11/3/07

Oil is at $150 per Barrell, Domestic Airfare's $800: What will Academics do?


This recent article about oil shock planning in the New York Times-- link is here http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/02/business/02wargame.html?_r=1&oref=slogin --should cause academics to sit up and notice.

The Times writes...
"War in Iran. Gasoline rationing, at $5 a gallon. A military draft. A Chinese takeover of Taiwan. A military anhttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifd political confrontation with Venezuela. Double-digit inflation and unemployment. The draining of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve....$150-a-barrel oil."


What will academics do when these prices impact airfare? How will schools pay for travel to conferences? Will criteria for T and P change?


I would expect a lot will change. What I hope happens is consideration of localization of academic talent. Local conferences, local meetups, local interdisciplinary efforts in teaching. In conjunction, of course, with national and international scholarly efforts in publishing and blogging. Occasionally, a strong need will compel academics to fly. But until a new source of energy is found, it just might not be feasible.


We ought to think ahead about this.

1 comment:

Himself said...

The way we fly at present, academic or not, is nothing short of crazy. Regardless of the price, it's extraordinarily dangerous to the planet. We now have technologies that should allow us to get round the need to fly, so, frankly, we should stop. Fidel Castro made some excellent comments on this lately, specifically that despite the fact that Cuba was now awash with Venezuelan oil, it didn't mean that bureaucrats could start travelling all over the place on junkets.