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May-09-2008 09:48printcommentsVideo

Steve Alten, NY Times Best-Seller Warns of a Likely Future Catastrophe if We Do Not Act Quickly

As recently noted by Thomas Friedman at the New York Times, the 2007 energy bill failed to extend any stimulus for wind and solar, while oil and gas kept all their tax credits despite record profits.

Steve Alten
Steve Alten's name became widely known after The Shell Game was released, now his publicists say he is going to do it again. Photo courtesy: Trish Stevens

(HOUSTON, Tx.) - NY Times best-selling author, Steve Alten, famous for his thrillers that include MEG and The LOCH, wrote his latest novel, The SHELL GAME as a cautionary tale because he felt compelled to warn the American people to start getting the facts regarding oil, specifically what lies ahead when world reserves finally run out.

Have you ever really thought about what would happen if we do run out of oil? According to Alten, through his extensive contacts and research, the end will begin with higher gasoline prices, fuel shortages at the pump, power failures... but things will get worse... a lot worse.

Alten warns, "Without oil, we simply can't feed the six billion of us that inhabit this planet and there presently is no substitute for oil. Oil is used in pesticides, fertilizers, industrial farming equipment...transporting goods to market. Without oil, vast numbers of our population will starve. We're looking at martial law...anarchy...a massive die-off. Radical infrastructure and development changes are necessary now because world oil levels peaked several years ago."

As recently noted by Thomas Friedman at the New York Times, the 2007 energy bill failed to extend any stimulus for wind and solar, while oil and gas kept all their tax credits despite record profits. Says Alten, "The end of oil is looming out there like a giant tidal wave and it is no longer a question of if it will hit us, but when."

Released recently and already on the NY Times best-selling list, The SHELL GAME details this scenario. Although written as a cautionary tale, this fast-paced thriller combines a realistic plot with terrifying facts... including inside information that Alten obtained from contacts in the military, oil industry, and federal government. It is a controversial, political and frightening thriller that is being hailed by some as this generation's 1984. (George Orwell's classic).

Reviewers agree: ‘The book is terrifying; once it’s begun the reader will not be able to put it down,’ and ‘Steve Alten has courageously done what few writers have the guts to do; written an incredible novel that can be interpreted as a wake-up call to the world – shame on us if we are not listening!’

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OPM May 12, 2008 1:34 pm (Pacific time)

I'm deeply disappointed that Henry Ruark has not replied. No doubt the theory that we get all our oil from a biological (dinasaurs, etc,) source has been turned upside down. So if we have all this bacteria deep underground that via magma gases and tectonic forces creates new oil, then we seem to not have to worry about peak oil, maybe ever again. But certainly we need to develop alternative energy, especially low or even non-polluting ones. You have to wonder why the media does not report what's happening in Russia, as well as a documented American oil field that has literally been replenishing itself from deep below. The media also does not report the thousands of scientists who call global warming something else...I wonder why? Afterall everything is documented, no one has to put their neck on the line by reporting these facts.


Oil Peak Myths May 12, 2008 8:56 am (Pacific time)

I offer you a view that is far better supported (empirically) than any other empirical data that suggests peak oil has arrived: Note: Russia has been doing super-deep drilling finding oil that would be far below any deposited/decayed biological medium. In addition some oil fields have actually been replenishing themselves from lower levels. Is the world really running out of oil and natural gas, or is the oil industry running the same scam they ran in 1973 when TV stations broadcast advertisements that depicted dinosaurs lumbering through a forest as a somber voice proclaimed: "There are no more dinosaurs . . . the world is running out of oil." The advertisement suggested oil comes from decayed dinosaurs and organic matter, but that isn't true. Honest geologists admit they don't know where oil comes from, but Professor Thomas Gold, an astrophysicist at Cornell University, theorized that oil comes from methane and contains heat-loving bacteria that inhabit the heated biosphere "far" beneath the surface of the earth. en.wikipedia/org/wiki/Thomas_Gold explains Thomas Gold's theory: "Thomas Gold achieved fame for his 1992 paper, 'The Deep Hot Biosphere' in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which presented a controversial view of the origin of coal, oil, and gas deposits, a theory of an "abiogenic" petroleum origin. The theory suggests coal and crude oil deposits have their origin in natural gas flows which feed bacteria living at extreme depths under the surface of the Earth; in other words, oil and coal are produced through tectonic forces, rather than from the decomposition of fossils. . . . Recent discoveries have shown that bacteria live at depths far greater than previously believed. Whilst this does not prove Gold's theory, it certainly lends support to its arguments." If Thomas Gold's theory is correct, oil is constantly replenished, and there is a perpetual supply of oil and natural gas. Has anyone accessed the subterranean regions of the earth to evaluate Professor Gold's idea? The Russians have. That's why Russia is the second largest oil producer in the world today. freeenergynews.com reports: "Russians started drilling Kola SG-3, an exploration well which finally reached a staggering world record depth of 40,230 feet. Since then, Russian oil majors including Yukos have quietly drilled more than 310 successful super-deep oil wells, and put them into production. Last year Russia overtook Saudi Arabia as the world's biggest single oil producer, and is now set to completely dominate global oil production and sales for the next century." If that is true, why haven't we heard about the discovery? Because the oil companies, the media moguls, and the Occult Hierarchy that controls them don't want the public to know the energy shortage is contrived. Saudi Arabia, which funds international terrorism, and the major oil companies have made billions of dollars since they raised the price of oil. They will make trillions of dollars, destroy our economy, and enslave our people if we don't expose the deception.


Henry Ruark May 11, 2008 8:28 pm (Pacific time)

G.O. et al: Somehow I miss your "see with own eyes" links to all those many thousands of acute observers you claim to know. Thank you for the sharp contrast with the Schlesinger excerpt --and do you really think ANY estimate, for ANY resource, or ANYthing for that matter, dated more than 60 years ago, can mean ANYthing at all in 2008 ?


General Observer May 11, 2008 6:50 pm (Pacific time)

"1973" was also a year (35 of them ago!) that we had "peaked" our world oil supply. The flat-earther's are like moths to the flame. If you question their assessment, then you are not going with their fantasy so you must be demonized. In 35 years you will hear it again. This oil shortage will pass, but not until a lot of damage has been done by the doomsayers. My guess is many of them will not be around then, but those that cause injury to society should be held accountable. Note: There has been ongoing research to develop alternative energy sources for decades. Life is not some sci fi movie, there are very real technical obstacles to overcome. Research alternative energy sources and see what their current real world application is. Also find out what the people who do the real oil explorations say about "peak oil." Not some fat rump chair sitter's who have no concept of what's going out there in the real world. As Standard Oil executive Wallace Pratt said in 1944(1944!!), it is a "fallacy ... [to] cite proved reserves as a measure of available future supplies." Yet this is exactly what has animated doomsayers about our world oil situation. As exploration continues new reserves will be found, but we need to provide incentives for oil companies to take risks in finding new oil. Research and development is very expensive! Don't believe the naysayers, for just like global warming, they simply do not know what is in our future. Go do some research and see what others have to say...you may feel a lot different when you read what professionals have to say.


Henry Ruark May 11, 2008 4:49 pm (Pacific time)

To all: Excerpted NATION article since registration required to access it, at: www.thenation.com/access. ANY subscriber can do so easily, too see much, much more intriguing detail up to date on further developments and solid, reliable events as many wise around the world prepare to cope sensibly with crisis already here.


Henry Ruark May 11, 2008 4:25 pm (Pacific time)

To all: Top-of-ten/year file re “peak oil”, as “see with own eyes” documentation, from NATION, PP.7-8, 5/12: (Excerpt) “Though largely unoticed by the world media, a decisive moment in the peak oil debate came last September, when James Schlesinger declared that the “peakists” were right. You don’t get closer to the American establishment and energy business than "Schlesinger, who served as chair of the Atomic Energy Commission, head of the CIA, Defense Secretary, Energy Secretary, and adviser to countless oil companies. "In a speech to a conference sponsored by the Association for the Study of Peak Oil, Schlesinger said: “It’s no longer the case that we have a few voices crying in the wilderness. The battle is over. The peakists have won.” "Schlesinger added that many oil company CEO’s privately agree that peak oil is imminent but don’t say so publicly." For the record,ASPO has many oil-wise people from the oil industry involved, albeit most keep that fact quiet, most of the time, for obvious reasons. SO, friends, if you wish to pursue fact of decision-time having been reached, in the face of Schlesinger statements and public-record now already shoulder-deep from carefully recorded and overwhelming majority of world scientific and environmental specialists, you have an easy target. Fire away, right here in S-N, but be sure to bring your documentation with you from NON-dollar/driven, thus NOT conflicted-interest sources. You are fighting Schlesinger and science AND environmental facts now found wherever rational, reasonable sources are sought. IF honest, open, democratic dialog is for you, put up the solid-source documentation for all to "see with own eyes".


Henry Ruark May 11, 2008 3:54 pm (Pacific time)

To all: Reality mirrors the Alten report, despite all the sooth saying of those allied here with dream-state denial and the dollars tied tightly thereby. File ten years deep shows far and away heavy majority of top scientists warning all that time that Earth is just a finite --NOT infinite-- source pie,from which we've been stealing more than our share in the West. SO seek out solid research in depth, detail, definitive data from those who know and are not dollar-dependent on the damnable destruction they continue to impose on others while they pocket the proceeds from that greedy proclivity. ID to Tim for direct contact and delivery of decent, deep PDFs for full documentation. IF anyone has anything but oil-paid propaganda, announce it here and offer it on "see with own eyes" basis, as we do on all controversial issues.


UTD May 9, 2008 6:37 pm (Pacific time)

As Standard Oil executive Wallace Pratt said in 1944(1944!!), it is a "fallacy ... [to] cite proved reserves as a measure of available future supplies." Yet this is exactly what has animated doomsayers about our world oil situation. As exploration continues new reserves will be found, but we need to provide incentives for oil companies to take risks in finding new oil. Research and development is very expensive! Don't believe the naysayers, for just like global warming, they simply do not know what is in our future. Go do some research and see what others have to say...you may feel a lot different when you read what professionals have to say.


Up-To-Data May 9, 2008 6:21 pm (Pacific time)

Are you familiar with current oil reserves in Brazil? How about North Dakota? Alaska? Offshore(where China is drilling!)? etc. , etc. . I have spoken to numerous geologists over the years who have worked as both employees and consultants for large, medium sized and small oil outfits, there professional assessments are much different than yours. As far as Saudia Arabia, or any OPEC country, so what! If the footdraggers in congress start acting in the public interest rather than for their "agenda" we can achieve energy independence in a very brief time. Furthermore just dissolving the legal/legislative barriers to start drilling on known reserves and begin building new refineries (just to meet new cafe' standards are messing with the supply adversely---like ethanol and corn and food costs!) will promulgate OPEC to immediately start lowering prices. Right now we have a big poker game going and OPEC has all the cards because of the agenda of a very small cast of bad characters.


Matt Johnson May 9, 2008 2:52 pm (Pacific time)

Jeez, what are writers supposed to do? Don't buy a word from this nameless fool who is just one more ant hanging off George W.'s ass. Read Steve Alten's books and get an education, and a life in some cases it seems. Rally for oil and compare our future to Myanmar? I thought we were CHANGING this administration, go figure.


Steve Alten May 9, 2008 2:46 pm (Pacific time)

Yes, I am promoting my book...and the reality of peak oil. Yor comment about reserves is utter nonsense. There is a reason oil is selling at $125 a barrel and it's not because the economist fairies are fluttering about. Saudi Arabia even denied their pal Bush more oil on his last trip. Wake up to reality before it bites you on the ass.


Up-To-date May 9, 2008 10:56 am (Pacific time)

This writer is promoting his book. There are more known oil reserves that would dwarf what we have used since we began using oil as a main energy source and for it's other by-products. It is the political reality in this country, that we have these misguided political cabals coupled with environmental groups that are doing everything they can to dismanle our energy industry. What will happen? Well, if the wrong leadership gets in the whitehouse we will have anarchy, then martial law, then we won't be any different that say Myanmar. Marxism is marxism.

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