Saw this in a HTP discussion. Could it be right?
Estimated amount the United States spends each year safeguarding oil supplies in the Persian Gulf: $50,000,000,000

Source: Council on Foreign Relations (N.Y.C.)

Estimated value of U.S. crude-oil imports from the region last year : $19,000,000,000

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration/ Harper's research

- jim 8-27-2002 7:22 pm

"let it be rare"
- Skinny 9-07-2002 3:57 am

i don' t know about the exact accuracy, but in general our strategic interest in safeguarding persian gulf oil is not limited to our own oil needs. japan is much more dependent on foreign energy in general, and on persian gulf oil in particular, than is the US. I'm not sure about western europe but my sense is that they're also quite hooked on the stuff. so it wouldn't be surprising, given our role as the proxy army for japan, south korea, germany, etc. etc. if our military commitments were larger than might be indicated by looking at our own consumption alone.

i'd also suggest that to look at the "value" of our imports as a fixed amount is somewhat misleading. until the new russian-sphere fields come online, I don't know where else you would GET the oil if the persian gulf supply were disrupted -- forget about the price (which could multiply exponentially in a crisis) -- there just might not be enough additional production available to replace the "$19 billion" would be pretty meaningless...trillions and trillions of dollars of economic value could depend on maintaining the flow (no, george, alaska is not a valid answer).

having said which, i'd just point out that the second figure is quite knowable, while the first one seems inevitably conjectural (how do you know exactly how much we spend on "safeguarding persian gulf oil"? does that include, for example, the cost of maintaining the no-fly zone over northern iraq? how about the cost of maintaining diego garcia? what about the camp david payments to egypt?).

and after all this, yeah, i'd be pretty curious to find out whether the numbers are accurately reported...if the CFR says $50BN, it well might be a pretty good estimate.
- big jimmy 9-10-2002 3:38 am

nice note!!
- Skinny 9-10-2002 3:45 am

where in the world is diego garcia?
- dave 9-10-2002 4:28 am

a little more backround info
- dave 9-10-2002 4:37 am

Why Do They Hate Us? Part 367

"Although Diego Garcia once had a small indigenous population, the inhabitants, known as the Ilois, were moved to Mauritius in the 1970s so that the island could be turned into a military base."

Note the use of passive voice in that sentence. The "move" was not ethnic cleansing, however, but a chance for a tiny people to help a great one.
- tom moody 9-10-2002 5:40 am

Let them eat crack..VIVA CHAVEZ ! George Bush is a fag I know it's true because I read it on Sherman Skolnick.
- frank 9-10-2002 5:35 pm

Frank, have you not had your coffee yet?

Big Jimmy makes his usual well reasoned comments. How do you expect us to act like a bunch of wankers when your thoughts are presented so calmly?

So yeah, I know, reasonably we're not going to be able to get off this crude oil ride. The cost of tranfering our industrial base to some other (renewable) energy resource is so large as to probably not even be calculable. Still, I think it's good that some people are detached enough to actually propose we do this. For a fraction of that $50 billion a year we could certainly develop the technology (hydrogen from bio-decomposition? Solar?) It's here already at a modest multiple of oil costs. Deploying it in place of our oil infrastructure is another matter. Certainly there would be mass economic dislocation. But it has to happen eventually, right? Either that or we just leave the earth when we've used her all up (yes, far in the future, but still...)

Why not a Manhattan project style push for a cost effective renewable energy source? Why not a war on crude oil addiction instead of the misguided war on drugs or the oxymoronic war on terrorism? One problem is clearly that the people who control the oil also control all the guns. As a world population, this is a very bad position we've gotten ourselves into. Almost seems impossibly bad.

- jim 9-10-2002 6:34 pm

that sounds like some rhetoric the democrats should really consider. its a "war" they could get alot of mileage out of. first, it will take along time to research and implement even if large sums of money are allocated but you can expect the republicans to fight all along the way which puts them on the defensive. also, it will reinvigorate the progressive wing of the party and mend relations with those who were streaming out to the green party. ol "earth in the balance" al should get some cojones and make it a central theme in his campaign. though, he might want to sell his shares of occidental petroleum first.
- dave 9-10-2002 7:58 pm

don't get me wrong, i'm TOTALLY for a big push to create better renewable energy technologies. and I'm pro-wind, pro-solar, pro-geothermal -- of course!!! we should!!! I'll pay more taxes for it!!!

but don't kid yourself. replacing the gulf oil with some new shit that hasn't even been invented yet? Not Particularly Likely.

more likely? drilling everywhere for everything left.
big nasty hydro projects like 3 Rivers. _lots_ more nuke plants, maybe undersea.

Forget about the US...we're growing slowly and still shedding manufacturing...but CHINA!!!!...omigod...say their energy consumption increases 50% over the next 50 years......SLUUUUUUURRRRRRRPPPPPPP

ps as a democratic party campaign issue, the problem with big investments in new energy sources is that it doesn't mobilize the base (why should unions and african americans particularly care?) and doesn't play THAT well with swing voters (do soccer moms really care much?)...while giving the republicans an issue that DOES mobilize their base (ceos and taxcutters)...I assume that's why even ol' Al didn't make too big of a deal out of energy policy in his last campaign...
- big jimmy 9-10-2002 10:35 pm

As someone who spent his college years traveling with 8 dollar maximum fill-ups, odd-even license plates, and the ever-popular simple queue, I can say there's nothing like a shortage (or perceived shortage) to focus people on alternative solutions. There was a lot more thinking about all this in the '70s than now. The Bush/Cheney/Clinton/Gore plan is to let everyone keep wasting, with the assurance that the government will always protect supplies through force. The Mideast went from being a giant oil tank for our military (in the Eisenhower era) to a giant oil tank for snowmobiles, jetskis, leafblowers, mopeds, all-terrain vehicles, motorboats, RVs, SUVs, diesel trucks carrying plastic Light Sabres and Vin Diesel action figures, and all our other stupid amusements. (Yes, this is Why They Hate Us Part 368).
- tom moody 9-10-2002 11:26 pm

i remember that stuff too but i also seem to recall the "just wear sweaters" line not working out so hot for Jimmy C...
- big jimmy 9-11-2002 12:47 am

How did he get elected again?
- jim 9-11-2002 1:27 am

Actually, I sent a letter to Salon on this point, which they evidently found too challenging to conventional wisdom to publish: Jimmy Carter's sweater had nothing to do with the energy crisis! He wore that cardigan on Inauguration Day 1977, when he walked down Pennsylvania Ave., shunning the obligatory motorcade. The sweater was intended to be a populist symbol, after Nixon's imperial presidency. It was ridiculed from Day One, just as you are ridiculing it now, but somehow it has gotten mixed up with energy in the popular imagination. Now it's symbolic of the folly of trying to be thrifty--in other words, a justification for profligate energy use.
- tom moody 9-11-2002 3:19 am

Well I thought I had my coffee & I agree with big jimmy that facts is facts... are you trying to tell me George Bush is not a fag.
- frank 9-11-2002 3:40 am

He is so, you boys. I installed two-way mirrors at his pad in Crawford. He came to the door in a dress....
- Tom G 9-11-2002 3:47 am

now were bloging!!
- Skinny 9-11-2002 4:13 am

let get off this wierd plan-it soon!!
- Skinny 9-11-2002 4:13 am

its all about framing the issue. if bush can twist 9-11 into a war on iraq, not to mention a failed effort to raid the ANWR oil fields, why cant dems link it to the need for a concerted effort to ween ourselves from crude? also, i read that in times of economic downturn, one remedy is to increase public spending to, as they say, "prime the pump." as for soccer moms and swing voters, i would say that environmental issues poll very well. its one of the few things that cuts across party lines. it may not be as important as social security, healthcare, and education but people do care. i think if they could link up the concepts of environmentalism with the idea of technological innovation and self sufficiency with security, it could be a potent mix. as for al, he should have made the environment and energy bigger issues but he hung closer to what the pollsters were telling him to do, and he did a poor job at that. how is it possible that the surplus tax cut for the rich wasnt an issue to hammer away at? are people that stupid? i agree it wont happen quickly which is fine as long as the dems can show they are making progress and that they are "on the right side of history."
- dave 9-11-2002 4:27 am

O dear, I believe I've mislodged a link. Alot of guys wear dresses I know I do ...that doesn't mean we skullfucked Geronimo in New Haven is all I was trying to say & that the cost of protecting the oil in the land of the Inca is going to be in piles of heads for the prorogue bumpkin's burlesque.

- frank 9-11-2002 5:27 am

i think there were two sweaters, one was the one he wore (puttin' on the fred rogers), and the other, as i remember (don't have the snazzy link that i oughta to back it up), was the one he said his fellow citizens should put on, in his response to complaints that americans would be a little chilly if they all turned their thermostats down to 68 degrees during the winter, as jimmy, i think, had asked them to do in a speech...or am i just hallucinating? STILL?
- bigjimmy (guest) 9-11-2002 6:36 am

i think the polls generally show that support for new energy policy is broad but very very shallow. bluecollar workers don't much care for it, african americans don't much care for it, soccer moms, well, as you say, it comes after a whole lotta other stuff and no one feels like their daily wellbeing or their kids' survival really depends on's the problem of the commons, bigtime. ain't gonna get people into polling booths like, say, social security, healthcare, education, etc etc etc...even nader seemed to get a lot farther on campaign reform than on the "green" issues you woulda thought he'd be pounding...gore wuz dumb but this ain't why (actually if nader had stayed the fuck out of florida as he had said he would we would be having a different thread but i guess that belongs to a different one anyway)
- bigjimmy (guest) 9-11-2002 6:42 am

Regarding Carter your memory seems to be working but if you think Nader staying out of Florida would have changed anything you are definately still hallucinating...jimmy jimmy jimmy I tried to get you to eat the Poo Poo platter in Cow Coulee but no ... & now look what sort of massive delusional swamp gas you've inhaled. I am really the only crackpot on the tree aren't I ? Isn't anyone else scared of white christian faggots?
- frank 9-11-2002 7:11 am

am i that much a utopian to think we should have had awesome solar by now like jim i just fooling myself that there is a chance of the new age of humans (homo cosmos)....times here are testing my ideology's....
- Skinny 9-11-2002 7:18 am

Big Jimmy, I believe the "energy-saving sweater" is a right-wing canard. You're not alone in repeating it, of course: "carter sweater thermostat" pulled up dozens of hits from people all over the political spectrum with exactly your take on it. Your "two sweater" theory is ingenious; my memory, though, is that Carter always wore the cardigan (up until the last year of his Presidency, when he was trying to look tougher). So if he was wearing it when he made the "turn down the thermostat speech" (and I haven't verified the particulars of that speech or what he was wearing at the time--did you know he never used the word malaise in the Malaise Speech?) then all the people who hated his message--i.e. most fun-loving Americans--have conveniently forgotten that he didn't just don the cardigan for the occasion. In mass memory, it has become part of his energy schtick rather than his little-guy schtick. Thus is urban folklore born. Anyone is welcome to prove me wrong on this.
- tom moody 9-11-2002 7:36 am

have to agree with frank about the naderbashing. the guy shows up for a couple of rallies and hes the freaking anti-christ? im sure i dont have to remind you that gore lost tennessee and arkansas without any help from nader. then again, maybe if gore had played up his enviro-energy policy, the progressives wouldnt have needed to search for greener pastures. not every policy that gore could have espoused need energize each of his potential constituents equally. im sure he could find time and purpose away from the bread and butter issues to reach out for something more farsighted and possibly grandiose, although how energy isnt as meaningful as other economic issues is beyond me. it certainly was vital in california a few months after the election.
- dave 9-11-2002 9:02 am

Holy smokes, Tom G is right! (Possibly not suitable for viewing from work, by the humor impaired, conservatives, or regular people prone to nightmares.)
- jim 9-11-2002 6:04 pm

ok, here's the "malaise speech" from july 15, 1979.

lots and lots of sources say he was wearing a sweater during the speech; i guess that image stuck in folks' minds. i think you're exactly right that his folksy sweater image became his energy sweater image (so metaphorically i guess there _were_ "two sweaters")...

carter does not suggest that americans wear sweaters in the speech. interestingly, he does suggest that folks turn their thermostats down, but he doesn't give the specific suggestions of 68 degrees in the winter and to 78 degrees in the summer. But there are many references sprinkled around the web to these suggestions...and the 68 degrees part has been in my head ever since childhood. My hunch is that both the specific temperatures AND the suggestion that people should wear a sweater were part of some kind of briefing materials (what we now call talking points) that were given to the press, that they showed up in print at some point, and that they stuck in folks' brains as a result...but i guess we'd have to go past google to find out (microfilm search of july 16, 1979 wash post anyone?)

- big jimmy 9-11-2002 9:02 pm

Thanks for digging up the speech. I remember it now and I'm sure he was wearing the sweater, for the usual populist, non-energy-related reasons. The ironic thing is that in the years following it, conservation and fuel efficiency increased enormously across the country, but all it's (erroneously) remembered for is the *%#%!! sweater.

As a Carter fan at the time, I felt the speech was a loser: his war talk seemed forced, and I remember groaning when he punched the air for emphasis. "Did Pat Caddell tell him to do that?" I asked. No one wanted to hear about a "crisis of confidence" even if it was true.

Regardless, the popular folklore is not accurate, and as a weblogger/meme generator type, I'm doing my part to reverse this false mental image, so convenient to the Dick Cheneys of the world.

(I was working in a NY office building in '79 and I remember the 68/78 thermostat adjustment. I'm sure it was a guideline put out by the Dept. of Energy. and voluntarily adopted by most municipalities.)
- tom moody 9-11-2002 10:36 pm

Transvestites are rarely homosexual. However, many homosexuals do favor western wear.
Not all cops with moustaches are gay, but I'll bet all gay cops have moustaches.

- steve 9-12-2002 3:55 am

I think Fink is right, the environment is a big issue. I think Gore should have stoked the "outlawing of the combustion engine" flack into a dialogue rather than cowering from it. People moan about global warming on every warm day in February as if the greenhouse effect is in it's second term. We all know gasoline is dirty, wastefull and limited much in the same way we all (the public) agree that 95% of what is on television is garbage.
- steve 9-12-2002 3:55 am

I voted for Nader and would again if I had it to do over. Even if I knew it were true that he would cost Gore the election (which he didn't)
- steve 9-12-2002 3:55 am

are the Soprano's are in the 5% or 95%??
- Skinny 9-12-2002 6:37 am

WOW you guys took an interesting topic and skewed it so badly. Did any of you scroll back to the top and watch as this conversation went from interesting and on topic, to skewed and somewhat confusing. Also, on an unrelated note, Frank you're the idiot responsible for skewing this message board up. Anyways, looks like this message board is rather old, so I don't feel I should post a message on it.
- WTF happened here (guest) 12-05-2003 1:11 am