Saudis have a saying “My father rode a camel, I drive a car, my
son rides in a jet airplane – his son will ride a camel.”
July this year BP Amoco, the worlds second largest oil company,
announced it had chosen a flower as its new emblem in a dramatic
upheaval of the oil multinationals global brand. Unveiling
the new emblem, Sir John Browne, BP chief executive, suggested that
BP be read not as British Petroleum, but as Beyond
new green and yellow floral sunburst design distances BP from its
core business of hydrocarbons. Replacing the companys ancient
shield is the BP Helios mark, named after the Greek sun god. The
new logo was designed by consultants Landor, who pocketed a US$7
million fee for their services. TV advertisements are currently
screening in Europe and international media stations promoting BP
as the company going Beyond Petroleum. In the UK, one
hundred million dollars per year has been allocated over four years
for BPs television advertising campaign focusing on renewable
Shell, another hydrocarbon giant has been scenario planning
and has announced that gas and renewables could meet almost
50% of the fuel requirements for power generation in Organisation
for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries by 2020.
In 1999 the company established Shell Hydrogen as a core business
to develop opportunities related to hydrogen fuel cells and the
company is pouring billions into research and development of solar,
wind and biomass energies. Like BP, Shell is running a series of
television advertisements telling the world about petroleum alternatives.
a related development, the Ford motor company announced in October
2000 that the internal combustion engine would be replaced by hydrogen
fuel cells soon. Ford is one of three major automobile
companies that have committed to providing mass produced hydrogen
fueled cars by 2004.
whats going on? If you listen to the propaganda, the oil and
car companies are just responding to consumer demand
for environmentally friendly alternatives. But how many car owners
have you heard lately demanding clean and green fuel?
How many car owners do you know that are demanding cars that run
on hydrogen fuel cells? Only a decade ago, inventors that said cars
could run on hydrogen fuel cells were laughed out of town!
climate change spooked the major fossil fuel polluters into doing
something positive for the environment? Do the oil companies want
to capture a bigger slice of the energy market, hence their interest
in renewables? Have they suddenly decided to take corporate
responsibility? The answer to all of the above is a cynical
yes. But there is one other overriding factor which
has forced the global oil companies to look beyond petroleum.
is a finite resource. The cup that the world presumed to be running
over with oil has been revealed to be half full. Beyond Petroleum
signals the beginning of the end for hydrocarbon man. We are entering
the post-petroleum world.
the closing years of the 20th century, technological advances enabled
petroleum geologists to accurately estimate the reserves of oil
worldwide. The entire globe has now been explored for oil and natural
gas. In the mid 1990s confident forecasts regarding ultimate oil
and natural gas production, the timing of production peaks and subsequent
rates of decline, were made. The conclusion reached was that oil
production would peak in the first decade of 2000. A production
peak occurs when approximately half of the Estimated
Ultimately Recoverable (EUR) oil has been recovered. From
then on, its all down hill. Demand will exceed supply.
present phase of petroleum exploration began with introduction of
3-D digital seismic methods in the late 1970s. This technical refinement
coincided with the Iran-Iraq war and the accompanying 1980 oil price
surge that produced a global public energy panic. A worldwide exploration
boom followed immediately to find oil anywhere outside the Persian
Gulf. But despite intense efforts by all of the worlds oil
companies, only a few major oil fields were unearthed. The world
now uses about 26 billion barrels of oil a year, but in new field
discoveries, oil companies are finding the equivalent of less than
6 billion barrels per year.
are the people making these dramatic claims? How did they reach
their sensational conclusions? What evidence exists to back up claims
that the first decade of the 21st century is the beginning of the
end for hydrocarbon man? This article will attempt to provide answers
to these questions.
up, who are the people making these dramatic claims? They are a
small but vocal group of international petroleum geologists who
have built new mathematical models to predict peak oil production
and the ensuing decline of oil. They argue that it is not when the
oil runs out, that is important, but when peak production is reached.
Peak production signals the half way mark, and the need to begin
the transition beyond petroleum. The principal proponents of the
theory are Dr. Colin CJ Campbell, author of The Golden Century
of Oil and the Coming Oil Crisis, and Dr. Jean Laherrere,
whose work has appeared in highly, respected oil industry journals.
and Laherrere are both petroleum geologists with more than 40 years
experience. They currently work for the Geneva based Petroconsultants,
reputedly the worlds leading independent provider of data
and analysis for petroleum exploration and production. In their
1995 report World Oil Supply 1930 2050,1
Campbell and Laherrere conclude that the planets oil supplies
will be exhausted much sooner than previously thought. In making
their forecast, Campbell and Laherrere used a formula devised in
the fifties by geologist M. King Hubbert and used with extreme accuracy
throughout the oil industry to predict peak yield in individual
fields. They applied the Hubbert formula on a global scale, producing
an authoritative model showing oil production as a bell curve with
the apex at the point when half of the available oil has been used
up. World Oil Supply 1930 2050, made available
to oil industry insiders for US$32,000, says that world oil production
and supply will peak as soon as the year 2000 and would decline
to half the peak level by 2025. Campbell and Laherrere forecast
large and permanent increases in oil prices after the year 2000.
80 per cent of the oil produced today flows from fields that were
found before 1973, and the great majority of them are declining.
According to Campbell we have been lulled into a false sense of
security and the myth of spare capacity has set the stage
for another oil shock.2 Campbell says most data
on the world oil reserves show them marching steadily upwards over
the past 20 years, but in reality, much of the worlds oil
reserves have been overestimated by the oil companies who are concerned
only with reporting reserves, not dwindling supplies. OPEC countries
have compounded the reporting problems by continually revising their
oil reserves upward, so that they could pump more oil under the
quota system. Additionally, Campbell claims there has been a failure
to backdate revised estimates of oil reserves to the beginning of
operation of individual oil fields.
an address to the UK House of Commons in July 1999, Campbell attacked
the myth of spare capacity:
the public database is extremely unreliable. I might here refer
to BPs Statistical Review which many people consider a valid
source of information given its reputable author. It is in fact
exceedingly unreliable. It simply reproduces data from a trade journal
and does not reveal the companys own considerable knowledge.
It is very unfortunate that a company of this standing should put
out such misleading information. I dont know why it does so.
World Oil Supply 1930 2050, Campbell and Laherrere
backdated figures to the discovery of oil fields, revised estimates
to compensate for excessive reporting of reserves and used the formula
devised by Hubbert to assess the real situation of world oil. They
concluded that if growth in world demand continues at a modest 2
percent per year, world oil production could begin declining in
the year 2000 (outside the Persian Gulf) with world peak occurring
about 2013 (inside the Persian Gulf). Even enormous and unlikely
increases in Estimated Ultimately Recoverable oil would buy the
world little more than another decade (from 2007 to 2018). In short,
unless growth in world oil demand is sharply lower than generally
projected, world oil production will probably begin its long-term
decline soon and certainly within the next two decades.
the 1995 OPEC Bulletin, Laherrere argues that total amount of ultimately
recoverable world oil is estimated at 2,330 billion barrels, but
accounting for over reporting of reserves, it actually totals only
1,750 billion barrels.3 His analysis using production
curves from depletion models indicates the midpoint of world oil
depletion would likely be reached by about the year 2000 at about
the current rate (1995) of production and then decline at a rate
of about 2.7 percent per year. By 2050, Laherrere forecasts world
oil production will have dropped to the levels of the 1960s.4
who is listening to the likes of Campbell and Laherrere? Obviously
the oil companies and the automobile companies. The G8 group of
leading industrial nations is also listening. Fears that the world
is rapidly approaching oil production peak galvanised the G8 into
action in March 1998 at a meeting in Moscow, where energy ministers
officially adopted the views of Campbell and Laherrere. They formed
The Task Force on Renewable Energy that met for the first time this
year. The Task Force has been established to identify the main barriers
to the use of renewable sources of energy. Dr. Corrado Clini of
the Italian Ministry for Environment and Sir Mark Moody-Stuart,
Chairman of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies, have been
appointed joint co-chairs of the Task Force.
powerful International Energy Agency has also adopted the views
of Campbell and Laherrere regarding the impending production
peak of oil. The IEA was established in 1974 with the aim
of bringing OPEC to its knees. It was organised as an arm of the
OECD and is made up of the worlds 25 richest Western nations,
including Australia, Canada and the USA. In 1975, Anthony Samson,
author of the highly acclaimed book, The Seven Sisters, described
the IEA as an instrument of Western collaboration, which was
Kissingers special brain child
. Dr. Kissinger saw it
[the IEA] essentially, though he did not publicly say so, as a counter-cartel
to confront OPEC and break it.5
of the IEAs chief planks in the post Cold War era has been
to advocate liberalisation of oil markets. The IEA and its member
countries (principally the US) are currently spearheading attacks
on OPEC, advocating the need for more open and transparent
oil markets, which respond swiftly to market signals.
the IEA is organising the World Climate Tech 2000 conference
to be held in November at The Hague. Over eight thousand participants
are expected to attend the conference, which is billed as the largest
international gathering of its kind, representing over 180 governments,
United Nations bodies and related organisations, private sector
associations and environmental groups. The conference will have
a different theme each day, focusing on options for climate change
mitigation. Wind, solar power, fuel cells and hybrids will be showcased.
of the IEAs World Climate Tech 2000 is the World Business
Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), one of the UNs
Civil Society partners.6 The WBCSD is
a grouping of the worlds top 152 companies (see below for
full membership listing). The WBCS is promoting the Earth
Charter, to be presented to the United Nations for ratification
in 2000. The Earth Charter has been in the pipeline now since the
1992 Rio Earth Summit.7 It was drafted by the Earth
Commission by Steven Rockefeller, chair of the Rockefeller Brothers
Fund and son of Nelson A. Rockefeller. Steven Rockefeller is a professor
of religion and recently retired to pursue his interests in
philanthropy, ethics, and the environment.8
Rockefellers Earth Charter will articulate
a global ethic of sustainable living and environmental protection.9
us now have a look at the information assembled here in this article
so far. First up we have two of the worlds major petroleum
companies suddenly going beyond petroleum. Then the
worlds largest car manufacturer announces that the internal
combustion engine will be replaced by hydrogen fuel cells soon.
Additionally we have disturbing claims that world oil production
is no longer able to meet world oil demand. And we also have a gaggle
of powerful transnational corporations abruptly developing an interest
in global environmental sustainability, adopting charters of corporate
responsibility and advocating the need for an Earth Charter so that
we can all have a sustainable future.
big picture here appears to be what the globalists are calling the
transition, or The transition to Interdependence.
This transition was acknowledged in January this year by UK Prime
Minister Tony Blair who commented: Twenty years on from the
oil shock of the 1970s, most economists would agree that oil is
no longer the most important commodity in the world economy. Now,
that commodity is information. What we are witnessing is a
transition from the old economy based on oil to the
new economy based on information technology.
many readers, the discussion so far will have provoked immediate
cries of wolf. We all remember the oil crisis of the
1970s. The oil didnt run out and its not going
to! This is just another crisis like the Y2K emergency10
it will never eventuate. But let us now take a look at some
signposts that could indicate the end of hydrocarbon man.
The mad scramble for new energy sources
worlds economy, so far, has been driven by an abundant supply
of cheap oil. A coming oil crisis would cause economic and political
discontinuity of historic proportions. If the world really has reached
the peak of oil production, then the transnational corporations (TNCs) need to position themselves as the providers of new energy
sources. Otherwise they would lose control of the global economy.11
sources are now being considered as places to tap oil. These include
coal and shale, heavy oil and tar, deepwater and polar areas. BP
is pushing ahead with the development of Northstar, the first-ever
offshore oil development in the Arctic. The Northstar project will
use the unprecedented and untested technology of pipelines buried
beneath the seabed to pump oil ashore posing a one in four risk
of a major oil spill. There is no known way of cleaning up oil spills
below the Arctic ice.
appears to be a desperate grab for oil. Synthetic oil and natural
gas liquids are also being explored as alternatives. Testing the
viability of using methane hydrates (in ice crystals below the ocean
floor) as an energy source is currently the largest international
earth sciences project in the world. Five years ago, there was practically
no interest from the oil companies in renewables such as solar,
wind and hydropower. Now these are major new areas of investment.
Shell has just allocated $6 billion to convert natural gas to clean
modern world the global economy could not exist without
the low cost movement of people and commodities. Oil powered transport
dominates the economic infrastructure that links and sustains the
new economy. Bill Fords announcement that Ford
motor company would work to replace the internal combustion engine
with hydrogen fuel cells soon follows the unveiling
in March 2000 of three new fuel-efficient cars, made by leading
automakers Ford, General Motors and DaimlerChrysler. The concept
cars are the result of a drive launched by the US government called
Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles, which
was aimed at producing by 2004 a family car capable
of travelling 80 miles per gallon of gasoline, representing up to
three times the fuel efficiency of conventional cars. The Partnerships
timetable called for each automaker to roll out proof-of-technical-concept
vehicles by 2000, followed by production prototypes by 2004.13
The agro-chemical companies
agriculture is the use of land to convert petroleum into food. World
agriculture is now highly dependent on oil and natural gas for fertilisers
and pesticides. As a base for the production of these materials,
oil and natural gas are irreplaceable.14 Billions
of people now depend on food production that requires substantial
inputs of petroleum fuels to power farm machinery, for fertilisers,
herbicides and transport. Without these inputs, agricultural productivity
would markedly decline. The effect of the depletion of world oil
and its close associate, natural gas, on overall world food production
cannot be ignored. Vast hectares are powered, planted and harvested
by machines that run on fossil fuels. Crops are hauled to central
processing points, and then to market by huge trucks. Food is distributed
to remote areas and cities by vehicles run on oil. If the
partial irrigation (in part provided by oil energy) and pesticides
were withdrawn, corn yields, for example, would drop from 130 bushels
per acre to about 30 bushels.15 The additional hundred
bushels has been produced on ghost acres, which do not
exist except in the form of fertilisers, made with natural gas and
oil for pesticides. When these ghost acres no longer exist, agricultural
productivity will be dramatically reduced.
we consider that we are entering the post petroleum world, it makes
sense for the agro-chemical giants to get out of chemicals and into
the life sciences genetic engineering. Now we begin to understand
the concern with food security.16 This
is why the worlds top transnational food corporations have
suddenly become concerned with sustainability.17
E-commerce and the New Economy
fundamental driver of the 20th centurys economic prosperity
was an abundant supply of cheap oil. If world oil demand increases
significantly from the current 68 million barrels per day to near
94 million barrels per day in 2010 (as projected by the IEA), OPEC
would be expected to increase production from the present 27 million
barrels per day to as much as 48 million barrels per day. Then,
in 2010, OPEC would be providing over half of the worlds oil
and could largely control world oil prices. OPEC has no current
plans to increase oil production beyond current levels after 2000.
To do so would require enormous capital investment in infrastructure
and would substantially increase the price of oil. For the industrial
countries, the oil price spike of the early 1970s brought profound
dislocations and a deep recession. The economic impact in Europe
was correspondingly severe.
question which the globalists must address is how to keep the economy
going in a world that has gone beyond petroleum. This
question was answered by Tony Blair. Information technology
the new economy provides the answer.
the post petroleum world, we will shop from home via the Internet.
Once digital TV becomes widespread (by 2008), we can order everything
we need online. Even if we are to cope with fuel shortages, limited
transport and disruptions to supply, we can still order our consumer
goods and vital supplies via the web. What a quick and efficient
system, and its all so much more environmentally friendly! Everything
will be delivered to the doorstep by a fleet of TNC owned delivery
vehicles run on compressed natural gas18 (well, its
good to know theyre doing their bit to save the environment!).
Asian recovery and the current burst of economic growth
in China, South America and Eastern Europe is fuelled by oil. Demand
is taxing the present system beyond production capacity. In February
2000, the International Energy Agency announced industry oil
stocks worldwide were lower at the end of last year (1999) than
at any time in the past decade. Yet demand is constantly growing.
The present gap between demand and supply means that no surplus
oil is available to build stocks and that they continue to be drawn
down to meet current requirements. To restore stocks by the end
of 2000, even to the very low levels of 1999, an early and substantial
increase in production will be needed
the IEA will reinforce
its work on energy efficiency and energy diversification.
4 October 2000, the IEA governing board met to assess the
world oil situation. In a veiled warning of things to come,
the IEA reaffirmed its intention to give new impetus to longer-term
policies to reduce oil demand, improve energy efficiency, diversify
supplies and accelerate the deployment of new energy technologies.
The Agency confirmed the availability of security stocks in
IEA countries and their readiness for use in the event of significant
10 October 2000, the IEA released its Highlights of the Current
World Oil Market Report. The report says:
put, the system is stretched and lacks flexibility. Marine freight
rates have surged on increased demand for charters. Refinery utilisation
in key markets is running close to capacity, with discretionary
maintenance deferred. Major crude oil and product pipelines are
full. The system is strained and running hard just to keep even.
Extremely low stocks exacerbate this situation and there is precious
little room for contingencies. And yet, the question on everyones
mind is what will the winter bring? Will we have mild or unseasonably
cold winter in North America, Europe and Asia? Will heating oil
stocks be sufficient to meet peak regional demand? Will Russian
supplies be available and adequate to replenish depleted stocks?
North American natural gas prices are climbing on concerns about
deliverability. In a tight market, in the midst of a cold spell,
will deliverability factors force fuel switching to crude oil? Can
the fuel and heating oil market absorb increased demand? Will refineries
be able to operate at maximum capacity? What happens if there is
a major refinery outage or a pressure-down of a key crude or product
IEA leaves these questions unanswered, but clearly there seems to
be panic at the top.
we really are entering the post-petroleum world, all of the rhetoric
about sustainability begins to make sense. Weve
all heard it: Sustainable agriculture. Sustainable water. Sustainable
development. Sustainable energy. Sustainable transport. Sustainable.
Sustainable. Sustainable. But what does sustainable
actually mean? It means subsistence. It means the bearable minimum.
Sufferable, tolerable and passable. Sustainable means to survive,
not thrive. Sustainability will become the imperative of the post
United Nations Agenda 21, adopted at the UN Conference on Environment
and Development (Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro) maps out their
path for our sustainable future. Since the Earth
Summit, sustainable development and use of energy have been highlighted
and addressed in all major international forums.
Discussing energy use, Agenda 21 says:
growth and social development depend on energy use and to meet the
needs of a growing world population global energy consumption continues
to increase substantially. The challenge, therefore, is how to meet
the growing demand for energy while mitigating the impact of energy
supply. Much of the worlds energy is produced and used in
ways that may not be sustained if overall quantities continue to
increase substantially and if technology were to remain constant.
With this heightened awareness underpinning the fact that choices
must be proposed and made for energy futures compatible with sustainable
development and thus a sustainable world.
the transport front, Agenda 21 says:
is expected to be the major driving force behind a growing world
demand for energy. It is the largest end-user of energy in developed
countries and the fastest growing one in most developing countries.
Current patterns of transportation are not sustainable and may compound
both environmental and health problems. There is, therefore, a need
for action, ranging, inter alia, from the promotion of integrated
transport policies and plans, the accelerated phase-out of leaded
gasoline, the promotion of voluntary guidelines and the development
of partnerships at the national level for strengthening transport
infrastructure and developing innovative mass transport schemes.
June 2000, the UN Economic and Social Council20 reported
on measures that must be implemented to achieve a sustainable
energy future. The following points are under consideration:
Integrated resource planning and demand side management to assist
electric utility companies;
Renewable energy development;
Energy recovery from solid waste including landfill gas;
A global initiative on transport energy with the World Bank,
addressing transport energy planning, traffic management, road pricing,21
alternative fueled vehicles, emissions testing and mass transit.
Partners of the New World Order
United Nations Global Compact was announced at the World Economic
Forum at Davos, Switzerland in 1999. In a speech to delegates,
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan committed the UN to a ‘Compact
for the new century’. The announcement signaled a historic
alliance between transnational corporations and the United
Nations, which Annan described as a ‘creative partnership’.
“The goals of the United Nations and those of business can,
indeed, be mutually supportive,” Annan told the delegation.
The Global Compact has enabled TNCs to have privileged and
unprecedented access to the United Nations. Up until 1993,
the UN’s Centre on Transnational Corporations (UNCTC) carried
out research, working to develop a code of conduct for TNCs.
Corporations were extremely hostile toward the UNCTC and in
1993, an organisational ‘restructure’ saw the Centre disbanded.
Subsequently, UNCTAD (the United Nations Commission on Trade
and Development) became the new UN focal point for work involving
TNCs. UNCTAD’s role, however, has been to facilitate free
trade and foreign investment flows, particularly in the developing
world, not keep the power of TNCs in check.
the evidence presented in this article so far, it is possible to
make the following conclusion:
are confronted with the greatest transformation of human affairs
in all history. The world will soon pump oil at maximum capacity.
Once this happens, even minor disruptions will send immense shocks
reverberating through the oil market, resulting in sharp and sustained
increases in the prices of crude and refined products. This will
cause economic growth to slow. Recession, even depression is possible.
These looming problems became critically apparent in 1995,22
and have now been exacerbated by escalating tensions in the Middle
peak of world oil production was reached in 2000, the roll over
of the global energy clock (the real Y2K emergency). The corporations
are now starting to unveil environmentally friendly technologies
that they patented and locked away years ago. The TNCs must take
control of alternative and renewable energy sources so that the
masses continue to be dependent upon them. This way, continued profits
and stability of the world economy is ensured.
TNCs have banded together to usher in a new era of corporate
social responsibility. This new ethic will see
TNCs becoming concerned with human rights, the environment, labour
standards, women and minorities. Corporate social responsibility
means just that. The corporations will take responsibility for our
social development. They will maintain that their good deeds are
propelled by global environmentally sustainable ethics.23
This makes their charge for clean and green technologies more credible
TNCs have begun a swift and bold program to implement sustainable
agriculture systems, to ensure that agriculture is more productive
as demand rises and the use of fossil fuels declines. Genetic engineering
not only enables the TNCs to respond to the increasing demand for
food, but also enables them to increase their control of the worlds
food resources through mergers and vertical integration of markets.
By setting global standards for sustainable agriculture,
they will be able to dictate what food is grown, where it is grown,
how it is grown and any other treatments that are deemed
UN is widely perceived to be the only global body with enough clout
to solve the collective problems of humanity and the only organisation
which can solve problems that cross borders and transcend national
boundaries. Following the announcement of the Global Compact in
1999, the UN and the transnational corporations (the members of
the WBCSD) have been busy working on an Earth Charter which will
be introduced so that their control will be all pervading. The alliance
between the TNCs and the UN is a tactic that will ultimately consolidate
control of the global agenda.
risk of chaos, disorder and destruction faces the TNCs if they fail
to adapt appropriately in time. But the people of the world see
the dramatic consequences of global climate change before them.
They see the need to change their ways and they are willing to make
The Transition beyond petroleum.
destroyers of our planet have usurped us. In the first decade of
the new century, we may have had an opportunity to throw off the
shackles of corporate control. A post petroleum world would offer
many opportunities for independence, not the globalist vision of
interdependence being foisted upon us. A post petroleum world would
provide scope for food self-sufficiency, not food security, which
the corporate capitalist system offers. A post petroleum world would
provide the opportunity for people to look for real and lasting
alternatives to the capitalist system.
the closing paragraph of The Seven Sisters, Anthony Samson
makes a dire prediction about the future of the oil economy:
road toward any equitable control system will be a long and thorny
one, and no solution can be acceptable to every nation. Any agreement
over oil implies a first step towards some form of world government.
But for this reason, the reward will be far greater than the security
of oil supplies; it will be the beginning of a new kind of global
responsibility between nations. Oil, which has been such a combustible
element in world conflicts in the past, may yet prove a lubricant
for world peace.
the evidence presented in this article, it would appear that Sampsons
prediction is coming true. The Transition to the post
petroleum world is occurring and it will be used to usher in a new
era of global governance and corporate control.
The report was published by Petroconsultants.
Campbell, C.J., Myth of spare capacity setting the stage for
another oil shock, Oil & Gas Journal, 20 March,
Laherrere, Jean. World Oil Reserves Which Number to Believe?,
OPEC Bulletin, February 1995, p. 9-13.
Sampson, A., The Seven Sisters, Coronet Books, Hodder &
Stoughton, Great Britain, 1975.
The other Civil Society partner is the International
Chamber of Commerce. At the time of writing, these are the only
two Civil Society partners officially acknowledged by
The Earth Charter has been developed by the Earth Council, a grouping
of self appointed earth commissioners including Mikhail
Gorbachev, former president of the Soviet Union, and Chair of Green
Cross International; and Maurice Strong, who is head of the reform
agenda at the United Nations and Chair of the Commission on Global
Rockefeller Brothers Fund Annual Report, 1997
If another energy crisis develops, wait to see all those Y2K contingency
plans dusted off. Maybe Y2K was the roll over of the global energy
Imagine all those people out there buying up solar power systems
and then being independent of the electricity companies, or equally,
the world's car owners buying hydrogen fuel cell cars and never
paying another cent for their petrol. Now we understand why there
is a drive to commodify water to make water available on
a user pay basis. If water is to be one of the fuels for cars of
the future, then we will have to pay for it. Keep an eye out for
Shells latest television advertisement about how the company
is helping an inventor develop a prototype car that runs on water.
If youre wondering about all that Caspian oil we hear about,
consider that the bid for Caspian oil is production rather
than exploration oriented.
For further details on the implications for trade and transport,
see Fleay, B.J., Beyond Oil: Transport and fuel for the future,
National Symposium of the Chartered Institute of Transport in Australia,
Launceston, Tasmania, 6-7 November 1998.
Oil and natural gas also play an important role in the production
of products ranging from paints and plastics to medicines and inks.
Youngquist, W., Population and Environment, A Journal of Interdisciplinary
Studies, The Post Petroleum paradigm and population,
Volume 20, No 4, March 1999.
Food security, (not food self sufficiency) is the principal concern
of the UNs Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Food security
is all about making us more dependent upon mass production. Food
self sufficiency on the other hand would mean more independence
An excellent example is Unilevers Sustainable Agriculture
Initiative. Unilever ranks third among the worlds food
titans, and is a member of the World Business Council for Sustainable
Development. According to Unilever, sustainable agriculture must
be productive, competitive and efficient while at the same
time protecting and improving the natural environment and conditions
for local communities. One of Unilevers chief advisers
is Björn Stigson, President of the World Business Council for
Sustainable Development and former executive vice president of the
life sciences company Asea Brown Boveri. Unilever is also discussing
the need for sustainable agriculture standards. This
means rules for global agriculture.
The Brisbane City Council announced in October 2000 that it would
convert 120 vehicles from its bus fleet to run on compressed natural
IEA member countries are required to have 90 days supply of oil
United Nations Economic and Social Council, Committee on Energy
and Natural Resources for Development, Follow up to the first
session of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources for Development:
energy sector, Report of the Secretary General.
Road pricing means road tolls.
The same year that the Millennium bug was discovered.
The World Bank describes these ethics as the New Environmentalism.
See the World Bank publication Ten Principles of the New Environmentalism,
World Bank Finance & Development, December 1996.
The WTO push for privatisation and outsourcing of government contracts
should make sense now. The future of government will merely be as
a surveillance and monitoring organisation big brother, a
Treatments could include a range of measures including
food irradiation and food additives. With the development of functional
foods and nutraceuticals, the lines between food
and medicine are blurring. Drug companies will merge with food and
You Can Do
are some positive actions which can assist us to become independent,
Become familiar with renewable energy. Purchase items which
run on photovoltaics (PV). This could be something
as simple as a solar powered flashlight, a lantern, or a backup
Find out about energy efficient cooling and heating of your
home. Look in libraries or on the internet for information
about natural heating and cooling.
Plant an organic food garden using open pollinated non hybrid
seeds. If you live in a townhouse or flat where there is no
garden, consider container gardening instead.
Install energy efficient light bulbs.
Get a rainwater tank at least for drinking water purposes.
Recycle household grey water for use in the garden. (Many
local Councils have outlawed drinking water tanks and recycling
of grey water. Check first with your local authority
Diversify your energy sources. Dont be dependent upon
one source for all of your energy needs. Consider a range
of energy sources such as electricity, gas, solar, and wood
Where possible, buy locally produced goods instead of those
offered at supermarkets and department stores.
Start a community market in your area.
Start or become involved in a Local Energy Trading System
Plant fruit trees in your back yard and front yard.
Replace manicured lawns with herbs, native grasses and bush
Cook your own! Reduce dependency upon mass manufactured foods,
particularly very basic foods such as bread. Make your own
fruit juices, snacks, cakes and spreads.
Do your shopping in bulk. This not only saves money and time
but reduces the cycle of dependence upon supermarket products
and the just in time system.
If youre strapped for time, try switching off the TV.
of the World Business
Council for Sustainable Development
ABB Asea Brown Boveri
ABN AMRO Bank
Aguas de Barcelona (AGBAR)
Anglo American plc
Arthur D. Little
Assurances Générales de France
The Boston Consulting Group
Broken Hill Proprietary Co.
Chemical Works Sokolov
China Petro-Chemical Corporation
Companhia Vale do Rio Doce
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu
Det Norske Veritas
Dow Chemical Company
Eastman Kodak Company
Environmental Resources Management
Estudio Juridico Gross Brown
F. Hoffmann-La Roche
Fletcher Challenge Limited
Ford Motor Company
General Motors Corporation
Gerling- Konzern Insurances
Imperial Chemical Industries
International Herald Tribune
International Paper Company
Japan Atomic Power Company
John Laing plc
Johnson & Johnson
Kansai Electric Power
Mitsui & Co.
Newmont Mining Corporation
Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp
Ontario Power Generation
Phelps Dodge Corporation
Procter & Gamble Company
Rohm and Haas
Royal Philips Electronics
S.C. Johnson & Son
SGS Société Générale de Surveillance
Sibirsky Aluminium Group
Skandia Insurance Company
Sociedade Portuguesa de Papel
Ssangyong Cement Industrial
Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux
Taiheiyo Cement Corporation
Taiwan Cement Corporation
Tokyo Electric Power Company
Toyota Motor Corporation
Western Power Corporation
Yasuda Fire & Marine Insurance Co.
Zurich Financial Services Group
Susan Bryce is an Australian journalist and publisher of the Australian
Freedom & Survival Guide. Her interests include global politics,
the new economy and the technologies of political control. She produces
the Australian Freedom & Survival Guide, a newsletter
that airs the dirty laundry on the international surveillance regime,
Transnational Corporations, Genetic Engineering, the New World Order,
Defence & Military, WTO, IMF, World Bank, Globalisation. 6 issues
per year $45.00. Sample issue $7.50. Send cheque or money order
payable to S. Bryce, PO Box 66, Kenilworth, Qld 4574, Australia.