The Freedom of Knowledge, The Power of Thought ©

Dave McGowan Newsletter #53

The 'Peak Oil' Team Sends in a Second Stringer!

By Dave McGowan <>
March 16, 2004

[I have to apologize to my readers in advance for the level to which this 'debate' seems to have suddenly sunk. Unfortunately, the tone of the debate is largely set by the tone of the 'rebuttals' that I receive from Team 'Peak Oil.' And I did pledge that I would post, and respond to, any rebuttals/responses that I received, so I am duty bound to post this one. Sadly, it looks as though the tone isn't likely to improve; even as I prepare to send this posting out, I have a pompous, bombastic, arrogant, bullying, accusatory response sitting in my in-box from Michael Ruppert himself. It's probably best to put the kids to bed, because this could get ugly.]

I was a little worried that those in the Ruppert camp would be smart enough to not respond to my last newsletter. Those worries were quickly put to rest, however, as it took less than 24 hours for me to receive an ill considered, vitriolic response -- although not from Ruppert, but from his friend, colleague and defender, Larry Chin.

I don't really know much about Larry Chin. I know that he writes for Online Journal, but I can't recall reading anything in particular that he has written. So I have little on which to base my opinion of Chin, other than his insult-laden response. And based on that, I have to wonder if Larry might be a little unstable. I also have to wonder why it is that these people get so pissed off when someone questions their beloved 'Peak Oil' theory.

Tell me, Larry, if what you are selling is good coin, then why do you get so defensive when someone questions it? I mean, did I get my panties in a wad and fire off hostile e-mails when your good buddy, Mike Ruppert, declared much of my work (and the work of many other writers/researchers) to be tantamount to "rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic"?

Of course I didn't. But you, Larry, just couldn't stop yourself from hitting that 'Send' button, could you? It's okay, you know, if you compose an angry, childish attack. That can be very therapeutic. But the thing is, Larry, you don't want to actually send it. Because then, you see, it could end up in one of these newsletters, and you could very well end up looking like a complete ass. And nobody really wants to see that happen.

I realize that that advice comes a little too late to help you out of your current predicament, but it might be something to think about in the future.

And now, without further ado, let's get to Mr. Chin's letter, which is a rather lengthy affair. It is reproduced here in its entirety, exactly as it was received, except that it will be presented piece by piece, so that I can respond to all the inaccuracies, lies, evasions, misrepresentations, and personal attacks. Chin's words will appear in blue.

While I have found some of your editorials over the years interesting, your long-winded attacks against Peak Oil researchers and advocates (of which Mike Ruppert, whom I consider a respected colleague and friend, is merely one) are, so far, quite unconvincing.
You have neither killed the messenger nor the message, while avoiding the substance.

I've got to say, Larry, that we're not off to a very good start here. First of all, I have only written one long-winded attack (not attacks) on the 'Peak Oil' theory. And if you think about it, it kind of had to be a little long-winded, because when you are questioning decades of conventional wisdom, you have to be as thorough as possible. If I had just written "Peak Oil is bullshit because oil is not a fossil fuel. The end," then people might not have found that to be a compelling argument.

I am not really sure how you have drawn the conclusion that I avoided "the substance." What exactly do you consider to be "the substance"? Since you didn't get it the first time around, let me briefly review my argument: 'Peak Oil' theories are based on the underlying premise that oil is a non-renewable 'fossil fuel,' and yet those same 'Peak Oil' theories do not bother to establish that that premise is true. Therefore, any conclusions drawn from that premise are meaningless. That, my friend, is the substance.

I think your confusion arises from the fact that you are not used to challenges of this nature. You were probably expecting some kind of false debate about 'known reserves' and 'recoverable reserves,' and all that stuff you guys like to talk about. But this is a much more fundamental challenge. This is a challenge to the validity of the underlying 'fossil fuel' hypothesis. So what you have to do in response, Larry, is demonstrate that the theory that provides the foundation of your 'Peak Oil' theory is valid.

Sorry, but that is how it works. I don't make the rules. By the way, did you happen to read the part of my "long-winded attack" where I explained that I had never said that Ruppert was the only one promoting 'Peak Oil'? I was just wondering, since you seem to have felt it important to point that out to me, as though I had misrepresented that fact.

You and others on the same bandwagon have strained to deny the fact of energy depletion, while insisting on a conspiracy theory that it is a long-planned psy-op that the Peak Oil researchers and advocates are either ignorantly, intentionally or unwittingly using to facilitate imperial war. You continue to insult the intelligence of a great number of individuals who possess far more expertise on energy and covert operations than I believe you have.

I have to tell you, Larry, that as bandwagons go, this one really sucks. I'm looking around and all I see are a lot of empty seats. The truth is that if you really are a regular reader of these newsletters, then you know that I am not really a bandwagon kind of guy. I do not toe any party line and I do not pander to any audience demographics. I call things exactly as I see them.

I have noticed that whenever anyone questions what you folks are selling, you try to cast them as part of some organized conspiracy to discredit virtuous people such as yourself. Is that the standard first line of defense for your people, employed to avoid discussion of the actual issues? Here is the problem, in this case, with that strategy: I am not affiliated in any way with any other researchers, writers, websites, discussion groups, activist groups, or any other groups with which you would like to lump me. I am just a guy with opinions, and a website that allows me to voice those opinions. And I happen to have, much to your consternation, independently drawn the conclusion that you are peddling bullshit. So here is my suggestion to you: try actually dealing with the substance of my critique, rather than trying to cast me as something that I am not.

As for "insult[ing] the intelligence of a great number of individuals" by challenging a theory, I guess by your rules there would never be any advancement of the sciences, since no one would want to insult anyone's intelligence by challenging the prevailing orthodoxy. By the way, while we are on this subject, I should mention that you have thoughtfully included in your little rant a number of examples of how to insult someone's intelligence. We will keep a tally of those as we go along.

You are right about one thing though, Larry: there are a lot of people, many of them in your camp, with far more expertise in covert operations than I -- if you catch my drift.

Nowhere have you directly addressed the actual facts, nor have you delved directly into the key sources cited in From The Wilderness by Ruppert, and Dale Allen Pfeiffer, who is a geologist.

Oh, wow. You say he's a real geologist? With, like, a degree and everything? I had no idea. My bad. You win, I guess. But for the record, I did address "the actual facts," Larry. The actual fact that needs to be addressed, or rather the question that needs to be answered, is: what are the true origins of petroleum? That is the key question upon which everything else hinges, despite the best efforts of you and your compadres to shift the debate to other questions.

Peak Oil, and all that it involves, is a vast body of work that has been built over many decades. I dare say, that body of work is a mountain next to your cloud of dust.

Dare I say, once again, that that "vast body of work" means absolutely nothing if the core premise is invalid.

Have you actually studied enough of that work before doing your strut? Have you actually read and studied Richard Heinberg's book? Colin Campbell's work? Do you really know what you're talking about?

Well, I naturally have to balance my time between studying the literature and practicing my strut. It does take time to get it just right, you know, so I necessarily have to limit my reading time. Therefore, I generally stick to the non-fiction stuff.

By the way, did you just ask if I really know what I'm talking about? I think I'm going to have to count that as your first insult to my intelligence. It is not a clear cut case, I'll admit, but if we combine it with your earlier comment about my lack of "expertise," then I think we can count the two together as a first violation.

Your key premise questions the nature of oil itself. Unlike you, I am humble enough to admit that I am no scientist, and will defer to scientists who can argue more effectively.

You can correct me if I'm wrong, Larry, but what you appear to be saying is that you cannot defend the underlying premise that your theory is based on, so you simply duck the issue by deferring to some unnamed "scientists." And yet, strangely enough, you feel fully qualified to discuss theories that are directly derived from the theory that you are not qualified to discuss. I don't know, to be honest with you, if "humble" is really the right word to describe that. And by the way, I don't remember ever implying that I was a scientist.

But it's clear that you dismiss geology itself as fraud, work that has been subjected to decades of study and verification. You provide no proof of this conspiracy, no specifics, only a speculation, and what appears to be a very poor presentation of the geology that you are attacking.

Actually, Larry, I dismiss Western petroleum geology as a fraud, not the entire field of geology. There is a subtle difference there that you may not have picked up on. And since I provided a "very poor presentation of the geology" that I am attacking, here is a novel idea: why don't you, or one of your colleagues, prepare a proper presentation of the science? Since your theories are based on it, that might be a good thing to have posted on the website. It's called building an argument. You first establish your premise, and then you draw conclusions from it. You might want to look into that.

The only weapon in your pocket is an alternative geological theory that has been raised many times over the past few decade by others, and disproven just as many times. Again, I will leave it people with the scientific knowledge to show you how far off the mark you are.

Okay, I'll wait right here while you go get them .... .... .... still waiting, Larry .... .... .... are they coming or what? .... .... what's that? You say you don't actually have any specific scientists to refer me to? Oh. Okay. Well, thanks just the same.

For the record, the modern Russian-Ukrainian theory of deep, abiotic petroleum origins has not, contrary to your claim, been either raised or disproven. You see, Larry, we are not talking here about a large body of scientific research that has been reviewed and rejected. We are talking about a body of scientific research that has never been acknowledged. Did you miss that part the first time around?

What I can tell you with more certainty is that your characterizations of Ruppert and From The Wilderness are laughably ignorant, wildly wrong and quoted completely out of context. So far out of context that your characterizations are, as Ruppert says, borderline libelous. Clearly, you have a very poor grasp of the publication and Ruppert's work.

If you think my comments are libelous, then sue me. In the immortal words of George Kerry (or was it John Bush?), "bring it on"! And that "laughably ignorant" comment? That's number 2, Larry.

In response to your statements:
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? I am not a paid subscriber and can therefore not access the 'members only' postings. But I doubt that I am missing much.

If you had any inkling about Ruppert, his life and his views, you would not even ask this profoundly ignorant question.

Sorry to interrupt you, Larry, but that is number 3. Which is worse, by the way, "laughably ignorant" or "profoundly ignorant"? I'm just trying to settle a bet with the wife. Anyway, back to you ...

It does not help that you are not a subscriber who has not read many years of key material (the most exhaustive reports, the most important editorials). The message that FTW has published for years has been the most consistently and powerfully clarion call against war, imperialism and elite crime I have ever seen. This is explicit on the pages of FTW, and further reinforced emphatically in Ruppert's lectures, interviews and presentations. That you deny this speaks to your myopia.

I had no idea that FTW had all the "key material" locked away in the 'members only' vaults. Good thinking there, guys. You don't want that sort of information to get out to very many people. It's much better to keep that kind of stuff under lock and key. I don't know why I didn't think of that. By the way, what is a "consistently and powerfully clarion call"?

And nowhere is this more obvious than in his treatment of Peak Oil. FTW has issued a warning about the crisis itself, exposed and tracked the war architects, war beneficiaries, and their machinations, and repeatedly offered advice on preparation and alternatives. FTW has done no less than call for people to change the way they think and live, so that they are no longer the victims and facilitators of tyranny, oppression and elite crime.

Wow! What do you guys do with your afternoons?

In "The Background is Oil" by Dale Allen Pfeiffer (December 27, 2001), a critically important first piece that laid out the Peak case, and the geostrategy driving the unfolding war and global crisis, FTW's stance is clear:

"There are solutions, however, that do not necessitate the global dictatorship that is rapidly falling upon us all."

"People are being diverted from seeing that we have just enough energy resources left that we could build a true ectopian democracy where all of us could lead freer, healthier lives. We need bottom-up democracy. We need small-scale economies and small-scale technologies powered by renewable energy. We need smaller communities, structured to be self-sufficient, all tied together by high speed monorails. We need gardens and park in our cities instead of cars. We need social halls, not shopping malls. And we have enough energy remaining to do this, if we act now.

The oil elites, however, want to use our remaining energy resources to establish a security state where they can enjoy the remaining riches while the rest of us suffer, starve and slave for them. Yet they are not the ones pulling the triggers and enforcing the rules. We are. And that's what they fear the most. So tell me, what do you think we should let happen now?"

I'm sorry, could you repeat that? I wasn't really listening. I got distracted early on, when you noted that the "critically important first piece that laid out the Peak case" was posted just three-and-a-half months after September 11, 2001. After that, all I heard was some mumbo-jumbo about a completely unrealistic future society.

In fact, FTW is selling the necessity of opposing war and all of its pretexts. And this is just one passage from one article. The many, many articles on Peak that followed repeat the same themes. Coupled with the rest of FTW's work, one would have a extremely dim bulb to accuse Ruppert of being a warmonger, an agent, or any friend of the Bush administration, the oil companies, etc.

An "extremely dim bulb"? I hate to do it to you, Lar, but I'm going to have to ding you on that one. That's number 4. By the way, if you are going to accuse someone of being a "dim bulb," don't you think you should do it in a grammatically correct way? Just something to think about.

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.

Dave, your understanding of the message is utterly idiotic, nonexistent. In fact, FTW has done nothing but call for people to explicitly oppose the war, and fight against its proponents. FTW has documented and blown open the lies and the pretexts. That is what the publication is about.

"Utterly idiotic"? That's number 5, Larry. And for what it's worth, I personally think that if you are going to continue to resort to name calling, you really should just come right out and say what you want to say. No beating around the bush. If I were going to go that route (though of course I wouldn't), I might say something like: boy, that Larry Chin is a real fucking moron. Or maybe: Larry, you are one stupid son of a bitch. Or even: Larry Chin? Now that's one dumb motherfucker right there. Try it out on your own. You'll probably get the hang of it after a while.

By the way, you seem to have snipped and pasted my comment without including the quote from the FTW posting that I was commenting on. I am surprised, frankly, that you would do that, given your obvious concern for not taking things out of context. For the record, Larry, my interpretation of the quote appears to be accurate.

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. 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.

Peak Oil has not attained "sudden" prominence by any stretch, nor any "wholesale promotion" immediately following 9/11. In fact, there was a great deal of silence on the subject, save for a few courageous voices (Heinberg, Ruppert). The gradual acknowledgment of what I believe is an unavoidable reality, has been grudging at best. What has gradually seeped into the mainstream media, primarily in the past year, is merely vindication and corroboration; the culmination of years of hard work and advocacy done by courageous individuals of diverse backgrounds, and at times opposing political beliefs, to warn the public at large of a looming crisis that is, should be, larger than politics.

Wow! You guys are like real American heroes! I had no idea. I'm not sure though that I am buying your claim that the "Peak Oil' theory hasn't been thrust center stage since 9-11. Didn't we just establish that FTW first took up the issue just a few months after the attacks? And haven't we also established that a glut of books has hit the market in the last two years (mostly from decidedly mainstream publishers, by the way), the first one appearing just a few weeks post-September 11?

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?

No. FTW has continuously documented specific energy company activities, particularly as they have related directly to the geostrategic (war) policies of governments to which they are tied at the hip. FTW's team has shown very clear and convincing proof that recent troubles faced by energy companies is directly attributable to depletion, and they have the sources to support their case.

If that is a "no" to the first question, then I guess we agree on something. If it is a "no" to the second question, could you kindly explain how the pattern of mergers and acquisitions in the petroleum industry differs significantly from the pattern of mergers and acquisitions in any other industry? I need a little clarification on that.

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).

If you believe that current price hikes are not driven by shortage and depletion, prove it. Also, prove which shortages in the past were "feigned" or manufactured.

It sounds as if you are handing out a homework assignment, Larry. Do I have to show all my work, or can I just write down the answers?

You people are very good at issuing confrontational challenges, but you aren't so good at sticking to the issue at hand. As a reminder, the thing that primarily needs to be proven is the 'fossil fuel' theory. Because without that, you got nothing. I hate to beat a dead horse here, but that proof has to be the first plank of your argument. You can try to argue around it all you want, but we're really not going to make much progress here if you insist on doing that.

Contrary to the argument that appears on Ruppert's site, it is not need that is driving the oil industry, it is greed. 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. It is, as always, about greed.

The argument that FTW makes, in the most simplistic terms,

Thanks for keeping it simple for me, because, as we both know, I'm kind of a dim bulb.

is that Peak is an ultimately avoidable fact,

It is? How can we ultimately avoid what is, according to the 'fossil fuel' theory, inevitable? And haven't you guys been saying that "Peak" (I guess that is how you hipsters refer to it) is already here? Can you please make up your mind? It's hard to debate a moving target.

and that the oil industry is driven by both need and greed, among easily hundreds of other specific agendas, including the structural maintenance of the existing world economic system, and the very root of how business is conducted---kickbacks, favors, deals, blackmail, influence, etc.. These agendas are not mutually exclusive, except in the limited minds of some.

"Limited minds"? There you go again, Larry. That's number 6.

This crisis is an end result of societies and systems that are fueled by both need (supply and demand) and greed, and this will be the case, to the bitter end. It is this dynamic that FTW emphatically denounces.

Damn, Larry, you seem to have completely missed the point. "Need" in this case refers to that which is absolutely necessary for the survival of the human species (have you forgotten that your experts have claimed that the end of petroleum means the possible extinction of man?). The distinction here has nothing to do with supply and demand. The question is whether the oil companies are acting to secure the oil supplies without which life as we know it will cease to exist, or whether this is just business as usual.

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.' Even if that little factoid came from a more, uhmm, credible source, what would the significance be?

Here is where your ignorance, inaccuracy, and bias spill over.

That's number 7.

The piece itself is subheaded explicitly with the following: Was it just a writer's fantasy? Or did they know something... FTW takes a fun peek into a time when TV shows actually had plots.
Nowhere does Ruppert purport this "fun peek" as major proof of his case. Nowhere does Ruppert claim that the "Secret Agent" TV series proves that the CIA had knowledge of the onset of Peak Oil.

One question, Big Lar: do you actually bother to read my comments before you cut and paste them? Because, to be honest with you, it doesn't appear that you do. For example, did I say that Ruppert presents it as "major proof of his case," or did I merely say that it is "the most bizarre posting that Ruppert offers in support of his theory"? And did I say that Ruppert claims that it "proves" something, or did I say that he "ponders" whether it indicates something? In the future, you might look less deceitful if you don't reprint my words and then misrepresent them when they are right there on the page for everyone to see.

(In another article, Richard Heinberg documents that fact, based on declassified documents, that the CIA did have an interest in Peak Oil as far back as 1977. This piece is at and was reprinted in FTW.)

Thanks for that.

Ruppert himself has written, with a cocksure swagger, that "there are no more significant quantities of oil to be discovered anywhere." A rather bold statement, to say the least, considering that it would seem to be impossible for a mere mortal to know such a thing.

Once again, ignorance and a quote out of context. Ruppert's statement is supported by a wealth of documentation, based on region-by-region and country-by-country studies of oil supplies.

"Ignorance," Larry? What are we up to now -- number 8?

Can you explain to me, Larry, how exactly the quote is taken out of context? The claim that the quantity of oil yet to be discovered can be precisely quantified is repeated throughout FTW's 'Peak Oil' postings. I read it several times and I didn't even get to the really good stuff that you guys keep locked in the vault. Each time, the claim was presented as an absolute, unassailable fact. The figure given is either 149 or 150 billion barrels. That is what Ruppert has repeatedly claimed.

Tell us, Dave, if you believe Ruppert is mistaken, where there any more untapped supplies that years of exploration have not found. (In fact, tell ExxonMobil, and make millions for yourself.)

I would respond to that, but I can't really be sure that it is even a question. It kind of starts out as a question, but then it sort of drifts off into semi-incoherence.

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. Scary 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 remain strong for most of the contenders. 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.

Has it occurred to you that this is further corroboration that Peak Oil is real, and that you are wrong? And that maybe, just maybe, it is important enough a crisis that not even your insidious corporate media psy-ops and sinister secret societies can continue denying it?

First of all, I notice that you have taken two or more passages from my missive and spliced them together without giving any indication that you have done so. And this isn't the first time that you have done that; it's just the first time that I am calling you on it. Did you notice that when I quoted from other sources in my piece, I did not change up the order of the comments, and if I left something out, I indicated that through the use of ellipses ( ... )? That's really pretty standard stuff, Larry. Maybe you should check into it, especially if you are going to run around accusing other people of misusing quotes.

As for whether it occurred to me that the Times piece was further corroboration that 'Peak Oil' is real -- that was the very first thought that crossed my mind. In fact, I almost trashed the whole piece I was writing. Here I was sitting there thinking that I had put together a pretty good argument, and then the damn Times had to come along and screw everything up. Because I knew right then, the minute that I read it in the Times, that it had to be true. I even thought briefly about trying to hide the article from you guys, but I wasn't sure if I could pull that off.

As for my "insidious corporate media psy-ops and sinister secret societies" -- I have to honest with you here, Larry: I didn't even know that I had those things. Do you know where I keep them, by the way, because I've been looking all over and I can't seem to find them? I even looked under all the sofa cushions.

I really need to ask here, Larry, if you even know who you are talking to? Because it really doesn't seem as though you do. You aren't really familiar with my writings at all, are you, Larry? I don't think that you even know my full name, which is why you keep addressing me as "Dave," as if we were good buds.

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. 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.

I am quite sure that your "valid 'scientific' fact", which is a disputed theory, can be reduced to vapor, along with your poor representation of the other side. I will defer to a geologist.

Damnit, Larry, you're really starting to piss me off here! First of all, why are you putting quotation marks around a phrase that I didn't actually use? I have to be honest here, Larry: you really suck at this. And you have, once again, snipped out the context in which my comment was made. As we both know, I declared it to be "valid science" based on the explicit assertion of your mentor, Michael Ruppert, that peer review guarantees the validity of science, and based on the fact that the study was, as you also know, subjected to peer review. I know that it stings a little bit when someone is able to take your own words and turn them against you (actually Ruppert, in this case), but you're just going to have to grow up a little bit and learn to deal with it.

Worse yet, after misquoting me and taking my comments out of context, you then want to once again take the coward's way out by 'deferring' to your phantom geologist. How are we supposed to have any kind of a substantive debate when you refuse to defend the key points of your theory?

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"?

My question for you, Dave, is this: do you consider it honest, responsible journalism to dismiss a much larger body of scientific research, supported by and corroborated by even more scientists, as "speculation"?

You really seem to be having trouble understanding how this works, Larry. In order for you to be able to throw my words back in my face, I have to have actually uttered those words first. Mr. Pfeiffer, you see, actually used the words "some speculation" to dismiss a fifty year body of research. I did not. And did you miss where it was acknowledged that there are many unanswered questions in the West concerning petroleum and its origins? That means, Larry, that there are a lot of things that we do not know. And if there are a lot of things that we do not know, then the 'fossil fuel' theory is, by definition, speculative. Also, the fact that there are many unanswered questions should be kind of a tip-off to you that that large body of scientific research validating the 'fossil fuel' theory that you referred to probably doesn't actually exist.

Ruppert, Pfeiffer, Campbell, Heinberg, etc. have sourced their case. Where is your proof?

I thought that I mentioned that there were 4,000 studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Did you miss that part of the argument? You're really going to have to start paying attention, because I hate having to repeat myself.

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?

Dave, you really have stumbled off the wharf here,

Uh oh. That's not good. Why wasn't there a guardrail or something?

grasping at vapor,

More vapor? What is with all the vapor, Larry? I probably wouldn't have stumbled off the wharf if I could have seen where I was going.

straining to parse a simple couple of words into some sort of conspiracy theory.

Is that what I was doing? It didn't really feel like much of a strain. All I did was note that Campbell, when asked his personal opinion about abiotic petroleum origins, chose to frame his answer in terms of what the oil industry thinks of the theory. Isn't that, after all, what he did? And really, Larry, do you think it wise to toss the "conspiracy theory" label around as a pejorative term? I have noticed that you like to do that, and it seems to me as though you are skating on pretty thin ice. I mean, don't you guys promote, for example, the idea that the CIA runs the global drug trade? And haven't you questioned whether Paul Wellstone was assassinated? I'm not saying that such claims are not valid, but can you really be unaware of the fact that the vast majority of people consider those to be "conspiracy theories"? Is this a "my conspiracy theory is better than your conspiracy theory" kind of thing?

Campbell meant what he said: people in the oil industry, who have spent their lives with oil, do not support the theory.

And I meant what I said: people in the oil industry have a very obvious vested interest in pretending that they don't support the theory.

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 lines?:

If there is a conspiracy, prove it.

You people are really big on issuing confrontational challenges. You also seem to have an obsession with questioning my intelligence. So I have devised a little challenge for you, if you think that you are up to it: supervised IQ tests for you and me. I will match any amount of money that you want to put up for a purse. Winner take all. And just to show you that I am willing to be a sport about this, I will even spot you 10 or 20 IQ points.

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.

That is "Dave's version". Nothing more.

This is perhaps your most brilliant insight yet, Larry! Let me clue you in to a couple of other things that you may not have noticed: it is Dave's website (the www.davesweb thing is kind of a giveaway) and Dave's newsletter, in which Dave expresses Dave's opinions. See how that works, Larry?

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.

Please tell us, Dave. You seem to have all the answers, on all the conspiracy theories.

What I have, Larry, is a comprehensive view of the world -- one that serves me rather well. You can agree with it or disagree with it. Either is fine with me.

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.

And if you fail to disprove this, Dave, you have no leg to stand on.

Let's see now ... if I "fail to disprove" ... that's one of those double negatives, isn't it? I hate those things, Larry. But fortunately for me, I don't have to try to figure out what this one means, because, as it turns out, it isn't really up to me to disprove anything. You are the one that wants to use the 'fossil fuel' theory to build an argument. It is up to you, therefore, to establish that foundation before you build upon it. But what your team wants to do is to just declare that foundation to be solid, without supplying any verification, and then aggressively shout down anyone who challenges your argument. That, you see, is the problem here.

On the other hand, what if oil is finite. Then what?

Come on, Larry, did you really read my posting? Is there a literacy problem here we should know about? Why are you wasting my time asking questions that I already answered in the rant that you are responding to?

Greed and control -- control of the output of oil fields that will continue to yield oil long after reserves should have run dry.

Virtually every article published by FTW emphasizes this exact point.

Well, I can see that you guys have everything under control. My work is done.

(case in point: there is certainly nothing in Haiti that we need)

A spectacular crash and burn on your part, Dave. Do you have no inkling about the oil and gas reserves of Latin America, the importance of narcotics to the world economy, and Haiti's critical geostrategic value (proven repeatedly throughout history) to both of the above?

A spectacular failure to understand the point I was making, Larry. A "need" is very different from a "want." I repeat: there is nothing that we need (to sustain human life) in Haiti. I am well aware that there is much that we want.

By the way, Larry, when you're done lecturing me about history, you might want to spend a little time over at my website. Try clicking on the link labeled "Books by the Host." Then you can not only find out my full name, you can have a peek at the books I have written. One of them covers twentieth century American history. There is even stuff in there about Haiti.

The problem here seems to be that you have a tendency to shoot from the hip, firing off accusations and drawing conclusions without really knowing what you are talking about. I cannot emphasize enough that doing that will dramatically increase the likelihood that you are going to come off looking like a real asshole. I am trying to look out for you, Larry, but you are making it rather difficult.

Do you know nothing about Venezuela?

Didn't he used to pitch for the Dodgers?

Have you been so asleep at the wheel that you have not kept up with the specifics of the Aristide kidnapping, the Bush administration's direct involvement in the coup, the CIA backgrounds of the death squad members who have taken the country? Take some time and go to or

Holy cow! When did all that happen? Thanks for the tip, Larry. I had no idea. Luckily, one of us is really smart and really knowledgeable about such things.

It's kind of hard for me to believe, quite frankly, that you completely missed the point of my mention of Haiti. But that appears to be the case, so let me spell it out for you: my point was that not all U.S. military ventures are driven solely by oil concerns. Implicit is the acknowledgment that the coup in Haiti was U.S. engineered; otherwise, why would I have even brought it up?

By the way, Larry, while you are visiting my site, you might try actually reading some of my past newsletters. You might find that I have covered the events in Venezuela a number of times in the past couple of years. Sometimes I even provide links to postings on In fact, the last time I checked, there was a permanent link to on my Links page.

Did you notice that I actually read through some of the postings on From the Wilderness, so that I could quote from them and critique them? That's kind of what you have to do if you want to critique my opinions on other topics. Because if you just start firing away without even bothering to read a single word that I have written on any given issue, then, to repeat once again, there is a very real possibility that you will end up looking like an enormous asshole.

Then tell us how unimportant Haiti is.

It is amazing how much mileage you are trying to get out of one little parenthetical comment that you obviously didn't even begin to understand. One final time: I never said that Haiti was unimportant in terms of what U.S. elites want. I don't know why you can't seem to grasp the distinction.

To sum up, over and above your obvious bias, your case is extremely flimsy. I suggest you do even more homework, instead of issuing sweeping pronouncements and misusing the Internet to smear the reputations of well-intentioned and courageous advocates.

That's it? You're done? And you're calling my case flimsy? You haven't even presented a case, Larry. Nor have you rebutted a single compelling element of my case. You did not mention nor respond to a single one of the sources that are quoted at length in my posting. Not one, Larry. You did not mention, nor attempt to explain, any of the recurring phenomena that contradict the foundation of your theory. And you have admitted several times that you cannot defend the underlying premise of your theory (although you claim that mysterious, unnamed scientists can).

Frankly, Larry, I was hoping for a little something more from you. This isn't really the level of debate that I had in mind.

One last thing, Larry: I have let you slide on a number of comments in your rant, but you have stepped way over the line by accusing me of "misusing the Internet to smear the reputations of well-intentioned and courageous advocates." Who are you to accuse me of "misusing the Internet"? As a matter of fact, who are you to accuse anyone of "misusing the Internet"? Where do you get the idea that you have a right to police the Internet? And what exactly is "misusing the Internet," Larry? Is it using the Internet to post opinions that challenge your own? Is that what it is, Larry? Are you a closet fascist, Larry? And who are you to claim that my purpose is to "smear the reputations of well-intentioned and courageous advocates," as if I am not a well intentioned advocate myself? You don't have a clue who I am or what work I have done. And frankly, you are not worth any more of my time.

Dave McGowan

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All information posted on this web site is the opinion of the author and is provided for educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as medical advice. Only a licensed medical doctor can legally offer medical advice in the United States. Consult the healer of your choice for medical care and advice.