While it would be difficult to create an airtight legal case for impeaching George W. Bush based on his ignoring the very real threat posed by Peak Oil, nevertheless I believe that his actions—and inaction—in this regard constitute dereliction of duty on an unprecedented scale.
It is part of the job of leaders to foresee problems and either steer around them or prepare for them. A head of state is analogous to the captain of a ship, who is responsible not only for keeping his vessel on course but also for avoiding hazards such as storms and icebergs. Some problems are not foreseeable; others are. A ship’s captain who loses his vessel to a freak “perfect storm” may be blameless, but one who steers his passenger liner directly into a foggy ice field, having no sonar or radar, is worse than a fool: he is criminally negligent.
The argument I will make, in brief, is this:
Let us go through these points one by one....
- Peak Oil is foreseeable.
- The consequences are also foreseeable and are likely to be ruinous.
- The Bush administration has been repeatedly warned.
- Actions could be taken to reduce the impact, but the longer those actions are delayed, the worse the impact will be.
- The administration, rather than taking steps to mitigate these looming catastrophic impacts, has instead done things that can only worsen them.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
From Energy Bulletin (via Wolcott).