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Rising gas price

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Rising gas price

Postby Kimi » Sun, 21 Aug 2005 7:22 pm

A few things to note:

1) Oil prices are in part being bid up by speculators looking to make money. They see oil going up, so they buy oil, which makes oil go up further, which attracts more speculators, and so on. So in a sense there is a "mini-bubble" in oil, just like in an overheated stock market. Eventually this trend could unwind and we could see a slump in prices, but how?

2) The LONG TERM trend is towards less oil and thus higher prices which also leads to higher price in other things too. Oil is a finite resource and may be running out anytime soon maybe. For decades, OPEC nations have overstated how much oil they really have because they wanted bigger selling quotas. Now people are starting to realise that there is not as much oil as we thought.

3) There is nothing right now that can completely replace oil. Lots of people talk about tar oils or shale oils, but these take lots of energy to extract and don't provide much energy. It's kind of like two steps back, one step forward. Wind and solar don't provide enough energy to replace oil at current technology levels. Nuclear will only cover about 8% of humanity's energy needs. Coal is probably the best bet, but it is hell on the atmosphere. Hopefully any significant innovation will come up soon...

4) Even though we are running out of oil, there is still a lot we can do to reduce the amount of oil we use. Things we haven't seriously tried... smaller cars, smaller houses, carpooling, plastics recycling, local manufacturing...even just using less light and less heat. So if things get desperate enough we can buy time through conservation.
And the attitude some people have in some countries say driving to the nearest convenient store that would take about 20 min and run the car first to heat it during winter which is again another 20 min just doesn't help...

I was wondering what you reckon of the trend and if you reckon it's going to be a problem, what can be done about it.

The Deal

Postby The Deal » Sun, 21 Aug 2005 8:31 pm

Necessity is the mother of invention. Alternative energy sources aren't taking off now because oil is still economically viable, and will be for many years to come. When oil gets much more scarce (ie expensive), alternatives (currently known, or currently unknown) will come into play.

I'm not worried about it.

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