Category Archives: Energy

Venezuela: Let’s Cut to the Chase, by Pepe Escobar

Venezuela has become a key battlefield in the global battle for energy dominance. From Pepe Escobar at strategic-culture.org:

Cold War 2.0 has hit South America with a bang – pitting the US and expected minions against the four key pillars of in-progress Eurasia integration: Russia, China, Iran and Turkey.

It’s the oil, stupid. But there’s way more than meets the (oily) eye.

Caracas has committed the ultimate cardinal sin in the eyes of Exceptionalistan; oil trading bypassing the US dollar or US-controlled exchanges.

Remember Iraq. Remember Libya. Yet Iran is also doing it. Turkey is doing it. Russia is – partially – on the way. And China will eventually trade all its energy in petroyuan.

With Venezuela adopting the petro crypto-currency and the sovereign bolivar, already last year the Trump administration had sanctioned Caracas off the international financial system.

No wonder Caracas is supported by China, Russia and Iran. They are the real hardcore troika – not psycho-killer John Bolton’s cartoonish “troika of tyranny” – fighting against the Trump administration’s energy dominance strategy, which consists essentially in aiming at the total lock down of oil trading in petrodollars, forever.

Venezuela is a key cog in the machine. Psycho killer Bolton admitted it on the record; “It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela.” It’s not a matter of just letting ExxonMobil take over Venezuela’s massive oil reserves – the largest on the planet. The key is to monopolize their exploitation in US dollars, benefitting a few Big Oil billionaires.

Once again, the curse of natural resources is in play. Venezuela must not be allowed to profit from its wealth on its own terms; thus, Exceptionalistan has ruled that the Venezuelan state must be shattered.

In the end, this is all about economic war. Cue to the US Treasury Department imposing new sanctions on PDVSA that amount to a de facto oil embargo against Venezuela.

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Energy Dominance Isn’t Just a Trump Obsession, by Tom Luongo

The world jockeys for oil. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:

Energy Dominance should be the catchphrase of the day. It’s on the minds of every political figure, and the focus of every economy.

This is especially true of those vulnerable to a change in the status quo, namely Saudi Arabia.

While some continue to believe the gyrations of the oil market over the past few months are evidence of our running up against the limit of the petroleum based global economy, I disagree.

The world is awash in decades of easily-extracted oil and gas. The supply of it has been kept off the market due to its centrality in the grand game of geopolitics. But, it has nothing to do with the amount of oil and gas out there.

Peak oil has become a religion among its adherents. Decrying the U.S. shale boom, rightly, for its profligacy has more to do with it being a consequence of disastrous central bank inflation rather than some grand plan of the ‘cabal’ because we passed peak EROEI some time ago.

When you drop interest rates to zero and flood the world with liquidity that can only find a home in equity markets, the natural result is malinvestment into unsustainable business practices.

The first wave of the shale boom in the U.S. occurred during this period and created the dynamic we have today. It’s groundwork was laid when oil prices spiked during Greenspan’s post-9/11 reflation and the Iraq War took a lot of marginal supply off the table.

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Eat Less Meat and Save the Planet, by Raúl Ilargi Meijer and Dr. D

If the prospect of forced vegetarianism leaves you cold, a Dr. D provides a refreshing perspective on meat consumption. From Dr. D at theautomaticearth.com:

Ilargi: It’s been quite a while since we last heard from Dr. D. He was probably busy growing stuff. But he’s back now, and with something dear to my heart: the craziness of our food production systems. Answers to which are not always what most people think, to put it mildly.

Dr. D:

Eat less meat to save the planet – report (1)
The new diet that could save the planet (2)
What to eat to save the planet: Report urges ‘radical changes’ to world’s diet – less meat, more veggies (3)

These headlines, likely sourced from a recent article from “The Lancet” (4) are a regular feature of our time, in diet, in environmentalism, and in global warming. They are well-researched, sourced by the world’s experts, and put forward with the highest intentions. However, they are also completely wrong – dangerously, ignorantly wrong.

Like most industries, agriculture and food production is a specialty, with its own language and details. I don’t attempt to tell the Lancet how to perform heart surgery, for to do so would be ridiculous, dangerous, outside of my expertise. I wouldn’t tell a geologist how to interpret the magnetic layers of rock, or how oceanographers should properly interpret sea water samples to guide us on fishing or pollution. Yet this is what they do for farmers.

The primary drive of most such articles is that, with so many people, and so much hunger, we find that it takes “2,500 gallons of water, 12 pounds of grain, 35 pounds of topsoil and the energy equivalent of one gallon of gasoline to produce one pound of feedlot beef.” that “64% of US cropland produces livestock feed.” (5) That it takes “20 pounds corn [to make] 1 pound beef.” (6) Or that you can get 15lbs of beef per acre, but 263lbs of soybeans. (7) Also that cattle are the primary reason for deforestation, and a major cause of methane.

From these numbers, it’s simple to see that meat, particularly cattle, is anti-environmental, and even anti-human, and it would be the pinnacle of irresponsibility to encourage or even allow them to be eaten. It is a direct affront to the poor, the hungry, and even other citizens in developed countries like ourselves, even though we may be able to afford such things. Simple. A lock. Slam-dunk. No further research required.

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Venezuela’s collapse is a window into how the Oil Age will unravel, by Nafeez Ahmed

A comprehensive examination of Venezuela’s oil industry, mostly free of political dogma. From Nafeez Ahmed at medium.com:

For some, the crisis in Venezuela is all about the endemic corruption of Nicolás Maduro, continuing the broken legacy of Chavez’s ideological experiment in socialism under the mounting insidious influence of Putin. For others, it’s all about the ongoing counter-democratic meddling of the United States, which has for years wanted to bring Venezuela — with its huge oil reserves — back into the orbit of American power, and is now interfering again to undermine a democratically elected leader in Latin America.

Neither side truly understands the real driving force behind the collapse of Venezuela: we have moved into the twilight of the Age of Oil.

So how does a country like Venezuela with the largest reserves of crude oil in the world end up incapable of developing them? While various elements of socialism, corruption and neoliberal capitalism are all implicated in various ways, what no one’s talking about — especially the global oil industry — is that over the last decade, we’ve shifted into a new era. The world has moved from largely extracting cheap, easy crude, to becoming increasingly dependent on unconventional forms of oil and gas that are much more difficult and expensive to produce.

Oil isn’t running out, in fact, it’s everywhere — we’ve more than enough to fry the planet. But as the easy, cheap stuff has plateaued, production costs have soared. And as a consequence the most expensive oil to produce has become increasingly unprofitable.

In a country like Venezuela, emerging from a history of US interference, plagued by internal economic mismanagement, combined with external intensifying pressure from US sanctions, this decline in profitability became fatal.

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Experts Claim Every Kind of Weather Proves Global Warming is Fer’ Real, by John Nolte

Every kind of weather “proves” global warming, as do temperatures above historical averages, but temperatures setting all time records for cold, as midwestern temperatures are doing now, mean nothing. From John Nolte at breitbart.com:

America enjoys a winter filled with tons of snow and frigid cold weather and out pops the Climate Hoaxsters to assure this kind of weather only further proves our planet is getting, uhm… warmer.

This current Climate Hoaxster freak out is largely in reaction to President Trump’s tweet earlier this week mocking the Climate Hoaxsters.

“In the beautiful Midwest, windchill temperatures are reaching minus 60 degrees, the coldest ever recorded,” he tweeted. “What the hell is going on with Global Warming? Please come back fast, we need you!”

Naturally, this launched a million reactionary headlines from our oh-so objective, unbiased, not-at-all left-wing media.

“Look at This Embarrassing F*cking Moron,” screamed Esquire.

“Debunking the utter idiocy of Donald Trump’s global warming tweet,” pouted CNN.

“Here’s Why the Crazy Cold Temperatures Prove Global Warming is Real,” Forbes says reassuringly.

“What Trump keeps getting wrong about Global Warming,” the Washington Post helpfully reports.

But here is my personal favorite headline from, where else?, NBC News…. “Yes, it can be this cold outside in a time of global warming.”

There are three Party slogans in George Orwell’s 1984, his masterpiece about an all-controlling centralized government that runs on lies, terror, and propaganda. See if you can pick out which Party slogan I invented among the four:

  • War is Peace
  • Freedom is Slavery
  • Ignorance is Strength
  • Frigid Weather Means Our Planet is Getting Warmer

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Venezuela – A Case Of Socialist-Organized Theft, by Daniel Lacalle

Setting aside the issue of whether or not the US should be trying to force regime change in Venezuela, the economy there is a disaster and would be even in the absence of economic sanctions from the US. From Daniel Lacalle at dlacalle.com:

Much has been written about the economic disaster perpetrated by the Maduro-Chavez regime in Venezuela. The magnitude of it is simply difficult to match. A sad global example of how to destroy a rich country.

The mistake that many make is to think that this wreck has been caused by a combination of incompetence and folly. And they are wrong. The Venezuelan socialist regime has carried out the largest organized robbery in history and has done so with a perfectly designed plan.

The plan was always to expropriate the wealth of the whole country for the benefit of a few political leaders through plundering, destruction of currency and decapitalizacón of the state oil company

What has happened to Venezuela is not a disaster or a coincidence, it is socialism.

It is important to start by debunking the lies of the regime propaganda:

The nonexistent blockade. The United States is one of Venezuela’s largest trading partners. Trade between the United States and Venezuela in 2018 grew by more than 9%. Venezuela has bilateral trade agreements with more than 70 countries. Chavismo, like the Castro regime in Cuba, manipulates its followers by calling the sanctions against members of the regime and the fraudulent use of the country’s funds a “blockade”. The only blockade suffered by Venezuela is that of Chavismo against its citizens.

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Collapse Is Already Here, by Chris Martenson

Chris Martenson surveys some of the signs of environmental collapse. From Martenson at peakprosperity.com:

It’s a process, not an event

Many people are expecting some degree of approaching collapse — be it economic, environmental and/or societal — thinking that they’ll recognize the danger signs in time.

As if it will be completely obvious, like a Hollywood blockbuster. Complete with clear warnings from scientists, politicians and the media.  And everyone can then get busy either panicking or becoming the plucky heroes.

That’s not how collapse works.

Collapse is a process, not an event.

And it’s already underway, all around us.

Collapse is already here.

However, unlike Hollywood’s vision, the early stages of collapse cause people to cling even tighter to the status quo. Instead of panic in the streets, we simply see more of the same — as those in power do all they can to remain so, while the majority of the public attempts to ignore the growing problems for as long as it possibly can.

For both the elite and the majority, their entire world view and their personal sense of self depends on things not crumbling all around them, so they remain willfully blind to any evidence to the contrary.

When faced with the predicaments we warn about here at PeakProsperity.com, getting an early start on prudently shifting your own personal situation is of vital strategic and tactical importance. Tens of thousands of our readers already have taken wise steps in their lives to position themselves resiliently.

But most of the majority won’t get started until it’s entirely too late to make any difference at all. Which is sad but perhaps unavoidable, given human nature.

If everybody around you is saying “Everything is awesome!”, it can take a long time to determine for yourself that things in fact aren’t:

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