Thursday, June 30, 2005

76 UNOCAL IN THE BIG PARADE

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Warner Bros. Music Man

The battle for Unocal heats up. More than one person has noticed that this is an economic shot across our corporate/military/industrial prows. All the rhetoric about free trade is now being put to a test. Congress, which passed all those free trade laws and which is passing CAFTA now is blanching as they reconsider the wisdom of their ways.

From Unocal corporate headquarters:
El Segundo, Calif., June 29, 2005 - Unocal Corporation (NYSE: UCL) announced today that its board of directors has set Aug. 10, 2005, as the date of the special meeting of Unocal's stockholders at which a vote is scheduled to be taken on the proposed merger with Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX). Stockholders who hold shares of Unocal common stock at the close of business on June 29, 2005, the record date for the special meeting, will be entitled to vote on the Chevron merger at the special meeting.

Unocal previously announced that on June 22, 2005, it received a proposal from CNOOC Limited to acquire all outstanding shares of Unocal for $67 per share in cash. Unocal also announced that it has received a waiver from Chevron enabling Unocal to engage in discussions with CNOOC and its representatives concerning the proposed CNOOC transaction.

In connection with entering into the Chevron merger agreement, the Unocal board of directors recommended the transaction to Unocal's stockholders. That recommendation remains in effect. Unocal expects that, prior to the August 10 special meeting, and after engaging in discussions with CNOOC, Unocal will update stockholders regarding the Unocal board's evaluation of the CNOOC proposal.
Looks like the deal is still on! But wait! From the Financial Times:
Chevron Corp has played a direct role in drafting and circulating letters from members of Congress asking the Bush administration to examine and potentially block China's CNOOC Ltd's bid for Unocal Corp, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with Chevron's activities in the capital.

In a sign of congressional concern, House Republican leaders are planning to bring to the floor today a resolution urging the administration to give the CNOOC bid close scrutiny, the report said.

In addition, the House may vote as early as today on a budget amendment that seeks to bar the Treasury Department from taking any action approving Unocal's sale to CNOOC, the Journal said in its online edition.
Chevron, instead of offering a higher bid, pulls political muscle instead. This has repercussions, of course. Our government is owned by more than one person. The Chinese weighed in today. From Xinhua News:
Stay out of it.

That's what corporate America is doing, and that's what some outspoken executives are advising the US Government to do about Chinese oil firm CNOOC's US$18.5 billion bid for California-based Unocal Corp.

Executives say the government should let the market decide whether CNOOC Ltd's offer or a rival bid from Chevron Corp comes out on top for the ninth-largest US oil and gas producer.

A US government panel will likely consider whether national security would be threatened if China gains control of Unocal's oil and gas reserves as well as proprietary drilling technology and mining assets.

General Electric Co, often considered a bellwether for corporate America due to its range of businesses from industry to finance to media, said China stepping out into the world is a natural evolution of the country's growing economic power.

However, GE executives carefully avoided a question at an analyst meeting on Tuesday about whether deals like CNOOC's posed a threat to its business.

A few companies' executives stepped out from the shadows following the CNOOC bid, saying that blocking the deal would send the wrong message after US officials and multinational corporations have encouraged China in recent years to adopt more open policies regarding foreign investment.
Interesting. GE owns vast media real estate just like some other corporations that want to keep us under their thumbs. I will note the game of keeping the anti-Chinese talk as low as possible, raising it only to stir the pot when deal making, continues. Want to know my opinion?

All our energy systems are owned by traitors. They all have international connections and they are not shy about using and abusing us, the host nation they manipulate, to fight wars for their own business purposes. Right now, we are paying $300+ billion to hold down Iraq for them so they can make money selling that oil to Europe and Japan. This, to put it mildly, stinks since many people are dying because of this so trusting these monsters is a waste of time. The Chinese cannot be worse than our own Texan businessmen.

From Common Dreams:
Anyway, Bush's energy policy can pretty much be summed up in the immortal words of that 1970s bumper sticker, once seen so frequently in the South: ``Drive Fast. Freeze a Yankee.'' Like everyone else from Texas, Bush does not believe in conservation. Or in forcing domestic oil producers to refine enough home-heating oil to get the Yankees through the winter. Or, heaven forbid, in taxing gas more heavily to make people start to think: Gee, maybe I should buy a basic sedan instead of an SUV.
I have lived in El Paso. I have lived in the Southwest. I know all about the freeze the Yankee stuff. It was real and it was loud. So I have little faith or trust in my supposedly fellow Americans.

After lining up their ideological duckies, the Chinese have gone back to doing what they do very well now: diplomacy. Once again, back to Russia to touch base and strengthen ties and prepare for the next salvo upon America. They will, I am assuming, discuss Iran. The victory of an anti-American mayor who is a hardliner is pure gold for Hu and Putin. Remember this? NTI News:
2/27/2005: RUSSIA AND IRAN SIGN NUCLEAR FUEL DEAL
On 27 February 2005, Russia and Iran signed agreements that will allow Tehran to start up the Bushehr nuclear power plant in 2006. Under the agreement, Russia committed to supply Iran with approximately 110 tons of nuclear fuel while Iran promised to repatriate all spent nuclear fuel back to Russia.[1] By returning the spent nuclear fuel, Moscow and Iran hope to allay fears that Iran may use the spent fuel to develop nuclear arms.[2] The conclusion of an agreement on the return of spent nuclear fuel has been delayed for years (for more information, see the 11/10/2003 and 12/26/2002 entries below). Even the 26 February signing ceremony was delayed one day due to questions regarding the readiness of storage facilities in Iran and the delivery schedule, with Russia seeking a later delivery date and Iran seeking an earlier date. Although the final details of the delivery date were not revealed, Aleksandr Rumyantsev, head of Russia's Federal Atomic Energy Agency, said that the Iranian nuclear plant is scheduled to come online in late 2006 and the fuel will be delivered six months prior to that.
The delivery has been made accompanied by howls from Condi and Bush which is music to Putin's ears.

As I pointed out several months ago, Bush's visit to Moscow was a total failure. Complete and utter failure. He acted up like he was a boy visiting Never Neverland rather than the Kremlin. He thought, eating dinner and acting the fool would win over Putin. Putin served him cold duck soup and laughed.

From Xinhua News:

Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived here Thursday for a four-day state visit, which aims to enhance the strategic partnership of cooperation between China and Russia.

During his stay in Moscow, Hu Jintao is expected to hold talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on expansion of bilateral cooperation in various sectors. The Chinese president will also meet with Russian government and parliament leaders.

The two countries will sign a number of cooperation agreements during Hu's visit. Hu is also scheduled to make a trip to Novosibirsk, the third largest city in Russia after Moscow and St. Petersburg.

In recent years, Sino-Russian relations have entered a new stage of development, featuring political mutual trust, economic cooperation and cultural exchanges. In 2001, the two countries signed the Sino-Russian Good-neighborly Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation, which serves as the legal foundation of bilateral friendly relations.

Last year, trade between the two countries reached a record high of 21.2 billion US dollars, or a 34.7 percent increase over the previous year. In the first three months of this year, the trade volume increased 20.7 percent over the corresponding period of last year.
Note the point of the trip: to sign agreements and to arrange further agreements. This is all business and you can bet, the pictures coming out of Russia will be formal portraits of Putin and Hu, fully dressed, appropriate faces, each with something good to give each other. Both men are formidable negotiators who can face to face, talk. They have underlings do all the prep work but the final revisions and final read through is done by them, themselves.

I seriously doubt Bush reads any such things. Seriously, his only talent is for ripping up treaties or spilling his drinks on documents.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

NATURAL GAS PEAK

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Since most homes and many power plants use natural gas for heating, cooking and making electricity, one would imagine the news that we have hit the Hubbert Oil Peak in natural gas would be huge headlines. But this is America the Wasteful and so this is greeted with the usual dead silence.

From Reuters via From the Wilderness.com:
After weak prices in the 1990s due to oversupply, natural gas production in North America will probably continue to decline unless there is another big discovery, Exxon Mobil Corp.'s (XOM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) chief executive said on Tuesday.

"Gas production has peaked in North America," Chief Executive Lee Raymond told reporters at the Reuters Energy Summit.

Asked whether production would continue to decline even if two huge arctic gas pipeline projects were built, Raymond said, "I think that's a fair statement, unless there's some huge find that nobody has any idea where it would be."
About those "weak prices": when the basis of all energy systems, oil, is cheap, all other forms become cheaper, too, due to old fashioned competition. Understanding why oil was suddenly "cheaper" in the roaring nineties is vital to understanding our great peril in the future.

Energy prices didn't fall because of the Gulf War. Americans would love to preen themselves on this so that we can assume our present, disasterous and expensive war will make things revert to the status quo of the nineties, but this is a false hope.

Why do most news stories and commentators talking about energy avoid mentioning Russia? This truly puzzles me. For 75 years, Russia, the world's second largest oil reserve, kept out of the capitalist system and only traded with fellow communist states in the Warsaw Pact countries it conquered or kept all the energy domestic. In the 1980's, Russia inked trade agreements with Germany for piping natural gas. The world's biggest natural gas line was built. This displeased the Reaganites running America at the time but they had no alternative plan for Germany's energy needs so the Germans ignored the Americans.

Immeadiately, the price of oil began to fall. The Texans were displeased with Reagan's disinterest in their affairs and staring disaster in the face, they hoped Bush could fix this. He did.

When Saddam, our client who we supported in the Iran/Iraq war to raise world oil prices so Texans could get rich, signalled he wanted a new invasion and April Gillepsie gave him the nudge-nudge-wink-wink to greenlight it without leaving any fingerprints. Saddam invaded and Bush Sr. pounced.

World oil prices shot up! But this was a feeble solution. Even after removing Saddam's country from the world oil markets, the prices collapsed thanks to Russia's sudden and unintended revolution felling the communist dictatorship. The newly opened spigots to Europe flooded the oil market with black ooze and world prices collapsed as Europe no longer needeed Middle Eastern oil nearly so much!

Now, this year, Russia is beginning to enter its own phase of the Hubbert Oil Peak and that along with the rising use of oil in China, translates into higher future oil prices. Back to our own NG woes:
While the number of U.S. rigs drilling for natural gas has climbed about 20 percent over the last year and prices are at record highs, producers have been struggling to raise output.

Experts said easy onshore and shallow water basins have been mostly tapped or are off limits for environmental reasons, and new technologies like horizontal drilling have been draining wells in two or three years, a much faster rate than the five years or more during the 1990s.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that natural gas production will be flat this year and increase only one-half percent next year.

At the same time, demand for the cleaner burning fossil fuel is expected to grow by two percent this year and almost 2.5 percent in 2006, according to EIA, the statistical arm of the Department of Energy.
So, demand will grow and supplies shrink? This is going to really hurt many people. From the LA Times:
The Senate voted on Wednesday to give federal regulators authority over the location of liquefied natural gas terminals, despite objections from governors that states should be have an equal say in deciding where such projects are built.

Republican and Democratic officials from city halls to Capitol Hill have expressed concern that the terminals could become targets of terrorist attacks or pose other safety risks, and they have sought a role in siting them.

But President Bush has pushed to put Washington in charge of deciding where terminals are built, saying that a lengthy approval process could delay the building of facilities critical to providing the natural gas needed to fuel the nation's economy.

On Wednesday, a majority of the Senate agreed with him. The lawmakers voted 52-45 against adding a provision to the energy legislation that would have given governors the authority to veto or impose conditions on the terminals.
Who will be the lucky duckies that have to sacrifice their lives by living near these terminal terminals? The massive oil refineries are terrifying enough. This is a thousand times more volatile! Unlike oil fires which give oneself time to flee, these babies, when they blow, do so instantly. A recent fire at an oxygen/gas facility was very explosive and it was the equivelent of a camp fire vs a forest fire.

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Gas guzzling continues at home. These trucks are what Detroit is churning out. Foreign companies are no better.

Finally, from From the Wilderness, this rather amusing news:
Opec is hoping to set up regular dialogue soon with China, which is now one of its biggest oil consumers, the cartel's president Sheikh Ahmad Fahd Al Sabah said yesterday. Opec was also aiming for a similar arrangement with Russia by the end of the year, Sheikh Ahmad said after a ministerial meeting of the 11-nation oil-producing cartel.

"We are happy if we can start our dialogue with China. We have already received an official request to start this dialogue," Opec's president, who is also Kuwait's oil minister, told journalists. "I hope in September as president I will visit Beijing. This has not been decided 100 percent, this is one of the proposals," he added.

China's booming industrial growth and energy needs are believed to be fuelling the current lack of spare petroleum capacity on the market.

"I think China is helping. China is the main reason the price is high because they are coming in with big demand," Opec's president said.
Bush and Cheney and their Texan oil buddies all thought that taking over Iraq and thus having a direct seat in OPEC while still pretending they are not part of that cartel despite pictures of Bush literally kissing OPEC sheiks on the cheeks is being busted by the reality that Russia is a lynchpin to OPEC and Putin wants a seat at the table. And you can bet, Putin despises Bush and wishes him ill.

The fact that Russia is pulling China along is very amusing. When Putin took over Russia in his little midnight 2000 New Year's coup, he desperately wanted to be legitamisized by the USA. And so it appeared. But over the years, thanks to Bush's loud mouth ways and nearly continuous back stabbing, relations have soured so badly, China is now Russia's best friend and Putin consults with the dynamic duo in Beijing, Hu and Wen, on a nearly daily basis. Their united actions show up in the news periodically and this is one of the more powerful expressions of their united wills.

They plan to put a noose around our necks.

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Monday, June 27, 2005

GREASING WAR RAILS

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Even as total defeat stares us in the face, Bush bashes the drums of war to egg us all on into a battle with the other half of the Axis of Evil---pay no attention to North Korea, it was tacked on as an afterthought--Iran. After meddling in Iran's internal affairs by openly supporting the liberals there, killing their chances of victory, Bush and the neo conmen working for him celebrated the fact that a far right winger is now running things in Iran.

Time for more war!

Only fly in the disappointment is the sad reality we have no military for invading even Grenada much less hyper armed hyper angry and hyper insane Iran. These are people who run down the street hitting themselves with chains! A thorn in the side of the Sunni Muslims since nearly day one when their founding leader was defeated in bloody battle, the Shi'ites are relentless and strong willed.

This is why they allowed us to invade Iraq. They knew we would get bogged down in Badgad and they knew they would land a great plum: the southern half of the country. And with that, will be the greatest power in the Muslim world in a mere ten years.

Proof?

From the Islamic Republic News:
At the current rate of production, Iran's oil reserves will outlive those of Saudi Arabia, even though the kingdom's official reserves are nearly twice those of Tehran's, according to the London-based Economist magazine.

Using BP's latest Statistical Review of World Energy, the weekly calculated that Iran's proven oil reserves of 132.5 billion barrels at the end of 2004 will not be exhausted for another 89 years using last year's rate of production. In comparison, Saudi Arabia's 262.7 bn barrels, which represent 22 per cent of the world's official oil reserves, would last for only 68 years.

The reserves of Iraq, Kuwait and the UAE, which are respectively placed third, fourth and fifth behind Saudi Arabia and Iran, were estimated to be able to continue 2004's rate for production for over 100 years each.

Among Iran's other neighbouring states, none were calculated as being able to produce oil longer, with Kazakhstan's reserves expected to be exhausted in 84 years, Azerbaijan's in 60, Qatar in 42 and Oman in 19.

Based on BP's figures, the US will be only able to produce oil for another 11 years, Canada for 15, Russia for 21 and Norway for 8 years. The UK was not listed but production has been declining since 1999 and it is expected soon to become a net importer of oil.
Getting accurate data concerning oil reserves is nearly impossible. So how can you tell what is going on?

Well, the pumpers of wells have to feed information to the refineries and we now know Russia is going to be injecting water into 100% of their wells in a mere five years or less. This means, they are truly 1/2 way done with pumping the oil. It is all downhill from then on. Saudi Arabia is pumping water now at a pretty ferocious rate. The world's oldest continuing pumping field is past its prime and in full decline now.

But Iran, thanks to the long war with Iraq, has plenty of oil in the ground. Like Iraq, the boycott of Iranian oil by the USA, the world's major consumer of oil, has caused much of the oil in southern Iraq and Iran to sit idle meaning when the Saudis slide down the Hubbert Oil Peak chute, the Shi'ites will be holding the fate of the world hostage thus the neoconmen's rush to attack before they can consolidate power.

The Chinese have trumped this little scheme and the successful destruction of American power in Bagdad has been the coup de grace here, we got knocked on the side of the head, but good. Price of oil is now over $60 a barrel. Us nay sayers on the web were right when we jeered Bush and main stream media prognostrications that oil would be dirt cheap by this summer.

From the BBC:

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said earlier the union saw no reason to change its policy towards Tehran.

UN inspectors were at work in Iran on Monday, Iranian officials said. The International Atomic Energy Agency would neither confirm nor deny the claim, saying it did not comment on where its inspectors were at work at any given moment.

Mr Solana said Germany, France and Britain's effort to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons would continue. "We don't have any reason to change at this time," he told reporters.

President-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has announced Iran will continue pursuing a peaceful nuclear programme.

On Sunday, a spokesman for Mr Solana was reported as saying that it was "to soon to say" what would happen next. "For EU-Iran relations to reach their full potential, progress is necessary on a number of issues, including human rights, non-proliferation, counter-terrorism and the Middle East process," he added.
Europe needs Iran's oil. They need Iran's oil very much when Saudi Arabia finally goes into the pit of no oil. So they want friendly relations with Iran. There is no reason why they cannot have this. Even a nuclear Iran doesn't harm Europe, indeed, privately, the Europeans probably hope they do get nukes soon so the American destructo machine can't grind them down, too, like Iraq.

From Itar-Tass, Russia:

A strong fire broke out near Yusufiya south of Baghdad on Saturday. Iraqi militants committed an act of diversion on the oil pipeline that supplies crude to the oil refinery in Al-Dorah, a Baghdad suburb. Firefighters are fighting the blaze, a governmental source in Baghdad said.

Police detained 20 Iraqis in neighbouring settlements. They are suspected of involvement in the armed resistance movement and complicity in the blast.

The damage inflicted to the Iraqi oil industry in 2004 as a result of over 250 acts of diversion is estimated at 12 billion dollars. Despite of urnget measures taken by Ibrahim al-Jaafari’s government to step up security at Iraqi strategic economic facilities their security, particularly of oil pipelines cannot be provided.
Every day, the outraged Iraqis blow up the pipes being used to steal their oil. It costs us a billion a week and the deaths of many Holly Charettes to keep this bloody oil flowing and the battle rages. Europe notices this and wish heartily we would stop using this hamfisted method to "secure" oil resources for our gaping maws.

And again, there is China. China will not extract us from Bagdad. They love it that we are in Bagdad and it is killing us. And they love the fact that we are now hopeless and helpless and have to come to Beijing, hat in hand, begging at the gates of the Forbidden City.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

CHINA WANTS ENERGY


From Xinhuanet.com--oil reserve field.

An interesting thing is going on today. Both America and China are buying oil that is pumped out of other countries and are reinjecting this oil back into the ground again...at home! This is what "oil reserves" are all about. Redoing geology.

From Xinhuanet.com:
China will start filling its first strategic petroleum reserve this year, China Central Television (CCTV) said Thursday amid efforts to ensure energy supplies for the country's booming economy.

Plans call for China to build groups of storage tanks at four locations.

The first 16-tank facility to be filled is in the city of Zhenhai in the eastern province of Zhejiang, south of Shanghai, CCTV said, citing Wang Mingji, vice chairman of state-owned China Petroleum & Chemical Corp.

The reserve is meant to cushion China against possible interruptions of foreign supplies. Previous reports said Beijing plans to stockpile up to 100 million barrels of petroleum, or the equivalent of almost a month's national consumption.
Redistribution of oil resources is picking up despite the high price of oil, indeed, this is the chief cause of high oil prices. America's oil barons are using taxpayer money to buy oil and store it and then they pretend there isn't enough oil and the high prices is not their fault.

Every news story I read in America blubbers about how the high price of fuel has zero effect on the economy which is all lies. It is having a giant effect: it is driving everyone into debt! I would call that very bad news, indeed. People on fixed incomes are suffering terribly now.

Anyway, the race to get as much oil as possible is on. All nations without oil reserves will be creating them...if they can. This leaves out much of Europe except for the few places with deep salt mines which is the ideal storage place aside from limestone caverns.

Congress is getting scared. The confident statements of the Chinese that Americans won't oppose them taking over Unocal Oil is reverberating in DC. Time for some hot air! From the Washington Post:
From China's perspective, it makes perfect sense: Buy an American oil company to help secure enough energy to fuel its rapidly growing economy. The country is the world's second-largest consumer of oil after the United States. Its old state-subsidized factories are energy-inefficient. With incomes rising, people are dumping bicycles for cars. Its industrial regions are suffering shortages of the fuel needed to generate power.

But the timing was unfortunate here in Washington when state-owned CNOOC Ltd., China's third-largest oil company, bid $18.5 billion to buy Unocal Corp. Both Republican and Democratic members of Congress were already considering a variety of trade measures aimed at punishing China. Some U.S. lawmakers seek to push back the rising tide of Chinese exports to the United States. Some want the Chinese government to crack down on piracy of intellectual property and to buy more goods from overseas.
During the eighties, the Japanese didn't need to buy oil companies, they got their oil from Alaska! No need to secure that when they owned Reagan, our freckless but popular President who was the perfect front man. It cost them a mere $2.5 million dollars, a bargain!

The Chinese own the Bushes. They give money to the extensive but hidden Bush clan which are the biggest group of spongers aside from the Saudi Royals, on earth. So Congress will fume and fulimate and nothing will come of it since there is no investigation of the many ties binding the Bushes to the Chinese communist party.
Add to that the fact that CNOOC is controlled by China's Communist Party government, and the bid quickly inflamed U.S. political fears of China's growing economic strength and military power. Analysts worried about the potential effect on oil prices if China decided to hoard supplies for its own use. House and Senate members immediately demanded that the Bush administration review China's Unocal offer under the Defense Protection Act to determine the potential economic and security risks. Treasury officials indicated they would do so if Unocal accepts CNOOC's offer. Unocal already had tentatively agreed to a $16.5 billion bid from Chevron Corp. in April.

Lawmakers expressed similar concerns decades ago when Japan was buying up American companies, skyscrapers and golfing resorts. But the fears proved unfounded. No one on Capitol Hill would trade today's strong U.S. economy for Japan's more anemic one.
The reporter for the WP is stupid. Japan's economy is roaring along! Profits pour in. Their influence over America grows apace. They are building auto manufacturing plants all over the planet including in America. This isn't "anemic" at all! The Japanese workers are suffering! They aren't getting jobs! Toyota is building factories in cheap America! Our economy is exceedingly weak if we take away all this manufacturing done by our Japanese overlords. But then, we can't expect the running dog lackeys of America to understand what is happening, heh!

Meanwhile, the Chinese overlords talk about conservation: From Xinhuanet news:
Zhang Xiaoqiang, speaking at an International Conference in Beijing, says that China will continue to import equipment and technology with high efficiency of energy use and low emission of pollutants.

The country will also expand on foreign countries' expertise, encouraging foreign investment in China's development of new and renewable energy sources.

The official notes China will strictly limit relocations of industries with high energy consumption and heavy pollution from abroad, while enhancing cooperation with the United Nations, the World Bank and other countries in energy conservation.
I happen to know Zhang. He knows America really well, trust me on that. His warning should be taken seriously. He understood that China would be the dumping ground for the world as they climb the capitalist ladder. But now they are at the point where they can turn the tables.

Time is running fast against us. We exported our pollution and our inflation but the downside is, we lost control of everything and this will bite us back hard if not fatally.

From Xinhuanet news:
Zeng said building a resources-efficient society is a major step that China takes to remold its development pattern, adding that relevant measures will be written into the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010), the governmental guidelines for economic and social development for the interim period.

Zeng said in the first two decades of this century, China will pursue a route of new-style industrialization that features lower consumption of resources and minimized pollution of the environment.

The Chinese government has just issued two decrees on the current priorities of building a resources-efficient society and on accelerating the development of a resources-recycling economy, Zeng said.

Though China had managed to improve resources efficiency, measured by energy consumption for every 10,000 yuan worth of gross domestic product (GDP), much faster than the world average in the last 20 years of last century, Zeng said, China is still faced with a shortage of resources. Since it has a large base of population (1.3 billion), the average amount of resources that every Chinese citizen owns is much less than the global level, he added.
You have to read the boilerplate speeches. This week, our craven Supreme Court ruled that polluting our air is OK and right now, breathing at my personal home is rather hard because the air is so foul even here, way out in the mountains in the countryside, it is like downtown LA! Our entire country is LA these days. People are literally chocking to death thanks to this bad air. But our goofy ruler, far from talking about cleaning it up, is trumpeting the victory over reality today as he succeeded in befouling our air and water legally!

Hope I am breathing tomorrow so I can continue to detail all this stuff on my blog!

Oh, and lest I forget, today, China said again, they will change their currency when they want and not one minute sooner. Poke in the eye again, America. By the way, I know what they want: Bretton Woods III. They will sit down with us and dictate terms.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

ROILING OILING

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As the world oil futures markets bubble and broil, the media has one hysterical headline after another. "Oil drops $1!" headlines alternating with "Prices inch up" as disappointment rages. In November, the rulers and the media told us all that world prices were not only going to fall but fall so drastically the oil companies would need protection so they don't go bankrupt with low prices!

This fantasy was broken by events. Unlike the GOP/media projections of oil at $25 a barrel by April, the price went up. So every couple of months, rituallistically, the Saudi owners of America would trot over here, get kissed and coddled by Bush personally and the running dog press would bow deeply and cringe and whine, begging for bones, and then our overlords would return home and the price of fuel would go up yet again.

Oh, those poor Texan oil men! So much money and so many things to spend it on!

Well, alarm is rising. The legion of internet writers who talk about the World Hubbert Oil Peak are now becoming rather famous. I talk to people on the street who now have heard of this thing even though the NYT and WP and all the major TV stations have mentioned it collectively maybe five times? Well!

From the Albany Time's Union:
Global oil production is not likely to peak anytime soon, contrary to talk that has helped propel prices close to $60 a barrel, although lower prices may still be a few years away, a prominent energy consultancy said Tuesday.
Cambridge Energy Research Associates said that, instead of a crest being reached sometime this decade, an inflection point in world oil output will occur sometime beyond 2020, after which production will plateau for several more decades.

In a report that builds upon earlier analyses by the Cambridge, Mass.-based consultancy, CERA said it believes that between now and 2010 there will be a substantial increase in worldwide oil production capacity, providing a supply cushion of 6 million to 7.5 million barrels per day that could cause oil prices to "slip well below $40 a barrel as 2007-08 nears."

The debate about whether global output is on the cusp of an irreversible decline is not new -- petroleum engineers and executives have been hashing it out for decades. But it has garnered extra attention amid soaring prices, a flurry of books about the oil industry and the revelation last year that Royal Dutch/Shell Group overstated its reserves, a key measurement of an oil company's future profit potential.

"It's certainly being taken more seriously, but it's not a more serious topic than it's ever been," said Lawrence J. Goldstein, president of PIRA Energy Group in New York.

Because of surprisingly rapid demand growth, especially in China, the global oil supply cushion right now is only about 1.5 million barrels per day. That has markets extremely nervous about the possibility of an output disruption. Oil prices are up more than 55 percent over the past year, in part because of the threat of hurricanes, terrorist attacks and labor strife in key oil production regions, such as the Gulf of Mexico, Iraq and Nigeria.
Incredible. Hilarious. So the "cheap oil" goal posts have snuck upwards silently. Six months ago, it was going to be ridiculously cheap. Now we should expect $40 a barrel just before the next election.

Of couse, the analysist assume we will have magically set up cheaper transportation systems, et al, which will reduce the demand for oil. How this will be achieved isn't mentioned. I see this AP article as yet another attempt at lulling Americans to sleep. To put off to day after tomorrow what we should have done yesterday. This is going to end badly. Why our rulers are doing this freaks me out because the only solution left will be world war. And I don't want this to happen and I seriously doubt most Americans want this to happen just like most Germans didn't want WWII. Which is why Hitler had to sneak them into it. Even after two years at war, he couldn't ask the hausfraus to do their duties because then support would have collapsed. So they had to use slave labor and give slaves to the German women to keep them happy. Ecch.

From the Guardian in England:
Gordon Brown will tonight press the case for radical EU economic reform in his annual Mansion House speech.
It is one of the chancellor's pet subjects as he believes that the Europe must be nimbler economically to confront the rising challenge from Asia, particularly China.

Where Britain is concerned, he has banged the drum on the importance of education and training in order for the country to be able to compete with China, which recently overtook the UK as the world's fourth largest economy.
China isn't the world's fourth largest economy. If you gage only industrial output, they are number two, rapidly becoming number one. Probably by 2010.
Hoover could be the next big US brand to be acquired by a Chinese company, if Haier, the top Chinese appliance maker steps in. Haier would be following in the footsteps of Lenovo, which recently bought IBM's personal computer business with ambitions to become the world's biggest PC maker, leapfrogging Dell and Hewlett-Packard.

China was once an economic superpower. In 1830, its economy constituted 30% of world GDP. It now accounts for a mere 4%, despite a population of over 1 billion people, but has ambitions to reach that 30% figure again.
What is this leading up to, concerning oil? Easy to spot: From the BBC:
China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) has bid $18.5bn (£9.8bn) in cash for Unocal, which has large production operations in Asia. It is the biggest takeover offer by a Chinese firm and comes a day after Haier's bid for Hoover maker Maytag. Unocal has said it will consider the bid but remains committed to an agreed $18bn merger with Chevron.
This isn't just a take down, this is a hostile offer. This is the Chinese playing Chainsaw Al. They are no longer just buying up factory equipment from bankrupt American companies, they are now taking over living companies, to use for their own ends (making us happy isn't one of their world goals). Worse, they have the money and power to now do hostile take overs despite our corporate rulers.

You see, our owners thought they controlled the Chinese just like they control most other nations which we occupy militarily. Our might war machine works exclusively for these people which is why our country is laughably easy to attack...all our energy and tools are overseas, holding down the fort for corporate America. So as we played footsie with the communist leaders of China, we assumed, because they let us into their country, we run China.

Most emphatically, we do not. We don't have the ghost of a chance of running them. And they know this. This is why political threats from our end are laughed off by the Chinese. The Americans want to own Chinese businesses. I have warned them over and over (no one listens to me) that the Chinese will allow some ownership only because they know they can seize property and factories in a split second without warning. No elections or speeches. Nothing. Just one fine day, bingo, all gone. Every last bit.

They know that power grows out of the energy of workers. Oil isn't the only energy. It is a great tool that magnifies the energy of the workers. But in the bitter end, human labor is what counts. The whole key to wealth is to make workers wealthy enough to have leisure and excess capital to put back into the system. The miser approach to workers always kills the capitalist Golden Goose.

Where the profits flows matters, too. The Chinese are heavily investing in capitalist ventures while America is putting all the money into property where it produces little value which is why we are going to have a Japanese-style depression very soon.
Analysts have raised concerns about CNOOC's bid, however, pointing to the fact that it may face hostility in the US and that it will have to take on billions of dollars in debt to finance it.

They also said that Chevron's bid has already won the approval of the US Federal Trade Commission, the main anti-monopoly regulator, leaving few remaining obstacles.

In an interview with the Reuters news agency, CNOOC chief executive and chairman Fu Chengyu said he was "quite confident" that his firm's offer would be accepted, adding that the move for Unocal was friendly.

"We believe the US government will approve the deal," he said.

The company's chief financial officer Yang Hua told Dow Jones Newswires that CNOOC is "prepared to closely cooperate to get US approval for this deal".

"We believe the offer will be very good for America as we are going to protect US jobs while continuously marketing [Unocal's] products in the US," Mr Yang was reported as saying.
The Saudis own our government. So do gambling operators. And so do the Chinese communists. They obviously feel they have us by the balls and despite all the anti-Chinese rhetoric from our rulers, they will kow tow to the Chinese because we are no longer a functional capitalist system. The rich just want to be richer. They don't really care if this means dessicating America. They don't live here anymore, anyway. This is why they don't care about us losing our Constitutional rights or us dying in foreign lands, fighting so the rich can soak the tax payers.

If the Chinese don't get Unocal, expect fiscal fireworks at the next sale of American government bonds.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

RUSSIA IS NEAR PEAK OIL

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Russian oil field

All signs are now pointing at Russia being at its own Hubbert Oil Peak. The USA and Indonesia are way past the peaks and are in steep decline mode.

From the Russia Journal:
Given current oil extraction volumes, Russia's oil reserves will last for at least 35-40 years, a ministry press release quoted an official as saying Wednesday. Deputy Minister of Natural Resources Anatoly Tyomkin said undeveloped deposits had exceeded 100 billion metric tons of standard fuel. According to Tyomkin, Russian oil companies will be able to use their oil reserves for an average of more than 30 years and some could last as long as 50 years. Reserves of foreign corporations amount to much less, Tyomkin said. BP and Amoco's reserves are expected to last about 10 years, while Exxon Mobil's could go for another 12.

"The dynamics of oil extraction and the increase in hydrocarbons reserves in 1999-2003 showed that the ratio between the increase in reserves and the extraction was 85%," Tyomkin said.

He said the major reason was a drop in prospecting and investment in the area, which Russia encountered in the 1990s.

According to Tyomkin, Russia would be able to reach Soviet levels of investment in prospecting, if the program to reproduce the raw material base is fully funded. (Investment in mineral wealth reproduction will aggregate 2,428,440 million rubles between 2005 and 2020.

"It will help reduce the gap between growing deposits and extraction. In 2010, the ratio will be about 90%, and in 2012 - 100% due to an increase in liquid hydrocarbons," Tyomkin said.
I will translate this news: water is being pumped more and more into oil wells because natural pressure no longer produces great volume. In another five years, nearly all wells in Russia will be using water to pump out the oil, a classic sign the oils are past 1/2 volume. There are no "growing deposits". This is ancient fuels we are talking about, it isn't being generated anymore because the climat and life forms don't produce huge masses of dead things rotting away peacefully untouched by other living organisms. The "major drop in prospecting" is due to the simple fact, there is no reason to look for something that isn't there so why look.

Next to Saudi Arabia, Russia is one of the biggest exporters of fossil fuels. And the news that they have only 30-50 years worth of oil left is exactly how the peak works: pumping of oil started 50 years ago, it will end in 50 years. But it won't end at the level it is now.

It will end as a tiny amount is eked out of the ground and sold at a very high price.

Monday, June 20, 2005

PUMPING/BALLOONING

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From FBI's most wanted poster

Many contrary actions at work means a tipping point has been reached. American housing is 100% oil dependent. Or one should say, cheap energy dependent. The price of these energy intensive houses are going up and up at a mad rate. Meanwhile, the cost of energy is going up and up just as fast. These two forces are contrary to each other...in the long run. One of them has to give and the betting is, it ain't the oil.

From the BBC news:
Crude oil prices rose to a new high of more than $59 a barrel on Monday as the market was disturbed by threats to western consulates in Nigeria.
US light crude hit $58.82 a barrel in European electronic trading, off a peak of $59.18 in earlier Asian trade while Brent crude hit a new high of $58.58.

Oil prices have risen more than 30% this year, prompting Opec to increase output by 500,000 barrels last week.
Not to mention the trade deficit which hit a record high this last month and threatens to be $800 billion this year, an amazing amount. Unsustainable.
The latest spike came after the United States, Germany and UK closed their consulates in Lagos, Nigeria's largest city, after threats from Islamic militants.

The closures followed last week's kidnapping of six Shell oil workers in Nigeria, who were released on Saturday. Nigeria is the world's eighth largest oil producer and a key supply source for the United States.
The head of the CIA is in the news today because he claims he knows were bin Laden is hiding. Geeze, we really no longer need to know, al Qaeda is kicking ass all over the place and has a very receptive audience thanks to our monsterous war in Iraq.
Opec sought to relieve the pressure on prices last week by lifting its daily production quotas by 500,000 barrels to 28 million barrels a day. The oil producers organisation also pledged a further similar rise if prices remained at their current level.

However, experts have questioned whether Opec's actions will have any impact because its members have already unofficially exceeded the threshold, pumping close to 30 million barrels a day.
It is nice that the media is finally pointing out that OPEC's promises to increase pumping are fake? The Saudis know they don't have to do anything except talk and talk is cheap. So they keep telling Americans that they are increasing oil pumping even though the pumping is going full blast. Why do they lie? Simple.

They want us to not change a thing. Both they and their co-conspiritors, Bush and the Texas oil barons, want to keep this con game going as long as possible. Every month, they hold out the fantasy that oil will be cheap again and then laugh at Americans who keep on trucking. Of course, this is getting stale and other parties are getting rather antsy about it all, namely all those GOP contributors who are not in the oil/energy business. So the truth is leaking out. This is ongoing in Europe, too, for example:
(from the BBC) Shares in Regal tumbled 16% on Monday after it said that Frank Timis gave Hong Kong firm Peak Resources the right to buy a Jersey-registered subsidiary.

The board of directors said it had no idea that Mr Timis had entered into a 'call-option' agreement with Peak.

Regal's Jersey division owns the rights to oil production in the Ukraine.
Aren't the Chinese cute? Naming their company "Peak Resources." Obviously, they are, as I keep saying, quite aware about all the things our country tries to paper over. Just like with currency matters, they know we set up a system that forces all other nations to save like crazy and buy American bonds thus allowing us to run up trillions in debt very rapidly, sucking the world dry of all savings, forcing populations to live like paupers so we can pig out. They also know the underbelly of this beast is when a major debt buying nation suddenly not only stops buying debt but discharges the debts held by them, thus crashing the American system and this knowledge gives them great power.
Regal said it is currently "investigating the circumstances surrounding the agreement and is seeking legal and other advice".

"The remainder of the board was not previously aware of the existence of the agreement and had not authorised or approved the entering into of the agreement with Peak Resources," the company said in its statement.
Heh. Seems someone is twisting arms here. The company made the agreement and now other parties want some method of breaking it. In a few years, governments will either be run by oil companies like it is in the USA or will try to take over the oil companies like Saddam tried and failed to do in Iraq.

Financial "advisors" in America still pretend to not understand, unless this cluelessness is real!!!--
Lee Elliot, a broker at Man Financial, said oil prices were "ridiculous" at current levels, with speculators behind the gains. He said he could see technical momentum pushing crude up to $60 a barrel in the short term, but feels this may not last.

"The front-end of the market is well oversupplied," he said, adding the price was "unrepresentative" of the amount of oil out there.

Elliot said the price went up after the meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in March, when it became clear that they could not bring down the price of oil through higher quotas, though crude has fallen about $10 a barrel over the last few months.

"After last week's OPEC meeting, crude oil has risen again," Elliot said. "Maybe a pattern is forming."

Elliot said there could be another significant drop in the price of oil as the market's supply concerns are eased. With $60 a barrel in sight, he said a $10 drop in crude to near the $50 mark seemed reasonable.
Wasn't last week's propaganda all about how prices were going to drop to below $40 a barrel? And Bush said we didn't have to worry? Remember last month's Gannon moment in Waco with Bush literally kissing and holding hands, smooching over oil prices and Bush told us that his tops, the 8"cut Saudi was going to save our lifestyle and give us cheap oil?

The secret dream of Americans is to reduce oil prices now by reducing demand....in other countries. We are the oil hogs of the planet, using more per capita than anyone and using much more than the closest competitors, per capita. If China were to consume oil at our rate, all the world oil would be used up in less than five years. Yet we keep on consuming at this unsustainable rate, it will take us less than 20 years to use it all up. Nonetheless, we insist on building fuel intensive houses that require long commutes and are huge in size.

These contrary forces are about to have a Titanic clash.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

WINDMILLING

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My letter to the editor in the Albany Times Union


Stadiums are a bigger blight than wind farms

First published: Monday, June 13, 2005
Just what we need, another spoiled billionaire wanting to eat his cake and have it too.
I think sports stadiums like the ones Tom Golisano's teams play in are a blight on the landscape. Yet billionaires seem addicted to erecting these things all over kingdom come.

I have seen wind generators stopped all over the Northeast thanks to rich people whining about the landscape. If anyone looks at photos of wind farms, especially the seaward ones, they are nearly invisible. Compare this with photos of conventional energy generators.

And what about the blight of coal mining? One of the world's most dangerous jobs is coal mining. How many people die, get sick with black lung or suffocate mining coal? And the landscape? The mountains of West Virginia: coal mines or wind mills? Which are worse?

It is so touching the rich care about their views, but they seem indifferent to the reality of the Hubbert Oil Peak and the health and views of poor folk.

ELAINE SUPKIS

Petersburgh

emeinel@taconic.net


This was brought to my attention by Jim Adams, one of the readers of this blog. I want to thank him for emailing the url and his kind words. I want to assure everyone that writing letters to the editor is a good activity to indulge in. Once a week, pick a paper and a topic and write. Practice makes perfect. You'll be surprised how often letters are published! The smaller the newspaper, the bigger the chance of being published!

Good luck to everyone.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

MY PET SAUDI

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"I assure you, my love, we are faking the anti gay marriage stuff."

"My Pet Saudi" was the book that engrossed Bush on 9/11. Again and again, in between kissing and snuggling sessions, the Saudi Princes and Bush try to reassure Americans that the oil will flow forever and then some.
Saudi Arabia has plenty of oil — more than the world is likely to need — along with an increasing ability to refine crude oil into gasoline and other products before selling it overseas, a top Saudi official says. “The world is more likely to run out of uses for oil than Saudi Arabia is going to run out of oil,” Adel al-Jubeir, top foreign policy adviser for Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Abdullah, said Wednesday.
As Goebbels said, if one must lie, make it a big lie. If any Americans fall for this bag of bamboozle, they will deserve every bad thing that is going to come their way. Darwin's iron laws of survival of the fittest will be set into motion.
Saudi Arabia now pumps 9.5 million barrels of oil daily, with the capacity to produce 11 million barrels a day. The country has pledged to increase daily production to 12.5 million barrels by 2009, and the nationÂ’s oil minister said last month the level of 12.5 million to 15 million barrels daily could be sustained for up to 50 years.
Quick history lesson: how long is 50 years in the scale of human history? Better yet, I am 54 years old. If a child is born today, Saudi Arabia will be out of oil when it is an adult. We call this "an eyeblink" in time. A mayfly lifetime is one day human time.

Politically as well as physically, there is no way Saudi Arabia will reach the goal of 15 million barrels a day. Even if they find many new oil fields, this simply will make up for the continuing decline of the great Gwahir field which is now being pumped with sea water to keep the pressure high enough for the oil to flow.
“If we send more oil to the United States and you can’t refine it, it’s not going to become gasoline,” al-Jubeir said. The United States has not built a refinery since the 1970s, and other markets have similarly outmoded or limited refining capacity. Environmental concerns and local opposition make it unlikely new U.S. refineries can be built quickly, even with the current gas price crunch.

Saudi Arabia has partly stepped into the breach, with new refineries being built inside the kingdom as well as in China and soon in India, al-Jubeir said.
Hahaha. So many people pulling our legs, I feel like a centipede. What the Prince is saying is, his country won't be sending more oil to America. Good thing, too. We are the oil gluttons of the earth. He does assure us that oil refineries are still being built...in China and India! Way to go! Rev up that SUV, all you have to do is go to China to gas up!

Maybe if the Chinese revalue the yuan, it will be cheap, too!
Ordinary Saudis remain deeply distrustful of the United States in the aftermath of the Iraq invasion and revelations about mistreatment of Muslim prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and a range of complaints about conditions at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, al-Jubeir said.

“Why do they hate you? They don’t hate you, they just don’t like your policies.”
Translation: the people hate Bush and his crew. Nothing personal. Just duck if they attack us again like on 9/11.

Mother Nature doesn't do press conferences nor does she issue statements. She acts independently and can't be stopped when she puts her mind to things. One reality is that oil is a non-renewable resource because it is an artifact of the past, pre large animal times when the seas teemed with tiny creatures whose dead bodies rained to the bottom to pile up and rot. The lands were covered with forests of ferns that grew as big as redwoods but were soft and easily mooshed into oil over time.

Since the rise of larger creatures, this living excess was devoured to create large hard to turn into oil creatures. The energy of the sun which becomes oil energy is, when the food chain grew long and complex, dissipated as each step, it is eaten and processed and various molecules removed until the predator who eats the grazer who eats the grass that displaces the single celled algae/bacterial mats has eked out the last bit of solar energy from the system. When grass dies, it is consumed by bugs and other tiny things and turned into soil. Tree leaves turn into soil. All things that die are turned into soil of some sort, or dust.

But in ancient times, there were no bottscavengerssea scavangers eating every living thing that fell to the seafloor. This is why we no longer see chalk deposits forming! In ancient times, so many tiny multi celled creatures fell until their compressed bodies formed vast layers of chalk. Today, they are eaten long before they can die a natural death.

I wonder why our rulers want to deceive people concerning the reality of the Hubbert Oil Peak. As I point out relentlessly, the Peak is the top of production, not when it declines. It comes when things are roaring along, at its best. This is why thinking things through and planning for the next step is vital, literally life and death. Geological realities can't be talked away. They have to be faced.

But then, we see people building flimsy houses in the path of hurricanes and tornadoes and of course, building on fault livolcanoesctive volcanos.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

HOLY BATMOBILE! Cars Drive Off the Cliff

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Here it comes, the perfect toy for anxious people who want to appear powerful and well, remember, Batman was a rich dude who liked fast cars.
The SLR started as a pipe dream, just a long-shot ''vision'' car at the 1998 Frankfurt auto show. But when people started talking, Mercedes and McLaren, the world-champion Formula 1 race shop, responded. It was an unusual alliance. Mercedes revels in large, luxury Übersedans; McLaren is wedded to stripped-down speed. There were delays, disagreements and tension over how it would look and what would go inside. Ron Dennis, C.E.O. of McLaren, compares the competitive relationship to two men at the reins of a chariot. ''It's complicated,'' he said. ''There was always a rivalry on how we could do things better.''
Seems this toy is hand made at great expense. Like a Rolls Royce. The very rich who are getting richer and richer while the rest of us sink into economic sands want better toys. They can have their cars hand made, singular and gold plated. Like the last super rich cars produced as the Great Depression set in.

Meanwhile, the mainstream American auto makers drive off the cliff!
General Motors will cut at least 25,000 jobs in the U.S. by 2008 in an effort to generate $2.5 billion in annual savings, Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner told shareholders at GM's annual meeting in Delaware Tuesday.

"The most challenging and important operating issue we face is getting GM North America, our biggest business unit, turned around and back into a profitable position," he said.

Shares of General Motors (GM: news, chart, profile) gained almost 2% to $31 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Along with the layoffs, GM plans to close additional assembly and component plants to fully utilize capacity as part of a four-step plan to get GMNA back to profitability.
Fire the workers and the stock shoots up! Downsize the everyone is joyous!

These 25,000 souls will be thrown to the wolves. The autoworker's union fought the raising of CAFE standards back when oil was cheap. They hated the idea and wanted to build big, fat gas guzzlers. This was a bad move by the unions who refused to understand the logic of the Hubbert Oil Peak. Now all those workers will be thrown out of work, have no union protection. Their homes will become worthless as everyone flees Detroit searching for work in some casino or store selling foreign goods. The whole family will have to work now to make up for losing one income only already the wife works and so does Jr, for that matter. So they will have to go into debt as an increasingly desperate job search grinds them down. Maybe the father will go into the building business, shingling roofs (murderous work in the hot sun). Who knows? And if the housing boom busts, then they will be living in their SUV, panhandling for gas as they go about, seeking some job somewhere.

Who knows? The fact is, these jobs are top jobs that have top benefits and pay and are now gone forever. The auto factories being built in America are built by Asian powers who want to throw us a sop because they are concerned that we will lock them out of our markets. These factories are not unionized.
The focus will also be on surging health-care costs, which has been a highly-publicized drag on GM's earnings.

"Our $1,500 per unit health care expense represents a significant disadvantage versus our foreign-based competitors," Wagoner said. "Left unaddressed, this will make a big difference in our ability to compete in investment, technology, and other key contributors to our future success."
They will "fix" this by eliminating health coverage. When Hillary tried to fix this mess, the auto unions were ticked off. They were scared their privilages would be cut so they didn't support this. And significant numbers of union members supported Republicans because their nice income meant they paid higher taxes. I warned everyone years ago that it is much better to pay high taxes on a high income than no taxes on a crummy income.

Alaska oil production fell by 75%. Just as Hubbert predicted. The oil fields become exhausted as we pump out this finite resource. Where does this oil mainly go?

To Japan where we now have a vast trade deficit!
The Prudhoe Bay field sprawling over an area the size of Howard County still pumps more oil than any other site in the United States. But its shrinking production reflects a trend throughout the country: After years of pumping, fields in the U.S. are drawing less oil from the ground.

The implications for U.S. energy policy are profound. At a time when President Bush and members of Congress are talking about the need to be less dependent on foreign oil, the country is becoming even more dependent. As U.S. production declines, demand has been increasing.
All this "talk" is hot air and they know it. Bush kissing the Saudi Prince says it all. There is no way of "fixing" this except for one: to raise CAFE standards brutally. To raise taxes on oil. Use the much higher tax on oil to subsidize the purchase of oil by the lower classes, that is actually simple to do. Ration gas like Nixon and Carter did works, too. Lower the speed limit to 55 again.

Bring back my Geo Metro! I drove it for 200,000 miles when it finally died and can't be replaced.
"You just hate to see [Prudhoe Bay production] winding down the way it is," said Vincent Leonard, a BP manager who has worked here since the late 1970s, when production began. "They told us years ago, 'Eventually you're going to hit this point where things are declining,' and they are."

Oil companies like BP are trying to extend the life of U.S. fields by using a variety of new technologies to wring more oil from the ground. But the technology and increased Gulf production are not enough to reverse the declines.

Nationally, daily production of oil and natural gas liquids dropped last year to an average of 7.2 million barrels a day -- a 36 percent decrease since peaking in 1970. At Prudhoe Bay, average daily production last year was about 450,000 barrels a day, a 72 percent drop from its peak.
The "they" Vincent is referring to is Mr. Hubbert. The shame of America abusing oil use during the nineties is going to haunt us forever. I said in 1976, "The window of opportunity to retrofit for tomorrow is today! We can't wait until the relentless logic of the oil peak is biting to change!" Every year we dally, the cost to change shoots up. I am exquisitely aware of this. I still haven't finished my home energy system and this gnaws at me every day.

In the future, if we want transportation that isn't Old Sparky the horse, we will be using small, light electric cars that use energy from the sun to charge batteries and they will go only around 40 mph which will be nice, actually. Cars, as we have now, will not exist. Nor should they.
Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) said at a recent news conference as he pushed to allow drilling in the wildlife refuge. "People fail to realize that our dependence on rogue states and militant nations makes us weak."

But analysts said that none of the congressional plans on the table would come close to shaking U.S. dependence on foreign oil. They said companies already are doing what they can to boost sagging production at Prudhoe Bay and other big fields.

Steps could be taken to help reduce consumption, perhaps easing somewhat the imbalance between the demand for oil and the supply. But in the long run, geologists say, the only question is how rapidly production will fall.

Few large-producing oil fields remain to be tapped in the United States. U.S. geological officials believe the best prospect to be about 60 miles east of here in the wildlife refuge. But even with that oil, imports are forecast to increase significantly.
This is so sad to watch. Consumption is already being reduced...by the poor. They are tightening their belts and wondering what will happen next. People will start freezing to death in winter, for example.

This brutal way of confining the pain to the bottom while the top plays with all sorts of nifty car toys is exactly the worst way to go about fixing things.

Friday, June 03, 2005

FREEZING FUTURE


Early igloos

Heating-oil futures drove the energy market higher Friday on the New York Mercantile Exchange, as concern about the adequacy of supplies to meet fourth-quarter demand mounted.
Here it comes.

This is what the Hubbert Oil Peak is all about: freezing people to death. The curious inattention to this development is not surprising. More pipe lines blow up in Iraq, Bush has a jolly converstation with the Washington Post about Deep Throat, the pundit chatting with this man didn't ask him about these things, indeed, the media covers this subject in a very detached way.

Bush cut the funds for Home Heating Assistance last year.
July-dated crude futures rose 1.8%, or 97 cents, to $54.60 a barrel Friday on the Nymex. July heating oil rose 1.9%, or 2.98 cents, to $1.572 a gallon.

"Now as the 'fear' over gasoline supplies is fading, the next 'fear' is heating oil," Kyle Cooper, energy analyst at Citigroup, told clients. "Middle distillate inventories in the U.S. are almost exactly equal to last year as of May 27, and they are 15.6 million barrels higher in Europe at the end of April. From fear to fear. Fact means little."

Mike Fitzpatrick, energy analyst at Fimat, pointed out that the Energy Information Administration, the reporting arm of the Energy Department, suggested there's plenty of time to rebuild stocks ahead of the winter heating-oil season.

"Still, despite a refinery operating rate of 96%, distillate stocks are simply not showing signs of replenishment," he told clients in a note.
So what is it? OK? Or going badly? There is an easy way to tell. Prices are going up. This means there will be plenty of heating oil via the simple Darwinian mechanism of eliminating potential customers. In the Northeast and Northern states this means cutting supplies to people on fixed incomes like the elderly. Many of them will be encouraged to put their homes into hock to pay for heat and taxes. The elimination of the "ownership" society continues apace. When it finishes, virtually no one who isn't rich wil be "owning" anything at all.
Also on the Nymex, July gasoline rose 1.8%, or 2.76 cents, to $1.543 a gallon. July natural gas rose 6.1 cents to $6.88 per million British thermal units.
When we started our crusade against Muslims, Bush famously said that we will do this to "protect the American way of life" and Cheney hotly said that we don't need to change anything at all. Well, we are changing now, and doing it haphazardly. Smart people who prepared for this day are going to do really well. Everyone else will discover that you can't retrofit without funds.

And how many people are using the equity in their homes to outfit them with energy effeciency items?

Nearly all the wealth in our homes has been wasted on fashionable renovations, toys and trips.
gLenders say they are offering what most customers want. With home prices rising so quickly, many buyers couldn't afford homes without using adjustable or interest-only loans, which "fit their pocketbooks and their needs a little more precisely," said Heather McElrath, a spokeswoman for the American Bankers Association. She added that society is so mobile today that many buyers believe they will not be in their homes long-term and prefer a shorter-term time horizon to manage their money better.

"We're a society that prefers instant gratification -- it's a short-term rather than a long-term focus," McElrath said.
The grasshopper view of the world triumphs over the ant's industry until the first snowflakes fall.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

NOW FOR GOOD NEWS From California!

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Hanging Gardens of Babylon

If they don't all slide into the ocean or burn down or collapse in an earthquake or all three, sort of like the Monty Python's Holy Grail castle, California is doing the right thing, energy-wise!
It would be easy to pass off the United Nations' World Environment Day conference that begins today in San Francisco as yet another gathering full of windy pronouncements and empty promises about creating sustainable communities.

There is, after all, a long history of feel-good environmental summits that ultimately did nothing to reduce carbon emissions or improve the planet's condition.

But climate change experts see the first Environment Day conference held in the United States as a crucial opportunity to put the environmental movement where it belongs -- in the hands of the people.

"One of the great things about our country is that when one part of society drops the ball, as Washington so clearly has in terms of climate threat, another part of society can come pick it up and run with it," said James Speth, the dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. "That's why I'm so encouraged by this conference in San Francisco. It's taking the issue away from the lobbyists in Washington. There isn't any substitute for the people taking action at the state and local level."
Amen, brother.

Yes, that is what matters: working locally for sane solutions to problems. My local paper, the Albany Times Union, is probably going to print a letter I wrote about windmills this week. We can all pitch in. One way to do this is to take information like the things presented here and writing to local papers and showing this to local politicians. This is what I do in my off hours.

In the future, I plan to do stories about my lobbying work. See what comes of this, now that people are finally a little bit spooked by high energy prices and a very bloody oil war that is going bloody bang-up bad. Maybe now people are ready to listen to us. Time to go forth and educate!
The conference will feature five themes, one for each day, with names such as Cities on the Move and Flower Power. More than 200 events will be held, including an environmental film festival, a music and entertainment exchange, an organic fashion show and a green cities expo.

But the real business of the week will be the historic signing of the Urban Environmental Accords by the mayors of 68 cities from virtually every corner of the world. The accords commit each city to attempt to implement 21 actions designed to help fight global warming and create environmental sustainability over the next seven years.
I am so jealous. I hope the people at this conference have a great time. The fact that it is international pleases me no end.
"The question, 'What is a green city?' is of vital and utmost importance, " said Klaus Toepfer, the executive director of the U.N. Environment Program, which is overseeing the event. "We must concentrate the eyes of the people and create awareness for the environment while, at the same time, offering concrete examples for other regions on how to develop a green city and how to integrate these systems. The activities of cities and private businesses to fight climate change are extremely important at a time when we no longer have time for delay."
Some time ago, on this blog, I wrote about the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. One of the Seven Wonders of the Earth. It was truly a "green" city on many levels. It was alas, unique, evidently.

We should try to imagine the perfect city. This is vital to our survival. I love looking at my neighborhood, nearby towns of Troy, NY, for example. In summer, the town disappears under the verdant trees so much only a few large buildings are visible from the hills on the opposite side of the Hudson. Yet it needs more trees for up close, the streets still are too barren which is why we have tree planting programs. In NYC, I belonged to the Botanical Gardens society and the tree planting group in Brooklyn. We dug and planted trees all over the place. I had a globe locust in front of my brownstone and a garden behind and a hanging garden on the second story and a roof top garden, too.

Gardening is good on so many levels.
An estimated 1 million people per week are now moving to urban areas. It is projected that within 30 years, 65 percent of the people on this planet will be living in metropolitan areas, which already use up to 75 percent of the world's resources.

Speth, who wrote the book "Red Sky at Morning," an analysis of the global warming threat, said forests in the tropics are being cut down at a rate of an acre a second. He said a third of the planet's land surface and 20 percent of global river flow is being used by humans. In the United States alone, carbon dioxide emissions are growing at a rate of 3 percent a year.

This is contributing to climactic changes that Speth said will lead to mass extinctions by the end of the century if nothing is done.

"It couldn't be a more serious problem," Speth said. "It is a security issue, a social issue and an economic issue that has the potential to destabilize whole countries. It's a form of insanity if we don't get serious about it soon."
Water: the next thing we may end up fighting over. This is all so sad. Humans waste water wantonly, as I point out here in this blog. Every time we flush a toilet, we are doing something destructive and insane.

I am happy people want to discuss this. Only we have little time to change many bad habits. Change will happen, willy nilly.

Personally, I prefer to prechange.