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Peak Oil: does the CIA know?

Peak Oil: does the CIA know? thumbnail

Years ago, at an international conference on peak oil, I met Michael Ruppert, who later became known for his investigations of the 9/11 attacks. He told me that in the audience, that day, there were a few CIA agents whom he personally knew.

I had no way to check Ruppert’s statement, but, on the whole, it made sense to me. The CIA, after all, is an “intelligence” agency and their main purpose is to collect data. So, the fact that some CIA people were attending a meeting on peak oil didn’t mean that it was because they thought we were dangerous subversives. They were simply doing their job: collecting data about peak oil; a dangerous economic and political problem (or maybe both things….. Who knows?)

Over the years, I have occasionally wondered about what the Central Intelligence Agency may know about peak oil. They surely have lots of data on the world of oil, including data that for us – common citizens – are not available. In principle, they could do a much better job than the ragtag group of geologists and physicists forming the Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO). The same is true for climate change; another dangerous worldwide problem. And they don’t just have knowledge, they have power. So, could they be acting in some way on these problems?

Alas, every time I asked myself this question, I came to the conclusion that – no – there is no such a thing as a hidden force understanding and acting on the global problems of oil depletion and climate change. No matter what mysterious powers we attribute to the CIA – or to any other of the many shady government agencies charged with “intelligence” collection – my impression is that we deal with an oxymoron. There is no trace of intelligence in their actions – at least in the sense of tackling global serious and long term problems.

My impression is that the problem is that we simply don’t know how to manage very large organizations, and that all large organizations tend to flounder in a mess of bureaucracy, individual interests, compartimentalization, power games, infighting and more. In the case of the CIA, these problems are compounded by the fact that everything is shrouded in secrecy. Recently, I stumbled on an article which describes the CIA mode of operation; seemingly from first hand experience. I have no way to check whether the person who uses the nickname of “Shellback” is reliable. However, on the whole, his interpretation fits well with my recent experience with the European Parliament, another huge, bureaucratic, and fragmented organization which seems to be unable to process information in any rational way. And that spells big trouble when we deal with global problems such as peak oil and climate change.

Below, you can find Shellback’s article from “The Russian Insider” – Let me repeat that I have no way to tell how reliable Shellback’s statements are and the fact that I am reproducing this article doesn’t mean that I agree with what Shellback says. I am just passing it to readers as as something that may be interesting to understand how large organizations function. 


From “The Russian Insider”

The Severe, and Maybe Fatal, Handicaps of US Intelligence

Obsession with personalities
Over-impressed by collection techniques
Often re-written to conform to expectations


6 Comments on "Peak Oil: does the CIA know?"

  1. theedrich on Mon, 1st Dec 2014 4:36 am 

    Given the way our gov has been careening around from one crisis to the next under a POTUS focussed mainly on diverting the masses with the race card, it is difficult to imagine the CIA accomplishing anything of value, no matter the competence of its members.

  2. marko on Mon, 1st Dec 2014 5:34 am 

    True. Excellent article

  3. Dredd on Mon, 1st Dec 2014 8:12 am 

    The structure of government this fellow writes around is primarily a construct of imagination:

    THE conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.

    Our invisible governors are, in many cases, unaware of the identity of their fellow members in the inner cabinet.

    They govern us by their qualities of natural leadership, their ability to supply needed ideas and by their key position in the social structure. Whatever attitude one chooses to take toward this condition, it remains a fact that in almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons — a trifling fraction of our hundred and twenty [now 320] million — who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world.

    It is the purpose of this book to explain the structure of the mechanism which controls the public mind, and to tell how it is manipulated by the special pleader who seeks to create public acceptance for a particular idea or commodity. It will attempt at the same time to find the due place in the modern democratic scheme for this new propaganda and to suggest its gradually evolving code of ethics and practice.

    (from “Propaganda”, by Edward L. Bernays).

    It has oft been said of Bernays that if you do not know about him, you cannot understand U.S. history.

  4. Northwest Resident on Mon, 1st Dec 2014 12:18 pm 

    Anybody who believes that the U.S. Military, CIA, NSA and top level federal officials are not aware of Peak Oil and are not planning for the inevitable fallout of Peak Oil and economically related issues needs to take a step back and have another long look.

    Just because they appear to be in disarray to some observers doesn’t mean anything. During World War II many nations and industries pulled together under central command to combat a perceived common enemy. Economic collapse is today’s perceived common enemy and it is deadly and imminent enough to force cooperation between all those who feel threatened by it.

    They ARE preparing:

    Directive No. 3025.18, “Defense Support of Civil Authorities,” on Dec. 29, 2010

    There is NO DOUBT but that the U.S. Military is preparing for massive civil unrest (riot, mayhem, etc…) on U.S. soil.

    As far back as 2010, in the U.S. Military Joint Operational Environment, where top military strategists describe future security threats, there is discussion on the coming oil crises and discussion related to the anticipated domestic security threats. … /?page=all

  5. Northwest Resident on Mon, 1st Dec 2014 1:11 pm 

    Civilian authorities don’t have a clue about Peak Oil or the dire straights that BAU finds itself in. Sure….

    Obama Planning To Increase Funding For The Militarization Of America’s Police Force

  6. Apneaman on Mon, 1st Dec 2014 1:26 pm 

    They all know, just like they know about unstoppable climate change. They have known for a long time. Information is one of the privileges of power. What are they going to do? Shut it all down and hope the other guy does the same. It’s last man standing. The deniers and conspiracy freaks are useful tools to help distract an pacify the sheep.

    Complete English translation of German military analysis of peak oil now available

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