First of all, Oil is up to $55 a barrell.
Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan disagrees with me that excessive consumption of oil is a problem that we must face sooner rather than later. He says this:
"The impact of the current surge in oil prices, though noticeable, is likely to prove less consequential to economic growth and inflation than in the 1970s." However, Alan Greenspan warned that the risk of more serious negative consequences would intensify if the oil prices were to increase to "materially higher" levels. Greenspan expressed his optimism regarding the world being able to adjust to the high oil prices by ensuring adequate oil supplies through an eventual transition to other energy sources.
I certainly hope this is the case, but my concerns are that consumption will increase, not only in the US, but also in the developing world, faster than our supply can increase, triggering a global recognition of scarcity that will drive up prices to a point where it will hurt the economy before we are able to efficiently harness other energy sources. My suggestion: buy a VW Turbodiesel and drive 600 miles a tank. Keep your SUV if you like, but drive a smaller vehicle around for day to day tasks. You'll save money in the long run. :)
In a strange turn of news, the global warming picture may not be as bleak as some have suggested. You may have seen the 'hockey stick' graph that indicates the relatively dramatic increase in temperature coinciding with the increase in atmospheric emissions. Here's a wild one from the MIT Technology review:
But now a shock: Canadian scientists Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick have uncovered a fundamental mathematical flaw in the computer program that was used to produce the hockey stick. In his original publications of the stick, Mann purported to use a standard method known as principal component analysis,
or PCA, to find the dominant features in a set of more than 70 different climate
records. But it wasn’t so. McIntyre and McKitrick obtained part of the program that Mann used, and they found serious problems. Not only does the program not do conventional PCA, but it handles data normalization in a way that can only be described as mistaken.
You can read more about this here, where the report, as well as Mann's (the developer of the hockey stick graph) response.