Eric Alterman explains how smoke-screens work:
The genius of this administration (and its allies), I keep saying over and over, is to launch so many wars on so many fronts that no one -not a newspaper and certainly not one little Weblog- can hope to keep track. Journalists committed to an “objective” rendering of events are loathe to paint too accurate a portrait of what’s actually happening lest too much reality provide evidence of dreaded “liberal bias” merely through the act of attempting to cut through the BS and tell a little bit of the truth.
And there is another way that you can appear to be objective, but if any framing doctrine leaks out, you're cooked:
How propaganda works: The Bush administration's effort to build a system for defending the country against ballistic missile attack suffered an embarrassing setback yesterday when an interceptor missile failed to launch during the first flight test of the system in two years.
Ayoob from the Peak Oil message board shares a correspondence he/she had with Noam Chomsky.
Read your letter with interest, and glad to hear that you've found my work useful. I've been following the "peak oil" debate. That such a time will come is not in doubt. But the timing I think is very much in doubt, and also depends on the feasibility of technologies that are just under development, e.g., to extract oil from tar sands. It is also quite likely that if the peak is soon it may turn out to be a blessing, because alternatives to hydrocarbons will have to be found, which might deflect the threat of environmental catastrophe.
There are all sorts of possibilities that are very grim. Nuclear war, for example. There isn't a lot of point speculating about them, in my opinion. Rather, doing something about them -- not to save ourselves, because that won't work.
At 05:23 PM 8/20/2004 -0700, you wrote:
Thank you for your enlightening speeches and articles. I've been reading your work for about a year and a half, and agree with much of what you have to say. On your suggestion in a previous email, I picked up Hegemony and Survival and recently read it.
On the subject of peak oil, it has recently come to my attention that Ghawar may be in decline as of this month. Saudi Arabia's actual production of oil is down by 400K barrels/day from June to July of this year. I'm sure you're aware that Ghawar pumps 2 million barrels a day of Light Sweet Crude, which is crucial to the market for gasoline in the US. Ghawar may have as much as a 55% water cut right now, which means that for every barrel of liquid pumped up from Ghawar, 55% of that liquid is water which must be separated from the oil by means of a large globe. Pemex, the giant oil field that produces about a million barrels a day in Mexico, may also be in decline right now. Those are the two largest oil fields on the planet. Their decline is the decline of the earth's oil supply.
According to Matthew Simmons of Simmons & Co, and Colin Powell of ASPO, as well as the many news articles posted at www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/breakingnews, say that peak oil is imminent.