I’ll be interviewed on Charles Heller’s right-wing radio show, Liberty Watch, this weekend. I’ve been asked by best-selling author Steve Alten to join him as he discusses his latest book, Shell Game: The End of Oil, The Next 9/11, The Deception of a Nation. We’ll be on the air Sunday, 1 June 2008, starting about 12:30 p.m. and running until 2:00 p.m., Arizona time (i.e., 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. Eastern time). You can call in live at the toll-free number, 1-866-725-5467 (local number, in Tucson, is 790-2040).
As you can imagine, Heller doesn’t believe in peak oil, so he’s all set to grill Alten about his “ludicrous” novel. He’s bringing along Chris Horner, senior fellow from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a neo-con “think” tank. I think I’m supposed to provide air support (pun intended).
As a novel, Shell Game doesn’t have to be right. But it has to be plausible. And it is, with a significant exception: In the end of the book, maverick Republican U.S. President John McKuin saves the empire with a massive renewable-energy campaign that gets underway in 2012. Note the eerie resemblance of the empire’s savior to John McCain, who I fear will land the presidency later this year. In reality, the President is unable to save you and me, even if — in a sudden and dramatic turn of events — he somehow manages to give a shit about you and me. In general, I think Shell Game largely succeeds on the plausible-o-meter. I doubt Heller agrees with me about where it falls short.
Never mind that the lights apparently will start going out, permanently, in the world’s cities by 2012. Even if Dubya and McCain … er, McKuin … started today, they couldn’t stave off the unimaginable suffering to come. If we don’t get started until 2012, I suspect there’ll be no resources with which to get started. Quoting Ken Deffeyes, Matt Savinar forecasts the fall of empire within 6 to 24 months.
Quibbling about the timing seems silly to me. Of course, those of us “safely” ensconced in the culture of make believe would like to be able to use American dollars and fossil fuels for a little while longer, taking advantage of both resources to make other arrangements until we’re “ready.” Personally, I’ve long thought the collapse started about thirty years ago. And it’s really been slamming poor Americans and most of the world’s population for the last five years or so. The vaunted American middle class is feeling the pinch and we’re nowhere close to expensive oil, yet. Earlier this week Matthew Simmons, among the most respected names in the energy business for a long time, pointed out on CNBC that oil has been effectively free for years and is still very cheap relative to its value.
Please join me on the radio. Call in. Ask those tough questions. I’d recommend starting with these ones:
“Where the hell have you guys been?”
“As a member of the media, are you required to provide misinformation?”
Feel free to ask me some questions, too.