Think of this as Volume 18, Number 36 of the newsletter I have written weekly since March, 1997. Enjoy.
So far, democracy has won every time.
But when people are inside the crisis, it’s hard to tell that this will be the outcome. Until then, the crisis continues.
At this point it’s important to understand the nature of the current crisis. It’s not about the housing bubble, and it’s not about Democrats or Republicans. It’s about oil, which is in such artificial scarcity as to actually be the world’s currency. Those who have it have, since 1973, been soaking up the rest of the world’s wealth for themselves, and its political power, as the world runs on oil.
- Who bankrolled ISIS, with its ultra-totalitarian Wahhabist ideology ? It was the very same people who bankrolled Al Qaeda before it, which practiced the same ideology. It was the men of Arabia. Replace oil with renewables and their ability to cause trouble starts to dry up.
- Why was Vladimir Putin able to start re-creating the Soviet empire? Oil money. With renewable energy, Putin has no stranglehold over Ukraine. He doesn’t even have a stranglehold over Russia.
- What industry has bankrolled the rise of the U.S. Republican Party under Bush, of England’s Conservatives under Cameron, of Canada’s under Harper, or of Australia’s under Abbott. The very same industry. Fossil fuels. Take the profit out of fossil fuels and the political equation changes.
- The same is true about climate denialism. Oil money stands behind every single denialist, and every single denialist group. Every watt of solar energy, of wind energy, and geothermal energy we can put into the grid, or onto the road, is a watt that is denied to the oil power. So is every watt we can save through efficiency – the cheapest renewable energy of all.
I wrote last week that 21st century wars are economic wars and this is the ultimate truth of our time. Oil, and other fossil fuels, impose a tax on every aspect of our economic development. That’s the reason Google is so obsessed with driving fossil fuel dependence out of its operations. It’s not being altruistic, it’s being businesslike. Reduce the oil tax on your operations and you gain your own independence, both economic and political independence.
So, in a very real way, the key conflict of our times remains under the political radar. We talk around it, we talk about red and blue, Obama and Boehner, never putting our finger on the money that is funding our politics. It remains under the economic radar. We talk about various stocks and bonds, but all money actually operates today on an oil standard. It remains under the scientific radar. We talk around global warming, whether it’s real or not, when the fact is that without fossil fuels the planet’s readjustment would be swift, even miraculous.
Every crisis in America’s history has ultimately been about some artificial economic scarcity. The solution for the 1960s was the “Nixon shock,” which unshackled the dollar from gold and allowed the global economy to become based on oil in the first place, offset by constantly-deflating technology. The solution for the 1930s was the creation of demand, which offset the deflation that caused the global depression but led to the false choices of Nazis and Communists who discovered that cure first. The solution for the 1890s was the control of industrial inputs, freeing mass manufacturing from the power of trusts. The solution for the 1860s was liberty, the replacement of men with machines in the creation of wealth.
Scarce dollars. Scarce demand. Scarce inputs. Scarce labor. In all these cases, as we later found, it was an artificial scarcity that was creating fear, controlling politics, and preventing necessary progress from occurring.
So it is in our time. The War against Oil is the ultimate war, the ultimate crisis of our time. Once we understand that, and understand that everything – our political liberty, our economic liberty, our ability to maintain the planet itself – depends first on victory in War against Oil, only then do we become empowered to take action.
Al Gore understood the problem. He just underestimated it. He saw it as a political battle for hearts and minds, one that could be won through the better angels of our nature. He didn’t understand that it was also an economic battle. And he failed to understand the degree to which the oil power had infiltrated our politics, both in the United States and just about everywhere else.
The good news is that the War against Oil can be fought, is being fought, and can be won. The bad news is that we still under-estimate the opponents, we don’t name them and we generally refuse to confront their political power with the strength of economic reality.
Oil is a tax on growth. Fight that tax. Oil has made a prison of our politics. Get out of that prison by reducing our dependence on it. Oil is behind most of the world’s wars, which are fueled by it. Renewable energy is the way to peace. It is also the only route we have toward saving this planet for our grandchildren.
That’s what the War against Oil really is, an economic struggle wrapped inside a political struggle wrapped inside an environmental struggle, with the fate of everything you hold dear at stake.
Anyone who stands against renewable energy, no matter their reason, stands with the Oil Power. Go after them as though your life, your liberty, and your sacred honor depended upon it.