Sunday, June 29, 2008

OIL: New Global Energy Order Emerging

by Humberto Márquez ... U.S. economist Joseph Stiglitz, winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize for economics, wrote earlier this month that "Only new patterns of consumption and production -- a new economic model -- can address that most fundamental resource problem. "Two factors set off today's crisis: the Iraq war contributed to the run up in oil prices, including through increased instability in the Middle East, the low cost provider of oil, while biofuels have meant that food and energy markets are increasingly integrated," he added. "America’s subsidies for corn-based ethanol contribute more to the coffers of ethanol producers than they do to curtailing global warming," he complained, after arguing that "rich countries must reduce, if not eliminate, distortional agriculture and energy policies, and help those in the poorest countries improve their capacity to produce food." For poor countries, the steady rise in oil prices has taken on nightmare proportions. At the start of the Jeddah meeting, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah suggested that OPEC create a one billion dollar fund to compensate poor countries for the rising price of oil. The situation in Latin America was illustrated by Dominican Finance Minister Vicente Bengoa, who said that "in 2004, the oil bill was covered by the remittances sent home from Dominicans abroad, with 560 million dollars left over, while this year remittances are expected to run to 1.9 billion dollars, compared to an oil bill of 4.5 billion." The big oil companies, in the meantime, are raking in tens of billions of dollars each. With these profits, said Poleo, global capital is financing its positioning with regard to the shifts occurring in the global energy scenario. The price bubble continues to swell, to the benefit of these interests, although analysts like Alexander Green, investment director at the Oxford Club, a private, international network of investors, say oil prices will inevitably come down. "Yes, speculative fever has gripped the oil market. This bull is likely to end up just like those in the ring in Mexico City. Current oil prices are simply unsustainable," Green wrote recently.

Thanks for sending forth Marqez's (can't do the accented e) arrangement of Stiglitz's critical presentation of valuable data. Valuable because it may (despite my imperfect memory) inform my utterances in the most powerful medium of them all: oral eye-to-eye dialogues, as in people we meet at the deli, in the grocery line, certainly with day-to-day pals, in the unearthed treasure of long-lost friends, and even sometimes with co-workers and perhaps maybe family when our eyes and ears inform us that they are ready to hear this.

What's wonderful about this miserable moment is that increasing numbers of people I encounter are ready to hear the "paranoid rants" from which they used to shrink. The challenge is to continue to breathe in the wonder of this moment - live in the present. Alice - y'ever wish you could just be one of your grandchildren (possibly great-grandchildren, for me theoretically) forty years from now reading about this disastrous epoch in a History class?
Happy Monday, Ellwort,

Mostly I wish I were one of my cats...

Alice -
Don't know, but you seem to me (us) to be sufficiently evolved to come back in the next life as one of your cats.
- A
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