In the first half of the program, leading educator on Peak Oil, the point at which we reach maximum global oil production, Richard Heinberg, talked about the devastating impact it will have on our economic, food, and transport systems. Heinberg speculated that the world is either at this point or "very close to it," because "high prices and increasing demands don't seem to be budging supply very much." He said that the dire straits of oil production can also be seen in how energy companies have exhausted the easier "low hanging fruit" reserves and are now faced with extracting oil with increasingly more expensive, slow, and environmentally hazardous locations and means.
Beyond just oil, Heinberg warned that other forms of fuel are also in danger of reaching their peak. On a local level, he explained that merely producing a meal requires extensive use of gas to transport the food, coal powered electricity to refrigerate it, and natural gas to cook it. This current journey from farm to plate, he said, requires a staggering 7 to 10 calories of fossil fuel energy for every 1 calorie of food consumed. At the point where the world reaches peak oil, Heinberg foresees a gradual decline in production that will cause a panic from the financial systems around the globe. In order to better prepare for this grim future, Heinberg suggested that the United States begin training people to manufacture and repair goods as well as grow foods. "That's the kind of economy we're moving back towards," he predicted.
In the latter half, geopolitical analyst Craig B. Hulet discussed evidence of Saudi intelligence being involved with 9/11 as well as his concerns surrounding the War on Terror. He pointed to a recent lawsuit brought by insurance company Lloyd's of London against the Saudi government, which alleges that the country was complicit in the September 11th attacks. "We've got evidence being collected that absolutely proves Saudi Arabia was behind 9/11," Hulet declared. While he acknowledged that this does not absolve the terrorists who committed the attack, he stressed that "none of this could have happened, for the last 20 years, without hundreds of millions of dollars from the Saudi royal family." Additionally, Hulet cited a West Point document which says that over half the foreign fighters killing Americans in Afghanistan and Iraq are Saudis.
Hulet also addressed a number of suspicious elements surrounding the War on Terror. Regarding the invasion of Iraq, Hulet said that the early use of ground troops in the country revealed that the government knew that Saddam Hussein did not actually have weapons of mass destruction. "If he'd had chemical or biological weapons," Hulet surmised, "we would have had to bomb them into the stone age or we'd never put troops on the ground." He also noted a resurgence in CIA-sponsored drug trafficking and said that numerous government contracted private planes, shown to be carrying huge amounts of narcotics, have crashed in recent years. Making matter even more nefarious, Hulet said that "in between these flights, they were also taking detainees from Guantanamo Bay to places like Libya to be tortured."
An amateur astronomer in Paris has captured footage of the UARS climate satellite due to return to Earth sometime this weekend. While NASA expects most of the craft to burn up before reaching Earth, the space agency does suspect that over two dozen larger pieces could hit the planet. Chillingly, NASA says that they will not know where the pieces will land until approximately two hours before impact. More on the story at BBC News.
Bumper music from Wednesday September 21, 2011