Friday, November 19, 2004


OK. Let's see if we can get this straight. First, according to Lomborg, 65% of US energy consumption is oil and natural gas, 25% is coal, and other sources (mostly nuclear, hydro, and wood) add up to 10%.

Now, here's the list of the world's largest energy producers, adding together all sources of energy. It's measured in million tons of coal equivalent per year.

The United States is number one with 2510. Russia, number two, produces half as much, 1360, and China is third with 1270. Then comes Saudi Arabia at 670, less than 1/4 US production. No. 5 is Canada with 520, then the UK with 380, then India with 340. Eighth is Iran with 330, about 1/9 US production. Then, all together around 300, are No. 9 Mexico, No. 10 Venezuela, No. 11 Indonesia, No. 12 Norway, and No. 13 Australia. The UAE is 14th with 210. Kuwait is 19th, Nigeria is 21st, and Libya is 26th. Iraq doesn't even make the list.

Now let's look at energy consumption, again in million tons of coal equivalent per year.

Again, the United States is number one at 3120, and we import 850 of that, making us the world's biggest importer, too. (Curiously, we're the 15th exporter at 120, most of which is Alaskan oil shipped to Japan.) Number two is China with 1210, so they're pretty much self-sufficient. Russia is third with 830, leaving them 520 to export and making them the world's largest exporter. Japan is fourth at 660, and they're the second-biggest importer with 580. Germany is the fifth-largest consumer and the third-largest importer; they consume 470 and import 330 of that. India is the sixth consumer at 410, and they produce most of that, importing 90. The seventh consumer is Canada at 340; they're the fourth exporter at 250. Consumers eight and nine are France and the UK, with 320 each, but the UK is a net exporter (only about 50) while France is the sixth biggest importer at 210. Italy is the 10th consumer with 240 and they import 220 of that, making them the fifth importer.

The biggest exporters are, of course, Russia in first with 830, and then Saudi Arabia with 500. Norway is the third exporter with 270, and then comes Canada with 250, as we said. Fifth is Venezuela with 210, sixth is Iran with 190, and then comes Australia with a surprising 170, mostly coal. Then we have the UAE with 160, Indonesia with 160, the UK with 150 (but they import 100), Algeria at 140, Mexico at 130, Kuwait at 130, Nigeria at 130, the US at 120, and the Netherlands at 120 (though they import 150, putting them at a deficit of 30). Everyone else exports less than 100. Iraq is at 50, below Malaysia and above Angola.

This means the US's net energy deficit, imports minus exports, is 730. We could meet that buying only from our friends in Russia and Canada and Mexico. We are not dependent on Middle Eastern oil. We import a lot of it because it's cheap and easy to produce compared to other sources, but we don't need it. The countries most dependent on imports are Japan, Germany, South Korea, Italy, France, Singapore, and then Spain, with an energy deficit of 130. Japan imports two-thirds as much energy as we do, and they produce barely any of their own.

These are the countries that are vulnerable to oil blackmail. Notice that they're all in Continental Europe or the Far East. Also notice that many of the countries that support the United States in Iraq--the UK, the Netherlands, Australia, and Norway--are not dependent on Middle Eastern oil. I believe that this is no coincidence. These places aren't up to their necks in sweetheart deals with mysterious sheiks because the sheiks know that they need these countries and not vice versa. The sheiks, on the other hand, do know perfectly well whose balls they've got in the twister. Can you say "France and Germany"? The Japanese have been pretty gutsy during this whole thing. So have the Italians, despite all the crooked schemes Berlusconi has been up to with shady characters. Also notice how dependent upon the US and European energy markets Russia has become. This might be one reason Putin supports Bush.

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