Oil ? Forget about it.

Only six weeks ago, The New York Times tried to minimize its "relentless rise in recent years", noting that "oil prices rose to an all-time record during the day... then pulled back to close below the record." That is how they tell the bad news to the American public: Make it sound pretty bad, but then get that warm, cozy feeling that soon all will be all right.

Except, this time it will not.

Six weeks ago! What a difference a month and a half makes. Now oil is at $117 a barrel. Who would have guessed.

Note the "...Then Recede" in the New York Times headline, six weeks ago. Sorry, editors. It did not really recede, you just made that up. You lied.

NYT: Oil Prices Pass Record Set in ’80s, but Then Recede

The day’s highest trade, of $103.95 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, broke the record set in April 1980 during the second oil shock. That price, $39.50 a barrel, equals $103.76 in today’s money when adjusted for inflation. Oil closed Monday afternoon at $102.45.

Today here in Tokyo, Middle East crude oil futures set a new record high, going above 70,000 yen, or about 670 dollars, per kiloliter. Oil at its highest price, ever. Kyodo notes that on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange, Middle East crude futures closed Monday's trading at a record 70,490 yen, or 678 dollars, per kiloliter.

That's up 1,950 yen, or about 19 dollars, from last Friday. This came after the benchmark WTI crude futures index in New York hit a new high of 117.05 dollars per barrel at one time during before-hour trading on Sunday.

Oil? Bad idea. Let's forget about it. Seriously. A four-year old child could have seen disappointment looming... And here, people do care: The Pew Global Attitudes Project shows that 78% of Japanese people care about global warming (compared to the US, where less than half thinks it matters: Do you?)

Things we can do about it? Sure! Lets:

* reduce our driving (take trains instead)
* turn off lights and AC in rooms we do not use
* do change from our old light bulbs to fluorescent lamps, compact fluorescent lamps, halogen, specialized semiconductor development lamps, luminaries and more...
* properly switch off our gadgets (such as TV, video) when not using
* we can stop flying long distance (seriously)
* we can eat less meat, or become vegetarian says Sir Paul McCartney ;)

Michael Pollan: Why Bother?


owenandbenjamin said…
I'm glad the price of oil is going up. Maybe it will get more people out of their cars or at least into more fuel efficient vehicles.

I take the bus and subway to work in Los Angeles so the price of gas does not bother me too much.
Martin J Frid said…
Hi tornado, that sounds like a good plan. Actually, I'm a bicykle lover, and I look forward to the day when all those nice highways are all ours ;)

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