Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Rich Son's Brave New World.

Robert Kiyosaki is the author of the "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" series of books. I expect a new book, say maybe "Rich Dad's Guide to Canadian Oil Sands" at any moment. But, generally, my observation is that the peak oil/oil crisis meme is spreading to more mainstream types.

Yahoo Finance: The Coming Oil Crisis.


Oil Prices Will Keep Heading Up

My reason for taking you on this trip down memory lane is because I believe we're approaching a repeat of that 1973-1974 crisis. Once again, oil prices are going through the roof. During the mid-70s, oil went from under $3 a barrel to over $35 a barrel. And in 1974, we were stuck in an unpopular war in Vietnam, a war we would not win.

In 1998, oil was just $10 a barrel, and today it is over $60. We're also stuck in a war we may not be able to win.

The difference this time is that things are actually worse than they were in 1974, at least in my opinion. One difference is that the oil crises back in 1973 to 1974 and again in 1978 were political problems. Today, the oil crisis is a problem of diminishing supply and increasing demand. In other words, this time, there really is an oil crisis.

Many people today believe that oil will once again return to the $35-a-barrel level and aren't concerned. Or they believe that with better technology, energy companies will find more oil, and happy days will be here again.

I believe differently. Not that I'm an oil expert, but in 1966 through 1968 I was hired as an apprentice by Standard Oil of California, where I learned a lot about oil and the oil industry. Although I did see oil prices slide back down in the 1970s, this time, I believe they will go higher, not lower. I wouldn't be surprised if we soon see oil at over $100 a barrel and gasoline at $5 to $12 a gallon at the pump.


An Alarming Gap

While many environmentalists, concerned with global warming, are thrilled that oil supply is on a decline (and we truly do need to replace oil with more renewable forms of energy, such as wind and solar power), there's another concern that must be considered. If energy costs continue to rise and our economy stops growing and starts shrinking, many stocks will crash, older Americans will not be able to retire, inflation may skyrocket, businesses will close or cut back, and jobs will be lost. Not only will we be facing global warming, we'll be facing civilized chaos.

The problem today is that oil companies are too short-sighted, the environmentalists too far-sighted, and politicians only concerned with being elected. As a result, there will be a gap between the end of oil and a conversion to less destructive forms of energy. In this gap, all hell may break loose.

In my next article, I'll go into what I'm doing to prepare for the gap, as well as why I believe the gap can't be avoided. In other words, it will not be 1973-1974, or stagflation, all over again. I believe it will be the end of civilization as we know it -- and possibly the birth of a brave new world."