Sunday, February 22, 2009

What Does 9/11 have to do with Peak Oil?

This is a question I've gotten a lot, and one that's probably in the head of those who have interviewed me for jobs and not hired me.

I'll make it simple. As I posted earlier, I believe the explosive Methyl Nitrate was added to the fuel in the 747s used in the attack.

I also believe that we are at, near, or past global Peak Oil capacity and I fear that we might be headed towards a oil depletion in the very near future.

I'm as green as they come. I ride a bike instead of a car, I use solar power for everything but the heat for my chilly Minnesota home (I heat with peat!).

I want to see an carbon-free world. But I don't want us to plunge headfirst into it overnight. The more precipitous the switch from oil to renewables will the more painful the switch might be. By pain I mean, I don't know, say the collapse of the global economy and wars for oil that will dwarf anything we've seen in the Middle East in both size and scope.

Do you see the connection? I'm worried about someone adding Methyl Nitrate to oil refineries. Boom goes the dynamite...and we're that much closer to oil depletion.

While I've made it clear I don't want to share my worst case scenarios, if I've thought of this, it's already out there.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Well, as much as I've enjoyed working with CCCP, it's not a job I can support myself or my family on for much longer. And it's not fair to a non-profit to ask for the kind of compensation I would need for such things.

I've posted my resume on Linked In. I'm going to share the "about me" section; constructive criticism would be appreciated

"Growing up in Texas with the last name Houston, it's not surprising that I went into oil. What I didn't know was that oil would let me get out of Texas, and not just to Oklahoma. As a geologist for Big Oil (Conico Phillips, Aramco, Shell Nigeria) I traveled from Venezuela to Nigeria to Saudi Arabia.

My jobs and locations seemed as limitless as the most promising oil reserve ever discovered.Of course, the supply oil is limited, as were my job opportunities when I suggested as much. Admitting that we may be at or near Peak Oil is heresy in the Oil Industry.

I am nothing if not a seeker of truth. When I presented all the geological data about Peak Oil to my superiors at Saudi Aramco, I was dismissed but not deterred. Despite my many years of hands on experience in the field, my geology was considered fringe science.

I decided that I would need economic data to support my points, and was accepted in the presigious PhD program at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. Let me tell you - the cool air was a nice repreive from the jungles of Venezeula aid Nigeria, and the rainfall a novelty after so many dry Arabian days nights.

Upon graduation, I could not find a teaching position or employment in the oil industry. My reputation was still tarred as a "Peak Oil Conspiracist".The only place that would take me was the Islamic Azad University in Tehran. There I finished my PhD in Geology.

With such credentials and experience, the University of Minnesota either ignored or had no knowledge of my Peak Oil theories and was happy to have me as a visiting professor. I was assured this was a trial position, and that a tenured professorship was down the pike.

I wish I could blame my Peak Oil theories for my dismissal, but I believe it had more to do with my membership in the Cooperative of Concerned Citizens for Privacy. I serve as a board member now, but that group saved me when I found myself persecuted for speaking out about the truth behind 9/11."

To all employers, I think even if you speak to those who have dismissed me, you'll find that I do my "rantings" about Peak Oil on my own time. I can still teach geology, particularly petroleum geology. I can still do surveys of new reserves and manage and oil field.

While I want an employer that does not care what my politics are. I will work for any energy company, as long as they are seriously committed to green energy solutions.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

I'm not the only one who believes Methyl Nitrate was used in 9/11

A reader who wishes to remain anonymous pointed out that I was not the first person to suggest that Methyl Nitrate was added to jet fuel in order to bring down the Twin Towers on 9/11.

Well, that's a nice way of putting it. He actually accused me of plagiarism.

Former CIA agent Robert Baer is someone whose work I've admired for a while. His book "Sleeping With The Devil: How the U.S. Sold it's Soul for Saudi Crude" is a wonderful work detailing the close relationship between the U.S. (Big Oil, the Bush Family etc.) and The House of Sa'ud, which rules Arabia. Along with another book, it was the inspiration for the film Syriana.

Having worked for Aramco and spent a considerable about of time in Saudi, I can testify that he is right to say that Saudi Arabia "kingdom built on thievery, one that nurtures terrorism, destroys any possibility of a middle class based on property rights, and promotes slavery and prostitution." This kingdom also sits on one quarter of the world's oil reserves, thus ensuring that it receives the full support and protection of the U.S. government.

Sleeping With the Devil details the hypocritical and corrupt relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia and the potentially calamitous economic consequences of maintaining this Faustian bargain.

More recently, Mr. Baer has written fiction. Or, as many believe, the truth disguised as fiction, because the CIA's publication review board wouldn't allow him to publish evidence of his 9/11 conspiracy theory.

We agree on method, not motive. He blames Iran. I attribute this largely to Baer's obsession with the death of his late colleague, Beirut CIA Station Chief Bill Buckley. He has presented convincing evidence that Iran was responsible for Buckley's murder.

Murdering a CIA officer in the 80s and killing 3,000 American civilians are two different things. As I've said before, I can't prove exactly who carried out 9/11, nor why. But I studied and lived in Iran prior to 9/11. I took a wife there. It's one of the most pro-American populations I've encountered - certainly more so than Saudi Arabia. As Mr. Baer himself must know, most of Saudi Arabia's oil is in the east, in land populated by Saudi Arabia's persecuted Shiite minority. Iran has far more reason to attack the Saudis than they do us, no matter what their megalomaniacal puppet President might say.

I heartily recommend Robert's books, and I'm glad that my readers are finding corrolations between my evidence and the work of other accredited sources. Again, while dissent is encouraged, unfounded accusations of plagiarism are not.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Even the Government Doesn't Think I'm Crazy

If the government thinks my ideas about 9/11 (or Peak Oil) are the ravings of a lunatic, they have a funny way of showing it. Not long after 9/11, the government asked me to join a THINK TANK. It was a small working group, made up of myself and about a half dozen members from various scientific, scholarly and..."literary" disciplines.

I put "literary" in quotes and after ellipses because if you knew the work of the writers present, you'd hardly call them literature. I'm no snob - I love Mad Max and The Road Warrior (don't get me started on Thunderdome), in part because the movies are premises on a post-apocalytic society that was brought to the brink by the depletion of oil. Point is, I love a thrill ride. But if you think the novels of Alan Ripley or thinly veiled religious screeds of Thurston Veigh are literature...your taste is shit.

Besides the two authors I've mentioned (only because they have publically disclosed their involvement), there was a nuclear physicist who was both a Holocaust survivor and a participant in the Manhattan project and other "dangerous minds".

What united us was our task. To "think the unthinkable", as our liason said. The point was that the attacks on 9/11 were something out of a Tom Clancy novel. They wanted us to use a combination of imagination and expertise to come up with worse case terror scenarios. The idea was if we could come up with them before the terrorists did, we (or rather, the U.S. government) could devise defenses for those disasters first.

No - I'm not going to share them with you - I don't want to be an accomplice to another terrorist attack. I already feel like one having participated with a government think tank.

As I stated before, I believe the government may have had something to do with 9/11. In fact, I told them this. The fact that they still wanted me anyway...I don't know what to make of it.

Before I was asked to join the Think Tank I made my theories known to special agent Daniel Patrick Skelly, part of the FBI's I-95 squad that was on the trail of the 9/11 hijackers (and lost their boss, late agent John O'Neill in the attacks - he had retired and was head of security for the WTC at the time of the attacks).

While a gentleman, he was not interested in my evidence concerning Methyl Nitrate. Instead, he asked me questions about my time studying in Iran. Others would and continue to ask me about my time there as well, in much less polite (and consitutional) ways. The fact that Iran and Al Qaeda are Shiite and Sunni, Persian and Arab, and would be unlikely to cooperate against the United States did not seem to dissuade the line of questioning. It is clear that someone has Iran in the cross-hairs (this was before the Axis of Evil speech, I should add).

Monday, September 11, 2006

What Really Happened on 9/11

Five years ago today, I stood gaping in horror as the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center crumbled to dust. I was not watching it on television, but rather from the streets of New York City. I was in town to deliver the keynote address for the ASPO USA Peak Oil conference at New York University (ironically, my fellow Peak Oil advocate Matthew Simmons would deliver a powerful speech on the same subject in October of 2007.

I was asked to do this conference because I'd just received my PhD Geology from Islamic Azad University in Tehran (complimenting my PhD in Economics from The University of Aberdeen). While in Iran, I was able to observe oil production there. Combined with previous experience in Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Venezuela and elsewhere, they believed I could provide detailed evidence of having reached Peak Oil capacity from first hand knowledge of multiple data points.

I never got to deliver that address. I was in the hotel lobby of the Soho Grand when the first plane hit (yes, I believe it was a plane, not a missle, drone or explosive device). I saw - and felt - the second impact.

Witnessing the impact was not important, but the immediate aftermath was. I saw the flames.

I know oil and I know fuel. When jet fuel burns, you can see an orange flash. Instead, I saw a BRIGHT OCHRE HUE. There’s only one explanation for seeing that shade of yellow.

Methyl Nitrate. Methyl nitrate is the methyl ester of nitric acid and has the chemical formula CH3NO3. Methyl nitrate is toxic and a sensitive explosive. It causes headaches when fumes are inhaled. It can be produced by the condensation of nitric and methanol: CH3OH + HNO3 → CH3NO3 + H2O

Sorry for the chemistry lesson, it's a hard habit to break after being in academia for so much of my life.

What's special about Methyl Nitrate, besides the color, is that unlike conventional explosives, forensics can’t detect it. (For more on Methyl Nitrate check out this post on the "rogue science forum". Note that it is months before 9/11.)

I believe Methyl Nitrate was added to the jet fuel of the 747 that crashed into the Twin Towers. If footage existed of the Pentagon or Pennsylvania crashes, I think you'd see that glow itself.

Who added the Methyl Nitrate to the fuel, and why? As a scientist, I can only offer theories, not definitive proof. It is possible a foreign power, or a non-state actor such as Al Qaeda could have added it. This would require quite a bit more logistical coordination than I believe either is capable.

The most likely explanation is that 9/11 was an "inside job". Meaning, it involved people or persons involved in the airline industry, the oil industry, airport security...or some combination thereof. I have further beliefs based on my post-9/11 expierience, but for now - just the facts.

More to come.

(Due to the vitriol in the comments I received for this post, I deleted and shut down comments. Dissent is welcome, but it should be conducted in a civilized manner).

Thursday, February 21, 2002

A point of clarification.

Evidently, based on the e-mails I've recieved, "The Title DOES NOT Say it All". Peak oil is often confused with oil depletion.

Peak oil is the point of maximum production while depletion refers to a period of falling reserves and supply.

Again, I believe we are at, near, or past maximum production. But "Peak Oil is Here!" sounds a lot better than "Peak Oil might be here today, tomorrow...or maybe the day before tomorrow."

Wednesday, February 20, 2002

The Title Says It All

Well, actually, the title of the blog is a bit of hyperbole. I'm not sure if we're AT peak oil, but based on my considerable work as both an economist and geologist, we're certainly NEAR it. We may even be past it.

If you don't know that of which I speak, let me quote Wikipedia. "Peak oil is the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum access is reached, after which the rate of production enters terminal decline."

Basically, we're about to run out of oil. The objective of this blog is to bring attention to that fact. Yes - I'm calling it a fact. There are those who will try to debunk the theories behind Peak Oil. In fact, I was one of them, and insofar as it helps me bring attention to the problems Peak Oil poses, I'll share my journey with you. Just remember that Global Warming was a theory...until it wasn't.

I want - no, I NEED - to tell you about Peak Oil and the dire consequences it poses to our economy, foreign policy, and to the very earth itself.

But I'm not some Thurston Veigh, "Bring on The End Times!" doomsday prophet. Will chaos ensue when (not if) the wells run dry? Yes. But ultimately, ideally, we'll be a much healthier planet. Less CO2 in the atmosphere. The collapse of autocratic petro-states. No need for us to prop up or invade said petro-states.

That's IF we manage things right. We should NOT turn to "clean coal" (an oxymoron if I've ever heard one), natural gas, or nuclear power. We have a short period of time where we can invest in wind, solar and other "green" industries, and ramp them up to scale so they can support the imminent collapse of the worldwide oil market.

My mission in life is to make that transition period as painless as possible.

Be warned. My critics are going to come at me hard. They are particularly going to question the reasons behind my dismissal from the University of Minnesota faculty, distort my political and misrepresent my membership in the Cooperative of Concerned Citizens For Privacy.

I will try to address these claims in subsequent posts to head my critics off. All I ask is that you have an open mind when you read this blog.

-Peace be On To You

Nathaniel Houston

Krammada Elbas. 5:30