[A-List] Feedback from a Pakistani on oil shortages and neo-Mahdism

Mark Jones mark.jones at tiscali.co.uk
Tue Dec 4 07:53:31 MST 2001


At 04/12/2001 13:44, Louis Proyect wrote:
>Louis,
>
>I'm
>not convinced that an oil shortage is dangerously imminent.
>If that were
>so, then why have oil prices in futures markets remained steady through all
>the ups and downs that oil prices have experienced in the past couple of
>years?

Prices are not a good guide to the longterm availability of energy. The
price of oil may never rise much, because demand for it may disappear. In
short, we may get the failure to grow, accumulation crisis and slump, which
is just what we are getting.

>Greenspan has mentioned that pretty much all furnaces being
>installed in the US for the past several years use natural gas as their
>fuel rather than oil.  In his estimate, it is cheaper to find alternative
>sources of fuel, such as natural gas, than fight wars to secure access to
>oil.

Maybe people would be better advised burning paper dollars in their
furnaces, it might turn out cheaper (this kind of talk of Greenspan's is
what happens when you let economists discuss energy; next thing they
generally mention, when petrogeologists produce fairly conclusive proof of
the fintieness of oil reserves, is 'substitutability'. If you ask them what
they plan to substitute for oil, nowadays they generally mention
'hydrogen', 'the most plentiful substance in the universe'. Unfortunately,
on *this* planet, hydrogen mostly takes the form of water, which is not
notably combustible, altho a sure sign of any energy crisis is the
appearance of whacko inventors selling perpetual motion machines that run
on water.)

Mark


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