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Phil Butler's superconsumers

The super-consumer. Few geopolitical analysts out there have seen fit to blame the world’s woes on the real culprits. Sure, the George Soros evil billionaires play a major role, but compared to the “real” people doing [the] using up and wearing out, the Bezos and Elon Musk types are just ringmasters in the world destruction circus.

Why don’t we ever focus on the real reasons behind things like the invasion of Iraq? How come the so-called “War on Terror” never really put a dent in terrorist activities? It’s time we took an honest look at where we are, how we got here, and where we want to go as a planet. And rehashing the same old delusions will not get us anywhere, [since] COVID proved globalization was a lie. Let’s look with our eyes on the real problem with Earth.

I was studying “Peak Oil” again recently when I came across a sobering report by Julianne Geiger, editor of Oil Price, “The Real Reason Why Oil And Gas Is Here To Stay.” The report tells the tale of the world’s carbon footprint and how we are doomed to whatever global warming has in store for Earth. According to Geiger, “the wealthiest 1% account for 15% of the world’s emissions–more than twice the emissions generated by people in the bottom 50%.”  And the richest countries are not about to give up fossil fuels.

She goes on to frame how the real reason why global climate targets are doomed to fail is cognitive dissonance and superconsumers. Or, in no uncertain terms, Americans and other oil entitled people simply lie to themselves to justify using up everything on the planet. As a patriotic American, and an honest one, I can attest to how we rationalize anything that makes us feel good. Not only do my countrymen deny climate change even exists, they complain like whining crybabies every time gas prices go up. It’s like watching and listening to crack addicts justify drug dealing.

Sadly, the UN report the Oil Price editor sources in her report reveals a damnable fact. According to the UN, the richer nations would have to cut their carbon footprint by 97% to stave off the devastating climate change experts project by the end of the decade. According to the experts, we’re headed toward a temperature rise in excess of 3°C this century. That is, unless Americans get their shit together, and quickly. And while the media is bashing actor Leonardo DiCaprio over the “Don’t Look Up” film and his saying the media is part of the climate change problem, at the moment activist Greta Thunburg is vilified, [and] humanity is at the crossroads. And not only because of global warming.

Oil. Money. Power. Because of these, what other calamities await before 2030? Well, all out war seems imminent over who supplies the world’s richest with gas. No really. Do you actually believe the recent Ukraine crisis has anything to do with the manifest destiny of Ukranians? Russians have ethnic, language, and cultural ties with many people in that poor country. But, Europeans and Americans? Nobody gives a damn about what happens in Kyiv or in the Donbass. The issue with this Russian borderland is historic on the one hand and gas logic on the other. Russia’s wealth has been the big prize since the invention of fire, and the Russians becoming wealthier by selling gas to Europe is the cause of modern mayhem. As progressive as Vladimir Putin’s thinking is, the oligarchs and most of the people just want to finally become part of that 1%. The trend for Russia, China, and the rest of the BRICS is to finally be superconsumers just like in the American movies. The idiocy would be bad enough if there were plenty of oil and power to go around. But there isn’t.

It’s no mystery why the United States and allies are hell bent on tromping down Iran, Venezuela, Iraq, and even Russia. These are the only places with substantial fossil fuel energy reserves remaining. I don’t want to get into a discussion about “Peak Oil” here, but the fact Saudi Arabia is lobbying for more world oil exploration says it all. A recent Bloomberg story [here] about Saudi ministers warning of a collapse in oil supply, past evidence from WikiLeaks about Saudi production, and...another revelation from a different Oil Price editor. They are running out. America’s shale desperation cannot keep up when the Middle East runs dry. The situation is desperate for all those Baby Boomers getting dividends from Shell or Exxon stocks. The Saudis are pretty much done unless they can fund external exploration, or get richer from an ARAMCO IPO. Think on this, and understand what’s really happening.

Western mainstream media says Vladimir Putin has an advantage in the current geostrategic quagmire. And in this case the corporate owned media is correct. Russia, Iran, and to a lesser extent Venezuela have the gas. Europe and North America do not. At least not where inexpensive recovery and refining are concerned. This is why Washington, London, and Brussels need NATO in Ukraine. This is why there are troop build ups on Russia’s frontiers. This is why Vladimir Putin is phoning the White House, calling for sanity. The reality is, even if Russia’s leader were to make Greta Thunberg minister of energy, the world’s last batch of gas for superconsumers would still be underneath Russian soil. And the 1% must grab it.

Now that we are clear, perhaps we can talk about averting the destruction of our world.


Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, he’s an author of the recent bestseller “Putin’s Praetorians” and other books. He writes exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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