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by Clyde Lewis

Remember 27 years ago when we were told that in 30 years there was going to be a major depletion of oil? Time is just about up.

Lately, I have been quoting statistics as though I were some autistic savant, stuck counting train cars crossing a country road. I have been fascinated by mortality risk factors. A while back, when I was talking about major global catastrophes, I gave some figures that make it clear that terrorism should be the least of our worries right now. We should be concentrating our efforts upon preparing for natural disasters and extreme climate changes, upon surviving the effects of magnetic shifts within the planet that affect all of the life on its surface.

But so many people continue to tell us that the projections don’t add up to a true threat, that the warnings we receive from both science and popular entertainment are merely alarmist distractions. They insist that the true threat is terrorism, that great numbers of people will be killed in attacks if we don’t wage preemptive strikes upon Middle Eastern countries.

After all, according to prevalent disinformation, it was the Middle Eastern Horde that brought terrorism to our soil.

Others have now joined in the fray, encouraging us to fight and win back our confident self–image, the ego that was bruised when two huge towers fell down in New York in the late summer of 2001.

The entire war on terror, I have determined, is based on a fraudulent premise, a shameful pretense.

People continue to admonish me that I stain my credibility every time I say so. But let me call your attention to a popular misconception about 9/11. It has been called the first attack of its kind that took place on U.S. soil. This is a historical fallacy and needs to be corrected.

I can give you a list of several major terrorist actions that have occurred in the United States, which did not result in the signing of a Patriot Act, or the formation of a Department of Homeland Security, nor in the signs of a police state looming on the horizon after these acts were committed. They were as heinous as 9/11, but we seem to be dismissing them, perhaps because they are on a smaller scale. But I suggest that the real reason we ignore their significance is that it cannot be denied that they originated within our own ranks, instead of with some outside nemesis.

Can anyone forget Waco?

This was an act of terror in which military and police forces declared war on a compound of religious zealots. The onslaught ended in a fiery conflagration. ABC TV’s Peter Jennings said it best when he observed that the incident at Waco was an omen of things to come.

It is evident that when a cloud of uncertainty envelops a nation, the powers in charge begin preparing for the worst. However, the terror game we are playing now was initiated by our own government, in this very debacle. The majority ignored its significance because the media did a superb job in comparing the Branch Davidians to the people’s temple in Guyana where nine hundred and eleven –– 911 –– people were found dead in a religious compound headed by Jim Jones, thus characterizing them as just another cult destroyed because of the actions of its own leader.

Then came Oklahoma City.

This attack, committed by Timothy McVeigh and his accomplices, set the stage for what was yet to come upon us. Bill Clinton effectively moved the puzzle pieces into place by misdirecting intelligence to cover up much of what was really going on after Oklahoma City. At the time, the attack on The Murrah Federal Building was the biggest single terrorist attack on US soil.

The blame was cast on the militia movement and right–wing talk show hosts, that were at the time denounced by the Clinton administration. Ironically, though they expended a great deal of energy demonizing the American right wing, they were unable to get anyone angry enough to create a Patriot Act or a Department of Homeland Security, nor to begin the decline of our constitutional rights.

Oklahoma City seems to have been an attempted trigger to create a police state in the United States, but it failed.

The media reported that McVeigh had had an unknown accomplice. They called him "John Doe Number Two". It was claimed that the unknown man looked Middle Eastern. But somehow, he dropped out of our sight, and so did the opportunity to strike preemptively at nations that George W. Bush later targeted as the "axis of evil".

The Oklahoma City terrorist attack became, with time, watered down to a mere crime. As its chief criminal was executed, all information about the failed police state trigger was put to rest. just prior to police state trigger number two.

September 11th, 2001.

I now reach the main point of my explanation of why I believe that the war on terror was a convoluted campaign to create an air of fear, anger and mistrust, and to spur this fear to crisis levels.

The majority of the United States agreed that the militias were fanatical groups of trigger–happy zealots and all they would have to do to neutralize their threat was to approve a law to dissolve them. Thus there was no reason to worry about Americans fighting Americans. That could never happen, because it just wasn’t.American.

This would put us at odds with the principles by which we lived.

The attack on September 11th, 2001, was a far more frightening exercise than Oklahoma City, one that would get the attention of most Americans because of its indefinitely prolonged, timed–release fear dosage. It also had the component of an invisible enemy that was named only hours after the Twin Towers had fallen into rubble, giving America no time to heal from our loss.

The finger had to be pointed at people who have always been demonized or marginalized in our culture. The culprits needed to be a group that has been stereotyped as being deceitful and dirty, making it easy to rally our hate against them.

The choice of scapegoat was obvious. We blamed a group of people who do not have the same beliefs as we do, nor have the same traditions or values as we do, but who have resources that we need in order to survive. We needed an excuse to move in and take what we could.

We in the West have often depicted those who live in the Middle East as villainous. It is easy to hate a group of people whom you have no desire to understand. It is easy to say that they are among us, plotting to kill us, and that they have their sympathizers among us, making it necessary to throw a net of "protection" over the entire United States to keep it "safe."

Never before in history have we seen so many freedoms being curtailed. Never before have we seen such a constitutional crisis.

The question is, why is it that, after all of the previous terrorist attacks in America by Americans, did this 9/11 one–day wonder, allegedly committed by Middle Eastern terrorists, become an excuse for a continuing terror campaign in the Middle East?

The simple answer has always been oil.

I have spoken about my preoccupation with other personal vendettas by George W. Bush and his initial plan introduced in the writing of the PNAC documents; however, we must not overlook the warnings that were given to us just prior to the 9/11 attacks.

The administration was warning us about 21st century threats that needed to be addressed.

At the time, I was thinking that any 21st century threat would have to be something that would remind us that the future is now.

In some flight of fancy, I was determined to reveal that threats from the 21st century sounded a bit too "Buck Rogers" for their own good. I was speculating upon all kinds of possibilities.

Was it about to be revealed that out there waiting for us is an invisible alien civilization planning to annihilate us? At the time, it seemed a bit coincidental that George W. Bush’s appointee to the Joint Chief of Staff was none other than General Richard B. Myers, the former head of the US Space Command.

That was enough to ring my coincidence alarms.

I thought that this could be the hour of disclosure that perhaps our wars would be fought in space, moving the world to prepare for the 21st century by pulling space–based weapons out of mothballs to be used against our possible alien invaders.

Bush also seemed to have a fascination with matters dealing with aliens, and even wanted to set aside budgets to give NASA that added boost to get to Mars to see if the face really was there looking back at us from Cydonia.

Boy, was I wrong.

Speculation can fall hard when nothing that outrageous transpires.

The more you investigate, the more you learn of just what is happening. This is how I grow.

Everything I write is based on the knowledge of what I have tucked away. I can also dream of some Science fiction future and believe that there may be hope.

However, reality reinforces my anger.

Just like President Bush, I can use the excuse that I was only going upon what little intelligence I possessed. I can also point out that Donald Rumsfeld and company were busily telling us that the war in the Middle East had nothing to do with oil.

It was all about the new 21st Century threat. It was all about weapons of mass destruction; it was all about the liberation of all of those enslaved Iraqis. It was about defeating the evil dictator Saddam Hussein. Dick Cheney had claimed it was a swift strike against our enemy al–Qaeda, the horrible terrorists responsible for the attacks on the United States.

We were given so many reasons to justify a preemptive strike, and we believed them. It was only later that we realized that none of the explanations for a war with Iraq held any validity.

The only thing that was certain was that Iraq held the world’s second–largest oil reserves. Many of the reserves are underdeveloped and most aren’t even tapped yet.

So contractors from the United States could gladly move in and tap these resources, and, coincidentally, many of these able–bodied corporations would have ties to the current administration.

These facts, of course, seem to be irrelevant, because it is supposed that America would never invade anyone for their resources. Especially a resource that is allegedly plentiful, like oil.

In January of 1977, President Jimmy Carter was sworn in. The inauguration occurred during the United States’ suffering of an exceptionally cold winter.

Within days of his taking the oath of office, the nation fell victim to a severe energy crisis. Factories and schools were facing closure because of there was not enough fuel set aside for heat. Residential customers also faced a heating shortage. The country was in a deep freeze. It looked as if we were hitting rock bottom when it came to energy in the United States.

Less than two weeks after taking office, Carter signed the Emergency Natural Gas Act to help ease the energy crunch. Later, in his address to Congress, he challenged the nation to respond to the energy crisis as "the moral equivalent of war".

President Carter presented a comprehensive energy policy to Congress with urgency and forewarning that his policies would require "sacrifices" from every economic sector.

The proposed policy called for higher prices and taxes for petroleum products and their production. He urged that it was time to back off of our gluttony for oil and begin measures of conservation.

Carter urged the country to prepare for a new reality, to wean ourselves from our dependence on oil by renewing our use of coal, and then from that point find renewable or low–impact energy sources, like solar power.

Of course, his new energy policies were unpopular. Many people say that Carter was our most ineffective president. There are those who still refer to him as a "non–president".

However, we must realize that 1977 was 27 years ago, and he warned that in 30 years there would be national catastrophe and that our strength as a nation would suffer because of it.

"Ours is the most wasteful nation on earth. We waste more energy than we import. If we do not act now, then by 1985 we will be using 33% more energy than we use today." - President Jimmy Carter 1977

The 21st century threat is now becoming quite clear. The 21st century threat is that we are about to lose a valuable resource.

Our fossil fuels.

Oil and gas prices are fluctuating now and the prices are tending to go upward. It is hoped that the new reserves gained in the occupation of Iraq will alleviate the problem.

After all, while museums and hospitals were being looted in Iraq, it was the Bush administration’s number one priority to secure Iraq’s oil ministry. No wonder our leaders believe that history will look upon them favorably. Their war is vital to our survival. It will guarantee our right to overconsume and guarantee a sound economic infrastructure.

The question is for how long?

This action seems to be a Band–Aid for a trend in over–consumption of oil and energy here in the United States. If Jimmy Carter gave us only 30 years before a major catastrophe was to strike the United States, then we are due for some pretty ugly events in the next four years.

Jimmy Carter could just as well be been called the "prophetic president". But when he sounded the alarm, we didn’t listen, because we didn’t feel as though we needed to act.

In fact, energy use increased in the United States. Our fuel consumption is out of control. As we advance into the computer age, our networks put more strain on a power grid that is not equipped to handle the load. It does not take a prophet to realize that projections made nearly 30 years ago are now becoming the new reality. You can impress your friends by telling them that you are an energy psychic, warning them of many more grid breakdowns, transportation failures, and financial troubles in trying to rebuild the system that we have neglected.

Many people back in 1977 were laughing at all of the "Chicken Littles" that were going around saying that the system was about to break down, and that it would be difficult to rebuild our ravaged earth. Less than 30 years later, it is no laughing matter. The ever more fierce wars in the Middle East and the unstable oil market are giving us a "crude awakening".

The earth has reached its apex.

In three to four years, things will begin to unravel, and the truth will be understood.

We are running out of time.

Our outrageous demand for oil and energy will eventually outstrip the capacity of producers to supply it. Then, as Jimmy Carter stated, economies will fall into disarray and its impact would be equivalent to that of war.

Look at us now.

This war on terror is only a drop in the bucket compared to what could happen if we reach what theorists call "peak oil."

Peak oil refers to the point at which the world reaches maximum production of oil. The rate of oil production declines from this point, so that the demand outweighs the supply in exponentially greater proportions as time goes by.

Peak oil theory has been called a myth by naysayers, who compare it to the Y2K scare of the late 1990’s. However, "peak oil" theory is a model for the beginning of the end of our civilization.

I am not talking about an extinction level event. The "peak oil" scenario is survivable. I am talking about the end of our convenient lifestyle. With the coming changes, adaptability will have to take over. If you are unable to adapt, then a pessimistic Darwinian fate awaits you, while the stronger, more intelligent members of the species survive.

According to the environmental and natural resource economics model prepared by Tom Tietenberg in 1992, our ability to live on the earth will decline at a rapid rate if peak oil theory is true and we continue to increase our consumption of resources.

"Society will run out of the nonrenewable resources on which the industrial base depends. When the resources have been depleted, a precipitous collapse of the economic system will result, manifested in massive unemployment, decreased food production, and a decline in population as the death rate soars. There is no smooth transition, no gradual slowing down of activity; rather, the economic system consumes successively larger amounts of the depletable resources until they are gone. The characteristic behavior of the system is overshoot and collapse."-Tom Tietenberg 1992

This model was prepared with the idea of exponential growth increasing at about 3 percent each year.

Once again we break out some very ominous statistics. The world’s total oil production declined in 2001 and 2002. It rose .5 percent in 2003. The demand rose by nearly 2 percent that year.

I think we are beginning to see why we are in the Middle East and why the administration is lying to us about their motives. If peak oil theory is viable, the war in Iraq will be remembered as the prelude to a far bloodier and more devastating affair.

The decline in oil supplies that we are beginning to see will trigger all kinds of horrible disasters in places that were once considered economically stable. These include the United States, Europe, and another great over–consumer country, China.

The industry hardest hit will be industrial agriculture. The gathering of meat and produce depends on oil that is used as raw material for fertilizers, and to run machinery. If there are no fossil fuels to power these machines, the earth will face starvation. If there are depleted resources to use to transport these goods, they will eventually rot in the warehouses.

This could result in a major die–off of people all over the globe. The world population levels will eventually adjust to accommodate the decreased availability of resources.

Billions of the population could be wiped out as a result of famine.

Not to mention the wars and civil unrest that would occur as those who are still alive fight for food and clean water.

When you turn on CNN and see the uprisings in Najaf and other areas surrounding Baghdad, you may be looking at the prologue to the new civilization that will take hold in about 30 years.

You will see third–world violence move to the streets of the United States.

If we can avert our fate at the last minute by finding alternatives to fossil fuels, perhaps all of the pessimistic models can be thrown out and we can all breathe a sigh of relief.

But remaining ignorant of the reality of resource depletion can have devastating effects.

You see, what we are observing is a situation normal to apocalypse scenarios. While living in the lap of luxury, we power up our large–screen television sets and watch on the nightly news as other people around the globe become more violent and more desperate because they are hungry and poor.

The television news won’t tell you that, for these unfortunate people, the end of the world is now. They won’t tell you that you are witnessing the last labored breaths of a dying planet.

They won’t ask: which civilization will be wiped out next?