The Energy Crisis, from Energy and Equity by Ivan Illich, 1973
"It has recently become fashionable to insist on an impending energy crisis. This euphemistic term conceals a contradiction and consecrates an illusion. It masks the contradiction implicit in the joint pursuit of equity and industrial growth. It safeguards the illusion that machine power can indefinitely take the place of manpower. To resolve this contradiction and dispel this illusion, it is urgent to clarify the reality that the language of crisis obscures: high quanta of energy degrade social relations just as inevitably as they destroy the physical milieu.
"The advocates of an energy crisis believe in and continue to propagate a peculiar vision of man. According to this notion, man is born into perpetual dependence on slaves which he must painfully learn to master. If he does not employ prisoners, then he needs machines to do most of his work. According to this doctrine, the well-being of a society can be measured by the number of years its members have gone to school and by the number of energy slaves they have thereby learned to command. This belief is common to the conflicting economic ideologies now in vogue. It is threatened by the obvious inequity, harriedness, and impotence that appear everywhere once the voracious hordes of energy slaves outnumber people by a certain proportion. The energy crisis focuses concern on the scarcity of fodder for these slaves. I prefer to ask whether free men need them.
"The energy policies adopted during the current decade will determine the range and character of social relationships a society will be able to enjoy by the year 2000. A low-energy policy allows for a wide choice of life-styles and cultures. If, on the other hand, a society opts for high energy consumption, its social relations must be dictated by technocracy and will be equally degrading whether labeled capitalist or socialist."
In that context, some of us are getting worried ...
Mike Ruppert speaks at the Commonwealth Club [2004 August 31]
"Viewed from almost any perspective -- be it geopolitics, economics, climate, spreading warfare that threatens to unleash a global orgy of bloodletting, rising energy prices, documented energy shortages, fresh water shortages, biological warfare, the repression of civil liberties at home and abroad, or any of a dozen other issues -- planet earth and all of its inhabitants are in great danger. This is not a time to think of national security. It is a time to think of planetary security – indeed, of planetary survival."
The Roving Eye: Oil's Slippery Slope
by Pepe Escobar, Asia Times [2004 August 24]
"BRUSSELS and DUBAI - As the neo-conservative dream of a "liberated" Iraq came true in April 2003, who would have predicted that 16 months later oil would become the ultimate time bomb for the Bush administration?
"And the Saudi royal/oil family cavalry is not exactly coming to the rescue."