"For the world as a whole, oil companies are expected to keep finding and developing enough oil to offset our seventy one million plus barrel a day of oil depletion, but also to meet new demand. By some estimates there will be an average of two per cent annual growth in global oil demand over the years ahead along with conservatively a three per cent natural decline in production from existing reserves. That means by 2010 we will need on the order of an additional fifty million barrels a day. So where is the oil going to come from?"This comes from a speech given by Dick Cheney to the Institute for Petroleum a little over a year before he became Vice President.
One doesn't have to be a geologist or Adam Smith (Wealth of Nations) to realize that oil is a finite resource. We act like it's in infinite supply, and fuss now that we're paying almost $2 a gallon for gasoline, but no new dinosaurs are dying to produce oil. The date Mr. Cheney suggests is shockingly liberal — others have estimated 2006 – 2008.
More on the oil shortage can be read in this BBC article: Is the world's oil running out fast? Can oil producers keep up with demand, or should the world brace itself for a dramatic surge in crude oil prices?
From Mr. Cheney's bold honesty, it's a short leap to the realization that the nation that controls the remaining oil is going to be pretty powerful. Now, add in the Project for the American Century (Cheney was one of the signatories), which basically says America is the sole remaining Super Power and needs to act like it, and the adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq might take on a different aroma. And I'm not talking about the sweet smell of refinery pollution.
You don't have to be Michael Moore or a conspiracy theorist to connect those dots. Why, a three-year old could do it.