Gads! When will it stop? The speculators in the oil market are driving the price per barrel up – AGAIN! Oil crashed last week, went down nearly … what, 15% in one week? Then, it started a rebound, and has nearly gained 6% of that back again. But it’s pure speculation – there’s no real reason for prices to be headed upwards, I mean, aside from the “usual” conflicts in the Middle East and so on. The Afghan war is winding down, and nobody expects any impact on oil prices from that situation anyhow, no matter what else happens there.
Even if there were to be a war tomorrow in Pakistan, nobody would be adversely affected by that either – in terms of oil price fluctuation – since Pakistan does not export oil, not much anyhow. The Libyan conflict has somewhat stabilized, where the Government backed Qadaffi fighters are not making huge gains, and neither are the rebels. Things are not exactly static there, but it seems the western powers are content to sit on the sidelines and let the 2 Libyan sides kill each other off. Why not? As long as we can lob a missile in there every now and then in hopes of catching Qadaffi in one of his “hangouts” then it’s a relatively “cheap” war – right?
The U.S. doesn’t want to fight in Libya anyhow, since none of the Libyan oil goes to the U.S., it’s all consumed by Western Europe (Italy, France and Great Britain being the 3 largest consumers I believe). Anyhow, the folks who run the Commodity exchanges took steps over the past couple weeks (months?) to curb speculation in silver trading, after they noticed silver prices rising at an exponential rate. Don’t they think that a 6% rise in oil prices (in less than one week!) is similarly “exponential” and requires “steps” to curb speculation? I mean for Heaven’s Sakes! Don’t they realize that silly little folks like us at the bottom of the food chain are dependent on our automobiles for getting around to places and that we FEEL those price speculations in our pocket books and it makes a difference in the quality of our life? A MAJOR difference in our quality of life? I would even go so far as to say that the spike in oil prices 3 years ago was what triggered the sub-prime melt down in real estate. The bubble was certainly there and was likely to burst, but the TRIGGER was the spike in oil prices!
I’ve been screaming about this stuff for years and nobody listens anyhow. Big OIL has everyone convinced there are no other solutions, except “Obama’s” solutions which are a joke, and have no impact whatsoever on today anyhow. Face it – Big OIL convinced everyone that “renewable” fuels based on ethanol technologies take away food from folks even though we have a HUGE capacity for growing food stuffs (grains, etc..) in this country that is largely untapped. We PAY farmers each year NOT TO PLANT for gosh sakes! I mean, how can those oil company folks sleep at night when they tell lies and convince folks that we’re really affecting somebody’s food intake by growing corn for ethanol? Higher energy costs are what drive food prices upwards, not growing corn for ethanol – or anything for ethanol that is.
These days, we’re starting to see more and more “Cellulosic” ethanol plants coming online. These have always been where the ethanol fuel industry is headed. Cellulose (wood, pulp, fiber) is the most common organic material on the planet and now we can easily make ethanol from it! Get that – it will be CHEAP too! We could make ethanol from garbage if we wanted, and it would be far more cost effective to do that with all the paper we throw away than it would to try and recycle that paper for making more paper!
I wish there were other folks out there who could see why things work the way they do, and understand that this world has been run by BIG OIL for the past 100 years or so, and nobody else pretty much. They OWN us, they can ruin us. I think we ought to try and find a way to ruin them! I liked that idea a few years back of having a gas boycott on a particular day. Folks have to use gas though, and it never was a very practical idea to try and fill up on any day except one particular day. Using a bicycle is a good idea though, and walking is sure great – if you can. We try to walk to the store whenever we can, it saves gas, not really money since the local market tends to be expensive, but oh well, you can’t win ’em all!