One person's thoughts may change the world
Oil is now down to lows not seen in a while, hovering above and below that 50 dollar a barrel line. Economists, Wall Street analysts, and other weigh in on the benefits and the economic uncertainly of “cheap oil”. Well, let’s look at some recent history, and wonder, we could be living in a transition stage of human history.
First, look at our population. When I was born or at least when I was growing up, I lived in a world of 4 billion people, with China having 1/4th of the world’s population of 1 billion people. Now that has not changed much, but there have been huge population growths in India, Indonesia, and soon to be Africa. Africa by the way, if you don’t know this, is overdue for a population explosion. Population has been guided by the ability of humanity to feed people, get access to water, disease, drought, ice ages, war, but the true explosion has been in feeding people. Humans, and their global way of doing agriculture, and helped cause a population explosion. But the use of oil was another matter. China was partially a back water back then. Even though it had many people, they live in rural communities, mostly living on the subsistence of what they could grow. The luxuries of modern societies were not common (roads, bridges, dams, infrastructure, factories), and it was not an economic powerhouse yet. The transformation of China in the last 30 years has been amazing. And along with it, the more consumption of oil.
War, for the most part in the 20th century, has had a large effect on population growth, but only for a brief moment. Both times after to large global wars at a very large cost of human treasure, populations bounced back. After WWI, even the influenza pandemic, which killed anywhere from 50 to 100 million people, could not effect a large enough toll on populations (3 to 5 percent) to cause a significant dip in humans continuing to propagate throughout the world.
Oil did its part to help fuel this growth throughout the 20th century. Through mechanized farming techniques, conversion of shipping from coal to oil driven diesel engines, diesel electric trains, fertilizer, industrial capacity, housing, plastics, synthetics, and a slew of other products, goods, services, and engineering marvels that have help fuel the human growth in population in the 20th century. Even before and during WWI, the scourge of began. Britain, the largest land owner and economic power, wanted to maintain that. It slowly began to chip away at the Ottoman Empire. It occupied Egypt, this getting control of the Suez Canal in order to maintain their shipping lanes for their connection to the Middle East and to their jewel of India. Germany and Britain knew of vast oil reserves in Iraq (or the country that was created into Iraq), with Germany building a rail line that span the European continent, all the way to Baghdad.
Then there was that monumental blunder, that ill-fated meeting between FDR and king Saud of Arabia on February 14th, 1945. Now the king showed up with a huge entourage, including a royal astrologer and a flock of sheep for his meals. The meeting showed FDR as a great listener and open to mutual understanding of King Saud, whereas a subsequent meeting with Churchill and Saud did not go over very well. Churchill came off and arrogant as disrespectful, being raise in the British monarchy when they were seen as the great power of the world. Churchill never learned his place in a post emasculated British world at the end of WWII. Saud already had an agreement with the Americans to develop oil, but the U.S. also wanted more control of its future oil appetite and they wanted it in the form of Iran. Iran was to further “Big Oil” and the US agenda by upending a sovereign nation’s ruler in the 1953 Iranian coup d’état sponsored by the British and the CIA, overthrowing a democratically elected prime minister and helped install the Shah of Iran. The Shah would be one of the first sponsored proxy cold war candidates, allowing the US keep a watchful eye on the southern Soviet Border with Iran, and secure Iranian oil contracts. When the Shah was overturned in 1979, oil prices shot up, the US was thrown into a recession, and Big Oil began to loosen its grip on the middle east as the wealth of those countries grew, and they began to understand they were getting a raw deal from the original oil contracts they signed, oil’s scourge began to show its ugly head. The CIA and the greed of big Oil blundered. They got rid of the last democratically elected government in Iran, which was only asking for a fair share of their oil profits. Greedy bastards….
Fast forward to “now”, with oil prices dipping to unprecedented lows, the veil of the age of oil may be losing its grip to cover the voluptuous woman underneath. She’s been feeding herself for years with nothing but the best and the gaudy, but now the veil will reveal a woman who’s been not taking care of herself so well. Giving her people money to keep them subordinate. Spreading a false version of Islam. Funding terrorism. Sexy women don’t want to kill you, they want you to be a zombie and due her bidding, drain your blood, keep you sickly. The true tipping point is the 200 mile range per charge for future vehicles, which has come to age. GM, Ford, Chrysler, BMW, Volkswagen, Tesla, Volvo, Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, and a host of other manufactures are engineering cars that will decrease the need for oil, and help fuel a new growth in our society, but, it will come with great pain.
You see, the new age robber barons; hedge funds, institutional investors, and the very large and lucrative oil companies, don’t want to see this happen, not yet. But, because of the world they have set up is moving a whole lot faster than ever before, they won’t have time to react, and the result will be an age of conflict for what may be for another 100 years, as they squeeze out the last of the oil, or “cheap oil” out of the planet. You see high oil prices, whether artificial or real forces you to make moves you would not make: form alliances and back unstable leaders of countries, drill for oil using the fracking method, seek better fuel efficiency, etc.
I say 100 years because, it may get ugly before getting true freedom from it. Iran has complained that Saudi Arabia will pay of heavy price of driving oil prices down. The oil oligopoly of Russia is feeling the pain of “cheap oil”, and along with sanctions for their land grab in the western Ukraine. Iraq is a mess, and will get worse because of “cheap oil”. Nigeria, which still has a lot of corruption, but is getting better, is also under pressure, along with Venezuela. The fear of India and China moving into mature markets and driving cars will be mitigated with the advent of better fuel efficient cars. These countries will be able to use there resource for other things besides buying oil, and waging war to protect where and how you get it.
What we are going to find out is, oil has grown to be the great Satan. It is the next great plague. It’s the woman or man you keep going back to when you know they are no good for you. Oil, has fueled almost every war in the latter half of the 20th century. Oil, mixed with the undercurrent of religious and political ideologies, is cancer on steroids. Even the old proxy wars were not just ideology based, but based upon shipping for oil. When the U.S. and the U.S.S.R battled for control of Somalia through proxy, it was really for control of the gulf of Aden, which led to the choke point of the Red sea, which was a great place to put Russian anti-ship missiles of the day, to choke off the west of oil tankers going to the Mediterranean if a direct confrontation of the U.S. and U.S.S.R surfaced. Now, Somalia is a mess with both proxy supporters pulled out and its fishery’s depleted by the Chinese/South Koreans. No wonder they resorted to hijacking oil ships.
So, the Saudi’s will no longer be able subsidize people in their country with money. Neither will the Russians, neither will the Iranians. This will create huge unrest in some of these area. Ethnic alliances and inequities will resurface. People may get angry and protest. What will happen? Who knows, but, oil will not be the answer anymore. Holding back or reducing the amount of oil on the market won’t solve your problems. The world is getting smarter, and although the use of oil will not go away, it may be reduced in the amount used throughout the world. So pumping more oil will not solve your problem, it only exasperates it. The price is now truly being controlled by market value, and not artificially trying to prop up unsustainable. So before, anything could cause a price jump in oil, now, it triggers no response. Iraq, which is now in the midst of a civil war, is producing a record amount of oil to the market, which war in their country is of little consequence. We are talking the 3rd ranked producer of oil.
“Even if the oil price goes down to $25 a barrel, the oil industry will not be threatened,” the Fars news agency quoted Zanganeh as saying. See, the oil industry is making so much money that it can be reduced to 25 dollar a barrel.
Oil once pushed mankind to new heights, but it now limits our possibilities. We are now a more advanced people and we can see past the black sludge of oil and all of the scum it creates. We are on the verge of creating new forms of energy, which will push our understanding past being slaves of commodities that never last. We graduated from being guided strictly by religion and learned democratic values to free our minds of understanding. Religion still has its place, but not to guide government. Hopefully, our quest to further our technology will continue to loosen the grip of oil. It had its run.
Unfortunately my dear friends, it’s going to take 100 years of blood and guts to get through it….