Friday, March 6, 2015

First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.

As we think about doing like Elvis next week and driving to Memphis, not to get a peanut butter and banana sandwich like The King used to crave, but some good old Beale Street Barbecue, we're thinking about gasoline, and the oil that makes it.

Black gold. Texas tea. &etc.

"Oil is plentiful. Oil is cheap," wrote Esquire magazine an issue or so back, about the sudden, strange, and permanent decline in world oil prices that's destroying the still-infant Canadian and North Dakotan petrodollar economies.

But hold on. If you skated past that "permanent" without choking, there's a problem. Because the last thing this sudden oil glut is, is permanent.

The title of this post is from an old Donovan song. And here's what's happening, that no one wants to think about because it's so awesome to fill up the tank on gas costing somewhere around $2.50 a gallon, and really, that awesomeness is all that matters:

There was some oil. Then there wasn't. Now there is.

We just woke up one morning to find the numbers on our gas pumps rolled back to the 20th century.  How did this miracle happen?

Who gives a shit? We had only a little oil, and now we have more oil. So, what's the best thing to do with it? Keep rationing it carefully as we were our last remaining supplies of it, when we thought those were our last remaining supplies? Or pretend it's 1870 again, and start burning through the new supply without a care?

Oil's been described by more than one writer as "a one-time gift." When a one-time gift suddenly gives the gift of being a gift a second time, it's moronic to think that the new gift is "plentiful and cheap." And thinking it's permanent is just plain nuts.

But at this, mankind's finest hour of disdain and loathing for science, knowledge, wisdom, and moderation, morons rule the day.  

Next time you're at a hospital or doctor's office, look around at the plastic. Your prescription bottle. Your IV tube and bag. Their plastic gloves. And ten thousand other lifesaving things made of oil.

Returning to the walking and biking and horse-riding days of yore would be a deeply inconvenient burden. But going back to the filthy, non-sterile medicine that went with it would be a nightmare. And that's where the moron parade will lead if this "plentiful and cheap" mindset takes root for too long.

Carpe Diem. Carpe Petroleum. In Nomine Patris, Amen.

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