New at Mother Jones: The Coming Energy Crunch

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The Energy Crunch To Come: Soaring Oil Profits, Declining Discoveries, and Danger Signs, by Michael T. Klare.

Unlike the average driver of the average automobile, the oil industry has just come off a bumper year. Profits have reached all-time highs, with, for example, Exxon-Mobil reporting quarterly income of $8.42 billion, the highest quarterly income ever reported by an American firm.

But, as Michael Klare, author of Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America’s Growing Petroleum Dependency, notes, this can’t last.

[C]heering as the recent announcements may have been for many on Wall Street, they also contained a less auspicious sign. Despite having spent billions of dollars on exploration, the major energy firms are reporting few new discoveries and so have been digging ever deeper into existing reserves. If this trend continues — and there is every reason to assume it will — the world is headed for a severe and prolonged energy crunch in the not-too-distant future.

We can soften the landing by conserving energy today funding R&D for alternative technologies tomorrow, but “at current rates of development, none of these alternatives will be available on a large enough scale when petroleum products become scarce,” a point also made by Paul Roberts
in a recent Mother Jones article.

Check out Michael Klare’s “The Energy Crunch To Come” online at Mother Jones.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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