free html hit counter Peak Oil Debunked: 407. THE OIL DRUM PIMPS RACIST PUBLICATION

Friday, July 03, 2009


[Note from JD (2009/7/5): The situation described in this post has been resolved somewhat, as described by the update at the bottom. The Oil Drum is no longer pimping a racist publication. They are now pimping an article from a racist publication, without indicating where it came from.]

Today, the Oil Drum is featuring an article by pseudo-scientist Richard "worldwide permanent electrical blackouts by 2007" Duncan, and the intro by Nate Hagens begins like this:
This is a guest posting of Richard Duncan's latest "Olduvai" update, which is also featured in the Summer 2009 issue of The Social Contract Quarterly
The uninitiated may not know what is going on here, so let me explain. The "Social Contract Quarterly" is not a scientific journal. It's a rag published and edited by overt white supremacists.

Let me be clear:
The Oil Drum, an ostensibly scientific and reality-based website, is directing its readers to a white supremacist publication and website.

Here's the Southern Poverty Law Center on "The Social Contract":
The Social Contract Press
Petoskey, Mich.

With a strong focus on immigration, The Social Contract Press (TSCP) sells books from its on-line bookstore and publishes a quarterly journal, The Social Contract. TCSP says it favors lowering immigration levels merely "to reduce the rate of American's population growth, protect jobs, preserve the environment, and foster assimilation."

But it publishes a number of racist works, including a reprint of the "gripping" 1973 book, The Camp of the Saints (see Fear and Fantasy), a French racist fantasy novel about the obliteration of Western civilization by dark-skinned hordes from India. The novel, like the race war fantasy The Turner Diaries, has become a key screed for American white supremacists.

The Social Contract is edited by Wayne Lutton, who recently the joined the editorial advisory board of the newspaper of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC).

At a 1997 CCC conference, Lutton said Third Worlders "have declared racial demographic war against us. ... Why are their populations exploding? Because ... our people have exported medical technology and we feed them.

"Had we left them alone, many of them would be going extinct today."

The Social Contract has published articles by James Lubinskas of the racist American Renaissance magazine; Brent Nelson, who like Lutton is on the advisory board for the CCC's periodical, and Sam Francis, current editor of the CCC tabloid.

John H. Tanton, publisher of The Social Contract Press and founder of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, was instrumental in a 1996 effort to add an anti-immigration plank to the Sierra Club platform, a move that nearly split the environmental group permanently.

To editor Lutton, America essentially is a white man's country. "We are the real Americans," he declared in 1997, "not the Hmong, not Latinos, not the Siberian-Americans. ... As far as the future, the handwriting is on the screen. The Camp of the Saints is coming our way."Source
John H. Tanton, publisher of the "The Social Contract" has said that unless U.S. borders are sealed, America will be overrun by people "defecating and creating garbage and looking for jobs."Source

Here's a photo of Wayne Lutton Ph.D., editor of "The Social Contract" (2nd from right), at a meeting of white supremacists on June 11, 2004. Note the confederate flag in the foreground:

Update 2009/7/5:
Nate has now removed the link to The Social Contract, and added the following response to Peak Oil Debunked:
[Editor's Note: Some have noted that this article was first published by a controversial organization; TOD protocol for guest essays is to include the original source of the piece. It was not my/our intent to direct people to the site or to endorse its content, just like we don't endorse any other site's content or any particular world view. Let's focus the discussion on the essay itself; and debate it on its own merits please.]
This still does not address the underlying problem: If Richard Duncan is a legitimate scientist, whose work we should debate as legitimate science, then why does he publish his work in a rag published by low-rent racists instead of, say, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, or Nature, or Science, or one of the thousands and thousands of other reputable, peer-reviewed scientific journals?

The answer to that is clear: Duncan can't publish his work in reputable journals because he's a pseudo-scientist moron who (among many other things) predicted worldwide permanent electrical blackouts by the year 2007.

There's is no need to "discuss" Duncan's tripe. All we need to do his wait, and compare his Fig. 5 (shown below) with reality over the next 5 years.

The figure Duncan is graphing - energy consumption per capita (in barrels of oil equivalent, or "boe") - has been steady at about 56-60 boe/c since 1990 in the US (as calculated from the BP Stat. Rev. figures for energy consumption, and census figures for population). As you can see Duncan is predicting that this figure will fall to about 48 boe/c in 2012, and to about 36 boe/c in 2015. These are ridiculous drops - in short, a repeat of his mentally retarded prediction of worldwide permanent blackouts by 2007 - and will be exposed as such in about 3 years. Stay tuned for a thorough tar and feathering.
by JD


At Saturday, July 4, 2009 at 8:55:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Drew said...

Yeah I wondered what the fuck was going on with them posting that, and then trying to defend it when you posted about it and tore all Duncan's predictions up.

You know I woke up the other morning with no electricity... I got up, noticed other neighbors in the streets wondering wtf was going on... Turned out a squirrel decided to off himself in our local substation. Will all the wind turbines going up in Central IL lately that's the only electric problem we're going to have that's going to cause blackouts. Not to mention the FutureGen plant down in Mattoon that's still supposed to happen. ...And our nuke plants...

At Saturday, July 4, 2009 at 12:57:00 PM PDT, Anonymous goofy said...

this should tell you a lot about the doomer mindset.

so eager to prove their point they will associate with ANYONE.

that eagerness shows that you should discount and prove for yourself anything someone has to say.

beware true belivers.

At Saturday, July 4, 2009 at 3:36:00 PM PDT, Blogger al fin said...

Predicting permanent worldwide electrical blackouts by 2007? Sounds like The Club of Rome, Paul Ehrlich, Stephen Schneider, and the rest of the motley crew.

I don't know anything about the organisation that Duncan belongs to -- any group with a confederate flag prominently displayed should be looked at closely.

The Southern Poverty Law Center's characterisation of "The Camp of the Saints" as a racist fantasy novel suggests that the SPLC's characterisations are not that trustworthy either. The SPLC is more of a political activist and advocacy lobby than a source of reliable objective information, generally speaking.

Sometimes there are no good guys. Or put more succinctly: Trust Nobody.

At Saturday, July 4, 2009 at 9:41:00 PM PDT, Blogger David Moisan said...

I'm not surprised at the association. A good many peak oilers think the Mad Max movies were real or should have been or must be made real.

The blogger who owns "Causabon's Book" made an interesting point: The BNP, the UK's own nativist racist party, is very much into peak oil as an element and strategy in their platform.

Should we really be surprised? There're only two wings of peak oil thought, the all-natural-crunchy-leftists who think lack of energy will make us more centered and in touch with "nature". And the other wing that your post points out.

"Moderate peak oiler" could be an oxymoron and is, I think.

At Sunday, July 5, 2009 at 3:20:00 AM PDT, Blogger Big Gav said...

Responding to 2 points above :

1. The Club of Rome didn't predict doom, they just outlined a number of scenarios :

2. Its ridiculous to say that there aren't any moderate peak oilers and that they all belong to the left or right fringes - seriously - go ahead and list all the TOD writers (as just one subset) and try to categorise each one of them as back-to-nature left or racist-right - then you'll see how many moderates there are...

At Sunday, July 5, 2009 at 4:53:00 AM PDT, Blogger JD said...

I agree strongly with Gav's point 2.

Big Gav himself is a peak oiler, and a staff member of the Oil Drum, and I have nothing but respect for him as a moderate and forward-looking individual. There are many people like that: Robert Rapier, Engineer Poet, Kiashu, Rembrandt etc.

On the other hand, there are asinine fools like Olduvai Duncan, who need to be called out in the harshest possible terms.

At Sunday, July 5, 2009 at 9:07:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Z said...

"The Southern Poverty Law Center's characterisation of "The Camp of the Saints" as a racist fantasy novel suggests that the SPLC's characterisations are not that trustworthy either."

after reading this wikipedia entry I think the SPLC probably has it right.

read the 1975 Time review.,9171,913401,00.html

At Monday, July 6, 2009 at 3:28:00 AM PDT, Blogger Big Gav said...

Thanks JD.

I'm not trying to defend Duncan, just pointing out that there are plenty of moderates - look at Ugo Bardi's post on high altitude wind power today, for example...

At Monday, July 6, 2009 at 4:14:00 AM PDT, Blogger Hanley Tucks said...

It's no surprise to me they'd print it.

First up, they keep printing climate change denialist nonsense. Which is usually from right-wingers with fascist streaks.

Second, they're doomers, and doomers tend to think there'll be mass death and destruction and they like the idea. There's always some deceitful hypocrisy, of course - lifeaftertheoilcrash says the world's going to end soon, and offers to sell you stuff to prepare for it. Kunstler says the world will end, and sells you books about it. Why be interested in profits if money will shortly be useless?

Anyhow, doomers imagine mass death and destruction, and like it. And when you question them, they say population is the problem, not consumption, and if only the population were to drop, we'd be okay.

So what they really mean is that if only all those nasty poor dark-skinned people were to just die, well we wouldn't have resource and environmental problems, would we?

Genocidal racists. Fuck 'em.

At Monday, July 6, 2009 at 5:32:00 AM PDT, Blogger Hanley Tucks said...

Looking over my comment, I'd better clarify: not all of the TOD writers and editors are doomers. My comments about the racism etc are about doomers generally, not about all the TOD writer/editors.

People like Nate Hagens have their faults, but doomerism ain't among 'em.

At Monday, July 6, 2009 at 9:18:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Basset Hound said...

The doomers I've encountered seem to be of these types. 1 are the Khmer Rouge types who want to destroy all of modern civilization and START OVER FROM ZERO with themselves in charge of course. 2 are those consumed with hatred for humanity, ie. self hatred and want humans to go extinct. 3 are the right wing racist nuts who want to go back to (WARNING THEIR RACIST LANGUAGE HERE) either the good old days of the plantation with Marse Jack sipping a julep on the portico, Uncle Remus guffawing under the gum tree and the darkies singing as they pick Massa's cotton, or the good old days of the frontier, when niggers, spics, kikes, redskins, wimmen and furriners knew their place, and society was run by good white Christian men like them, and a worker got a dollar a day and was happy to get THAT, and there were no uppity unions or interfering gummint to tell a man how to run his bidness.
(I have heard exactly those words from doomers.)

Basset Hound

At Monday, July 6, 2009 at 1:21:00 PM PDT, Blogger bc said...

I first came across Duncan's site before learning about PO, and concluded that Duncan is one of the many nutters you find on the fringes of the web. His site has all the classic hallmarks, psuedoscientific nonsense being of them.

So I was a bit surprised when Peak Oilers referred to Duncan's theories as "proof" of what was coming down. Hang on, I thought, they are using this nutter to justify a doom scenario?

So notwithstanding the dodgy associates of Duncan, it's absurd that TOD calls for a debate on the merits of Duncan's pet theory. There are no merits, because it's BS!

At Monday, July 6, 2009 at 1:52:00 PM PDT, Blogger bc said...

The Club of Rome didn't predict doom, they just outlined a number of scenarios :

Hey, I don't mean to rag on you Big Gav, but I never get the distinction here, it just seems like weasel words. It has the careful wording of "plausible denial". You can make any number of unlikely predictions without being called on it. Meanwhile, adherents to the theory go round telling people "look we are doomed, the LTG predicts it". The fact is, the LTG scenarios are treated as predictions.

In fact the Limit to Growth says "We would not expect the real world to behave like the world model in any of the graphs we have shown, especially in the collapse modes." If even the authors don't think the scenarios will happen, why the Hell should we care? Why should we pay attention to these scenarios (not predictions) more than the equally unfounded predictions of the techno-utopian singulatarians?

Either they are scenarios which are not predictive, and therefore of no concern, or they are predictive and merit concern. You can't have it both ways.

At Monday, July 6, 2009 at 5:45:00 PM PDT, Blogger Hanley Tucks said...

The use of a scenario is not to be predictive. It's what Einstein called a "thought experiment". "If this were to happen, what then?"

All sorts of institutions and groups do scenarios. Fire brigades do "what if this tall building caught fire?" scenarios, defence departments do, "what if an enemy country blockaded our ports?" scenario, parents do, "what if my kid is lost and misses the last train?" scenarios, and so on.

What a scenario does is to let you look at the limits of your understanding of issues, and help you plan for possibilities. Of course it's never predictive, but it's not meant to be.

You may of course feel that the future is entirely unknowable. I wonder then if you'll be withdrawing all your money from the bank (you can't know it'll still exist tomorrow), making sure you never get married (you can't know she mightn't divorce you a day in), never cross the road (you can't know a car won't appear out of nowhere), and so on?

We all make scenarios all the time. Given our current knowledge, what seems reasonable? We don't expect things to be exactly as we outlined, just to be more prepared by thinking ahead than if we didn't.

At Wednesday, July 8, 2009 at 3:40:00 AM PDT, Blogger Big Gav said...

My point about LTG is that it simply outlines 10 possible scenarios (based on various assumptions) and then looks at the most positive one of the bunch and describes what we should do to make this the likely outcome.

In that sense, its the opposite of a doomer book - it promotes solutions to the problems of resource scarcity and pollution.


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