Saturday, August 09, 2008

Fever Dreams of Plenty

A month ago, oil was at its highest price, ever. Today the conventional wisdom is that the commodity boom is over and oil is on the way back to $60 a barrel. Even at $60 a barrel, there will be windfall profits for the oil producers with established fields, with cheap extraction and transportation. Unfortunately, to supply the World with all the oil it needs, a significant amount of production will have to come from sources that are not low cost. Shale, sands, deep water, Arctic, small deposits in remote locations, high tech stripping of existing, depleted fields and the demand for oil will increase, not decrease, in coming years. Will the oil companies and cartels subsidize the high cost sources with the low, in order to supply the World with a mid priced product, in the amount that is sufficient to its needs?

Get fuckin' real. A barrel of oil is a barrel of oil and costs the same, no matter where it comes from or how much it cost to extract.

Wheat and corn are high volume crops that the World depends on. They are also high tech. They require fertilizer, pesticides, cultivation and increasingly, genetically modified seed, that must be purchased yearly from the big biotech cartels. If prices for the major food grains stay low, farmers will switch to less cost intensive crops, safflower, rape seed and sunflower but it is wheat and corn that the World hungers for. Will food grain prices stay low.

Get fuckin' real. People will pay what they must to eat.

If Third World economies are going to grow, thereby providing jobs and sustenance for their growing populations, they need to continue to industrialize. They need metals, rare and common, in huge quantities. Most of the easily mined metals are already above ground. Getting the rest will require lots of energy. The World's population is nearing 7 billion, most of them live in the Third World. Do you think they're just going to starve themselves to death, while trying to return to a mode of existence that the populations of their countries have outgrown?

Get fuckin' real. People, all people will do what they must to survive.

The Western World is sick and in its fever dream, it believes that keeping its economy afloat on the sea of a constantly expanding money supply and artificially forcing prices lower will allow it to return to it's days of ease and empire .

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