Monday, February 13, 2012

Positive Signs

Over at Mishland, where economics are the religion and anything that interferes with personal profits is a crime.  A big hullaballo is being made over the fact that we are using less oil and gasoline.

Consider the following three graphs

Man..thank you Baby Jesus.

It would appear to me that in the last couple of years, we have been curbing our stupid, stupid running around and getting a grip on the amount of money that we are putting into those idiot ideas called automobiles.

Mish is a little freaked because:
Rather, the huge dropoff in gasoline and petroleum usage in the US, coupled with falling shipping rates, a drop in Japanese Exports Three Consecutive Months, and a European Recession poised to get much worse, makes a strong case that a collapse in global trade is underway.
Dude, the collapse train left the station four years ago.  Are you really all that surprised because the train is now starting to pick up steam?

Then Chuck Smith over at "Of Two Minds" came out with this little histrionic nugget:
If we stipulate that vehicles and fuel consumption are essential proxies for the U.S. economy, then we can expect a steep decline in economic activity to register in other metrics within the next few months.
Jesus Christ, can you guys give me a break.  Running around like a brain dead chicken in your car is "an essential proxy for the US economy"?  My god, what are you..worried that your GM stock and your BP stock aren't gonna get you a vacation this year?

Folks, the car culture has to come to an end.  These charts just might mean that people are finally looking at their energy use and seeing the shallowness that it brings.

These charts lend me some hope.  Maybe, kicking and screaming and struggling against the injustice of it all, we are beginning to do what needs to get done.   We have hacked off around 12% of our energy use.  A very good start.  If we can drop our gasoline use by around 35% on top of this and manage to maintain our productive (read here: NON-AUTOMOTIVE) use of energy in ramped-up production to compensate for those damn container ships from China, maybe we will be on to something.

1 comment:

russell1200 said...

I find Mish to be a rather mean-spirited person. To my mind his type of thinking is why Libertarians are dimissed by mainstream voters. Note that both industries he has worked in, computers, and now finance, pretty much have their market parameters set for them by the government.

Small Holding was complaining about the same thing (supposed economic pickup with no extra fuel consumption), although I don't recall his source.

Construction is still anemic, and it is a big user of fuel. So possibly some of our growth is coming in more fuel efficient portions of the economy. Or they are playing with the numbers again and we can expect a big adjustment down the road.

Obama did a crappy job last time (from a Democrats point of view at least) of timing his various stimulus packages. He was all wrapped up in writing up the health care version of the new deal. FDR never would have made that mistake.