Conspiracy Watch: Drill, Corsi, Drill

Oil not from living organisms

Illustration: Peter Hoey

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the conspiracy: Oil is the product not of ancient microorganisms, but of a chemical reaction deep beneath the earth’s crust. So no matter what the doomsayers claim, we’ll never run out of the stuff—which means the oil companies are massively ripping us off at the pump.

the conspiracy theorists: Cold War Russian scientists looking for homegrown energy sources first came up with the idea of “abiotic oil.” (Abiotic: not from living organisms.) The theory was refined by former Swift Boater and Conspiracy Watch favorite Jerome Corsi, also the author of The Obama Nation. Corsi’s 2005 Black Gold Stranglehold: The Myth of Scarcity and the Politics of Oil posits that crude is an unlimited resource. So where is it, then? Corsi says we need to look “where we have never looked—even deeper in the world’s seas.” Now that’s offshore drilling.

meanwhile, back on earth: Giora Proskurowski, a researcher at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, recently discovered small amounts of hydrocarbons forming through an abiotic process deep in the Atlantic. The abiotic oil believers have seized on his findings, but Proskurowski says sorry—talk of bottomless, Saudi-free oil is “a pipe dream.”

Kookiness Rating: tin foil hattin foil hattin foil hattin foil hat (1=maybe they’re on to something, 5=break out the tinfoil hat!)

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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