26 November 2008 - Don't look now, but energy history is on the verge of repeating itself. All those discussions of a new paradigm in the form of conservation and alternative sources are washing away in less expensive oil.
Six months ago, people were incensed by the greed of foreign oil producers; today "inexpensive" gasoline is a welcome respite in an otherwise failing economy. All the big talk of energy independence in Congress has been pushed aside as we struggle to keep our jobs and pay our mortgages. American shortsightedness, one of our most abundant qualities, has reasserted its place in our lives.
The problem is that we stand at a brief moment in history, and nothing more. None of the major factors are different today with oil temporarily at $60 per barrel than they were six months ago when oil sold at nearly $150 per barrel. The petroleum-producing countries have not gone soft on their prices, nor have societies made major shifts in their energy demands other than the vagaries associated with slowing economies. The facts on the ground (perhaps better said, "in" the ground) remain the same. We must remember that:
- The world is consuming oil at a rate much faster than new sources can be found; that means we're running out of the gooey stuff. More >>>