Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Crude oil nears $US120 on supply woes

"Oil is now nearly double its closing price a year ago, and up 24 per cent in 2008. The latest impetus for buying came as Nigeria suffered further interruptions in output and China reported record oil imports last month."

On CNN the newscasters are still joking, asking for 'good news' like it's as easy as ordering takeaway. The whining about biofuels still ignores the obvious - that high food prices are really related first and foremiost to high fuel prices. It is because of high oil prices that investments were made in biofuel in the first place.

Notice how quickly all this is happening, and how it is catching the world by surprise. The world has been sleeping, despite the alarm clock going off again and again. Unfortunately, systems will break down now faster and faster, as our efficiencies begin to work against us (in the opposite direction). If you have 3 inefficient cadilaccs guzzling X barrels iof oil a day, it creates less disruption than a modern vehicle fleet of say 10 super efficient Toyota Yaris'. We've built these efficiencies in everywhere, and so the disruption to consumption is vast.

Food riots are just the beginning. The poor, especially the urban poor, now begin to feel and respond to the hit. And the media will gaggle ineffectually about this when the news is: we have no alternatives right now. We did not plan and anticipate. We were distracted by Paris and Britney, by shopping at the mall and movies.

I am still waiting in suspense to see when an oil price makes world headlines as they should - on a daily basis. We needed to see this when oil breched $70 and $80 and $90 and $100 and $110. Will we see it now? Don't count on it. This blog predicted $120 for May/June, but we're still in a reactionary rut. Do we have a vision of the future or can we only operate in a cocoon; a vaseline smeared glass treadmill of daily work and consumptions. People are still caught up in their lives, but reality is catching up fast, a big wave building up on a flock of tiny surfers.

Manwhile: 2008 Beijing Auto Show Unveiled (YahooNews)

As one of the fastest-growing carmakers on the planet, the Chinese automotive industry has taken an unusual approach to staging international auto shows. Like Geneva and Detroit, it has a major exhibition every year, but like the biennial events in places like Frankfurt, Paris and Tokyo, China alternates its big one between Shanghai and Beijing. This year it's Beijing's turn.

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