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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Game Changer

I was talking to a friend the other day about current events, and in the course of the discussion I mentioned that right now we have two events happening in the world...

...the situation in Korea
...the oil spill in the Gulf

I know the old saying about "may you live in interesting times" is mainly a curse, but whether we like it or not, these are certainly interesting.

As I write this, I don't see any reports in the news about significant troop movements in North Korea. That's a good sign, or is it? If the Kim dynasty in North Korea is getting ready to start a shooting war I don't know if they would make it so obvious. Let's hope I'm wrong. Regardless, this is a desperate country run by a desperate leader, armed (in theory) with nuclear weapons. Scary enough for you? Maybe the Chinese will put the screws to them and end this madness.

Look for North Korea to eventually back down with some prodding from China, with the South accepting something less than the apology they deserve.

Gulf Oil Spill
Since the 1930's the United States has been on an extended oil bender, and now I think the hangover is finally starting to kick in. As I write this the well is still spewing, and the damage to the environment is only just beginning. It's not just about oiled's about the destruction of an entire environment-based economy. Like shrimp? Buy'm now because they may be getting somewhat rare. Inconvenient for us, devastating for for the people that live there. Look for extended blame-storming, including the asinine assertion that this could have been avoided had we drilled closer to shore (as noted by Krauthammer and others). Why asinine? Several reasons including...

...the fact that both Democratic and Republican governors in coastal states have fought against off-shore drilling (negating this as being a Democrat-caused problem)

...a smaller spill closer to shore can do just as much damage as a larger spill further off-shore. Sure, it is easier to plug in shallow water, but it doesn't take much oil to destroy an estuary

...deep water wells are not a recent, knee-jerk reaction to political policy; oil companies drill where the oil is

Look for more blame-storming and incredible amounts of damage. Hopefully this will lead to a serious (finally) re-examination of America's energy policy. There are alternatives, but none are cheap. However we are learning that maybe cheap oil isn't really so "cheap" after all.

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