Sunday, March 18, 2012

Are Higher Oil Prices Helpful long term Globally?

The answer for the U.S. has to be "Maybe". What this means to the rest of the world can only be answered country by country. What I mean by this in regard to the U.S. is that there is a long term dynamic in place that goes something like this: "Unless we convert to fuels and energy sources other than oil pretty quickly Global and national chaos long term could ensue.

To make more sense of this we have to remember that no one used oil for transportation until the late 1800s. Up until that time only coal and wood was used to make steam and to heat homes and businesses. And steam power was the only one in place until the end of the 1800s. So, oil has only powered the world since about 1900. And what is happening now is the unwinding of using oil for anything at some point in the future. So, a way to look at this is the world is in the process of deleveraging oil to the point where it is ONLY used for making plastics and lubrications in the future.

So, from this point of view how we transition from oil to other power sources is very important. And so, higher oil prices if they successfully help us to move to things like Tesla, and Chevy Volts, and Toyota Priuses and hybrid 4 wheel drives etc. is a good thing in the long run. Things that make us put solar cells on our roofs worldwide is a good thing as long as we can afford it. Ways to replace Gasoline and diesel with any other power sources is a good thing.

A bad thing for countries would be if this change starts food wars from oil causing food to become to expensive to buy to eat and governments falling so the whole world starts to look like Somalia. That would be a bad thing.

No comments: