We are living in a new age of energy supply anxiety.
It's extraordinary how inventive one can be with ethanol right now.
Cycles of shortage and surplus characterize the entire history of oil.
Even Silicon Valley investors have put well over a $1 billion in new energy technologies.
We experienced similiar fears in the 1880s, at the end of World War I and II. And we ran out in the 1970s.
A premium in the oil price of somewhere between 10 to 15 dollars a barrel reflects this heightened anxiety.
The North Sea was supposed to run out in the 1980s. Then in the 1990s. And now production is still on-line.
The starting point for energy security today as it has always been is diversification of supplies and sources.
Clearly, the Chinese need the resources, but I don't think they want to clash with the industrial world which happens to be the market for their goods.
So the major obstacle to the development of new supplies is not geology but what happens above ground: international affairs, politics, investment and technology.