|Oct. 17th, 2008 @ 09:10 am look back to look forward|
|I don't keep track of my predictions, but all my blog posts are archived. I'm as interested in how they turn out as anyone, and I'd generally rather be wrong than right because a) my predictions do not usually describe happy outcomes and b) being wrong is a lot more educational. I'm sure this is hard for some of you to believe, but I promise the last thing I want is to give up the cushy life of sorta-free sorta-civilization for either orwellian dystopia or bunkerville. So if anyone wants to trawl the archive for predictions I've made that were way off, I welcome your findings. One of the reasons the world is so messed up is that people are pretty much never held to account for whether they're right or wrong - or worse, are punished for being right and rewarded for being wrong (see: iraq.)|
I'm sure that prelude sounds like I'm about to trumpet some awesome past predictions from my selective memory, but not really - I'm linking to this post because I recently discovered future imperfect is out and it's chock full of eye-opening ideas about the future. Oil prices when I wrote that post were around $63 a barrel, and have since more than doubled and are heading back to about the same level. I doubt you'd have much trouble finding doomers who confidently predicted that oil would never again fall below $100 a barrel.
Which is not to say I'm not buying energy and especially oil all the way down, because I am.
Isn't it funny what an opportunity we've been handed here: $150/barrel oil for a while, now plunging. It's as clear a wakeup call as anyone could ask for that our infrastructure is utterly unprepared for the imminent divergence of the oil supply and demand curves, while presenting an opportunity to do something about it while we still have access to cheap oil. What will we do with that clarion call? Of course: absolutely nothing! Except breathe a sigh of relief that the oil crisis has passed and get back to consuming it as rapidly as possible. Unfortunately I didn't save the link, but a couple days ago I read an article on some financial site predicting oil companies would continue to fall and that companies like first solar were the place to invest, because clearly we had learned our lesson from $4/gallon gas and would now be rapidly hastening the transition to renewables. I'd like to nominate that as the worst prediction I'm likely to see in a year already bursting with improbable predictions. (He could be right about oil stocks going down and first solar going up, it's the "because" that's soooo wrong.)
So we're not going to run out of energy, but as our politics does not allow for even minimal levels of preparation for inevitable events if preparing would mean dipping a toe into the reality-based world, there is no upper bound on how much pain will come.