Oil is now within reach of its historic inflation-adjusted high reached in April 1980 in the aftermath of the Iranian revolution when oil prices jumped to the equivalent of $102 a barrel in today’s money.-- from Oil Hits $100 a Barrel for the First Time.
P.S. 3 Jan: FPTV on The Future of Oil, Dot Earth asks Is $100-a-Barrel Oil Good or Bad? and BBC reports Single trader behind oil record. And Jared Diamond writes:
Much American consumption is wasteful and contributes little or nothing to quality of life. For example, per capita oil consumption in Western Europe is about half of ours, yet Western Europe’s standard of living is higher by any reasonable criterion, including life expectancy, health, infant mortality, access to medical care, financial security after retirement, vacation time, quality of public schools and support for the arts. Ask yourself whether Americans’ wasteful use of gasoline contributes positively to any of those measures.P.S. 4 Jan Paul Krugman argues that oil at $100 a barrel is, in large part, a made-in-China phenomenon, and goes on from there to make some comparatively sensible suggestions.