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Peak Petro-State – The Oil World In Chaos

Public Policy

Pity the poor petro-states. Once so wealthy from oil sales that they could finance wars, mega-projects, and domestic social peace simultaneously, some of them are now beset by internal strife or are on the brink of collapse as oil prices remain at ruinously low levels. Unlike other countries, which largely finance their governments through taxation, petro-states rely on their oil and natural gas revenues. Russia, for example, obtains about 50% of government income that way; Nigeria, 60%; and Saudi Arabia, a whopping 90%. When oil was selling at $100 per barrel or above, as was the case until 2014, these countries could finance lavish government projects and social welfare operations, ensuring widespread popular support.  Now, with oil below $50 and likely to persist at that level, they find themselves curbing public spending and fending off rising domestic discontent or even incipient revolt.

At the peak of their glory, the petro-states played an outsized role in world affairs.  The members of OPEC, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, earned an estimated $821 billion from oil exports in 2013 alone. Flush with cash, they were able to exert influence over other countries through a wide variety of aid and patronage operations. Venezuela, for example, sought to counter U.S. influence in Latin America via its Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), a cooperative network of mostly leftist governments. Saudi Arabia spread its influence throughout the Islamic world in part by financing the efforts of its ultra-conservative Wahhabi clergy to establish madrassas (religious academies) throughout the Islamic world. Russia, under Vladimir Putin, used its prodigious oil wealth to rebuild and refurbish its military, which had largely disintegrated following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Lesser members of the petro-state club like Angola, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan became accustomed to regular fawning visits from the presidents and prime ministers of major oil-importing countries.

That, of course, was then, and this is now. While these countries still matter, what worries these presidents and prime ministers now is the growing likelihood of civil violence or even state collapse. Take, for example, Venezuela, long an ardent foe of U.S. policy in Latin America, but today the potential site of a future bloody civil war between supporters and opponents of the current government. Similar kinds of internal strife and civil disorder are likely in oil-producing states like Algeria and Nigeria, where the potential for the further growth of terrorist violence amid chaos is always high.

Some petro-states like Venezuela and Iraq already appear to be edging up to the brink of collapse. Others like Russia and Saudi Arabia will be forced to reorient their economies if they hope to avoid such future outcomes. Whatever their degree of risk, all of them are already experiencing economic hardship, leaving their leaders under growing pressure to somehow alter course in the bleakest of circumstances — or face the consequences.

A Busted Business Model

Petro-states are different from other countries because the fates of their governing institutions are so deeply woven into the boom-and-bust cycles of the international petroleum economy. The challenges they face are only compounded by the unnaturally close ties between their political leaderships and senior officials of their state-owned or state-controlled oil and natural gas industries. Historically, their rulers have placed close allies or even family members in key industry positions, ensuring continuing government control and in many cases personal enrichment as well. In Russia, for example, the management of Gazprom, the state-controlled natural gas company, and Rosneft, the state-owned oil company, is almost indistinguishable from the senior leadership in the Kremlin, with both groups answering to President Putin. A similar pattern holds for Venezuela, where the government keeps the state-owned company, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA), on a tight leash, and in Saudi Arabia, where the royal family oversees the operations of the state-owned Saudi Aramco.

In 2016, one thing is finally clear, however: the business model for these corporatized states is busted. The most basic assumption behind their operation — that global oil demand will continue to outpace world petroleum supplies and ensure high prices into the foreseeable future — no longer holds.  Instead, in what for any petro-state is a nightmarish, upside-down version of that model, supply, not demand, is forging ahead, leaving the market flooded with fossil fuels.

Most analysts, including those at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), now believe that increases in energy efficiency, the spread of affordable alternative energy sources (especially wind and solar), slowing worldwide economic growth, and concern over climate change will continue to put a damper on fossil fuel demand in the years ahead.  Meanwhile, the oil industry — now equipped with fracking technology and other advanced extractive techniques — will continue to boost supplies. It’s a formula for keeping prices low. In fact, a growing number of analysts are convinced that world oil demand will in the not-so-distant future reach a peak and begin a long-term decline, ensuring that large reserves of petroleum will be left in the ground. For the petro-states, all of this means persistent pain unless they can find a new business model that is somehow predicated on a permanent low-oil-price environment.

These states vary in both their willingness and ability to respond to this new reality effectively. Some are too deeply committed to their existing business model (and its associated leadership system) to consider significant changes; others, increasingly aware of the need to do something, find almost insuperable structural roadblocks in the way; and a third group, recognizing the desperate need for change, is attempting a total economic overhaul of its oil economies. In recent weeks, examples of all three types – Venezuela for the first, Nigeria the second, and Saudi Arabia the third — have surfaced in the news.

Venezuela: A Nation on the Brink

 

Venezuela claims the world’s largest proven reserves of petroleum, an estimated 298 billion barrels of oil. In past decades, the exploitation of this vast fossil fuel patrimony has ensured incredible wealth for foreign companies and Venezuelan elites alike. After assuming the presidency in 1999, however, Hugo Chávez sought to channel the bulk of this wealth to Venezuela’s poor and working classes by forcing foreign firms to partner with the state-owned oil firm PdVSA and redirecting that company’s profits to government spending programs. Billions of dollars were funneled into state-directed “missions” to the poor, lifting millions of Venezuelans out of poverty. In 2002, when the company’s long-serving managers rebelled against these moves, Chávez simply replaced them with his own party loyalists and the diversion of funds continued.

 

In the wake of the ousting of that original management team, the country’s oil production began to decline.  With prices running at or above $100 per barrel, this initially seemed to make little difference as money continued to pour into government coffers and those missions to the poor kept right on going. What Chavez didn’t do, however, was create the national equivalent of a rainy-day fund.  Little of the oil money was channeled into a sovereign wealth fund for more problematic moments, nor was any invested in other kinds of industries that might in time have generated streams of non-fossil-fuel income for the government.

 

As a result, when prices began to drop in the fall of 2014, Chavez’s presidential successor, Nicolás Maduro, faced a triple calamity: diminished revenues for social services, scant savings to draw upon, and no alternative sources of income. Not surprisingly, as a new impoverishment spread, many former Chavistas lost faith in the regime and, in last December’s parliamentary elections, voted for emboldened opposition candidates.

 

Today, Venezuela is a nation living under an officially declared “state of emergency,” politically riven, experiencing food riots and other violence, and possibly on the brink of collapse. According to the IMF, the economy contracted by 5.7% in 2015 and is expected to diminish by another 8% this year — more, that is, than any other country on the planet. Inflation is out of control, unemployment and crime are soaring, and what little money Venezuela had in its rainy-day account has largely been spent. Only China has been willing to lend it money to pay off its debts. If Beijing chooses to hold back when the next payments come due this fall, the country could face default. Opposition leaders in the National Assembly seek to oust Maduro and move ahead with various reforms, but the government is using its control of the courts to block such efforts, and the nation remains in a state of paralysis.

 

Nigeria: Continuing Disorder

 

Nigeria possesses the largest oil and natural gas reserves in sub-Saharan Africa. The exploitation of those reserves has long proved immensely profitable for foreign companies like Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron and also for well-connected Nigerian elites.  Very little of this wealth, however, has trickled down to those living in the Niger Delta region in the south of the country where most of the oil and gas is produced. Opposition to the central government in Abuja, the capital, to which the oil income flows, has long been strong in the Delta, leading to periodic outbursts of violence. Successive federal administrations have promised a more equitable allocation of oil revenues, but a promise this has remained.

 

From 2006 to 2009, Nigeria was wracked by an insurgency spearheaded by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, a militant group seeking to redirect oil revenues to the country’s impoverished southern states.  In 2009, when President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua offered the militants an amnesty and monthly cash payments, the insurgency died down.  His successor, Goodluck Jonathan, a southerner, promised to respect the amnesty and channel more funds to the region.

 

For a while, high oil prices enabled Jonathan to make good on some of his promises, even as entrenched elites in Abuja continued to pocket a substantial percentage of the country’s petroleum income. When prices began to plummet, however, he was confronted with mounting challenges.  Pervasive corruption turned people against the government, feeding recruits into Boko Haram, the terror movement then growing in the country’s northern reaches; money intended for soldiers in the Nigerian army disappeared into the pockets of military elites, subverting efforts to fight the insurgents. In national elections held a year ago, Muhammadu Buhari, a former general who vowed to crack down on corruption, rescue the economy, and defeat Boko Haram, took the presidency from Jonathan.

 

Since assuming office, Buhari has demonstrated a grasp of Nigeria’s structural weaknesses, especially its overwhelming dependency on oil monies, along with a determination to overcome them. As promised, he has launched a serious crackdown on the sort of corruption that is a commonplace feature of petro-states, firing officials accused of blatant thievery.  At the same time, he has stepped up military pressure on Boko Haram, for the first time putting a crimp in that group’s brutal activities. Crucially, he has announced plans to diversify the economy, placing more emphasis on agriculture and non-fossil-fuel-related industries, which might, if pursued seriously, help diminish Nigeria’s increasingly disastrous reliance on oil.

 

In the cold light of day, however, the country still needs those oil revenues for the lion’s share of its income, which means that in the current low-price environment it has ever less money to fight Boko Haram, pay for social services, or pursue alternative investment schemes. In addition, Buhari has been accused of disproportionately targeting southerners in his fight against corruption, sparking not just fresh discontent in the Delta region but the rise of a new militant group — the Niger Delta Avengers — that poses a threat to oil production. On May 4th, the Avengers attacked an offshore oil platform operated by Chevron and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, forcing the companies to shut down production of about 90,000 barrels per day. Add that to other insurgent attacks on the country’s oil infrastructure and the Nigerian government is expected to lose $1 billion in May alone.  If repairs are not completed on time, it may lose an equal amount in June.  It remains a nation on edge, in danger of devastating impoverishment, and with few genuine alternatives available.

 

Saudi Arabia: Seeking a New Vision

 

With the world’s second largest reserves of oil, Saudi Arabia is also the planet’s leading producer, pumping out a staggering 10.2 million barrels daily. Originally, those massive energy reserves were owned by a consortium of American companies operating under the umbrella of the Arabian-American Oil Company (Aramco). In the 1970s, however, Aramco was nationalized and is now owned by the Saudi state — which is to say, the Saudi monarchy. Today, it is the world’s most valuable company, worth by some estimates as much as $10 trillion (10 times more than Apple), and so a source of almost unimaginable wealth for the Saudi royal family.

 

For decades, the country’s leadership pursued a consistent political-economic business plan: sell as much oil as possible and use the proceeds to enrich the numerous princes and princesses of the realm; provide lavish social benefits to the rest of the population, thereby averting popular unrest of the “Arab Spring” variety; finance the ultra-conservative Wahhabi clergy so as to ensure its loyalty to the regime; finance like-minded states in the region; and put aside money for those rainy-day periods of low oil prices.

 

Saudi leaders have recently come to recognize that this plan is no longer sustainable. In 2016, the Saudi budget has, for the first time in recent memory, moved into deficit territory and the monarchy has had to cut back on both its usual subsidies to and social programs for its people. Unlike the Venezuelans or the Nigerians, the Saudi royals socked away enough money in the country’s sovereign wealth fund to cover deficit spending for at least a couple of years. It is now, however, burning through those funds at a prodigious rate, in part to finance a brutal and futile war in Yemen. At some point, it will have to sharply curtail government spending. Given the youthfulness of the Saudi population — 70% of its citizens are under 30 — and its long dependence on government handouts, such moves could, in the view of many analysts, lead to widespread civil unrest.

 

Historically, Saudi leaders have been slow to initiate change. But recently, the royal family has defied expectations, taking radical steps to prepare the country for a transition to what’s being termed a post-petroleum economy. On April 25th, the powerful Deputy Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, unveiled “Saudi Vision 2030,” a somewhat hazy blueprint for the kingdom’s economic diversification and modernization. Prince Mohammed also indicated that the country will soon begin to offer public shares in Saudi Aramco, with the intention of raising massive funds to invest in and create non-oil-related Saudi industries and revenue streams. On May 7th, the monarchy also abruptly dismissed its long-serving oil minister, Ali al-Naimi, and replaced him with the head of Saudi Aramco, Khalid al-Falih, a figure deemed more subservient to Prince Mohammed. Falih’s job title was also changed to minister of energy, industry, and mineral resources, which was (so the experts speculated) a signal from the monarchy of its determination to move beyond exclusive reliance on oil as a source of income.

 

This is all so unprecedented that there is no way of predicting whether the Saudi royals are actually capable of bringing anything like Saudi Vision 2030 to fruition, no less moving away in a serious fashion from its reliance on oil. Many obstacles remain, including the possibility that jealous royals will push Prince Mohammed (and his vision) aside when his father, King Salman, now 80, passes from the scene. (There are regular rumors that some members of the royal family resent the meteoric rise of the 31-year-old prince.) Nevertheless, his dramatic statements about the need to diversify the kingdom’s economy do show that even Saudi Arabia — the petro-state par excellence — now recognizes that some kind of new identity is now a necessity.

The Stakes for Us All

You may not live in a petro-state, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a stake in the evolution of this unique political life form. From at least the “oil shock” of 1973, when the Arab OPEC members announced an “oil boycott” against the U.S. for its involvement in the Yom Kippur War, such countries have played an outsized role on the world stage, distorting international relations, and — in the Greater Middle East — involving themselves (and their financial resources) in one conflict after another from the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-1988 to the wars in Yemen and Syria today.

Their fervent support for and financing of favored causes — whether it be Wahhabism and associated jihadist groups (Saudi Arabia), anti-Westernism (Russia), or the survival of the Assad regime in Syria (Iran) — has provoked widespread disorder and misery. It will hardly be a tragedy if a lack of funds forces such states to pull back from efforts of this sort. But given the centrality of fossil fuels to our world for the last century or more, the chaos that could ensue in the oil heartlands of the planet from low oil prices and high supply is likely to create unpredictable new nightmares of its own.

And the greatest nightmares of all lurk not in any of this but in the inability of these states and those they supply to liberate themselves from reliance on fossil fuels fast enough.  Looking into the future, the demise of petro-states as we’ve known them could have a profound impact on the struggle to avert catastrophic climate change. Although these states are not primarily responsible for the actual combustion of fossil fuels — that’s something we in the oil-importing countries must take responsibility for — their pivotal role in fueling the global petroleum economy has made them largely resistant to international efforts to curb emissions of carbon dioxide. As they try to repair their busted business model or collapse under the weight of its failures, we can only hope that the path they follow will entail significantly less dependence on oil exports as well as a determination to speed up the conclusion of the fossil fuel era and so diminish its legacy of climate disaster.

Michael Klare via TomDispatch.com



41 Comments on "Peak Petro-State – The Oil World In Chaos"

  1. makati1 on Thu, 26th May 2016 8:55 pm 

    Chaos describes the world in general. Nothing new in this article which I read on Tom’s website this AM. No one knows what even tomorrow will bring. Why be concerned about it? Prepare, don’t worry.

  2. Dustin Hoffman on Fri, 27th May 2016 2:38 am 

    Prepare? That is like a terminally ill patient preparing for their retirement!
    Better increase my 401k contribution!
    Boy, these peppers are in a rude surprise when the SHTF, all their stash has been already been claimed and accounted for by those that in the “know”.
    Thanks

  3. dave thompson on Fri, 27th May 2016 3:41 am 

    “Most analysts, including those at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), now believe that increases in energy efficiency, the spread of affordable alternative energy sources (especially wind and solar), slowing worldwide economic growth, and concern over climate change will continue to put a damper on fossil fuel demand in the years ahead.” ECON101 proving once more that the lies being perpetuated are glaringly apparent.

  4. makati1 on Fri, 27th May 2016 6:19 am 

    Dustin, I hope you do not have a 401k. It will not be there when you need it. None of the retirement plans will last much longer. Especially if they are invested in the Stock Market Casino. SS may be the last to go, because there are so many voters that are receiving payments, but it too will end.

    As for preppers, they will be farther ahead than you, if you are relying on USD “investments” to live on. I never bought into the mutual fund/ 401k, etc scams. My sister cashed hers in and bought a small farm. Who do you think will be farther ahead when the SHTF and the bans close forever? Cannot happen? Look at Venezuela today. There is no backup if the big banks fail. None.

  5. Dustin Hoffman on Fri, 27th May 2016 7:21 am 

    Gee wiz, Hope you preppers need not have to move elsewhere! Best have a big truck with a supply of petro when the SHTF and the feds mandate such for your own safety!
    These folks that think they made the smart moves will be shown who is real smart. Bought a farm…like she really ‘owns’ it…just on a piece of paper.
    Marshal law, emergency edicts and powers of eminent domain fast track will nullify all those ownership make believes.
    Boy, reality is going to hit hard.

  6. Davy on Fri, 27th May 2016 7:45 am 

    Dustin, buddy, quit acting like you have a clue what is coming because you don’t and we don’t. We have a range of possibilities to work with.

    You are a newcomer with no earned authority so act like it or people here will kick your ass. That’s just the shit friend so be respectful and earn your keep or move down the road.

  7. Truth Has A Liberal Bias on Fri, 27th May 2016 8:00 am 

    Lol ‘no earned authority’ what a bunch of fucking retards eh Dustin? Better watch out or someone’s gonna ‘kick your ass’. Yeah ok keyboard warrior. Whatever you say Davy. Most of the regulars on this pathetic site couldn’t fight their way out of a wet paper bag. I suspect most regulars on this site are in junior high or are really really stupid adults. Davy is probably a shut-in.

  8. onlooker on Fri, 27th May 2016 8:02 am 

    So Dustin since your so smart what is your plan? Cozy up to the Powers that be maybe. Or go to some hideout. Good luck with that. We are all in for the ride of our lives and nobody is guaranteed anything. Let us all stop pretending we really have the answers. We all know the capriciousness of the Descent. Let us at least try and be humble in light of that fact.

  9. Davy on Fri, 27th May 2016 8:08 am 

    Truth, no one respects you so what is your authority? Your authority? Right, you are a psychopath looser who has a grandiosity problem. A looser that thinks he has a plan and a nest egg. Anyone who is dumbass enough to say he has a 1/2 Mil that is instantly liquid and that nest egg is going to save his ass is delusional. You will be the first to bite the dust because of your big mouth and stupid attitude.

  10. JuanP on Fri, 27th May 2016 8:16 am 

    THALB, I am a postmodern hermit or hikikomori, and I am very proud of it. Are you proud of being well adapted to the brutally psychopathic murdering society we live in? I wouldn’t be, and I think we basically agree on what humanity is doing to the planet. I’d rather spend my time alone working, playing, and learning than waste my time with fools, but I guess it’s a matter of personal choice. I prefer time alone in nature to time spent in human civilization and company. To each their own.

  11. JuanP on Fri, 27th May 2016 8:19 am 

    Dustin, Cash in your 401k and buy toilet paper or a bidet with it. That way at least you would die with a wiped ass. A 401k is a terrible investment, particularly if you are under 50.

  12. sidzepp on Fri, 27th May 2016 8:28 am 

    Geez! I don’t understand why everyone is so scared. Hillary or Donnie are going to make this country great again. Haven’t you been paying attention. I can hardly wait until I wake up on November 9th and see rainbows and cherubs floating in the clouds heralding a new era has begun.

  13. sidzepp on Fri, 27th May 2016 8:29 am 

    Welcome to the site Dustin from a fellow plebe. It can get rather interesting here at times, but what I have found beneficial is the number of great links that contributors share.

  14. oracle on Fri, 27th May 2016 8:50 am 

    Eventually everyone dies. The discomfort when the SHTF is quite temporary. Don’t worry, be happy. It seems JuanP has the right idea.

  15. ghung on Fri, 27th May 2016 9:04 am 

    Gosh,,, folks may be right about crazy preppers who think they’ll be better off than most folks. I just bought a vintage sewing machine that’s as old as I am. No electronics to fry in an EMP, and it’ll run off of AC or DC. It’s a Bernina 530-2 ‘Record” from the late 50s, one of the best basic sewing machines ever made (Swiss), lightly used, in mint condition. I figure when the EMP comes and it becomes apparent that all of the clothing industry that we sent over-seas isn’t coming back, we’ll be making and repairing our own clothes again; those of you who aren’t stealing from your neighbors. I decided the overly-complicated plastic POS machine we had wouldn’t last long, especially with its circuits fried. Never could figure it out anyway.

    Crazy freakin’ preppers….

  16. rockman on Fri, 27th May 2016 9:17 am 

    Ghung: haberdasher of the apocalypse.

  17. Apneaman on Fri, 27th May 2016 11:30 am 

    Jaun, hermit or hikikomori? The definition from that wiki page you linked said acute social withdrawal (which is the same as hermit), but you’re on here where happy doomers come to play. Are we (some of us) not your buddies? 😉 Doesn’t cyber socializing count? I’ve mentioned before how professes Sheldon Solomon defined America as “a petri dish of psychopathology”. Same can be said for the other western countries too. It’s a by product of techno neo liberal capitalism. The hikikomori are exactly the type of pathology one would expect to see in Japan – a traditionally inward looking culture. No shooting sprees there eh?

    The humans in Canada are pretty fucked up too although they don’t want to admit it. They like to point at their crazy retard neighbor to the south and say look! they the worst. Correct, but that don’t mean you’re not all fucking deranged suicidal cancer monkeys too. Just better educated and overly polite.

    I think you’re making the right moves Juan. At this low point in human western corporate culture it’s healthier to stay away from the masses. They’re like second hand smoke – irritating and too much will make you sick.

    Antidepressant Use In Canada Among Highest In World: OECD

    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/11/22/antidepressant-use-world-canada_n_4320429.html

  18. Sissyfuss on Fri, 27th May 2016 11:47 am 

    I’m with you, JuanaPee. Full out Thoreau here in the deep woods. Far from the madding crowds.

  19. Dustin Hoffman on Fri, 27th May 2016 12:26 pm 

    Davey, let me see your “earnings” pal.
    Who are you to dictate that to me?
    Sorry, no recognize such from you p, old timer!
    LOL
    BTW, how are you going to defend that farm? Boy, what about woman and children coming down the road looking for some food and starving? Suppose you all will just shoot them down?
    OK, just earned another stripe, Davey.
    Some people…

  20. Apneaman on Fri, 27th May 2016 12:59 pm 

    Dustin, do you know how you get your “earned authority” around here?

    It must be granted to you by Davy, the self appointed dean of peakoil.com

    He be da big boss man.

    I have my own authority granting system.

    Dustin Hoffman, I (high priest of DOOM – Apneaman) from this moment forward, hereby grant you, Dustin Hoffman, the authority to tell Davy to go fuck himself.

    In fact I highly recommend it – twice daily.

  21. Dustin Hoffman on Fri, 27th May 2016 1:16 pm 

    Sorry, Master Davey, I overstepped my bounds and please forgive me in my uppity posture. Was unaware there is a good olde boy pecking order on these here pages, Master.
    Please post the other rules and parameters a underling must observe and the ranking of other members, Master Davey.
    (Sarcasm off)

  22. Davy on Fri, 27th May 2016 2:41 pm 

    Good Boy, at least you are showing you have hair on your balls now if you could just demonstrate you have grey matter in your head. demonstrating grey matter is shown over time with quality comments.

    Like I said Dustin, you have not shown you have a clue on what a collapse will be like and saying you do shows how little you know.

  23. Davy on Fri, 27th May 2016 2:49 pm 

    Geeze apehole, are you jealous are something? You are the biggest board bossman wannabe. You wants everyone to know how smart you are. You spank anyone that is not up to your standards. i think you are a coward inside and that is why you are such tough guy on the outside.

  24. Apneaman on Fri, 27th May 2016 4:00 pm 

    Know one gives a fuck about what you think including me – you’re just too stupid to see it. Go away and make up some more rules.

  25. Cloud9 on Fri, 27th May 2016 4:15 pm 

    Beer’s cold. Lights are still on. Supper is cooking. Life is good guys have a great weekend.

  26. Davy on Fri, 27th May 2016 4:22 pm 

    Poor guy sure gets bent out of shape easy.

  27. Dustin Hoffman on Fri, 27th May 2016 6:38 pm 

    Oh, Davey…just over reaction…
    Sure, never mind makati 1 dishes out plenty here, but that’s maka just being maka
    Davey you don’t have a clue what I know..so best plug the blow hole.
    I wasn’t even addressing the comment to you, so mind your own.
    Oh, back to “the farm”, make how are you going to produce all that food without the magic pellets, ect
    You got enough of helping hands on the land to do the grunt work?
    Bet your Sister bought in Amish land…
    Oh, they use those magic pellets too!
    Yep, it all looks good on paper.
    Remember, the important aspect to be able to feed yourselves during the worst season…usually comes once every four/five years.
    I was on “The Farm” in Summertown TN
    These folks gave up farming, turned to grow mushrooms… Among publishing books,
    and other revenue streams.
    Also, did not allow the county to put roads on their property. In that way the authorities are not allowed to enter at will.
    Good luck, Maka…
    Oh, Davey, stay calm and waiting for you to post moar rules. LOL

  28. makati1 on Fri, 27th May 2016 8:12 pm 

    In other news:
    “The Eternal Power of Water, Time, and Mother Russia”

    http://journal-neo.org/2016/05/27/the-eternal-power-of-water-time-and-mother-russia/

    “Russia will emerge as the world’s most vital country within the next decade. The country will do so out of a matter of utter necessity, and the necessity has nothing to do with energy. The hybrid war being waged by western leadership today, it is an unmistakably a pitched battle over the world’s last pools of natural resources.”

    Nuff said.

  29. Anonymous on Sat, 28th May 2016 4:32 am 

    Klare is just another amerikant exceptionalist after all. The worlds biggest, and most corrupt petro-state of all, the united snakes, doesn’t really get a mention in his little essay. Except for its opposition to those terribly mismanaged ‘petro-state’s Mr Klare is so concerned about. He doesn’t seem fazed at all by his own empires vulnerability. He should really be worried about his own corrupt petro-states economic plans. Russia for example, has all the resources its needs within its own borders to continue to survive as a viable entity. The only way the uS petro-state could ever hope to ‘survive’ would be plunder all of North and South America using direct, open force.

  30. shortonoil on Sat, 28th May 2016 2:16 pm 

    Here, here all you preppers. Everything is fine. The oil age is not ending, the economy is going great guns, and what you are doing is not good. You should be at WalMart buying everything you can get your hands on, and paying for it with your credit card. And in the very rate event that some “terrorist” should come along the government will be right there to save you. That is why we are spending $100 billion per year; it’s to protect you from those bad guys. There are lots and lots of them just waiting to get you; but don’t worry, you have the full faith and credit of this government behind you.

    Don’t you feel silly now?

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-28/dont-listen-ruling-elite-world-economy-real-trouble

  31. Dustin Hoffman on Sat, 28th May 2016 6:42 pm 

    Shortonoil,
    Fantastic, hope Davey doesn’t come down on you for your sarcasm. He’s the moderator here and doesn’t tolerate such posts.
    Shortonoil got it right…run to Wallyworld and charge everything to the hilt, enjoy your life….full throttle and no need to worry…how did you put it once shortonoil? It’s a self correcting
    adjustment.
    Translation, more than likely 9 out of 10 of us won’t live to see the equilibrium reset.

  32. Davy on Sat, 28th May 2016 8:35 pm 

    Dustin, man up and move on you are acting likey a pussy.

  33. Dustin Hoffman on Sat, 28th May 2016 8:39 pm 

    Ahhh, Davey, was that meant to hurt my feelings? Moderator resorts to school yard name calling?
    But Davey,just trying to help out here on the forum and keep order!

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MVs1jN85w10

  34. Davy on Sat, 28th May 2016 8:52 pm 

    Nope, just having fun with you. Lighten up and say something that makes us think.

  35. Dustin Hoffman on Sat, 28th May 2016 9:01 pm 

    Makes you think?
    Just having some fun?
    Well now, so am I!
    How about that!
    Do really believe that thought is going to help anyone in our predicament?
    Think all you want, Davey….
    As a matter of fact, add a little intelligence to that thinking of yours!
    Hey, there is a first time for everything!
    All in jest, Davey.
    Just don’t rile shortonoil…top gun here. I mean that Etp model explains it all!

  36. Davy on Sat, 28th May 2016 9:10 pm 

    Dustin, who are you and where are you from? Why the golf avatar? I like to know who I am talking to not that any of us can be sure who we are talking to here but it is interesting.

  37. Dustin Hoffman on Sat, 28th May 2016 10:30 pm 

    All knowledge is limited, is it not?
    You want to know, why? To form an image so you can relate? Interesting, the mind seeks such and demands security that is an illusion.
    Here is something to satisfy your interest…moar entertainment

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MACYSfm0tNA

  38. makati1 on Sat, 28th May 2016 11:09 pm 

    Illusions are rampant on the internet. Who I am is who I project to be by mentioning bits and pieces that others glue together with their prejudices and past experience, or no experience, to form a picture of who/what they think I am. LOL

    I am what I am. No one can ever know me. I can never know you. I am not in your mind. You are not in mine. The illusion of online ‘friends’ is just that, an illusion. Some want facts to put down or support others . Some want facts to make a valid support or rebuttal of the discussion. I like facts to learn and see the real world. What do you want facts for?

  39. GregT on Sun, 29th May 2016 12:15 am 

    “I like to know who I am talking to not that any of us can be sure who we are talking to here but it is interesting.I like to know who I am talking to not that any of us can be sure who we are talking to here but it is interesting.”

    Translation;

    I need to find a stereotype to lump you in with, in order to help me to self-perpetuate my indoctrination and delusions.

  40. Davy on Sun, 29th May 2016 5:44 am 

    Better than being a dick

  41. Dustin Hoffman on Sun, 29th May 2016 8:12 am 

    Some sage advice, Davey

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SQxW927LlJY

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