Iraqi war forecast in 1920's

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Cycle America/N, Jan 23, 2003.

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  1. [[ This message was both posted and mailed: see the "To," "Cc," and "Newsgroups" headers for
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    Forwarded by Mike Vandeman:

    Published Saturday, January 18, 2003, in The Guardian (London)

    Car wars

    The US economy needs oil like a junkie needs heroin - and Iraq will supply its next fix

    Ian Roberts

    War in Iraq is inevitable. That there would be war was decided by North American planners in the
    mid-1920s. That it would be in Iraq was decided much more recently. The architects of this war were
    not military planners but town planners. War is inevitable not because of weapons of mass
    destruction, as claimed by the political right, nor because of western imperialism, as claimed by
    the left. The cause of this war, and probably the one that will follow, is car dependence.

    The US has paved itself into a corner. Its physical and economic infrastructure is so highly car
    dependent that the US is pathologically addicted to oil. Without billions of barrels of precious
    black sludge being pumped into the veins of its economy every year, the nation would experience
    painful and damaging withdrawal.

    The first Model T Ford rolled off the assembly line in 1908 and was a miracle of mass production. In
    the first decade of that century, car registrations in the US increased from 8,000 to almost
    500,000. Within the cities, buses replaced trams, and then cars replaced buses. In 1932, General
    Motors bought up America's tramways and then closed them down. But it was the urban planners who
    really got America hooked. Car ownership offered the possibility of escape from dirty, crowded
    cities to leafy garden suburbs and the urban planners provided the escape routes.

    Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, America "road built" itself into a nation of home-owning
    suburbanites. In the words of Joni Mitchell: "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot." Cities
    such as Los Angeles, Dallas and Phoenix were moulded by the private passenger car into vast urban
    sprawls which are so widely spread that it is now almost impossible to service them economically
    with public transport.

    As the cities sprawled, the motor manufacturing industry consolidated. Car-making is now the main
    industrial employer in the world, dominated by five major groups of which General Motors is the
    largest. The livelihood and landscape of North Americans were forged by car-makers.

    Motor vehicles are responsible for about one-third of global oil use, but for nearly two-thirds of
    US oil use. In the rest of the world, heating and power generation account for most oil use. The
    increase in oil prices during the 1973 Arab oil embargo encouraged the substitution of other fuels
    in heating and power generation, but in the transport sector there is little scope for oil
    substitution in the short term.

    Due to artificially low oil and gasoline prices that did not reflect the true social costs of
    production and use, there was little incentive to seek alternative energy sources. The Arab oil
    embargo temporarily stimulated greater fuel efficiency with the introduction of gasoline consumption
    standards, but the increasing popularity of gas-guzzling sports utility vehicles over the past
    decade has substantially reduced the average fuel efficiency of the US car fleet.

    The US transportation sector is almost totally dependent on oil, and supplies are running out. It is
    estimated that the total amount of oil that can be pumped out of the earth is about 2,000 billion
    barrels and that world oil production will peak in the next 10 to 15 years. Since even modest
    reductions in oil production can result in major hikes in the cost of gasoline, the US
    administration is well aware of the importance of ensuring oil supplies. Every major oil price shock
    of the past 30 years was followed by a US recession and every major recession was preceded by an oil
    price shock.

    In 1997, the Carnegie commission on preventing deadly conflict identified factors that put states at
    risk. They include rapid population changes that outstrip the capacity of the state to provide
    essential services, and the control of valuable natural resources by a single group. Both factors
    are key motivators in the war with Iraq. Sprawling suburban America needs oil and Saddam Hussein is
    sitting on it.

    The US economy needs oil like a junkie needs heroin and Iraq has 112 billion barrels, the largest
    supply in the world outside Saudi Arabia. Even before the first shot has been fired, there have
    been discussions about how Iraq's oil reserves will be carved up. All five permanent members of
    the UN security council have international oil companies that have an interest in "regime change"
    in Baghdad.

    Car dependence is a global public health issue of which gasoline wars are only one facet. Every day
    about 3,000 people die and 30,000 people are seriously injured on the world's roads in traffic
    crashes. More than 85% of the deaths are in low and middle-income countries, with pedestrians,
    cyclists and bus passengers bearing most of the burden. Most of the victims will never own a car,
    and many are children.

    By 2020, road crashes will have moved from ninth to third place in the world ranking of the burden
    of disease and injury, and will be in second place in developing countries. That we accept this
    carnage as the collateral damage in a car-based transport system indicates the strength and
    pervasiveness of car dependency. Moreover, car travel has reduced our walking. One-quarter of all
    car journeys are less than two miles. A 3km walk uses up about half the energy in a small bar of
    chocolate. The same distance by car expends 10 times as much energy but from the wrong source. We
    can make chocolate but oil reserves are finite.

    Car use and the corresponding decline in physical activity is an important cause of the obesity
    epidemic in the US and UK, and physical inactivity increases the risks of heart disease, diabetes,
    osteoporosis and hypertension. Car-based shopping has turned many small towns into ghost towns and
    has severed the supportive social networks of community interaction.

    The first gasoline war was waged in Kuwait and the second will be waged in Iraq. The world must act
    now to prevent the third. On the brink of war with Iraq, Tony Blair is playing the role of tough
    world leader. But transport, not Iraq, is the truly tough issue. His deputy, John Prescott, tried
    and failed to deal with car dependency and now the government is in policy retreat. Ken Livingstone,
    who does not own a car and has leadership qualities that Blair lacks, may with congestion charging
    succeed where others have failed, but his enemies have the support of powerful lobby groups.

    Those who oppose war in Iraq must work together to prevent the conflicts that will follow if we fail
    to tackle car dependency. We must reclaim the streets, promote walking and cycling, strengthen
    public transport, oppose new road construction and pay the full social cost of car use. We must
    argue for land-use policies that reduce the need for car travel. We need "urban villages" clustered
    around public transport nodes, not sprawling car-dependent conurbations. We can all play our part
    and we must act now.

    Ian Roberts is professor of public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

    M A R T I N K R I E G : "Awake Again" Author Bent Since '83, Car Free Since '89, Attacking with
    Love Coma, Paralysis, Clinical Death Survivor '79 & '86 TransAm Vet - Invites you to:
    http://www.BikeRoute.com/SCNBGFest N A T I O N A L B I C Y C L E G R E E N W A Y
     
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  2. Sparhawk

    Sparhawk Guest

    On Mon, 20 Jan 2003 09:52:37 -0800, "Cycle America/Nat. Bicycle Greenway" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >[[ This message was both posted and mailed: see the "To," "Cc," and "Newsgroups" headers for
    >details. ]]
    >
    >Forwarded by Mike Vandeman:
    >
    >Published Saturday, January 18, 2003, in The Guardian (London)
    >
    >Car wars
    >
    >The US economy needs oil like a junkie needs heroin - and Iraq will supply its next fix
    >
    >Ian Roberts
    >
    >War in Iraq is inevitable. That there would be war was decided by North American planners in the
    >mid-1920s. That it would be in Iraq was decided much more recently. The architects of this war were
    >not military planners but town planners. War is inevitable not because of weapons of mass
    >destruction, as claimed by the political right, nor because of western imperialism, as claimed by
    >the left. The cause of this war, and probably the one that will follow, is car dependence.

    Cars, SUV's, Hummer's and the new Cadillac 16 cylinder luxury car are all wonderful creations.

    I think that everyone should have at least two of each and drive them everywhere no matter how
    short the trip.

    I know that I do, to the store to pick up bread, to take my Yorkshere Terrier to the Vet's office
    that is only one block away.

    Gotta love burning gasoline, I know that I do and I encourage you all to do likewise.

    It's a sin not to, you will be disobeying God's word if you don't, after all he would not have put
    rich oil deposits on Earth if he didn't want us to burn it up in our wonderful inventions.

    You do remember what Jesus said about oil, don't you?

    Sparhawk
     
  3. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Mon, 20 Jan 2003 18:31:15 GMT, Sparhawk <[email protected]> wrote:

    >You do remember what Jesus said about oil, don't you?

    Damn, you're one foolish virgin :-D

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  4. Mike Kruger

    Mike Kruger Guest

    "Sparhawk" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > It's a sin not to, you will be disobeying God's word if you don't, after all he would not have put
    > rich oil deposits on Earth if he didn't want us to burn it up in our wonderful inventions.
    >
    > You do remember what Jesus said about oil, don't you?

    And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.

    (Matthew 25:8)

    [There's quite a few passages noting the goodness of being "anointed with oil", which was presumably
    a rite of passage for George W., growing up as he did around the Texas oil business.]

    And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three
    measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

    (Revelations/Apocalypse 6:6)

    And finally this piece of info, from Revelations/Apocalypse 18:

    Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
    [11] And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their
    merchandise any more:
    [12] The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and
    purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all
    manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,
    [13] And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and OIL, and fine flour,
    and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.
    [14] And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were
    dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.
    [15] The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear
    of her torment, weeping and wailing,
    [16] And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and
    scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!
    [17] For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in
    ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,
    [18] And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this
    great city!

    If anybody thinks they can make perfect sense out of these tea leaves of scripture, please do NOT
    e-mail me.
     
  5. Critic

    Critic Guest

    "Cycle America/Nat. Bicycle Greenway" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:200120030952370005%[email protected]...
    > [[ This message was both posted and mailed: see the "To," "Cc," and "Newsgroups" headers for
    > details. ]]
    >
    > Forwarded by Mike Vandeman:

    Did anyone read beyond this point?
     
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