The Current State of Oil Prices

Check out this post: watch the clip, read the text.

Just a reminder, CNBC has a lot of money and industry knowledge. They don’t invite flakes to speak unless they plan on ridiculing them afterward.

There recently been a call for a new “Marshall Plan” to rebuild a less oil-dependent economy and some Brits have put out a Green New Deal. I haven’t read ’em yet so can’t comment with any intelligence. Broadly though, I’m no watermelon–green on the outside, pink in the middle–I still think a primarily capitalist market is the best game going. However, my understanding is that the “invisible hand” of the market is not fundamentally a stupid hand. That is, market dynamics and a strong capitalist system are rooted in the notion of informed concerned participants who encourage market change by how, when, and where they spend their money. The complexities of international business in the age of multinational corporations and conglomerates makes it a hell of a lot harder to be an informed consumer. I’ll acknowledge the difficulty, but that it no way gets us off the hook.

From my perspective let me make this really simple:

  • **REDUCE**
  • Reuse
  • recycle

One of the great benefits of our move is that we get the chance to purge some of the accumulated mass of crap that we have for no particular reason. I’ll admit this pains me as I have pack-rat tendencies, but a simpler, cleaner, clearer life is one of the ways that we hear the Gospel calling us to embody ourselves in the world.

8 thoughts on “The Current State of Oil Prices

  1. LP

    If the peak oil people are right, and I fear that they maybe, then we are flat out screwed. Most Americans aren’t willing to change their consumer lifestyles, aren’t willing to shop locally, aren’t willing to work based on productivity alone, etc…if you think we have seen societal break down, Peak Oil would have us believe that we ain’t seen nothing yet.

    Watched Mad Max lately?

  2. Derek the Ænglican

    You know, I’m not terribly concerned about a Mad Max style future. But that’s partly because I think I’d look quite fetching in recycled-tire body armor… :-D

  3. LP

    You do have the shape for it…I, on the other hand, do not.

    No, Mad Max may be an over statement, but I can imagine there being breakdown to the point of the food riots here in the States, the likes of which have not been seen before. We like to think that only happens in developing nations, but I think it is a real and distinct possibility. Couple this with the drought we have seen locally, and I think the peak oil scenario does have the potential to do more than create long gas lines ala the 70’s.

  4. Derek the Ænglican

    I agree that its got the potential to be far more than long gas lines.

    The combination of the subprime collapse, climate change, and peak oil sets the stage for some pretty nasty happenings.

  5. bls

    Thanks for posting this, Derek. The more people say things like this, the better, IMO; we really have to get going on solutions. We really do have to get around to acceptance before anything serious will be accomplished.

    Refurbishing the railroad system would be a good place to start.

  6. David Bennett

    I think business leaders know that we have (or are close to reaching) peak-oil, and if we don’t do something soon, the results will be disastrous, especially when most Americans’ definition of self-sufficiency is being able to start a car and drive to the grocery store.

    I watched “A Crude Awakening” the other day, and it makes a strong case that we have reached peak oil. I already have added some self-sufficiency type books on my wish list at Amazon. Not that I envision a mad-max type scenario, but even now, the less dependent upon energy and food fluctuations, the better (not that I am anywhere near self-sufficient, but I am interested).

  7. David Bennett

    Another thought:

    I wonder how committed many Americans are to reducing, reusing, and recycling, even with energy prices this high. A few weekends ago, when I followed my dad to a wedding, by using basic hypermiling techniques, I got 27 MPG in his SUV, while he was averaging 20.5. His response was, “well when I retire I may worry about that.” A lot of folks I know essentially consider both cheap energy and the right to use a lot of it to be darn-near “rights.” I worry, because my grandparents’ generation knew how to band together and give up some perks for the common good…I am not so sure if the younger generations even know where to begin with this.

  8. Derek the Ænglican

    Hey David,

    The country is still in a state of non-information, mis-information, or denial. Our leaders–if the conversations this campaign cycle are any indicator–are equally in denial.

    Perhaps the biggest problem that faces us is that change really needs to happen at *all levels*. There’s a paralysis caused by a fear of the future and because so much about it is still unknown. Me, I prefer to look at it this way: there’s bad news and good news. The bad news is that there’s a major economic depression coming. The good news is that we have at least a few years of advance warning…

    We begin, then, by learning and teaching the basics about gardening and insulating…

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