Friday, April 18, 2008

World Oil Production Graph Estimate, Colin Campbell, 1996

If you were an employee of Aloha Airlines, ATA, Skybus, Frontier Airlines or Oasis Hong Kong Airlines at the beginning of this year, you are probably unemployed right now. If you are an employee of Alitalia or Virgin America, you might want to start looking around. If you made a living as an independent trucker last year, you are probably being squeezed to death by high fuel costs right now. If you are a poor citizen of Haiti, Mexico, the Philippines, or several dozen other places in the world right now, you will probably go to bed hungry tonight. In fact, you have probably gone to bed hungry for so long that it seems almost normal.

If you live where I do, you have seen gas prices jump as much as 20 cents per gallon in one week. Where I live, premium unleaded is selling for as much as $3.89 per gallon today. If you follow NYMEX crude oil prices, you noticed that WTI crude rose to $117 per barrel today. If you have been tracking your grocery bill, you know that the Government "core price inflation" index is a bad joke being told by rich people. If you live where I do, you have seen smart people - young, old, professional, blue-collar, and everything in between - hopping on bicycles to get around. If you are awake, you can see that there's a change in the wind - the signs don't lie.

If you are a typical resident of Southern California or Arizona McMansionville, maybe you don't notice any of these things. Maybe you are still driving a big, jacked-up "boy toy" truck or monster SUV with a tricked-out sound system and running bicyclists off the road on your way to your house, where you'll pop a DVD into your big plasma-screen entertainment center. You'll kick back, chill for a bit, maybe even catch some zzz's. But your sleep is about to be interrupted by the sounds of a society in seismic shock.

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