1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Want to cripple the U.S.?

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by Steve, Nov 1, 2002.

  1. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    It's not about buildings, or people, or anthrax, or any of that stuff.

    To truly cripple the U.S., massive disruptions to the oil supply are all that are required.

    Anyone care to guess what I've figured out would not only be devastating to the U.S. (and world) economy, but would also be fairly simple to do?

    One hint: It wouldn't take more than, say, 20 kilos of material.
     
  2. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    Ummmm...nuke Saudi Arabia?
     
  3. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    You're warm. It involves oil and radioactive material. Very little loss of life, though, if any...
     
  4. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    Irradiate the oil fields with ionizing radiation...makes the oil useless to use in combustion as anything done with it further spreads the contamination. A neutron device would have little effect, so it must involve the underground detonation of tactical nukes.
     
  5. John R. Beanham

    John R. Beanham Typical Aussie Male

    Coot,


    " so it must involve the underground detonation of tactical nukes."



    As far as I am aware, most oil deposits are about 3000' plus below the surface and off-shore ones are even deeper.

    An underground detonation need the drilling of a hole almost a yard wide all the way to the required depth. I am not certain just how many countries have the time or technology to do that task without the satellites letting the USA know what is going on.

    Given that if push came to shove, the USA can get its oil from any one of a dozen countries, alternative sources can be cranked up very quickly. The UK, Canada, Venezuela and US sources could cover such an event rapidly.

    I think that the Saudi Arabian fields are spread fairly widely and not inter-connected so these underground blasts would have to be VERY extensive to eliminate ALL of production. Russia would be just about the only country capable of such a venture.


    John.
     
  6. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    I was thinking more along the lines of inserting finely ground, highly radioactive, material into the oil stream.

    Could be done at the well head, or anywhere along thousands of miles of pipeline, either over there, or over here.

    Contaminate a bunch of oil tankers; stop cross-ocean shipments. Contaminate the pipelines; stop oil transmission. Contaminate the holding tanks and refineries; stop the production of petroleum products.

    You get the idea. You're right on the mark about the combustion effects, too.
     
  7. Kangaroo

    Kangaroo Passed Away June 15th, 2009

    A good reason to begin building nuclear power plants again. With lots of cheap, low pollution electricity we could deploy more electric-powered personal vehicles. This would cut our crude consumption to a level where we could sustain ourselves with our own reserves. I hazard a non-oil-dependent USA is one of the most nightmarish scenarios to Mid-East despots.
     
  8. John R. Beanham

    John R. Beanham Typical Aussie Male

    stevent,


    " inserting finely ground, highly radioactive, material into the oil stream.
    Could be done at the well head, or anywhere along thousands of miles of pipeline, either over there, or over here."


    I think that there are 100s if not 1000s of 'oil streams' around the globe. There are certainly 10s of 1000s of well heads, 100s of pipelines, and storage facilities.

    Certainly they could do all that at SOME points, but not nearly enough to disrupt the overall flow of oil to the US or the West in general. If this stuff is so radioactive that it can make it lethal then they are going to have fun passing it down through their own chain to the point of use.

    As far as I know, the USA has a Strategic Reserve of about 3 months supply of oil and that iswithout re-supply from her domestic sources.

    I would be FAR more concerned about nasties in the water supply etc.

    John.
     
  9. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    All of those oil streams terminate at a relatively small number of oil tankers, refineries, storage tanks, etc. The contamination would, in my opinion, render all of them unusable, as it is unlikely the American public would consent to having radioactive oil enter the energy production or gasoline production facilities.
     
  10. mikeky

    mikeky Member

    It would be difficult to find a concentrated radioactive source that you could very easily disperse in oil (solubility problems with uranium, plutonium, etc., unless compounded with something like TBP, greatly increasing the volume you would have to add), and it would take a lot of it to get any significant final activity in the oil stream.

    But interesting thought; Steven, I hope you never decide to join up with the Dark Side. :)
     
  11. Techie2000

    Techie2000 The crowd would sing:

    This is why we are always kissing the butts of the people in the mid-east. No oil would cripple the US transportation system, and throw the economy into a big recession. Everything then would go down hill from there. We try to justify the whole oil thing by saying that it is too hard and long to change, but we are just delaying the inevitable. Besides if we make a mandatory change over 5 years then the automobile industry will start making lots of money which may stimulate the economy. However more realistic is a change over ten years if we start now. The later we start, the less time we have to ease into the transition.
     
  12. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Too much money invested now for anyone to change.

    The big oil corps know that alternative fuel would be a gradual death of them. Add to that the huge automotive industry that will need to re-invest and re-shift everything for a different kind of a car. Add to that the heating systems which are going over to steam or gas?

    This is about a 500 BILLION dollar business. I don't think anyone will be abdicating their kingship in this land any time soon.

    Besides, a telling thread in EL about a year ago was when most of the people didn't WANT alternative fueled cars.
     
  13. John R. Beanham

    John R. Beanham Typical Aussie Male

    How would Americans feel about buying petrol at $4 a gallon like we do in Australia? Been doing that for 5 years or more actually.

    The poor old Europeans are even worse off.

    In fact, you DO get used to it and adjust your lifestyle to compensate.


    John.
     
  14. mikeky

    mikeky Member

    I would think Australia would be more like the U.S. in terms of the need to drive, with the population centers more spread out compared to Europeans. Is it a supply problem that keeps the prices that high, or taxes?
     
  15. John R. Beanham

    John R. Beanham Typical Aussie Male

    Mike,


    "Is it a supply problem that keeps the prices that high, or taxes?"


    Australia is in a similar situation to the US in that we produce about 60% of our annual consumption.


    During and after the First 'Oil Crisis' in 1973/5 our PM got the absolutely brilliant idea that we had to conserve oil and the best way to do this was to pay the full international auction price. To stop the oil companies gaining a huge windfall he decided that the 'Import Price Parity' would be maintained by way of a Federal Tax. All in the name of oil conservation, of course generates all that lovely MONEY for the government.

    Be assured America, things could be WORSE for you than they are.


    John.
     
  16. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    John and Mike, I honestly do NOT have a problem paying that much. I sincerely think that it would cure a lot more than it would hinder.

    The traffic would be better, air would be cleaner, and we would be less of puppets and slaves to Middle East croinism.
     
  17. John R. Beanham

    John R. Beanham Typical Aussie Male

    Ethics,


    "The traffic would be better, air would be cleaner, and we would be less of puppets and slaves to Middle East croinism."


    I think i have to disagre with this scenario. As far as I can tell the traffic is probably worse, the air about the same except there is a LOT less leaded petrol sold nowadays. WE are STILL hostage to the international market for crude oil and if that goes through the roof then the price at the pump does too.

    Of course, when the price slumps on international markets the retail price stays steady.

    :-(

    John.
     
  18. jamming

    jamming Banned

    I just want to respond to the thread title, Want to cripple the U.S.?.

    [gl]NO![/gl]
     
  19. pupowski

    pupowski Banned

    I would also prefer to pay more money than be dependent upon the middle east or other unstable foreign sources. The money we would save on defense would be an offset, as much of it is spent to protect energy supplies. The US, after recently announced increases, now spends roughly as much on defense as the rest of the World combined.
     
  20. DSL Dan

    DSL Dan Registered User

    Ladies and gentlemen, basic economic principles ensure that oil price hikes and shortages will for the forseeable future be <i>temporary aberrations</i>. FE if OPEC succeeds in holding enough price increases--and that's questionable--the higher price will attract new suppliers into the mix who right now do not see any profit in it. Likewise, if Iraq or any other country chose to boycott the U.S., someone would simply buy from them and turn around and resell to the U.S.

    The only reason we even had temporary shortages in 1973 had <i>nothing</i> to do with OPEC decisions or actions, and <i>everything</i> to do with Nixon's ridiculous price controls. Had the prices been allowed to rise, the supply would have been virtually uninterrupted.

    Trust me, the threat of long-term oil shortages or high prices is bogus.
     

Share This Page