Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Nation Marches On, Sans Ruppert

One of the first things I did the morning after returning the rental car from a vacation I took last week visiting relatives whose access to the internet is limited was to click on the Peak Oil and a Changing Climate” link that I've been promoting heavily on this blog. I had been anticipating the announced release of the Mike Ruppert interview for March 16 and I was anxious to see it. What a shock to see that the space for March 16 was now completely blank, without explanation. Several readers commented on this conspicuous absence, wondering why. I was concerned that perhaps Ruppert declined to give the interview because of The Nation's association with David Corn, who wrote a malicious hit piece on Ruppert in 2002. But then why would Ruppert agree to do the interview in the first place? Then I thought perhaps the whole series had been put on hold, but this week The Nation released a new interview:

Lester Brown: The Planet's Scarcest Resource Is Time

In this eleventh video in the series “Peak Oil and a Changing Climate” from The Nation and On The Earth Productions, analyst, author and founder of the Earth Policy Institute Lester Brown discusses how unprepared the world really is for the growing effects of climate change. "Economists doing supply and demand projections are largely unaware" of the scale of the resource crises facing the world, Brown says, and "food is going to be the weak link for our civilization as it was for so many earlier civilizations."
Most importantly, Brown emphasizes, is that we find a way to stabilize the Earth's population, climate and aquifers, which help provide water to many people in the world. "Many resources are becoming scarce but none more scarce than time," Brown says, and confronting peak oil and climate change demands immediate action. Already, eighteen countries are overpumping their aquifers, and few realize that in the event of a crisis, the US food supply would run out in three days.
"We need a mobilization at wartime speed on a wartime scale. Just fine-tuning this situation is not going to do it," Brown says.

So the series continues, but what happened to the Ruppert interview. I searched the internet and finally found the answer at the Energy Bulletin:

A world in trouble (Michael Ruppert interview)Video

by Karen Rybold-Chin


Mike talks to the average citizen about where we stand in the energy crisis.


Editorial Notes
This interview was originally intended to be part of the series that has been running on the Nation (Are we running out of oil?). Karen Rybold-Chin, the series's producer, has told us that the Nation has declined to publish this interview.
From EB co-editor Bart Anderson:
Although we at EB are not Rupper-ites, I find him one of the most intriguing personalities on the peak oil scene. He rates much higher on the doomerosity scale than we do, and I have problems with his specific predictions. I think it's much better to look on Ruppert as someone gifted at identifying trends early and painting them in technicolor terms. He's right on when it comes to the importance of community and the sacred.
Mike Ruppert has been at this much longer than most of the rest of us, and has undergone painful experiences as a result. I'm glad he's back from Venezuela and is active again.

So there you have it. Mike Ruppert gave an interview, but The Nation simply declined to publish it, without explanation. It certainly couldn't have been because they felt his interview was too "doomerish" for them. Just compare Ruppert's interview to Brown's interview: both are talking about global catastrophe. Brown's focus on food, oil, water and the environment seems set in the next 5-10 years, Ruppert's focus on food, oil, money and revolution is set right now.

Shame on The Nation for their sin of omission last week. I'm glad they're continuing to publish the series, but I won't continue to promote them. I'll watch future interviews either through Energy Bulletin or through ontheearthproduction's Channel on YouTube. You can agree or disagree with Mike, but to deny him a platform after all the groundbreaking original reporting on Peak Oil he did on From The Wilderness in a series focusing on Peak Oil is an act of unforgivable censorship. I was hopeful that The Nation had buried their differences with Ruppert. I was mistaken.

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