The current state of things:
OPEC ministers conceded on Monday there was nothing they could do to halt surging oil prices that threaten consumer nations' economies and could trigger a collapse in demand disastrous to producer states.
Only a few years ago, 2001 (see the comments section):
Q Is one of the problems with this, and the entire energy field, American lifestyles? Does the President believe that, given the amount of energy Americans consume per capita, how much it exceeds any other citizen in any other country in the world, does the President believe we need to correct our lifestyles to address the energy problem?
MR. [ARI] FLEISCHER: That's a big no. The President believes that it's an American way of life, and that it should be the goal of policy makers to protect the American way of life. The American way of life is a blessed one. And we have a bounty of resources in this country. What we need to do is make certain that we're able to get those resources in an efficient way, in a way that also emphasizes protecting the environment and conservation, into the hands of consumers so they can make the choices that they want to make as they live their lives day to day.
You have to love that "bounty of resources in this country" bit. Apparently, Ari just plumb forgot that the U.S. in an oil importer.
Let me spell it out for Dumbya and his possie: a situation in which the United States consumes 25% of world oil production, while demand in the developing world (especially China and India) is soaring, and there are strong indications that world oil production is either at or very near its peak, is simply not sustainable.
The only question is whether the US is going to face up to reality now and take steps to mitigate the invitably painful adjustment, or whether they will wait until events overtake policy and we're all in a world of hurt.
Same goes for global warming, btw.
And btw, if anyone wants a taste of things to come I highly recommend Kenneth Deffeys' Beyond Oil: The View from Hubbert's Peak.
Chase it with Matthew Simmons' Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy.
Then go long in energy income trusts and sit back and enjoy the ride. It will be something to tell the grandkids about. You know, like the Great Depression.
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