The prevailing opinion in this country is that we have a supply problem with petroleum. If you believe that, if you truly do, then I have a bridge in the general vicinity of New York City in which you might be interested. I mean, there may be some short term speculation going on, but... c'mon.
Our problem is not a supply problem. It's a demand problem. More specifically, it's an efficiency problem (see the Einstein posting in this blog, which details the efficiency numbers). People in the media are wringing their hands, saying that any ameloriation of the current dire situation is "eighteen or more months away". Oh, please. Let's do something about petroleum demand beginning tomorrow. Heck, beginning RIGHT NOW:
- If you live in a city with public transit, use it;
- If you don't, use carpooling. You can use the online database at Ridesearch to match up with other interested carpoolers;
- If you live 5 miles or less from where you work, ride a bike at least a couple of days a week;
- If you drive, obey the speed limit and use your cruise control on the highway, and
- Make sure your tires are properly inflated and your car tuned;
Until we begin to change our demand profile, we can't begin to whittle away at this problem and buy ourselves the time to develop the highly efficient, non-petroleum economy that we need to be truly secure. Swallow hard and repeat after me: "High fuel prices are our friend, for two reasons: they depress demand, and they make alternatives viable."
Updated: Here's a post on CNN Money that says pretty much the same thing.