Tuesday, April 11, 2006

End of the Oil Age or Why I'm Not Up to the Job

(Dada note: The title of this blog may be misleading. I just wanted to make it with all words of three letters or less in length.)

photo by Steve Ward

A Chevron oil tanker formerly named for our Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, was quoted on an NPR story this morning as saying, "Nothing has really taken me aback more as Secretary of State than the way that politics of energy is, I will use the word 'warping', diplomacy around the world."

Properly interpreted, one assumes Rice is referring to the tightening competition for diminishing oil supplies in the face of rising global demand. And what she probably finds so diplomatically 'warping' is this means the U.S. bombing the shit out of Iran in the months ahead will seriously impact global oil markets and may actually end up hurting the Bush administration as prices at the gas pumps continue to rise while world opinion of the U.S. continues to dramatically drop.

The oil tanker went on to say of her surprise re the politics of oil, " It has given extraordinary power to some states that are using that power in ah, not very good ways for the international system. States that would otherwise have very little power."

I think what Rice is saying here is, she resents little, otherwise "nothing," states like Venezuela from wielding so much power just because they happen to sit atop beaucoup stores of oil. And "not using that power in very good ways for the international system" means they're not using it in the best interests of the United States! How dare those arrogant little bastards place their own national interests ahead of our own, Rice says!

NPR went on to quote David Victor of the Council on Foreign Relations saying Russia (which sits on large supplies of oil) has also been emboldened by high energy prices which have allowed a much more activist policy in its region and on the world stage.

Jesus goddamned Christ! How freakin' audacious is that of the Russians? Victor made the point that back in the early nineties when oil was $10 or $12/barrel, Russia was actually in receivorship. It's ironic the difference a few years make. Now it would appear it's the U.S. on the verge of receivorship struggling for global domination in vain with wars it can't afford and an economy financed by unsustainable deficits being floated with borrowed money from creditors like Japan and China.

So it appears the U.S. is in an ever tightening vise between the jaws of nations with oil and nations needing more oil. Nations like China and India which Rice concedes is "really sending, ah, them into parts of the world where they've not been seen before and, ah, challenging for our diplomacy."

And so our Chevron oil tanker formerly known as Condoleezza Rice expresses how taken aback she is by the politics of energy--even more so then the "tactical errors, thousands of them" she confessed to regarding Iraq just 12 days ago.

Maybe Rice just isn't up to speed. Maybe she's not up to the job, although credit must be given for the admission of Iraq failures and her difficulties with the politics of energy.

But it was inevitable it would come to this. For the past third of a century we knew oil supplies would eventually dry up. Rather than choosing to do something about it, we chose to continue down our path of oil gluttony. Now the sows at the trough compete for the diminishing slop available. Sadly, the last thing one wants to hear from a very high ranking member of its government is this has "taken me aback" like she was born yesterday.

Quoting from Richard Heinberg's, The Party's Over, Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies:

"From a geostrategic point of view, an alliance between Russia, Europe, and perhaps China would be America's ultimate nightmare. But this is exactly what is emerging, and the US has only itself to blame."

What Rice and her bosses need to try to understand is the US is pursuing policies that are not in the nation's best interests but, rather, actually expediting its decline. Increasingly, pressure on nation states in the face of declining energy resources and those nations refusal to pursue policies that would lessen the total collapse of societies globally will render such states increasingly more meaningless as people rely more and more on local conditions and entities for their survival and well being. (That is, if policies of nations don't blow them into oblivion first.) What we don't need is leadership "taken aback" at the politics of energy that we've known were coming for more than 30 years but did nothing about.

Best everyone just 'hang in there' as events unfold. Oh, and try not to be too "taken aback."

28 comments:

enigma4ever said...

great post on the fuckedoilycondi situation...
and I love the car....

Anonymous said...

Yes, the oil pig is not up to the job. We can all go die, so she and HE can fly to UAE and get god to end it now for "bon". [Tre Bon?] D.K.

Anonymous said...

rats, I shoulda worked "war" in there somewhere, it's another good 3-letter word. I'm reading a Kurt Vonnegut right now where he refers to WWII as "mankind's second unsuccessful attempt to commit suicide." Can't wait to see how he nails WWIII. [OMG, he just said "somebody shoot me while I'm happy!"] D.K.

some_maineiac said...

holy shit, DK! Is it "Man Without a Country"? A new book by Vonnegut! Is it a collection of essays or a story?

Anonymous said...

maineiac, the Vonnegut I'm currently reading is "Timequake" which is a '97 book he wrote about another book he wrote that was never published. It helps to be familiar with his other work, even just "Breakfast of Champions" & maybe a little knowledge of his son Mark's story (which you would appreciate BTW). It's chock full of great Vonnegutisms, of course.

I haven't read Man without a Country yet (waiting for pprbck). The Guardian has some good excertps in an article from 1/21/06 called "Custodians of Chaos". Here's how I got to it:
http://books.guardian.co.uk/
extracts/story/0,,1691370,0.html

Print it for a quick read on your plane trip. Hope AZ is good to you! D.K.

Anonymous said...

Here's a truncated quote from that Guardian article "Geo W Bush has gathered around him upper-crust C-students ...[see list in actual quote] ... and most frighteningly, Psychopathic Personalities ... personable people who have no consciences." There's more good stuff about PP's, which dada would enjoy, in the article. D.K.

dada said...

D.K. thanks for the referral to that link. As I read that, I remembered reading of PP's sometime ago. So I looked and found it. It was by Vonnegut from 2003. But yours was more expansive.

You know, swear to god, I was writing something on these PP's, these whackjobs. But now that I've read Vonnegut's I've stopped. There's no way I could touch him speaking of the same thing.

Oh, in his treatise on PP's from '03, he was asked, "What targets would you consider fair game for a satirist today?

He just said, "Assholes."

God knows there's enough of those to go around right now.

Anonymous said...

Dada, I was hoping you'd enjoy Vonnegut's thoughts on PP's because you are inclined to also comment on those heartless pricks. Yes, few can touch Vonnegut's quick synthesis of our modern condition, but I have a feeling he or Kilgore Trout would enjoy "oddience" !!! D.K.

some_maineiac said...

go ahead and write just like you feel, dada! your style reads fine to me, your topics are always thought-provoking and you have an appreciative audience...you're not Vonnegut, so what? I'm a poor imitation of HST, myself, but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery...

tsk, tsk, DK, here's a link to teach you some rudimentary HTML skills, like how to post a link or bold or italic portions of your comments...
HTML tutorial

dada said...

Maineiac: Thanks for the kind words. It's nice to be appreciated, if only by a few on the fringe folks. (that's a compliment--obviously, if we had a nation of folks like the small "crowd" that frequents here, we sure as hell wouldn't be in the pickle we're in!).

But, hey, Maineiac--are you getting excited as me about this upcoming trip Saturday? Seriously, 'I'M' really looking forward to 'YOUR' trip!

Maybe you'll run into DK...I think she lives out west somewhere. Maybe you'll be on the Grand Canyon's south rim when you look across the chasm and see D.K. on the north rim! You can shout at one another. Or at least wave maybe. Or, the most out-of-context destroying image imagineable, you could talk to one another across that natural wonder on cell phones!

Anyway, this'll be a nice break for you at a great time of year in the GC state.

dada said...

Maineiac: Hey, I was gonna follow that HTML link sent for DK, but it doesn't seem to be hot.

(I was hoping it might teach me a little something also.)

dada said...

Hey Maineiac: You do a great impression of HST when you get rolling.

As an art student of some mediocrity, I found I was a far greater impressionist (ah, read that as "impersonator") of others than my own originalities.

Just know we appreciate those HST "moments" you sometimes lapse into.

some_maineiac said...

well, will you look at that bad link I posted...goes to show what I know...I think I forgot the "href="...try these...

how to post a link

how to format text

HTML tutorial

some_maineiac said...

hahaha, in reference to dada's readers, here's another movie teaser quote for ya, DK...

I had a small, deeply disturbed audience

Anonymous said...

Ok, maineiac, you'll HAVE to give me another clue cuz although I can practically hear the words in my head, I can't come up with the source!!! I even had my husband google it & told him NOT to give me the answer, just a clue, but he couldn't find it. That's how desperate I was not to cheat (jeez, maybe I should start writing copy for McClellan). So, in my mind, I'm hearing an author or performer answering questions about his life's work. Like what? Ed Wood, Bela Lugosi, Mel Brooks, Boris Karloff, Woody Allen, Dustin Hoffman playing Lenny Bruce, Kubrick revealing his followers of A Clockwork Orange (a favorite book & movie of mine, for the music & dark glimpse of a violent future), Debbie does Dallas ... what? Just one more clue, pleeeaaassse! D.K.

some_maineiac said...

DK, the words are spoken by a man describing his stint as a fictional radio psychologist

some_maineiac said...

my memory is a bit faulty...but thank god for google...the quote is actually

I had a small, deeply disturbed following

and the fictional radio psycholgist was on KSFO in San Francisco (I don't know if those are actual call letters or not)

Anonymous said...

Okaaaay! I thought I was going to have to hunt you down in AZ if you left without a further clue! So, William Hurt in Big Chill, right? I can picture him saying it to yoga-Meg Tilly, so it has to be him. Although for a brief second I thought about a Dan Akroyd movie where he escapes from the nuthouse & pretends to be a radio psychologist, but I think that was LA. I never know exactly where these trivial factoids are hiding in my head. Or as Vonnegut says in Timequake, looking back at most things he's done in life "How the hell did I do that?" Thanks for only driving partially nuts today, maineiac.

So, here's a probably too easy one for you "We all live, we all die, the trick is to have a life in between."
D.K.

dada said...

"I had a small, deeply disturbed audience"

Damn....it appears I'm too late, DK may have solved it! I was going to guess that was what I said this past Tuesday when thinking of commentors to this blog.

But now I see that probably was the wrong answer. But, god oh god, I'm wondering if I forgot to list The Big Chill in my profile as one of the 17 (no, make that 18 if I didn't) of my Top Ten All Time Favorite Movies. Thanks DK. I'm gonna go check right now and add it if I didn't.

Anonymous said...

I sure hope it's on your list, dada. There were so many memorable quotes from that movie, how did maineiac zero in on just that one? I loved all the characters, even Jeff Goldblum (maybe especially) who writes magazine articles "no longer than the average person can read during the average crap" ! Did you know that movie would have been Kevin Costner's first hit, if his role hadn't ended up on the cutting room floor? He was the corpse & the movie was supposed to have included flash-backs of him alive. Perhaps his acting was so wooden (even then), the editors wisely decided to just leave in his dead body being dressed (no head shot) & let the others talk over their memories of him. I love movies with lots of good dialogue (and the music in this one was a great added bonus).

maineiac, I think I messed up that movie quote (above), but you should get it anyway, so to make it more challenging, you should have to remember what the context was, who said it to whom & why. Prof D.K.

Anonymous said...

dada, since you enjoyed Big Chill, did you ever see "Peter's Friends"? Supposedly the English version of big chill. I think Rita Rudner is the only American. I always like Hugh Laurie & Stephen Fry & my husband has a thing for Emma Thompson. And speaking of English movies & Emma Thompson, both of us loved the sappy "Love, Actually" (esp the music). D.K.

some_maineiac said...

right on, DK!...I also thought the quote was spoken in a scene with Meg Tilly, but my google search turned up the complete dialogue of the movie and it turns out the words were spoken while "Nick" is interviewing himself on the couch...

I was hoping I wouldn't uncover an anti-Big Chill sentiment here...I love the movie (again relating to a character) and people I discuss it with sometimes write it off as being about "money-grubbing asshole yuppies"...and I'll buy the money-grubbing part (that's part of the beauty of the characterizations, 'cuz that's the american dream), but not the asshole yuppies part...the trick to not being a money-grubber, I suppose is not to have everything you want, but to want everything you have...

i'll have to think on that quote, DK, it's pretty easy to stump me...my first guess would have been Kevin Spacey in "American Beauty", but it doesn't fit in with the context hints you gave....

Anonymous said...

maineiac, I thought for sure you'd recognize it cuz you quoted a piece of it here before. This particular quote came from an earlier period in the protagonist's life, right about the time "Bonkie bit" him. If that doesn't jog your memory, think of a fatherless child. Sorry to make you think when you must be busy packing, etc. BTW, don't know about AZ, but we just got our first day in the 80's !! Finally, every window in the house can be opened & hopefully stay that way for a couple months, at least at night. Pack lots of Sunscreen & a boonie hat! D.K.

some_maineiac said...

OK, "Bonkie bit..." is a big hint...the movie would be "The World According to Garp" and the character most likely to say that would have been Jenny Fields (Glenn Close), but I can't place the context or to whom it was said, and my "cheat" movie web site doesn't have the dialogue...

i'm a guy, it doesn't take me long to pack...i'll do it Saturday AM...a change of socks and underwear for each day, some t-shirts, some flannel shirts and a pair of blue jeans, a couple of pairs of shorts, a pair of dress pants and a shirt, shoes, belt, hat, bandannas, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, shampoo, hairbrush and I'm done, right? wear a jacket and another hat on the way out? (but, I cheat, sis is providing/borrowing most of the camping stuff)

and we are so far off the topic of this post, it's not funny, but I hope dada's getting his groove back and is still up to the job...

dada said...

Hey guys. I'm enjoying your 'movie quizzes' and confess, I've never heard of any of these. But I'm glad The Big Chill came up because I checked my favorites list and it wasn't there (It is now--thanx!)

DK, when I mentioned to the wife your husband has a thing for Emma Thompson, she said, "Oh that really makes me like him!" I have no idea what that means because, sadly, I don't know who Emma Thompson is either. (I've heard her name before.)

I guess I'm just extremely impressed with your memories for lines from these movies.

DK, thanks for the British version of The Big Chill, Peter's Friends. Is it just us, or are the English versions better? Or are we anglophiles? I'll add it to the list.

And Maineiac, "Goody" commented somewhere else on the blog "for someone that thinks he's lost his groove, your blog has been spot on lately."

I think I'll be able to write at least one more as a result. [grin]

Anonymous said...

yes!!! Bonkie bit Garp (then later Garp bit Bonkie). The context was when Jenny Fields' father (or mother, I forget) died & she & garp were sitting on the steps of that great old new england seaside family home. Garp wonders what's the use of doing anything since we're all gonna die. And his practical mom has to explain in a practical way to a little kid. You put it together just from Bonkie! That dog must have made an impression on you. In the book, the dog's family was much more odious (well, except Cushie, of course).

what an organized list you have! I'm envious. Don't forget sunscreen. we'll miss you! D.K.

Anonymous said...

dada, we could probably really raise your wife's estimation of my husband if I revealed his loyalty to & admiration of her goes so deep, he now hates her ex-husband Kenneth Brannagh. Says he'll never forgive him for breaking her heart. Now that's real life, so possibly understandable. But get this, in the "Love, Actually" movie I mentioned, Alan Rickman's character comports himself badly with Emma Thompson's character, and now my husband says he no longer cares for Alan Rickman! What loyalty! Maybe you'll agree if you see one of her movies. I loved her in "Much Ado about Nothing" & identified strongly with her character (it helps if you like Shakespeare). D.K.

dada said...

D.K. Well, you were absolutely right. When I related your husband's fixation on Emma, he only gained MORE of my wife's admiration.

But then, what my wife revealed to me next only garnered even MORE esteem for your husband. See? She reminded me I'd seen that movie and how much I hated that bastard Alan Rickman for the way he treated poor Emma. OMG! Way to go, Mr. D.K.!