Jeffrey Rubin on CNBC: The Export/Land Model in Action

If you haven’t read up on Jeffrey Brown’s (aka Westexas on The Oil Drum) Export Land Model, please do so. This will be one of, if not the most important factors affecting the price of oil, and therefore the world economy over the next decade.

CNBC had economist Jeffrey Rubin on one of it’s live shows this week to discuss future energy prices, and it’s obvious that he both gave them an answer they didn’t care for, nor one they could easily refute.

Watch and learn:

Oil prices will bounce around, but the general trend is up, at least until the price gets high enough to initiate serious demand destruction across the world. I doubt any of us will celebrate $50 oil when we’re unemployed & scrambling to secure the basic necessities of life.

Mr. Rubin talks of $100 oil as a given, but I think he’s soft-pedaling this a bit. We’re going to hit $100 oil without a problem just from the dollar continuing to lose value. $150 oil, anyone? This is another sign of growing recognition that we have problems looming with energy. For most folks, the stories in the mass media are usually about issues with spot shortages or seasonal price spikes. The stories concerning long-range, permanent increases in energy prices are usually limited to economics or political media. How long this remains to be the case, we’ll see.

If you’re an American, the prospects for coming years aren’t that great. The dollar will likely continue to fall to historic low levels, energy & food prices will continue to increase, we’ll be stuck in a seemingly endless war in the Middle East that solves little (other than to enrich military contractors at our expense), and the Iron Triangle will continue to insist that things are going great.

The main idea is to keep the current game going as long as possible. As long as we continue to buy stuff we don’t really need and rack up more & more debt, those nations whose manufacturing bases has grown by selling to the USA will continue to feel they have little choice but to keep on buying US bonds, and everyone gets one more quarter of party time… that’s really where we’re at these days. There are no serious long-term fixes being planned, folks. It’s almost as if the powers that be are either oblivious to these looming problems, or they have decided for one reason or another that running into the wall is the best path forward. We have so much invested in our current way of life (both psychologically and monetarily) that I don’t know for sure which it is.

11 Responses to Jeffrey Rubin on CNBC: The Export/Land Model in Action

  1. Theresa says:

    I am deeply disturbed by the cavalier way “invading Canada” is mentioned.

  2. Jared says:

    I am so thankful to you for all the links and research you have been posting that I can follow. I am currently putting together both a research paper and a poster (for English and Environmental Science respectively) that focus on peak oil as sound science and a serious, imminent, problem. I would like to present alternatives within these projects to the two most serious problems (transportation and food) but I’m hoping that, even if I can’t fit alternatives in, my classmates will at least be curious enough to ask.

  3. Bart says:


    Thanks for your comment. Take the ‘Invading Canada’ rhetoric with a grain of salt. There’s no need for military action when the foundation for integration is already being laid:

    While opinions vary on what exactly these efforts are shooting for, the lack of transparency and lack of legislative oversight is worrying.

  4. Bart says:


    I’m glad that you’re finding my postings to be of use to you. For serious discussion of issues and potential discussions, the Oil Drum is the best place I’ve found for peak oil-related talk.

    Getting the information out is the crucial first step. I think it’s too late to sidestep the problems, but there is time left to prepare and adapt for what might be a very different future than what most folks have imagined…

  5. Prof. Goose says:

    let’s not forget the NAFTA provisions Bart… that’s the real boondoggle here.

    (and thank you for the kind words and the Rubin video find. I’m going to front page that Saturday for the reasons you mention…Jeff’s ELM is starting to make more and more sense…)


  6. Bart says:

    Good point, PG!

    I’d love to take original credit for the video, but I found it via Energy Bulletin.

    Mr. Brown takes a fair bit of heat from other posters, but I think his ELM model is dead on. Our current way of life is living on borrowed time, and the more I read, the more I think that trouble is coming in the next five years or so.

  7. Theresa says:

    I guess “invasion” takes many forms.

  8. Bart says:

    I’d say it’s more “Sold down the river” personally…

  9. gernos says:

    When Rubin mentions $100 /barrel you can see that he doesn’t mean this seriously.
    As an economist it must be clear to him that $100 is i) not particularly expensive in historical terms and ii) not nearly high enough to bring about the degree of demand destruction that – say – a 10 percent fall in imports from today´s level would require.
    I think he is leaving it to us to join up the – very few – dots. There is a limit to what you can put out on CNBC.

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  11. Bart says:

    Good points, gernos.

    I agree with your overall assessment. Mr. Rubin is simply trying to shake some trees and raise a warning without being painted as a Cassandra. A ten percent drop in imports for the USA would cause a lot of ‘turbulence’ in the economy I’d think… more than a $20 spike in oil prices I’d think.

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