When it comes to price predictions, few things have become as slippery as crude oil. The big economic shock of this year is likely to transmute into several big political stories in 2015 as the consequences of the collapse in oil prices unfold. Shale oil and gas are revolutionary. But their real impact will be to destabilise the once well-buffered global oil price system. --Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, Hindustan Times, 23 December 2014
The U.S. shale boom that’s brought the country closer to energy self-sufficiency than at any time since the 1980s will be challenged in 2015 as never before. The benchmark U.S. crude price fell below $50 today for the first time since April 2009. Some of the largest U.S. shale drillers have been spending money faster than they make it, borrowing to pay for their expansion. Current oil prices are “not a sustainable long-term trend,” said Warren Henry, a spokesman for Continental. --Asjylyn Loder, Bloomberg, 5 January 2015
Three centuries ago, the world ran on green power. Wood was used for heating and cooking; charcoal for smelting and smithing; wind or water power for pumps, mills, and ships; and whale oil for lamps. People and soldiers walked or rode horses, and millions of horses and oxen pulled ploughs, wagons, coaches, and artillery.
But smoke from open fires choked cities, forests were stripped of trees, most of the crops went to feed draft animals, and streets were littered with horse manure. For many people, life was “nasty, brutish and short.”
Then the steam engine was developed, and later the internal combustion engine, electricity, and refrigeration came along. Green power was replaced by coal and oil. Carbon energy powered factories, mills, pumps, ships, trains, and smelters, and cars, trucks, and tractors replaced the workhorses. The result was a green revolution – forests began to regrow, and vast areas of cropland used for horse feed were released to produce food for humans. Poverty declined, and population soared.
Lord Christopher MoncktonThere are now 219 months with no significant upward temperature trend, according to an analysis of satellite data, which is more than half the 432-month satellite temperature record.
Climate scientists sounded the alarm last year that 2014 was on track to be the hottest year on record. The Japan Meteorological Agency, in fact, declared 2014 year the hottest on record, but only by only 0.05 degrees Celsius.
“The Great Pause is a growing embarrassment to those who had told us with ‘substantial confidence’ that the science was settled and the debate over,” writes Christopher Monckton, the 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley and a climate skeptic. ”Nature had other ideas.”
RSS satellite data is now published for December, and confirms that global atmospheric temperatures for 2014 are nowhere near the record being touted by NOAA and NASA.
The anomaly for the year has finished at 0.256C, which ties with 2007 as only the sixth warmest year since 1979. Not only that, but last year was well below the record set in 1998, and also 2010.
Just a few of the members in the Billionaire's ClubAlthough man-made global warming has been thoroughly exposed as an embarrassing scam, the green movement is strangely expanding, not retreating. A member of Congress privately told me this is because the green movement is completely driven by money, not idealism. The rhetoric about saving the earth is nothing more than propaganda to pad the pockets of the one percent at the top who are profiting from it.
Last year, a committee in the U.S. Senate conducted an investigation and discovered that a handful of radical left-wing billionaires, millionaires and their foundations are behind the green movement. Contrary to the misperception manufactured about left-wing causes, the environmentalist movement is made up of mostly wealthy - not to mention white and male - Americans and Europeans who stand to make a profit from draconian regulations. This shouldn't be any surprise, considering the average American cannot afford a green lifestyle. These one percenters have gone to great lengths to keep their involvement hidden from the public, to avoid exposure of the movement as a "Billionaire's Club."
The North and South Poles are “not melting”, according to a leading global warming expert. In fact, the poles are “much more stable” than climate scientists once predicted and could even be much thicker than previously thought. For years, scientists have suggested that both poles are melting at an alarming rate because of warming temperatures – dangerously raising the Earth’s sea levels while threatening the homes of Arctic and Antarctic animals. But the uncertainty surrounding climate change and the polar ice caps reached a new level this month when research suggested the ice in the Antarctic is actually growing. --Levi Winchester, Daily Express, 25 December 2015
As is almost always the case, the Sunday morning political talkies omitted mention of climate change, the greatest, most terrible, apocalyptic threat of all time. All four of the major show did, however, give extension mention to the Keystone XL Pipeline, either during direct interviews (e.g., with Sen. John Barrasso on NBC’s Meet the Press) or in group segments (a la ABC This Week’s Powerhouse Roundtable). Of all the Keystone mentions, the most perplexing was lent by Sen. Charles Schumer, on CBS’s Face the Nation. Below, I’ve punched up a transcript of the pertinent exchange. And at the bottom of this blog, I’ve reposted video of the entire interview.
Bob Schieffer: We understand the first thing the Republicans are going to do is pass Keystone XL legislation…what do you see happening there?
Gasoline prices are on the verge of crashing down to below $2 a gallon nationally (and are well below that in Albuquerque now). The price of oil may dip below $50 a barrel.
Even with renewed demand from a global economic resurgence, energy prices continue to fall. The U.S. has suddenly become the world’s largest combined producer of oil and natural gas.
That fact – along with a desire to weaken hostile Iran and Russia – has prompted the oil-rich Gulf sheikdoms to keep pumping oil even as the price falls. In their game of petro-chicken, the desperate sheiks hope that either their poorer enemies will run out of cash, or that fracking in the U.S. will become unprofitable and cease.
Everyone seems to have forgotten about “peak oil” – the catchphrase of the new millennium.