News, notes, and observations from the James River Valley in northern South Dakota with special attention to reviewing the performance of the media--old and new. E-Mail to

Friday, January 25, 2008

We'll be out of oil in seven years?

The CEO of Shell oil, Jeroen Van der Veer, has told his company's employees that demand for oil will outstrip the supply in seven years.

His dire forecast reflects a change in attitude in the oil industry. The corporate line up to this time has been to deny that there is any end in sight for our supply of petroleum

The CEO stressed the need to develop alternative forms of energy. We have challenges. Science and engineering has greatly improved the design of nuclear plants except for one thing. We haven't found a safe way to dispose of the nuclear waste. Growing grains and biomass crops for conversion to ethanol poses a looming threat to the cost and supply of food. And as yet solar and wind energy systems have not been developed in ways that can deliver 0n-demand energy.

After Enron, our subsidization of war profiteering in Iraq, and the mortgage fiasco, we are going to China and the Middle East to borrow billions to stimulate our economy. Our economy has become based on consumption, not production. Avarice of corporations and stupidity of our officials are a much bigger threat to the U.S. than Al Qaeda. The war and our failing economy are irrevocably linked.

Developing the security and integrity of our economy is the moral equivalent of war. As yet, no presidential candidates have addressed the matter directly. Maybe one of them will listen to the CEO of Shell.

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Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States