Sunday, November 12, 2017
Greater Middle East War -and you
It's looking pretty dicey in the Middle East right now. Saudi Arabia is in the the middle of it. Tensions are increasing with Iran. Military action is being taken against Hezbollah in Lebanon. Don't forget that the Saudis are stuck in a quagmire against Yemeni rebels. That has turned into a huge humanitarian crisis. In the recent past Saudi tanks have moved into Bahrain to quell unrest.
They are a very busy kingdom right now. The arrest of prominent businessmen and royals reveal deep internal strife. I can't even begin to figure out what's going on inside the kingdom. All I know is that there's a huge power struggle in motion.
Don't forget that the war in Syria goes on, with US and Russian involvement. Now that ISIS has been greatly reduced, cracks in the alliance that defeated it are apparent. Looks like the Kurds are going to get screwed again, but that's a long standing tradition in that part of the world. Turkey is rapidly slipping away from being a democratic secular country to a religious dictatorship. They are openly courting Russia, making the Turks a very uncomfortable US ally.
So what's the average Joe supposed to do about it? We have to keep our eyes open. If conditions slip into all out war, expect the oil supplies of some major producers to be shut off. Russia would benefit from a spike in oil prices -maybe. Oil crises generally cause stock markets to plummet. A steep reduction in economic activity could greatly reduce the demand for oil. Things get complicated.
For people outside the Middle East, the biggest effects will most likely be economic. That's what the average Joe should plan for -with a likely energy shortage added in. Don't forget that energy is tightly connected to food production and distribution. Personally, I just took a quick inventory of my beans, rice and wheat supplies.
Right now I still plan on traveling. However, if everything falls apart before we leave, staying home makes the most sense. I'd top off the fuel oil tank, get more fuel for the woodstove, and top off any other supplies.
However, the current plan is travel south in January. Since we'll be traveling in the converted ambulance/motorhome, we have the option of burning waste veggie oil. Between the huge diesel tank, the veggie tank, and many 4.5 gallon jugs of veggie, we have great range. Also, I carry a 12 volt pump for gathering veggie oil from restaurant grease bins. I think we should be able to make it home. Did anyone else notice that during the hurricane evacuations, gas stations quickly ran out of gas, but still had plenty of diesel?
Am I going to panic? Nope. Panic doesn't solve any problems. What I'm going to do is to keep my eyes open and plan accordingly.