Sunday, June 1, 2008
This article is an in-depth and fascinating (to me, anyway) examination of the role of futures speculation in the current price of oil. I can't vouch for the author, F. William Engdahl (pictured above) but if half of what he says is true it's remarkable to consider, and worth plowing through the amount of financial detail in this article.
Wikipedia notes that Engdahl, who formerly subscribed to the peak oil theory, "now believes in the Russian hypothesis that oil is not a 'fossil fuel' but is produced underground by unknown materials, conditions and forces deeper down in the Earth's core."
Following up on this and investigating abiogenic petroleum origin was even more interesting than the oil-price-speculation article. I am by no means convinced that oil is abiogenic in origin, but I'm astounded to learn that there exists active scientific debate over this question.
If oil is, after all, a renewable resource, if there's more of it than we thought, we can choose from now on to use it wisely. We can stop using it in inefficient and wasteful ways -- burning it billions of individual engines, making styrofoam coffee cups and one-use throw-away containers out of it -- but wouldn't it be nice to have a future with plastic and heating oil? I'm excited. Hope you are too.