Hooked on Scarcity - Reactions to New Energy and other Observations

Wade Frazier

Revised July 2014

 

Introduction

Richard Heinberg’s Exclamation Points

Michael Ruppert’s Alternative Energy Advice

Why all the Misinformation and Disinformation? – Are We Hooked on Scarcity?

Replacing Scarcity Consciousness with Abundance Consciousness

Footnotes

 

Introduction

This essay was originally intended as a companion essay to this one.  This essay explores the issues in more depth.  In early 2003 I became aware of Richard Heinberg’s work and had a brief exchange with him after I read his magnum opus, The Party’s Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies.  His treatment of energy sources not currently recognized by mainstream science (also called new energy or free energy) seemed inadequate and misleading, and I tried educating him on the subject.  My attempt was not successful.  I was not planning to write publicly about Heinberg’s treatment of new energy, but he became a prominent voice in alternative energy circles since our brief exchange.  Similar to how the New York Times is America’s agenda setting media, Heinberg’s work has come to dominate the mindset of many alternative energy advocates.

Humanity’s long journey has always been primarily defined by its energy usage.  Our immediate and long-term future is critically dependent on the energy situation, and facile dismissals of promising alternatives such as new energy require rebuttal.  New energy can dwarf all other potential solutions, and even catalyze something that looks like heaven on Earth.  Mainstream science, politics, and the media cannot be relied upon to investigate, much less promote, the paradigm shattering solutions that new energy promises.  Institutional science has been controlled by vested economic interests in a well-known phenomenon of long standing, which that R. Buckminster Fuller remarked upon. 

Thomas Kuhn was the first to use the term “paradigm” to describe how scientists see the universe.  Kuhn wrote about “normal” and “revolutionary” science.  Normal science is what 99.9% of all scientists do everyday, which is pursuing issues bounded by the paradigm that they operate within.  Kuhn compared such activity to puzzle solving.  Paradigms are essentially worldviews that rest upon assumptions.  Kuhn described paradigm shifts in science, which he called “scientific revolutions,” which were based on challenging the prevailing paradigm’s assumptions.  The most famous paradigm shift was Einstein’s challenge of Newton’s assumptions of absolute time and absolute space.  Relativity theory will one day fall to another paradigm shift, and Einstein expected it, stating that, “every theory is killed by a fact.”  Paradigm-shifting work can encounter fierce resistance from institutional science, with the scientific establishment pursuing its heretics with the zeal of medieval inquisitors.  That inquisitorial behavior is an aspect of what is sometimes called close-minded science.

More than 99% of all scientists are presently incapable of the insights required to initiate paradigm shifts, because questioning our assumptions about reality is among humanity’s most unusual behaviors.  Solitary scientists and inventors have initiated many if not most of the greatest innovations of science and technology, while the scientific establishment fought/ignored them the entire way, often stealing credit when the innovation became too prominent to be ignored, with the pioneer dying in obscurity (or worse).  Fuller stated that only one-in-every-100,000 scientifically trained people would make the breakthroughs that will keep humanity advancing technologically, but that one would be sufficient.  Institutional science has usually done far more to hinder than assist radical scientific and technological breakthroughs.  Two examples are how scientists greeted the light bulb and the airplane.  Those are not irrelevant examples of a bygone era, but the resistance of institutional scientists to novel data and technological breakthroughs is arguably far more pronounced today than it was a century ago.

Today, microbiology students are taught a utilitarian fairy tale about how spontaneous generation theory was overturned during the 1800s, with the textbooks ignoring relatively recent work that demonstrates how flawed such a presentation is.  Such misinformation is not benign, but probably marches students off in the wrong direction on their first day of class.  Much of modern disease theory and treatment is based on that questionable foundation.  A few days before I began writing this essay, mainstream science once again stumbled upon evidence that has long been suppressed.[1]  Will scientists begin seeing the forest that those trees may belong to?

A materialistic paradigm dominates the scientific establishment, which is ironic given that the giants of twentieth century physics were mostly, to one degree or another, mystics.  All too often, scientists and philosophers equate materialism with rationalism, and even rationalism is overrated.  Cool rationalism is considered the hallmark of science, but many of science and technology’s greatest breakthroughs were initiated through intuitive flashes of insight.  For instance, one of my mentors invented what was considered the world’s best engine for powering an automobile.  The engine’s design appeared to him in an instant at a stoplight.  The pillars of twentieth century physics, relativity and quantum theory, both came to their authors in flashes of insight

Because of complacency, corruption, and groupthink, institutional science is presently incapable of assessing the merits of new energy.  The scientific establishment, in interlocking and subservient self-interest with the global corporate/energy interests, which also own America’s politicians and mainstream media, is about the last place to look to for an honest and competent assessment of new energy’s potential.  The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (“MIT”) manipulated its data in order to dismiss cold fusion.  MIT “coincidently” has been a major recipient of funding for hot fusion research.  Arthur C. Clarke said that the dismissal of cold fusion was, “perhaps one of the greatest scandals in the history of science.”[2]  Most people think that cold fusion was disproven soon after it was announced, although it has been reproduced in hundreds of laboratories across the planet. 

With the mainstream being a virtually worthless forum for exploring an issue that may dictate humanity’s immediate future, “alternative” venues, particularly those existing on the Internet, assume potentially great significance. 

           

Richard Heinberg’s Exclamation Points

Deep in Heinberg’s The Party’s Over, he discussed the range of possible alternative energy solutions that is sometimes called new energy.[3]  I believe that the only place in his book where he used exclamation points was when putting words in the mouths of new energy advocates.  His summation of the milieu was largely confined to noting that Internet discussions of new energy seemed “pervaded” by “paranoia and extravagant claims…”  Heinberg’s exclamation points came when he “quoted” those making “paranoid and extravagant claims.”  Paranoia and extravagance are often in the eye of the beholder.  I have encountered many paranoid inventors, and they often had good reasons for their paranoia.  Paranoia can be an extreme reaction to real events.  If an inventor gets blindsided once, he never knows when he will get hit again (making the term “paranoia” a dubious one to describe their fear), and many inventive minds are also susceptible to Paranoid Personality Disorder.  It is an occupational hazard, as genius is a close cousin to insanity.

Heinberg’s first exclamation-point statement was that the oil companies were buying up “patents and suppressing the evidence!”  I know that phenomenon, and there is little paranoid or extravagant about it.  A fellow corporate executive told me of investigating that exact situation during his Department of Justice days, where the automobile and oil companies conspired to suppress high-mile-per-gallon carburetors.  Another friend of mine, who was an accomplished engineer, began building his own high-mile-per-gallon carburetor, to only discover that the oil and automobile companies indeed owned all the patents.  That situation is no “urban legend.”  What I have seen in that realm is probably only the tip of the iceberg, and undoubtedly encompasses the suppression of new energy.[4]

Heinberg’s second exclamation-point statement was that the military had created free energy devices using “technology stolen from space aliens!”  One of the most promising, global paradigm shifting projects that I am aware of is Steven Greer’s Disclosure Project.  Beginning in 1991, Greer assembled astronauts, military personnel (including generals), politicians, NASA employees, corporate executives, and the like to publicly testify regarding what they know about extraterrestrials.  Nearly five hundred witnesses came forward, including Mercury Seven astronaut Gordon Cooper.  Many already delivered highly compelling, first hand testimony under oath to Congress in secret hearings, as well as publicly.  Others have also spoken out, often at great risk.  In 1993, R. James Woolsey, the Director of the CIA, invited Greer to brief him.  Bill Clinton was ultimately a beneficiary of the briefing.  Clinton and Woolsey had tried finding out about the secret ET-related projects, and were told that their security clearance was not high enough.[5]  Greer has given a fair number of briefings to high-ranking U.S. officials, including many in the military.

Greer has also briefed high-ranking officials from many foreign governments and international bodies, and has yet to receive a scoffing reaction to his briefings from any official, either domestic or foreign.  The typical reactions are deep concern and often despair as they realize that they can seemingly do little about the situation (they could, if they mustered some courage; but that is a discussion for another time).  When Greer briefed the Vatican, a cardinal observed that dismissing the testimony of the Disclosure Project witnesses and the related evidence would be a highly irrational act. 

Two main lines of evidence require consideration when assessing the situation.  The first line is the direct evidence of contact with intelligent extra-terrestrial (“ET”) life.  Greer’s witnesses have testified to recovering downed alien craft and alien bodies, seeing photographs of artificial structures on the moon and elsewhere, and witnessing alien technology shutting down nuclear missiles in their silos and shooting them out of the sky.  Some of that testimony is readily available today.  The second line of evidence is that virtually all witnesses have reported that their testimony was given in direct defiance of national security laws that they are subject to, or to direct threats to never reveal what they witnessed.  The first line of evidence needs to be considered in tandem with the second line of evidence.  Most of Greer’s witnesses want a waiver of U.S. national security laws before they will publicly testify.  I believe the most compelling testimony has yet to be made public because the witnesses fear imprisonment and other reprisals, including murder. 

I have watched people ignore the second line of evidence while trying to dismiss the first.  The more charitable dismissals go something like this, “They did not see what they thought they saw.”  Such an analysis can only aspire to credibility if the second line of evidence is ignored.  If they did not see what they thought they saw, then why were they threatened into silence (a silence that some have already paid a great price for breaking)?  The logic that the silence is enforced to protect national security is not compelling.  I have encountered the same logic when people have denied/ignored my experiences gained while pursuing new energy. 

In 1988, we were pursuing rather mundane technology to try creating zero-operating cost energy.  The technical heavyweights involved with us believed that “free energy” was possible with what we were attempting.  It has been satisfying to find scientists saying today that what we attempted is possible.[6]  We were offered about a billion dollars to cease our efforts, and then wiped out after we refused it.  When critics have told me they were not sure our technology was viable, I responded with, “Whoever offered us a billion dollars to cease our efforts had less doubt about our technology’s potential.”  I have yet to receive a response of any kind from those critics to that statement.  They act as if I never mentioned the billion-dollar bribe.  People are free to dismiss our “claims” of the offer we received, but I have never seen a credible dismissal, partly because they never considered the fact that my former partner mounted what is probably the biggest run ever made at bringing alternative energy the American marketplace, and we had acquired technology with extraordinary potential immediately before we were wiped out.  According to Greer’s sources, the offer we received was simply a day at the office for those who make sure free energy never comes to market.[7]  The larger context must be considered when giving weight to our “claims,” but is something our critics have never competently and honestly done.  They have invariably resorted to lying about it and/or played dishonest rhetorical games.  Also, the main purpose of the Disclosure Project or work like mine is not to have our “claims” believed; it is making the case that the situation is worth investigating.  The Disclosure Project primarily wants a safe venue where its witnesses can publicly testify.  The armchair critics (many on the energy interest and “national security” payroll) have also avoided that issue. 

I also know a little about the ET technology situation from the inside.  When people begin banging on the White House front door and other places of power, trying to bring new energy to the world, they can enter a reality that resembles the X-Files.  After years of sailing in that strange environment, a close associate was given an underground demonstration of free energy and anti-gravity technology.  My friend did not even believe in ETs, but he described almost exactly what Greer’s UFO witnesses have testified to (I heard his story years before I heard the Disclosure Project witnesses describe the same technologies), which is the Disclosure Project’s primary upshot.  When asked why there is such a massive cover-up of the ET presence, the most common answer from Greer’s witnesses is that it is to prevent free energy and antigravity technology from becoming public knowledge, as the “secret government” types and super elites would quickly lose their stranglehold over humanity.  I do not know what is paranoid or extravagant about Gordon Cooper, military officials, and corporate executives who say they witnessed such events.  There is nothing inherently unscientific about the ET issue.  Competent scientists and investigators go where the evidence takes them, while leaving their ideological objections and belief barriers at home.

In Heinberg’s discussion of the ET situation and the “paranoid and extravagant claims” made about it, he seemed to cede all power over humanity’s future to the USA's government.  He wrote that because “black projects” and related government activities are surrounded by secrecy and disinformation, it is “impossible” to know what was happening, so it was better to stop speculating about free energy being developed from captured ET technology. 

At least in theory, the USA's government works for the American people.  Heinberg avidly proposes that humanity quickly shed more than six billion people from its population, and believes that it likely will not be done wisely.[8]  Heinberg’s “realistic” scenario means that humanity is very likely facing an unprecedented catastrophe, one that will make all previous wars, famines, and epidemics seem like tame warm-ups.  Greer assembled nearly five hundred people waiting for enough public awareness to protect them, and they will blow the lid off the subject of the big, permanent solution to humanity’s most critical issue.  Those could be history’s most important public hearings.  However, those supposedly serving the common good may have hidden the potential preventive to such a catastrophe behind a veil of secrecy and disinformation.  I would rather try getting behind that curtain than encourage more than six billion people to die off. 

Heinberg’s third and final exclamation point was that the potential for free energy rode on the shoulders of some “maverick” inventor whose prototype generated a “million times more than it consumes!”  There is only one free energy prototype I have heard of that has been measured to produce one million times more energy than it consumed, and that was Floyd (“Sparky”) Sweet’s.  I wrote about our encounters with Sparky and his spectacular technology at this link

Ralph McGehee, Dennis Lee, Brian O’Leary, and I all began our journeys as successful overgrown Boy Scouts who believed in the system.  The CIA recruited Ralph McGehee because he was literally the all-American boy: a clean cut All-American football player from Notre Dame.  Dennis was once “soldier of the month” on his base, and engaged in fistfights in the U.S. Army when fellow soldiers voiced unflattering observations about the USA.  Brian was an astronaut, which was about as all-American as it gets.  We all swallowed our indoctrination and excelled in our pursuits, to later wake up to the big lies that we had been sold.  Most like us also possess a little righteous indignation, because we needed to honestly believe in what we were doing, and discovering how thoroughly we had been lied to was not fun. 

Sparky was cut from similar cloth and bought his American indoctrination hook, line, and sinker.  He had a successful corporate career as a research scientist and retired to pursue more research in his specialization of magnetism.  After Sparky invented his amazing prototypes, he naively mailed them off to the big institutions of government, science and industry, which was when his troubles began.  He called in the FBI to investigate his harassment.  He continually tried working with large corporations and other institutions to develop his technology.  He tried bringing his device to market responsibly, fearing that the short-term economic dislocations it could create might collapse the economy.  While beseeching the establishment all the way, the death threats escalated to where Sparky finally fled into hiding.  Brian met with him in his hiding place in the Mojave Desert, the week before Sparky died.  He was not the only inventor that I knew of who was driven into the desert, to only meet an untimely demise.

When I saw that the three areas of new energy that Heinberg specifically exclamation-pointed were areas where I knew the inside story, I had hoped that he would be willing to be educated.  It was a vain hope.  He quickly clarified his motivation.  He considered new energy an ancillary issue, as his primary mission is reducing Earth’s human population by at least six billion in the near future because there is not enough energy to go around, which seems like begging the question.  Only Heinberg knew his motivation for using exclamation points when discussing new energy, but I doubt it was because he was an enthusiastic supporter of new energy’s potential. 

After the first draft of this essay was written, Heinberg published a follow-up book entitled Powerdown: Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World.  In that book he emphasized themes found in his private correspondence and in The Party’s Over.  Once again, he virtually ignored new energy, and again, about the only exclamation points in his book were used to put words in other people’s mouths.  He again used those exclamation points tellingly: “those wretched oil companies are polluting the air and commandeering our foreign policy – while suppressing new technologies that could save the world!”[9]  To his credit, he admitted that he knew very little about his exclamation-pointed situations.[10]  In later work, he categorically said that there was no evidence that free energy devices worked, which was a claim that he could make by actively avoiding the evidence. 

Powerdown was liberally sprinkled with Heinberg’s austerity aphorisms, such as “Earth cannot afford rich people…”[11]  The scarcity paradigm informs all of Heinberg’s work that I have seen, and I have seen no evidence that Heinberg ever comprehended what an abundance paradigm might look like.  In Heinberg’s view, our only sane and rational choice is reducing our global population by around 90% in the near future.  The closest Heinberg came to addressing an abundance paradigm was framing the idea as an “endless growth” paradigm, which he called “so self-servingly blind as to be morally reprehensible.”[12]  Another option awaits, which moves far beyond self-serving mentalities and the endless-growth/overshoot false dichotomy, where humanity can shift to an environmentally harmless, economically abundant global civilization

This essay will deal with another visible member in the progressive ranks whose work Heinberg heavily influenced. 

 

Michael Ruppert’s Alternative Energy Advice

Michael Ruppert was a Los Angeles Police Department narcotics investigator.  During the 1970s he discovered evidence that the CIA was involved in Middle East drug trafficking.  He encountered the usual whistleblower problems (also see this link) when he tried making the evidence known.  Bucking the system while following one’s conscience is extremely unusual and courageous behavior.  Ruppert received heated criticism from America’s political left after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.  The Left’s criticisms of Ruppert’s work seemed ideologically motivated, which likely reflects its “conspiracy phobia.”  Ruppert and friends appeared to overreact, and promoted a rather weak “Left Gatekeeper” concept.[13]  The true “Left” has almost zero “power” in the USA.  It is tragic that Ruppert and the Left were mutually antagonistic, as both performed vital work and need allies.  Plenty about the official version of the 9/11 terror attacks does not add up.  For years, Ruppert was reluctant to credit the notion that 9/11 was as at least partly an “inside job” by elements of the USA's political/military/intelligence establishment, but credible evidence points toward it.  Ruppert finally began considering that it may partly be an inside job, and eventually campaigned on that theme.[14]  The JFK assassination was at least partly an inside job, and many acts that initiated American wars were either “allowed” to happen or covertly instigated by the USA.

Ruppert’s work grew over the years.  His website published timely and formidable works that increasingly emphasized the global energy situation.  Heinberg’s work heavily influenced Ruppert, and they had each other’s blurbs in their recent books.  While I was reading Heinberg’s The Party’s Over in the spring of 2003, Ruppert’s site published an essay titled, “Nine Critical Questions to Ask About Alternative Energy.”  Long before Ruppert published that essay, I tried interesting him in new energy, to receive a terse, non-committal response and then silence.  Others I know have had similar experiences when trying to get Ruppert to examine the situation more deeply. 

Ruppert was not a scientist and had no experience in the alternative energy field, so his essay was somewhat dependent on guidance from the scientific types around him.  This response is therefore directed more at his advisers than at Ruppert.  Ruppert finished the essay’s introduction with its conclusion, “there is no effective replacement for what hydrocarbon energy provides today.”[15]  In correspondence published on the Internet, Ruppert promoted Heinberg’s prescription of working to immediately reduce Earth’s human population to under a billion people, which is Earth's estimated carrying capacity in the absence of the energy provided by hydrocarbon fuels.

The first point in Ruppert’s article was a good one, which is that the viability of energy sources can only be assessed by considering the energy captured divided by the energy invested (or subtracted from the energy captured).  Energy Return on Energy Invested is one such measure.  Ruppert correctly noted that many have called hydrogen a new energy source when it is nothing of the sort, but merely a means of storing energy, at least in the mundane applications for which the mainstream envisions its use.

In his second question, Ruppert equated “independent testing” of novel technologies with something being “peer reviewed” by the scientific establishment, and implied that until an alternative energy technology had been “peer-reviewed,” claims for it were not to be taken seriously.  The scientific establishment not only ignored the Wright brothers for five years after they first flew, Scientific American ridiculed the persistent reports of their flights, more than a year after they first flew.  The public, however, had only to open their eyes and watch the planes flying through the air.  New energy is far too important to leave in the hands of the scientific establishment, which has demonstrated its inability to honestly and competently assess paradigm-breaking advances many times.  Inventors also contribute to their own demise by their behavior.  I doubt I have met an altruistic inventor (their true motivation will often not become clear until money enters the equation), and the climate of avarice, fear, and delusions of grandeur that invariably haunts new energy efforts has helped derail every effort that I have witnessed. 

Ruppert’s third question stated that seeing an energy device working was not proof of its viability.  His prudent caution was linked to his next question, which has been the acid test that I have always used in evaluating new energy claims: where does the energy come from?  Ruppert cited energy sources currently recognized by the scientific establishment, and said to treat with skepticism claims made of tapping other sources, although he admitted such sources may exist.  For people who become deeply active in the field, it becomes evident that the problem is not a lack of potential technology, but the prodigious inertia found in almost all corners of society (particularly American, although no earthly society has sufficiently escaped that condition), combined with concerted suppression when anybody gets close to delivering any kind of alternative energy that might significantly impact the marketplace.

Ruppert’s fifth question was that if an energy device seemed to defy the laws of thermodynamics, then “something is wrong.”  I agree, but it could be that the “laws” of thermodynamics are wrong or incorrectly interpreted, which is a possibility Ruppert that did not consider.  According to classical thermodynamics, hooking up a hydraulic heat engine to a flat plate evaporator cannot produce “free energy,” although both inventors that we worked with, with considerable accomplishments and credentials, thought it was possible.  Not long before his murder, Dr. Eugene Mallove informed me that by using a Faraday Cage, he reproduced the effect first measured by Wilhelm Reich with his “orgone accumulator.”  Creating a “spontaneous” increase in temperature is contrary to the second law of thermodynamics.  So, what is wrong: the “impossible” results measured by Reich and others, or the second law of thermodynamics?  I can understand former police detective Ruppert not wanting to challenge such hallowed theories (that have attained the lofty stature of “laws”), but highly credible scientists and inventors have adduced data that challenges them.  Reich died in prison for his troubles, with the FDA destroying his orgone accumulators.  Mallove came to a violent end, and I know of no happy endings for those who challenged the citadel of science regarding the new energy issue. 

In Ruppert’s sixth question, he advised “great skepticism” toward those making “extravagant” claims.  What is an extravagant claim?  What is a “reasonable” claim?  Sparky Sweet’s device was measured to produce a million times more energy than went into it.  It was also measured to produce antigravity effects.  How is reporting its performance an “extravagant claim”?  When the Wright brothers flew through the air, the American scientific and media establishment ignored their “extravagant” claims for five years.  When Edison perfected the light bulb, science also derided his “extravagant claims,” even while his light bulbs were lighting up Menlo Park, and Edison was the world’s most famous scientist at the time.  The inventors of the heat pump subsequently developed and sold by Dennis Lee were laughed out of engineering offices as they reported their heat pump’s data.  They then cut their published performance data in half so that engineers would stop laughing at their “extravagant claims.”  Ruppert’s caution against “extravagant claims” seemed similar to Carl Sagan’s skeptical canard, “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”  Ruppert appeared to take Heinberg’s misleading treatment of ET technology a step further, writing, “Did ‘extra-terrestrials’ give the promoter the plan for this invention?”  The most credible allegation on ET technology that I am aware of comes from Greer’s 450-plus witnesses, and Ruppert’s comment bore no relationship to that situation.[16]

Ruppert’s seventh question was concerned with an inventor claiming that his invention created zero pollution.  Ruppert then asserted such a claim is impossible, but then gave examples from traditional energy sources and completely ignoring new energy, which may well produce zero pollution, or perhaps slight thermal pollution (the most benign type) at most.

Ruppert’s eighth question related to obtaining designs and blueprints for an inventor’s device, and finished with the caveat that such designs may be part of a scam.  It could be but, my experience is that even when designs are in the public domain, such as my mentor’s engine is, it does not mean much.  I have rarely seen a soul beyond the lone inventor who vigorously pursues such technologies, even when it is all laid out before them.  Inertia, apathy, and lazy, armchair denial are the typical responses, with people such as Mr. Skeptic actively promoting disinformation.  

Ruppert’s ninth and last question related to some of the technical, economic and social aspects of an energy solution.  It was the best part of his essay, but was still framed within the prevailing scarcity paradigm.  Ruppert said that the shift towards a sustainable civilization could be done alone, but only from within a community.  I will add a big amen, and finish by saying that I believe Ruppert meant well, but was still mired in conventionality and what I call the zero-sum-game paradigm.  One Peak Oil advocate told me that the Industrial Revolution might be the worst thing that ever happened to humanity.[17]  There is another way to view the situation, and an escape from the prescription purveyed by Heinberg, Ruppert and friends, which is that Earth shed six billion people or more in the coming decades.

 

Why all the Misinformation and Disinformation? – Are We Hooked on Scarcity?

Ever since 1986, when I began my alternative energy journey in earnest, I received many reactions from people who hear about the possibility of free, non-polluting, forever renewable energy.  The most common reaction is fear, and those fearful reactions have had a wide spectrum of expression

Soon before I first published this essay, I had a conversation with a learned man who recited the many potential disasters that humanity is poised on the brink of, largely due to our energy practices.  I agree with that assessment.  When I mentioned that free energy could eliminate all those problems, and quickly, he dismissed it in an instant, replying that we could not predict how free energy’s implementation might develop.  He preferred certain doom rather than potential salvation, because he could not predict the final outcome, even though the potential upside was something that looked like heaven on Earth.  I have witnessed that kind of response many times.  That reaction is not confined to the energy issue.  In 1990, when having AIDS was a death sentence, I tried interesting two AIDS patients in a treatment that reversed AIDS.  Those patients could have tried the treatment for little cost, effort or inconvenience.  They chose certain death instead, and a friend similarly died in early 2014.

Why did Heinberg and Ruppert dismiss new energy as they did, particularly regarding the ET/black ops situation?  When given the opportunity to see a vision of true abundance and the possibility of heaven on Earth, people usually avert their eyes as quickly as possible.  Heinberg and Ruppert preached scarcity and austerity, and have a large and growing audience.  It appears that Ruppert was a casualty of his own bleak vision, as he committed suicide in utter despair in 2014.

Many doomsayers seem sincere.  There are possible downsides to new energy’s implementation, but the reactions I have seen are knee jerk dismissals, where new energy is instantly banished from the range of possibilities, not subject to discussion or given the exclamation point treatment before dismissal.  R. Buckminster Fuller provided a possible explanation for such behavior.  Fuller wrote that for nearly the entirety of human history, only one in a thousand humans lived to a ripe old age, and only one in 100,000 became an economic success, so failure was deeply ingrained into human consciousness.  Fuller wrote that scarcity has always been the primary motivation of all soldiers as they battled over scarce resources, and until the scarcity problem had been resolved globally, there would always be wars.  Fuller also wrote that political systems competition would not resolve the scarcity issue, because all political-economic ideologies are founded upon the principle of scarcity and are primarily concerned with who gets the scarce resources.  Communism's and capitalism’s main difference was deciding who received the benefit of the scarce resources: the workers, or those who exploit them (known as capitalists). 

The fearful reaction to the concept of abundance can be a puzzling one, and a mystical explanation may suffice, although it is doubtful that anybody on Earth can really “prove” it.  Earth may well be a school of hard knocks, where souls come to learn difficult lessons, and having heaven on Earth would make the kill-or-be-killed game obsolete.  Those denying free energy’s potential may be protecting their soul’s game of scarcity, severe limitation, and hardship. 

Do people who embrace doom and reject possible salvation feel unworthy?  After many years of repeatedly witnessing the same reaction, I came to believe that I was witnessing an emotional phenomenon in the doomsayers and deniers.  It may be emotionally safer to expect failure.  Whether it is Fuller’s idea of a deeply ingrained belief in scarcity or a mystical notion that the physical plane experience is supposed to be full of hardship, humanity may be hooked on scarcity.  How can we break that addiction, and do we want to?

 

Replacing Scarcity Consciousness with Abundance Consciousness

Because Heinberg articulated his scarcity argument better than most, I researched his influences and came to understand M. King Hubbert’s “Peak Oil” theory better (and realized it may well be accurate and humanity is near or at its highest oil extraction rate – 2014 update: it seems to have been reached globally in 2005-2006, the year after this essay was first published).  The title for Heinberg’s book can be found in Kenneth Deffeyes’s Hubbert’s Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage.  I studied the collapse of civilizations, including Joseph Tainter’s The Collapse of Complex Societies.[18]

Carl Sauer is a seminal figure in the modern environmental movement and one of the greatest scholars that America has yet produced.  In 1938, long before it became fashionable, he remarked that much of Western ideology rested on the notion of forever increasing productivity and new lands ready to be filled by “settlers,” but such expansion permanently impoverished the planet.  Sauer noted that that optimistic notion was born when Europe learned how to conquer the planet.  William Catton in Overshoot, published in 1982, repeated Sauer’s theme.[19]  Since Catton’s work deeply influenced Heinberg’s thesis, addressing the Overshoot hypothesis is vital to understanding the paradigm that Heinberg and friends operate from.  Catton also dealt extensively with Kuhn’s paradigm concept and noted that when people operate from within a paradigm it is difficult to see beyond it, which I agree with.  Paradigms are built on assumptions, and examining its assumptions is essential to understanding any paradigm. 

The primary thrust of Overshoot was that the West, particularly the USA (which is about the only nation that Catton examined in Overshoot), had been in an era of “exuberance” for hundreds of years due to two factors: discovering a “new” hemisphere and exploiting fossil fuels.  As the New World filled up with people and fossil fuels became depleted, the exuberant era waned, and Catton’s marker was the oil crisis of 1973.[20]  Indeed, the American standard of living began declining with the 1973 crisis, and is called the end of the postwar boom.  People began competing more fiercely over scarce resources, yet exuberant ideologies remained, although with the patchwork modifications that Catton described.  Catton’s description of the modifications to the exuberance paradigm is similar to Kuhn’s account of how paradigms are modified to account for “anomalies,” until the anomalies mount to such a degree that a new paradigm is proposed that explains the anomalies and the old paradigm is discarded.  Catton made the case for a paradigm shift from a philosophy of limitlessness to one of limits that humanity has already exceeded (which is what “overshoot” means).  Kuhn remarked that scientists did not accept one paradigm over another because it was “better,” more predictive and so on, but because scientists believed in it.  That notion further fueled raging debates on the nature of reality and if there is such a thing as objectivity.

What is a “resource?”  Catton’s discussion of “resources” was appropriately confined almost entirely to energy, and may be the primary virtue of the work of Heinberg and friends.  The Party’s Over, The Collapse of Complex Societies, Hubbert’s Peak, and Overshoot all are based on the understanding that real economies are best described in terms of energy, and that financial concepts are simply accounting games subject to manipulation, and can obscure reality instead of accurately depicting it. 

Catton’s book contained so much specialized terminology that it included a glossary.  Along with terms such as “resource” and “carrying capacity,” Heinberg and/or Catton stressed: limitlessness, self-limiting, sustainable, and exhaustible.  Some of Catton’s assumptions are discussed in the related essay, which new energy can invalidate. 

Catton made much of the assumption of limitlessness in modern ideology, but largely quoted American politicians to make his case.  If we accept the vacuous speeches of politicians for what they are and look instead to the actual planners of governmental policy, a different picture emerges, where the scarcity underlying the world economy is frankly acknowledged.  There are many dishonest and sold-out scholars and scientists who purvey the propaganda of the rich and powerful, but such work is designed to delude the masses and is rarely taken seriously in the halls of power.  Modern economics does not rest on assumptions of limitlessness, but instead relies on scarcity-based concepts such as the invisible hand of competition and the law of supply and demand, and is dominated by a greed-based ideology known as capitalism. 

Earth’s surface is obviously finite, but it is also far more than adequate to support 2014's seven billion people at a very high standard of living, with no harm done to Earth’s ecosystems, if new energy was wisely implemented.  Does self-limiting have to mean self-eliminating?  Austerity advocates seem to think so.  If self-limiting means living harmlessly, the enlightened adoption of new energy is far more “self-limiting” than the “sustainable” prescriptions of Heinberg and friends.  If new energy was implemented, there might be no “exhaustible resources.” 

Much of Catton’s marshaled evidence can readily fit into another paradigm, one that may describe today’s reality more accurately.  The “exuberant” ideologies Catton described have only been “limitless” from an egocentric, self-serving perspective.  Ever since Europeans began conquering the world, there were no illusions in high places about the true nature of their imperial efforts.  Their “unlimited” perspective was the notion that there were “unlimited” lands and people to rape and plunder, but even Columbus realized the people were not unlimited.  Far from being an “unlimited” perspective, it was the same old zero-sum-game perspective that had dominated human awareness for millennia.  The “unlimited” perspective of the conqueror was dependent on the conquered losing everything.  The main difference with the European experience was that ecologically wealthy lands were discovered where its inhabitants were easily conquered and enslaved (Spanish and Portuguese) or exterminated (English, Dutch, American …the French were underachievers in both, although contenders).  Catton almost exclusively used America as his example nation, but a nation that has waged almost continuous war against other peoples since its inception, as it grew to become history’s largest power, is not one that regards the world as limitless.  People living in true abundance do not wage war.

In history’s wealthiest and most powerful nation, the vast majority of the population lives only a few missed paychecks from becoming homeless, with bankruptcy a rampant condition.  A life of quiet desperation is the rule of the day, and the “exuberant” perspective that Catton stressed is not much in evidence, except for establishment ideologues such as Julian Simon and the relatively few others who benefit from serving the elite.  Orwell’s 1984 may describe American reality better than anything else, where establishment mouthpieces broadcast the party line of everything being better than ever, which only the deeply brainwashed political class believes (largely because there are material benefits to being brainwashed).  The working class can believe whatever they want as long as they keep working.  My American ancestors, where every man fought in wars and many lived through the Great Depression, did not live by exuberant ideology, although my father’s parents thought that anything less than a 3,000 calorie meal was starvation rations, while my grandmother saved string and displayed other behaviors that reflected her austere past. 

Imperial societies have always played elaborate games to make murder, theft, and exploitation appear to be noble undertakings.  Two astute commentators from long ago might as well have been writing about early 21stcentury America:

 

"Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception." - Mark Twain, The Mysterious Stranger, 1916.

 

"The enemy aggressor is always pursuing a course of larceny, murder, rapine and barbarism.  We are always moving forward with high mission, a destiny imposed by the Deity to regenerate our victims while incidentally capturing their markets, to civilise savage and senile and paranoid peoples while blundering accidentally into their oil wells or metal mines." - John T. Flynn, As We Go Marching, 1944

 

A common argument against the idea of new energy is that with it, humanity would quickly deplete the world’s remaining resources and suffer an even more catastrophic environmental collapse than we are already on the brink of.  Can we avert that envisioned catastrophe if energy was free, non-polluting and forever renewable? 

Homo sapiens is a bipedal ape that left its tropical home long ago.  Humans survived beyond their natural habitat by using intelligence and manipulative ability to extract energy from their environment.  The human journey has always been based on energy extraction, preservation, and consumption, and early civilization seems to have appeared due to Malthusian factors, when the hunter-gatherer’s basic energy supply (megafauna and other easily hunted animals) was used up and the human population was then sustained by domesticating plants and animals.  With civilization came social and economic stratification, with the beginning of ideological indoctrination to justify the stratification, because there obviously was not enough to go around.  The root assumption of scarcity has informed all ideologies ever since.  Organized violence to commandeer land, resources, and labor has been such an integral part of the human experience over so many bloody centuries that many call it an inescapable fact of human nature.  Is it?  Might it instead be a dimension of the human condition, not human nature?

When people have more than enough of something, they are often willing to share it (except those in greed’s thrall).  Even though the land was won by the removal and extermination of its inhabitants, the USA encouraged foreign immigration to its soil to fill up the continent with desirable people.  In the aftermath of World War II, the American people seemed to genuinely desire to help war-torn nations (at least those with white skin), although such sentiment was cynically manipulated by their leaders.  Why were Americans being generous?  Was it because the USA was riding history’s largest economic bubble?  In the aftermath of World War II, Americans owned half of the world’s wealth and could afford to be generous.  However, that aid began declining soon after World War II, and the USA has been the world’s stingiest industrialized nation for many years. 

One question has dominated my alternative energy quest: “Do we have to have enlightenment before we can have new energy, or can its reality help catalyze it?”  If scarcity was eliminated as a concept, how would people react?  Would we all get fatter and lazier and greedier, or might we see a new dawn of the human potential?  Many believe that humanity has to experience Armageddon before we collectively “get it.”  I hope that is not the case.  My studies have shown me that the greatest cognitive and social changes were a result of the energy regime changes, not a cause. 

According to the worldview that the austerity crowd has espoused, humanity cannot be trusted with new energy because of our unenlightened, egocentric despoliation of Earth and each other, which would only accelerate with new energy.  However, in almost the next breath they say that humans are capable of an unprecedented act of sentience to voluntarily eliminate about 90% of our species in respect for itself and other life forms (but really because we are forced to by austerity).  Heinberg seemed to have little faith that his austere prescription would be followed, and that humanity embarked on “plan war,” with America’s invasion of the Middle East being the latest in a series of escalating conflicts where the world fights over dwindling fossil fuel supplies.[21] 

A different viewpoint predicts something other than an accelerated, egocentric ruination of the planet in the service of our lifestyles, and the Peak Oil crowd presented part of that evidence.  Americans presently consume about eighty times as much energy as the calories consumed in their diets.  That has been described as the equivalent of having eighty “slaves” doing work for us, although the actual number of "slaves" is several times that.  Today’s average American lives better than the richest king of two hundred years ago.  That is mainly due to those “energy slaves.”  When the Industrial Revolution began and great amounts of energy were harnessed, two related phenomena occurred.  One was that family sizes gradually declined.  People did not need to exploit children as farmhands and pension plans anymore, and more people survived to adulthood.  That change is called the demographic transition.  Also, with energy slaves coming onto the scene, human slaves became obsolete, and the Industrial Revolution largely coincided with the end of chattel slavery in the West

Tainter’s thesis on the collapse of civilizations is likely accurate, insofar as explanations that stray from economic factors begin losing their relevance.  All wars for all of history have been primarily fought due to economic factors, although those waging the wars will rarely admit it openly, because such crass, self-serving motivation rarely sells well to the masses, who usually need seemingly-noble delusions to motivate them, even though they too realize that economic factors are most important.  There is no more salient recent example than the USA and the UK's invasion of the Middle East, while everybody in the Bush and Blair administrations publicly denied that oil motivated them, even though the Bush administration was dominated by oil interests, and oil was why the British originally colonized the Middle East nearly a century ago.[22]  All the official reasons for invading have been proven bald faced lies, but most Americans still believe them, at least publicly.[23]  

When the fact is mentioned that nations with the highest birth rates have the lowest energy consumption, Peak Oil/austerity advocates have tried explaining that fact away with “complex” reasons that relied on cultural dynamics.  Any explanation that strays from economic factors, particularly when we have the clear example of the Industrial Revolution to draw upon, is going to be dubious.  If everybody had “energy slaves,” and a thousand instead of eighty, the exploitative reasons for having children will largely disappear world-wide and there will likely not be another population explosion that Heinberg and friends fear, especially one that further degrades the environment.  Women are also less exploited in the West, with more options than becoming baby machines in a paternalistic system of exploitation.  There are important factors that strongly support arguments for a global population decline or stability than another explosion, if new energy appeared.  Global birth rates have declined by half in my lifetime as of 2014.

With new energy, intelligently, compassionately, and wisely implemented, an environmentally harmless global society can emerge, where seven or even ten billion people could live at a standard of living that is orders of magnitude above today’s average American, with no harm done to Earth’s ecosystems (or even the “sustained” exploitation of them).  It is also possible that such a humanity would decide that a population of one billion people is better for all involved, and we voluntarily reduce Earth’s population.[24]  Which scenario seems more desirable, one where we might decide to reduce Earth’s human population, operating from a place of true abundance, or one where we “wisely” eliminate nearly 90% of ourselves because we are forced to by a lack of energy?  Which requires more wisdom?  Which plan has the more realistic outcome? 

What if people realized that they could live a harmless life on Earth, and live it abundantly?  Who would sign up?  The technology to make it possible already exists.  Do we have enough collective integrity and will to make it a daily reality? 

 

Footnotes

[1] See Paul Rincon's "Claim made for new form of life", BBC News, May 19, 2004.

[2] See Arthur C. Clarke's “President, Experts and Asteroids”, Science, June 5, 1998.  See discussion in Brian O’Leary’s Re-Inheriting the Earth, p. 69.

[3] See Richard Heinberg’s The Party’s Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies, pp. 157-160.

[4] See Jonathan Eisen’s Suppressed Inventions and Other Discoveries, for instance.

[5] Greer spent nearly three hours debriefing Woolsey.  It was an intense briefing.  According to Greer, Clinton wanted to make the information public, but was afraid of ending up like JFK.  Carter and JFK had similar experiences when trying to find out about the issue.  It was all “privatized” during the Eisenhower years.  See Greer’s Extraterrestrial Contact, pp. xvii-xviii.  This link presents a fairly comprehensive account of that briefing and its aftermath.

[6] The third category of technological possibility listed in Dr. Eugene Mallove’s energy appeal (see this link) was exactly what we were pursuing in 1988 when they lowered the boom on us.  I tried educating Mallove on what we were pursuing in the winter of 2003-2004, and on the situation that he would encounter if he tried making an impact in the marketplace.  His 2004 murder ended our dialogue.  There were some bizarre coincidences relating to his death that will make me always doubt the “random murder” explanation of his death’s circumstances.  I also have grave doubts about how his legacy is being handled.  In the January/February 2006 issue of Infinite Energy, the lead editorial was written by William Cantrell, and it seemed like something that Julian Simon would write.  That issue of the magazine was devoted to assailing the science that suggests that the dramatically-increasing carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere was contributing to Global Warming.  One article ended with the observation that ultimate effects of carbon dioxide pollution would be a “wonderful and unexpected gift from the Industrial Revolution.” (see p. 17). 

[7] I heard Greer speak at the New Energy Movement conference in September 2004.  He has had significant interaction with factions of the global cabal that essentially controls the world economy.  They told him that they have paid off about 10,000 people to the tune of $10 million each over the previous fifty years or so to stop pursuing free energy and related technologies.  That is congruent to what I heard Tom Bearden say, and other experiences I have had.  In 2014, it would not surprise me if that number approached $200 billion.

The situation at the top is apparently very much like the X-Files.  Greer said that a few hundred people control the world economy and call the shots, and his summation of the situation is similar to what I have received from other sources that I respect.  Those 300 or so are divided.  In 2014, more than half want to have "disclosure" about the ET reality and what comes with it, such as free energy.  Those in the dark core, however, are so hooked on their global power trip that they will never let go, and they are the ruthless, tyrannical faction who have had people such as Eugene Mallove murdered (Greer thought that Mallove’s death was probably not a random murder).  Greer almost died himself in the 1990s of induced cancer, while other members of his team did not survive.

Greer was subsequently contacted by that more "benevolent" half and asked what he wanted.  He replied that he wanted them to stop killing those who tried making the ET reality known, or pursuing technologies such as free energy and antigravity.  Greer apparently has the goods on the darker half, and has threatened to expose them if they try to murder him or his team members again.  That is a highly dangerous game that I, for one, have no interest in playing.

[8] See David Ross's “Plan War and the Hubbert Oil Curve, An interview with Richard Heinberg”, Z Magazine, May 2004, pp. 47-50. 

[9] See Richard Heinberg’s Powerdown, p. 182.

[10] See Richard Heinberg’s Powerdown, p. 130, where he stated that people “touted” free energy machines to him, and admitted that his doubts about the viability of such “touted” technologies was not based on any actual investigation of them.  Even seeing a working device is to only know one facet (and far from the most important one) of a quite complex and emotionally overwhelming situation. 

[11] See Richard Heinberg’s Powerdown, p. 178.

[12] See Richard Heinberg’s Powerdown, p. 165.

[13] In the “Left Gatekeeper” site’s chart of controlling influence of aristocratic money connected to covert action and secret societies, the total funding from the Rockefeller and Carnegie foundations to the “Left” media amounted to about $100,000.  Most of the “Left” that the “gatekeeper” site refers to is the establishment left, which is not what I call the real “Left.”  The real “Left” is not what most Americans think of as the “Left.”  The so-called “Left” who enthusiastically endorsed the American-led invasions of Yugoslavia and Iraq are what Ed Herman calls the “Cruise Missile Left.”  Herman has written extensively on the Cruise Missile Left since 2002.  There is another “Left” that did not support the invasion of Iraq, but largely because George Bush did not bring enough opportunistic allies with him to create a plausible façade of global unity against the dire threat that Saddam Hussein presented to the world, and the ultimate success of our imperial undertaking was uncertain.  Such a position is largely bereft of principle.  John Kerry has personified that kind of “Left” in 2004.  What I call the real Left is often called the “radical left.”   

[14] See this link.  Ruppert's Crossing the Rubicon greatly emphasized that theme. 

[15] The article did not name the author, but Ruppert is the site’s author, so I will credit him. 

[16] After a couple drafts of this article were written, Ruppert published an article on his site in October 2004.  Its description demonstrated that I gave Ruppert too much benefit of the doubt.  The description read, in part, “And he throws down a gauntlet to the economists and abiotic oil/alien technology worshippers they will be hard pressed to pick up.”

[17] In his October 2004 essay, “The ‘Abiotic Oil’ Controversy,” Heinberg wrote, “It is my opinion that the discovery of oil was the greatest tragedy (in terms of its long-term consequences) in human history.”  Heinberg repeats that theme in his Powerdown, p. 51, “Hydrocarbons have been both the greatest blessing and the greatest curse our species has ever encountered.” 

[18] Heinberg is understandably an admirer of Joseph Tainter’s The Collapse of Complex Societies, which was first published in 1988.  What follows is a brief analysis of Tainter’s work.  In a sense, Tainter’s formidable work is paradigmatic.  Tainter analyzed the many explanations posited for the collapse of complex societies, which include resource depletion, intruders, natural disasters, inability to adapt, and mystical explanations.  The agricultural surplus that early civilizations provided allowed for greater human specialization, which increased a society’s aggregate skills, and professions developed.  Tainter called that process the “investment in complexity,” although it is doubtful that many ancient elites (or even modern elites) saw it that way.  For increases in complexity, societies have to invest more energy, which is the coin of real economics and always has been.  The primary energy source of all early civilizations was food.  As civilizations became more complex, energy was used for more than satiating hunger.  Human and animal energy was then used to create goods and services that allowed civilizations to “advance.” 

Tainter compared the two main theories of why civilizations evolved, which were so elites could exploit the masses (conflict theory, as exemplified by Marx), or so the masses could attain higher standards by living inside civilization than they could outside it (integrationist theory, from the “progressive” view of the human journey).  Tainter concluded that neither school of thought could fully explain the phenomenon (p. 28-38), and tension between the two theories existed clear back to the classic Greeks and Confucius, and may be as old as civilization itself. 

As an aside, elites in all societies for all time have engaged in conspicuous consumption as a way of demonstrating their hierarchical status.  It was corpulence, harems, palaces, and self-aggrandizing monuments in older times.  In “pre-discovery” Hawaii it was wearing a cape made of hundreds of thousands of colorful bird feathers (which drove the birds to extinction).  In the early 21st century, rocket rides into space for $20 million a trip was about the ultimate in conspicuous consumption.

Tainter stated that all civilizations, like all living creatures, are maintained by a continuous flow of energy (p. 91), and his book’s conclusion was that unless today’s global society developed a new source of energy it was doomed to collapse, as have all other civilizations that ran out of energy (p. 215).  Tainter analyzed the many reasons given by scholars and theorists regarding why civilizations collapse, and concluded that economic explanations are superior to any other explanation yet proposed (p. 90), and that when economic theorists strayed from economic dynamics and tried incorporating other factors into their collapse theories, their arguments lost their strength.  I agree, and add that while most people live on the brink of economic disaster (even in the world’s richest and most powerful nation), economic factors will dominate the dynamics of the human journey, which have always primarily relied on energy. 

Tainter developed an economic theory for why civilizations decline and collapse, and framed it in terms of marginal return on investment in complexity.  I believe that his conclusion (p. 197-203) adequately explains the moment of collapse, although the other theories he criticized seemed to deal more with the decline than simply the collapse.  In brief, human specialization increases the collective skill level of a society so it can function at more complex levels (which Tainter called the investment in complexity).  Before civilizations developed, people were primarily concerned with getting enough to eat and finding shelter from the weather.  There were not professions as such, but a handful of tasks that a village, for instance, would undertake, such as men doing the hunting and infrastructure construction/maintenance (largely concerned with making and maintaining dwellings), and women doing the gathering/growing/harvesting, food preparation, and child rearing.  When civilizations rose due to the energy surplus that agriculture produced, people not involved with food production could learn new skills, and professions developed.  As more energy was consumed by a society (particularly in its urban areas), higher levels of specialization were attained.  A civilization’s collapse was defined by the moment when suffering urban specialists realized that they could make better livings by returning to the farm.  A hungry woodworker left the city and became a farmer because he was likely to be better fed that way.  Tainter showed that primarily hunter-gatherer civilizations collapsed via the same dynamics.  As specialists left the urban environment to pursue less “complex” behavior that better met their immediate economic needs, the cities lost their collective skills, became unsustainable, and the civilization collapsed.  That explanation of collapse may seem a little too obvious, but is the primary conclusion of Tainter’s work.  That dynamic is also found in the most interesting explanation of degenerative disease that I have seen.

In 2005, Jared Diamond published Collapse, which dealt with the collapse of civilizations.  Diamond’s effort was less systematic than Tainter’s, although Diamond was correct in criticizing Tainter’s minimization of environmental factors.  On Heinberg’s site, he capably reviewed Diamond’s book.  Diamond minimized the energy issue and civilizations, even describing the USA's invasion of Iraq as due to the West needing to intervene where environmental problems overwhelmed the nation (p. 516), and did not mention one word about the oil issue perhaps having something to do with our invasion.  While Diamond downplayed the energy issue, Heinberg downplayed new energy.

[19] See William Catton’s Overshoot, pp. 24-30.

[20] See William Catton’s Overshoot, pp. 58-74.

[21] Heinberg further discusses that idea in Powerdown, pp. 165-166, where he wrote that fossil fuel depletion, competition for the dwindling supplies by the world’s nations, denial of reality by the masses and attempts at building survival enclaves by small communities is so highly probable ”as to approach certainty."

[22] For a mainstream treatment of that dynamic, see Daniel Yergin’s The Prize

[23] As late as September 2004, according to opinion polls, more than half of all Americans still believed that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was involved in the 9/11 terror attacks or was closely allied with Osama bin Laden’s “terrorists” or possessed “weapons of mass destruction,” even though no evidence has come to light to support any of those official reasons for invading Iraq, which was eventually admitted by the Bush and Blair administrations.  Bush and Blair’s “war on terror” was an obvious fraud.  That the invasion was undertaken to “liberate” Iraq from Saddam Hussein was only invoked by Bush and Blair on the eve of the invasion, when all their other rationales were proven to be lies.  There has not been a “humanitarian” invasion in world history, and there is no evidence to support the idea that it was the USA's motivation for invading Iraq, particularly as the USA had already killed more than a million Iraqis by using history’s most draconian economic warfare.  “Liberated” Iraq suffered under an occupation noted for its brutality, sieges of cities, indiscriminate murder of civilians, torture centers and other behaviors that describe barbarian invasions, not the actions of the world’s leading “democracy.”  The USA's siege, invasion, and occupation killed several million people.  As a relative told me not long after the invasion, if you could get frank answers from Americans who were not concerned about maintaining imperial appearances, 90% of them would readily admit that invading Iraq was all about getting our hands on their oil.

[24] However, with a free energy-based economy, concepts such as “Earth’s carrying capacity” become virtually obsolete, and having ten billion humans living in an environmentally harmless, abundant global civilization becomes readily feasible.  Is it desirable?  If we make the paradigm shift, we can decide that issue. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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