Heading Out

Seeking the winds that help to sail on Shakespeare's tide.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

How quickly a viewpoint changes

It is interesting, as oil prices dance about at just below $50 a barrel, how quickly this has become accepted, and the reality of the price remaining in this range through the winter now seems beyond comment. And now we are seeing promises that OPEC will produce an additional 2 to 3 million barrels/day next year, with the result that oil will drop to perhaps $30 a barrel. Somehow I do not think it is going to happen. Tom Engelhardt refers to a piece in Mother Jones that gives a better picture of the more likely future. And yet there is a total unwillingness to grasp that this is a problem, since even the articles cited fail to grasp that it will take over 20 years for any technology not now in production to have any effect on the world energy picture. (Dixie Lee Ray explained why in a very detailed argument back in the '70's at the time of the last little Energy problem).

And where are all the experts going to come from to solve the problems ? Those who looked at these issues back then are all retired or retiring, and the information is often already lost. Sadly I do not think that it will be pleasant and there will be lots of blame but little positive action.

Speaking of positive action, there has been no positive movement on the toy purchase yet, though we seem to be getting a little closer (but we are now waiting for a bidder to accept that they are not qualified which seems a slightly odd way of doing business). But I taught a couple of classes, ran a demo, accepted the job of reviewing another paper for a journal and tried to give someone else the task of calling about getting more work, since I seem to have a relatively full plate these days.

I did have that little chat with my colleague and so we had a meeting late this afternoon and with a little gentle prodding got the critical issues addressed that will get the program back to schedule. But she flies out again tomorrow noon for another meeting. Yes there is a lot to be said to being dedicated to making enough contacts to generate funding, but by the same token when you have it you must satisfy the customer and so I can see having to play the curious paternal figure more than I care to.

My comments on wishful thinking in regard to oil prices were from the latest comments from the International Energy Agency (IEA). What is interesting to note - given the claims by the Saudi that they were going to increase production by (pick a figure) is that in the latest report Saudi production actually fell last month by 30,000 b/d.


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