I've been keeping a little bit of an eye on the situation with gas prices, and I read something interesting this morning in the New York Times about the price of fuel in China. The Chinese government provides a direct subsidy for consumers there by fixing the price paid at the pump. This has insulated Chinese consumers from recent price increases and removed any motivation to scale back consumption in that country, which is one factor in the global increase in the price of oil and fuel. Yesterday, the government increased the price of gasoline for Chinese consumers by 16% to $3.83/gal, and the price of diesel by 18% to $3.58/gal. As a very tangible result of the complex psychology of oil trading, the commodity price of crude oil fell $4/barrel immediately on that news.
Although the Chinese have seen noticeable and rapid improvements in the quality of living, they are also rapidly transitioning from a biking to a automobile culture. Sigh...
The way things are going today with oil prices and global warming, Divine Intervention will hardly be necessary to have a really nasty Great Tribulation.
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