A certain shopkeeper sent his son to learn about the secret of happiness from the wisest man in the world. The lad wandered through the desert for 40 days, and finally came upon a beautiful castle, high atop a mountain. It was there that the wise man lived. Rather than finding a saintly man, though, our hero, on entering the main room of the castle, saw a hive of activity: tradesmen came and went, people were conversing in the corners, a small orchestra was playing soft music, and there was a table covered with platters of the most delicious food... Read more »
...by serving as the dominant power in the Gulf, WE maintain a 'stranglehold' over the economies of other nations. This gives us extraordinary leverage in world affairs, and explains to some degree why states like Japan, Britain, France, and Germany - states that are even more dependent on Persian Gulf oil than we are - defer to Washington on major international issues (like Iraq) even when they disagree with us.
There is some evidence that average wave heights are slowly rising, and that freak waves of eighty or ninety feet are becoming more common. Wave heights off the coast of England have risen an average of 25 percent over the past couple of decades, which converts to a twenty-foot increase in the highest waves over the next half century. One cause may be the tightening of environmental laws, which has reduced the amount of oil flushed into the oceans by oil tankers.
While ants exist in just the right numbers for the rest of the living world, humans have become too numerous. If we were to vanish today, the land environment would return to the fertile balance that existed before the human population explosion. Only a dozen or so species, among which are the crab louse and a mite that lives in the oil glands of our foreheads, depend on us entirely. But if ants were to disappear, tens of thousands of other plants and animal species would perish also, simplifying and weakening land ecosystems almost everywhere.
The biggest surprise was that a country like Angola, that has so much money, that produces so much oil, would be in such a mess and so difficult to travel in. Something is almost cursed in striking oil. It's like the lottery winner who ends up broke.
About 75% of the price of gas is really dictated by crude oil. At the heart of the issue is increasing demand over a period of many years around the world. World crude oil consumption now is close to 90 million barrels a day. Most of the growth in demand is coming from China and the developing world.