It is easy to look at these skyrocketing energy prices (search) and say we're being gouged or we're being duped or worse, we're just being had.
The facts are somewhat different.
Sometimes while we search for enemies, we might just as well stop by first and look in the mirror — at ourselves and a still strong economy that still sucks up a lot of oil. And not just here: everywhere.
Europe's picking up steam. Latin America's picking up steam. And then there's China and India.
In the next few years, those two countries alone will use as much oil as the "world" uses today.
It's about a lot of demand, for not a lot of supply. Just like it was about no demand for a lot more supply when the world economy was hurting and no one was buying and oil prices were falling.
Oil trades like stocks these days. And just like stocks move up and down on emotion, so too this most precious of commodities. If you find more supply or find more energy alternatives, prices will come down.
I suspect these higher prices are already affecting demand — more people car-pooling, fewer people wasting.
So we conserve more. Think more. Do more. And I suspect, oil prices come down more.
I'm not smart enough to know exactly when and how, but I know enough about our system to know that the rule of supply and demand decides these things more than point-and-blame.
Prices are high for a reason. The hardest thing to fathom is that "we're" the big reason.
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