Time again to raise the issue of Peak Oil: an honest psychological self-evaluation shows that I most certainly take pleasure in a certain degree of pessimism. That said, when confronted with the s.p.e.ct.r.e of Peak Oil, I'm MUCH more afraid of one of the possible solutions to peak oil: fusion. There is a very real (though my grossly underinformed guess is that it is very small) chance that once of the variety of fusion energy programs actually bears fruit. The European/Japanese bid currently underway in the south of France may even bear fruit while it's still possible to implement a global fusion-powered hydrogen economy. While this kind of Star-Trek utopia is attractive to many, I'm concerned about how centralized and "ownable" fusion technology will be. Is there any reason to believe that the fusion-energy-world system will be any less hierarchal, intensifying and uneven than the current Petro-energy-world system? Is it a coincidence that a recent article in Joint Forces Quarterly (by John M. Amidon, LtCol, USAF) was titled "America's Strategic Imperative: A "Manhattan Project" for Energy"??? A country that controls Fusion power in a post-peak-petroleum world will wield far more power than the US did with it's exclusive atomic armory after WWII.
So I will admit that I am more than a little eager to see the peak of oil come and go. Because when it does, if nothing else, it will prevent the development of a fusion, a modern "Pharo Maker" as i've written about before in "Energy, Society & Hierarchy."
Coincidentally, take a look at the cover graphic on Amidon's JFQ article. Despite what the caption syas, the cover graphic is one of the offshore Gas & Oil terminals in the al-Faw complex. It was one of the least-publicized operations of the Iraq War, but the very first land operation was a seizure of two of these platforms, as well as three other key oil infrastructure installations in al-Faw by a Seal Team 3 and the Royal Marines' 40th Commando Brigade. My role in it was relatively small: I planned the electronic warfare component, consisting of jamming support from EC-130H Compass Call and E/A-6B Prowlers to ensure that the SEAL assault on the offshore platforms would not tip off the Iraqi land forces in Al Faw of the coming invasion, even though they hit the platforms about 2o minutes before the Royal Marines hit the beach. What did strike me as interesting about the operation was how aggressively it was marketed as an effort to prevent an environmental disaster, because by capturing the oil infrastructure before the Iraqis could sabotage it would, of course, avert a major oil spill in the Gulf. So, naturally, given the Bush administration's strong environmental credentials, it was worth the lives of the dozens of US/UK forces killed in the "unexpectedly fierce" resistance in Um Qasr (because we used up our one time shot at a surprise operation in al-Faw) in order to prevent an oil spill. Sure thing boss, whatever you say...
And on a topic that is much more related than it may at first seem, take a look at this article by Jorge Hirsch:
Nuking Iran Without the Dachshund