Oil addiction: Symptoms continue in the Gulf of Mexico

Gulf oil production remains hobbled

Oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico didn't get much attention during the 2005 hurricane season. Thankfully none were so catastrophic as to overtake any of the catastrophes unfolding on land during Katrina and Rita. But as the folks at SKYTRUTH document, there were still plenty of spills. And according to the Minerals Management Service (the part of the Department of the Interior responsible for overseeing production in federal waters), Katrina and Rita were the greatest natural disasters to oil and gas development in the history of the Gulf. Furthermore, the impact hasn't stopped. Due to the oil infrastructure wreckage, three boats have been damaged, including one that led to a massive spill back in November.

Klare on the permanent energy crisis

Energy analyst Michael T. Klare has been busy lately. There was his great piece on natural gas in The Nation, an op-ed in the L.A. Times this weekend about how it's not just us but the whole world that's addicted to oil, and -- most deserving of your attention -- a new piece on Tom's Dispatch arguing that the world is on the brink of a more-or-less permanent energy crisis: Although we cannot hope to foresee all the ways such forces will affect the global human community, the primary vectors of the permanent energy crisis can be identified and charted. Three such vectors, in particular, demand attention: a slowing in the growth of energy supplies at a time of accelerating worldwide demand; rising political instability provoked by geopolitical competition for those supplies; and mounting environmental woes produced by our continuing addiction to oil, natural gas, and coal. Each of these would be cause enough for worry, but it is their intersection that we need to fear above all. Yup. Read the whole thing.

Bush and Crichton

Todd Gitlin brings us this quote from Frank Barnes' Rebel-in-Chief: Inside the Bold and Controversial Presidency of George W. Bush: Though he didn't say so publicly, Bush is a dissenter on the theory of global warming....He avidly read Michael Crichton's 2004 novel State of Fear, whose villain falsifies scientific studies to justify draconian steps to curb global warming....Early in 2005, political adviser Karl Rove arranged for Crichton to meet with Bush at the White House. They talked for an hour and were in near-total agreement. The visit was not made public for fear of outraging environmentalists all the more. Sigh. My review of Crichton's book is here.

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