Handbasket Report–Gasoline Prices

Last night the local Fox news channel–yes, I know, but I have my reasons for listening–had a feature on gas prices. The central point was that supply and demand are out of whack and we could see five dollar a gallon gasoline as early as 2012.

Little context was provided and Peak Oil went unmentioned, so the typical listener was probably left muttering about oil companies and profiteering. Now that’s actually something I do all the time, but that’s not the central issue here. Isn’t recognizing that fossil fuels are FINITE crucial to our future?

Why should I ask? Silly me. I still remember a magazine article from the 70s that predicted roads jammed with tiny, fuel efficient vehicles by the 90s. Didn’t happen. I also thought everyone would spring into action as soon as they heard the name M. King Hubbert. Still hasn’t happened for many.

Unfortunately, delay and denial are two of the most common human responses. To that, to keep the D-list going, I’d add disinterest. Yes, “uninterested” is more precise, but drilling da Ds denotes dire, dismal, doomer iDeas, donnit? Deep drilling. Da dum da dum da dum.

When the Gulf spill occurred, how much coverage was given to the issue of deep water drilling itself? I heard some coverage of how BP was operating at the limits of known technology, but I can’t remember hearing much, if any, explanation of WHY BP would be taking such risks. The answer is pretty obvious, isn’t it?

There’s an old cliche about picking the low hanging fruit first. When that’s gone, out come the ladders and other contraptions to allow picking the high fruit. Of course BP wasn’t just going for fruit on top of a tree. That well was about five thousand feet down. Under water. At the limits of technology. Shouldn’t that have told most people gas prices were going to go up?

Yet I’m sure almost all will once again complain about how high gas prices are unfair because they NEED gas to be two dollars a gallon. Oh well. I NEED people to be sane, rational, and sensible creatures who LOVE digging for answers more than they LOVE television, but I know it ain’t gonna happen.



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