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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Get a Horse ?

On the Road to Blister                          photo by WLK Photography

Might we be reverting to horse & buggy days in North America much  sooner than expected?  Whether in Toronto,   Dallas, or in “Twixley”,  an imaginary village in  Morgidoo’s Christmas Carol, it strikes me that  fuel must ultimately be affordable if it is to be purchased at all.   Does that make sense?
 I cannot imagine any logical  reason why the richest corporations in the world might  need more money for crude oil other than to satiate endless greed, but at the current OPEC meeting in Ecuador, it is likely the collective OPEC eye has been secretly attached to the $100.00/barrel  benchmark with crazy glue  if only because the rest of the world will meekly accept  it.
 According to some, that price is “affordable”.  Really?

Meanwhile, OPEC is estimated by the US Department of Energy  to have suffered through a  miserable year, with a paltry  increase in profits,-- $750B  -- only 32% more than  in 2009. 
Not enough money?  My eyes are misting with sympathy  already.   

Is there ever enough profit in the petroleum industry? Our eyes may be soon be smarting from oil fumes, our lungs may be burning from  sour gas wells, and billions of essential life forms continue to die from sloppy,  ecologically disastrous spills and failures in the industry, but profit for the greedy will never seemingly  be “enough.”   

Apparently there is never enough oil used, either, and few people realize that the automotive industry was borne out of the necessity to use up all that crude oil.  We must therefore immediately devise more creative ways to consume oil  faster since it “reportedly”  disappears within a few weeks like magic when it is  spilled into Gulf sea water and onto pristine beaches.
I wonder how fast oil  will disappear in the freezing waters of the Arctic? Shall delusion prevent  the first Arctic well blowout,   guaranteed to happen in real life, and shall we all breathe a sigh of relief as it freezes into solid  floating islands of oil?  Perhaps the industry will creatively suggest it will help polar bears survive?   Oil packs instead of pristine ice packs.   How helpful.  How absolutely  predictable.

How shall we ever keep up the good work?  National television ads,  courtesy of Cenovus Energy  are currently advertising  how important oil “ is”.    Perhaps they feel additional brainwashing of the North American consumer is essential to justify  their multi-billion dollar expansion program in the oil sands.  Why waste advertising money on Canadians, when the oil will soon be going to China?    Better expand quickly , there is an estimated requirement  for 2011 of only 90 million barrels per day, according to the  International Energy Agency (IEA), but why not go for  100 million barrels per day, or 200 million barrels per day, let us  use it faster, get it all over that much sooner and make even bigger profits?  Perhaps with the total collapse of the petroleum industry, sanity can return to civilization? 

 It is little wonder Alberta  is proceeding full speed ahead with the questionable Athabasca Oil sands projects and planning  pipelines to the west coast.  The necessary supertankers shall be plying  pristine coastal waters ever so carefully just like the  Exxon Valdez did, if only  to enable  shipping Alberta’s oil to ChinaProfit is surely  more important than life itself.   That guaranteed  potential of  ecological disaster will help the greening of Mother Earth in Alberta  and ensure the supply of mutated fish for all.   Perhaps economic greed drives both stupidity and insane irresponsibility?

Happily, back at the meeting of OPEC ministers  no “immediate”   intention of raising crude oil prices or changing crude production quotas has been announced  at this moment, a move hardly necessary since they have been known to  cheat in the game of quotas anyway,  but OPEC producers are certainly  not outwitting one another in any bid  to lower prices either.

 Although economic conditions in the good old USA and Europe are substantially dampened at the moment with the global meltdown, international bailouts  and the shady shell games taking place  in all things financial,  with China’s burgeoning economy in an unprecedented growth cycle --in spite of an almost unheard of growth rate and now  a  5.1 % inflation rate, it is quite predictable the busy  Chinese  will consume more oil, store more oil, and  demand more oil, driving total demand and international   prices ever higher.
Should  we carefully avoid mentioning India in the same breath, which now  may be  the fastest growing economy in the world?   In India, modern life is taking hold.  Low-end “family”  cars at a retail cost of $2,000 per vehicles are coming out soon, courtesy of Tata Motors.  Literally millions of them will  be plying cow-paths  in the very near future, with happy owners imagining they are finally living the American dream of owning a car, --and simultaneously lining up for gasoline, each tiny vehicle  spewing pollution into the air in a gargantuan collective effort to catch up to the Chinese, who are already  suffocating  themselves in the worst industrial  pollution in existence.
We are all admittedly part of the problem, but even at that, I fail to see why in Canada, our proud oil producing nation, gasoline must be $1.29/liter, which is $5.80 per Imperial gallon.
   With crude  prices close to $90.00/barrel already and difficult winter conditions upon us, the die is likely cast, suck it up,   it will go even higher--- but in Venezuela, another oil-producing nation,  gasoline is sold  for mere cents/liter to it’s citizens, and  happy Hugo wants $100 USD per barrel  or better yet, even more, presumably to teach all North Americans the ultimate lesson in frugality.

We must therefore  remain slaves to OPEC and the petroleum industry and pay the piper, or alternatively,  grow as an advanced civilization, dream of using common sense, become smarter, and go electric.  Electric vehicles are viable and have been since gasoline was invented.
Either that or do like the gentle folk in Twixley, and just get a horse.


  1. You've made your case Raymond --

    I'm going to have to convert my love of horses into real action. This whole situation stinks far worse than the most poorly-neglected stable would.

    In the wisdom of Toby Keith: "I Shoulda Been a Cowboy!"

  2. I always wanted to be a cowboy too. We may have been born 200 years too late to be cowboys, but it's never too late to get a horse. ":)


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