The Bilderberg Group has long fascinated conspiracy theorists, some of whom speculate that the secretive camarilla of global elites fixes the affairs of the world in its annual meetings. The truth is probably more mundane than that. The group, however, indisputably exists, and its members are a virtual who's who of leading thinkers and policymakers from the United States and Western Europe.
This article in Counterpunch is a report of someone who claims to have infiltrated the 2005 Bilderberg meeting. The account actually sounds quite plausible to me, particularly in terms of the energy issues that were reportedly discussed. It is an interesting read.
An American Bilderberger expressed concern over the sky-rocketing price of oil. One oil industry insider at the meeting remarked that growth is not possible without energy and that according to all indicators, world's energy supply is coming to an end much faster than the world leaders have anticipated. According to sources, Bilderbergers estimate the extractable world's oil supply to be at a maximum of 35 years under current economic development and population. However, one of the representatives of an oil cartel remarked that we must factor into the equation, both the population explosion and economic growth and demand for oil in China and India. Under the revised conditions, there is apparently only enough oil to last for 20 years. No oil spells the end of the world's financial system.
For those Bilderbergers who may be reading this, the quote is somewhat of a misleading simplification, as it implies that it will be possible to produce oil for the next 20 years at present extraction rates. The good news is that the world will still be producing oil for several decades to come. The bad news is that we will likely begin to feel the pinch of diminished oil production in the very near future; we won't have to wait 20 years.
Conclusion: Expect a severe downturn in the world's economy over the next two years as Bilderbergers try to safeguard the remaining oil supply by taking money out of people's hands. In a recession or, at worst, a depression, the population will be forced to dramatically cut down their spending habits, thus ensuring a longer supply of oil to the world's rich as they try to figure out what to do.
As a matter of fact there does seem to be a hope or expectation on the part of prominent policymakers that diminished economic growth (particularly in China) will slow demand for oil in the next few years. I first heard this thought expressed by Robert Ebel at a CSIS conference in June 2004. Ebel stated:
Suppose something happens to demand in China caused by not necessarily a soft landing of the [inaudible] but maybe a hard landing where demand collapses. And if demand collapses in China, world oil demand growth goes down.
Would political leaders in the West, faced with increasingly constrictive global oil production, prefer a few years of gentle recession over a wrenching collision of supply and demand that could cause crude prices to suddenly spike over $100 per barrel? I find it plausible that they could. Could the recent demands by the United States Treasury Department that China revalue the yuan be motivated more by a desire to collapse China's fragile banking system than it is by the enormous U.S. trade deficit? Most experts say a slight strengthening of the yuan would barely affect China's exports to the U.S., but it could make it impossible for the Chinese banking system to manage the huge nonperforming loan portfolio that is has been struggling with.
During the afternoon cocktail, European Bilderberger noted that there is no plausible alternative to hydrocarbon energy. One American insider stated that currently the world uses between four and six barrels of oil for every new barrel it finds and that the prospects for a short term break through are slim, at best.
Someone asked for an estimate to the world´s accessible conventional oil supply. The amount was quoted at approximately one trillion barrels. As a side note of interest, the planet consumes a billion barrels of oil every 11.5 days.
Again, accurate. Current world conventional proved reserves are about one trillion barrels, global consumption is on the order of about 84 million barrels per day.
Another Bilderberger asked about hydrogen alternative to the oil supply. The US government official agreed gloomily that hydrogen salvation to the world´s eminent energy crisis is a fantasy.
Also true, which makes you wonder why the Bush Administration is still touting the "future hydrogen economy."
At Rottach-Egern, in May 2005, industry's top executives tried to figure out how to keep the truth about diminishing oil reserves from reaching the public. Public knowledge of the diminishing reserved directly translates into lower share prices, which could destroy financial markets, leading to a collapse of the world economy.
I have been making this point for some time. The Reserve to Production ratio of the major commercial oil companies by their own estimation averages out to only about ten more years of production, and even that is generously assuming that they aren't fudging their numbers as Royal Dutch Shell did. I did well in oil stocks last year, but after I learned that the top five U.S. oil companies control only about 3% of the world's reserves I saw the writing on the wall and got out. Some of the smaller producers with reserves (like Devon Energy) may still do well in the short term because they are attractive acquisition targets for the bigs, but for my money oil as a commodity is a much better investment than ChevronTexaco or ExxonMobil.
If Estulin made this all up, he did a lot of research beforehand. Whether it is true or not, it focuses public attention on an important issue.