A recipe for geopolitical madness – Combine surplus US oil, anti-oil activism, rising consumption, a less-relevant Middle East, and a dash of Trump

The geopolitical world is in immense turmoil. Forget climate change, that has nothing to do with anything. Think about US oil independence, the restructuring of decades-old international relationships based on oil’s key suppliers, and the fact that the US no longer needs to cater to oil dictators. It’s going to be some ride. Read on…

16 Replies to “A recipe for geopolitical madness – Combine surplus US oil, anti-oil activism, rising consumption, a less-relevant Middle East, and a dash of Trump”

  1. It would be a bitch if Oil was not the Energy of the future… lots of R&D completed on Super-Conductivity… Think Super-Sonic Drones in Space….. Game Changer

    1. How does something to super-sonic in space? Are you talking about a faster than light drive, or does the lack of air mean that any movement is faster than the speed of sound?

      Regardless, only a suicidal society would throw away what works for quasi-religious reasons and try to replace what works with what hadn’t worked (and needed to be replaced)

    2. It’s wrong to think of “Oil” as simply something to be burned to create an electrical current to do “Work”. Most base-load energy, of course, is provided by Coal.

      The reason why Oil is so integral, is quite simply that Oil as a raw material can most efficiently be separated into component hydrocarbon molecules, and just as efficiently recombined (distillation, cracking, thermal polymerization, etc). At one time, coal was used to make tar for paving roads, but this is hugely inefficient; depending on your process and material quality, you’re using 5 to 100+ times more energy to refine the same amount of Bitumen using Coal, as you would by using a simple distillation tower for Oil.

      No wonder paved roads were seen as a symbol of luxury in the old days.

      In this sense, gasoline really is a “waste by-product”.

      Hydrocarbons and petroleum products are used in everything as a material, from the electrical grid to power your computer (all power transmission requires two things: the “conductor”, and the “insulator” which is made from oil), to the computer itself. Even the food you eat has basic inputs derived from crude oil – whether it be the preservative you ingest, to the packaging, to the logistics of dehydration and refrigeration, to the fertilizer and transportation in the production and transportation. Quite literally, you can taste crude oil to see if it “sour” or “sweet” – which today is a reference used for the impurities in the oil, particularly sulfur.

      All infrastructure, from the waterworks, to the asphalt roads, to the electrical systems and distribution, to the communication system, etc, don’t exist without Oil – because without its utility as an efficient material, American society would be nowhere near as prevalent, and its widespread prevalence/availability is the reason for their technological advancement (“economy of scale”) and the Quality of Life we enjoy today. Oil is the Apotheosis of American technology – and therefore American society (which is called “Modern society” for politically correct purposes). Everything you have has oil: from Tokyo to New York City: the walls in your house, the furniture in your room, the appliances and doohickies you use, the floor you’re standing on, everything behind, beneath, above, whatever goes to and from your room, including that “100% cotton” underwear you’re wearing (it actually has an oil-derived lacquer/resin additive to prevent insects from eating it outright, an interwoven nylon mesh, and ofc the elastic straps).

      But there is a major difference between Tokyo and New York City.

      Japan, after all, has no oil, and must transport its precious cargo through a perilous 8,000 mile trek across the world – whereas New York City is literally 50 miles away from the Pennsylvanian oil wells, which are minor by American standards, but which a country like Japan would kill for (and has).


      If the United States is cut-off from Middle-East oil (historically 7% of all petroleum inputs), we go through a temporary recession as our domestic oil supply replaces the Middle East shortfall – before it continues its upward trajectory. At worst, the United States government decides to strangle American oil-production (Not even Obama could do it, he simply took bribes and his cronies took paid “do-thing” jobs on energy company boards), and America imports more oil from Canada. The Shale-oil/Fracking phenomenon hasn’t changed the reality of America’s inherent energy independence (fracking is an old technique, and American oil “dependence” is really a matter of politics rather than reality), merely shortened and condensed the time-tables – the United States can replace the Middle-East even faster now, like an ultra-fast time-constant capacitor, discharging and maintaining power quality in the event of interruption.

      But if Japan (or a similar country like…oh, say….China) is cut-off from oil, Japan starves to death.

      Not “Recession”.

      Not “Collapse”.


      Guess what % of oil – of all petroleum inputs (not simply “petroleum products”) Japan gets from the Middle East.

      A lot of Americans are confused as to why the United States is in the Middle East, particularly when the death (or simple interruption) of Middle East oil would herald a boon for American oil (and jobs). There is simply no need to act as a hegemon of the Middle East, who’s oil is a vital resource – not for America – but for countries like Japan and China.

      The Arabs-Persian Muslims like the Ayatollah as America’s enemy, true.

      But there is a mainstream culture among Americans (mostly Conservative) like myself who recognize that the far greater enemies of America are two-faced Asians like Tadashi Yanai – who’ve been spending money on the corrupt side of America’s political establishment by the billions over the years, which some have coined “The Deep State”.

  2. If it’s any consolation, there has always been geopolitical madness. That’s the default setting.

  3. As for the mundane day-to-day worker bee world, oil will be around awhile longer.
    Unless we all move to warmer climates. Not.

    1. Well if we did it en masse we could à la what the Angles and Saxons did to the Picts….but that somehow would be a bad thing, because the current people there have turned it into Utopia or something.

      1. Yes, the multi-generational refugees in the middle east are a disturbing reminder of what will happen if the losers in a war will not accept that they have lost, and carry the grudge over. The long term feuds between neighbouring cultures revisiting the same disputes appear to mean that either a diaspora or ethnic cleansing is needed for a long term solution.

        And clutching at pearls and deriding the speaker is not a solution.

  4. Europe who relies on despotic Russian and Middle Eastern oil must surely feel its rectum puckering. Wstch for NATO GDP commitments to improve shortly.

  5. And then there’s always this:

    Avinoam Idan, a former Israeli government security official who is now a geostrategy expert at Haifa University, said of the deal: “It’s important for Israel, it’s important for the transit countries, Greece and Cyprus, and of course Europe.”

    As the new source of energy would not compete with Russian supplies to the EU, “there is no reason to see it as a big change in the geopolitical dynamic in Europe’s energy market,” he told AFP.

    The Greek economic daily Kathimerini said Wednesday that Athens and Nicosia had been in a hurry to finalize EastMed so as “to counter any attempt by the Turkish neighbor to stop the project.”

  6. China will want a stable oil supply.

    Canadian environmentalists drove a Canadian oil company out of Sudan because all they did for the locals was provide jobs and open a health clinic.

    China took over that oil field, surrounded it with their troops and told the locals they would be shot if they got too close, a much more progressive policy.

    Savages in the Middle East can be taught by the Chinese just the same way they teach Africans.

  7. The work will return…and the workforce is ready.
    SCREW the middle East and 100% of it’s shit.
    TIME for NORTHAM….

  8. The only thing to wake up the zoomer/Doomers is a record cold freezing wave of duration, with damage, to make them really question the BS they have had drilled into them.
    Weather network is screaming HISTORIC COLD for the west coast coming. Historic because it’s only happened in millenials lifetimes?

    1. Check the age of the Weather Channel Folks….most are under 40, the start of the current “warming”. Just for interest’s sake: 1964 in Montreal, I stepped off the second story balcony of our 4 plex, to the pile of snow on the front lawn (I have the photos to prove it). The City had no more trucks to load it into so dumped it. Temps were -25 C at night. Calgary showed news reels of cars parked on 9 th Ave downtown, running all day because the cold was -40 F. I started my Geology career in northern Sask., with day time highs of -35F and night time -50 to -60 F.
      Cry me a river Globble Warmenters….it’s just cyclical weather. Suck it up. I’m not paying the “jizya” (CO2 tax) for fakery. Anyone who does is brain dead stupid.

  9. Iraq is producing 4.5 million boe per day. If civil war breaks out in Iraq and that production is lost the disruption in world supply will be significant. It can be replaced but not immediately.

    The question becomes whether the USA will support Iraq in a significant way if civil war breaks out. By all appearances it does not look like Trump will. Good on him. The geopolitical appeal of controlling ME oil production lured the USA there but at what cost? The USA might want to remain as a influence broker but putting boots on the ground has become more questionable. Neither the Saudis or the Iranians can be trusted.