Upcoming changes in energy availability will have huge political & economic effects on Iran, elsewhere


by FG

Sometimes we become so involved with our daily lives or with dramatic current events (the Arab Spring, Gaza, Syria's crisis, the US elections) we fail to see far more potent developments hurling down the tracks toward us.  Those events will hit every person and every nation on the planet--with full force.  When it happens, most people will be unprepared.

For understandable reasons most people fail to see such tides of change coming until personally impacted  Thus, in picking a safe lifetime career, many 1960 American high school graduates selected "sure thing" jobs and businesses that have become endangered species--journalism, travel agents, assembly line work, book stores, tv network professions and operating movie theaters.  Politicians too were caught like a deer in the headlights.  Smuggled 1980's technology such as CDs and VCRs undermined Breshnev's Russia and its monopoly over information far more effectively than anything the CIA or NATO forces could have done. Consider how the sieve-like internet, rock CDS, satellite TV and western movies is having the same impact on dictators worldwide.  That technology as well is an inevitable byproduct of the computer revolution.  

Sooner than you imagine a major change in energy production will touch all of us no matter where we live. Like the Industrial Revolution and the Computer Revolutionion it will affect politics, the economy, society, religion, etc.  Rapdidly developing changes in the production of oil and natural gas production from shale are like to shake up everything, leaving some nations as big winners and others as major losers.

As recently as a decade ago oil rich Mideast monarchs and theocrats showed limited or no interest in diversifying their economies.  They bet the house on rising oil prices caused by growing worldwide demands and limited supplies of oil.  Even without the coming energy "surprise" rising birthrates and a youthful population prepare the ground for a potential explosion if you looked more closelly.  Islamist governments--so reactionary, incompetent, backward looking, inflexible and repressive--are the least likely of all to prepare for change.  Their futile efforts go into lessening popular desire for it which is akin to trying to stop peoople from breathing.   Everything mullahs, jihadis and Taliban do for that purpose--restricting travel, Islamizing education, muzzling the press, repressing women, isolating  nations, squandering cash on security forces and dreams of regional imperialism--squaders resouces for nothing while ensuring that the economic and technological dilemna will be far worse than it might have been with thoughtful leaders in charge.

For most of human history over 95% of human beings lived in grinding poverty.   Cheap energy freed us, whether we live in Saudi Arabia or Denver.  Had cheap energy disappeared, so would present living standards.    In this sense the coming energy developments are very good news for countries with shale and technology (providing energyt producing firms don't walk off with most of the profits.  However, its not without a major drawback for both winners and losers because one likely impact will be to accelerate global warming and related all related catastrophes. 

As soon as I can, I'll be writing two subpost related to this.  The first will describe the New Energy Revolution, winners and losers and other likely consequences.   The second will deal primarily with global warning.  In both I borrow from other sources (link provided) while adding some analysis of my own. 


more from FG

I believe it's Mahr not Mahrer

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Dark truth of IRI

by firstdayofmylife on

The Iranian Chronicles: Unveiling the Dark Truths of the Islamic Republic [Paperback]



Books for those disgusted with theocracy

by FG on

God and the Folly of Faith: The Incompatibility of Science and Religion by Vincent Stenger


It is significant, Stenger notes, that the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century occurred only after the revolts against established ecclesiastic authorities in the Renaissance and Reformation opened up new avenues of thought.

"From the very beginning, religion has been a tool used by those in power to retain that power and keep the masses in line." 

FG notes: Ultraconservatism and fear of reform led Khamenei to steal the 2009 election rather than allow badly needed change.   In consequence he i less secure than ever rather than more secure while Iran and the Iranian people cotinue to suffer too as a result. 

God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens

Should be mandatory reading," writes a reviewer at Amazon.com

Hitchens tells stories about people and events which he links up to social movements, political events or philosophical principles. This makes his book eminently readable, especially for newcomers to the subject. Still, he can be quite galvanizing, to say the least; so I would hesitate to make this a book club selection for people I do not know well.


The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins


With rigor and wit, Dawkins examines God in all his forms, from the sex-obsessed tyrant of the Old Testament to the more benign (but still illogical) Celestial Watchmaker favored by some Enlightenment thinkers. He eviscerates the major arguments for religion and demonstrates the supreme improbability of a supreme being. He shows how religion fuels war, foments bigotry, and abuses children, buttressing his points with historical and contemporary evidence. The God Delusion makes a compelling case that belief in God is not just wrong but potentially deadly (as Iran's ruling mullahs have shown the Iranian people). It also offers exhilarating insight into the advantages of atheism to the individual and society, not the least of which is a clearer, truer appreciation of the universe's wonders than any faith could ever muster.


If you can't stand mullah rule, you'll love this comedian

by FG on

HBO's Bill Mahrer is hilarious on attacking the stupidity and cruelty or organized religion and the power-hungry clerics who profit from exploiting it.  Don't miss "Religulous," his documentary on the topic.  The title combines the words "religious" and "rediculous." I've provided links to a few gems from You Tune.   In this one he takes on Islamists. //www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIT1Ytzk_IE&feature...

If Jesus ran for the Republican nomination


Maher is equally tough on ignorant Republican hillbilly conservatives and their brain-dead political candidates.  

Is Alabama the Stupidest State in America?


Maher explains to Romney why people don't like him


In this one Mahrer compares the sophistication of French voters with the primitiveness of Repunlican consevatives.



You can find "Religulous" in segments on Your Tune.   If you have netflix or blockbuter you'll find lots more available from hiis HBO program, Real Time.  I'd imagine some would also be available on the HBO internet site.


Iran to restrict travel by women of breeding age

by FG on

I posted this almost 24 hours ago in the news section but it never appeared there which is one reason why I rarely do that anymore.


Lawmakers in Iran are preparing to consider legislation that may drastically alter an adult woman's ability to obtain a passport and travel outside the country. 

The draft law, set to go before the 290-seat Majlis, stipulates that single women up to the age of 40 must receive official permission from their father or male guardian in order to obtain travel documents.

Under current law, all Iranians under 18 years of age -- both male and female -- must receive paternal permission before receiving a passport. Married women must receive their husband's approval to receive the documents.

The proposal is expected to find support in the conservative Majlis. 




Like recent educational restrictions on women--designed to keep them barefoot, pregnant and at home, this law represents another blow against Iran's economic ability to cope with change such as the impending energy changes above.  

Half of the reason for it is the usual "sacrifice everything for the security of the mullahs" policy.   The other half is fear that women may vote on the regime's popularity with their feet by leaving the country and not coming back.  That would be in addition to the usual flight of top level students.   Why would any intelligent or competent young person or any self-respecting woman want to stay in Mullah Land?  They'd have to be crazy.

In the West and in advancing countries of the developing world, women who constitute half a country's population, have become an enormous economic resource thereny massively increasing production.   In Iran where unemployment is rampant due to corrupt and well-earned pariah status caused by xenophobic foreign policy and quests for a theocratic regional empire, they loss--and the loss of so many well-educated Iranians--may matter less in the face of mass unemployment caused by mullah ruling behavior.




corrected link on political/economic effects of shale

by FG on



How cheap energy from shale will reshape America's role in the world

US self-sufficiency in energy is likely to end American reliance on despotic Gulf regimes but biggest loser of all may be Russia


  U.S. to Be World’s

by firstdayofmylife on


Global warming/ replacing western markets

by FG on

The Guardian (UK) discusses both topics at:

US can become world's biggest oil producer in a decade, says IEA


The US could become self-sufficient, while 90% of Middle Eastern oil could go to China, according to new estimates



The US can shed its longstanding dependence on Saudi Arabian oil within the next decade, redrawing the world's political systems and potentially leading to runaway global warming...

 If this happens, more than 90% of oil and gas from the Middle East could be sold to Asia, and chiefly to rapidly developing countries such as China, within the same timeframe, the IEA predicted....

Ed Matthew, director of the thinktank Transform UK, warned: "Energy independence will not increase national security in the US if it leads to runaway climate change. Ultimately the majority of fossil fuel reserves will need to be left in the ground. The US is a hotbed of technological innovation. It must use this creative muscle to develop a low-cost, clean energy revolution. It will only achieve this if the massive vested interests of the American oil industry are brought under democratic control."...

Niall Stuart, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, said that the report showed that renewable energy was still being disadvantaged by subsidies poured into fossil fuels.


Romney's recent campaign and the Republican presidential platform proposed an "all fossil fuel" energy policy which would have elimiinated all subsidies for alternative energy and ended the "meddling" Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).   His only reference to global warming was a smirking joke early in his convention speech.  

As for FEMA, the federal agency which provides aides in disasters, Romney wanted to "privatize" it or leave it to the states.  He even argued that such federal disaster aid would be "immoral" and that "We can't afford it" (because of his tax cuts for the rich).

Russ Limbaugh, the right wing radio/Fox news loudmouth, who is the heart and soul of Republican extremism, once claimed that FEMA set up "concentration camps" for New Orleans survivors of Katrina.

Romney's campaign was financed primarily by the fossil fuel industry (the Koch Brothers alone gave $400 million) and Wall Streed big shots.  The power of such types was multiplied by the Supreme Court's "Citizen United" decision which allows them to spend unlimited sums on campaign ads for poiticians whom they favor.  A few months after that decision, two ultraconservative judges involved in it (Scalia and Thomas) attended a Koch Brothers fundraiser for Romney in California.


I'm not so sure it's in the interest of Middle East oil producers to become overdependent on China and Asia as a market for its oil or to replace the USA in providing security or stability in the Middle East.  The Chinese government supported the Syrian and Iranian governments in crackdowns on their own people partly because the Chinese live in fear of another Tianneman Square incident--only bigger. 

The Guardian fails to discuss whether China itself may have access to shale fuels or to what extent it has explored such possibilities--the sort of research any attempt at high oil prices will encourage.   I'd suggest it's highly likely that China will find, explore and develop such resources.  What then? 


You may want to view the global warming documentary created by Al Gore ("An Unpleasant Truth").   You can bet the oil companies spent a bundle to defeart him in the 2000 campaign against George W. Bush.   If not for the third party campaign of Ralph ("there is no difference between the two major parties") Nadir who got 5 percent of the vote plus the usual Republican vote suppression in minority areas of souther Florida, Gore would have won and history would be different. 



Cheap energy: winners and losers

by FG on


The USA which appears to have enough potential energy to be fully self sufficient for at least a century.   National Security concerns after 9/11 plus regional instabiliy and other problems in oil-producing areas (Middle East, Nigeria, Veequela) surely acceerated this program.

More winners--Australia, western Africa and Argentina are known to be shale rich.  China may be after more exploration.


Many of the regimes whose global role rests on hydrocarbons alone are likely to be significantly weakened, if not swept away.  Russia would be in the worst position for reasons you'll find in the link below.

As one expert notes, "The monarchies endured for so long not because of any sort of popular legitimacy but because they could depend on enormous external support."

Such western support is likely to drop with the region's strategic value.  It's even possible but not certain that the USA military might withdraw from the Middel East entirely.  

As for Iran, simply note it relied on Syria and Russia for external support.  One is going down now while the other ma not be far behind if the article is correct.   Whatever happens,  any economic benefits to the Iranian regime might get should sanctions end might be short lived once other regions come up with cheap energy.  

The good news for Iranians is that energy changes could weaken the regime further.  The bad news is that over more than 30 years the mullahs quandered most of the oil wealth whileprices were high whey could have invested in developmet instead of mosques, censors and security force thugs.  Instead, their short sighted policy of relying on cheap imports to "keep people happy" destroyed most of Iran's industry and agriculture, leaving a potentially rich Iran equivalent to any other third world state with peanuts or coffee as sole source of income.   Such nations become extremely vulnerable to fluctuations in world market prices.  It didn't have to be that way. 

Europe is in a middle position.   For environmental reasons and because of concentrated populations, it hasn't put much effort into seeking shale based fuels.   Nevetheless cheaper oil from elsewhere is beneficial, especially to the degree it provides for less reliance on troublesome sources (Russia, the MIdeast). 




How cheap energy from shale will reshape America's role in the world

US self-sufficiency in energy is likely to end American reliance on despotic Gulf regimes

//www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/nov/15/shale-energy-implications-geopolitics-americaimes but biggest loser of all may be Russia