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Friday, February 18, 2005

US - No More #1?

some records just shouldn't be broken

According to a study by the Washington-based Earth Policy Institute, China is now the top consumer of four of the five primary commodities -- grain, meat, coal and steel. The only thing they lagged behind the US on was consumption of oil.

I can't claim access to any crystal ball that tells me BushCo. had this in the back of their little reptilian brains when they charged into Iraq and attempted to secure the world's second largest oil supply. But at the rate China's industrial development is expanding, competition for a finite supply of fossil fuels is growing to grow ever more fierce.

Thomas L Friedman wrote a great article in the New York Times this week called No Mullah Left Behind, arguing that the conservative theocracies of the Middle East are now awash in cash, spurning US investment and pursuing nuclear programs with impunity. "It's a perfect example of the Bush energy policy at work," writes Friedman:
By adamantly refusing to do anything to improve energy conservation in America, or to phase in a $1-a-gallon gasoline tax on American drivers, or to demand increased mileage from Detroit's automakers, or to develop a crash program for renewable sources of energy, the Bush team is - as others have noted - financing both sides of the war on terrorism. We are financing the U.S. armed forces with our tax dollars, and, through our profligate use of energy, we are generating huge windfall profits for Saudi Arabia, Iran and Sudan, where the cash is used to insulate the regimes from any pressure to open up their economies, liberate their women or modernize their schools, and where it ends up instead financing madrassas, mosques and militants fundamentally opposed to the progressive, pluralistic agenda America is trying to promote. Now how smart is that?
The idea that a nation held hostage by a natural resource primarily provided by an extremely politically unstable part of the world out to try and conserve that natural research should, for most, come under the category of the "bleeding fucking obvious." Especially when competition for said natural resource is becoming extremely keen. Wouldn't you think?

Not so. Now a physicist named Mark Mills has written a book entitled The Bottomless Well: The Twilight of Fuel, the Virtue of Waste, and Why We Will Never Run Out of Energy, and an appropriately skeptical Jon Stewart had him on the show last night. I haven't read it, I'm not going to read it, and I'm usually down on people who criticize books they've never read, but I'll go out on a limb here and say this guy's got some awfully convenient timing to be doing the talk show circuit pimping a book that dovetails so neatly with the BushCo. energy policy just now.

Anyone want to run the FOIA query on this guy?

(Photo courtesy stock.xchng )