Monday, September 15, 2008

Peak Oil and Oil Price Tumble

If one is a loyal reader of The Oil Drum Blog, one pretty much believes whatever is written there--regardless of what the real world is doing. If oil prices go up, it is due to peak oil. If oil prices go down, it is due to peak oil. It really is all about peak oil, to a peak oil punkass (POP).

The same type of "one-explanation fits all" mentality is present in the Climate Catastrophy Orthodoxy. If temperatures rise it is global warming. If temperatures fall, it is global warming. It's all global warming to a holy warmer.

Being a true believer--in whatever cause--means not having to think for yourself. While such faith in the "daily talking points" provides ready explanations for the phenomena of the day, the ability of the person's brain to reason tends to atrophy.

Take the recent 7 month low in oil futures. To a POP, there is something wrong causing oil prices to behave against fundamentals. All types of surreal conspiracy theories--usually involving Bush, Cheney, and the evil neocons--rise to the surface to explain why the globe has not already run out of oil, and why cannibalism and utter debauchery have not taken over the entire Earth yet.

Certainly oil production has not gone up that much to explain the drop. But oil consumption has dropped on several fronts, for several reasons. And the big boost given oil futures by speculators on the up side can have a matching depressant effect on prices on the down side.

One has to wonder how POPs are investing these days. With all of that "insider knowledge" that the price of oil is going above $500 a barrel any day now, why are they not making a veritable killing in the futures market? Blaming the evil neocons for the "inexplicable" behaviour of prices can only satisfy the true believers for so long. What dark conspiracies will bubble up from the subconscious next, to explain the real world's utter duplicity?

Follow the charade yourself, at links such as the one above. It is not as if POPs had any insight into their behaviour--at least not enough to be a bit more discrete.

Peak Oil, when stripped to its basics, is utterly trite and worthless in terms of predicting economic phenomena in a timely and meaningful way. For POPs, however, it is important to always believe that one knows a secret that others are too stupid to comprehend. That is fine with me.

But in the real world, to make money on markets and exchanges--as well as in business--it pays to leave one's ideologies and wishful thinking at home.

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