5.29.2008

Keeping track of the endtimes

Four dollar a gallon gasoline has arrived in Vermont -- it's hardly surprising or unique. Today the local newspaper had a story how the sharp increases in the cost of fuel will have a pronounced impact on the municipal budget in the coming year, Waterbury -- a small town, not flush with cash by any means -- had budgeted for a 15% increase in energy costs, a figure that now seems hopelessly optimistic. The difference, of course, will have to be made up by taxpayers.

On a much larger, macro scale, today's Wall Street Journal (not an organ of Al Gore inspired environmental hysteria) had a article "Oil Exporters Are Unable To Keep Up With Demand" (posted in its entirety on a blog here) that suggests that 'Peak Oil' is here and that the current situation (and worse) is the new reality of the worldwide energy market: The existing major oil producers (lovely countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Nigeria, etc.) are tapped out, if they could produce more, they would have a strong incentive to do so. Conversely though some new supplies may come online, the energy produced will be expensive and is unlikely to keep up with burgeoning worldwide demand.

And the other side of this equation is that the NY Times had a blog post today about how the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are tracking to truly unprecedented levels -- 1,000 ppm -- that will likely bring very severe and noticeable consequences (goodbye to many major coastal cities, etc.) in the not too distant future.

I'm 42, if I live another 30-odd years or so (and I know that there are no certainties, I could get hit by lightning, die of hypothermia in the winter backcountry, have a run in with a car while riding my bike to work, etc., to list just a few possibilities that have been documented here), I expect to see some really drastic changes: I think that the world of tomorrow could be new, strange and quite unpleasant. I also think that my interest in documenting things like blizzards, backcountry ski trips, and local wildlife is partly based on my expectation these are things that could disappear quite suddenly under certain circumstances.

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