The stock market is still trading on the daily price of oil. Everyone I ask thinks that oil will never drop below $100.00 a barrel and most analysts believe that the concept of peak oil production has either elapsed or is imminent.
It’s funny how one single commodity can dictate all the capital markets in the world. This includes the currency market, which is significantly larger than the stock market. All kinds of products we use every day have some petroleum product incorporated in their makeup. As Western values of free enterprise spread around the globe, people want to consume more and that means more petroleum products are necessary to feed these appetites.
There’s a lot of talk now about alternative energy production. You’ve got solar energy, wind energy, ethanol, and biomass energy, just to name a few. Individuals are even returning to burning wood in the wintertime. Government incentives do make a real difference with alternative energy products and they are very much necessary in order to keep the market expanding.
What’s needed is more critical mass with these technologies so that the costs are more inline with what individuals can afford. This is happening now with solar cell manufacturing in China.
The hydrogen fuel cell still doesn’t seem to be able to garner the excitement of other alternative energies. It would be great if we had our own fuel cells beside our homes to give us all the energy we need. I suppose this technology is coming down the road, but it just seems that it is a very long way off.
It is exciting seeing the alternative energy industry flourish. It’s also painful as a consumer having to live through high oil prices. And then there’s the geopolitical instability that goes with the product. Thomas Boone Pickens, Jr. has a good idea for weaning ourselves from foreign oil, but it’s going to take national incentives to turn a good idea into a real alternative power source for millions.