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My recent 'Near Death' ramblings got out of hand length-wise; I didn't have the space/time to explain my theory of why my ICU Psychosis went in the direction it did – I refer to the Manchurian Candidate/paranoia motif (with a bit of Alice in Wonderland via Jefferson Airplane on the side).
Here we go.
A few days before my nocturnal stomach detonation I drove up the island for a consultation with a doctor whom I knew, although not well, from the old days of the birth of surfing on Long Island; I'm talking the early to mid 1960s here.
But now is now; there have been many changes in my old circle of friends; the old bud I speak of, call him Doc, and I hadn't communicated in going on half a century.
We'd long ago gone our ways, me to Hawaii to pretend to go to school while Doc kicked ass academically right through undergrad and grad school and then med school. He is now a well-known and extremely well respected physician specializing in infectious diseases. Doc is currently devoted to research; but our having been reunited by phone, he agreed to consult on what I thought I had, Lyme disease, which was his specialty during his practicing career. He was doing an old chum a favor.
Here's where it gets weird.
Doc's specialty is now related to bio-terrorism; he's researching a new strain of the plague. Right. The Plague. The Black Death. The disease that killed an estimated 100 million people in its several outbreaks, mostly in the 14th and 17th centuries. This version of The Plague will be airborne, apparently. Say 'Hi' to a buddy or sneeze at him from across the room and… the black bloated boils, the fever, the convulsions… The Big D.
Doc is doing this research for the government. The Bush administration.
Me being me, I couldn't keep my trap shut on this, both on the phone and then during our physical reunion regarding my possible Lyme disease problem.
Doc says he's working on a vaccine. You know, to save lives in case we're attacked by…
…but wait, Doc. To develop a vaccine, you have to have the germ, right? You have to diddle with the pathogen itself. Don't you? And you say you're developing new strains?
Wait…I'm getting ahead of myself.
In my 'Near Death' essay I wrote that the belief in untruths is the root of all that is wrong with the world. I also wrote that I have to quit dabbling and do the right thing in pointing out untruths, give it a shot. Okay. This is where that comes in, although in this case it's untruth by omission…
Let me take a breath prior to diving into this…
Oil. At its root, my worry about Doc's diddling with what may be the most deadly pathogen known to man has to do with oil. Crude oil. Petroleum.
(We haven't the space here -- nor you the patience, I suspect -- for me to formally back up what I'll tell you, but at the end of this I'll recommend a couple books and an excellent documentary film, as substantiation. So for now, just trust me; just for the helluvit.)
You won't hear any of this from the mainstream media, by the way. God forbid you get upset before the Apocalypse.
There is no serious disagreement among the experts that there are about one trillion barrels of liquid crude oil left below ground. There likewise is no disagreement that all the major fields have been located and are included in the trillion barrel estimate. (You will hear different from certain mainstream media pundits – they have their heads up their asses. Again, trust me for now on this.)
Human oil consumption on planet earth is about 85-90 million barrels per day. If you do the math you come up with about 35 years of pumpable, liquid crude oil left for us to burn. (Mostly burn: there are a lot of uses of crude oil besides internal combustion energy production; more about this in a minute.) But there are problems with this number: it assumes that the present rate of consumption remains the same, does not increase. Fact is, however, that it's increasing like a sonofabitch, mostly because of China and India (among other developing nations), how they are bent on becoming First World countries; they want all the modern cool stuff we have, like cars and air conditioners and so forth. And who can blame them?
So: There isn't much oil left, plus worldwide crude oil consumption is increasing exponentially.
(If you're wondering what worldwide crude oil consumption has to do with Doc and The Black Death, let alone my ICU Psychosis, just hang in for a bit.)
My educated estimate is that we have no more than 15 years of crude oil petroleum left.
But there's even a problem with this number: As you get closer to the bottom of an oil field, the crude gets harder to suck up from down there. A lot harder. And a lot more expensive. Plus it takes a lot more ENERGY; like when you're drinking from a tall glass with a long straw, you gotta suck harder for the dregs. What happens with the crude is that the law of diminishing returns kicks in before you hit bottom. It's not like a tap that suddenly turns off. So keep this in mind.
Also keep in mind that the rising cost of crude is apt to bring a recession, then a depression, which will further exacerbate the extraction problem economically by scathing the infrastructure (all the stuff needed to get the oil, refine it and move it).
Speaking of the law of diminishing returns, maybe you've heard about all the shale oil reserves in the American West, Canada and Venezuela. Trillions of barrels, they say. Well, this stuff isn't even oil, and you don't pump it, you mine it; you basically have to strip mine, lay waste to Momma Earth, to get at the stuff. But so what, right? I mean when you gotta have it… and the morons chant, 'Drill baby drill! Drill baby drill!' (Again, do your own googling, but the practical effect of draining what's left of our 2% of the world's remaining oil reserves would be virtually zero. Not a penny saved at the pump [okay, maybe a penny], possibly a few days in delaying the end of oil. Do the math.)
Problem is that the stuff you dig up isn't even oil, it's just sticky crud. Among other expensive, complex processes to produce burnable fuel you gotta boil it, and boiling takes what? Right, energy. Diminishing returns again. So you can basically forget shale oil.
But what about ALTERNATIVE energy sources, a la T. Boone fuckin-A Pickens? Wind, solar, geothermal, all that cool renewable stuff? And Hydrogen! That stuff is everywhere. Forget it. Too late. If we'd begun working on those sources 30 years ago, maybe. But we didn't.
Don't believe me? Fine, but, again, at the end of this I'll direct you to some resources that – assuming you have half an open mind – will back me up.
(Lately, T. Boone has been shading his TV commercials toward pitching natural gas. I more or less saw this coming: the man who financed the Swift-boating of John Kerry had to have a personal agenda. Let's get this over with too. Natural gas will not save us from the energy catastrophe. I'll sum up all the research I did with this:
"In the United States the demand for natural gas is projected to rise substantially in the coming years, as it is the environmentally preferred fossil fuel and therefore the fossil fuel of choice for new electric power plants... If lower-48 State proved gas reserves are reported to the Department of Energy with reasonable accuracy, ... it will not be possible to increase domestic gas production sufficiently to meet projected additional demand, especially with the addition of the new gas fired power plants...." by Joseph P. Riva [April 2002]
That's from 2002. It's worse now.)
As I say, if the de facto end of civilization as we know it matters to you, do your own research to see if my head is up my ass. Google, read some books. Besides, if you dig up this stuff on your own, it's more likely to stick.
Okay. Here's the thing, and I'm edging my way back to Doc and The Black Death. Crude oil is magical. It's not only what gets us to the beach, near or far – I'm talking Indo, Costa, Biarritz, wherever, via air travel – but it's to a huge degree what feeds us.
How many humans do we have on this tired old planet these days? Six billion, give or take a few tens of millions, right? Okay. One thing all these folks have in common is that they have to be fed. Agreed? And most do get fed, if in many cases marginally.
Ever hear of the 'Green Revolution'? In simple terms, it refers to the breakthroughs in agriculture that allow 6 billion people to live on the planet without horrendous mass starvation.
Know what's needed so that six billion people can get fed?
Back to petroleum. Oil. Oil byproducts are needed to make the fertilizers and pesticides and herbicides that are vital in growing enough food to feed everybody. (Almost everybody.)
And this doesn't count fueling the internal combustion engines that spread the stuff on the fields, reap the harvest, and so forth, not to mention move the food to the folks who are supposed to eat it.
(I'm not going to even start a list of the other vital stuff that in some way requires petroleum for its very existence. It would be easier to list the stuff that does NOT involve it. (No kidding.) Okay. I'll mention one thing: surfboards. Aside from the fin screw(s) on your stick, it's all oil.
No one has come up with a viable replacement for petroleum in the production of herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizer (and so forth).
Point being: No oil and we're back to the 17th century in terms of how many people the planet can feed, even just in theory: Two billion.
Assume for a moment that what I've said so far is true:
1. In about fifteen years we're going to run out of petroleum.
2. Consequently, the planet will not be able to feed more than two billion people.
If this is true and I know it, who else knows it?
Right. The psychopaths that are currently running things – whoever and wherever they are.
So: Four billion people are going to die. One way or another.
Starvation is not the best way for four billion people to croak, and the domestic order be simultaneously maintained. Starving folks tend to get desperate. They might even figure out that from square one they've been lied to about everything. Then they realize that they have nothing to lose. That can be inconvenient, dangerous even, for the psychopaths running things.
The solution: Find a pathogen that will kill billions quickly, make it look like someone else did it (someone, say, who wears a towel on his head), and – this is vital! – have a vaccine ready, for the use of… you get the idea.
This, of course, is where Doc comes in, and his tinkering with The Black Death.
(One of the bio-weapon projects in the works is one that is race-specific! Helluvan idea!)
I didn't get as far with Doc as I have with you all but I got far enough.
DOC KNOWS THAT I KNOW WHAT HE'S UP TO!!!!
Doc got on his secure line to Homeland Security and…
Hence the Manchurian Candidate version of my ICU Psychosis. (The 'We're Off to See the Middle East!' aspect somehow fits too.)
See how it all makes sense?
All right. Hold on. Hang in for a minute more.
Let's assume that part of what I've told you is true: The Oil/Black Death Connection. (Again, we'll soon run out of oil and as a consequence four billion people will have to go.)
Let's further assume that Doc is in fact working on a Black Death bio weapon that may be used to kill the four billion. (Assume that there are scores of 'Docs' working on various bio-weapons, searching for 'perfection'.)
But wait. Doc wouldn't do that. No fucking way. (Neither would the other 'Docs'.) I don't remember him that well but he's a decent guy and a family man and…
This is the real problem you have with accepting what I've said, isn't it? People just don't do that sort of thing. Not my friend Doc, nor any of your friends, nor…
…Doc wouldn't know what he's doing. He'd believe he's working to save lives… working for Truth, Justice and the American Way. And so would all but a handful of the hundreds of people involved in Project Lifesaver (or whatever 'War is Peace' Orwellian moniker they've come up with).
Compartmentalization. Need to know. This is how the Manhattan Project stayed secret for the duration of WWII (much longer, actually); and there were thousands working on that one.
Pearl Harbor is another – maybe the best – example. As you know, or should know, for many days ahead of time FDR knew the Japanese would attack Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and not only did not warn Admiral Kimmel but altered the chain of intelligence dissemination to make sure Kimmel would not be forewarned.
Wait. You didn't know that? I guess the media sort of forgot to tell you.
The documentation was declassified in 2000. (The best summation is in a book called 'Day of Deceit' by Robert Stinnett; I've read it; good book.)
There were scores of people involved in that conspiracy but mostly due to compartmentalization, they never knew what they'd done.
If the Pearl Harbor stuff is new to you and you're not in a state of mild shock, it's because of two factors: Time. A lot of time has gone by since the most revered U.S. president since Lincoln committed high treason and as a result directly caused the violent deaths of almost 3,000 Americans. The other factor is the result of FDR's high treason: We did need to get into WWII, which was his motive.
But think about how it would have gone had the truth come out then, in 1941…
Do a bit of research and you'll find that every war the United States has entered into (in the last, say, hundred years) involved high-level U.S. government deceit. (Google 'Operation Northwoods' for a beaut that didn't quite get off the ground.)
Point being though: FDR's high treason was kept a secret for over half a century, mostly due to compartmentalization.
One more digression: If history is still being written (and rewritten) in half a century, I predict that Cheney/Bush/et al. will not be so gently let off for 9/11.)
Okay, so there you have it.
Now we know why my ICU Psychosis went the way it did.
Photo by Joni Sternbach
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