Monday, May 19, 2008

Delusions of Entitlement.

Americans are still not understanding that things will never go back to being the way they were 10 years ago.

$4 a gallon not the end of rising gas prices
'It's not going to be a 1-year blip and go away'
By Joshua Boak and Greg Burns | Chicago Tribune reporters
10:31 PM CDT, May 17, 2008

...The new world order for petroleum markets has some analysts predicting far higher prices ahead. Gasoline in the U.S. could reach $7 a gallon because more drivers in India and China will hit the road even as American oil consumption retreats, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce predicts.

..."It's not going to be a one-year blip and go away like the Internet bubble," said Joseph Dancy, who manages the LSGI Venture Fund in Texas. "This is a matter of economics, and it's going to take a decade to work through."

...Some analysts view supply constraints as an even bigger swing factor than demand in the months ahead. Goldman Sachs analyst Arjun Murti made headlines earlier this month predicting a "super-spike" in oil prices to $150-$200 per barrel over the next two years, not too far from Friday's closing price of $126.29.

...In the oil industry, the gap between the present and the future can last five years, meaning that changes made by consumers might not be fully realized until 2012.

"The consumer doesn't have much choice in the short term" Bullock said. "Right now, you might not see that impact because they don't have a lot of choices, but if you look at it five years from now we'll probably see that consumers were more responsive than we thought."

"Responsive" means taking steps now to put yourself in a position where you don't need to rely on gasoline for your everyday needs. This isn't a passing nod to "conservation," or carpooling once or twice. It's a commitment to a lifestyle change that separates you from having to use a personal automobile daily or even weekly. It means not using gasoline except in unusual pressing circumstances, instead of as your normal status quo for your daily commute and errands.

If we do those things, we can stabilize the price of gasoline at under $8 per gallon for the foreseeable future. If we refuse, however, we must be prepared to budget a huge amount of our take-home pay to gasoline, it's that simple - double or triple what you're budgeting now (as if now isn't bad enough!).

We in America, being 5% of the world's population, are not entitled to and cannot continue to commandeer 40+% percent of the world's oil usage. Nobody is obligated to continue to support us in the manner we've become accustomed. Our accustomed consumption of oil resources has been greedy and selfish and unrealistic in the extreme. The rest of the world is no longer going to tolerate it. The rest of the world isn't going to fund it at the expense of their own people. They aren't going to continue to ship us oil at the expense of their own resources.

Nor should they. If it were me, I wouldn't. Neither would you. The American public needs to learn this - and the faster we do, the better will be our decisions about how to transition to the new, fairer world where people in other nations get to use their fair share of oil.

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