I've been singing again. Just a little. I have to turn up the accompaniment to very loud so that people can't hear me over it. Then I can do it. I haven't been singing any of the good training music, though - I've been singing anime theme songs. *@_@*;; (kathrynt
, please don't kill me. ^_^;;)
(I have corrected the romanji a couple of places on this lyric sheet I pulled off the net, too. I need to learn hiragana properly so that I don't have to deal with ambiguous constructs anymore. :-p)
In HAS EVERYONE GONE COMPLETELY INSANE?!
news, I just need to say thank you, MSNBC and Reuters! Please, continue feeding us the spew of Oil Industry Publicity Spokesman's furious masturbation as news!
That's linked to by a story noting record (unadjusted) gasoline prices at the pump, of course. (Somewhere around $3/g national average is the record, adjusted for inflation.) It also links to a story from last month talking about how we can expect gasoline prices to fall in July and August, which was inexplicable even at the time, and, as is now clear, isn't coming true.
Here's the thing: just looking at the markets, OPEC appears to be producing pretty much at capacity. They raised quotas and crude stockpiles responded by falling
, not rising. Hell, Saudi Arabia has even said it's no longer capable of acting as a swing producer. (And then later contradicted themselves in a way nobody should believe, saying they have infinite oil for the foreseeable future.) More recently - and this is surprising - refineries appear to be processing ahead of
production. (That big jump in processed reserves last month was paralleled by a fall in crude stockpiles, indicating that the refining rate was eating into stock.) The latest crude stockpile numbers out last week was not encouraging.
A - perhaps the
- key guiding principle of OPEC production has been, "How high can we keep prices without spurring conservation efforts or alternative energy research?" In other words, how to maximise profit in a market while maintaining that market. Oil is now above that price level, and has been staying above that price level, as has been demonstrated by interest in alternatives amoungst people other than environmentalists. Historically, that has not been something Saudi Arabia has been willing to tolerate; quotas or no, they open the spigot enough more to bring prices down. But this time, so far, they haven't.
Results of this can be seen in Canada. The Canadian oil sands - mostly in Alberta - have a lot of oil, but it costs about three times as much energy to extract as more traditional sources and it only makes sense to do so at around US$80/barrel. (One gallon of oil yields 10 in Saudi Araba; one gallon yields three to four, in oil sands.) Crude is currently trading in a range around $60/barrel, but development firms are down here in the American PNW hiring as many people as they can get - skilled craftspersons in particular - to ramp up Alberta production as quickly and as much as possible. It's a big project that I know too little about, but when they're having labour shortages trying to implement their plans, particularly in skilled labour, you know it's large.
What does that all say? It says get ready for and used to a trading range of $80/barrel oil - or higher, if you get inflation or a further fall in the dollar - fairly soon. Major investors are banking on this; you should be too. If you have an SUV, sell the fucking thing
. If you have a choice between a larger house further away from Stuff You Need (tm), and a smaller house closer to Stuff You Need (tm), maybe you should buy the smaller, but more convenient, house. Be happy that China has managed to scale back its economic growth a bit - as intended - which will help slack off the growth rate of demand. Hope that, as one analyst put it at a seminar last year, China will get old before it gets too rich. (Growth in China and India both will increase demand for oil, which will raise prices, which will retard economic growth proportionately to your country's oil dependency. China's attempt to buy an oil company isn't speculation; they want to own crude reserves. They're banking
on needing them.)
The moral of the story is that we are done with cheap oil. Expensive oil is not the end of the world; unlike my favourite architecture crank has been railing, we won't be grinding out a subsistence farming economy, raiding old strip malls for antique aluminium signs to roof our ramshackle shanties. The economy will adjust, as it has while crude prices have tripled since 1999.
But people whose lifestyles are banking
on cheap oil, are depending
upon cheap oil, are in for various degrees of trouble. (To some degree, that includes "everyone in America." But even here, there's a range.) If you're one of these people, please: look at what you're doing, and start doing something else.
It's not an accident that I can walk
to two separate downtowns in 15 to 20 minutes. (Kenmore, .75 miles; Lake Forest Park, 1 mile.) It's not an accident that I'm an eight minute walk
from transit and bike corridors. It's not random
that, for most things, I don't need
I have a car. About twice a week, I drive it somewhere. But I don't have
to have it. For me, the car is a tool; it's not life support. If you're making living decisions in the next couple of years, it might be worth keeping that kind of goal in mind for yourself, too.Token Tuesday:
12 (Biked to McLendon's, in Woodinville)Miles out of Hobbiton:
274.95Miles to Rivendell: