Shuck and Jive

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Michael Ruppert

I am saving the best for last.

I first saw Michael Ruppert in the film, End of Suburbia. That is the film that introduced me to the concept of Peak Oil. Peak Oil on a global scale is the point at which the rate of the world's oil production peaks. After the peak, no matter what the demand, the production will never increase and in fact will decrease.

It is likely that we have reached or will soon reach that point. The intersection of Peak Oil, economics and geopolitics is probably worth thinking about.

Regardless of what you think about 9/11 or the geopolitics of Peak Oil, you owe it to yourself to see the film,
Collapse. The film that tells the story of Michael Ruppert paints the portrait of human angst in the 21st century as civilization hangs by a thread.

His latest book on which the film is based is Confronting Collapse: The Crisis of Energy and Money in a Post Peak World.

The book and movie have given him a mainstream spotlight. Here is a good review of his book by ChelseaGreen.

But check this. He was interviewed in The Wall Street Journal. Here are reviews of his film in the New York Times and the LA Times. Plus a snarky review from Mark Jinkins of NPR. Roger Ebert's review is worth quoting:

I can only tell you I have a pretty good built-in B.S. detector, and its needle never bounced off zero while I watched this film. There is controversy over Ruppert, and he has many critics. But one simple fact at the center of his argument is obviously true, and it terrifies me. That fact: We have passed the peak of global oil resources.
Ruppert is the portrait of the biblical prophet who knows too much. Not only does he know it, but he can't stop talking about it.
If I say, ‘I will not mention him,
or speak any more in his name’,
then within me there is something like a burning fire
shut up in my bones;
I am weary with holding it in,
and I cannot. (Jeremiah 20:9)
The burning fire for Ruppert is Peak Oil and the imminent collapse of industrial civilization. Given that we are about two minutes from toast, 9/11 is really not that hard to believe. In fact, it is pretty much expected when an Empire in decline does what it knows how to do: control and dominate in order to secure access to the goods for its favored ones.

Remember, for Petroleum Man, it is always all about oil:

We are not "addicted" to oil -- the modern world is completely dependent upon it for our industrial agriculture systems, our transportation networks, and the global economy. Addictions are things you can give up -- but oil runs our civilization.
If you don't get Peak Oil, you don't get 9/11. In fact, you don't need to get 9/11 to get Peak Oil. Empire does not do what it does because it is evil. It does what it does, including all the dirty stuff (overthrow regimes, lie, deal drugs, assassinate people, cover up, destroy economies, deceive, and capitalize upon and/or engineer disasters to both numb and manipulate the populace) because it wants us to continue living the lifestyle to which we are accustomed.

Cell phones, cars, houses in the suburbs, cheap food, Burger King, and the internet are all good things, right? Empire has our interests at heart. This is what we want. Sometimes to make an omelet you have to break a few eggs. If we don't want to look at the broken eggs, we should just eat the omelet and thank the magic chicken.

  • If you don't want to know what it takes to turn on your light switch, then don't go here.
  • If you don't want to know why you can count on a tasty hamburger at every McDonald's, then don't go here.
  • If you don't want to know the geopolitical requirements to consume 20 million barrels of oil every day in a country that produces six, then don't read Michael Ruppert and all the other "crazy kooks" and "nutjobs" who are connecting the dots between a global economic system based on infinite growth, the peaking of finite resources, a planet of seven billion humans who all need more, and those who are in positions of power making decisions for us.
In light of all that, 9/11 is hardly a story.

But here it is anyway, according to Michael Ruppert.

Within two months of 9/11/2001, Ruppert gave a lecture at Portland State. It was made into a dvd,
Truth and Lies of 9/11.

That was followed by another dvd based on his lectures, Denial Stops Here: From 9/11 to Peak Oil and Beyond.

In 2004, he wrote Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil. 700 pages. 1000 footnotes. I read it this summer which means that I am playing catch up. It also means that if a Presbyterian minister is writing about this book on a public blog that it may mean these ideas are making their way into the mainstream of public consciousness. That is one sign of hope.

In terms of catching up, Ruppert has left behind the "911 Truth" movement. He says he has nothing to do with it anymore. It isn't that he has changed his mind. Far from it. It is just that he thinks the current movement has been compromised with disinformation and that the window of opportunity for "legal and political change had closed."

For Ruppert, the important work now is helping people build
lifeboats. You can read the reasons why he distanced himself from the "911 Truth" movement on his blog post, Don't Paint Me With the 9-11 Truth Brush.

Ruppert was a detective for the LAPD.
Crossing the Rubicon is presented as a court case. The American people make up the jury. To make the case, you have to prove motive, means, and opportunity. Here is his case in a nutshell:

  1. Means - Dick Cheney and the Secret Service: Dick Cheney was running a completely separate chain of Command & Control via the Secret Service, assuring the paralysis of Air Force response on 9/11. The Secret Service has the technology to see the same radar screens the FAA sees in real time. They also have the legal authority and technological capability to take supreme command in cases of national emergency. Dick Cheney was the acting Commander in Chief on 9/11. (Click here for a summary of these points)

  2. Motive - Peak Oil: At some point between 2000 and 2007, world oil production reaches its peak; from that point on, every barrel of oil is going to be harder to find, more expensive to recover, and more valuable to those who recover and control it. Dick Cheney was well aware of the coming Peak Oil crisis at least as early as 1999, and 9/11 provided the pretext for the series of energy wars that Cheney stated, "will not end in our lifetime." (Click here for a summary of these points)

  3. Opportunity - 9/11 War Games: The Air Force was running multiple war games on the morning of 9/11 simulating hijackings over the continental United States that included (at least) one "live-fly" exercise as well as simulations that placed "false blips" on FAA radar screens. These war games eerily mirrored the real events of 9/11 to the point of the Air Force running drills involving hijacked aircraft as the 9/11 plot actually unfolded. The war games & terror drills played a critical role in ensuring no Air Force fighter jocks - who had trained their entire lives for this moment - would be able to prevent the attacks from succeeding. These exercises were under Dick Cheney's management. (Click here for a summary of these points)
Nowadays you can find Michael Ruppert in various places:
And that should do it for my 9/11 splash.

I will keep the links on the sidebar for a little while yet. No, I am not obsessed.

Call me a kook but I do think members of the previous administration should have been impeached for covering up information related to the 9/11 attacks. I think the cover-up implied guilt. Presented with Ruppert's book vs. the 911 Commission Report, this member of the jury will side with Ruppert.

So what now? There should have been and still should be an independent investigation. A real one this time. Will it happen? Not likely.

Is the truth regarding 9/11 important? Yes.

But what is really important is for us to understand the effects of 9/11 and the reason for our military presence all over the world including the Middle East.

The reason still exists.

In the words of Roger Ebert:

We have passed the peak of global oil resources. There are only so many known oil reserves. We have used up more than half of them. Remaining reserves are growing smaller, and the demand is growing larger. It took about a century to use up the first half. That usage was much accelerated in the most recent 50 years. Now the oil demands of giant economies like India and China are exploding. They represent more than half the global population, and until recent decades had small energy consumption.

If the supply is finite, and usage is potentially doubling, you do the math.
Here is some math:
Now some questions:
  • What is the price tag for the lifestyle to which we have become accustomed?
  • To what lengths will those in power go to maintain that disparity of consumption for as long as possible?
  • How long will that last?
Empire has a simple answer to those questions. Like a cancer, It only knows how to grow. Empire will control, dominate, and secure as much as possible for those whom it favors.

Compared to what we are facing, 9/11 was child's play.

I don't think that is a good answer.

It is up to you and it is up to me to make a different future possible for our children.