Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Other Energy Speech: James Woolsey at NYU

Jenna Orkin

Now that Truthout has published Al Gore's speech yesterday at NYU, let's not overlook his opening act, former CIA Director James Woolsey.

Having learned from Reagan that the American people are suckers for one-liners, Woolsey started with several self-deprecating jokes to 'warm up the audience' as it's called in the game-show world.

Then he got down to business. "Wiping the smile off his face," as your mother used to say, he sounded like Will Ferrell impersonating a certain tough-talking, down-home-wannabe President.

The recent attacks in Yemen were conducted by Al Qaeda which also attacked the Abqaiq facility in Saudi Arabia. The sulphur clearing towers, through which 6-7 million barrels pass per day, are vulnerable if they're merely 'within mortar range.' The Saudis were able to fend off the attack on their facility. But with 6-7 million b.p.d. off-line we would be up to $200 p.b. oil.

Saudi Arabia earns 160 billion p.a., a good portion of which goes to Wahhabis who are 'equivalent to' Al Qaeda as the Trotskyites were to the Stalinists - [Commies, terrorists, what's the difference?] - except that they differ on who should be in charge. They are against apostates, homosexuals and Jews. (NYU, where Woolsey was speaking, is in Greenwich Village, a gay Mecca within New York City which is a Jewish Mecca. Woolsey knew his audience: If he'd tossed out a baseball, chances are it would have been fumbled by one of the above.) The Wahhabis use this income for madrassas to spread their dubious philosophy. So in this war against terrorism we pay for both sides.

The solution, according to Woolsey, lies in ethanol.

Debt is the number 1 problem in developing countries whose chief industry is agriculture; if something is to be done about it, then something must be done about the price of oil.

The U.S. will borrow $320 billion this year just to import oil. Replacing a quarter of that with ethanol doubles farm income. Thus ethanol is the answer to the prayers of a number of factions across the political spectrum from environmentalists to businesspeople to a coalition of 85 evangelicals who recently held a press conference on climate change.

Segueing into his history with Al Gore, Woolsey said that several decades ago, he was summoned by a 'young Congressman' to explain Code 50, computerized war games with the Soviets so as to figure out how to design U.S. forces. The young Congressman asked Woolsey, who had worked at the Pentagon, what the underlying assumptions of the Code were. Woolsey knew he was dealing with a different sort of Congressman.

So, he concluded his introduction, in the ethanol solution the United States is seeing "a growing coalition of evangelicals, venture capitalists, do-gooders, tree-huggers, sod-busters and Al Gore."

There was no question period; hence no opportunity to point out that oil at its height offered an 'energy returned on energy invested' (EROEI) of 30:1. The EROEI of ethanol is barely above one. Like all the other apparent panaceas to the energy/imminent economic crisis, this one dissolves upon closer inspection. The Powers That Be are looking for alternative means to old ends; they are not acknowledging that it is the ends themselves which will have to change.


Rice Farmer said...

Ethanol! These guys paint a rosy picture of a country covered with corn fields, ethanol plants, windfarms, solar arrays... and a huge fleet of "flex-fuel" cars.

Howlin_Dog said...

Sorry this is off subject & related to about 4 posts ago but probably worth getting out.

rice_farmer, getoned, shorebreak:
A whole list of others that think like you about the constitution... check out this blog


Shorebreak said...

Thanks for the link, Howlin'.

The first time i came to the conclusion that we live in a fascist state was a couple of decades ago.

I was sitting on a high school step and killing time by thumbing through a dictionary that I was holding. I happened to open up to "fascism" and as I read it, kids parents were arriving to pick them up, many wearing officer uniforms or moms driving cars with officer stickers on the windshields or bumpers.

It became immediately clear that we live in a country whose media promotes the military, whose government and tax dollars spend the lions share on military programs, whose heavy industry is geared towards creating and supporting the military, and whose "elected" officials are constantly concerned about how they're gonna put that military to use.

I re-read the definition several times and saw nothing about totalitarionism, jackboots, or midnight raids on citizens.

In simplest terms, it's a nation whose corporate dominated government uses propaganda to generate popular support for the expansion and utilization of a powerful military.

We've been there since 1941.

Pandabonium said...

I had trouble copying the URL howlin' dog provided as it is long, so here is that webpage as a link:
Fascism, American Style

I agree with shorebreak that the US has been there for some time. But for most it was a comfortable life and so easy to ignore. Now it is becoming overtly intrusive on a personal level and a lot things are making people uncomfortable and they are confused because reality does not reflect their dellusions.

For a time I thought people would act once they became uncomfortable enough, but now I think most people won't wake up until it is far too late, or worse, will just go deeper into their deluded state.

Pandabonium said...

How come Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, et all didn't celebrate "talk like a pirate day"?

Arrr, yer oil or yer life ye scurvy dogs!

Howlin_Dog said...

Thanks pandabonium --- I would have done that myself but I was not at a place or time where I could do it. Heck, if I keep this stuff up I will reach "peak employment" soon!

All one has to do to understand our political system is to drink a beer, sit in front of the TV, and watch professional wrestling. It works exactly the same way except maybe a little cruder. Two groups of people yell at each other, call each other bad names, and then partcipate in a fixed fight. Later, they split the money from the taxpayers... I mean audience. Next, they try to sucker people into believing the next "fight" will be different.

Also, just like professional wrestling, sooner or later most people determine it is fixed and the act starts getting old. Eventually people decide it ain't worth it and quit going to the poles... I mean arena.

Dang I am negative! I promise the next post will be something hopeful.

rayburn said...

ethanol is such a joke.

speaking of which, who sent out the lame fake-FTW email of 9:20pm tonight?

it asks for subscribers to send mike money, while the members area of the website is now free.

cointel hack?

geop1 said...

Scratch a financial conspiracy and you'll discover Goldman-Citibank underneath...

Running on Empty by Rob Kirby

"While I “welcome” cheaper gas just as much as the next guy, I also like to get my head around the reason[s] for precipitous price movements – particularly in prices of commodities that have such a profound influence in my life. After all, it’s often said that knowledge is empowering, isn’t it?

One person who did not “miss it” was Bill King – he of the King Report fame. Not only did Mr. King “not miss it,” he quickly understood the implications of the content of the article, namely that,

Goldman Sachs [on July 12] tweaked the composition of their “benchmark” Goldman Sachs Commodity Index [GSCI].

Prior to Goldman's revision of the Goldman Sachs Commodity Index in July, unleaded gas accounted for 8.45% (dollar weighting) of the GSCI. Now unleaded gas is only 2.30%.

So What’s Wrong With This?

As Bill King points out,

“Goldman's changes probably induced arbs, commercial hedgers, and other traders to sell September and October unleaded gasoline future contracts to avoid possible (settlement, delivery, etc.) problems.

September futures expired in August; October contracts expire September 29. So unleaded gasoline prices collapsed in August and September.”

I would like to “restate” what Mr. King said: What this means folks, is that hedge funds and institutional money that “TRACKS THE INDEX” were FORCED TO SELL 75% of their gasoline futures to conform with the reconstituted GSCI. And if anyone hasn’t noticed the timing of the price of the gasoline price collapse…just in time for November’s Mid Term Elections!

So don’t be fooled into believing that potential energy shortages have “magically been solved.” In all likelihood – much of the recent decline in the price of gasoline we have all “welcomed” has been the result of paper tricks being played on what amounts to a wealthy flock of sheep.

But in the meantime, filler up!"

FTW admin said...

the following comment has been edited only to remove ad hominem attacks. plz note that ftw does not maintain that the world is about to run out of oil. what most peak oil writers refer to in their discussions is 'cheap oil.'

Steve has left a new comment on your post "The Other Energy Speech: James Woolsey at NYU":

I'm just wondering if people here can tell me how many exploration wells have been drilled in the Earths Northern Hemisohere...and how many exploration wells have been dug in Africa, Australia and South America...in the southern hemisphere?

Its funny that "Peak Oil" is based around the claim that there is NO more oil to find. Seeing as Southern Hemisphere exploration is at a guess 1/1000 of the amount of wells dug up North...i'm curious as to how ANYONE could seriously claim that the world is about to run out of oil?

Knowing people in Woodside Petroleum who openly fall on the ground laughing at the claim their is no more oil to find...i'm curious as to how seemingly intelligent people could possibly be suckered in by [ad hominem attack]'s ridiculous claims?

We'll see if this OBVIOUS peice of logic will find it's way onto the blog. Then we'll see if the obvious can be explained away with ANOTHER set of "oil industry" publications telling us confidently that oil needs to be at $80 a barrel coz their is no more oil to find. I cant think why the oil scammers would want that info out their...can you?

Their is no war for oil. Only Israel and "reshaping" the Middle East to make it safe for Wal Mart and the smashing of traditional Islam.

Again...lets see if the "Round Table" [some, though not all, insults to ftw have been edited out] his band of merry "handlers" will let my claims up their. Then lets see them make fools of themselves trying to explain away what ANY low end Woodside Oil exec knows...that Australia ALONE is on it's way to "Energy Super Power" status. What of Africa and South America?

Or, is "oil" only found in the Northern reaches of the planet?


Steve Vermin.