Monday, August 04, 2008

CNBC Claims Oil Prices Plunge!

While watching some news this morning, I saw a moment of stupidity on CNBC. This is a perfect example of one of the problems of mass media. The ticker on the bottom of the screen starts with "OIL PRICES PLUNGE!" and you have some talking heads saying some crap about Iran backing down, campaign rhetoric, and the record high of $157 (this may not be correct) per barrel of crude oil. I wondered how low the price had plunged, expected it to be below $100 per barrel due to the use of "plunge." Thirty seconds later, the ticker says "OIL BRIEFLY DIPS BELOW $120/BARREL."

That doesn't really seem like a plunge, but it is close to one-fifth of the price of a barrel at the height, providing I heard that one guy correctly. However, that price is still double what people were calling an expensive barrel of oil a year ago. Remember when people were predicting total financial collapse if the cost of oil hit $80/barrel? Fucking crap, you newsies never learn. You should all read this book.


Anonymous said...

Hey, I wanted to get your thoughts on flexfuel cars. I watched Obama's speach on his energy plan on cspan. Before Obama's talk there was talk about energy policy in general given to young conservatives meeting about changing to flexfuel cars and having government mandate a requirement of a large percentage of cars in the U.S. to be flexfuels; as well as, having alternative fuel pumps made available. Also, I have been reading some stuff about how Brazil in the 1970's after first oil crisis began to mandate that all cars sold in country use ethenol (sp?), and now they have a significant number of cars on the road that are flexfuels. I just wanted to know what you thought and why people are don't demand car companies to provide more cars that use flexible fuels?

Chuckles said...

Biodiesel is scam. Fuels that require arable land for energy production are not an acceptable solution.

Plug-in hybrids that utilize battery power for the first 60 to 100 miles would go a long way to reducing emissions but our main problem is a problem of consumption. We can invest in helping the dim-witted dinosaurs of the car industry retool and respond to consumer demand, but why should we? GM banked everything on SUVs and refused to respond to market pressure for smaller, efficient automobiles and now we have to bail them out. They made essentially the same mistake the mortgage companies did and now the tax-payers will be paying for it. I don't have much information on how these things work, but I would hope that the government loans GM and other car companies the money and that the companies be required to repay the loan.

We can bail out the car companies, but we should also be investing in our public transportation infrastructure. We need to expand existing trains and street cars and ensure that all buses are reliable. Every city in America needs a train system. If people can not rely on a bus schedule, they won't and will drive to work. We need to expand safe bicycle routes. Biodiesel and E85 fuel are just a smokescreen because we will never be able to produce enough fuel, even with cellulose-based ethanol, to meet current demands, much less the expanding demands of the future when some of these fuels will be ready for the mass market. Arable land is too precious to waste on fuel production, we need the food first.