Friday, June 24, 2005

We've been tellin' ya

"Oh, you're one of those survivalists, aren't you?"

Every time the subject of how fragile our civilization actually is comes up in conversation, I get that comment or a similar one. Apparently, just because I choose to be prepared for Bad Things Happening, I'm suspect. Of course, this always comes from someone who has the full setup of life, health, home and auto insurance and wouldn't think of leaving the house without their cell phone--just in case. Having "existence insurance"--well, they just can't make that leap. (The sheep says "Ba-a-a-a".)

There are people in this world who's job is to think the unthinkable. Some work in our military. They think up scenarios in which our country is attacked in various ways and then plan responses and file them away against future need.

In the world of Information Technology (IT), we have to formulate disaster recovery plans--what happens if the factory 500 yards from the Mississippi River is flooded? How do we recover and reopen? What happens if the database server goes down--how do we rebuild it and get production back online?

Well, the National Commission on Energy Policy (which just happens to be funded by a bunch of left-leaning groups) is thinking the unthinkable as well and has just completed "Oil Shockwave: The Oil Crisis Executive Simulation". In a story on FoxNews, we get some details of a scenario where a series of smallish disruptions in oil supplies, coupled with cold weather (and a bit of terrorism for spice) have oil prices up to $123/barrel and gas at $4.75/gallon.

"What this exercise revealed is that very modest disruptions in oil supply, whether they're here at home or abroad, can have truly devastating impacts on our nation's economy and on our overall security," said the commission's executive director Jason Grumet.


"I think there is a general misunderstanding of just how vulnerable we are to small disruptions because the world oil market is so tight right now that any little interruption can have a very serious and undermining effect," he said.

Remember to note who funded this scenario exercise--the Pew Trusts and some other seriously lefty organizations. There is an agenda here. However, that agenda doesn't detract from the valid point--we rely on imported oil far more than is safe. And in a world where there are other countries, such as China, who are just as hungry for oil as we are, the fact that supplies are stretched tight ought to be of concern. Wars have started over less.

When you consider that oil is around $60/barrel and gas is roughly $2.30/gallon, $123 and $4.75 don't seem to far-fetched, do they?

What would you do if gas hit just $4/gallon? Do you make enough money to continue to commute to work each day? What will you do when those fuel prices start showing up at the grocery store and in your electric bill? Think you could stand it if your winter heating bill doubled? Quadrupled?

Think about it.

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