Bob's Links and Rants

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Tuesday, January 18, 2005


It's interesting, and a bit depressing, reading the financial press discussing oil prices. Their longest time horizon seems to be about two weeks--"Oh, it's colder than we thought!" or "Another attack on a pipleline in Iraq," or "Larger than expected deliveries from Venezuela this week." That they're dealing with a finite resource being quickly exhausted (in a mindset that deals with years and decades) never seems to enter the equation. The general consensus of all the world's business and government leaders, and not just in the US, seems to be "Let's get ours now; the future be damned." OPEC seems to adjust prices not to protect the long-term future of its member nations, but to maximize current income. And while attacks on pipelines and political unrest and cold weather are pretty much guaranteed from time to time in the long run, they treat each incident as a reason to drive up the price, while two or three relatively trouble-free days will drive the price down $5. Everyone seems to be just living in the extreme short term, which is likely to lead to a lot of suffering in the long term.