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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Pomp & Pay

I have reported on the leanings of former energy secretary James Schlesinger here, here, and here. As Schlesinger has made the most ruckus through his global warming apologist stance, I find it surprising that he has made significant public statements regarding oil depletion.
Addressing a select audience that included oil ministers and senior officials from the oil cartel Opec, the energy watchdog International Energy Agency, and the UN, plus advocates of a premature oil peak such as the former British cabinet minister Michael Meacher, Mr Schlesinger offered a graphic analogy.

The peak-oil threat and the response to it are reminiscent, he said, of the rumbles under Vesuvius and the reaction to them of its hapless residents. "The peak or plateau is coming," he said.
Having visited Mt. Vesuvius recently and making a half-hearted attempt to scale the peak itself, I believe the local residents understand the implications of living near a volcano. The road leading up the lower slopes harbors dilapidated restaurants, packs of wild dogs rooting through trash, and slobs making the rounds to discard of their garbage on the roadside. An ecosystem for canines at best.

Those further down the slope probably still hear the rumblings but somehow seem to think that a mile or two separation will protect them. Unfortunately we have it worse than the Vesuvians. Regarding our own energy predicament, an ocean's separations won't help a bit. As the Buckaroo saying goes, "wherever you go, ...".

And to top it off, in what should really pass off as fiction, the paid-off industry consultant Yergin will play the part of Nero, willing to throw meat to the lions and sit back and watch things burn:
The summit was entitled "The Spirit of the Empire," and that spirit - exemplified by Daniel Yergin's bravura performance - expressed itself in accordance with current global form. The rumblings below the Vesuvius of the hydrocarbon age could be heard loud and clear in Rimini. And the citizens of Pompeii elected to dream on.

[1] Jeremy Leggett's book on peak oil, Half Gone: Oil, Gas, Hot Air and the Global Energy Crisis, is published this week by Portobello Books.

Update: And on the day that The Guardian prints this article, they also fall for a free-energy fairy con-man as rooted up by Big Gav.


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