Tuesday, October 11, 2005

starting now

Some US Plastic Shortages Seen From Natgas Price via LATOC
The US government should help repair damaged natural gas processing plants and declare a "national emergency" to make consumers aware of supply problems triggered by the storms, Liveris (chief executive officer of Dow Chemical) said.

"Soon the loss of chemical manufacturing in the Gulf will ripple through the economy in the form of shortages and higher prices," Liveris said. Some of the products that may develop shortages include widely used consumer goods such as plastic bottles and bags, he said.

"The short-term outlook for natural gas consumers is grim," he said. "If prices remain at or near current levels, manufacturers will be driven out of the market and many may not return."

The government should also "declare a national emergency" to shock consumers into awareness of tight supplies, he said.

For example, if all Americans turned down their home thermostats by 2 degrees this winter, an extra 3 billion cubic feet per day of gas would be available, Liveris said.

The shit starts now. The energy news of late has been so unrelenting, and so grim, that it is difficult for me to maintain an even keel in analyzing the situation. As a reminder, natural gas costs also affects fertilizer costs, in turn affecting food costs. Some of these price ripples are a month or two downstream. As the sales people might say: It's in the pipeline.

So far, broken infrastructure has been mitigated by mild weather and oil from Europe, and the lack of refinery capacity in the U.S. post hurricane(s) has kept the price of crude oil from bubbling too high. These effects will be temporary.

I still believe that the American economy is floating on a bubble of credit and wishful thinking. I'm not the only one. Nobody wants to look in the box, everybody knows the cat is dead. Who bells the consumer?

Many are saying this is going to be the winter that all hell breaks loose. Now, with the CEO of DOW chemical, Kunstler has some company. It appears he has been rubbing shoulders with reality all along.

Enjoy the Last Pancake Breakfast of our crap consumer culture, while it lasts.


At 1:26 AM, October 11, 2005, Blogger UNplanner said...

Those economic talking heads on CNBC and the like have just been absolutely chipper about how we have "weathered" the economic impact from that one-two body blow in our soft underbelly.

I am just wondering when and how that shitstorm will hit in force. You just can't lose that much production and not suffer.

Unless of course Dow and company are part of that much touted "demand destruction." Maybe we ought to be thanking them for shutting down or else we'd see even high prices. It wouldn't surprise me if next spring after the winds have winter have come and gone and we will have escaped another gas crisis with just a spat of high prices, lousy shopping and tens of thousands of newly created offshore plastics and other manufacturing jobs in Asia and the Middle East.

Jobs that once were held by Lousianans, Ohioans and Delawarans.
Oh well, a small price to pay for our globalized economy. Or at least how most media and politicians will couch it as.

We'll know better. The only question is who do we demand destruct after NEXT year's hurricanes?

By the way, I am back blogging again, this time from Coastal Oregon. This rain thing is weird...

At 11:00 PM, October 11, 2005, Blogger monkeygrinder said...

I think we'll hit a natural gas crisis this winter, unless the winter is quite mild, (and probably even then.)

Next year's hurricanes? What are you, a global warming nut?

Glad to see you settled in down on the oregon coast.

At 11:20 PM, October 11, 2005, Blogger WHT said...

You think that cartoon goes a bit overboard? Nah. I just learned that the old-school beat-hippie Paul Krassner put his infamous Disney cartoon spoof online. Take a look:

Makes a nice pair for this day and age.

At 11:53 PM, October 11, 2005, Blogger monkeygrinder said...

Carefull WHT -- wouldn't want the kiddies to see cartoons procreate.

Give them all machine guns and chop their heads off -- now that would be good clean American fun.


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