While it would be difficult to create an airtight legal case for impeaching George W. Bush based on his ignoring the very real threat posed by Peak Oil, nevertheless I believe that his actions--and inaction--in this regard constitute dereliction of duty on an unprecedented scale.
- Peak Oil is foreseeable.
- The consequences are also foreseeable and are likely to be ruinous.
- The Bush administration has been repeatedly warned.
- Actions could be taken to reduce the impact, but the longer those actions are delayed, the worse the impact will be.
- The administration, rather than taking steps to mitigate these looming catastrophic impacts, has instead done things that can only worsen them.
Peak Oil is foreseeable.
Heinberg quotes the French Ministry of industry, Ford Motors, investor T. Boone Pickens, Shell current CEO Jeroen Van Der Veer, Matthew Simmons and a few others. All the links are provided in his article, so you can check them out individually. You may also want to check through my diaries here on dKos as many of them have been chronicled here at various times.
The conclusion is clear. Peak oil is a concept understood by many in the industry and around it, and many, many predict it to happen in at best a small number of years. It has been written about in the mainstream press by reputable authors, including CEOs and top geologists.
The consequences are also foreseeable and are likely to be ruinous.
The Hirsch report (which can be downloaded here (pdf)), which I diaried last October, was commissioned by the Department of Energy, and it describes starkly the consequences of peak oil and the imperative necessity to act right away to have a chance to do anything about it. That information, described in both my diary and the Heinberg article, is very detailed and leaves no doubt about how serious the situation is.
The Bush administration has been repeatedly warned
Apart form the above Hirsch report, Heinberg quotes reports from the US Army and another one from the Department of Energy. He also mentions a speech by the CEO of Halliburton in 1999, someone named Dick C., who said this:
By some estimates there will be an average of two per cent annual growth in global oil demand over the years ahead along with conservatively a three per cent natural decline in production from existing reserves. That means by 2010 we will need on the order of an additional fifty million barrels a day.
Today's production is 85 million barrels a day, so replacing 50 mb/d and adding more to cover demand is not a small task, to say the least.
Actions could be taken to reduce the impact, but the longer those actions are delayed, the worse the impact will be.
The Hirsch report made a number of very concrete suggestions, in a wide range of fields (fuel economy, unconventional oils, biofuels, coal-to-liquids, conversion to rail). Again, many of these are in the public domain and have been discussed, assessed and prices repeatedly (not least in our own Energize America series).
The administration, rather than taking steps to mitigate these looming catastrophic impacts, has instead done things that can only worsen them.
The Bush administration has talked about energy, but done very little. Heingerg notes that the Hirsch report was essentially censored for a long time, and has never been promoted.
We can also add that the most recent Energy Bill did nothing to solve this particular crisis, and endless discussions about Iraq, while inconclusive, suggest that oil, and possibly oil depletion, was at the heart of this war.
Of course, an indictment of Bush on these grounds is also, in many ways, an indictment of America's wasteful ways, not a popular endeavor, but the Bush administration so concentrates all the behaviors and policies that go against finding a rational solution to this all-too-real crisis that it may be worth a shot.
In any case, it's not too late - but probably not too early either - to put the blame squarely on his shoulders for the inevitable crisis. Now is the time.
Go read Heinberg's article, and go read Hirsch's report and add this growing scandal to the list.