Saturday, May 24, 2008

I Have Seen The Future

Well, that's what it felt like.
Yesterday H and i went on a trip to the Hebei province w/ a student and her father. On the way there we passed by a gas station that had a line up of 1/2 a km of trucks waiting to fill up.

When we got to our destination, we looked for a gas station. We drove up to 4 gas stations, but they were all 'closed'. "No gas," said the father, "We might have to take a taxi back to Beijing." (150km).

The gas station shut downs happens with increasing frequency i gather. It's never reported in the media, surpise surprise. But you'd never know it in Beijing, where there is always gas at the gas stations. But outside of BJ, the supply can be less than reliable. One more reason people throng to the capital.

We asked for help from a few different people, and eventually got directed to a gas station, where 2 lines of vehicles were lined up for the 1 working pump.

China's gas is presently priced at $00.75/L (1/2 the cost of Canada), and is heavily subsidized by the govt. Which is ok for the millions of China's cars, but the price may double w/out warning, and many expect it to jump after the Olympics.

Fuel shortages cause problems, the heavy subsidies cause many problems, and soaring prices will cause problems. I thank the heavens above that i am less oil dependent than most, and patiently await the inevitable tumult.

Aside: If you haven't seen The End of Suburbia yet, do check it out. It's a pretty eery movie about the time where the demand for oil can no longer possibly be met. In BJ where in 2007 and 2008 more than ONE THOUSAND vehicles were registered to hit the roads EACH DAY, there could be a lot of folk w/ a lot of scrap metal on hand.

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