Uh, What About This Crisis?

From Holden:

Why is our president spending so much time (and so much of our money) trying to convince Americans that the Social Security trust fund faces a HUGE FUCKING CRISIS which he claims will not begin to be a problem for another 12 years and his Social Security trustees claim will not become a HUGE FUCKING CRISIS for 36 years? Why does he seem unconcerned about another HUGE FUCKING CRISIS that one of his own advisors says our economy and those of all other developed nations will face in the next three years?

One of the world’s leading energy analysts yesterday called for an independent assessment of global oil reserves because he believed that Middle Eastern countries may have far less than officially stated and that oil prices could double to more than $100 a barrel within three years, triggering economic collapse.

Matthew Simmons, an adviser to President George Bush and chairman of the Wall Street energy investment company Simmons, said that “peak oil” – when global oil production rises to its highest point before declining irreversibly – was rapidly approaching even as demand was increasing.


The precise arrival of peak oil is hotly debated by academics and geologists, but analysts increasingly say that official US Geological Survey estimates that it will not happen for 35 years are over-optimistic.

According to the International Energy Agency, which collates data from all oil producing countries, peak oil will arrive “sometime between 2013 and 2037”, with production thereafter expected to decline by about 3% a year.


[O]ther oil analysts argued strongly that a major financial crisis could occur as soon as 2008. Chris Skrebowski, of the Energy Institute in London, which monitors all major oil discoveries and developments, said depletion of global conventional oil reserves was running at about 5% a year, according to Exxon figures.

“Norway, Venezuela, the UK and Indonesia and many others are all declining production. I expect Denmark, Malaysia, China, Mexico and Brunei to peak within three years…I estimate that we have, at best, 32 months before [the crisis] hits.

Mr Skrebowski predicted, using UK government figures, that production from the British sector of the North Sea would halve within 10 years. “We have a congenital bias to optimism…12 fields in the North Sea basin are seeing rising production, but they are mostly small. Overall, production peaked in 1999. It fell 10% last year and 8.5% the year before,” he said.


“The real issue is not the actual date of peak production – which I believe is next year – but what happens during the decline of production.

“I think we are in for an extended period of restricted economic activity. I do not think that we will adjust very smoothly,” [Colin Campbell, former vice-president of Fina and chief geologist of the oil giant Amoco] said.