We like round numbers
The price of a barrel of oil hit $100 today (at the time of this post, it’s just under). Even though it’s only $1 more than $99, it’s a nice round number, which makes it newsworthy. Since I’m posting about it…I guess I’m included in the bandwagon-jumping activities.
I posted about this milestone several weeks ago here.
The more significant milestone, however, is breaking the inflation-adjusted record of $101.70. But, again, this is just a record…easy to report about in the news. Ideally, the reporting of such a thing will foster discussion about our usage of a resource that continues to rise in demand even though we may have (if we haven’t already) surpassed peak global production.
Here is a key statement from this report:
Retail gasoline prices have not risen as fast as oil prices over the last few months, largely due to weak demand.
There are, of course, some top-down solutions for evading a full-blown energy crisis that need to be discussed, but we should not forget about bottom-up solutions, such as good ol’ conservation (gasp! … how dare I suggest such a thing!). You want to help keep prices of fuel down? Buy less of it. Does this solve everything? Of course not…that’s ridiculous. But, my point is that it’s not all about top-down solutions.
Top-down solutions are easier to cite as the “answer” because they seem so good on paper…plus, when they don’t work as envisioned, it’s easy to point to one entity as the reason it didn’t work.