Monday, April 28, 2008

The Times They Are a'Changin

Demand for oil, fueled by increasing affluence in India, China, and Russia as well as the production of cheaper cars making it possible for millions of people in these countries to own their own vehicles, will push oil prices as high as $8.00 a gallon within just four years according to this forecast at Breitbart. This will happen, it's claimed, despite the fact that consumption in the U.S. will decline due to high pump prices and flatter economy.

The U.S. can partly mitigate the coming calamity by opening up the Alaskan North Slope and our offshore fields, building more refineries, and constructing nuclear power generating facilities (which even the founder of Greenpeace favors). The question is whether a Democratic congress, thick with people who are averse to nuclear power and who have been calling for years for high gas prices as an environmental and conservation measure, will now reverse themselves. It'll take some strong leadership in Washington, and I don't know who among the current political class has the credibility, talent and political power required to turn the supertanker of state in time to keep it from running aground.

We can also forestall the crisis by developing public transportation and rapid transit infrastructure in some of our fastest growing regions. The sun may be setting on the day of the daily one to two hour round trip highway commute.

Meanwhile, if this prognostication is correct say good-bye to your SUVs, Hummers, and pick-up trucks. Inflationary gas prices will be a major inconvenience to us, to be sure, and will doubtless radically change the way we live, but it will be a total disaster to much of the world's poor who will likely starve to death as a result. It will moreover be very likely to precipitate increased warfare, perhaps even WWIII, as some nations seek to secure an oil supply and others seek to use their oil resources as a weapon.

We can't afford to wait to increase the supply of oil on the world market, but the ball is in the Democrats' court.

Exit question: Why are not any of the presidential candidates being asked what they will do to prevent this looming catastrophe?


Making Ben Stein's Case

Bill Dembski cleverly descries an irony in Yoko Ono's lawsuit against the producers of the recently released movie Expelled, featuring Ben Stein. She's suing because they used, presumably without permission, a clip from her husband's song Imagine which is copyrighted. The irony is in the lyrics of the song:

Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can. No need for greed or hunger, A brotherhood of man. Imagine all the people, sharing all the world.

Apparently, Yoko's not actually cool with John's dream.

Dembski also recalls Elvis Costello's query in The Other Side of Summer: "Was it a millionaire who said 'imagine no possessions'"?

The funny thing about this is that Yoko and others are trying to stifle a movie which documents the contemporary threat to academic and intellectual freedom. By trying to hamper the film they're unwittingly doing precisely what the movie says they do. You can't buy that kind of publicity.