August 26, 2008
Hurricane Gustav has spun up in the last week or so, and current forecasts are showing that it will make it into the Gulf of Mexico as a major (Category 3-5) hurricane. Here’s the current 5-day forecast from the National Hurricane Center.
It’s still way too early to say for sure that this storm is a threat to the oil patch in the GOM, but for now it doesn’t look good. We’re just getting to that point in the season where ocean surface temps are hot enough to support major ‘canes, and this one appears to be a on good track to hit the US somewhere between the Florida Panhandle and Houston.
I would expect gas prices to jump soon both due to to this and due to the Labor Day holiday coming up. Not sure about the rest of the country, but around here gas prices rise in the week prior to Labor Day since it’s the last hurrah for a summer driving vacation before school starts. If Gustav does look to be aiming for somewhere between New Orleans and Houston, oil & gasoline prices should rise fast. A return to $4/gallon around here would be in order.
The best forecasts are from the NHC. If you’re interested in more commentary, satellite pix, and discussion (both good & bad), Storm 2K is a great place to go.
August 21, 2008
Sorry for the long delay in posting. Been sick, on vacation, working, etc…
Interesting article on Stratfor today outlining the new balance of power that is starting to take shape in our post 9/11 world. Long story short, Russia invades Georgia, US protests, Russia couldn’t care less, US is more or less powerless to do anything. The short-lived era of US imperial dominance has already reached its high-water mark from the looks of it, and other powers and regional blocs are starting to emerge. The Russians for one are obviously no about to let NATO and the US arrange things in Central Asia & Eastern Europe, and it’s a fair guess that both Russia & China will drop the hammer on us if we either attack Iran or give Israel the go-ahead do to so on our behalf.
Things aren’t as crystal clear as the talk radio & blog pundits (especially on the right) describe. The US is still a powerful nation, and we have global influence. We also are deep in debt to foreign nations and there are limits to our military power both in terms of human & financial capital. It’ll be interesting to see if Russia’s incursion into Georgia is a precursor of other actions in their area, and it’ll be interesting to see if the Chinese take any lessons from this into their dealings with Taiwan.