“Winning the Oil Endgame”
A Humanitarian Critique of Winning the Oil Endgame
by Harry Saloor
As claimed on their index page: “Rocky Mountain Institute [RMI] is an entrepreneurial nonprofit organization that fosters the efficient and restorative use of natural, human and other capital to make the world more secure, just, prosperous, and life sustaining. We do this by inspiring business, civil society, and government to design integrative solutions that create true wealth.
“Our staff shows businesses, communities, individuals, and governments how to create more wealth and employment, protect and enhance natural and human capital…”
[Note: It is not possible to “create more wealth” while protecting and enhancing natural capital at the same time because “wealth” is created from and at the expense of the natural capital.]
RMI introduce their new book Winning the Oil Endgame as a “peer-reviewed” study. They boast: “This independent, peer-reviewed synthesis for American business and military leaders charts a roadmap for getting the United States completely, attractively, and profitably off oil.”
The book is available at oilendgame.
The following is a brief commentary on Winning the Oil Endgame based on the report’s Executive Summary.
First, a quick intro by Greg Palast [Note, Palast has failed the 9/11 reporting test and his writing, other than when he states the obvious, should be carefully scrutinized.] In Chapter 5 (Inside Corporate America) of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy he writes: “The NRDC [National Resources Defense Council] and other pro-market environmentalists are always on the hunt for what their prophet, Amory Lovins, calls ‘win-win’ cases—deals that aid the environment while making big bucks for the corporate players. To the horror of many consumer advocates, NRDC stood with business lobbyists to push both the trade in ‘pollution credits’ and promote deregulation of electricity in California, though the group did a flip on deregulation when it flopped.”
Now back to the “Winning the Oil Endgame,” apparently a game played with monopoly pieces on a chessboard [see cover page.] For most people, however, peak oil is not a game; it’s a high-speed juggernaut heading their way.
When French peasants complained about “the food Endgame,” Marie Antoinette said: “Let them eat cake!” Now, the “prophet,” the high priest of the Old Snowmass, says: “Let them eat hydrogen.”
The central tenet of this “peer-reviewed RMI study” is fatally flawed; it assumes that business can and will “save” the world – as an afterthought. Business, having already shot humanity in the foot and having fatally wounded most other life forms, however, is finally killing the world.
The actual endgame (or the epilogue in the corporate book of horrors) is EXCLUSIONARY: Only the super elite are meant to win the match! No doubt this fact will come as a big shock to many (even to most of those who contributed to the report), but the rules are quite clear; it isn’t possible to play the endgame any other way.
The study considers mobility as a panacea to all social ills created by capitalism – a bridge to connect the haves and the have-nots. Everything would improve, it suggests, only if we could eliminate the oil from our energy menu and chop a few pounds from the weight of each new car. In other words, it isn’t the system that is choking us, stupid; it’s the WMD that it employs (i.e., oil, and cars that are not made of carbon-fiber composites!)
As anyone who has to commute to work, or travel around to find a job would testify, mobility is a life sentence served in daily installments. Further, more mobility simply means more paved areas, less trees, flora and fauna, and less land to grow food. The world is one bad harvest away from starvation. More cars (carbon-fiber composites or not) would simply increase the odds of world starvation.
The problem is poverty throughout the world. The answer to poverty is not mobility; it’s localizing the economy.
This peer-reviewed RMI study is not about humans, humanity, the needs of human race, civilization, longevity, continuity of life on a long-term (or even medium term) basis, or a system of values that actually works; it’s about “globe-spanning military power, and amazing synthetic products.”
Occurrences of keywords/phrases in Winning the Oil Endgame :
Poisoning caused by Industrial pollution=0
Carcinogens produced by industrial pollution=0
Nonmilitary societal costs=1
Continuity of civilization=0
Human/humanity/human race/human beings=0
Safeguarding the natural capital=0
Protecting natural resources=0
Safeguarding the future=0
Rising sea levels=0
System of values=0
Conclusion: Snake oil 100%!