A team from the University of Uppsala in Sweden says we can stop worrying about greenhouse gases, because in ten years, oil supplies will at disastrously low levels. The world's oil reserves are 80% less than was predicted earlier. Kjell Alekett says, "Non-fossil fuels must come in much stronger than it had been hoped." Despite this, the government has just given a huge tax break to businesses that purchase the largest SUVs and trucks?is this because they know that soon, no one will be able to afford to buy enough gas to run them?
Graham Jones writes in cnn.com that oil production levels will peak soon after 2010, and natural gas soon afterwards, then both will fall drastically. Earlier studies predicted this wouldn't happen until around 2050. The Uppsala team says the amount of oil left is around 3,500 billion barrels, while earlier predictions said we had between 5,000 and 18,000 billion barrels left.
They found that some Middle Eastern countries were exaggerating their oil reserves, probably in order to remain powerful world players. It had been thought that the oil in the Caspian Sea in Russia would carry us into the next century, but that has proven to be less extensive than hoped, and too expensive to pump. The oil pipeline from the Caspian would have run through Afghanistan, meaning there could have been additional reasons for our invasion of that country. This could also explain why we are investing so little in Afghanistan now. Alekett says his team examined data on oil and gas reserves from all over the world and that we?re "facing a very critical situation globally?The thing we are surprised of is that people in general are not aware of the decline in supplies and the extent to which it will affect production. The decline of oil and gas will affect the world population more than climate change." There's plenty of coal, but coal burning would create an even greater greenhouse effect that we have now, speeding global warming.
Under Bush's new tax break, small businesses or self-employed people who buy a large truck or SUV weighing more than 6,000 pounds can deduct up to $75,000 of the cost from their taxable income, over a period of years. Now the upper limit is $25,000.
Meanwhile, auto companies are all scrambling to produce hybrid cars, that use much less gas. What probably happened is this: the government warned automakers about the oil situation, and they complained that they were going to be stuck with huge inventories of giant SUVs, so Bush proposed the tax cut as a compensation.
It makes our invasion of Iraq much clearer as well. Our oil-rich friends in Saudi Arabia are about to be brought down by Western-hating Muslim fundamentalists, so we had to take control of another major oil producing area, and we knew the Middle East wouldn't protest too much if we took out the evil Saddam. Although we actually import much of our oil from Argentina, there's a world market in oil, and a huge shortage like the one coming up will mean less oil for everyone, as well as sky-high prices for countries that purchase it.
There's always evil in the world, and in some societies they try to wall it up, but it always gets out eventually.
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