Tag Archives: oil

Bits and Pieces – 20190217, Sunday – The Standard Model Part III

Commentary

I have often referenced John Mauldin, a writer who is vastly connected among key economic thinkers and money managers. I would describe him as an incurable optimist, particularly in the areas of medical and anti-aging research. I have a more pessimistic view – that our darkside and the systemic boundaries of a species growing uncontrollably will overtake the good stuff. Maybe. But the following TED talk is even more disturbing if only because it is at hand. Pandora’s box is wide open. Your standard model is about to be blown away.

(sorry for the format issue. Click on the diagonal arrows that appear at the bottom right of the video panel after you click on it, to make it full screen for better viewing.)

We have become as gods. I’ll leave aliens for another time.

Bits and Pieces – 20190207, Thursday – The Standard Model Part II

Commentary

I had a short conversation with a friend recently in which I voiced the opinion that the Harper conservatives in Canada were successful because they moved from the political right to the center. The Liberals were forced to share the left with the NDP, Green party and the Communists. The conservatives had no one right of them so they held the largest territory.

The Liberals appear to be doing it again. Their policies and financial management are increasingly what might have been identified with the left – broadly termed socialism. If their is anyone in the conservative party in Ottawa that is alive from the neck up, this might be the chance they need to regain power. At the least, if they can avoid shooting themselves in the foot as conservatives are prone to do, they may simply fall into a return to power.

But this is based on old school thinking. The problem is I don’t know where the center is today. In fact the Liberals may be right in the middle of it. Millennials and the emerging gen zeros may naturally be centered well to the left by an education system and media that has held that ground for the last fifty years or more. These generations appear to be sufficiently dumbed down and captivate by digital toys and social media that hey are incapable of critical thought and analysis.

Canada cannot survive as a sovereign nation, another four years of increasing socialism, economically, culturally or socially. Bringing a million immigrants into a moribund economy with a government whose spending is out of control will place our standard of living on a path convergent with the third world.

In the US, AOC has emerged as the darling of the Democrats. And they are not opposing her policies which are straight out of Looney Tunes: Green New Deal: “Air Travel Stops Becoming Necessary”. This is socialism moving into communism. As a rule of thumb I like to think that Canada lags the US by about three years. Will the last one to leave the room please turn out the lights.

Bits and Pieces – 20180430, Monday

Commentary

While I continue to tinker with the topic structure of these posts, I realize that the overall framework or statement of purpose is to track the major issues that will impact us individually and collectively as a society, today and in the future.

This sounds ambitious. The work, however, is more of collecting and organizing current news and writings of various authors in a coherent manner. Each post might be viewed as a two-dimension slice through daily life structured in threads (topics) that across time, introduce a third dimension. This latter view of a thread is what constitutes an essay or a book.

Much of what I include involves little or no commentary on my part. Sometimes, an issue or an item bubbles to the surface resulting in a more extensive treatment on my part. I have several issues that I simply don’t have time to explore

This issue of Bits and Pieces reflects the growing attention I am paying to the propaganda aimed at controlling us.

The WWIII Chronicles: Introduction

As 2015 draws to a close I am beginning the development of a theme that has been ruminating in my mind for more than a year. The theme is that we are witnessing the initial skirmishes of the hot phase of World War Three (WWIII) identified by many as the New Cold War or Cold War 2. There are almost daily events that we can weave into this theme which is why we are starting this journal as a set of chronicles.

Although we like to think in terms of linear causation with the result we attribute specific events as seminal markers, that is not how the world works. A linear deterministic mode of thinking can never capture the evolution of a complex system of the actions and interactions of many actors.

Taking World war I as an example, The Week gives us the common cited simplistic immediate cause of the war as the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, the archduke of Austria-Hungary. The Week also outlines several geopolitical situations that fed into an active hot phase of hostility. By ‘hot phase’ we mean military action.

Under construction

References

  1. How did the First World War start?

Inside a Silo

Zero Hedge posted an article today titled  BP’s Latest Estimate Says World’s Oil Will Last 53.3 Years. The article states (emphasis ours):

BP’s annual report on proved global oil reserves says that as of the end of 2013, Earth has nearly 1.688 trillion barrels of crude, which will last 53.3 years at current rates of extraction. This figure is 1.1 percent higher than that of the previous year. In fact, during the past 10 years proven reserves have risen by 27 percent, or more than 350 billion barrels.

In Jeopardy Question: This Body of Water Determines the Fate of the Modern Day Anasazi, we stated:

We are linear deterministic thinkers. Another description of our thought processes is that we think in “silos”. Broad dynamic networks of independently acting agents are beyond our ability to model and rationalize so we simply ignore them.

This is a classic example of “silo” thinking. This is a linear projection of future reserves based on a figure for the current rate of extraction projected to the point where the reserves are exhausted. What are totally ignored are the feedback loops that will affect extraction decisions.Certainly the cost of the next barrel extracted will not be the same as the cost of the last barrel extracted.  Certainly demand will not stay constant, affectingh both price and extraction decisions. But the feedback loops that Gail Tverberg speaks of (read Oil: Primary Energy Source for the Human Social CAS) will affect extraction costs and decisions long before the last barall is reached. In facct, society as we know it will have changed in unimaginable ways and perhaps collapsed altogether before known reserves are exhausted.

The BP extrapolation is useful for drawing people’s attention to the immediacy of the problem but for no other reason.

Related Links on This Site

Oil: Primary Energy Source for the Human Social CAS

On the “About” page of her blog site, Our Finite World, Gail Tverberg writes:

In early 2007, Gail decided to devote full-time to issues related to oil shortages, and other shortages, and their impact on the economy.

She explains in one sentence what she is about – a researcher and writer on the relationship between material shortages, particularly oil, and the economy. A sharp focus like this is usually the sign of a sharp mind. At the same time, she confirms our intuition that the issues around oil are a full time job, validating our decision to largely avoid the topic. Now that we share her interest in the context of networks or CASs, we will pick up the topic by distilling her latest essay, Why Standard Economic Models Don’t Work–Our Economy is a Network.

This essay becomes the first on the energy aspect of our new series on complex adaptive systems (CAS: The Operative Principle Behind Everything). In extracts that we quote from her essay any emphasis will be ours unless otherwise noted.

CAS: Limits in a Connected World

The grand strategy that we have adopted is to understand our global civilization as a complex adaptive system (CAS) or less formally, a networked or connected world. One of the first sources of commentary that came our way when we launched this effort is the video by Chris Martenson below (56:04 minutes). After the video we comment on it, extracting what are key ideas for our theme.

This is a long but well produced and clearly explained analysis of the current state of our civilization from three key viewpoints, economic, environmental, and energy. We examine each in turn.

The Future of OPEC

 

December 4, 2013
The Future of OPEC
Pump jacks in the Kurdish town of Derik, on the border with Turkey and Iraq, Nov. 25. (ACHILLEAS ZAVALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Summary

The prospect of revitalized oil production in Iraq and Iran may add to tensions between those two countries and Saudi Arabia over export quotas. On Dec. 4, representatives of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will meet in Vienna to discuss a number of topics. OPEC is facing two challenges. First, OPEC’s historically biggest consumer — the United States — is rapidly increasing its own domestic production. At the same time, OPEC must deal with plans to expand oil production envisioned both by Iraq and Iran, which could lead to lower prices than the cartel desires. Ultimately, however, emerging markets in Asia will set global demand, and their energy thirst will determine the scale of the problem OPEC faces.

Socialism: An American Scenario I

This essay is based on the promotional video from Porter Stansberry shown below. We warn the reader it is long – we didn’t time it and it doesn’t display its length – and is structured to sell a newsletter subscription. Some readers might find the newsletter beneficial but our intent is to examine the primary scenario, one of a wealth-driven radical increase in socialist programming in the US. We do not have to accept its basic premises but we can extract some valuable points and observations from it. Here’s the video. We follow it with an extract of what we consider to be key points and then we discuss the points.

Three Cheers for Ethical Oil

Below is a new essay from Dr. Paul Merkley printed by permission of Paul and from The Bayview Review.

Ezra Levant’s national bestselling Ethical Oil: The Case for Canada’s Oil Sands (2010) presents compelling analysis on environmentalists’ apparent preference for doing business with fascist theocracies and other nasty regimes.

Viewing Canada’s oil sands as a blessing, Levant points out that Canada is the only genuine liberal democracy among the top ten largest oil-reserve nations. The human rights record of Saudi Arabia is no secret: women are forbidden to drive cars, teenage “criminals” have been “beheaded with swords in the public square,” and homosexuals are executed. Justice in Iran includes “death by stoning, crucifixion, or limb amputation.” There are many reports of human rights abuses in oil-producing nations such as Venezuela and Sudan.

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