It has been a while since I have provided a life update, so I thought I would take a moment and share some of the happenings in my life.
The baby is doing well and in two weeks we should be able to learn if the baby is a boy or a girl. I am really excited about this, and Jaime’s belly is beginning to get a bit bigger and we can occasionally feel the baby moving around. Jaime is also feeling better, has more energy and isn’t sick anymore. Yay!
The process has become complicated, and I don’t really want to share all of the intricacies of how this is going on the blog, so give me a call if you are interested in hearing the ever exciting status of our future 11 year old and 13 year old (just had a birthday two days ago!) You can also follow me on http://twitter.com/jeffbristow and get frequent (literally almost daily) small updates about what is going on in my life. [with Twitter you can get the updates on your mobile phone as a text message if you want, or you can get them through a IM client, or at the Twitter website. It is a really sweet service.]
My son and I are going to begin running this evening. I am starting the Couch-to-5k plan over again, and now I have an exercise partner, so the plan to actually lose weight and run a half marathon may still come to fruition.
I have been making poor eating choices and need to get back to watching my health. I eat when I am stressed, and life has certainly been very stressful lately, so that is my excuse of the moment for falling back into my bad eating habits.
Monday June 30th I turn 30 years old and have organized my own pre-birthday gathering on June 28th. To get more information about this check me out on Facebook, where this event has been organized.
On June 17th my wife and I went up to Tampa to watch the Chicago Cubs play the Tampa Bay Rays. It was an exciting game, and the place was packed with Cubs fans. I would guess 80% of everyone there was there to see the Cubs. Sadly, Tampa Bay won the game, but the Cubs fought up to the last second and had everyone on their feet in the 9th inning.
Here is a picture I took with my cell phone that shows where we were sitting, we had some good seats to see all of the action.
On June 17th the next release of the Firefox Web Browser will be unleashed to the masses. And Firefox is hoping to set a world record for the most downloads in a 24 hour period.
So next Tuesday don’t forget to grab your copy from http://www.getfirefox.com and help make history!
The price of oil is on everyones mind right now. Gasoline prices have sky rocketed and ‘experts’ are being interviewed on cable news shows around the clock. Some ‘experts’ are blaming sky rocketing prices on investors driving the price of oil up, while others point to more concrete issues as to why the price of oil is on the rise.
Some factors we should look at to understand the current oil markets.
1. About 85 million barrels of oil are produced each day.
2. About 86 million barrels of oil are consumed each day.
3. Global consumption increases by around 2.5 million barrels of oil each day.
4. A barrel of oil is about 19.5 gallons
5. The average oil company makes about 10 cents of profit per gallon of gas.
6. The US federal government places a 18.5 cents per gallon tax on all gasoline.
7. The US consumes about 20 million barrels of oil each day. That is 390 million gallons of oil each day.
8. The US produces just under 6 million barrels of oil each day.
Now I want to make some logical conclusions based on the data above.
1. Globally more oil is being used than is produced, which means stored oil is being utilized to meet current demands. (Not a good scenario, and certainly not sustainable.)
2. Global demand is increasing at a rate of about 912 million barrels more than current output each year at current growth rates. Estimates are that growth in China and India will be greater than current rates. So there is a good possibility that it could easily be a 1 billion barrel shortfall annually very soon. ( literally like 2-5 years from now )
3. Oil companies only have a margin of 10 cents to play with. So even with massive government controls the price of a gallon of gas would only drop one dime if oil companies were forced to make zero profits. Government subsidies could lower prices, but where will that money come from? The Federal government could also bring down the cost of gas by eliminating the gas tax, but only by 18.5 cents. So there is about 29 cents that can be cut off of the top of the price of a gallon of gas if we force oil companies to operate as non-profits, and for the Federal government loses all funding for road projects and maintenance. As sad as this sounds 29 cents isn’t much of a savings. And would it be worth it to have no new roads and current roads to be never be maintained, or for oil companies to have zero incentive to do business well?
So what can be done about gas prices?
Honestly, not a whole lot. When demand is so much greater than production, costs will be driven upwards. As China and India develop this issue will only continue to get worse. The oil companies will continue to be wealthier than anyone could imagine, but at some point the demand will outweigh production by such a large amount that oil will no longer be an affordable option for fuel. When will that be? I have no idea. But I wouldn’t be surprised if we are only 20-30 years away from this.
Now, if large quantities of oil were to be found and pulled out of the ground this issue could be resolved by once again making production equal or greater than demand. But the idea that we could pull enough oil out of the ground fast enough to meet the global growth demand for oil is not very likely, if anything new oil could hold off the scenario above for some period of time, but not for long.
This is the time to be researching real alternative fuel sources. They may be expensive now, but at some point they will be less expensive than oil, and we can’t simply wait until oil is no longer affordable, we need to be developing a plan now. I am a big proponent of solar technologies since when the sun is gone we will all be gone too, so it is a non-renewable resource that is essentially unlimited as far as we need to be concerned. A real solution would be to harness renewable resources rather than re-focusing on another resource that will be limited, like natural gases.
I have no doubt that the oil crisis will also start a third global war at some point. Oil makes our plastics, fuels our transportation, powers our gadgets and our homes. Our entire way of life is dependent on oil. The US, China nor India will accept rolling back to the stone age. Fighting will happen unless alternatives to oil are found and are used on a global scale.
Oil investors may be driving oil up artificially at the moment, but the facts above remain. And those factors are far greater than the investors. Oil is never going to be ‘cheap’ again. There is too much competition for a limited resource, too much demand, and too little production. It is a matter of global security that alternative fuel sources be utilized, but as long as so much money can be made as oil demand goes up, I am doubtful that anyone will take action and have the foresight to do what needs to be done to insure our nations, and the planets future security.