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Lundberg: Record gasoline prices amidst hyperconsumption and slaughter

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  • J.H. Crawford
    Hi All, I get Jan Lundberg s Culture Change Newsletter quite regularly but don t often post them here. Today s is more strategic than usual and maybe worth a
    Message 1 of 1 , May 29, 2007
      Hi All,

      I get Jan Lundberg's Culture Change Newsletter quite regularly but
      don't often post them here. Today's is more strategic than usual
      and maybe worth a look, although it's long.

      So far, we've gone through the hydrogen economy (remember that one?).
      Today we're at the bio-fuels economy, which I predict will fade away
      in a year or two. Next will come the nuclear economy, which I expect
      we'll actually attempt, despite massive protests.

      WHEN are people going to start talking about the only real solution:
      using less? Lots less.



      Record gasoline prices amidst hyperconsumption and slaughter
      Jan Lundberg

      Culture Change Letter #160, May 28, 2007


      The first few paragraphs:

      or someone who professionally analyzed gasoline prices and the petroleum industry from 1972-1987, maybe it's a bit surprising I�ve not had much to say about May's record gasoline prices. For many years I've not been one to often make a prediction on the price of gasoline or oil. This is because I�m much more interested in bigger issues that cover more than prices and particular fuels.

      With that sense of priorities, I'm much less desirable as a most-quoted U.S. energy analyst, as I once was. Up until two decades ago I spouted many a market pronouncement taken seriously by those interested in short-term economics, whether for a household or to serve corporate power. When I gave it all up to fight pollution and perhaps help improve the way people live in this country, I was freed from the data-gathering and analysis of price changes that increasingly struck me as trivial. This was partly because I became a non-driver.

      Mainstream news media are nowadays a little more prepared to hear oil analysis that's more ecological, and price changes can occasionally be discussed in dollars-per-gallon changes than cents-per-gallon. So it's time for a look at gasoline prices with a whole-system approach.

      I do agree that oil-industry factors in price run-ups have recently included strained refining capacity and high demand. I don�t believe the price of oil and gasoline are really driven by a control-Iraq conspiracy aimed at the world oil market, although the Middle East is a playground for such appetites. Nor do I subscribe to the perennial notion that oil companies are "keeping full tankers off shore" to deprive consumers of the cheaper gasoline that many believe they have a right to burn to no end.

      But the most basic reasons for high gasoline and crude oil prices are seldom-heard because they are about bigger trends: (1) geologically rather than geographically determined supply, and (2) infrastructure-investment in a system that has no future. First, Peak Oil implies a survey of the landscape for extraction trends, interpreting sketchy reserves data, and, usually neglected, an understanding of market-driven supply dynamics -- all allowing us to acknowledge that cheap oil is gone forever and a new world is opening up. In the context of history's fossil-fueled fling, global Peak Oil is here now.

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      J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
      mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
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