Peak Oil Breaks in the Canadian Corporate Media

Finally! The Toronto Star gets credit for making this breakthrough with the publication on February 15th of two articles by Cathal Kelly, Take Peak Oil seriously – it’ll be here much sooner than you think, and Meet the doomsayers of our time. The “doomer” slant is preponderant but then, why wouldn’t it be? “Doomer” after all, is a frame created by the corporate media.

The media spin will be on whacked out survivalists. No mention is made of Matthew Simmons, oil industry investment banker and advisor to the Bush administration. No mention will be made that both Bush and Cheney’s Texas ranches are state-of-the-art solar, etc. and completely off the grid.

Look for President Obama to be the first politician to mouth the words “peak oil.” It is time to prepare the public psyche for some very serious legislation that either has already been passed (and no one knows about it) to some gems that are in the chute.

Look for President Obama to speak the words “peak oil” during his visit to Canada to meet with Prime Minister Harper. Canada and the U.S. will seek to meld their climate change and environmental policies, perhaps eventually agreeing on a North American (read, North American Union) cap-and-trade system to control greenhouse gas emissions. The visit would seem to be the perfect stage.



  1. Thus far the U.S. Congress and the president have not commissioned the National Academy of Sciences to study Peak Oil impacts.

    We know we are at Peak Oil now, according to most independent studies and what the International Energy Agency says between the lines in interviews. And we know that the alternatives are not going to make up for a significant portion of the liquid fuels gap (according to the U.S. General Accountability Office study: )

    This is where the NAS can help, by alerting the nation, Congress, and the president about Peak Oil and the problems ahead. This is a catastrophe that requires the policy advice of NAS for the nation. Politicians will not break the bad news to the public, but the NAS would.

    This is not the place for a cacophony of interest groups, bloggers, environmentalists, engineers, geologisst, academics, and energy companies to advise the president and Congress. The president and Congress will need the advice of NAS as this catastrophe unfolds. The NAS is the only source that has the necessary credibility to advise the nation on how to face this challenge:

    With increasing costs for gasoline and diesel, along with declining taxes and declining gasoline tax revenues, states and local governments will eventually have to cut staff and curtail highway maintenance. Eventually, gasoline stations will close, and state and local highway workers won’t be able to get to work. We are facing the collapse of the highways that depend on diesel and gasoline powered trucks for bridge maintenance, culvert cleaning to avoid road washouts, snow plowing, and roadbed and surface repair.

    When the highways fail, so will the power grid, as highways carry the parts, large transformers, steel for pylons, and high tension cables from great distances. With the highways out, there will be no food coming from far away, and without the power grid virtually nothing modern works, including home heating, pumping of gasoline and diesel, airports, communications, and automated building systems.

    Documented here:

  2. Clifford:

    It is my understanding that presidential administrations, dating back to the Carter administration and possibly to the Nixon administration, have been aware of Peak Oil. I would imagine that fall-back positions have been in place for some time.

    Re “This is where the NAS can help, by alerting the nation, Congress, and the president about Peak Oil and the problems ahead.” Yes, true enough, if such an honest intent were in place. Unfortunately, even if the NAS was brought into the loop at this stage, its impact would likely be limited and co-opted by other agencies that are, and have been, running with the file for some time, i.e. CIA, FEMA.

    It is not a comfortable place to sit for an administration, on the cusp at the end of a civilization. How does one put an acceptable spin on the notion of the good times being over and that they are not coming back? This is our “banquet of consequences.” The social turmoil that lies on the horizon is a bullet that cannot be dodged.

  3. Peak Oil and the options were examined and published by the NAS in 1977,”Energy in Transition 1985 to 2010,” and it was obvious then that there was no fall back position and no transition to make without some unlikely breakthroughs. The only solution then was massive conservation, like immediately ending automobile transportation globally and stopping population growth.

    A study by the NAS now would alert the nation, get the blame off of the President, and stop these foolish ideas that there is a wind/solar or some other quick fix that will save us. Then some people would be able to prepare for Peak Oil impacts.

    For more info:

  4. Re “A study by the NAS now would alert the nation.” I doubt very much if such a study would determine any more or new data/information that has not already been determined by the Peak Oil community, international energy agencies inclusive.

    I fail to understand “get the blame off the President.” The trajectory towards the current crisis has been underway for 100 years. He just happens to be in the engineer’s seat of the runaway freight at a very critical moment. The political stripe of whoever sits in the White House or Canadian Parliament is irrelevant. I would dare say that such political affiliations are redundant. The personalities are mere sock puppets.

    Re “stop these foolish ideas that there is a wind/solar or some other quick fix that will save us.” Agree totally. Of course, it doesn’t help much when such charlatans as Green are propped up as media darlings. Green policies are the most deceptive of all, coming from a demographic that should know better, i.e. there is no painless prance through a field of sunflowers towards some Green economic nirvana.

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