Thursday, July 24, 2008

Crude Oil crisis - What the US should do.

Here are a few pointers for the policy-makers in the US govt on how to deal with the oil crisis.  As I see it, the US Govt has the following options to bring down the crude-oil prices back to sustainable levels.

1) Mount a covert operation to hide away all your motor vehicles for a month. Don't allow any cars or trucks on the roads. Plant false media reports that Toyota and Honda have independently invented teleportation, and the days of the automobile are past. Plant media reports that the Japanese car manufacturing giants have patented two designs of the teleportation machine and are undercutting each other's prices. Convince the world that internal combustion engines have been declared illegal and anyone found in possession with intent to use is being shot on sight. Make sure that TV reports show empty roads and airstrips for an entire month. Since the economy of the Arab nations and a large part of the former Soviet Union and Venezuela depends on Oil exports, and with no scope for export revenue, they will soon begin to panic. In a desperate attempt to save the motorcar (and hence their economy) they will be forced to approach your Government. They will be on their knees, begging you to take away all their oil reserves in return for few sandwiches. Take ownership of their oil fields, without seeming to be too keen. When its done, bring back your cars and airplanes, and resume your normal life.

2) All this fuss is over crude oil, which is essentially fossil fuel. Buried old carcasses of animals. So, logically the only reason Middle Eastern Asia is rich in oil reserves is because at one point of time, that region was the most populated in the world. It is too late to do anything about it now, but there is still hope. You can secure energy independence for your future generations. Start by encouraging immigration. Increase your population. Promote promiscuous inbreeding. Lift job curbs on migrant workers, promote immigration. Take in refugees. Adopt the biggest refugee camps in Africa, and bring them home. Encourage obesity in schools. Lift the ban on lard. Ban exercise instead. So, finally when the world plunges into a dark ice age, 3 billion overweight people will be buried under 5 miles of snow. Maybe a million years later, you might have a slight edge over the Middle Eastern countries. It may not be much of a chance, but under given circumstances, its the best you've got. Some economists I have spoken to seem to be of opinion that for world dominance, giving yourself 1 million years may be a tad pessimistic, which brings me to my next point.

3) Invade Saudi Arabia.

And Russia. And while you are at it, annex Iran, The United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Kuwait. Bomb the living daylights out of Canada and Mexico, and kill all refugees. Kill every man, woman and child in Venezuela, Norway and China. Simultaneously, using your air strike capabilities, capture Peru, Brazil and Siberia. Alaska is already yours but bomb it anyway, just to be sure. Bomb the hell out of Bering Sea, South China Sea, Gulf of Alaska, and carpet-bomb most of the Pacific Ocean, just to mark your territory. Seeing the trail of death and destruction, Algeria and Nigeria will throw up their arms in the air and surrender without a fight. You will then have undisputed control over 59 million barrels per day of supply and over 1189 billion barrels of oil reserves, besides a lot of cheap real estate.

4) Next, confiscate all automobiles in China, UK, Japan, Germany, South Korea, Russia and India. With no cars left in the 7 largest oil importers and with no human beings left to drive them anyway, the demand for crude oil would fall to near zero levels. Finish off the steel and fertilizer plants to do a thorough job. When oil suddenly becomes so cheap, nothing will stand in the way of your economic growth. More thermal power plants will flourish, cars will become bigger and faster, more space stations will be launched, more factories will be opened, clean energy projects will become prohibitively expensive and hence will be justifiably abandoned. Forests and polar ice caps will vanish and so will the sun - behind a screen of thick black smoke, which will give the earth perfect camouflage in outer space, so wandering alien space-settlements will accidentally crash into it, and the alien spectators will think its a black hole and will dutifully follow suit, doing what is expected of them, careful not to annoy the laws of physics; thus destroying whatever is left on earth. But what is buried under an ocean of rubble is a hundred billion tonnes of decaying human carcass, which would one day form the reason for another fine political engagement, thus setting it up nicely for a sequel.

On a lighter note, my grand-uncle recently told me that he drove from Kottayam, Kerala to Madras - a distance of 700km on a tankful of diesel in his Ambassador. It cost him Rs.45 in 1971. For Rs.45 these days, you cannot even crank an engine one revolution. I wish I could tell kids 30 years later that I travelled 700 km for Rs.45, but I don't want to. I love my planet too much to let petrol remain cheap.

If there is indeed a solution to the oil crisis, it's got to be one of these. Anything else is just a compromise. You have nuclear reactors and multi billion dollar auto industry backed researches into ceramic superconductors and ultra efficient electric-hybrid-DNA cars that run on love and sunshine. Those Sheikhs have nothing, just a few pipes stuck into the ground. What chance do they have? If with all the might of your atomic energy and nuclear science you couldn't put a few camel jockeys out of business, well you're pretty much screwed.

And that's all I have to say on that.