Apologies for the uncharacteristically long break since the previous post; I’m on semi-vacation and semi-disconnected from the Internet, counting down the days until switching seasons. I’ve also been visiting relatives, eating way (way!) too much, BBQ’ing almost every day, test driving cars as a purchase of one is imminent and a bunch of other things, but most importantly I’ve tried to enjoy the wonderful summer weather that finally landed itself over Finland:
Anyhow, here are also some random thoughts of the day that I thought are good to write up about:
Ready for another recession? And gas prices of 2 euros per liter?
There is an important topic that has been sorely missing from mainstream media; once we get out of this recession and oil demand rises, so will the prices since supply cannot – and never again will – keep up. However, most of the world cannot afford prices of $150 or $200 per barrel, so the increasing energy costs will drag the world economy into another recession. And so it will continue until alternative energy supplies will be scaled up to make some meaningful impact; let’s say 20 years minimum.
As a consumer in Finland, this means gas prices (and the prices of everything else, too, for that matter) will rise soon enough. They may even hit 2 euros per liter or even higher, whereas in many other parts of the world the relative impact will be even greater “thanks” to our tax structure. Now would be a good time to start tracking and comparing prices at the pump with crude prices as the general feeling is that companies always hike prices when crude prices go up but “never” lower them. Might make for an interesting graph in a few years’ time.
Elsewhere, this and related topics have been covered nicely lately. I recommend at least:
- The Oil Drum: The trouble with energy
- Resource Insights: Which matters most? The size of the tap or the tank?
- Peak Oil News: Peak Oil Crisis: stifling a rebound
Swine flu making its rounds
So it seems swine flu is quickly becoming established pretty much everywhere. Even here in the remote Northern parts of the world, there has been the first confirmed “local” infection. The good news, of course, is that the strain is proving to be a very mild one indeed – reportedly even milder than “normal” influenza, which is great. But the worry remains that it might mutate into something significantly worse while it’s making its rounds.. so perhaps it’d be better to catch it now and be done with it? Maybe a swine flu infection now would offer immunity even against the potential new mutations? Or not.
Another thing I wondered was whether there have ever been studies on whether people using public transport get more (or less) influenza infections than people driving private cars? It might seem that people on a bus are in a greater risk, but they might also have better resistance to bugs in general due to broad exposure of all kinds of viruses. Anyone know of any studies to this regard?