Friday, February 05, 2016

Remembering Peak Oil

Randal O'Toole does a nostalgia post:

Remember peak oil? Remember when oil prices were $140 a barrel and Goldman Sachs predicted they would soon reach $200? Now, the latest news is that oil prices have gone up all the way to $34 a barrel. Last fall, Goldman Sachs predicted prices would fall to $20 a barrel, which other analysts argued was “no better than its prior predictions,” but in fact they came a lot closer to that than to $200.

Low oil prices generate huge economic benefits. Low prices mean increased mobility, which means increased economic productivity. The end result, says Bank of America analyst Francisco Blanch, is “one of the largest transfers of wealth in human history” as $3 trillion remain in consumers’ pockets rather than going to the oil companies. The Antiplanner wouldn’t call this a “wealth transfer” so much as a reduction in income inequality, but either way, it is a good thing...

See also this.

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Terrorist attackers in the US

From today's NY Times (ISIS in America):

...None of the[82] people accused of plotting attacks received specific direction from the Islamic State abroad, according to the evidence presented in legal documents and other public information that were analyzed by The New York Times and the Center on National Security at the Fordham University School of Law.

The Islamic State has demonstrated an ability to coordinate attacks in Europe from the Middle East. But the United States has yet to see any of those types of attacks. Instead, attacks in the United States have been “lone wolf” strikes.

“While ISIS remains a brutal and lethal force abroad, its operational reach to the United States has been negligible at best,” the center’s director, Karen J. Greenberg, said. In addition, nearly half of the arrests followed undercover investigations by the F.B.I., and most of the individuals were caught early on.

Although the domestic plots are alarming and increasing in frequency, Ms. Greenberg said that the driving force among those in the United States inspired by the Islamic State had been foreign fighting. A third of those accused were allegedly discussing or plotting an attack in the United States; the rest were allegedly trying to travel abroad to fight for the Islamic State, or trying to help others travel...

See also this.