Straight Angle™: Peak Oil and afterthoughts!
Sunday, January 06, 2008
So what do we have for the new year?? A 100$ Oil, 39/$ Rs, Real Estate boom/bust [Depending on which democracy- largest or oldest that you live in], a certain/near certain election looming on the horizon [this time the oldest and the largest democracy], warmer winters, hotter summers- is that all we got?- May be....
The 100$/Gallon oil is nothing but a psychological fix- some tell us, whereas some others are really spooked about the whole thing and there are many who say, we will adjust- this euphemism is really a wretched thing with no substance- ofcourse we will adjust- we have always been adjusting- else human race wouldn't be what it is now. But what we really need to think about is, at what cost- is that cost worthy for the benefit that we would get by adjusting and who will adjust?
There is lot of stories written on the cause and the effect of the 100$ for Oil- but nothing as interesting as this piece by Nate Hagens. Ofcourse, this piece is not "written" by Nate Hagens- but nevertheless, it was he who posted it. :)
The post is a preview of the paper by Charles Hall, Robert Powers, and William Schoenberg titled "Peak Oil, Investments, and the Economy in an Uncertain Future". Enjoy reading!- Pretty long post that one is..but nevertheless interesting. However, I am yet to completely understand the assumptions and the imponderables that this paper had thrown out. Say for example, trying to measure down all productivity in terms of manual labour with no measurement for the productivity improvement through the "mental" fruits- say for example. I can say- it would take 10 men to harvest a farm working 8 hours a day- but the inbuilt assumption doesn't consider the effort required to make the tool to help up in the work- the sickle- it might have consumed some energy in being made- but did we consider the cost of the idea?- What is the worth of the idea that a sickle can be used to ease the effort?
I think till we can quantify that effort too, we would be shooting in the dark!- Ofcourse there is only some thing that we can assume and the magnitude of our assumptions affect our conclusions.
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