I was reading freakonomics today, which is a great blog, and there was an article on the $2.99 gas promotion Chrysler is putting on and the guy made the completely unqualified statement that “There is also every reason to believe that gas prices will be lower in the future than they are now”. He also linked to an article in 2005 that he wrote saying that he doesn’t know anything about oil reserves, but that oil will react just like any other commodity with supply and demand principles. I mean, wouldn’t that only be true if oil was sold on a free market? I’m pretty sure I don’t trust OPEC with embracing a free oil market with accurate supply numbers. I’m pretty sure that’s not how cartels work.
You might not care about this at all. I like it because energy is deceivingly important but largely invisible to us. As a general rule of thumb, it’s probably a good idea to keep track of big world changing movements so you don’t get crushed like an unsuspecting fool.
Anyway, it got me thinking about how much back and forth there is on this topic. Personally, I like to hear both sides of the argument because the answer is probably between the two sides. It’s just a question of where in between. The best websites on this that I’ve found are:
Pro-Peak Oil: http://www.theoildrum.com/
No-Peak Oil: http://peakoildebunked.blogspot.com/
Anyway, there’s a lot of people who will tell you a lot of useful and well-explained things on both sides of the debate. But instead of doing that, I’ll make a list of interesting things I came across in reading online and reading this book, which is the best book on energy as far as I’m concerned.
- Russia, by far, is the most pro Global Warming country there is. They make no secret about their desires to pollute as much as possible to help their potato crops, expose a northern sea route, and (ironically) expose unbelievable amounts of oil and gas trapped under the Siberian arctic.
- Oil of Olay is the still the most popular search term that starts with “oil” on Google, edging “oil price per barrel”. Why the fuck would you ever search for “oil of olay”? Guess what the website for Oil of Olay is? It’s fucking oilofolay.com (which redirects to olay.com so either one would work). Google is making a killing off of people who will type web addresses into their search bar. Genius.
- U.S. petroleum consumption is projected to fall by 330,000 barrels/day in 2008 ( -1.6%, as of 5/6/08 )
- WWII was largely decided by a lack of Axis oil. Hitler back-stabbed Stalin because he needed Russian oil (fatal mistake) and Japan’s lack of fuel led them to choose not to intercept small aerial formations like our B-29 nuclear attacks.
- Japan is the smartest and most dependent country on foreign oil. They’re probably coming up with some kind of solution. I have no idea if they’re worried about Peak Oil or not but if they’re not then I wouldn’t be worried either.
- The Europeans knew they’d be able to meet the Kyoto protocols because their economy was slowing down anyway. It was a classic Euro-scam.
- The reason you see Chinese people spitting all the time (in China) is because they can’t heat their homes in the winter and they’ve learned that this helps against respiratory illnesses. I got to spit on the street when I chewed tobacco over there and nobody cared, that was the only bonus.
- We will probably move from oil to natural gas for mobile transportation in the next 20 years, with a move to hydrogen sometime after that. This will mean Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) tanker explosions will be the new oil spills. I guess environmentalists will like this better because the sea animals won’t suffer.
- There’s already a natural gas car for sale in the US for $25K. You can even refill it in your own garage if you have a natural gas line, you get a ton of tax breaks to buy it, and it costs a little more than the equivalent to $1/gallon to fill up (gas prices were as high in 05 when this was written as they are now). Why is all the talk about the Prius then? Because environmentalists are status whores.
- About half of the World’s natural gas reserves are held by Russia and Iran.