,
and all the others are part of that plot. I find it hard to believe that,
and I am quite a skeptic.
As for the relevancy of physical evidence, it would
appear that that is another bone that I have to pick with Mr. Ruppert.
But I will save that for another time. For now, the issue is 'Peak Oil'
(which, as you can see, I am continuing to enclose in quotation marks,
which is, as regular readers know, how I identify things that don't actually
For the record, I never said that Michael Ruppert was the
only one presenting information about 'Peak Oil.' I said that he was the
most prominent of those promoting the idea. I also never implied that Ruppert
came up with the idea on his own. I am aware that the theory has a history.
The issue here, however, is the sudden prominence that 'Peak Oil' has attained.
Lastly, let me say that, unlike you, Jeff, I am enough of
a skeptic to believe that an ambitious, well-orchestrated disinformation
campaign, possibly spanning generations, should never arbitrarily be ruled
out. I am also enough of a skeptic to suspect that when a topic I have covered
generates the volume of e-mail that my 'Peak Oil' musings have generated,
then I must have managed to step into a pretty big pile of shit. What I
did not realize, until I decided to take Mr. Ruppert's advice and "do
some homework," was that it was a much bigger pile than I could have
I read through some, but certainly not all, of the alleged
evidence that Ruppert has brought to the table concerning 'Peak Oil.' Since
I have no interest in financially supporting his cause, I am not a paid
subscriber and can therefore not access the 'members only' postings. But
I doubt that I am missing much. The postings that I did read tended to be
extremely redundant and, therefore, a little on the boring side.
Ruppert's arguments range from the vaguely compelling to the
downright bizarre. One argument that pops up repeatedly is exemplified by
this Ruppert-penned line: "One of the biggest signs of the reality
of Peak Oil over the last two decades has been a continual pattern of merger-acquisition-downsizing
throughout the industry."
Really? And is that pattern somehow unique to the petroleum
industry? Or is it a pattern that has been followed by just about every
major industry? Is the consolidation of the supermarket industry a sign
of the reality of Peak Groceries? And with consolidation of the media industry,
should we be concerned about Peak News? Or should we, perhaps, recognize
that a pattern of monopoly control - characterized by mergers, acquisitions,
and downsizing - represents nothing more than business as usual throughout
the corporate world?
Another telling sign of 'Peak Oil,' according to Ruppert and
Co., is sudden price hikes on gas and oil. Of course, that would be a somewhat
more compelling argument if the oil cartels did not have a decades-long
history of constantly feigning shortages to foist sudden price increases
on consumers (usually just before peak travel periods). Contrary to the
argument that appears on Ruppert's site, it is not need that is driving
the oil industry, it is greed.
In what is undoubtedly the most bizarre posting that Ruppert
offers in support of his theory, he ponders whether dialogue from an obscure
1965 television series indicates that the CIA knew as far back as the 1960s
about the coming onset of 'Peak Oil.' (http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/042003_secret_agent_man.html)
Even if that little factoid came from a more, uhmm, credible source,
what would the significance be? Hasn't the conventional wisdom been, for
many decades, that oil is a 'fossil fuel,' and therefore a finite, non-renewable
resource? Since when has it been an intelligence community secret that a
finite resource will someday run out?
A few readers raised that very issue in questioning my recent
'Peak Oil' rants. "Even if we are not now in the era of Peak Oil,"
the argument generally goes, "then surely we will be soon. After all,
it is inevitable." And conventional wisdom dictates that it is, indeed,
inevitable. But if this website has one overriding purpose, it is to question
conventional wisdom whenever possible.
There is no shortage of authoritatively stated figures on
the From the Wilderness website: billions of barrels of oil discovered to
date; billions of barrels of oil produced to date; billions of barrels of
oil in known reserves; billions of barrels of oil consumed annually. Yadda,
yadda, yadda. My favorite figure is the one labeled, in one posting, "Yet-to-Find."
That figure, 150 billion barrels (a relative pittance), is supposed to represent
the precise volume of conventional oil in all the unknown number of oil
fields of unknown size that haven't been discovered yet. Ruppert himself
has written, with a cocksure swagger, that "there are no more significant
quantities of oil to be discovered anywhere ..." (http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/013004_in_your_face.html)
rather bold statement, to say the least, considering that it would seem
to be impossible for a mere mortal to know such a thing. Ruppert's figures
certainly paint a scary picture: rapid oil consumption + diminishing oil
reserves + no new discoveries = no more oil. And sooner, rather than later.
But is the 'Peak Oil' argument really valid? It seems logical -- a non-renewable
resource consumed with a vengeance obviously can't last for long. The only
flaw in the argument, I suppose, would be if oil wasn't really a 'fossil
fuel,' and if it wasn't really a non-renewable resource.
"Conventional wisdom says the world's supply of oil
is finite, and that it was deposited in horizontal reservoirs near the surface
in a process that took millions of years." So said the Wall Street
Journal in April 1999 (Christopher Cooper "Odd Reservoir Off Louisiana
Prods Oil Experts to Seek a Deeper Meaning," Wall Street Journal, April
16, 1999). It therefore logically follows that conventional wisdom also
says that oil will reach a production peak, and then ultimately run out.
As I said a few paragraphs ago, the purpose of this website
is to question conventional wisdom -- by acquainting readers with stories
that the media overlook, and with viewpoints that are not allowed in the
mainstream. It was my understanding that From the Wilderness, and other
'alternative' websites, had a similar goal.
But is 'Peak Oil' really some suppressed, taboo topic? If
it is, then why, as I sit here typing this, with today's (March 7, 2004)
edition of the Los Angeles Times atop my desk, are the words "Running
Out of Oil -- and Time" staring me in the face from the front page
of the widely read Sunday Opinion section? The lengthy piece, penned by
Paul Roberts, is replete with dire warnings of the coming crisis. Save for
the fact that the words 'Peak Oil' are not routinely capitalized, it could
easily pass for a From the Wilderness posting.
The Times also informed readers that Roberts has a new book
due out in May, entitled The End of Oil: On the Edge of a Perilous New World.
stuff. Beating Robert's book to the stores will be Colin Campbell's The
Coming Oil Crisis, due in April. Both titles will have to compete for shelf
space with titles such as Richard Heinberg's The Party's Over: Oil, War
and the Fate of Industrial Societies, published April of last year; David
Goodstein's Out of Gas: The End of the Age of Oil, which just hit the shelves
last month; and Kenneth Deffeyes' Hubbert's Peak: The Impending World Oil
Shortage, published October 2001. The field is getting a bit crowded, but
sales over at Amazon.com remain strong for most of the contenders.
The wholesale promotion of 'Peak Oil' seems to have taken
off immediately after the September 11, 2001 'terrorist' attacks, and it
is now really starting to pick up some steam. The BBC covered the big story
last April (http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/040403_oil_war_bbc.html).
covered it in October (http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/100203_cnn_peak_oil.html).
The Guardian covered it in December
the Los Angeles Times has joined the chorus.
I guess the cat is pretty much out of the bag on this one.
Everyone can cancel their subscriptions to From the Wilderness and pocket
the $35 a
year, since you can read the very same bullshit for free in the pages of
the Los Angeles Times.
Interestingly enough, there is another story about oil that,
unlike the 'Peak Oil' story, actually has been suppressed. It is a story
that very few, if any, of my readers, or of Michael Ruppert's readers, are
likely aware of. But before we get to that story, let's first briefly review
what we all 'know' about oil.
As anyone who stayed awake during elementary school science
class knows, oil comes from dinosaurs. I remember as a kid (calm down, folks;
there will be no Brady Bunch references this week) seeing some kind of 'public
service' spot explaining how dinosaurs "gave their all" so that
we could one day have oil. It seemed a reasonable enough idea at the time
-- from the perspective of an eight-year-old. But if, as an adult, you really
stop to give it some thought, doesn't the idea seem a little, uhmm ... what's
the word I'm looking for here? ... oh yeah, I remember now ... preposterous?
How could dinosaurs have possibly created the planet's vast
oil fields? Did millions, or even billions, of them die at the very same
time and at the very same place? Were there dinosaur Jonestowns on a grand
scale occurring at locations all across the planet? And how did they all
get buried so quickly? Because if they weren't buried right away, wouldn't
they have just decomposed and/or been consumed by scavengers? And how much
oil can you really squeeze from a pile of parched dinosaur skeletons?
Maybe there was some type of cataclysmic event that caused
the sudden extinction of the dinosaurs and also buried them -- like the
impact of an asteroid or a comet. But even so, you wouldn't think that all
the dinosaurs would have been huddled together waiting to become oil fields.
And besides, scientists are now backing away from the mass extinction theory.
The Wall Street Journal article previously cited noted that
it "would take a pretty big pile of dead dinosaurs to account for the
estimated 660 billion barrels of oil in the [Middle East]." I don't
know what the precise dinosaur-carcass-to-barrel-of-oil conversion rate
is, but it does seem like it would take a hell of a lot of dead dinosaurs.
Even if we generously allow that a single dinosaur could yield 50 barrels
of oil (an absurd notion, but let's play along for now), more than 130 billion
dinosaurs would have had to be simultaneously entombed in just one small
region of the world. But were there really hundreds of billions of dinosaurs
roaming the earth? If so, then one wonders why there is all this talk now
of overpopulation and scarce resources, when all we are currently dealing
with is a few billion humans populating the same earth.
And why the Middle East? Was that region some kind of Mecca
for dinosaurs? Was it the climate, or the lack of water and vegetation,
that drew them there? Of course, the region could have been much different
in prehistoric times. Maybe it was like the Great Valley in the Land Before
Time movies. Or maybe the dinosaurs had to cross the Middle East to get
to the Great Valley, but they never made it, because they got bogged down
in the desert and ultimately became (through, I'm guessing here, some alchemical
process) cans of 10W-40 motor oil.
Another version of the 'fossil fuel' story holds that microscopic
animal carcasses and other biological matter gathered on the world's sea
floors, with that organic matter then being covered over with sediment over
the course of millions of years. You would think, however, that any biological
matter would decompose long before being covered over by sediment. But I
guess not. And I guess there were no bottom-feeders in those days to clear
the ocean floors of organic debris. Fair enough. But I still don't understand
how those massive piles of biological debris, some consisting of hundreds
of billions of tons of matter, could have just suddenly appeared, so that
they could then sit, undisturbed, for millions of years as they were covered
over with sediment. I can understand how biological detritus could accumulate
over time, mixed in with the sediment, but that wouldn't really create the
conditions for the generation of vast reservoirs of crude oil. So I guess
I must be missing something here.
The notion that oil is a 'fossil fuel' was first proposed
by Russian scholar Mikhailo Lomonosov in 1757. Lomonosov's rudimentary hypothesis,
based on the limited base of scientific knowledge that existed at the time,
and on his own simple observations, was that "Rock oil originates as
tiny bodies of animals buried in the sediments which, under the influence
of increased temperature and pressure acting during an unimaginably long
period of time, transform into rock oil."
Two and a half centuries later, Lomonosov's theory remains
as it was in 1757 -- an unproved, and almost entirely speculative, hypothesis.
Returning once again to the Wall Street Journal, we find that, "Although
the world has been drilling for oil for generations, little is known about
the nature of the resource or the underground activities that led to its
creation." A paragraph in the Encyclopedia Britannica concerning the
origins of oil ends thusly: "In spite of the great amount of scientific
research ... there remain many unresolved questions regarding its origins."
Does that not seem a little odd? We are talking here, after
all, about a resource that, by all accounts, plays a crucial role in a vast
array of human endeavors (by one published account, petroleum is a raw ingredient
in some 70,000 manufactured products, including medicines, synthetic fabrics,
fertilizers, paints and varnishes, acrylics, plastics, and cosmetics). By
many accounts, the very survival of the human race is entirely dependent
on the availability of petroleum. And yet we know almost nothing about this
most life-sustaining of the earth's resources. And even though, by some
shrill accounts, the well is about to run dry, no one seems to be overly
concerned with understanding the nature and origins of so-called 'fossil
fuels.' We are, rather, content with continuing to embrace an unproved 18th
century theory that, if subjected to any sort of logical analysis, seems
On September 26, 1995, the New York Times ran an article headlined
"Geochemist Says Oil Fields May Be Refilled Naturally." Penned
by Malcolm W. Browne, the piece appeared on page C1. Could it be that many
of the world's oil fields are refilling themselves at nearly the same rate
they are being drained by an energy hungry world? A geochemist at the Woods
Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts ... Dr. Jean K. Whelan ...
infers that oil is moving in quite rapid spurts from great depths to reservoirs
closer to the surface. Skeptics of Dr. Whelan's hypothesis ... say her explanation
remains to be proved ... Discovered in 1972, an oil reservoir some 6,000
feet beneath Eugene Island 330 [not actually an island, but a patch of sea
floor in the Gulf of Mexico] is one of the world's most productive oil sources
... Eugene Island 330 is remarkable for another reason: it's estimated reserves
have declined much less than experts had predicted on the basis of its production
rate. "It could be," Dr. Whelan said, "that at some sites,
particularly where there is a lot of faulting in the rock, a reservoir from
which oil is being pumped might be a steady-state system -- one that is
replenished by deeper reserves as fast as oil is pumped out" ... The
discovery that oil seepage is continuous and extensive from many ocean vents
lying above fault zones has convinced many scientists that oil is making
its way up through the faults from much deeper deposits
A recent report from the Department of Energy Task Force on Strategic Energy
Research and Development concluded from the Woods Hole project that "there
new data and interpretations strongly suggest that the oil and gas in the
Eugene Island field could be treated as a steady-state rather than a fixed
resource." The report added, "Preliminary analysis also suggest
that similar phenomena may be taking place in other producing areas, including
the deep-water Gulf of Mexico and the Alaskan North Slope" ... There
is much evidence that deep reserves of hydrocarbon fuels remain to be tapped.
This compelling article raised a number of questions, including: how did
all those piles of dinosaur carcasses end up thousands of feet beneath the
earth's surface? How do finite reservoirs of dinosaur goo become "steady-state"
resources? And how does the fossil fuel theory explain the continuous, spontaneous
venting of gas and oil?
The Eugene Island story was revisited by the media three-and-a-half
years later, by the Wall Street Journal (Christopher Cooper "Odd Reservoir
Off Louisiana Prods Oil Experts to Seek a Deeper Meaning," Wall Street
Journal, April 16, 1999). (http://www.oralchelation.com/faq/wsj4.htm) Something
mysterious is going on at Eugene Island 330. Production at the oil field,
deep in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana, was supposed to have
declined years ago. And for a while. it behaved like any normal field: Following
its 1973 discovery, Eugene Island 330's output peaked at about 15,000 barrels
a day. By 1989, production had slowed to about 4,000 barrels a day. Then
suddenly -- some say almost inexplicably -- Eugene Island's fortunes reversed.
The field, operated by PennzEnergy Co., is now producing 13,000 barrels
a day, and probable reserves have rocketed to more than 400 million barrels
from 60 million. Stranger still, scientists studying the field say the crude
coming out of the pipe is of a geological age quite different from the oil
that gushed 10 years ago. All of which has led some scientists to a radical
theory: Eugene Island is rapidly refilling itself, perhaps from some continuous
source miles below the Earth's surface. That, they say, raises the tantalizing
possibility that oil may not be the limited resource it is assumed to
... Jean Whelan, a geochemist and senior researcher from
the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts ... says, "I
believe there is a huge system of oil just migrating" deep underground.
... About 80 miles off the Louisiana coast, the underwater landscape surrounding
Eugene Island is otherworldly, cut with deep fissures and faults that spontaneously
belch gas and oil. So now we are talking about a huge system of migrating
dinosaur goo that is miles beneath the Earth's surface! Those dinosaurs
were rather crafty, weren't they? Exactly three years later (to the day),
the media once again paid a visit to the Gulf of Mexico. This time, it was
Newsday that filed the report (Robert Cooke "Oil Field's Free Refill,"
Newsday, April 19, 2002). (http://csf.colorado.edu/forums/pkt/2002II/msg00071.html)
Deep underwater, and deeper underground, scientists see surprising hints
that gas and oil deposits can be replenished, filling up again, sometimes
rapidly. Although it sounds too good to be true, increasing evidence from
the Gulf of Mexico suggests that some old oil fields are being refilled
by petroleum surging up from deep below, scientists report.
That may mean that current estimates of oil and gas abundance
are far too low. ... chemical oceanographer Mahlon "Chuck" Kennicutt
[said] "They are refilling as we speak. But whether this is a worldwide
phenomenon, we don't know" ... Kennicutt, a faculty member at Texas
A&M University, said it is now clear that gas and oil are coming into
the known reservoirs very rapidly in terms of geologic time. The inflow
of new gas, and some oil, has been detectable in as little as three to 10
years. In the past, it was not suspected that oil fields can refill because
it was assumed that oil was formed in place, or nearby, rather than far
below. According to marine geologist Harry Roberts, at Louisiana State University
... "You have a very leaky fault system that does allow it (petroleum)
to migrate in. It's directly connected to an oil and gas generating system
at great depth." ... "There already appears to be a large body
of evidence consistent with ... oil and gas generation and migration on
very short time scales in many areas globally" [Jean Whelan] wrote
in the journal Sea Technology ... Analysis of the ancient oil that seems
to be coming up from deep below in the Gulf of Mexico suggests that the
flow of new oil "is coming from deeper, hotter [sediment] formations"
and is not simply a lateral inflow from the old deposits that surround existing
oil fields, [Whelan] said. Now I'm really starting to get confused. Can
someone please walk me through this? What exactly is an "oil and gas
generating system"? And how does such a system generate oil "on
very short time scales"? Is someone down there right now, even as I
type these words, forklifting dinosaur carcasses into some gigantic cauldron
to cook up a fresh batch of oil?
Desperate for answers to such perplexing questions, I turned
for advice to Mr. Peak Oil himself, Michael Ruppert, and this is what I
found: "oil ... is the result of climactic conditions that have existed
at only one time in the earth's 4.5 billion year history." I'm guessing
that that "one time" - that one golden window of opportunity to
get just the right mix of dinosaur stew - isn't the present time, so it
doesn't seem quite right, to me at least, that oil is being generated right
In June 2003, Geotimes paid a visit to the Gulf of Mexico
("Raining Hydrocarbons in the Gulf"), and the story grew yet more
compelling. (http://www.geotimes.org/june03/NN_gulf.html) Below the Gulf
of Mexico, hydrocarbons flow upward through an intricate network of conduits
and reservoirs ... and this is all happening now, not millions and millions
of years ago, says Larry Cathles, a chemical geologist at Cornell University.
"We're dealing with this giant flow-through system where the hydrocarbons
are generating now, moving through the overlying strata now, building the
reservoirs now and spilling out into the ocean now," Cathles says.
... Cathles and his team estimate that in a study area of about 9,600 square
miles off the coast of Louisiana [including Eugene Island 330], source rocks
a dozen kilometers [roughly seven miles] down have generated as much as
184 billion tons of oil and gas -- about 1,000 billion barrels of oil and
gas equivalent. "That's 30 percent more than we humans have consumed
over the entire petroleum era," Cathles say. "And that's just
this one little postage stamp area; if this is going on worldwide, then
there's a lot of hydrocarbons venting out."
Dry oil wells spontaneously refilling? Oil generation and migration systems?
Massive oil reserves miles beneath the earth's surface? Spontaneous venting
of enormous volumes of gas and oil? (Roberts noted that - and this isn't
really going to please the environmentalists, but I'm just reporting the
facts, ma'am - "natural seepage" in areas like the Gulf of Mexico
"far exceeds anything that gets spilled" by the oil industry.
And those natural emissions have been pumped into our oceans since long
before there was an oil industry.)
The all too obvious question here is: how is any of that explained
by a theory that holds that oil and gas are 'fossil fuels' created in finite
quantities through a unique geological process that occurred millions of
Why do we insist on retaining an antiquated theory that is
so obviously contradicted by readily observable phenomena? Is the advancement
of the sciences not based on formulating a hypothesis, and then testing
that hypothesis? And if the hypothesis fails to account for the available
data, is it not customary to either modify that hypothesis or formulate
a new hypothesis -- rather than, say, clinging to the same discredited hypothesis
for 250 years?
In August 2002, the journal Proceedings of the National Academy
of Sciences published a study authored by J.F. Kenney, V.A. Kutchenov, N.A.
Bendeliani and V.A. Alekseev. The authors argued, quite compellingly, that
oil is not created from organic compounds at the temperatures and pressures
found close to the surface of the earth, but rather is created from inorganic
compounds at the extreme temperatures and pressures present only near the
core of the earth. (http://www.gasresources.net/index.htm)
As Geotimes noted ("Inorganic Origin of Oil: Much Ado
About Nothing?," Geotimes, November 2002), the journal "published
the paper at the request of Academy member Howard Reiss, a chemical physicist
at the University of California at Los Angeles. As per the PNAS guidelines
for members communicating papers, Reiss obtained reviews of the paper from
at least two referees from different institutions (not affiliated with the
authors) and shepherded the report through revisions." (http://www.geotimes.org/nov02/NN_oil.html)
I mention that because I happened to read something that Michael
Ruppert wrote recently that seems pertinent: "In real life, it is called
'the proof is in the pudding.' In scientific circles, it is called peer
review, and it usually involves having your research published in a peer-reviewed
journal. It is an often-frustrating process, but peer-reviewed articles
ensure the validity of science."
It would seem then that we can safely conclude that what Kenney,
et. al. have presented is valid science, since it definitely was published
in a peer-reviewed journal. And what that valid science says, quite clearly,
is that petroleum is not by any stretch of the imagination a finite resource,
or a 'fossil fuel,' but is in fact a resource that is continuously generated
by natural processes deep within the planet.
Geotimes also noted that the research paper "examined
thermodynamic arguments that say methane is the only organic hydrocarbon
to exist within Earth's crust." Indeed, utilizing the laws of modern
thermodynamics, the authors constructed a mathematical model that proves
that oil can not form under the conditions dictated by the 'fossil fuel'
I mention that because of something else I read on Ruppert's
site. Listed as #5 of "Nine Critical Questions to Ask About Alternative
Energy" is: "Most of the other questions in this list can be tied
up into this one question: does the invention defy the Laws of Thermodynamics?
If the answer is yes, then something is wrong." (http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/052703_9_questions.html)
Well then, Mr. Ruppert, I have some very bad news for you,
because something definitely is wrong -- with your 'Peak Oil' theory. Because
here we have a published study, subjected to peer review (thus assuring
the "validity" of the study), that demonstrates, with mathematical
certainty, that it is actually the 'fossil fuel' theory that defies the
laws of thermodynamics. It appears then that if we follow Ruppert's Laws,
we have to rule out fossil fuels as a viable alternative to petroleum.
Reaction to the publication of the Kenney study was swift.
First to weigh in was Nature (Tom Clarke "Fossil Fuels Without the
Fossils: Petroleum: Animal, Vegetable or Mineral?," Nature News Service,
August 14, 2002). Petroleum - the archetypal fossil fuel - couldn't have
formed from the remains of dead animals and plants, claim US and Russian
researchers. They argue that petroleum originated from minerals at extreme
temperatures and pressures.Other geochemists say that the work resurrects
a scientific debate that is almost a fossil itself, and criticize the team's
conclusions. the team, led by J.F. Kenney of the Gas Resources Corporation
in Houston, Texas, mimicked conditions more than 100 kilometres below the
earth's surface by heating marble, iron oxide and water to around 1500°
C and 50,000 times atmospheric pressure. They produced traces of methane,
the main constituent of natural gas, and octane, the hydrocarbon molecule
that makes petrol. A mathematical model of the process suggests that, apart
from methane, none of the ingredients of petroleum could form at depths
less than 100 kilometres.
The geochemist community, and the petroleum industry, were
both suitably outraged by the publication of the study. The usual parade
of experts was trotted out, of course, but a funny thing happened: as much
as they obviously wanted to, those experts were unable to deny the validity
of the research. So they resorted to a very unusual tactic: they reluctantly
acknowledged that oil can indeed be created from minerals, but they insisted
that that inconvenient fact really has nothing to do with the oil that we
use. Showing that oil can also form without a biological origin does not
disprove [the 'fossil fuel'] hypothesis. "It doesn't discredit anything,"
said a geochemist who asked not to be named. ... "No one disputes that
hydrocarbons can form this way," says Mark McCaffrey, a geochemist
with Oil Tracers LLC, a petroleum-prospecting consultancy in Dallas, Texas.
A tiny percentage of natural oil deposits are known to be non-biological,
but this doesn't mean that petrol isn't a fossil fuel, he says. "I
don't know anyone in the petroleum community who really takes this prospect
seriously," says Walter Michaelis, a geochemist at the University of
Hamburg in Germany. So I guess the geochemist community is a petulant lot.
They did "concede," however, that oil "that forms inorganically
at the high temperatures and massive pressures close to the Earth's mantle
layer could be forced upwards towards the surface by water, which is denser
than oil. It can then be trapped by sedimentary rocks that are impermeable
What they were acknowledging, lest anyone misunderstand, is
that the oil that we pump out of reservoirs near the surface of the earth,
and the oil that is spontaneously and continuously generated deep within
the earth, could very well be the same oil. But even so, they insist, that
is certainly no reason to abandon, or even question, our perfectly ridiculous
'fossil fuel' theory.
Coverage by New Scientist of the 'controversial' journal publication
largely mirrored the coverage by Nature (Jeff Hecht "You Can Squeeze
Oil Out of a Stone," New Scientist, August 17, 2002). Oil doesn't come
from dead plants and animals, but from plain old rock, a controversial new
study claims. The heat and pressure a hundred kilometres underground produces
hydrocarbons from inorganic carbon and water, says J.F. Kenney, who runs
the Gas Resources Corporation, an oil exploration firm in Houston. He and
three Russian colleagues believe all our oil is made this way, and untapped
supplies are there for the taking. Petroleum geologists already accept that
some oil forms like this. "Nobody ever argued that there are no inorganic
sources," says Mike Lewan of the US Geological Survey. But they take
strong issue with Kenney's claim that petroleum can't form from organic
matter in shallow rocks. Geotimes chimed in as well, quoting Scott Imbus,
an organic geochemist for Chevron Texaco Corp., who explained that the Kenney
research is "an excellent and rigorous treatment of the theoretical
and experimental aspects for abiotic hydrocarbon formation deep in the Earth.
Unfortunately, it has little or nothing to do with the origins of commercial
fossil fuel deposits."
What we have here, quite clearly, is a situation wherein the
West's leading geochemists (read: shills for the petroleum industry) cannot
impugn the validity of Kenney's unassailable mathematical model, and so
they have, remarkably enough, adopted the unusual strategy of claiming that
there is actually more than one way to produce oil. It can be created under
extremely high temperatures and pressures, or it can be created under relatively
low temperatures and pressures. It can be created organically, or it can
be created inorganically. It can be created deep within the Earth, or it
can be created near the surface of the Earth. You can make it with some
rocks. Or you can make it in a box. You can make it here or there. You can
make it anywhere.
While obviously an absurdly desperate attempt to salvage the
'fossil fuel' theory, the arguments being offered by the geochemist community
actually serve to further undermine the notion that oil is an irreplaceable
'fossil fuel.' For if we are now to believe that petroleum can be created
under a wide range of conditions (a temperature range, for example, of 75°
C to 1500° C), does that not cast serious doubt on the claim that conditions
favored the creation of oil just "one time in the earth's 4.5 billion
A more accurate review of Kenney's work appeared in The Economist
("The Argument Needs Oiling," The Economist, August 15, 2002).
Millions of years ago, tiny animals and plants died. They settled at the
bottom of the oceans. Over time, they were crushed beneath layers of sediment
that built up above them and eventually turned into rock. The organic matter,
now trapped hundreds of metres below the surface, started to change. Under
the action of gentle heat and pressure, and in the absence of air, the biological
debris turned into oil and gas. Or so the story goes. In 1951, however,
a group of Soviet scientists led by Nikolai Kudryavtsev claimed that this
theory of oil production was fiction. They suggested that hydrocarbons,
the principal molecular constituents of oil, are generated deep within the
earth from inorganic materials. Few people outside Russia listened. But
one who did was J. F. Kenney, an
American who today works for the Russian Academy of Sciences and is also
chief executive of Gas Resources Corporation in Houston, Texas. He says
it is nonsense to believe that oil derives from "squashed fish and
This is a brave claim to make when the overwhelming majority
of petroleum geologists subscribe to the biological theory of origin. But
Dr Kenney has evidence to support his argument. In this week's Proceedings
of the National Academy of Sciences, he claims to establish that it is energetically
impossible for alkanes, one of the main types of hydrocarbon molecule in
crude oil, to evolve from biological precursors at the depths where reservoirs
have typically been found and plundered. He has developed a mathematical
model incorporating quantum mechanics, statistics and thermodynamics which
predicts the behaviour of a hydrocarbon system. The complex mixture of straight-chain
and branched alkane molecules found in crude oil could, according to his
calculations, have come into existence only at extremely high temperatures
and pressures-far higher than those found in the earth's crust, where the
orthodox theory claims they are formed. To back up this idea, he has shown
that a cocktail of alkanes (methane, hexane, octane and so on) similar to
that in natural oil is produced when a mixture of calcium carbonate, water
and iron oxide is heated to 1,500° C and crushed with the weight of
50,000 atmospheres. This experiment reproduces the conditions in the earth's
upper mantle, 100 km below the surface, and so suggests that oil could be
produced there from completely inorganic sources. Kenney's theories, when
discussed at all, are universally described as "new," "radical,"
and "controversial." In truth, however, Kenney's ideas are not
new, nor original, nor radical. Though no one other than Kenney himself
seems to want to talk about it, the arguments that he presented in the PNAS
study are really just the tip of a very large iceberg of
suppressed scientific research.
This story really begins in 1946, just after the close of
World War II, which had illustrated quite effectively that oil was integral
to waging modern, mechanized warfare. Stalin, recognizing the importance
of oil, and recognizing also that the Soviet Union would have to be self
sufficient, launched a massive scientific undertaking that has been compared,
in its scale, to the Manhattan Project. The goal of the Soviet project was
to study every aspect of petroleum, including how it is created, how reserves
are generated, and how to best pursue petroleum exploration and extraction.
The challenge was taken up by a wide range of scientific disciplines,
with hundreds of the top professionals in their fields contributing to the
body of scientific research. By 1951, what has been called the Modern Russian-Ukrainian
Theory of Deep, Abiotic Petroleum Origins was born. A healthy amount of
scientific debate followed for the next couple of decades, during which
time the theory, initially formulated by geologists, based on observational
data, was validated through the rigorous quantitative work of chemists,
physicists and thermodynamicists. For the last couple of decades, the theory
has been accepted as established fact by virtually the entire scientific
community of the (former) Soviet Union. It is backed up by literally thousands
of published studies in prestigious, peer-reviewed scientific journals.
For over fifty years, Russian and Ukrainian scientists have
added to this body of research and refined the Russian-Ukrainian theories.
And for over fifty years, not a word of it has been published in the English
language (except for a fairly recent, bastardized version published by astronomer
Thomas Gold, who somehow forgot to credit the hundreds of scientists whose
research he stole and then misrepresented).
This is not, by the way, just a theoretical model that the
Russians and Ukrainians have established; the theories were put to practical
use, resulting in the transformation of the Soviet Union - once regarded
as having limited prospects, at best, for successful petroleum exploration
- into a world-class petroleum producing, and exporting, nation.
J.F. Kenney spent some 15 years studying under some of the
Russian and Ukrainian scientists who were key contributors to the modern
petroleum theory. When Kenney speaks about petroleum origins, he is not
speaking as some renegade scientist with a radical new theory; he is speaking
to give voice to an entire community of scientists whose work has never
been acknowledged in the West. Kenney writes passionately about that neglected
body of research: The modern Russian-Ukrainian theory of deep, abiotic petroleum
origins is not new or recent. This theory was first enunciated by Professor
Nikolai Kudryavtsev in 1951, almost a half century ago, (Kudryavtsev 1951)
and has undergone extensive development, refinement, and application since
its introduction. There have been more than four thousand articles published
in the Soviet scientific journals, and many books, dealing with the modern
theory. This writer is presently co-authoring a book upon the subject of
the development and applications of the modern theory of petroleum for which
the bibliography requires more than thirty pages. The modern Russian-Ukrainian
theory of deep, abiotic petroleum origins is not the work of any one single
man -- nor of a few men. The modern theory was developed by hundreds of
scientists in the (now former) U.S.S.R., including many of the finest geologists,
geochemists, geophysicists, and thermodynamicists of that country. There
have now been more than two generations of geologists, geophysicists, chemists,
and other scientists in the U.S.S.R. who have worked upon and contributed
to the development of the modern theory. (Kropotkin 1956; Anisimov, Vasilyev
et al. 1959; Kudryavtsev 1959; Porfir'yev 1959; Kudryavtsev 1963; Raznitsyn
1963; Krayushkin 1965; Markevich 1966; Dolenko 1968; Dolenko 1971; Linetskii
1974; Letnikov, Karpov et al. 1977; Porfir'yev and Klochko 1981; Krayushkin
The modern Russian-Ukrainian theory of deep, abiotic petroleum
origins is not untested or speculative. On the contrary, the modern theory
was severely challenged by many traditionally-minded geologists at the time
of its introduction; and during the first decade thenafter, the modern theory
was thoroughly examined, extensively reviewed, powerfully debated, and rigorously
tested. Every year following 1951, there were important scientific conferences
organized in the U.S.S.R. to debate and evaluate the modern theory, its
development, and its predictions. The All-Union conferences in petroleum
and petroleum geology in the years 1952-1964/5 dealt particularly with this
subject. (During the period when the modern theory was being subjected to
extensive critical challenge and testing, a number of the men pointed out
that there had never been any similar critical review or testing of the
traditional hypothesis that petroleum might somehow have evolved spontaneously
from biological detritus.) The modern Russian-Ukrainian theory of deep,
abiotic petroleum origins is not a vague, qualitative hypothesis, but stands
as a rigorous analytic theory within the mainstream of the modern physical
sciences. In this respect, the modern theory differs fundamentally not only
from the previous hypothesis of a biological origin of petroleum but also
from all traditional geological hypotheses. Since the nineteenth century,
knowledgeable physicists, chemists, thermodynamicists, and chemical engineers
have regarded with grave reservations (if not outright disdain) the suggestion
that highly reduced hydrocarbon molecules of high free enthalpy (the constituents
of crude oil) might somehow evolve spontaneously from highly oxidized biogenic
molecules of low free enthalpy.
Beginning in 1964, Soviet scientists carried out extensive
theoretical statistical thermodynamic analysis which established explicitly
that the hypothesis of evolution of hydrocarbon molecules (except methane)
from biogenic ones in the temperature and pressure regime of the Earth's
near-surface crust was glaringly in violation of the second law of thermodynamics.
They also determined that the evolution of reduced hydrocarbon molecules
requires pressures of magnitudes encountered at depths equal to such of
the mantle of the Earth. During the second phase of its development, the
modern theory of petroleum was entirely recast from a qualitative argument
based upon a synthesis of many qualitative facts into a quantitative argument
based upon the analytical arguments of quantum statistical mechanics and
thermodynamic stability theory. (Chekaliuk 1967; Boiko 1968; Chekaliuk 1971;
Chekaliuk and Kenney 1991; Kenney 1995) With the transformation of the modern
theory from a synthetic geology theory arguing by persuasion into an analytical
physical theory arguing by compulsion, petroleum geology entered the mainstream
of modern science. The modern Russian-Ukrainian theory of deep, abiotic
petroleum origins is not controversial nor presently a matter of academic
debate. The period of debate about this extensive body of knowledge has
been over for approximately two decades (Simakov 1986). The modern theory
is presently applied extensively throughout the former U.S.S.R. as the guiding
perspective for petroleum exploration and development projects.
There are presently more than 80 oil and gas fields in the
Caspian district alone which were explored and developed by applying the
perspective of the modern theory and which produce from the crystalline
basement rock. (Krayushkin, Chebanenko et al. 1994) Similarly, such exploration
in the western Siberia cratonic-rift sedimentary basin has developed 90
petroleum fields of which 80 produce either partly or entirely from the
crystalline basement. The exploration and discoveries of the 11 major and
1 giant fields on the northern flank of the Dneiper-Donets basin have already
been noted. There are presently deep drilling exploration projects under
way in Azerbaijan, Tatarstan, and Asian Siberia directed to testing potential
oil and gas reservoirs in the crystalline basement. (http://www.gasresources.net/index.htm)
It appears that, unbeknownst to Westerners, there have actually been, for
quite some time now, two competing theories concerning the origins of petroleum.
One theory claims that oil is an organic 'fossil fuel' deposited in finite
quantities near the planet's surface. The other theory claims that oil is
continuously generated by natural processes in the Earth's magma. One theory
is backed by a massive body of research representing fifty years of intense
scientific inquiry. The other theory is an unproven relic of the eighteenth
century. One theory anticipates deep oil reserves, refillable oil fields,
migratory oil systems, deep sources of generation, and the spontaneous venting
of gas and oil. The other theory has a difficult time explaining any such
So which theory have we in the West, in our infinite wisdom,
chosen to embrace? Why, the fundamentally absurd 'Fossil Fuel' theory, of
course -- the same theory that the 'Peak Oil' doomsday warnings are based
I am sorry to report here, by the way, that in doing my homework,
I never did come across any of that "hard science" documenting
'Peak Oil' that Mr. Strahl referred to. All the 'Peak Oil' literature that
I found, on Ruppert's site and elsewhere, took for granted that petroleum
is a non-renewable 'fossil fuel.' That theory is never questioned, nor is
any effort made to validate it. It is simply taken to be an established
scientific fact, which it quite obviously is not.
So what do Ruppert and his resident experts have to say about
all of this? Dale Allen Pfeiffer, identified as the "FTW Contributing
Editor for Energy," has written: "There is some speculation that
oil is abiotic in origin -- generally asserting that oil is formed from
magma instead of an organic origin. These ideas are really groundless."
Here is a question that I have for both Mr. Ruppert and Mr.
Pfeiffer: Do you consider it honest, responsible journalism to dismiss a
fifty year body of multi-disciplinary scientific research, conducted by
hundreds of the world's most gifted scientists, as "some speculation"?
Another of FTW's prognosticators, Colin Campbell, is described
by Ruppert as "perhaps the world's foremost expert on oil." He
was asked by Ruppert, in an interview, "what would you say to the people
who insist that oil is created from magma ...?" Before we get to Campbell's
answer, we should first take note of the tone of Ruppert's question. It
is not really meant as a question at all, but rather as a statement, as
in "there is really nothing you can say that will satisfy these nutcases
who insist on bringing up these loony theories." (http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/102302_campbell.html)
Campbell's response to the question was an interesting one:
"No one in the industry gives the slightest credence to these theories."
Why, one wonders, did Mr. Campbell choose to answer the question on behalf
of the petroleum industry? And does it come as a surprise to anyone that
the petroleum industry doesn't want to acknowledge abiotic theories of petroleum
origins? Should we have instead expected something along these
"Hey, everybody ... uhhh ... you know how we always talked
about oil being a fossil fuel? And ... uhmm ... you know how the entire
profit structure of our little industry here is built upon the presumption
that oil is a non-renewable, and therefore very valuable, resource*? And
remember all those times we talked about shortages so that we could gouge
you at the pumps? Well ... guess what, America? You've been Punk'd!"
For the sake of accuracy, I think we need to modify Mr. Campbell's
response, because it should probably read: no one in the petroleum industry
will publicly admit giving any credence to abiotic theories. But is there
really any doubt that those who own and control the oil industry are well
aware of the true origins of oil? How could they not be?
Surely there must be a reason why there appears to be so little
interest in understanding the nature and origins of such a valuable, and
allegedly vanishing, resource. And that reason can only be that the answers
are already known. The objective, of course, is to ensure that the rest
of us don't find those answers. Why else would we be encouraged, for decades,
to cling tenaciously to a scientific theory that can't begin to explain
the available scientific evidence? And why else would a half-century of
research never see the light of day in Western scientific and academic circles?
Maintaining the myth of scarcity, you see, is all important.
Without it, the house of cards comes tumbling down. And yet, even while
striving to preserve that myth, the petroleum industry will continue to
provide the oil and gas needed to maintain a modern industrial infrastructure,
long past the time when we should have run out of oil. And needless to say,
the petroleum industry will also continue to reap the enormous profits that
come with the myth of scarcity.
How will that difficult balancing act be performed? That is
where, it appears, the 'limited hangout' concerning abiotic oil will come
Perhaps the most telling quote to emerge from all of this
came from Roger Sassen, identified as the deputy director of Resource Geosciences,
a research group out of Texas A&M University: "The potential that
inorganic hydrocarbons, especially methane and a few other gasses, might
exist at enormous depth in the crust is an idea that could use a little
more discussion. However, not from people who take theories to the point
of absurdity. This is an idea that needs to be looked into at some point
as we start running out of energy. But no one who is objective discusses
the issue at this time."
The key point there (aside from Sassen's malicious characterization
of Kenney) is his assertion that no one is discussing abiotic oil at this
time. And why is that? Because, you see, we first have to go through the
charade of pretending that the world has just about run out of 'conventional'
oil reserves, thus justifying massive price hikes, which will further pad
the already obscenely high profits of the oil industry. Only then will it
be fully acknowledged that there is, you know, that 'other' oil.
"We seem to have plum run out of that fossil fuel that
y'all liked so much, but if you want us to, we could probably find you some
mighty fine inorganic stuff. You probably won't even notice the difference.
The only reason that we didn't mention it before is that - and may God strike
me dead if I'm lying - it is a lot more work for us to get to it. So after
we charged you up the wazoo for the 'last' of the 'conventional' oil, we're
now gonna have to charge you even more for this really 'special' oil. And
with any luck at all, none of you will catch on that it's really the same
And that, dear readers, is how I see this little game playing
out. Will you be playing along?
A few final comments are in order here about 'Peak Oil' and the attacks
of September 11, 2001, which Ruppert has repeatedly claimed are closely
linked. In a recent posting, he bemoaned the fact that activists are willing
to "Do anything but accept the obvious reality that for the US government
to have facilitated and orchestrated the attacks of 9/11, something really,
really bad must be going on." That something really, really bad, of
course, is 'Peak Oil.'
To demonstrate the dubious nature of that statement, all one
need do is make a couple of quick substitutions, so that it reads: "for
the German government to have facilitated and orchestrated the attack on
the Reichstag, something really, really bad must have been going on."
Or, if you are the type that bristles at comparisons of Bush to Hitler,
try this one: "for the US government to have facilitated and orchestrated
the attack on the USS Maine, something really, really bad must have been
The reality is that the attacks of September 11, and the post-September
11 military ventures, cannot possibly be manifestations of 'Peak Oil' because
the entire concept of "Peak Oil' is meaningless if oil is not a finite
resource. I am not saying, however, that oil and gas were not key factors
behind the military occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. The distinction
that I am making is that it is not about need (case in point: there is certainly
nothing in Haiti that we need). It is, as always, about greed. Greed and
control -- control of the output of oil fields that will continue to yield
oil long after reserves should have
One final note, this one directed at Michael Ruppert: I of
course accept your challenge to participate in a public debate. However,
I fail to see any benefit in limiting the audience of that debate to a "mutually
acceptable panel of judges." I suggest we make this a truly public
debate, available to anyone who wants to follow along. The debate, in other
words, has already begun. Consider this my opening argument.
By the way, this isn't about 'winning,' and it isn't about
a 'purse.' It's about the free and open exchange of ideas and information.
It's about the pursuit of the truth, wherever that path may lead. And it's
about presenting all the available information to readers, so that each
of them can determine, for themselves, where that truth lies. To demonstrate
my commitment to those goals, I will gladly post, exactly as it is received,
any response/rebuttal to this missive that you should feel inclined to send
my way. I will leave it to my readers to decide who 'wins' this debate.
Will you be extending the same courtesy to your
* There is a close parallel here with the diamond industry.
It is a relatively open secret that the diamond market is an artificial
one, created by an illusion of scarcity actively cultivated by DeBeers,
which has monopolized the diamond industry for generations. As Ernest Oppenheimer
of DeBeers said, nearly a century ago, "Common sense tells us that
the only way to increase the value of diamonds is to make them scarce --
that is, reduce production." And that is exactly what the company has
done for decades now.
There are reportedly nearly one billion diamonds produced
every year, and that is only a fraction of what could be produced. Diamonds
are not, conventional wisdom to the contrary, a scarce resource, and they
are therefore not intrinsically valuable. Without the market manipulation,
experts estimate that the true value of diamonds would be roughly $30 per
Interestingly enough, Soviet researchers have noted that diamonds
are the result of the same processes that create petroleum: "Statistical
thermodynamic analysis has established clearly that hydrocarbon molecules
which comprise petroleum require very high pressures for their spontaneous
formation, comparable to the pressures required for the same of diamond.
In that sense, hydrocarbon molecules are the high-pressure polymorphs of
the reduced carbon system as is diamond of elemental carbon." (Emmanuil
B. Chekaliuk, 1968)
So what we appear to have here are two resources, both of
which are created in abundance by natural geothermal processes, and both
of which are marketed as scarce and valuable commodities, creating two industries
awash in obscene profits. [back]
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