'Peak oil' -- it's baaaack

Hey, remember "peak oil"? I used to blog about that a lot back in the early days of this blog back in 2005 or so, and so did a lot of other libs. For a time it was on a par with global warming -- because a) oil prices were climbing well over $100 a barrel and b) it seemed to be the only logical explanation for the unholy actions that the Bush administration undertook in the Persian Gulf. But then Bush left office and the worldwide recession pressed down demand for oil so much that the price collapsed.

Personally, I never thought that the problem -- that the world had run out of "easy" oil -- went away, and in fact I think the thirst for hard-to-get crude and national gas was the driving force behind things like the deep-water drilling disaster in the Gulf and the environmental nightmare right here in Pennsylvania that is fracking.

Well, you know who else thinks there's a problem with peak oil? Top U.S. officials and Saudi experts, that's who. This I know, because Julian Assange tells me so:

However, Sadad al-Husseini, a geologist and former head of exploration at the Saudi oil monopoly Aramco, met the US consul general in Riyadh in November 2007 and told the US diplomat that Aramco's 12.5m barrel-a-day capacity needed to keep a lid on prices could not be reached.

According to the cables, which date between 2007-09, Husseini said Saudi Arabia might reach an output of 12m barrels a day in 10 years but before then – possibly as early as 2012 – global oil production would have hit its highest point. This crunch point is known as "peak oil".

Husseini said that at that point Aramco would not be able to stop the rise of global oil prices because the Saudi energy industry had overstated its recoverable reserves to spur foreign investment. He argued that Aramco had badly underestimated the time needed to bring new oil on tap.

This is a problem, people. Even George W. Bush tried to warn us about our "addiction to oil," once it became clear that Plan A wasn't really working. All these years we could have funneled our wealth of scientific knowledge into alternative energy sources, but instead we lined up behind a risky and ultimately foolhardy plan for military domination of the oil-producing region.

And now even they are running out of oil to produce.