In 2003, I published warnings of an emerging global credit crisis what would bring down real estate prices in particular as well as reduce stock prices and overall economic activity (spending and borrowing). In 2004, I specified that rising fuel prices would be the specific trigger of a wave of changing habits of borrowing and spending. I also explained then why the long-term trend of fuel prices had reversed in 1999, why that rise of fuel prices could soon accelerate dramatically (which was widely recognized by 2008), and what effect such a spike in fuel prices would have in various places depending on whether that particular area was energy-rich or energy-scarce.
First, what predictable effect would the spike in fuel prices have on oil-rich regions like Alaska and Alberta? In recent years, oil-rich Alaska and Alberta have predictably continued to thrive, even while other energy-importing states in the US and other provinces in Canada have been predictably experiencing tremendous declines in economic activity and thus tax revenues, resulting predictably in downgrades in the credit-worthiness (financial stability) of the government of many states and provinces.
“During the years of 2000-2008, Alaska GDP grew at an annual rate of 7.4%….” By 2010, it was the #2 state in the US for GDP per capita and it was still the only state to pay it’s residents a dividend to reward them for living there instead of somewhere else (over $3,000 per year).
So, as oil prices rose over 1100% from 1999 to 2008, oil-rich places like Alaska, Alberta and many OPEC nations would experience a huge trade surplus. In contrast, energy-scarce places like Japan, Greece, Ireland, Phoenix, and Las Vegas would experience a huge wave of economic conservatism.
Once the first wave of conservatism resulted in a decline in global energy consumption, energy prices sharply fell (in 2008). However, any forecaster who already understood the simple geology and simple economics behind the rise of fuel prices which started in 1999 would have also known that the change in behavior arising by 2008 was just the first wave of an emerging revolution in values and behaviors.
In fact, by mid-2005, behavior had already changed in the most energy-scarce areas (the sprawling desert suburbs). Since I was expecting such a change, I reported it within a few months as the predictable first indications of the emerging shift in the US.
Prior to mid-2005, there had been a trend of huge economic growth in Phoenix and Las Vegas throughout the 20th century due to advancing technology and plummeting energy costs. As air conditioning for buildings and automobiles became more and more economical, the barren wastelands of Las Vegas and Phoenix had first become popular vacation destinations and then popular places to live, even during the intense summer heat.
By mid-2005, that trend was changing. As global energy prices spiked, the cost rose sharply of long commutes in 115 degree weather (with the auto AC cranked up, thus using far more gasoline than in the winter) and so did the cost of summer electricity bills, which even surpassed the monthly mortgage payment in some cases. Rather than moving further out in to the suburbs and getting bigger and bigger homes, people predictably started moving closer to the urban hub and in to smaller and smaller homes which reduced total energy costs.
Within a few years, most of the US (except for Alaska of course) had similar issues to a lesser degree: more spending on fuel and less spending on most everything else: construction, stock market investing, education, entertainment, and so on. The same shifts had already been evident in much of Europe starting in 1999 and in Japan starting at the end of 1989.
As the waves of economic conservatism flow across Japan and Europe and the US, consumers and owners of businesses predictably get more and more selective about how they spend their money, what sources they value as relevant and trustworthy and authoritative, and how much attention to put on personal responsibility after the decades of trends toward relying presumptively on distant mega-corporations, government bureaucracies, mainstream media empires, and even mainstream religious institutions. Who has promoted relevant adaptions and who has encouraged naivete, blame, rage and hysteria?
Did the mainstream media warn you of these issues or entice you to take actions that resulted in disappointment and then incite blame for the results you created with your choices? Did mainstream educational institutions prepare you? Did mainstream religious institutions prepare you? Did governments warn you of these issues or encourage you to be naively confident?
Many of those institutions are declining in authority. In contrast, certain individuals and networks are distinctive in their newly established relevance and leadership.
Many people may experience fear upon recognizing the simplicity of what is emerging. Some of them will respond to the fear with courage and responsibility. Others will attempt to repress the fear or project it by blaming some isolated group of villains (whether vilifying the scapegoats presented by the media or directly vilifying the corporate media and those who rule it). They may also cling to some optimism naively or even hysterically, which again may be encouraged by some institutions.
Those institutions are serving their purpose. They are distracting those who are easily distracted. They are sorting those who are ready and willing to be responsible from those who prefer the complacent luxury of another frightened blame and of another desperate hope.
While I used to think of Alex Jones and David Icke and David Wilcock and even Jon Stewart as admirable and relevant, I now assert that, to the extent that they fan the flames of hysteria and divisiveness, they simply distract those who are easily distracted. Again, that may be their entire purpose. I admit that George Carlin and Bill Hicks were witty and bold, but there are other valuable qualities that may be a higher priority. I prefer Alan Watts or Robert Anton Wilson.
If you are open to new results, then you might explore new actions and new guidance. If you recognize that you might value the guidance of one of the people who predicted the changes of recent years and recommended the actions that would have entirely avoided loss and produced enormous benefits, let me know.
- Las Vegas – want to see more of it! – Las Vegas, USA (travelpod.com)
- When in Vegas? M!KEATTACK (mindinversion.net)
- Top Tips for Las Vegas (flightcentre.co.nz)
- City Of Las Vegas Sees Fit To Get EnergyFit (lasvegas.cbslocal.com)
- Fuel prices up by 50 thebe per litre (gabzfmnews.wordpress.com)
- It Only Took a Global Depression to Reduce Gas Prices by 40 Cents (theburningplatform.com)
- China’s fuel hike will have a chain reaction (wantchinatimes.com)
- Poll: Americans concerned, but split blame on rising fuel prices (thehill.com)
- Oil hovers above $83 as traders eye OPEC meeting (mysanantonio.com)
- Oil hovers above $83 as traders eye OPEC meeting (kansascity.com)
- Oil Prices Hit 8-Month Low as Spain Optimism Fades (dailyfinance.com)
- Oil slips to near $83 as traders eye OPEC meeting (news.yahoo.com)
- Oil recovers slightly early Tuesday in Europe after hitting 8-month low near $81 (calgaryherald.com)
- Analysts Get Bullish on Energy, but Traders Waver; Seven Stocks to Consider (blogs.barrons.com)
- Oil falls to below $83 as traders eye OPEC meeting (cbsnews.com)
- Drumbeat: June 11, 2012 (theoildrum.com)
- Saudis under OPEC pressure to prevent price collapse (business.financialpost.com)
- Oil below $83 amid possible change of OPEC production quotas (panarmenian.net)
- Oil hovers above $83 as traders eye OPEC meeting (fuelfix.com)
- Iran says OPEC summit will focus on production quotas (panarmenian.net)
- Oil falls to below $83 as traders eye OPEC meeting (mysanantonio.com)
- Oil falls to below $83 as traders eye OPEC meeting (miamiherald.com)
- Canada’s oil production rose 5% in 2011: BP (business.financialpost.com)
- Oil hits 8-month low as Spain bailout hopes fade (sfgate.com)
- Oil heads for longest losing streak in 13 years (business.financialpost.com)
- Oil rises ahead of key OPEC meeting (seattlepi.com)
- Oil rises ahead of key OPEC meeting (mysanantonio.com)
- Oil hits 8-month low as Spain optimism fades (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Drumbeat: June 9, 2012 (theoildrum.com)
- The Myth of Peak Oil (counterpunch.org)
- What if the U.S. becomes an oil exporter? (theglobeandmail.com)
- The age of extreme oil: ‘This used to be a forest?’ (theglobeandmail.com)
- Candidate Romney’s Energy Plan (greentechmedia.com)
- Environment & climate – June 12 (energybulletin.net)
- Capitalism’s destructive quest for extreme energy (climateandcapitalism.com)
- Canada cruising for a major oil spill crisis in the Arctic, academic warns (canada.com)
- TransCanada’s Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline Project Moves Ahead (snspost.com)
- Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation present grievances to Shell Chairman, board and shareholders (climate-connections.org)
- Alaska Gives TransCanada OK To Shift To Gas Pipeline (huffingtonpost.com)
- Drumbeat: May 26, 2012 (theoildrum.com)
- Reviving Arctic oil rush, Ottawa to auction rights in massive area (theglobeandmail.com)
- ‘One project, one review, completed in a clearly defined time period’: Excerpt from budget document (mining.com)
- Phoenix and Scottsdale heat up for summer travel (orbitz.com)
- Out of the Ashes of the Recent Bearish Voices on Gold, the Phoenix has Risen; the Gold Anti Trust Action Committee (GATA) has Landed in Vegas for the Upcoming Money Show (prweb.com)
- Dangerous 110-degree heat forecast in Southwest (usatoday.com)
- Report: open houses may not help sell homes (agbeat.com)
- Do Open Houses Help Homes Sell? (redfin.com)
- Watch Las Vegas’s Growing Sprawl From Space (fastcoexist.com)
- Gas Prices Drop As Temperatures Rise (lasvegas.cbslocal.com)
- Combat rising fuel prices: sign the petition (confused.com)
- Fuel prices top UK protest poll (confused.com)
- Fears ‘overblown’ says ExxonMobil boss (guardian.co.uk)
- Fuel, electricity price hikes to take toll on Taiwan economy: scholars (wantchinatimes.com)
- Delta Airlines Buys Oil Refinery to Control Fuel Prices (environmentalleader.com)
- Exxon’s CEO: Climate, energy fears overblown (bottomline.msnbc.msn.com)
- How You Can Profit from Fluctuating Oil Prices (dailyfinance.com)
- Federal energy data chief says crude exports would boost economy (fuelfix.com)
- What’s Behind Oil’s Slip in Price? (fool.com)
- Firms eye green cars In fuel crisis (confused.com)
- Exxon’s CEO: Climate, energy fears overblown (mercurynews.com)
- Ogra recommends fuel price cut (dawn.com)
- Rising fuel prices mean £100 to fill up family car – but expert says more price rises needed: What do you think? (examiner.co.uk)
- Explain fuel price rise, Kibaki and Raila told (nation.co.ke)
- Peak oil – June 28 (energybulletin.net)
- Energy use set to fall for first time (eco-business.com)
- Two Cheers for House Energy Bill (papundits.wordpress.com)
- Have pump prices peaked? Some experts think so (bottomline.msnbc.msn.com)
- World’s Media: Wanting it Both Ways on Greece (irishleftreview.org)