Experts, with wrinkled brows, warn about the future

Summary: Experts often see the future with alarm, seeing the dangers but not benefits. That gets attention, from both the media and an increasinly fearful public. Both sides feed this process. It need not be so, as most trends contain the seeds of good and bad futures. This post considers two examples. Over several decades …

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Nigeria, a weak link in the global oil supply

Shell got their money’s worth from this study. Events in Nigeria so far are moving just as the consultants predicted.  That is bad for oil consumers, like us. “Peace and Security in the Niger Delta“, Conflict Expert Group of WAC Global Services (December 2003) From a story about this study on National Public Radio: This 2003 …

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A neverending story: DoD’s attempts to stop cooking the books

“The Pentagon’s $1 Trillion Problem“, Scot Paltrow, Portfolio.com (May 2008) — An excellent article, well worth reading in full.  However, note the reporter’s implied assumption that DoD’s leaders want accurate accounting, but somehow new systems never seem to work. Excerpt: The size of nearly 28 football fields, with a facade of alternating red stucco and …

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Successful info ops, but who are the targets?

 This looks like good news: U.S., Allies See Progress in Selling Al-Qaeda As an Enemy to the Muslim World“, Walter Pincus, Washington Post  (28 April 2008) — Excerpt: “More and more Muslim and Arab populations — [including] clerics and scholars — are questioning the value of al-Qaeda’s program,” Juan Carlos Zarate, deputy assistant to the …

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When will global oil production peak? Ask the CIA!

Summary:  The date on which global production peaks depends to a large extent on the Saudi’s.  Political peaking occurs if they decide to no longer increase production.  Geological peaking occurs when they cannot increase production.  The plans of the Saudi Princes shift with the political winds.  The size of their oil reserves are a matter of fact …

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