Thursday, April 24, 2008

Oil Rules

or The End of the World as You Know It …and the Rise of the New Energy World Order. Having now reviewed the underlying shape and motive forces of the world as you know it, Michael Klare presents a pithy synoptic preview of the new world order aborning - and it's quite different from what the normative political narrative (consensus reality) would lead to you to think that it is. This should be borne in mind as the pure comedy gold of the current presidential election cycle plays itself out while our existing socio-economic order disintegrates with shocking rapidity.
It's strange that the business and geopolitics of energy takes up so little space on American front pages -- or that we could conduct an oil war in Iraq with hardly a mention of the words "oil" and "war" in the same paragraph in those same papers over the years. Strange indeed. And yet, oil rules our world and energy lies behind so many of the headlines that might seem to be about other matters entirely.

Take the food riots now spreading across the planet because the prices of staples are soaring, while stocks of basics are falling. In the last year, wheat (think flour) has risen by 130%, rice by 74%, soya by 87%, and corn by 31%, while there are now only eight to 12 weeks of cereal stocks left globally. Governments across the planetary map are shuddering. This is a fast growing horror story and, though the cry in the streets of Cairo and Port au Prince might be for bread, this, too, turns out to be a tale largely ruled by energy:
I believe Maclean's incentive for formulating the notion of the TEP comes into play here;
My notion of the TEP was stimulated by an undergraduate research paper in which I sought to prove the truth of Norman Angell's claim, viz., that imperialism failed to contribute to the wealth of imperial powers. For example, I observed that the most impressive economic growth in 19th century Europe had occurred in countries that either had no colonies, or else, had them for a short time or had small colonial empires.