Next week: oil and troubled waters

There are two international events next week that pertain to energy markets and the future of green tech. First, the OPEC oil cartel meeting will make a short-term determination that will affect oil prices.

There are two international events next week that pertain to energy markets and the future of green tech. First, the OPEC oil cartel meeting will make a short-term determination that will affect oil prices. The OPEC meeting is Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, and already it's sending crude oil prices down to about $90 per barrel. Oil speculators expect OPEC to up its oil production.

Within OPEC a strongly anti-American faction is pushing to re-price crude oil in some fashion that liberates it from the dropping value of the U.S. dollar. Such a move is headed by Iran and Venezuela but has been staunchly opposed by the largest oil producer, Saudi Arabia. Nobody expects the anti-dollar faction to prevail anytime soon.

Also meeting next week amidst troubled political waters is the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Their meeting begins Monday and runs for ten days in Bali. They've relaxed the attendees' dress code to make everybody more comfortable in the tropical weather. Jackets and ties will NOT be required for most sessions.

So the UNFCCC is trying to find the next compromise after the Kyoto Protocol expires. With neither the U.S. nor China are signatories to Kyoto it's hardly with great optimism that you can watch the Bali get-together. It's unlikely that anything can be agreed upon beyond some heart-felt, stirring, unenforcable statements about good intentions to stop global warming and greenhouse gas emission.

This conference is the one that needs to respond to the IPCC report of two weeks ago which said, essentially, that global warming is afoot and the game is moving on without much international action.

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