Lundberg: Record gasoline prices amidst hyperconsumption and slaughter
- 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
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