Murky Century

A Century of War by William Engdahl

Lost in conspiracy theory? As worst-writer I admit to delving in conspiracy theory in my life. I think it all started with some kid folding a dollar bill and thereby revealing a mushroom cloud which was supposed to represent America’s dominance in the world because it was capable of using the most destructive weapon ever. And then there was another kid who would take the same dollar and declared that the all-seeing, all-knowing eye (above the pyramid) was an obvious sign that the citizenry  was in “fact” being watched. But then one day, probably alone in my room of youth, I folded a dollar bill, found the mushroom, unfolded it and also found the eye and realised that it doesn’t take much to pull the wool over someone’s wanton eyes. Heck, I even admit to having listened once or twice to Alex Jones who is exactly like those little boys that showed me their dollar bill tricks. Luckily conspiracy theory in my life was at best a form of masochistic entertainment. Seriously. I’m OK having played around with the ignorance of others. Seriously. Don’t worry about me.

Btw, I prefer Occam’s Razor.

There is one thing about conspiracy theory that stuck with me. Conspiracy theorists have an almost sexual lust to subvert all forms of knowledge and rational thought in order to show that they have purpose and belonging. It doesn’t matter that conspiracy theory has no beginning or end. Nor does it matter that empirical evidence is usually always avoided. All that matters is that the individual spewing conspiracy theory and the mindless listener consuming it is free to do so. Hence, for so many, 9/11 was a godsend. And the real irony of it all is that people like Alex Jones have further brainwashed a world of the weak minded to never question or scrutinise anything, especially their own misbegotten life(style). I swore as a young man that I would do everything I could to not be swindled, conjured or mesmerised. And I think, other than a wife or four, I’ve done a pretty good job so far.

Yet there was one conspiracy theory that stuck with me through most of my life because, like so many others, I went with it and put little effort into actually trying to figure it out. The conspiracy theory is the one dealing with the idear of peak oil. Peak oil said that there would be a decline in the supply of oil because there was no more oil left to be extracted and after a certain point the world’s oil supply would eventually dwindle to nothing. In hindsight, this was a ploy by oil moguls to manipulate oil prices. But I don’t want to go into the politics of all that now. What is important to note is that in a peak oil world the earth was just like the barrels the oil was stored in. Eventually the barrel would run out. Yet oil has flowed and flowed and with the arrival of globalisation it seems to flow even more. I mean, China is developing the fastest growing consumer base in human history. And what is it that consume-to-survive souls crave most? I’d say buying cars and driving around to nowhere is on the list. But wasn’t oil supposed to run out something like twenty years ago, i.e. long before globalisation turned a small portion of China’s multibillion population into hipsters with fat wheeled rides?

In a way I suppose there is a conspiracy in the conspiracy of peak oil. But that’s neither here nor there on account it’s fairly obvious that oil isn’t just something sitting under ground in a barrel waiting to be emptied. But don’t get me wrong here. Oil fields do run out of oil. Oil companies are constantly looking for new sources of oil, as well. And the price of oil seems to have no ceiling. And so. I kind of made a hobby out of slowly and lackadaisically figuring out what oil really is (about). And to be honest, I never thought I’d find the answers to all the questions I never really asked–but I think I did. Indeed. One day I got lucky. I found out that oil is a byproduct of the geology of this planet. That is, as long as this planet is organic there will be oil. In fact, worst-writer long ago stopped using the term “fossil fuel” because of how misleading such terminology is. (Btw, people need to stop using the term “climate change”, too.) I mean, come on, there was a day when people said/believed oil came from all the dinosaurs that died and, like elephants today, died in one place. Their nasty, rotting, fluid carcasses is what we all put in our wombs-on-wheels. Yeah, right.

Worst-writer’s quest for knowledge continues, thank you very much. And. I am, in part, indebted to Mr. William Engdahl who, in his book “A Century of War”, helped open my mind to understanding some of the intricacies of oil and the west’s lust for it. Even though this book doesn’t really get into where oil comes from nor does it have anything to do with conspiracy theory, it does help one understand how and why oil is so important and why so much human effort and human life is put into controlling it. This book, in fact, helped me galvanise the somewhat sporadic and unorganised research I had been doing on the conspiracy theory of peak oil. There are also nuggets of history here that Mr. Engdahl makes a delight to read. For example, Engdahl details the efforts of the Germans and how they tried to build the Berlin to Baghdad railway, which ultimately only got to Istanbul. Of course, the idear behind that railway was to transport oil from Mesopotamia to a country that failed to own ocean based distribution routes. There’s also quite a bit of insight regarding the origins of how world wars come to be.

At the least, this book is worth reading and even though it’s subtitle includes the words that most conspiracy theorists lust after most, “New World Order”, this is a serious chronology of information regarding oil and how humans have become a slave to it.

Rant on.

-tgs-