Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Killer Joe, Apr 29, 2008.

  1. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    Actually, I think a lot of people saw that energy costs were not going to drop, but most of them are outside the US..... Ford (Europe offices), were planning the return of one of the US economy cars from the 80's.... (forget which one) that gets high gas mileage, but only for production and sales outside the US.....
  2. DarthFerret Evil Sith Weasel

    So the solution is simple? Just annex Canada, divide it up into states, get rid of thier healthcare system (I am not sure that many there if any would object to that part), and we can then have the 57 United States of America. (Hmm...I wonder if this is what Obama has in mind?) And we will eliminate the largest of the importers and possibly drive down the price of oil.
  3. Killer Joe Active Member

    So the Chinese gov't announced a price hike in the sale of gasoline to it's people. I don't know the details but they will be paying the equivalent of $3/gal. and I think before they were paying $2.25.

    The price of crude dropped again but nada at the ole gas station pump. I'll give it a week to see if we catch a break,......but i won't hold my breath!
  4. Astranbrulth New Member

    A very interesting thread, guys. :)

    The way I understand it, it is both supply and demand economics at work (as EricBess said) that is keeping the oil price high, as well as trader speculation on those prices. An important aspect which may have been missed is the instability in the Middle East following the invasion of Iraq. There are so many variables at work there that people feel threatened that the supply is in jeopardy and therefore the price is driven up by the need to keep stocks full 'just in case'. Even more pertinent is the increased risk of armed conflict between the US and Iran, something that I have been watching closely.

    Here is a related article:

    If this occurs, the Iranian oil supply to the world market will be unavailable, putting further pressures on the price. (There's a lot of speculation that Saudi Arabia, which has traditionally increased output in cases of oil shortages, has reached its peak oil production and will be unable to compensate. The Saudis deny this.) Also, in the case of conflict with Iran, it is even possible that the Strait of Hormuz could be closed or shipping traffic severely hampered. I know for a fact that Iran has bought some very advanced anti-ship missiles from the Russians.

    Yet another aspect could be the weakening dollar. Since oil is traded in dollars from source, the weaker the dollar is, the more each barrel will cost in dollar terms.

    Referring to the posts on oil-from-coal, my country South Africa has been making petrol from coal for decades now.

    SASOL does this:

    The US has had access to the same technology (pioneered by the enterprising Germans, if I recall correctly) since 1940-50's. There was in fact a move even back then to try and develop this sort of indigenous US capacity, but it was squashed by Big Oil.
  5. Astranbrulth New Member

  6. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Hey, good to see you Astranbrulth!
  7. Astranbrulth New Member

    Thanks. :)

    I like the atmosphere in this place. Feels like a nice warm tavern with a crackling fire in the hearth and outside, the rain keeps pelting down. Er, well, you know what I mean. Considering the amount of freaks on the internet, this place is remarkable for being freak-free. ;)

    I was ACTUALLY looking for an article on strategies in multiplayer magic, and got drawn magnetically to the political section, LOL. Maybe I should whip up an article of my own on the subject?
  8. TomB Administrative Assistant

    Sounds like a good idea...:D
  9. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Dude, if you're getting into Magic (?), how about some games on the forum here? Mindmaster or Chaos or Tribal or Constructed...
  10. Astranbrulth New Member

    You can play games on the forum?? Eh, I must have somehow missed this. The magnetic attraction of the political section must be too strong! ;)
  11. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I'll get to work either demagnetizing this forum and/or increasing the magnetism of the Games Run forum then... ;)
  12. Astranbrulth New Member

    The games there look pretty interesting. But how on earth do you manage to play *constructed* on a *bulletin board*? OK, I mean, I can see how the play state and so forth is represented, but where are the decks? How do you know the other guy has drawn what he says he's drawn?
  13. Modus Pwnens Eligible for User Title

    We use a "forum honour" system. It's like playing on the kitchen table, only posting your moves instead of showing them :)
  14. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Decks are either being played out in real life on someone's side or via Apprentice or Excel spreadsheet. And it's all on the honor system, which has worked out so far :)
  15. Astranbrulth New Member

    Forum Honour system, eh? I wanna use my M.Long aggro deck, then. The one with the five Howling Wolves. LOL. But then again, it would be a really sad twit to cheat at a virtual game of magic ...

    Maybe I'll work on that article. Let me see what else has been written on the subject.
  16. EricBess Active Member

    At work, we do a decent amount of playtesting and no one bothers to check on each other. I guess the feeling is that if you have to cheat when playtesting just so you can say you won, then something is pretty wrong. I think the same goes here...realistically, there is nothing at stake, so its just a bunch of fun games. If you have to win so much that you cheat, then that's something you probably need to deal with...
  17. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    Now back to the thread........

    Seems a little too easy to make lots of claims about bad policy and not enough about bad government..... namely Iran..... Yes, the Shrub and his cronies have made a shambles of our nation, but it takes two to tango and the Iranian Pres is a nutter......

    I don't think that trading futures of something there is no substitute for is a good idea..... the speculators don't add value to the product, they just take out value.....
    But good government policy can help, look at Brazil and their ethanol policy.... about 40% of their "energy" is from sugar cane ethanol... (about 10x the energy than corn ethanol), but the US puts a special tariff on imported sugar cane ethanol to protect our corn growers... hmmm... great way to raise the price of corn...... So our government creates the demand for ethanol, by requiring a minimum amount to be produced and consumed, and then restricts the supply to mostly corn.....
    Can we say shortage of corn and rising prices.....
  18. Astranbrulth New Member

    Mooseman: "Seems a little too easy to make lots of claims about bad policy and not enough about bad government..... namely Iran"

    While I agree that Iran's government isn't exactly what I'd term an ideal government, I don't think that they per se can be blamed for the current energy crisis. It only makes sense for Iran to produce as much oil as possible to take advantage of the high oil prices, and as far as I can tell that's exactly what they have been doing.

    The problem with Iran is the whole "nuclear weapons" story and whether or not the US and /or Israel are going to attack it. Nobody can tell where this is going. I keep my ear to the ground on the Middle East and *I* have no clue what is going to happen. If war does break out then I suggest you - we all - invest in bicycles, because the oil price will shoot through the roof. The uncertainty is what helps speculators keep the price high, amongst other things.

    As an interesting aside, the Iranian dvelopment of nuclear power was actually kicked off by the US, when the Shah was in power. The plan was to use Iran's plentiful uranium ores to produce nuclear power, and to export the oil that they were currently burning, which would have been more profitable (and would have helped lower the price of oil). That is still supposed to be the plan today.

    Mooseman: "But good government policy can help, look at Brazil "

    Absolutely, I agree with you. As I mentioned earlier, there was a move in the US to invest in the same oil-from-coal and even oil-from-shale technology that South Africa uses, DECADES ago, and this was squashed by special interest groups within America. It is not too late to build this sort of plant now, but these ARE huge plants and will take time to set up.
  19. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    The shear chaos and uncertainty from the Iranian President and their council is keeping the price up, and the article uses this problem as a reason for high gas prices, although it blames the whole thing on the shrub.......
    The US did back the wrong guy, many times (the Shah, Saddam, the Taliban) in the 70's and 80's, but this new group of governments are run by nutters and they would use nukes when they saw fit and damn the effects it would have on the world.....

    Shale oil, corn/cane ethanol, are fine substitutes for petro, but not for long.
    The hydrogen fuel cells hold great promise if the battery technology can be improved.
  20. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    You mean they use ten times as much sugar cane ethanol as they use corn ethanol, right?

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