Bush Advisor: Oil Future "Looking So Ugly Nobody Wants to Face It"

| Wed Aug. 2, 2006 1:23 AM EDT

Do yourself a favor and read the Chicago Tribune's fantastic series tracing the oil that goes into your tank backward across the globe--to Africa, where more and more of it comes from (causing an affluent superpower to "rattle its half-empty oil can at the world's poorest continent"), to the Middle East, to places you may not have thought of. Along the way, Pulitzer winner Paul Salopek discovers that kicking oil habit is no longer just a matter of virtue, or environmental responsibility, or even finite resources (as Paul Roberts showed in his Mother Jones piece on "peak oil") but of getting out of the way of the inevitable collapse:

(The) globe-spanning energy network... today is so fragile, so beholden to hostile powers and so clearly unsustainable, that our car-centered lifestyle seems more at risk than ever.

"I truly think we're at one of those turning points where the future's looking so ugly nobody wants to face it," said Matthew Simmons, an energy investment banker in Houston who has advised the Bush administration on oil policy. "We're not talking some temporary Arab embargo anymore. We're not talking your father's energy crisis."

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