Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Or Else...

Sometimes I just sort of watch a story for a few months because it feels like, in the constant stream, I know that I am not understanding the implications. Not that there is one understanding -- or that there is one implication. Politics and policy and economics -- governments and people and organizations... all of the communication and communication of fact and fact -- it's all very multifaceted. It's all very ephemeral.

So I've been sort of watching the issues around OPEC.

It started earlier this year, when Bush went to Saudi Arabia to request an increase in oil output -- to no avail. But last week OPEC announced it would increase production. It all seems strange to me -- public announcements and posturing. What does it matter that the US President is traveling hat in hand? What does it mean that that is rebuffed? What does it mean that then the reqeust is met... but not for us?

So I went back a little.

In November, the Climate Progress Blog reported: "OPEC issue bizarre oil threat, Financial Times also confused."

"Apparently these absurdly rich countries — with projected revenues of $658 billion this year — who are selling their product at nearly $100 a barrel, are threatening not to invest in new production unless the consuming countries promise to maintain demand. Seriously! No, seriously:

Opec will this week seek assurances from some of the world’s biggest oil consumers that they will maintain their demand as the members of the oil cartel come under intense pressure to boost investment in production capacity."

The Financial Times must have been reading, because in February they wrote an article with a slightly amended slant: "Threat by OPEC Triggers Warning."

What I find the most fascinating is the psychology of a threat... We will make it worse for you if you don't promise we will stay in power...

Okay, I have been often accused of over-optimism and a silver-lining mentality, but maybe this means that all signs are in place for change! And that the oil producers know that they are on some (albeit large) cusp of becoming extinct...

Threats inherently show weakness -- show shift and desperation. Waning control.

Sorry, OPEC.
The price is too high -- the toxicity is too great.
It's time to move on.
It's time to look forward to this time in history as a distant memory of absurdity.

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