global warming climate change happening in the actual real world? Frankly I think the whole idea is turned on it’s head by politics. The concept of “static climate” is what’s full of holes. Living in the Holocene we know that climate jumps all over the place. For example; 10,000 years ago my backyard was under a glacier and now I can’t keep up with the lawn during summer. Meanwhile from 800 to 1,200 Vikings were practicing agriculture in Greenland only to get their ass handed to them sometime around the late 1,300s. Climate, like shit, happens.
I find the whole idea of climate variation interesting and coupled with political BS I see observable variation in the ebb and flow of seasonal cycles. An amusing sign of seasonal cycles is the time of year when the government looses it’s shit (again) over the price of gas. I tend to remember that as a dog days of summer concern but it does appear to be shifting to a springtime issue.
I theorise that politicians are getting ever quick to panic and increasingly unable to accept changes in the price of anything anywhere for any reason. The cause could be anything; increasing economic illiteracy (deliberate or accidental), political grandstanding, or divisive attitudes could all contribute to this annual display of ignorance. Maybe there are other factors I haven’t touched on.
But what is happening? Lets consider a smattering of observations that I gathered in less time than it takes to drink a cup of coffee (unlike politicians I’ve got work to get done and can’t waste all day “emoting” over things I dislike and attempting to somehow control price signals.)
What I’ve noted as follows:
- June 28th, 2000: The full Commerce Committee met to flesh out explanations for the ever-increasing price of gasoline across the nation…Since President Clinton announced that the FTC would begin an investigation into rising oil prices, the wholesale price of gasoline has dropped precipitously, yet retail prices continue their climb.
- April 27th, 2006: Eighty-eight Members of Congress led by U.S. Representatives Rosa L. DeLauro (Conn.-3), Bart Stupak (MI-1) and Stephanie Herseth (SD-At Large) today urged House Speaker Dennis Hastert to investigate skyrocketing gas prices and possible price-gouging.
- May 23rd, 2008: In what has become a regular show in the hearing rooms on Capitol Hill, the oil company executives took a second day of lashings on Thursday. On Wednesday, they went through a similar exercise with the Senate Judiciary Committee.
- April 29th, 2011: (My own article.) Obama recently began the summertime “gas prices are too high pointing of fingers”. He went so far as to launch the traditional “panel to investigate this thing which we don’t understand”.
- March 15th, 2012: …last week Congressional Democrats sent a letter to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission complaining that it hasn’t done enough to rein in speculators. You see, their new toy – the Dodd-Frank bill – charges the Trading Commission with limiting how many crude oil contracts can be held by different banks.
- March 20th, 2012: (My own article.) Is that the annual congressional blovation about gas prices starting already? I avoid the news but it sure seemed to be ramping up with a good solid election year pandering season in the offing. Gosh, it’s gotta’ be spring.
A dozen years ago it was late June. (That’s about what I expected. I consider that my “default” expectation.) Six years ago it was late April. Four years ago it backed up to late May but by last year it had receded again to late April. This year is the earliest ever with a mid-March onset.
Looks like a dozen years of generally earlier onset of “gasoline psychosis”, albeit with a brief remission in 2011. Only time will tell what will happen in 2013 but if trends continue it’ll be somewhere between early April or mid/early March.
Of course, Congress could learn that gasoline, like everything, is subject to market forces. Ha ha ha…I’m just kidding. Bet on an outbreak of cluelessness in April 2013 and you’ll probably have called it a year in advance.
P.S. My “truck of doom” has a huge fuel tank and can go a long time between fuel ups. I didn’t need to but I recently topped it off because I expected prices to be higher in the following weeks…which it was. This, is by definition “speculation”; something that Congress seems to think causes high prices (a lot like how wet pavement makes rain). They also seem to think they can eliminate it by writing words on paper. Good luck with that.