Oil markets and oil stocks. Oil is up t0 $140 a barrel. Oil stocks in the US (good proxy is XLE) is up only 10% for the year, price sensitivity of oil producers to oil price is very high-markets seem to be significantly undervaluing oil stocks, especially because futures are in contango. But the general malaise in the stock market probably is pushing the oil stocks where they are-once the selloff of financials is done they will lead the market higher.
They say Oil is up by speculators. Need to get the basics of economics right--speculators make profits if the price of oil rises more in the future-they supply oil in the future at higher prices-and thereby add value to society. See Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations on "Digression on Corn Trade" for more on this. If price of oil falls they lose money. They help in controlling consumption of today and transferring it tomorrow, so oil wont rise as much tomorrow.
That someone who trades Oil futures is called a speculator while Exxon and Aramco are not (what's the difference-each is buying something-labor and capital for cheap, and selling the final product at a profit). Just because someone really "produces" something doesn't make them any less a speculator. Isn't Walmart a speculator-buying all this chinese stuff for cheap, hoarding it and then selling it to America for dear? Shouldn't they be shut down and we get all the Chinese stuff for cheap? Eliminate the middle man, and we will get everything from the farmer and the raw producers-take division of labor and expertise to cave men era. Then I will make my own bread, make my own clothes, build my own house, build my own tools-to eliminate all the speculators etc. who make money off me-and live happily ever after? Or die very very soon? They want to reverse human development and division of labor when they talk about eliminating speculators in oil.
It is irritating to see electric hand dryers in bathrooms. They dont save trees-we can't say that for sure-do a calculation of how much energy is spend in producing all that steel which the dryer is made of, how much coal is used to produce the electricity the hand dryer consumes-and u will see that it ain't that simple. I would rather chop a few trees down and get the simple paper towel. Just because I dont sin in using the final end product of trees doesn't mean that less trees are actually being cut. Steel industry and coal mining eliminate a lot of forest, and consume lots of energy, which is itself destroying the environment, which destroys, life, etc. etc.
Hybrid cars for cleaner environment make me laugh. They are expensive than oil using cars-and will remain so for 30 years. And the carbon dioxide and carbon residues released in electricity production are harmful to the environment, people forget that. Yes, nuclear, wind and solar are energy options-but they are 3-20x more expensive to produce a unit of energy than coal, the cheap king. Chinese and Indians are for the first time seeing the dream of 24 hour electricity-and they can't be bothered a bit about destroying the environment to have 24 hour electricity. This is like going into a poor neighborhood in Chicago and ask everyone to hire a gardener to mow their lawn so the neighborhood looks pretty.
Global warming leads to madness from Bono and Al Gore. Granted that there might global warming-even though the Science behind that statement is awfully bad-but that it causes any harm is doubtful. Sure ice is melting and species in the arctic and cold regions are being destroyed-but thousands more are being generated in the tropics, where it is on average warmer. Life is always more abundant in heat-read Darwin in "The Origin of Species". A warmer earth supports more species, more life. Global warming and green earth talk is not much different from Eugenics by Galton 100 years ago-this was a very respected scientist who was talking complete crap in one field-Eugenics (he discovered finger printing as an identification technique). Intelligence is domain specific-but most people are too dumb to realize that. Therefore Galton got famous selling "improving the human stock of England" ideas to the world. There was even a Fellowship of Eugenics in the Univ of London. So many good anthropologists and good scientists fell for it. Same with global warming talk right now-it is alarmist, the earth will be fine with a few degrees of temperature rise-true penguins and polar bears might go-but these are the big species-thousands more of the small ones are being generated in the warmer parts of the ocean and the land thanks to global warming. And the mammals in the warmer parts will multiply more and lead to more varieties and species of mammals in the future.