I came across this song years ago and was just thinking of it again just now.
"For the Love of Oil"
"In the 1940's, before the end of World War II, American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt made a pact with the king of Saudi Arabia. This pact agreed that for cheap and easy access to Saudi Arabian oil, the United States would protect and maintain the monarchy in Saudi Arabia no matter what.
The pact didn't last long
Women in Saudi Arabia live in virtual slavery. A woman in Saudi Arabia could describe her life this way: "I must be covered from head to foot anytime I am not at home.
This part of talk version of the song, reminds me of an experience one time when I worked for homeland security in San Francisco's INS building. I remember having to escort a young Saudi Arabian woman into the woman's restroom just to check her picture ID. She was not allowed to uncover herself at all in front of public.
The scarier thing about Saudi Arabia is that their currency is pegged to the US dollar. Good for us because we don't have to shell out $100 for oil and get creamed with a terrible exchange rate. It's bad for the Saudis because everything they import is getting more expensive as the dollar drops. Since they import almost all of their food this is hitting the poorest the hardest. The situation is unstable to say the least. Either Saudi Arabia will face the very real possibility of a revolution or unhitch their currency from ours and likely lose our military protection. Regardless of which way it falls out $100 a barrel oil is going to seem like the good old days before long.
I am of course conflicted about this. I want to see us get far away from oil as fast as possible, but abrupt changes can lead to some very ugly fall out. Anyone remember the oil embargo? Well, maybe that wouldn't be so bad. Shock people out of their complacency and their SUVs. Like I said. I'm conflicted.
"we must be the change we wish to see in the world"
Anyone remember the oil embargo?
Yes, both of them. My high school years were bracketed by them, and they affected me very deeply. Okay so they were fake oil crises because it was an event concocted by OPEC for whatever reason they had at the time. But it also demonstrated something - it demonstrated the dependency on oil, and the danger which could come from that.
What's most interesting to me is this chart:-
This chart comes from the Peak Oil advocates. Peak Oil is the rational/logical model of the "we're gonna run out of oil" scenario. I'm not gonna go into the phenomenon.. instead I want to point you at the dip in oil production/demand shortly after 1980. The chart shows oil production per year as well as the best guess/projection into the future based on the scientific model. That dip in 1980 is real curious.
I think what happened is.. the oil crises (fake as they were) got peoples attention. Average fuel efficiency went up as people bought fuel-efficient cars, for example. The Geo Metro came into existence around then. That led to decreased demand. But then Reagan got into office, he took the solar panels off the White House roof, etc, and the SUV became popular.
- David Herron, The Long Tail Pipe, davidherron.com, 7gen.com, What is Reiki
I graduated high school in 1977. I remember every sudden and significant jump in fuel prices was followed by people cutting back on their driving, and even some people carpooling to work.
A few began using public transportation, and when it came time to trade in the old car for another, the new car usually had slightly better fuel consumption.
As wages rose and fuel stayed relatively near a fairly stable price, big prestigious vehicles became fashionable status symbols again. With the rise of the global economy, I don't foresee wages rising to keep up with inflation this next generation.
I remember gas at 70 cents, minimum wage was $2.35 (McD's), and my parents bought a big house for $45K.
Now Fuel is $3.30ish, minimum wage is $6.50?, and the average 3BR/2BA home across the US is $280ish.
Houses will stop going up because wages will stop going up, but fuel will double sometime in the next 10 years.
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