I’ve always thought that Japan would probably be the number two country (behind the US) in trouble due to its energy import profile, even in spite of their extensive energy conservation measures and leadership. Remember, this is the country where many (energy-wise) highly-unrealistic visions of the future have been coming (at least for the later part of the 20th century).Can this be taken as evidence of an imminent decline?
TOKYO – A power outage hit wide swaths of Tokyo and nearby Chiba early Monday, halting train service in some areas, news reports said. It was not immediately clear what caused the power to be cut off.
At least two elevators stopped in central Tokyo with an unspecified number of people inside in the blackout, according to Tokyo fire official Keisuke Hayashi. He could not provide other details, saying officials were investigating the extent of the damage.
Media reports said that several trains services were halted. Japan was in the middle of a holiday, and the number of passengers during the morning rush hour was fewer than usual.
Public broadcaster NHK said that about 670,000 houses and other buildings were without power as of 8:15 a.m. local time.
Yet another argument for human innovation and ingenuity. Ladies and gentlemen, look no further than Japan for a realistic perspective on human innovation for the last 30 years.
Moreover, if there have been wars over salt, why be so quick to rule one out over oil? Granted, there are far more NWO/secret-society complications with the onset of the current nation-state arrangement, but the pattern of the rape and pillaging of defenseless countries and their peoples continues, doesn’t it?
found at Energybulletin: http://energybulletin.net/19220.html
by Stephen L. Sass, NY Times via International Herald Tribune
In the wake of the closure of a BP oil field in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, oil prices shot up to $77 a barrel on Wednesday, and the chorus of doomsayers concerned about the dire consequences of our fossil fuel dependency has reached a crescendo. If oil hits $100 a barrel, the impact on the economy could be catastrophic, the handwringers warn. But while such a specter seems novel and terrifying, it is in fact familiar and useful.
Throughout history, shortages of vital resources have driven innovation, and energy has often starred in these technological dramas. The search for new sources of energy and new materials has frequently produced remarkable advances that no one could have imagined when the shortage first became evident.
If you happen to be familiar with Transformers, or the Japanese cousin (or origin thereof?) the Mecha – gigantic human-controlled robots capable of fighting intergalactic battles, this is – to many – a step “into the future”.
However notice the oil-based engine. Nice hearing those pistons firing!
Nothing like using 100 year-old technology as the primary driver of something that’s supposed to be “our future”.
It’s interesting to see the extent to which the postwar generations have been been affected by the “visionaries” of movie and general media fame. It’s too bad that, realistically, it’s not very feasible.
For the uninformed, why not? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons.
1. Peak oil
2. Peak resources (similar to peak oil – except with much more severe ramifications)
3. Oil-based engine
4. Scalable (will everyone and their mother be able to have one)? See peak resources.
An excellent article talking about the economics of Peak Oil via EnergyBulletin. Among some questions that were approached were: with energy prices so high, why isn’t the “world” suffering from a massive economic downturn? Have firms been taking a hit at all?
Unfortunately, due to its West-centrism, it fails to acknowledge that the high prices have effectively destroyed semi-developed countries such as Zimbabwe, and is working against some countries exporting oil such as Indonesia and Qatar due to outdated domestic policies regarding subsidies. But even more importantly is the talk of “transition”.
Looking at Japan’s post-70s example of transition, while maintaining some of the highest efficiency standards, it remains number three in oil consumption, behind only the US and China.
By Nikos Tsafos
The most surprising feature of the current oil crisis is that it does not
really feel like a crisis. Oil and gas prices may be high and many
people are struggling to cope with rising energy bills, but at a macro
level, the world’s largest economies have grown consistently in the
past two years. Hardly is our fear realized—that high energy costs will
force an economic downturn, much less a recession. What explains this
disconnect between expectation and reality?
To examine this question, take three mechanisms through which oil
prices affect economic performance (there are more, but let’s focus on
three): a reduction in income caused by the need to spend more money on
energy leads to reduced demand for goods and services and this, in
turn, forces an economic slowdown; an increase in inflation generated
by higher prices that firms charge to cover energy costs leads to a
reduction in real income; and worsening performance by firms,
reflecting mainly higher costs and/or reduced overall demand by
shrinking real income.