Thursday, February 03, 2005

Shooting fish in a barrel

Recently I posted on the pipeline vulnerability problem, linking to the Global Guerrillas blog. An article referenced from Energy Bulletin expands on this topic:

How to bring down a giant, one blood vessel at a time.

"A handful of small attacks made against Saudi infrastructure will push oil well over $100 a barrel," says John Robb, an independent analyst and author of the forthcoming book Global Guerrillas. "Twenty or so a month will keep it there. We are about to see the rise of a shadow OPEC. The control of oil doesn't rest in the hands of the governments. It is in the hands of the guerrillas that can stop the flow."

I think this could be an extrordinarily important trend. Smooth depletion of oil is two things: Good for the environment, and troublesome for humans and their economy. It should be accepted as a premise at this point that converting from oil to 'x' will be tremedously difficult, not the least of which because 'x' will likely equal zero with a captital 0. I honestly think we'll be fine without air travel, crappy plastic consumer goods, and the American Southwest, but the ride will be bumpy even in a best case scenario.

However, chaotic disruption of strategic oil supplies will lead to directly to chaotic human affairs, and a visit from the four (is it four?) horsemen of the a taco sheeps. Those who don't ignore history are condemned to repeat it anyways.


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