Oil Oil Oil Oil Oil

That word starts to look weird when it’s typed over and over, but it’s somehow not as weird as basing a global economy on a non-renewable, limited resource. To have been at those meetings! “We don’t know how much we’ve got or where it is, but instead of seriously considering other options, let’s just go ahead and rely almost solely on this as our source of energy for everybody! Mua ha ha ha ha!”

I’m sure you’ve heard the economic hand-wringing (not the Invisible Hand though, he’s been busy) over high oil prices recently. $100 oil! Oh Noes! We did or did not see this coming! It will now go up or maybe down! Curious about why the price is so far up? Blame speculators, the Middle East, weather in oil fields, weather in shipping lanes, lack of refinery production, OPEC’s stonewalling, international tensions, international distribution of production and refining capacity, increase in demand, underproduction, overproduction- blame whatever you want, chances are it’s been blamed for a change in oil prices before. An article in the NYT characterizes this new “energy crisis” as fundamentally different from the ones in the 1970s, since it’s mostly driven by an increase in demand, and not a sudden decrease in supply. It certainly is making things interesting internationally- The IHT summarizes some exciting developments stemming from oil prices: Russia, Angola, and Hugo Chavez win, and China and India lose. US dependency on imported oil is tactfully not mentioned.

If oil prices keep going up, it’s going to hit importing nations, developing nations and consumers who enjoy having heat in winter and enough gas to get to work hard. The International Energy Agency (summarized at Wired) reports that demand for energy is rising and is only going to rise further, given the economic growth of gigantor countries like China and India. This will be a wonderful test of the free market: for economic, social, political, security, environmental, and plain common sense reasons, we absolutely cannot rely on everybody’s favorite limited resource for energy anymore. Will business deliver us from oil with advancements in clean energy technology, or will we face disastrous economic setbacks for the least cushioned people and international turmOil?

Small steps signal salvation- Arab Gulf businessmen are pouring oil money into clean technology. But until companies see imminent collapse, corporations become visionaries, or some prescient governing body (oxymoron?) steps in, consumers will be forced to care about the price of oil.

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1 Response to “Oil Oil Oil Oil Oil”


  1. 1 Cameron November 12, 2007 at 4:30 pm

    sigh……. mountain bike subsidies for all (with new bike trails leading out of the northern states during the winter…..like migrating mean-geese-bike creatures)!!


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