Agenda and Abiotics: Oil, Oil,
by Ronald Gordon Ziegler
The Paradigm Shift
Thirty years ago, Jimmy Carter was warning us that the world would run out
of oil by the end of the century. A few years earlier, commemorating the first
earth day, we were warned that our greed would lead to global cooling and a new
ice age. Of course, somehow the solution to that crisis was the same that now is
going to solve global warming - more government and more governmental control
over our lives, and reduced standards of living. Such primitive accumulation by
coercion is one of the common denominators that not only make radical Islam
fascist, as that is one of the tenants of corporatist regimes, but it also is
the missing link that conjoins the left and fascism in the west. But, the issue
to be addressed here is the flawed premises upon which such pseudo economy is
premised. Not only have we not run out of oil, but there is more today than
there was three decades ago. One reason that is the case is simply that we need
to revamp our entire notion of oil as a fossil fuel of which there is an
absolutely limited supply.
Only in the most limited sense is oil a fossil fuel by any stretch of the
imagination. If it were, how would it be possible to find it eight miles below
the surface of the earth? No dinosaurs lived down there, and geological
dislocation could not account for the amount of it that is that far down. Ditto
as to swamp vegetation or other biological sources as the source of oil.
Although such organic material can be one of the building blocks of oil, it is
crucial to understand that the process by which it is made, while it may utilize
organic material to create oil, produces it as a geological phenomenon and does
so out of organic and inorganic compounds geologically. The earth is constantly
producing oil geologically. It is as if were we to cease harvesting it, as it
did with Jed Clampett, up from the ground would come a bubblin' crude. We would
be awash in crude oil as the earth continually produces it geologically,
although it is likely that the earth cannot produce it as fast as we are using
it, oil is abiotic, not strictly organic in origin. That would suggest that we
develop to economy of scale levels, the capacity to manufacture hydrocarbons and
thus, petroleum substitutes. And while it is a bit unconscionable to utiliize
food products such as corn to make ethanol in a world which
does not have adequate food supplies, it can be made from garbage, too. We
also need to push the development of alternative technologies such as hydrogen
cell powered vehicles.
This is a fairly new realization. There is little recognition of this
reality even within scientific communities, let alone outside of them. And the
forces of science move slowly in coming to such realizations. Paradigm shifts
are themselves almost on the clock of geological time. Political
realization is perhaps even more retarded in its growth, and both are too often
rooted in agenda.
If this is the case, why is gasoline so expensive
Economic reality taking precedence in human events, how can it be that the
supply of oil is less than limited given the huge increases in prices we must
pay for gasoline? There are many answers to that question. The price at the pump
seems to have climbed dramatically over the last decade.
The best answer to the question is a reality check. Oil is not that
expensive. In fact, it may be a huge bargain by historical standards. It
certainly is by world standards. Fifty years ago, a gallon of gas cost in the
neighborhood of 35 cents. Sometimes it would go lower, but rarely much higher
than that. At the same time, although some products have come down in cost, such
as color tvs, the general price level has risen dramatically during that time,
as well. For example, a new middle line car was less than $2000 and a $10000
annual income would have been the mark of affluence. Today, a similar level car
would carry a price tag of over
$20000, and a family of four would be judged affluent were it to bring in
$100000 per year.
By such standards, and adjusting for the rate of inflation would back this
up by any statistics, in order for gasoline to be priced at the same level it
was in say 1966, it would have to be selling at over $3.00 per gallon. It has
reached that level since the storms of 2005, but it is headed back down in mid
2006. Thus, the highest gasoline prices we have seen are no more than they were
fifty years ago, when gas guzzling rods were the toast of the town.
And as it moves toward the $2 level, it again becomes a tremendous bargain.
Realize, too, that barely half of the oil supply is headed to the pump. There
are a multitude of other places it goes, from jet fuel to home
heating oil, to plastics and fertilizer, and fueling the power grid
It should not even be that high, however. With mid term elections of 2006
approaching, the left in America is busy blaming Bush for the high price of
gasoline. There is some resonance with the population which does not like the
'high' price of realize the bargain it has. But, the fact is that the price is
tied to supply and there are political elements in the United States which have
been limiting the supply for decades. We have not build a new refinery since
Carter was in office. The government will not allow it. Environmental
regulations prohibit this.
Nor can we drill for available oil we know exists, in ANWR or in the Gulf
off the coast of Florida - as if any oil company would allow one ounce of black
gold to be wasted. But it is the same politicos who have created the prohibition
and now block it that wish to blame Bush who has fought them, unsuccessfully to
date, to untie the binds. Kerry and Carter and Gore and Kennedy and Clinton
caused the higher price they wish to put on Bush!
Of course, these politicians play their class warfare card well, too. Big
oil makes unconscionable profits (what is it, 10 cents per gallon? - a separate
issue indeed from the vital matter of return on investment which dictates
investment in firms with massive capitalization) and would pass windfall profits
taxes for them. Of course, that would reduced
profits and raise costs, and prices!
There are other factors in the 'high' price of gasoline. While big oil
'reaps' ten cents a gallon, big government collects seven times that in taxes
per gallon. There are seasonal fluctuations on the price, especially more
pronounced given the slim margin of productive capacity we operate under, and
that is complicated further when storms shut down refineries and wells for
prolonged periods. Higher demand for oil worldwide on developing economies
worldwide and particularly in China and India factor in also, and although we
are the largest producer of oil in the world, since we are also the largest
consumer we have to be the largest importer as well.
Market fears impact on prices at the pump, too, as turmoil in the middle
east (compounded by politicians who play on the situation for political gain
even when it gives aid and comfort to the enemy to try to win votes and
elections) can push price upward.
Gasoline prices are a political matter even while they are a
matter or market forces.
It bears repeating. Paradigm shifts are themselves almost on clock of
geological time. Political realization is perhaps even more retarded in its
growth, and both are too often rooted in agenda. Kerry and Gore and Kennedy and
Clinton and Carter would do well to remember what happened to the dinosaurs in
the face of geological time and reality.
One paradigm shift that has barely come over the horizon is the abiotic
nature of the product.
Look it up - see how difficult it is to find any reference to it. That will
change, with time, but it mid 2006, it is a tough research project.