Friday, June 3, 2011

It Will Get Worse Before It Gets Worse

Michael T. Klare, a peace and world securities studies professor at Hampshire College and author of Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: The New Geopolitics of Energy, discusses the political and ecological consequences of an energy crisis that continues to worsen.


ScarabusRedivivus said...

Always great to hear from those who are both knowledgeable and honest. But…

While truth might have a liberal bias, it also frequently has a "downer" effect. Not coincidentally, I'm sure. Always easier to trust "daddy" or even technology to take care of you than to accept responsibility for your own life (let alone planet).

Re "daddy" taking care of us? George Bush the lesser is the guy who started saying he had sworn an oath to protect the American people rather than the Constitution. And Obama followed his lead, in this as in so much else.

I'm old enough to remember the debates about the probable environmental effect of the now defunct SST. A number of prominent persons admitted that the effect might be damaging, but insisted that before that effect became disastrous technology would have developed ways of dealing with it.

Your guest's comments are if anything even less encouraging. The good news? Geometrically increasing weather disasters are already appearing. Bad for those who suffer; but, if the disasters become a wake-up call, less bad for their fellow human beings.

But "fracking" expands much faster than research on carbon-neutral energy sources, and Texas is leading the way in protecting "frackers," not just from liability, but even from revealing the ingredients of the toxic stew they're using simultaneously extract natural gas and add destruction of our water to the destruction of our air.


Mark Goldes said...


First, revolutionary breakthroughs are entering the market that promise cheap green energy.

For example, the E-Cat, now in production, promises power at a penny per kilowatt hour. $100 worth of Nickel and Hydrogen fuel creates a few kilowatts of heat for 6 months. See E-Cat at to learn more.

Moving Beyond Oil on the same website describes diesel from bacteria at $20/barrel.

Next read TRILLION DOLLAR THREAT on the same site. This little publicized potential for collapse of the power grid lasting for weeks in much of the nation opens the door to mobilizing to reduce the damage.

That can accelerate cheap green energy and move us beyond debates about climate change and cutting a few billion dollars from the budget.

These are all Black Swans, highly improbable events with huge implications.

These Black Swans could prove to be the key to the future.

mukluk said...

The problem is that our society is not structured to take advantage of energy sources around us, meaning especially solar/wind and small-scale hydroelectric.

How about exercise machines that charge cellphones, laptops and Lithium batteries while you pedal or pump your way to better health?

How about driving a 1-cylinder car locally, and saving the other car for necessary longer trips?

Billions of tons of ocean water move back-and-forth forcefully every day around the world--Almost entirely untapped energy, and lots of it.

If we can accept driving less, driving shorter and driving smaller vehicles, the energy is available for a very decent (but not necessarily opulent) modern technological lifestyle.

But we are not transitioning society fast enough, which just invites eventual crisis.

It's that damned human instinct for denial during changing times
which is part of our problem.


You just don't get the energy shortage scheme - it's a money making machine. THERE IS NO ENERGY SHORTAGE! Speculation on Wall street is driving up energy prices. It is not an energy shortage (and there is no energy shortage) that is driving up prices. The only thing driving up prices is greed and people like you who are dumb enough to believe it, so as a result you try to get everyone to adopt your insane austerity/impoverished and unnecessary lifestyle. If you want to do something that is more effective in conquering the greed of prices in our economy then use the only tool that you really have and that is voting. Divorce the government and greedy corporations' money making machine by voting "all" of the incumbents out of office. Time has proven with at least the past three elections of going from Democrat to Republican then back to Democrat again that they have a pretty good scheme that keeps repeating while all the Dems and Repubs are patting each other on the back while padiing each other's wallet. Dem and Repub see/sawing has proved not to work. Vote for any party but the Dems or Repubs and vote all the incumbents out of office in the next election. Common sense says that if what you have (Dems/Repubs) is not working, then try something new. Don't expect a different or better result from continually voting the same (Dems/Repubs) crooks in office all the time. Let's just hope that the election/voting system has not been so dismantled and corrupted, because I don't think we will ever be able to clean that up with all the electronic voting machines that can be and have been hacked to the highest bidder. We need to urge our Congressional officials to trash all the electronic voting machines and design a voting system that is accountable and verifiable to the people, not the crooks who are stealing our government and way of life.

Anonymous said...

It's absurd to think that Saudi Arabian oil production will substantially increase and will satisfy world demand for petroleum by ending Arabian student scholarships and the guest seems to imply. Diverting student loans towards oil extraction - put it anyway you want, it sounds odd, absurd.

Absurd, and this is why... The guest first mentions repression, then quickly refocuses his response towards his opinion, and is dominated by the cause of Saudi passivity being due to STUDENT LOANS while not expanding on Saudi REPRESSION - the true, practical, cause of Saudi passivity.
Overall, I sense a pervasive sense of faulty priorities in his response to the good questions provided.