The most recent activities
I was born in 1936, so have by now reached an impressive age. For several years I had planned to cut down substantially on my professional activities so as to be able to devote more time to my private life before I die. Alas, things did not work out according to my plans, and the past three years have proved professionally quite busy.
In 2014 I published a paper on the shale revolution (no 81 in the list of published papers) together with Roberto F Aguilera of Curtin University in Austalia, and this was followed by our decision (was it really my initiative?) to write a book on a related subject. We titled it The Price of Oil, (no 26 in the list of published books) and planned three subtitles that explain what the book is about:
- Why the oil price rose stupendously over the preceding 40 years;
- Why it is likely to settle at substantially lower levels in coming decades; and
- What ample oil supplies and lower prices will mean for world politics, the world economy and the environment.
The book was published by Cambridge University Press early in 2016. Since the publisher disliked long subtitles, we had to content ourselves with the short main title and keep potential readers guesing about the book’s content. This piece of work took a big chunk of my time in 2014 and 2015.
While negotiating the publication contract, the Cambridge editors reminded me that it was about time to publish a new edition of my 2008 title A Handbook of Primary Commodities in the Global Economy (no 23 in the list of published books), and again I was too weak to resist, but to lighten my burden, I recruited Linda Wårell, professor at Luleå University of Technology, to be co-author, and do most of the work on updating and expanding the preceding edition. Nevertheless, the book kept me busy through most of 2016, and publication occurred early in 2017 (no 27 in the list of published books). By now this is a classic, for, in fact, the first version titled A Guide to Primary Commodities in the World Economy, was published by Blackwell already in 1990.
Early in 2017, Roberto Aguilera tempted me to get involved in a small project to compare the global markets for gold and oil, so as to explain the exceedingly impressive historical rise in the prices of the two materials compared with virtually all other primary commodities, and the surprisingly high correlation of the two price series, but also to comment on the likely future price evolution of these important materials. I regret to say I could not resist the temptation. I cannot promise, but that piece of research, I hope, will constitute the definite end of my professional endeavors.