Why Pulling Back on the Stick Is So Hard for a Society...

Dave Roberts does a very nice job in this piece over at Grist today regarding why coming in for a "soft landing" requires action NOW and a whole bunch of variables falling into place rather rapidly...here's a taste:

"It would be nice if the decline of oil supplies was slow and steady, markets adapted smoothly with the introduction of alternative fuels, and we came in for the much-touted "smooth landing." But those who envision such a scenario drastically underestimate just how delicate a situation we're in. We're trying to get from one side of a chasm (an oil-based economy) to the other (a healthy economy wherein oil is marginal) on a tightrope. While patting our head and rubbing our stomach. And reciting the alphabet backwards. Drunk. On one foot. Etc."

Good stuff as always from Dave.

Go to the postings for today

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Dave Roberts' excellent post is a follow-up to a post he made a week earlier in which he notes the comment of Marshall Brain (founder of HowStuffWorks):

"As oil gets more expensive, we will replace it with less-expensive technologies in a completely natural way. Therefore, peak oil will be a non-event."

Roberts says he can't quite agree but concludes "But regardless, let's hope Brain is right". But given a week to think about it, a little Matthew Simmons, a little peak oil war gaming, etc. he concludes that technology can't save us and the geopolitical situation is completely out of hand and there is no slack whatsoever in the market.

I might add that the United States is no longer dealing with energy markets/geopolitics from a position of strength but rather from a posiition of weakness -- read the articles Rajiv recommended in Energy Conflicts in Asia post -- and also that even if technology were going to save us, it wouldn't be invented in the here in America.

Maybe this was mentioned elsewhere, but did anyone catch this post Let's Sue The Bastards.

"The U.S. Senate voted on Tuesday to allow the U.S. government to sue the OPEC oil cartel on antitrust grounds in an outcry against crude oil prices...."

This would be pretty funny is someone had made it up. We don't have anymore soldiers to spare and no armored humvees and we don't have any money but we've got lots of lawyers....