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“How do we explain 15%?”
I caught that quote yesterday afternoon from one of the financial news anchors as he attempted to decode the recent market action. It’s all too clear that what we’ve experienced during the first five months of the year feels foreign to everyone living in a post-financial crisis world.
For most investors, it’s weird to think of stocks as their go-to investing option. For the past decade, it’s been bonds, gold, commodities, real-estate—anything but stocks, please. Now the market’s up more than 15% on the year.
Despite this year’s performance and triple-digit gains in the broad market since 2009, it finally feels like we’re just moving beyond the “disbelief” phase of the rally. It took a while for it all to sink in. Still, there are many investors who can’t wrap their heads around higher prices. That’s probably why today’s top story on Bloomberg Businessweek is a report explaining why McDonald’s is unable to offer Egg McMuffins all day. As it turns out, most people are more interested in late-day breakfast updates than stock market news…
However, this doesn’t change the fact that the market continues to roar higher almost every week.
Boring, safe stocks were in charge during the early months of the year. Dow components led the way. Investors wanted consumer stocks. The bigger, the better…
This phenomenon was most visible in April. The Dow ramped higher, while small-caps, transports and the broad market diverged.
That all changed in May. The S&P caught a bid four weeks ago and hasn’t looked back. Its gains have now matched the Dow on the year. Transports went vertical earlier this month to catch up with the Industrials. Small-caps have the most work left to do since their April swoon. Yet the Russell continues to close the gap with the Dow as it nears 1,000 for the first time ever this week. One more push and the two will be even on the year…
It’s clear that the rally is broadening. The gains are trickling down from the Dow. That’s healthy action. It opens up more buying opportunities aside from Johnson & Johnson. Energy names have perked up. So have technology stocks. Look toward these sectors for potential buys in the coming days and weeks…
for The Daily Reckoning
If you are a customer of Verizon Wireless, you might want to consider switching carriers in light of the Associated Press phone snooping scandal.
When the feds came knocking for AP journalists’ call records last year, Verizon apparently turned the data over with no questions asked. The New York Times, citing an AP employee, reported Tuesday that at least two of the reporters’ personal cellphone records “were provided to the government by Verizon Wireless without any attempt to obtain permission to tell them so the reporters could ask a court to quash the subpoena.”
The authors of this lefty piece are idiots.
First, we don't yet know (factually) what was requested and how.
As a former ISP operator and current forum operator I will tell you this -- we used to get these "so-called requests." They're not really requests. We complied with every single one of them and it was my policy then (and is now) to comply with subpoenas and other legal process that is valid in the jurisdiction where I operate. I make absolutely no bones about this and never have.
Second: If you think I have an obligation to take upon myself, as a CEO of such a company, legal expense trying to protect your ass, you're wrong.
That responsibility is yours.
The article claims Verizon could have notified the reporters before turning over the data (after, of course, the issue is moot.) This is not necessarily true. Some forms by which these "requests" come contain an explicit gag that, if violated, can expose the releasing party to criminal prosecution.
Now yes, you might beat that rap and so might I, but again I am not responsible for protecting your ass at the potential cost of either dollars or my liberty.
I have long recommended that if you are concerned about such things that you go to the trouble on your own to set up secure infrastructure that encrypts your communication and terminates on your hardware before it is decrypted. Now you will know if the government wants your data "in the clear" because they will have to come to you in order to seize it in a form useful to them.
This puts the responsibility, cost and control exactly where it belongs -- on you.
The real problem is that far too many people refuse to stand and put a stop to ridiculous over-reaches of power by government agents. Some of what these people do is entirely reasonable, but some is not. Differentiating between the two is why we have a 4th Amendment and it is precisely those of you who argue that we must get rid of "drugs" or similar garbage that lead directly to the outrageous abuses that are taken by incidents such as this.
The fact of the matter is that most of the people complaining about this sort of thing in fact want someone else to bear the cost and responsibility associated with putting a stop to this sort of thing. I have no quarrel with you wanting me, for example, to refuse to comply until and unless you can and do challenge such a subpoena (and lose) but if you want me to do so you had better be prepared to post up a surety bond for any likely costs that I would incur in doing so, and that's going to be a substantial amount of money.
It sure as hell is not covered in a $20, $50 or even $100/month cellphone or internet access bill.
Responsibility includes bearing your own cross -- and costs.
Avoiding the 'Energy Abyss' John Hofmeister doesn’t call it ‘peak oil,’ instead he calls it the ‘energy abyss,’ the point at which the global economy ceases to grow because the oil industry can no longer meet demand.
Hofmeister is the former president of Shell Oil, the same Shell Oil that is preparing to drill the deepest hole yet drilled to reach oil and gas 200 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico in 9,500 feet (2,900m) of water, surpassing the working depth of Shell’s Perdido rig, also located out in the Gulf and producing around 100,000 barrels a day. The cost of that rig: $3 billion.
In his 2010 book, Why We Hate The Oil Companies, Straight talk from an energy insider, he wrote the following:
“It’s inevitable. The industry that produces oil can’t produce enough, unless the world doesn’t grow. It’s possible that we will have such expensive oil that we will stymie growth. How many people will suffer? How many poor will become poorer, while rich become richer because we have failed rational tests of creating alternative competitive fuels? We have a choice to condemn ourselves to an energy abyss in the name of the status quo and lack of enlightened leadership, or we can choose to develop alternatives.
Why aren’t we more thoughtful about the future? Why don’t we begin the journey towards a range of alternatives that delivers increased national security, increased economic security, and multiple choice for consumers?
I think in this regard, we are missing in the whole construct, a meaningful voice of government as an intermediary and an enabler to a better future when it comes to fuel choice. The US has been crippled for 7 years by high-priced fuel; the government has done nothing to speak of to address the issue.”
The Peak Oil Crisis: Supply Shock A new phrase, “supply shock,” entered the lexicon of the global oil business this week when the International Energy Agency reported that unexpectedly rapid growth in tight oil production from North Dakota and Texas is leading to profound changes in the global energy markets.
U.S. oil production which grew by 800,000 barrels a day (b/d) last year is now expected to grow by another 2.3 million b/d by 2018. In addition another 1.3 million b/d increase from Canada’s oil sands is expected. This 3.9 million b/d accounts for nearly half of the 8.4 million b/d increase in global production of combustible liquids that the IEA is expecting to be available by the end of the decade.
Oil Price-Fixing Probe Widens as Neste Helps EU Inquiry The European oil price-fixing probe expanded as Neste Oil Oyj, Finland’s only refiner, said it was asked to provide information regarding potential manipulation of global crude and biofuel markets.
The widening investigation comes as Pannonia Ethanol, a Hungarian biofuel producer, said it lodged a complaint with the European Commission last year after data-pricing company Platts denied requests to contribute to its price-setting process. Meanwhile, Statoil ASA, one of the European oil companies that has been ensnared in the investigation, said it has “zero tolerance” for breaches of rules.
Royal Dutch Shell Plc, BP Plc and Statoil, three of Europe’s biggest oil explorers, are being investigated by European Commission officials about potential manipulation of prices in the $3.4 trillion-a-year global crude market. Platts, owned by McGraw Hill Financial Inc., also is a target in the inquiry. The probe, which extends to undisclosed crude-derived products and biofuels, shows how some energy markets lack the transparency of stocks and U.S. corporate bonds.
WTI Fluctuates; Poised for First Weekly Drop in a Month West Texas Intermediate crude headed for the first weekly decline in a month after U.S. consumption of gasoline and distillate fuels dropped.
Futures fluctuated in New York after rising yesterday by the most in six days. U.S. gasoline consumption shrank 1.2 percent last week and demand for distillate fuels, including heating oil and diesel, decreased 2.4 percent, Energy Department data show. WTI may drop next week amid concern that weaker economic growth will reduce fuel use, according to a Bloomberg News survey.
“We still expect renewed downside pressure,” Andrey Kryuchenkov, an analyst at VTB Capital in London, said in an e-mail. “Demand is yet to improve ahead of summer” in the U.S. and Europe, he said.
Refinery woes cause nationwide gas price spike Troubles at several oil refineries are driving gasoline prices sharply higher in the Midwest, and the regional shortages are expected to boost pump prices nationwide.
While the USA may be dripping in new found crude oil deposits and early May supplies were at their highest levels since the early 1930s, issues at a handful of refineries that turn crude into gasoline and diesel fuel underscore how kinks in the supply chain can cause quick surges in what consumers pay at the pump.
Consumer prices take biggest drop in 4 years, thanks to gas prices A sharp drop in gasoline costs led consumer prices to tumble in April by the most in over four years, while a gauge of underlying inflation was so weak it could worry the Federal Reserve.
The Labor Department said on Thursday its Consumer Price Index slipped 0.4 percent, the biggest decline since December 2008 when America was suffering some of the darkest days of its financial crisis. Analysts had expected a more modest 0.2 percent decline in last month's prices.
Canada’s inflation at just 0.4%, slowest since 2009 Canada’s annual inflation rate in April slowed to 0.4 per cent on declining gas prices and lower prices for passenger vehicles.
Does U.S. oil boom mean lower prices at the pump? The International Energy Agency says the oil fields of North Dakota are turning the global oil market on its head. Canada's oil sands, too, to be fair. The agency's latest report on world oil supplies says North America's oil boom is turning out to be even bigger than predicted. Within five years, the U.S. and Canada will be meeting most of the world's new oil demand.
Whoa. Wasn't it just a few years ago we were fretting about "peak oil?'
Fuel Oil Rally to End With Europe Swamping Asia The premium traders in Asia are paying for the earliest deliveries of fuel oil is poised to slide from an eight-month high as Europe floods the region with excess supplies and Chinese refinery demand wanes.
Global LNG-Latin America demand drives global spot market PERTH/LONDON: Latin American demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) continued to dominate the global spot market this week, with Mexico's monthly LNG imports expected to hit a seven-year high in May.
Mexico's state-run power monopoly CFE will buy 18 LNG cargoes from energy trader Trafigura due to be shipped in 2013 and 2014 as piped natural gas supply from the United States fails to keep up with demand.
Nigeria LNG declares force majeure Nigeria LNG has declared force majeure on its liquefied natural gas exports from at Bonny Island a day after Shell halted its supplies to the Bonny Island facility over a reported leak.
LPG Ship Rates Head for Biggest-Ever Weekly Gain on U.S. Cargoes The cost of shipping liquefied petroleum gas headed for the biggest weekly gain on record as surging U.S. exports of the cooking fuel and chemicals feedstock sap vessel supply.
Rates for very large gas carriers already jumped 24 percent to $68 a metric ton since May 10, according to the Baltic Exchange, a London-based publisher of shipping prices on more than 50 maritime routes. That would mark the largest weekly rally in data going back to 2005 if costs stay the same today or rise, according to the bourse.
Making choices early gives room to move in the future If we believe endless growth on a finite planet is possible, then it's all good. If we reckon the age of cheap oil will never end, we can party on.
But if we think the climate scientists are on to something, that resource use deserves special care and there may be some economic bumps ahead, then a rethink of our way of living is warranted.
China State Grid Buys Stake in SP AusNet for A$824 Million China State Grid Corp., the nation’s largest power distributor, agreed to pay Singapore Power Ltd. A$824 million ($810 million) for 19.9 percent of Australia’s SP AusNet as part of its $50 billion global acquisition plan.
The Chinese state-owned company will also acquire 60 percent of Singapore Power’s other Australian energy and infrastructure assets held by SPI (Australia) Assets Pty, the Singaporean company said today in a statement. That closely held unit, known as Jemena, manages more than A$5 billion of assets and had A$1.7 billion in sales in 2012, according to its website.
Nova Chemicals to start using shale gas in Ontario A major Abu Dhabi-owned petrochemical complex is due to become one of the first in the world to benefit from North America's shale bonanza.
Nova Chemicals, the Calgary-based company owned by the emirate's International Petroleum Investment Company, is due to start receiving gas from Pennsylvania's Marcellus field, a major shale deposit, by the end of this year.
Pertamina looks to Talisman’s expertise in Indonesian shale gas block JAKARTA — State energy firm Pertamina is planning to tap into the expertise of Canada’s Talisman Energy Inc as it embarks on Indonesia’s first shale gas extraction project, a company official said on Friday.
Energy Future’s Woes Stunt Oncor’s Power Growth Ambitions Oncor Electric Delivery Co., Texas’ largest power utility, may not be able to take full advantage of the nation’s fastest-growing electricity market because of capital constraints lingering from its parent’s 2007 leveraged buyout.
Oncor would have to cut dividend payments to Energy Future Holdings Corp. if the Texas electricity distributer wanted to fund another major project in the state where it serves more than 3 million homes and business, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Bob Shapard said.
Kuwait suspends executives over Dow Chemical payment Kuwait City: Kuwait’s cabinet suspended on Thursday several senior oil executives over a $2.2 billion penalty paid to Dow Chemical for scrapping a joint venture and ordered a judicial investigation into the matter, an official statement said.
Green party has decades-in-making breakthrough in B.C. election VANCOUVER - The British Columbia Green party made a historic breakthrough in the provincial election this week, powered on what appeared to be opposition to oil pipelines and concerns about global warming.
Andrew Weaver, a University of Victoria professor and climate change expert, defeated four-term Liberal cabinet minister Ida Chong in the Vancouver Island riding of Oak Bay-Gordon Head on southern Vancouver Island.
"It is very, very exciting," a tired, but elated Weaver said Wednesday.
But the reaction among environmental groups to the Green victory was tempered by the surprising loss of the B.C. New Democrats and their no-to-pipelines platform.
Harper Seeks to Build Keystone XL Support on U.S. Visit Prime Minister Stephen Harper is seeking to counter opposition to TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline, a project crucial for boosting Canada’s economy and Harper’s plans to make the country an energy superpower to rival Saudi Arabia.
Harper, at an event today moderated by former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin for the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, said there is a strong case for the U.S. government to approve the pipeline, citing the prospects for job creation and North American energy independence.
Keystone XL pipeline 'needs to go ahead,' Harper tells U.S. Prime Minister Stephen Harper told an American audience today that the Keystone XL pipeline "absolutely needs to go ahead."
Harper made the pipeline pitch while taking questions at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City.
Payout official set for surge in BP spill claims New Orleans - The deadline for claims against BP Plc in connection with the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill is 11 months away, but the man responsible for paying the claims said on Thursday he is already bracing for a late surge in filings.
Study finds use of dispersants can increase oil penetration into sandy marine sediments A Florida State University researcher working as part of the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) investigated the effects of dispersants on the movement of crude oil through water-saturated marine sand and found that dispersants potentially facilitate penetration of oil components into the seabed, where oxygen concentrations may affect the degradation of the oil.
Fracking on Federal Lands Said to Get Scaled-Back Rule Proposal Gas drillers using hydraulic fracturing on federal lands would be able to use an industry-sponsored website to disclose the chemicals they use and won’t need to perform cement tests on each well, according to a revised proposal from the Interior Department set for release today.
Drillers will be permitted to use a variety of methods to test the integrity of their wells, according to a fact sheet from the Interior Department, which was provided to Bloomberg by an outside representative.
Edison, Mitsubishi hit roadblock on San Onofre's future A flurry of letters that went back and forth between Southern California Edison and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries late last year reveal the serious hurdles that stand in the way of the San Onofre nuclear power plant's long-term future.
The plant had been offline at that point for nearly a year because of unusual wear on tubes that carry radioactive water in the plant’s newly replaced steam generators, which were designed and manufactured by Mitsubishi.
Teenager Designs Safer Nuclear Power Plants Do nuclear power plants need a redesign? Critics of nuclear energy seem to think so, and so does nuclear energy advocate, Taylor Wilson. A physics wunderkind, Wilson became the youngest person to ever create fusion at age 14. And since graduating from high school last year, he's devoted himself to finding innovative solutions to the world's biggest problems.
The now nineteen-year-old Wilson recently spoke to a TED audience about his design for a small, modular fission reactor that is both less expensive and much safer to operate than today's nuclear reactors.
Can an abandoned warehouse transform Ivy City? A streetcar may be a longshot, and Lewis and Swanson are both skeptical that it’d help Ivy City residents. But up to now, the neighborhood has been taunted by transit it doesn’t benefit from: the Amtrak tracks that box in a neighborhood that lacks easy access to any Metro or intercity rail stations, and the whizzing cars along New York Avenue that rarely have occasion to pull off in Ivy City. Adding destination retail, a community-serving supermarket, greater transportation options, and jobs in the office building—Jemal says there could be up to 5,000 people working there—could change all that. Tregoning says the kind of retail the Hecht’s project might be able to attract would “allow that community to punch above its weight.” And Millstein hopes that it could motivate the city to find other locations for bus and truck parking as those Ivy City lots become more valuable as potential retail or housing development sites.
As auto sales rebound, so do repossessions An increase in auto repossessions due to borrowers defaulting on their car loans is raising new questions about whether the auto industry is going too far selling new cars and trucks to those with subprime credit records.
According to Experian Automotive, the percentage of auto repos in the first quarter jumped 16.9 percent, and the average charge-off for bad loans jumped more than $600 to $7,401.
Tesla to Raise More Than $1 Billion to Repay U.S. Loan Tesla Motors Inc., the electric-car maker run by Elon Musk, will use proceeds from a sale of shares and debt to repay its U.S. loan as much as nine years ahead of schedule, a victory for a maligned Energy Department program.
Tesla Motors As The 4th U.S. Automaker, And Why The Future Is Bright Tesla Motors has been a fairly controversial stock ever since its 2010 IPO, as its critics and supporters argue over Tesla's profit potential, its relevance, and even the utility of its cars. For Tesla's critics, what is effectively Elon Musk's most famous venture is little more than a pipe dream, a futile exercise in unworkable technology financed by taxpayers. And to Tesla's supporters, the company represents a paradigm shift in the automobile business, and they believe that the company will emerge as America's 4th automaker, alongside the "Big 3" of Detroit. With Tesla's Q1 2013 results on May 8, we believe that Tesla will indeed take its place as America's 4th automobile manufacturer. Tesla has created a recipe for success in the automobile market of today, as well as the automobile market of tomorrow, with clear strategies for both.
A reality check on Tesla Even after overlooking all the Model S' objective blemishes (the team over at CR mentioned its lack of certain high-end features, stereo issues and parasitic battery energy losses when parked), electric vehicles lack a national infrastructure of charging points, accessible cross-country range and remain cost prohibitive for most consumers. These are major hurdles, preventing tens of millions from even considering vehicles like the Model S. Don't feel sorry for just the electric crowd, either. The same hindrances are lodged at other alternative-energy vehicles, such as those powered by hydrogen and natural gas.
Tesla's high-scoring 85 kwh Model S, arguably at the top of its pure-electric segment, is limited to a range of about 265 miles. Even though it may be plugged into any common 110-volt electrical outlet for a slow charge, high-speed electric vehicle charging stations have only sprung up in major population centers or along busy highway corridors, meaning a lack of foresight before heading down a less-traveled road may initiate a tow truck encounter.
Used Fisker Karma EVs are the 'new Delorean' as prices tumble As used car deals go, this is one to make you think twice. Used Fisker Karmas, which sold for $103,000 just a year ago as new models, are now being sold for roughly half price. In some cases, those trying to sell the luxury extended-range electric car on eBay cannot even get bids above $50,000.
World Bank's IFC agrees to support Masdar projects Masdar and the International Finance Corporation have penned an agreement that could see the World Bank subsidiary provide as much as US$1.5 billion in financing to the Abu Dhabi investor for clean energy projects around the world.
In a memorandum of understanding (MoU) announced yesterday and signed in Washington DC, the IFC and Masdar agreed to look at projects ranging from solar plants to carbon capture and storage facilities.
SolarCity shares surge on news of financing from Goldman NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - SolarCity shares are shining once again.
The solar-energy installer surged 9% Thursday after announcing an agreement with Goldman Sachs that will finance $500 million worth of solar projects. The deal, inked last year, has already supported 26 megawatts' worth of new solar-generation power and will provide for 84 megawatts more, making it the largest agreement of its kind, SolarCity said.
Lithium Ion Starter Batteries: Will BYD Take The Place Of A123 Systems? This contribution is about "Build your Dreams" - BYD, Warren Buffett's most famous investment in China. It's aimed at analyzing this company's possibilities of success in the introduction of Li-ion starter batteries into the micro-hybrid car market.
China says EU solar duties to "seriously harm" trade ties BEIJING (Reuters) - China warned the European Union on Thursday that imposing duties on Chinese solar panels would "seriously harm" bilateral trade ties, upping the tone of its criticism a week after the EU said it would move ahead with hefty penalties in June.
The European Commission has agreed to impose average import duties of 47 percent on solar panels from China, according to officials, a move they say is to guard against the dumping of cheap goods in Europe.
Washington Is Outdoing California and Texas in Renewable Energy California and Texas might be leading the nation’s rollout of solar and wind power, respectively, but Washington, where hydroelectric dams provide over 60 percent of the state’s energy, was the country’s biggest user of renewable power in 2011, according to new statistics released last week by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
A powerful use for spoiled food Kroger Co.'s anaerobic digester in Compton takes unsold food from Ralphs and Food 4 Less and converts it into 13 million kilowatt-hours of electricity a year.
Indonesia: A Logging Ban Is Extended Indonesia has approved a two-year extension to a landmark ban on clearing primary rain forests and peatlands, an official said Thursday.
Senate Panel Advances Nominee for E.P.A. WASHINGTON — A sharply divided Senate committee on Thursday approved the nomination of Gina McCarthy to serve as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
The Environment and Public Works Committee voted to clear Ms. McCarthy by 10-to-8 along strictly partisan lines, sending the nomination to the Senate floor where Republicans are threatening to filibuster unless the E.P.A. meets demands for additional information.
Escape Plans Why do we need a space program? Because Earth isn’t going to be a safe place in the long term.
Planting the Seed of Sustainable Farming The key question is: How do we get enough farmers to practice sustainable agriculture so that algal blooms and dead zones — whether in Lake Erie or the Gulf of Mexico — become a thing of the past? How do we actually win?
The answer lies in convincing farmers that sustainable agriculture is not at odds with high yields and profitability. In fact, practices like more efficient use of fertilizer and the creation (or maintenance) of wetlands and buffer strips, which filter runoff before it can reach streams and rivers, can save farmers money and help improve the quality of their soil.
Food supply under assault as climate heats up American eaters, let’s talk about the birds and the bees: The U.S. food supply – from chickens injected with arsenic to dying bee colonies – is under unprecedented siege from a blitz of man-made hazards, meaning some of your favorite treats someday may vanish from your plate, experts say.
Warmer and moister air ringing much of the planet – punctuated by droughts in other locales – is threatening the prime ingredients in many daily meals, including the maple syrup on your morning pancakes and the salmon on your evening grill as well as the wine in your glass and the chocolate on your dessert tray, according to four recent studies.
Scientists: Climate change is real An overwhelming 97 percent of climatologists endorse the idea of human-caused global warming
As if the backing of NASA, 18 independent American scientific societies, and an intergovernmental panel established under the United Nations weren't enough to quell the protests popping up in comment sections across the Internet, a new study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters confirms — once again — that climatologists almost unanimously believe that climate change is directly related to human-made carbon emissions.
Analysis: Obama climate agenda faces Supreme Court reckoning WASHINGTON (Reuters) - With a barrage of legal briefs, a coalition of business groups and Republican-leaning states are taking their fight against Obama administration climate change regulations to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other industry groups, along with states such as Texas and Virginia, have filed nine petitions in recent weeks asking the justices to review four U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations that are designed to cut greenhouse-gas emissions.
Africa: At UN Debate, Experts Weigh Clean Energy, Water Strategies to Halt 'Runaway' Climate Change With dire warnings likely to match or exceed the worst fears about the effects of global warming, environment and development experts gathered today at United Nations Headquarters to debate the twin challenge of curbing climate change while sustaining economic growth.
"The fundamental challenge of our time is to end extreme poverty in this generation and significantly narrow the global gap between rich and poor without ruing the environmental basis for our survival," General Assembly President Vuk Jeremic said as he opened the Thematic Debate Sustainable Development and Climate Change: Practical Solutions in the Energy-Water Nexus.
EU Should Scrap Energy Subsidies to Fight Warming, Poland Says The European Union should scrap fossil fuel and renewable energy subsidies and set a target to cut oil imports to remain the leader in the fight against global warming, according to Poland’s environment minister.
Poland wants to keep energy prices at an affordable level, Minister Marcin Korolec said today at a conference in Warsaw attended by EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard titled “A World You Like With a Climate You Like.”
“We have our ideas of how to improve EU policies and thus climate,” Korolec said. “Those are simple actions that would help us have the climate you like on a budget you like.”
Artist finds inspiration in Canadian government's attempt to silence her Banned on the Hill: A True Story about Dirty Oil and Government Censorship, released this week, shows how Canadian bureaucrats tried to silence James because her views on climate change clashed with the Harper government's push to develop Alberta's tar sands.
The story is told through visual essays as well as official emails obtained by James, in which government bureaucrats discuss the troublesome artist and her work.
It also relies heavily on humour – some of it provided inadvertently by the government bureaucrats discussing what to do about James.
James Hansen Says Greenland Melt May Cool North Atlantic Greenland ice melting at an expanding pace may begin cooling the North Atlantic and increasing the severity of storms by 2075, said James Hansen, the former NASA scientist who raised concerns about global warming in the 1980s.
“If we stay on this path where the rate of mass loss from Greenland doubles every 10 years, we would get to a situation by about 2075 or 2080 where the mass loss is so fast that it causes the whole North Atlantic to be colder,” Hansen said in London.
Tar sands make climate change 'unsolvable': Hansen Exploiting oil and gas trapped in tar sands and shale threatens to make climate change “unsolvable,” said James Hansen, the former NASA scientist who raised concerns about global warming in the 1980s.
Conventional reserves of oil, gas and coal already have more carbon embedded in them than is safe to burn without causing “dangerous” levels of warming beyond a rise of 2 degrees Celsius since industrialisation, Hansen told a U.K. panel of lawmakers today.
Leaked Papers Show UK Government Will Backtrack on Tar Sands Extraction Being Classified As Highly Polluting The UK government has come under fire this week from both NGOs and scientists for rejecting an EU proposal to classify tar sands under the European Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) as ‘highly polluting’ – despite the fact research has shown that oil produced from the Canadian tar sands emits 3-4 times more greenhouse gases than does conventional oil.
E.U. Considers Emission Fines on Chinese and Indian Airlines BRUSSELS — The European Commission said Thursday that Air China and Air India were among 10 Chinese and Indian airlines facing the prospect of fines and exclusion from airports in the European Union for refusing to comply with rules aimed at regulating greenhouse emissions.
The carriers are accused of not providing emissions data, as required by the European rules, and not participating in a permit system that entitles airlines to emit greenhouse gases in European airspace.
America’s first climate refugees: Can a baked Alaska deny climate change? There is no disputing the real-time effects of climate change. Alaska is warming faster than anywhere else in America, setting off a circumpolar scramble for oil and other resources given up by the melting ice and threatening the livelihood of those who still live off the land and the sea.
“Up here in Alaska, I would say most people do not have an argument that climate change is happening because we see it,” said Douglas Causey, a wildlife biologist at the University of Alaska at Anchorage. “The debate is not whether climate change is happening. The debate is over what’s causing it.”
But those debates, and the fierce politics surrounding climate change, compromise efforts to deal with the causes and protect the people who will bear a huge part of the consequences.
Glacier melt causes third of sea-level rise Water from the world's shrinking glaciers was responsible for almost a third of the rise in sea levels between 2003 and 2009, shows new research.
As North Pole Melts, U.S. Arctic Policy Needs to Heat Up Behind the Arctic’s intensifying geopolitics are some powerful geophysics. Climate change is causing Arctic ice to melt at an accelerating rate. Last summer, the area of ice covering the Arctic Ocean was about half what it was, on average, from 1980 to 2000. The thickness of the remaining ice had diminished by 80 percent over the same period. The late-summer Arctic could regularly be ice-free as soon as the 2030s, according to some estimates.
Although these developments portend ominous changes in the jet stream, ocean currents and global climate, they also promise great opportunities. With less ice will come more access to oil and gas: The U.S. Geological Survey estimated in 2008 that the region holds 30 percent of the world’s undiscovered natural gas reserves and 13 percent of its undiscovered oil.
Canada must rule its Arctic waves To declare and enforce our sovereignty in the huge archipelago we claim, an area the size of Western Europe, we must have ships and sailors in those waters in sufficient numbers, and with sufficient capability, to let no nation doubt our commitment. But even with the government’s highly-touted shipbuilding program, the worry is that our will shall fail, and the resources wither below what was promised. We may lose our voice around the Arctic Council table, with new members clamouring to join, to stronger, more robust nations, because of Nelson’s “want of frigates” — or their modern equivalent.
Half of oil burnable in 2000-2050 to keep us within 2 degrees warming has been used up as we hit 400 ppm This article shows CO2 emission profiles from oil, analyses how regional peak oil events shape emission curves and calculates that an annual 6% oil decline rate after 2012 would be needed to satisfy the boundary condition to keep global warming to 2 degrees C, with a 25% probability of exceeding this target.
In a rural area in the former East Germany, late summer 2009: Shimmering heat, the intense odor of fermenting fruits is in the air. A tree covered with hundreds of juicy pears, and a foot-high layer of rotting fruit on the ground. A stone’s throw away – plums, mirabelles, elder bushes and every now and then an apple tree along the path, maybe of an old, rare variety. An abundance of fresh fruit – in normal seasons, much more than needed to feed birds, insects and other animals – forgotten, abandoned, unused.
Generation X, the unlucky cohort of Americans who became young adults during the boom years of the 1990s only to suffer a midlife bust, is facing bleak retirement prospects, according to a study.
The Pew Charitable Trusts said the typical Gen X couple, born between 1966 and 1975, only has enough savings to replace half of its pre-retirement earnings. Married Americans born during the first part of the baby boom, from 1946 to 1955, can expect to retire with about 82 percent of their income. The younger boomers, born between 1956 and 1964, can expect to quit work and make about 59 percent of pre-retirement earnings.
That's because they blew the damn money.
These are the same people who have incessantly demanded more and more government, more and more control over other people, more and more services and at the same time think an iPhone is more important than their retirement savings.
They're the ones driving new cars every 2 years and pissing away money chasing after the Joneses. They have no sense of reality, especially when it comes to personal responsibility over their lives and bodies. They are the "young people" who pressed for "freedom" -- from responsibility.
They're the ones who flooded the market (and still do!) screaming for cheaper and more debt to buy houses, cars, cellphones and other alleged "badges" of prosperity. They made up the majority of house-flippers, condo resale junkies and the schemers selling the nation on this crap. They made up the majority of the Wall Street junkies pushing the credit heroin through the streets too.
In short many of them were the "I'm gonna get mine and fuck you" generation. Yeah, many of the boomers were responsible for this too; in many ways they're even more responsible. The sense of entitlement has gotten worse, not better, as you move forward in generational terms.
There are exceptions, of course. I've met plenty of people who have had their own personal "Come to Jesus" moment on these matters -- who understand that economic surplus is first and foremost personal, and that the premise that someone else (including the collective "someone else" found in government) owes you something makes you their slave, as once you stick your hand out they get to dictate terms.
There's a certain wry smile that crawls across my face when I run into someone learning that lesson the hard way. But there's a sadness that goes with it, because the fact of the matter is that until a critical mass of people return to being able to think things through logically and put the effort in to do so the net position of our nation and her people is destined to deteriorate rather than advance.
Ronald Reagan famously said that it was "morning again in America"; unfortunately what he allowed and what we got was a false dawn. Rather than be the stern father who says "Yes, son, it's morning, and this means you have 12 hours of daylight to bust your ass so after you buy your room for the night and food for your belly there is something left to save and thus invest in a future venture" he allowed Congress to fail to follow through on the bargain he struck and contract the size of government to fit the reduced tax revenues that were passed.
He could have done so but that would have been hard; simply refusing to sign any bills until the promise was kept would have been enough, but it also would have been politically nasty.
It's easy to be loved when you're handing out "free money."
The problem is that you're living an open and notorious fraud because there is no such thing as free money.
That fraud continues and has been amplified today.
If you could safely turn $8 dollars into $40, would you?
What about turning $800 into $4,000? Same question, right?
If you answered yes to those questions, which I’m sure you did, then you’re already onboard with half of today’s energy story.
That is, most American shale oil wells are set to payout at the odds above. You see, the average shale oil well costs anywhere from $5-10 million to drill, complete and put into production – let’s call that $8 million in total upfront cost. Once put in to production, though, the estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) for a productive well could payout to the tune of $30-40 million.
That’s exactly why producers from Texas to North Dakota to Oklahoma are scrambling to drill. The payouts are too lucrative to pass up.
It’s all good. Unless, of course, you’re OPEC…
Earlier this week I was attending the Platt’s oil conference in London. I want to relay two important themes you need to know:
First, the U.S. oil boom is bigger than expected. From my perch this is more of a “duh” observation. Following America’s oil and gas shale boom since 2008, I’ve yet to see much of anything slow down. It gets back to the question I asked above. Indeed, if these shale wells keep paying out at three or four to one, then drillers are going to keep drilling and keep moving the needle for U.S. oil.
In fact, this week at the Platts conference the International Energy Agency (IEA), released its latest Oil Market Report and found that America’s shale boom is growing even larger than expected. It’s also set to have a profound effect on OPEC.
Which brings me to the second theme…
OPEC is also set to produce (or have the capability to produce) a heckuva lot of oil. One main driver of that supply growth is that Iraq. After a turmoil-filled decade Iraq is coming back online in a big way – and could add another three million barrels per day to the oil mix by 2018.
To put Iraq’s oil growth in perspective, three million barrels is the same amount of increase that the U.S. has seen since 2008. Essentially it’s the equivalent of our domestic shale boom. Of course, with Iraq we’re talking about cheaper, conventional oil. But you get the point.
So you see, once you start lumping in all of this oil – along with Saudi spare capacity – the market seems a bit flush.
Indeed, at this week’s oil conference there was a strong undercurrent of “if all of this oil is coming online, why the heck are prices still high?!”
Good question! And there were only a couple (relatively weak) answers…
The first reason, I’m told, we’re seeing high crude prices even in the face of high U.S. production and inventory is that there’s still a Middle East fear premium built into the market. Sure, that’s all well and good, but is the fear premium really jacking up the price $10, $15, $25?
Of note, there haven’t been any large-scale supply disruptions, other than Libya and Iran (due to sanctions.) Add it all up and OPEC has the capability of producing and shipping more oil than we saw last year – and over the next two years that spare capacity is only set to rise.
The other answer to the “why high prices?” question was the fill gap, central bank easing.
In other words, according to Repsol’s Antonio Merino “[the market is] convinced that central banks can keep markets going forward.”
As he puts it “Growth and expectation are driven by central bank actions.”
But even he who said the answer is skeptical! In his own words $90 is not “the best forecast, but this is what the market is believing” he says.
Along with the fear premium argument, I’m not buying this central bank jazz.
All we have to do is look towards gold prices and other commodities to see that central bank printing isn’t keeping them afloat. Heck, copper prices are off 13% since February.
So you see, we’ve only got two reasons why oil prices are clinging to the mid-90’s. But both excuses look like wobbly deuces at the bottom of the house of cards.
I don’t think today’s $90+ price is going to last much longer.
And when prices begin to swiftly retreat, the OPEC member nations are going to have their work cut out for them.
Frankly, what actions can a member-nation like Saudi Arabia take? Right now they are in the midst of their own rising spare capacity, they’re seeing Iraq produce more oil by the day and that the same time the U.S. – as of this March – has over took them as the world’s second largest liquids producer in the world (Russia, clings to the first spot.)
U.S. demand is waning and supply is rising. It’s not a good day to be a cartel member.
Stay tuned for more…
Keep your boots muddy,
Original article posted on Daily Resource Hunter
New farmers market comes to Crystal Palace
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We are currently making a short film to promote The Power of Just Doing Stuff in advance of its publication next month. And we really need your help. We need short clips of you, or anyone, saying what the Power of Just Doing Stuff means to you/them. You could film it on your phone, or any kind of video camera, but what we’re after is what you get out of doing practical projects rather than just sitting watching passively as the world unravels around you? What kind of power do you feel you reclaim or discover through it? Just one sentence, speaking to the camera, would be brilliant. ”Doing stuff makes me feel like we can change the world”, “doing stuff brings the world around me to life”, “doing stuff is far more fun than dusting my collection of celebrity thimbles” … things like that.
We need them by Tuesday next week (May 21st). Please contact Emma Goude (emmagoude (at) hotmail.com) and she can give you details of the DropBox account to upload it to. We want to capture passion, spirit, vision. Please help! There, and you were just wondering how you were going to spend your weekend … thanks!
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Humans have evolved to feel a single sense of self, but our emotional brain is encouraging us to pursue perceived self-interest even if it means trashing the planet, leaving our rational brain to try and justify our actions. Why are our intuitions so poor, and how might we engage rational thinking?
New farmers market comes to Crystal Palace
The market has been organised by the Crystal Palace Transition Town (CPTT) and will take place in Haynes Lane, Crystal Palace, 10am to 3pm. The CPTT aims to create a more sustainable future for the area and residents believe the market will breathe new ...
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Two new reports say climate change could cause the next financial crisis. From London, Bob Ward, LSE lead author of "Unburnable: Carbon 2013: Wasted capital and stranded assets." Australia's Climate Institute, John Connor on coal's risky future. Plus Nancy LaPlaca: why sunny Arizona burns coal.
This is Croydon
Food for thought - 600 people enjoy new market
This is Croydon
There were even opportunities on the Transition Town's own Patchwork Farm stall for individuals, schools and allotment holders to sell their own fruit and veg surplus. The main bulk of the meat, vegetables, fruit and eggs came in from East Sussex and ...
Making choices early gives room to move
This rethink is the basis of Transition Towns - a grassroots movement established by Rob Hopkins in the United Kingdom in 2006. It started with a small number of villages in Britain and has since spread to more than a thousand locations in 43 countries.
Making choices early gives room to move
Climate change and peak oil concerns were early drivers of the Transition movement. Strictly defined, peak oil is when oil extraction rates top out and begin to decline. Debate continues as to whether we have already hit that point or exactly when we will.
Categories: Peak oil news from news.google.com
The wind was blowing so hard on the banks of the River Thames we had to replay it a few times to hear correctly.
“The need for OPEC to…”
We turned up the volume some more…
“The need for OPEC to be a player in the U.S. oil market isn’t really there. We’re not going to be depending on them like we used to.”
There it was.
We were listening to a homemade video update that our own Matt Insley and Byron King sent to us this morning while they were across the pond in London.
They were our muddy boots on the ground this week at the Platts Crude Oil Conference.
“That means OPEC is going to have to put their crude out into the global oil markets, and the way that I see it,” Matt explained, “there’s not going to be enough demand for that.
“They’re either going to keep it in spare capacity where they’re not going to get any money for it,” he went on, “or they’re going to flood the market with it to get more product out there and make a little more money for their coffers.”
That’s too bad. The petropoly has bills to pay and setting the price of oil was a simple way to balance their budgets. But nowadays, that control is slipping through OPEC’s fingers.
“We’re most likely going to have a pullback in oil prices. “ Matt told us, “It looks like the efficient price for oil in the U.S. would be $80, but we could see oil head lower than that.”
That’s great news for the U.S. economy, but boy, it stinks to be Venezuela or Oman …
As we go to press today, oil futures inched above $95, but Tim Evans at Citi Futures chalked it up to “short-term traders who are trying to pick up quarters in front of a steamroller.”
In other words, those price increases won’t last long.
“We’re about to see very dramatic changes in the flow of world oil,” Byron chimed in.
“Essentially, North America is so isolating itself from much of the traditional import market that we see entire regions in South America and West Africa have essentially stopped or dramatically scaled back what they export to the U.S.
“The shale revolution in is truly a global revolution even though most of the drilling is happening in just a few states in just a few basins. It hasn’t spread out to the rest of the world.”
That’s if the politicians don’t screw the pooch first.
But hey, we’re only in Round 3 of this bare-knuckle donnybrook between America’s energy revolutionaries and the political leeches plotting to suck them dry.
Right now, it seems like the suits just east of the Potomac are about to be dealt a haymaker, but we shouldn’t count the politicos out… they’ve been known to throw a rabbit punch or two when the ref has his back turned.
The newspapers and TV channels reported the Dow 15,000 story last week as though it were just a stepping stone on the way to 16,000… or 20,000… or 30,000.
Heck, the sky’s the limit!
Investors have reached a new level of bullishness. They’re borrowing again to buy stocks, confident that prices go in only one direction.
Advisers, too, seemed sure that this was not the end of a trend, but the beginning of one. Just what you’d expect at a market top.
There’s also a swift current of economic analysis telling us that the commodities boom is over… that the Fed has the situation under control… and that the bull market in gold is finished.
All of which is amazing… and often breathtaking.
Stock market investors don’t seem to know or care that the main thing propping up their investments is the same thing that will ultimately destroy them. And that the longer the situation continues, the bigger the mess will be when it finally blows up.
We’re talking, of course, about Fed, Bank of England, Bank of Japan and People’s Bank of China monetary policy. It is “experimental.” It is “bold.” It is also reckless and potentially catastrophic.
Lending money at negative real interest rates creates grotesque distortions in the market.
Savers get nothing for their trouble. In fact, they lose money in real (inflation-adjusted) terms. So they shift to speculating on stocks. The stock market goes higher… but it is not a market you can trust.
It is being driven by the printing of trillions of dollars, yen, pounds and renminbi. But central bank policy hasn’t been able to budge slumping economic fundamentals. And any attempted exit by central banks in the absence of a genuine economic recovery will be, in the words of hedge fund manager Paul Singer, “somewhere on the continuum between problematic and impossible.”
It is also unnatural for a central bank to print up new money and use it, indirectly, to pay for government operations. If you could do that without penalty — that is, if you could pay for real things with fake money — you would do it all day long.
Normally, central banks don’t even try. They know the penalties make it not worth the fleeting enjoyment.
Do you see any penalties, dear reader? We don’t.
But the fact that the penalties have not yet been assessed doesn’t mean they don’t exist. And the longer we go without paying them, the greater they will eventually be.
At present, the feds get only rewards.
First, lower interest rates make it easier to finance federal debt.
Second, low debt interest payments reduce the outstanding debt in real (inflation-adjusted) terms.
Third, Fed Treasury bond buying indirectly funds government spending — to the tune of about $45 billion per month.
Fourth, the lack of yields in the bond market corrals investors into stocks. This pushes stock prices higher. Rich bankers and rich campaign contributors get richer.
What’s not to like?
For the moment, nothing.
But the markets won’t stay in this “sweet spot” for long. The time will come when the Fed will have to reverse its policies or face substantially higher inflation.
But how? Instead of buying bonds, the Fed will have to sell them. But to whom?
Fortune magazine reports:
“Warren Buffett has a piece of advice for Ben Bernanke: It’s easier to buy than it is to sell.
“Buffett, speaking on Saturday at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting in Omaha, said he is worried about what will happen when the Federal Reserve tries to wind down its recent efforts to stimulate the economy. Via a program nicknamed QE, short for quantitative easing, the Fed in recent years has bought up over $2 trillion in bonds in order to lower interest rates and promote borrowing and investment.
“Some have warned that when the Fed decides to sell its trove of bonds, or even just stops adding to it, stock markets could tank. Rising interest rates could cause banks to lose billions, perhaps igniting another financial crisis. Buffett says we don’t know what will happen, but he is concerned.
“‘QE is like watching a good movie, because I don’t know how it will end,’ says Buffett. ‘Anyone who owns stocks will re-evaluate his hand when it happens, and that will happen very quickly…
“‘People make different decisions when they can borrow for practically nothing… It’s a huge experiment.’
“Charlie Munger, Buffett’s long-term chief lieutenant, who was also talking at the meeting, says he worries about more than just inflation.
“‘What has happened in macroeconomics has surprised pretty much everyone,’ says Munger. ‘Given that history, economists should be more cautious when they print money in massive amounts.’”
for The Daily Reckoning