Thursday, June 26, 2008

That Grinding Noise You Hear Is My Teeth

Oil closes near $140/bl.

CIBC sees $7/gal. gas by 2010

Worst June for the Dow since 1930:
"One thing is for certain, if crude continues to rally, stocks are dead," said Dale Doelling, chief market technician at Trends In Commodities.

"If stocks have another day like this tomorrow, then the fallout next week could include government intervention in the markets," said Doelling.

It's all getting a bit surreal, isn't it?

Oh, and by the way: Royal Bank of Scotland (which, my dear Philadelphians, owns our very own Citizens Bank) is predicting a market crash.


Friday, June 20, 2008

Offshore Drilling: the Sweatpants of Our Oil Crisis

Watching the US contemplate offshore drilling as a solution to the energy crisis is kind of like switching to sweatpants when we put on weight--yeah, you think you feel better, but if you don't change your eating habits, it won't matter--you'll die from heart disease or diabetes complications.

Actually, it's worse than that--more like a diabetic pigging out on hot fudge sundaes. Because the only way to cope with what's going on is not to drill for more oil in less easy-to-reach spots (and watch the cost of recovering that oil spiral upwards). No--the way to cope is to stop consuming oil in such massive quantities.

Conserving--dieting--is the only way to ease this crisis. Switching from jeans to sweatpants is just giving in.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Line Between Fiction and Reality

A year ago, I took part in an ARG (alternative reality game) called World Without Oil. In it, I and nearly 2000 other people imagined what life would be like if oil suddenly shot up in price--a world where Peak Oil is manifest.

The funny thing? The game starts with oil at $4.12/gal. A year ago, this honestly seemed a little over-the-top; I was paying $2.58 at the Wawa on Dekalb Pike & Welsh Road (if you, reading this, know Montgomery County). But one year, and here we are, where the game began. Of course, they got one thing "wrong", for in the game diesel was $3-something a gallon, and today it's around $5.

I don't claim to know what's going on; but I turn on NPR, turn on CNN, and now they talk about the end of oil--or at the very least, cheap oil.

In the real world, I do live with my husband in Lansdale; I have a marginal garden I'm hoping produces at least one tomato (which would be better than last year). We don't work at home, we still drive the ten miles to Horsham--and for that relatively short distance I'm grateful. It costs four dollars a day to commute, which is still cheaper than the train (and there's no easy way to go those ten miles without a car).

At any rate, a year later and people seem to be waking up to the reality that oil isn't going to be cheap anymore. It's not like the 1990s, when I learned to drive, and I could buy a gallon of gas for 90¢ and spend Friday and Saturday night driving around with my friends and not even think about it.

The world is moving on; some days I wonder what relics we'll leave, what they'll think of us. And if we'll ever see a day when walking on the moon sounds more like a myth than a historical fact.

EDIT:*For some reason, links to my posts are missing from their archive.