Gas prices may feel like they’re constantly on the rise, but it isn’t due to rigging (or most are assuredly saying so). No FTC investigation has ever revealed some Libor-level effect in the oil market, nor has Obama, despite what he’s suggested. And while the actual cost of gas should probably be three times higher (factoring out subsidization and oil company tax-breaks), America will relentlessly protect the shit out of her gas prices, no matter the president. It’s a nonpartisan issue, it’s just Americana: We love drivin’ our cars around to get bagels and going back because we want another or forgot cream cheese. So when a major oil producer starts with the old saber rattlin’, we tend to respond quickly.
Straight of Hormuz (via)
In the gaze of an eminently treacherous Iran, Obama is thumbs-upping necessary defense contracts aimed at protecting the flow of oil. In the Strait of Hormuz, the Persian country is poised to go apeshit with subsurface mines, unhappy about the breaches of privacy on its uranium enrichment facilities (c’mon, they’re just trying to enrich some uranium man, quit fucking with the mixing cylinders). Mining campaigns such as this could really hurt fuel prices — not for a long period of time — but it would be annoying enough that a declaration of war might become necessary. So let’s try to nip this thing in the bud, okay?
Deploying a SeaFox C
Enter SeaFox C, the German-crafted semi-autonomous, fibre-optic guided underwater drone. At about $100,000 per unit, the United States is stocking up and camping out in Hormuz, preparing to huck the one-time-use drones over board. SeaFox can swim around for 100 minutes, at a range of 3,200 feet, homing in on mine locations picked up by the initial sweeping of the USS Avenger. Taking out Iran’s arsenal of around 2,000 mines might seem expensive, but the opportunity costs are much greater: One-fifth of the world’s crude is barged through Hormuz’ 30-mile-wide cut of water each day.
With the highs and lows of unregulated drones out looking for drugs, most wanted criminals and tech blogger sentiments, I get excited by the name alone. I can’t help but liken the fishy-battle-bot to the Aquanaut. Bringing the skyward experience back beneath the waves, SeaFox is like a drone-ier (sic) torpedo. Being tossed off the Avenger to scout out and ram underwater mines to pieces, units have been commissioned by several militaries in the past decade.
As the dizzying heights of unprecedented droning have many of us questioning surveillance issues and scratching our paranoid heads, SeaFox definitely feels like a less sneaky, less provocative Pokemon. Yes, it is quite pragmatic, and a water symbol; it won’t come falling into your backyard anytime soon. SeaFox has its potency, but more indirectly, like deciding for you whether or not you can afford to go get that bagel and cream cheese.