Triple digit oil prices. Record number of futures bought that guarantee the 100 dollar a barrel price. Instability in the Middle East, Mexico producing a million less barrels a day than this time last year.
Personally, I find those facts alarming. This country is NOT AT ALL prepared to deal with 5-6 dollar a gallon gasoline. When it comes, and it will, prices go up on virtually everything. Again, personally, I think this might be a good thing. Food prices concern me, but perhaps a shift will occur and more farmers can market their products close to home.
Here’s what really scares the holy hell out of me. So far, in just a few months, I have read statements from at least three local bloggers that they have no problem with the U.S. waging war for oil. Well, the fastest growing economies right now are China and India, and that is naturally where the biggest demand for oil comes from. Is it O.K. for them to be making war plans to insure they have a steady supply of affordable oil? What about Russia? Logic tells me a dwindling supply means that at some point, large countries with large armies and nuclear weapons will be waging war for their very survival. Nothing about that is comforting.
Call me old school, but I believe that the only possible reason to go to war is to respond to a direct attack by an invading army. That doesn’t mean that a country shouldn’t contribute to say…an effort to stop genocide somewhere, or as global peace-keepers when there is a potential for it, but protecting an economy by waging war is against every belief I have.
So, this makes me curious. Apparently, the stuff inside our cell phone batteries is mined in Africa. Africa produces more than 60 metal and mineral products and is a major producer of several of the world’s most important minerals and metals including Gold, PGE’s, Diamonds, Uranium, Manganese, Chromium, Nickel, Bauxite and Cobalt. It is interesting to note that Africa’s contribution to the world’s major metals (copper, lead and zinc) is less than 7%. As a result silver production is low (less than 3% of the world’s production) due to the fact that most silver is produced as a by product of lead – zinc and copper mining. Although under explored, Africa hosts about 30% of the planet’s mineral reserves, including 40% of gold, 60% cobalt and 90% of the world’s PGM reserves – making it a truly strategic producer of these precious metals.
Lets say that China and India and Russia all cut better deals with the Africans, (as much as you can in an area chock full of civil war) than we do, and suddenly, we are paying far more for some of those exports if we can get them at all. This, too, could catastrophically affect our economy… Does the same rationale apply?
I guess I’m asking this: What part of your daily existence would you pay much more for, or give up, if it meant we didn’t wage war somewhere on the planet?