Friday, April 25, 2008

Peak Oil News

It should not be a surprise to a reader of this blog to note signs of the arrival of global Peak Oil; nonetheless, today's news is particularly significant. First, our friend and seminal author Matthew Simmons has a new powerpoint-type presentation on the current situation. New and notable is Simmons' emphasis on the aging infrastructure of oil well equipment: apparently, it's all made of steel, and steel rusts. Go figure. Needs lots of money spent to rehabilitate said equipment...will it get done? Doubtful. Also interesting is Simmons' (almost obligatory) expressions of hope at the end. Chaos can find no reason or evidence that justifies such beliefs, but at any rate, this is a nice presentation (if you wonder about certain points, by all means search for expansion among the literature). Secondly, news of the day indicates that the Grangemouth refinery in Scotland, which supplies approximately 10% of the UK's oil needs, is closing as of now due to workers striking over pension benefits. The event is having major impacts, including lines for fuel, and hoarding behavior. A harbinger of things to come, in Chaos' view, and soon enough. Look for gasoline prices to head higher, and don't neglect converting the projected UK gas price of 5 pounds per gallon...makes gas in the US seem cheap, doesn't it?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

What's Underneath: Noam Chomsky On The Air We Breathe

Interesting piece examining the hidden assumptions of those trapped within the Empire's "bubble" comes to us from the notorious "linguist and social critic" (translation: we're not sure what he is) Noam Chomsky. Organizing principle which helps make the terms of "debate" understandable to bewildered souls of other nations who marvel at the insularity and arrogance of Americans: we own the world. Another variation on a theme: trying to control the uncontrollable. Try it, you might like it, or it might disturb you for some reason.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Economics: Synchronicity

Chaos, having had no training or experience, rarely comments upon economic issues or trends. A couple of days ago, however, articles appeared simultaneously in different publications, essentially pointing to the same concept...the Empire's free ride at the expense of the rest of the world is now coming to an end. Specifically, the decline of the currency, combined with dramatic inflation in Asian countries, means that cheap goods imported from the rest of the world is going extinct. Here's the link in the nation's paper of record, while in this online magazine (owned by the Post Companies) was this analysis. Not the last word, certainly, and readers interested in alternative points of view might want to journey over to Mish's Global Economic Analysis, but interesting, as synchronicity usually is.