So Eli has been accumulating a bunch of stuff over the last few days and needs to get at least some of it off his tab bar. Without further ado, let the Rabett start with a something from Goldman Sachs via Bloomberg that explains quite a lot about what is going on with oil prices
How Profitable is $70 Oil
Obviously, the boys from Alberta are up against it with oil where it is, and if oil goes up, then they are up against it from renewables. The Keystone demos were/are basically a holding action until the market woke up. Bloomberg figures there is something like a trillion in stranded investments.
Somewhere back in the past, Eli pointed out that the play was a lot like the late 1970s, where OPEC shut down renewables by dropping the price, except now, even in Saudi Arabia, the price of lifting the oil is a lot higher than then. So as China and India grow, and demand increases, if the demand for energy has to be met by oil, the price has to move up considerably. As Al Gore says (red flag warning)
“Investors who haven’t yet come to grips with the stranding problem are like the classic scene in the Road Runner cartoons where the coyote runs off the edge of the cliff, and his legs keep moving for quite a long time before gravity takes hold,” Gore said by phone from Nashville, Tennessee. “There are investors out there whose legs are moving in mid-air.”Next something from Wikipedia which shows the US inflation rate as a function of time
as the observant might note, positive inflation has only been a given since about 1950. Before that inflation only really was significant during wartime. A better view of this is available at Visualizing Economics with the wars labelled. Given that inflation is running today and for previous years at ~ 1.5% the arguments for a discount rate about a percent or less when discussing the costs of climate change and how to deal with it appear ahistorical. Nick Stern was righter than many give him credit for.
OTOH, if you think about the cold war, that might explain 1950 - . Keeping a large standing army and munitions industry going puts a lot of pressure on the economy. Just sayin
Next, something interesting from the Great Orange Satin. Markos Moulitsas Zúniga aka kos has built a webempire that makes about all of the others look tiny. Doing so required a fair amount of smarts and obsession. He has become obsessed with energy efficiency and is writing an excruciatingly detailed account of how to do so, and how doing so not only saves energy, but also money.
Hi, my name is Markos, and I am an energy efficiency junky. I am obsessed with it. I'm downright OCD about it. It consumes a huge part of my life. I bored my wife talking about it, I bored my co-workers talking about it, I bored my friends talking about it, and I might even bore you talking about it.
But if I'm going to go all crazy over something, what could be better than focusing on eliminating my carbon footprint? Heck, I don't want to eliminate it, I want to go carbon negative—generating more energy than I consume, at home and in the supply chain of the goods and services I use.Kos has three principles for his energy diet
1. I do what I do to protect my world. The decisions I make, the actions I take, all have an impact on the world around me. I consider it a duty to minimize the impact I make. THAT is my primary motivation. That said, there's no way I would be doing all I'm doing if my efforts weren't essentially paying for themselves, so ...Part II is about reducing electrical consumption by optimizing lighting. No real surprises except the amount of money that can be saved by careful evaluation of current energy use and choice of LED bulbs (they are all not the same).
2. Saving money is important. Even if you're like "fuck baby seals," who doesn't want to save money? Maybe the guy still driving the Hummer. But if we want to motivate the general public to lower consumption and make environmentally friendly consumer and lifestyle choices, it has to be financially beneficial to them.
3. Don't sacrifice comfort. Sure, I can reduce my energy expenditures a great deal if I lowered my thermostat to 63 during the day, made everyone wear sweaters and hats at home. But that's not going to happen. Not only do I personally like a toasty house, but more importantly, so does my family. And if I want to have carte blanche to make efficiency gains around the house, I need to keep the family that lives in that house happy. In online forums, it's called the WAF (wife-acceptance factor), and it's a real thing. Thus, I won't be line-drying the laundry anytime soon, or eating only raw foods, or buying a smaller TV. Sure I could make major efficiency gains by doing certain things, but I'm well on the way toward a negative-carbon lifestyle without sacrificing comfort. It's not an either-or proposition.
Part III is about killing the standby kilowatt vampires which eat your wallet while waiting for you to turn something on. Smart toasters burn money.
Not yet posted are how to minimize the costs of big electrical power draws, home renewable energy (solar in his case), cutting the cord, reducing natural gas usage and water consumption. Worth reading even if you don't or cannot go the whole way.