* 26 April 2011: Etopia News: William Clark Talks about Petrodollar Warfare. Amazon: William R Clark: Petrodollar Warfare: Oil, Iraq and the Future of the Dollar; David Spiro: The Hidden Hand of American Hegemony: Petrodollar Recycling and International Markets.
» 08 Aug 2005: IPRD: Petrodollar Warfare: Dollars, Euros and the Upcoming Iranian Oil Bourse. Jan 2003: Ratical: Revisited – The Real Reasons for the Upcoming War With Iraq: A Macroeconomic and Geostrategic Analysis of the Unspoken Truth.
William Clark talks about Petrodollar Warfare
William Clark, Etopia News, 26 April 2011
Etopia News: William Clark Talks about Petrodollar Warfare [33:55]
This is Mark Strausman of the Peak Oil Global Warming Channel. I’m at Scripps College in California and we are about to speak to William R Clark, author of Petrodollar Warfare. Welcome to the Peak Oil Global Warming Channel.
WC: Thank you for having me.
MS: Uh the Petrodollar Warfare title I think has at least two meanings, one is the war in Iraq and the other is the war between the US and the European Union about how oil will be denominated in world markets. Could you talk about that double meaning in the title.
WC: Sure. My book is really based upon two premises and that is that the world’s oil production is soon reaching a peak or peak oil as they call it and the second coalescing factor as they call it is that the US dollar as the worlds reserve currency is being challenged by the European Union with its Euro currency. There is a whole arcane history regarding petrodollars, petrodollar recycling and macro dollar affects of oil being priced and sold in a monopoly currency; i.e. the dollar or petrodollar.
MS: Tell us a little about that history, and what happened in the first oil shock and what its impacts were.
WC: At the end of World War II the US dollar was designated the planets reserve currency.
MS: and tell everybody since its a crucial currency what is a world reserve currency and what is its importance.
WC: The importance of the world reserve currency, contemporary speaking is that commodities are priced in the world reserve currency, and comtemporarily as in the end of the World War II period, the post war period, the debts to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are also denominated in dollars. Therefore the dollar is also the reserve currency for developing nations to pay off their debts as well as industrialized nations such as Western Europe, China and Japan to purchase commodities, the most important commodity being global oil and gas sales. The world reserve currency is the unit of account or price for global oil sales.
MS: So any country that needs to use oil, needs to have dollars in their current regime in order to get oil.
WC: Yes, in 1974, Saudi Arabia – well just backing up for a moment. The dollar used to be backed by gold. From 1945 to 1971, during the Bretton Woods period, the dollar was exchangeable by foreign nationals for $35 for one ounce of gold and that was for about 26 years.
MS: And some actually started to take advantage of it at that point.
WC: Yes. The problem was that the debts of the Vietnam war were so great that there was a real fear among some of our allies that the United States dollar was going to become devalued, relative to gold. So they began to turn in their dollars in exchange for gold. Charles de Gaulle of France was the start of this in 1967-68.
MS: Because he wanted to undermine American power at the time. He wanted to be Premier in Europe and he didn’t want US meddling; and that was a strategy that he proposed in the 60’s.
WC: Right. But Britain also got very worried and so the British Ambassador in 1971 went to the what they call the Gold winner of the Treasury and requested the redemption of $3 million, I’m sorry $3 billion. President Nixon was informed that if these countries, France and Europe continue to withdraw their gold out of the US Treasury that we would no longer be able to maintain our system. So he basically pulled the plug on it.
MS: So its a little like someone comes up to the teller at the bank and says we want $3 billion in gold and the teller goes to the back office to talk to President Nixon, who says: We cant do that. Instead he proposes what?
WC: The abandonment of the Global Woods Gold standard to a floating currency. So in 1971, after August 1971, the Dollar became a floating currency. And because there were so many dollars in circulation. ..
MS: in part to pay for the Vietnam War
WC: Right. For the whole guns and butter thing of Lyndon Johnson, and so there was massive inflation, and massive devaluation of the dollar. President Nixon’s 1972 campaign slogan was ‘Beat inflation’. It was also the same slogan that Carter implemented in 1976. So there was allot of inflation in the 1970’s and what happened is that OPEC was losing a lot of money by pricing oil only in the dollar, so they began internal discussions to sell oil in a basket of currencies, including the dollar, the Japanese Yen, the German Deutschmark, French Franc, Italian Lire, Canadian Dollar, Swedish Krone…
MS: and apparently Henry Kissinger, the National Security Advisor and later Secretary of state, at the time came to the rescue and what did he propose with the recycling of petrodollars from the Middle East.
WC: Well he had the Secretary of the Treasury, William Fly to personally fly to Saudi Arabia in 1974 and met with the Saudi’s and said ‘You know we here that OPEC is thinking about selling oil in a basket of 12 currencies, this would not be good for us, this would not be good for you, we need to put a stop to this. We are going to help you do this. So he actually got the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority USAMA . The person who was at the time appointed to it was actually an American and this was during the oil embargo. So at the same time that Saudi Arabia has the oil embargo against the United States, an American national was appointed the director of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority. That would sort of like an Iraqi being appointed to run the Federal Reserve right now. A completely strange situation.
MS: Right and the upshot of that.
WC: The upshot of that was that the Saudi squashed the deal on OPEC. In 1974 Saudi Arabia secretly agreed to this. They killed the OPEC proposal to sell oil in multiple currencies. Then in 1975 the rest of OPEC decided to go along with Saudi Arabia that all oil transactions would only be in dollars. However the proposal came up again in 1978 by Kuwait and this time it was three currencies: the Japanese Yen, the US Dollar and the US Deutschmark, because between 1977 and 1978 the dollar lost 40% of its value relative to the German Mark, so once again OPEC got real nervous, its purchasing power was going down the hill, so lets sell oil in three currencies. Once again, this time under a Democratic administration, Michael Blumenthal was the Secretary of the Treasury. He flew personally over to Saudi Arabia, met with the Saudi Minister of Finance. I think Cyris Vance was involved in all of this as well. Once again Saudi Arabia squashed this deal within OPEC, and there was a quid pro quo, we protect the Saudi’s. The Saudi’s at the time in 1978 were really interested in increasing their voting power within the IMF, which is sort of based upon a complicated formula of their GDP. Saudi Arabia was at number 38th in terms of their GDP, but after this meeting, thanks to the United States, they went all the way up to number 8 in power at the IMF. It was a 350% increase in voting power, so they were suddenly right behind the G7 nations.
MS: So there was this quid pro quo and what did the Saudi’s do for their part? The Saudi’s killed the proposal by members of Kuwait and others to sell oil in three currencies, so that it would only be sold in dollars. So the Saudi in this meeting is that they told the Saudi’s that the valuation of the dollar was about to go way up and they needed to stick it out with us. So what happened was Paul Volcker became the Chair of the Federal Reserve and sure enough interest rates went up to 18 % in 1979-1980; so it almost makes you wonder, when you read these internal talking points between American Treasury secretary and Saudi Arabia saying ‘You got to kill this proposal and we will give you more power in the IMF, and by the way the dollar is going to become much more valuable, relative to these other currencies and we’ll make sure that when this happens you have our presidents confidence and assurance that this will happen. And sure enough this did happen.
MS: So as a result of all that, the dollar remained the monopoly global reserve currency for oil until 2000. Talk about the importance for the American economy of a federal deficit of enormous proportions. A national debt in the 9 trillion dollar range, and an extraordinary large balance of payments problem with the rest of the world, where essentially the US exports dollars and gets stuff.
WC: Its interesting, if you read Dr. David Spiro, here’s the book, The Hidden Hand of American Hegemony. Its a very interesting book. The United States shows its first trading account deficit in 1971. At that time the US Treasury was getting worried, this had never happened before, whose going to plug this deficit. It was the high oil prices of 1973 and 1974 that plugged it, and they still plug it to this day. There was a article in Business Week in March of this year called The New Middle East Oil Boom, and a global economist with the name of Paul Donovan at USB in London did an analysis and he said that petrodollar flows currently finance or fund 45% of the United States current account deficit. The current account deficit in 1985 was $805 billion.
MS: Whats in the current accounts deficit?
WC: Thats our balance of payments. That the difference between what we consume versus what we import. So as you say or as you know that we are importing far more goods and services, especially oil than the goods and services that we are exporting.
MS: And the biggest thing that the US essentially imports is oil and manufactured goods from China, Japan and the EU. So essentially those real things come into the US and the US treasury prints dollars or electronically generates them on computers and says we owe you some more and those dollars are then recycled back into government securities to pay for the federal budget deficit.
WC: More or less thats right, thats what Charles de Gaulle called the absorbent privilege of the world reserve currency in the petrodollar recycling system.
MS: Now you made the argument that Saddam Hussein, the most dangerous thing he was doing to the United States was not building a nuclear bomb but threatening to denominate his oil in Euros.
WC: Yeah I think one of the Federal Reserve’s worst nightmares would be that the dollar would lose its world reserve currency status and the way that would happen is if commodities would start to be transacted in a different currency. The only currency that really threatens the dollar is the Euro because the European Union’s economy is the same size as ours. They don’t run the deficits that we are, they’re actually bigger there 450 million versus 300 million in united states. We’re like 11.5 trillion and they are like 10 trillion so its sort of equivalent and commensurate in size. So Saddam in the fall of 2000 said you know I really can’t do anything about whats happening, but …
MS: He was under sanctions from the UN and US after having lost the first gulf war.
WC: He couldn’t really control where his oil was going but he did say I’m mad at the United States and I’m going to switch over to the Euro, because the French and the Germans, the Russians are not on the Euro, but they are being nice to me and they are trying to get the sanctions lifted. So he switched to Euro, he said you can buy all the oil you want from me, to pay in Euros. The United States actually bought the majority of the oil under the old oil for food programs, like 55 to 65% upon the year, so Exxon Mobil and all these companies beginning in November 2000, up until we invaded, had to pay for Iraq’s oil in the Euro.
MS: So they had to use their dollars to buy Euro’s.
MS: Did that strengthen the Euro viz a viz the dollar.
WC: If you look at what happened between 2001 and 2002 you really wonder if that was happening. What was interesting is that when Saddam made the switch in November of 2000. Actually he announced it in September. The Euro was only 82 cents to the dollar, which was at its historic low point, so everyone was like we are going to lose 400 million dollars in oil profits this year or in the next year, so this doesn’t make any sense; but to him he was willing to take the economic hit because he wanted to hit back politically. But what happened was that the Euro started at 117 and went down to 82 and then it started to go back up in 2000, and then by July 2002 it reached parity and then after that it went above the dollar and its been above the dollar for over four years now.
MS: So you could almost track the US preparation for the war in Iraq with the rise of the Euro?
WC: I don’t know if I would go so far as to say that, but I would say it was interesting that the food for oil program had ten billion dollars in it, when he made the switch. At the time of the invasion, it had 25 billion Euros. He almost tripled the savings account of the country because of the steady appreciation of the Euro relative to the dollar. So Saddam made a financial windfall which was never ever reported in the United States media, but I reported on this in my essays.
MS: Ok lets talk about those two things, your essay and the US media. Tell us about the essay you wrote that became the germ for petrodollar warfare the book.
WC: In the summer of 2002 when the whole propaganda campaign really started going into high gear about Saddam, Osama bin Saddam or whatever and reconstituted nuclear weapons programs and all these kinds of things, it didn’t make sense to me as we had dismantled all of that stuff. So I began to research why in the world are we going after Iraq.
MS: Lets go back one step. What were you doing before that? What was your day job, that you seem to have abandoned in order to pursue this?
WC: No I still have a day job. I was a graduate student at Johns Hopkins I was also a manager there for the school of medicine, I did two masters degrees and an MBA and this was at the time that I was finishing up my MBA. I was going to start my second masters in science and I was talking to the associate dean at the Business School who was actually a former presidential appointee for the US Department of the Treasury under the Clinton administration. I uncovered that Saddam had switched to the Euro as oil transaction currency. I wasn’t really sure about the significance of this but to me, but I heard about the petrodollars and I knew there was some system by which Kissinger had spoken about this, so I began to really research this.
MS: So you were doing what Woodward and Bernstein did, which was ‘follow the money’.
WC: Yes, you could say that.
MS: What did you find and what did you write in your first essay about this?
WC: That was when I discovered this book, it came out in 1999, its a very obscure book. It was written over a 15 year period in which this guy Dr. Spiro was a former economist at Cornell, this book came out in 1999, it exposes the whole history of how this is setup and the macroeconomic effects.
MS: Take two minutes and tell us what Dr. Spiro says.
WC: He says that when the dollar lost its gold backing, the United States went through extraordinary measures to maintain that the dollar remained as monopoly pricing or unit account for oil sales and the monopoly transaction. He uncovered this .stuff through former declassified CIA documents and US treasury documents, and said that the United States was really worried about hegemonic power and so it used Saudi Arabia to leverage this and maintain the system and that what it does is it drives a huge amount of liquidity or demand value for the dollar which allows us to expand the credit for the Federal Reserve and expand the credit.
MS: and personal credit for the trillions of dollars of credit that americans have on their credit cards.
WC: Yeah the whole money supply.
MS: The whole house of credit cards that is the American economy is backed up by the dollar as the world reserve currency.
WC: And the petrodollar recycling system is what underpins in my opinion, along with the IMF loans, the commodities pricing and most important of course is global oil sales is backed by the petrodollar recycling system. So he exposes this. So I began to research what would happen if OPEC members such as Iran started to, or Russia who sells most of her oil to the European Union anyway, what would happen [if they sold their oil in Euro’s or another currency]. So I began to explore this and work this out economically and I realized this is a big big issue and I was encouraged by others to pursue this and I wrote an essay in the winter of 2002 before the war started and I said I think this war in Iraq has something to do with Peak Oil and allot to do with money and power and hegemony.
MS: What kind of reaction did you get to the essay?
WC: It went around the world and it was translated into different languages. I was interviewed on several continents, Australia, South America, Brazil.
MS: How about the CBS
WC: the United States media did not touch it.
MS: How about the ABC News?
WC: They wouldn’t touch it.
MS: How about the New York Times?
WC: They wouldn’t touch it.
WC: Wouldn’t touch it.
MS: Wall Street Journal?
WC: Would’nt touch it.
MS: Well here you are on the Peak Oil
WC: Actually the Wall Street Journal did barely touch it after the war started.
MS: Well you are here on the Global Peak Oil warming channel and you can tell by our title, what we are interested in. Why do you think the mainstream media in the US has not picked up on the ideas that you put forward and the essays in this book.
WC: Because the United States media is own by five large corporations and the threat to the dollar is a threat to their bottom lines and therefore they wont inform the people of the challenges they are facing in the United States economy on a macro level.
MS: Okay how about the politicians, the elected officials of the American government whose job it is to sensibly look out for the welfare of the American people?
WC: The only US politician who has dared to mention this, who gave a whole speech on this was Ron Paul of Texas who was sort of a libertarian Republican, but he’s really a libertarian. He’s the only guy of the other 500 of them in WAshington who will dare mention this. In fact I had a personal conversation with the President of the Federal REserve Bank of Virginia, while I was at Hopkins in graduate school. He completely didn’t want to talk about it. I even called CSPAN one morning to talk to the Undersecretary of Energy of the Bush Administration before the war, and I asked him this question on CSPAN about Saddams switch to the Euro and he completely obsfuscated his answer and would not admit to it. Its taboo.
MS: So from all of this, your studies and the reaction you’ve gotten, it would be fair to say that this is an open secret that’s at the heart of why the US is in Iraq right now.
WC: Its an open secret within the United States. It is not an open secret around the world. Canada knows about it. I mean India’s open ….
MS: So its not a secret?
WC: Its a quasi secret. The American people they just don’t know these things, but the Europeans know it, the Asians know it, the Canadians know it.
MS: Okay, now talk about what you see as the connection between peak oil, recyling of petrodollars vs euro dollars, and the generation of the war in iraq.
WC: I think they coalesced to produce this tragic military quagmire, over there. I think that the Bush administration, Cheney in particular knows all about peak oil.
MS: Tell our listeners who just got here, what is peak oil, and why it matters for what we are talking about.
WC: Well its a whole lecture in itself, but basically in essence every oil field around the world sort of has a bell shaped curve, you find the oil, you begin to produce it, there is pressure thats been created over millions of years of geological history, that pressure reaches a peak, and a peak in production, it then begins to tail off. Every oil field, there’s about 40,000 oil fields around the world has this bell shaped curve ..
MS: And because every oil field has this curve, the aggregate of all oil fields has the same curve.
WC: Right. The aggregate of all the oil in the world or every country, and when you add all the aggregates of all the countries, you get this one gigantic bell shaped raggedy curve, because what happens in 1970’s and basically peak oil is the point where from a geological geophysical perspective oil production reaches its maximum and due to the declining pressure it begins to taper off , and there is really nothing you can do, you can apply technology which will strike more and it may draw out the curve a bit more on the downslope, but once you’ve reached peak, you’ve reached peak.
MS: And in fact that has happened in many countries, starting with the United States in 1971 and then repeated in many other countries so at this point what is keeping the curve still rising globally is the oil where?
WC: Well there is a debate, but is pretty much the oil in the Middle East, and Nigeria and Russia.
MS: And what is the geopolitical significance of the world beginning to run out of oil?
WC: Well the geopolitical significance is that man’s manmade economic theorems or contemporary economic theorems are based upon unlimited [economic] growth and there is a strong correlation between high oil prices and recessions. So if we reach a point where the primary fossil fuel that drives 98% of the global transportation system, therefore ergo it drives the global economy begins to reach a point where demand outstrips the availability of a finite resource and that means that there are limitations to economic growth in the contemporary sense and therefore that’s a serious conundren.
MS: And whats the importance of economic growth to the political stability of any country and in particular the United States.
WC: Because the United States current monetary system is based upon debt and paying the interest on money that is loaned on the assumption that future economic growth will pay for that principle plus its interest, and if peak oil begins, you begin to really think about it, you begin to ask yourself well ‘if we reach peak oil and there is a slowdown and aggregate slowdown in the global economy ad local economies, will there be future growth for all the debt that we have created, which is nine trillion dollars in this country and the answer is basically, probably not.
MS: And who owns that debt?
WC: The number one and two are the Chinese and Japanese, and the South Koreans also own a large portion of our debt.
MS: The people who work hard, save allot of money and sell things to the United States?
MS: Its a little like the grasshopper and the ants. The US is a big grasshopper and the ants are allot of ants doing allot of work, and living on the kindness of strangers, essentially.
WC: Yeah we are living on the kindness of strangers, unfortunately. You see with the petrodollar the United States borrows 2.2 billion dollars per day from strangers, and 1 billion of that, or 45% of our current debt is petrodollar flows . So the petrodollar flow is a flow in this country today and tomorrow and the next day and the next day are approximately one billion dollars per day. So any threat to that system means that our ability to expand and continue our debt financing becomes under pressure and may not be viable in the long term.
MS: So as you see it, why did President Bush and Dick Cheney and Rumsfeld and Condi Rice decide to invade Iraq?
WC: For control of oil and the preservation of the dollar as the world reserve currency.
MS: Okay. That does not seem to be working out for them right now, today. Its never been working out for them, worse since they started it. What do you make of that and what do you see as the implications of that, because as you’ve just said the lynchpin for America hegemony was taking over the oil in Iraq if I had let you say it, in order to get Iraq’s seat in OPEC and keep OPEc from denominating oil in Euros. Now that the Iraqi Freedom enterprise seems to have failed, what does that mean for the US plan to maintain its hegemony by controlling the oil and the world reserve currency?
WC: It means in Paul Kennedy’s terminology, the rise of the foreign powers, it means imperial overstretch. It means that we are now an empire in decline. I think that the policies of the politicians from this forward should be managing and mitigating our decline regarding these global macroeconomic energy issues, which are going to hit us no matter what. So we need to really begin looking at ourselves as an empire of military bases with a global plan that just didn’t quite work out and therefore we need to begin managing our decline, because I think it is quite clear that all the symptoms going on in Iraq or what you would call imperial overstretch.
MS: Talk about the possible implications of that among the elite and among the masses, in terms of a large part of the US wouldn’t acknowledge that there is an Empire, let alone overreach. What does this mean for them and how do you expect the elites to deal with this issue? They are now trying to finance the Iraq causation and withdrawal but if that happens, the big plan won’t have taken place. What do you see, lets say the Democrats take over the House and the Senate next month, will that make any difference if the Democrats take over the White House in 2008? Will that make any difference? What strategy do you think they should use and will use in this next stage of imperial overreach and failure?
WC: Well thats a loaded question. I think that if there is a change in governing philosophy, again the goal should be managing the decline. The neoconservatives are completely unable to negotiate global monetary reform, they are completely unable to implement energy conservation or viable energy …
MS: Do the Democrats like they seem more capable?
WC: I’m not sure that they’re able to do it either.
MS: There’s a mass movement or the stirrings of a mass movement in the Peak Oil movement, and the sustainability movement of which you are a part, and for which the book generates more attention to.
MS: What do you see as a viable strategy for that movement to build more awareness and action along the lines that you are suggesting.
WC: What we almost need is a Peak Oil Peace Party, because right now we have a Peak Oil War Party, where you have an administration that knows about Peak Oil and they are forcefully pushing warfare with Iran as the next target of this issue. We almost need a party that just puts out peace, compromise and a return to what the founding fathers suggested and that would be not an empire.
MS: You quote the founding fathers allot, particularly Thomas Jefferson. Talk about what he and Maddison and Washington would make of all this and their point of view of the crisis we are in right now.
WC: Thats another loaded question. Lets see i’ll find a quote from Jefferson, he. Lets see if I can find it real quick cause you know we have gone so far from what they intended.
MS: Thats almost what Gore Vidal has been writing about for 30 years about Republican to Empire.
WC: Yes. Here’s what Thomas Jefferson said, and the Empire of his day was the British Empire and the French Empire and he said ‘We believe no more in Francis Napoleon Bonaparte’s fighting for the liberty of the seas than in Great Britain’s fighting for the liberties of mankind. The object is the same, to draw to themselves the power, the wealth and the resources of other nations.” So basically what he’s saying is that we don’t believe in this imperialistic propaganda that Bonaparte of France and King George of England are talking about.
MS: He was a Republican with a small r. It looks like from the fact of the dynamics that you quoted Jefferson commenting on two hundred years ago, has risen again, the Roman Republic, the American Republic. There’s a tendency, Plato talked about it in The Republic, saying that the tendency of democracy is to disintegrate into a dictatorship. What forces do you see working against that and what strategy or what program in the next three minutes would you like to see happen in response to this crisis.
WC: The main its going to require is for people to understand and accept global peak oil and to try to mitigate and understand that the government is incapable, at least as it is currently structured and funded. It is incapable of making the necessary changes that are required, because of mother nature. Because you really cannot debate mother nature. You have to accept her.
MS: How important is alternative energy in this picture. Renewable energy rather than fossil fuel?
WC: Its extremely important. Fossil fuel is finite and you know if we go around killing millions and millions of people, we are still going to burn it up and it’ll be gone, and then what? We would have spent all of our capital, all of our men, all of our resources. We will be bankrupt, you know morally, economically and we will have nothing to show for it. So that goes back to this thing about Paul Kennedy, you know imperial overstretch, that once their economies start to go down, they have this tendency to go and use military force to try and achieve things, and they get trapped in that model so they cant spend the necessary investments at home to rejuvenate their economy, to fly things out and get back to a steady-state.
MS: Okay so now people are running proposition 87 here in california are promising cheap energy, and promising people they can keep driving their SUV’s using ethanol essentially. Do you think that what Richard Heinberg calls Powerdown, will be possible without a reduction in whats currently understood as the standard of living of people in the industrialized countries in particular the United States, given an all out move to alternative energy.
WC: There is no doubt in my mind that we are going to have less avaialble energy, when I am an older man. I mean we have to Powerdown. The energy density of fossil fuel is greater, the hydrocarbon molecule is almost magical. There is nothing that we have found that is as trasnportable and provides the energy density. You can’t run airplanes on coal or wood, or anything like that. So regarding proposition 87, Richard Heinberg also has a term called ‘the magic elixir’ and that this belief that something will save the day and we can continue the status quo and I think thats a very dangerous mentality. I think the Powerdown is the only way forward and thats a very hard thing for us to assimilate.
MS: You made a point earlier that your ideas about this whether they are right or wrong have not been subjected to mass public debate, because the media which determines whats on the agenda for debate has shut them out.
MS: This video will be available on the internet, but it does not have the advertising budget that ABC news has. Given that, and given the centrality of understanding of seeing what you have understood and are trying to communicate, and its being blocked by the media conglomerates. What do you see as a possible strategy to get the word out to people and beyond that do you think people are ready to make the moral, physical and economic commitments necessary to implement Powerdown or some variation of it. You’ve got two minutes.
WC: Okay, I think using the internet obviously is the most logical strategy, because it is not filtered like the mainstream media news is the best vehicle to spread the word to local levels. REgarding whether the American people or the global community are able and willing to do the Powerdown scenario is a question that I think we are going to struggle with for a whole generation. I think this is going to be an ongoing issue for 20, 30, 40 years and there are things that I am doing personally and I think other people have to do similar things to reduce their energy usage. Like I said, we can complain about mother nature but we can’t manipulate her, we have to live within her constraints.
MS: Say a little bit more about a Peace Peak Oil Party and what platform you think it ought to have.
WC: It needs to be based on fundamentals of global monetary reform, and I mean massive reallocation [of resources], I mean massive like World War II style towards infrastructure changes, such as light rail to reduce as fast as humanly possible our hydrocarbon consumption. We have to restructure our society. We have to begin producing food locally. We can produce electricity much easier than we can find fossil fuel around the world and conquer nations. So we need to look at the entire restructuring of the transportation system.
MS: You got 30 seconds, tell us why this is important and how hopeful you are that a resolution will be possible.
WC: It is the challenge of the 21st century, this is a unique moment in time and it will either be tremendous pain and suffering or tremendous liberation once we get through this, but its going to be a very difficult transition, and regarding my hopefulness, I vaccilate between positive and negative, but I think its just gonna happen for 2- to 30 years, I have to go through this whole debate.
MS: Thanks very much.