Battlepanda: Words Fail Even Me, Sometimes


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Words Fail Even Me, Sometimes

(Posted by John.)

As the scale of the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico becomes apparent, it's becoming harder and harder for me to watch. We're watching a city die, make no mistake about that. Even with the levees filled and the city drained, New Orleans (not to mention the other towns that have been hit) is unlikely to ever recover from this blow. Thousands, possibly tens of thousands, could be dead. As much as some people are loath to hear it, this is without a doubt worse than 9/11. Yes, there are things in this world that can hurt more than terrorism.

Anyway, Billmon has a list of charities you can donate to.

On a less important note, we should take a look at the damage to the oil infrastructure. The Oil Drum is a blog you want to be reading. Basically, the short version seems to be that even with Bush dipping in to the SPR, gas prices are going to go up. This is because it wasn't just oil rigs that were destroyed, but refineries have been put out of comission as well. There was already little to no slack in the US's refinery capacity, so this has made things even worse. The gasoline shortages have already started. Somewhat oddly, this may very well mean that oil prices go down in the near future, while gasoline prices go through the roof.

Speaking of which, I lost my bet that we'd see $75 per barrel of crude before September. Oh well. I figure it was a long shot, anyway. On the other hand, if I'd bet on $5/gallon for gas, I'd have been right...

Overall, Katrina shows the problem with Peak Oil - any disruption can have huge side effects. Now, obviously Katrina would have hurt the US regardless. But ten years ago there would have been spare oil and refinery capacity to make up the shortfalls. Now there won't be.

That Bush isn't asking Americans to cut their gasoline use immediately is totally bewildering to me. At least for the next few months, people need to slow down and drive less.