Many people profess to be interested in the news. Many people profess to want to know what goes on in the world. Few actually do. To actually be interested in the news you must be willing to follow complex arguments. You must also be willing to tolerate a certain degree of ambiguity.
If you are one of those people with those distressingly rare traits, then you owe it to yourself to read this essay by Stuart Staniford called A Nosedive into the Desert. In one sense, you could argue that this essay is nothing more then an exercise in punditry. It is one man’s opinion on what the available data means. But if all opinion’s were as rigorously argued as this essay is, the world would be a better place.
If you have time you might want to familiarize yourself with the context for this essay by readying Staniford’s post called Saudi Arabian oil declines 8% in 2006 and a critique of that post by Euan Mearns called Saudi Arabia and that $1000 bet. It was in response to that critique that Staniford wrote A Nosedive into the Desert. You can also read the Ape Man’s thoughts on the subject here.
But if you don’t have time to do all that reading, I think that A Nosedive into the Desert stands on its own.