Tuesday, June 24, 2008

SAR #8176

Modern civilization is based on the illusion
that we are what we possess.

Here and Now: There's lots of oil to be found in ANWR, they claim. We're going to pump more, the Saudi's say, 5 million barrels a day more. Someday. Deep off-shore fields will deliver millions of barrels, we're told. I've told all this to my car but it seems to want a few real gallons today, refuses to run on promises.

Viewpoint: I remember my father describing the excitement he felt when he bought his first Ford back in 1926. I doubt I'll feel nearly as excited when I buy one of the last ones in 2009.

China Shop Rules: Leading climate change scientist James Hansen thinks mankind should take the big oil and coal companies to court and charge them with felony theft and reckless endangerment for their cynical funding of the global warming deniers. They broke the environment, now they should at least shut up and let us try to fix it.

National Healthcare: I just got home with a month's supply of the three Rx's I must take, $12 poorer. Twelve bucks, because Wal-Mart, unlike Medicare, can negotiate lower prices from drug manufacturers. Tell me again why we can't have rational healthcare at a rational cost.

Three Card Monte: Everybody complains about Bernanke. Lots of blame falls on Greenspan. The Fed gets bad-mouthed. These people are not fools, good sir. It is quite possible that the Fed, under their tutelage, has done exactly what it was supposed to do: facilitate the transfer of wealth from the many to the few. Looked at that way, it's been a job well done.

Delta Queen: It's not that don't need the 10% of the crop that Iowa farmers have already lost, but the real tragedy is that they've lost 10% of their topsoil.

Trickery & Deceit: The housing bailout legislation designates Ginnie Mae as the issuer of the $300 billion (soo to be $2.5 trillion) in bailout-loans. Why Ginnie Mae and not Fannie or Freddie, whose job it might actually be? Ginnie Mae has explicit US government funding. That means direct access to taxes. The bad loans will go straight to Ginnie Mae and the banks' hands straight to your wallet. And after the first $300 billion there'll be the other $2 trillion waiting to be transfered from the wage earners to the investment bankers.

Tea Leaves: Petroleum exports from Norway, Mexico, Russia and Venezuela are declining. At its current rate of decline, Mexico will stop exporting oil by the fall of 2010. Mexico's export decline began to steepen four years after Cantarell peaked. If Saudi Arabia follows the same pattern, Saudi exports will start to crater in 2009. After they reach zero exports - vide England - they will quickly enter the market bidding for part of the shrinking supply of available exports.

Back to the Future: We are witnessing the culmination of the largest transfer of wealth in human history, resulting in the domination of the earth by a very small group of megalomaniacs.

Chance of Storms: Oil prices may come down a bit, for a while. But GM's shutterd truck and 4x4 plants are never reopening and the 8,000 laid-off are not going back to work for GM. Meanwhile Chrysler is going to “break some of the old paradigms” and Ford is going to transform itself. Translation: Downsizing of both vehicles and companies. If they survive.

1 comment:

Melancholy Korean said...

Since gas is going to 12 dollars a gallon, or something like that, what's a person to do? (Besides bemoaning the End of Civilization As We Know It?)

Could we start walking, cycling, subway-ing, busing, training, or carpooling to work? Could we start moving into cities that have good public transport and building such systems in cities that don't? Could we stop seeing the suburbs and exurbs as signs of the Good Life and start, instead, living and creating communities with real downtown centers, where people might be forced to live and interact with other people?

Sounds radical, I know. Possibly un-American, even. But, we have no other choice, do we? I mean, Peak Oil. Global Warming. Population Explosion. Food Crisis. At least by giving up our cars--the third worst disaster to befall the 20th century (the first, of course, the invention of television, with the invention of the atomic bomb, a close second)--we can mitigate some of the these problems, yes?

Or I guess we can just panic, blame the immigrants and hedge fund managers, and lose all hope.