Saturday, June 11, 2005

Several From FTD

A few posts from the link farm that is Flying Talking Donkey:
  • Marshall Brain thinks peak oil will be a non-event. File under Man, I Hope He's Right Dep't. He has a followup here, as well as an interesting article about cheap Chinese electric cars. (Does it always have to be from China, though?)
  • Outside The Beltway takes a look at Kevin Drum's peak oil series, starting with Part 1.
  • One of the premisses of a lot of peak oil buffs is that Chindia (i.e., China plus India) are going to grow forever to the sky. As the dot-com bust proved, neither trees nor economies grow to the sky, and according to Robert Blumen at the Mises Economic Blog, neither will China, whose state-run economy is investing in pretty much everything, all at once, regardless of returns. Money quote:
    Across town at investment bank Morgan Stanley, its China-watching economist Andy Xie also sees an economic machine going at high speed towards a crash, similar to the meltdown that hit Asian economies in 1997.

    "China is an export and investment-driven model and the connection between exports and investment is basically that the state banking system takes the money earned by exports and puts it into investment regardless of returns," Xie says. "That model is likely to last until the crisis."

  • Bacteria that generate electricity and clean up toxic wastes? Believe it.
  • This Dmitri Orlov piece at PowerSwitch almost demands no comment (it appeared earlier in the week at Odograph), except to say that its author was a former occupant of the Soviet state and has a similarly blinkered idea of how things work outside that prison.