David To Goliath: You're A Damned Bully!
By Number Six
Saturday, April 26, 2008 at 08:58 AM
Consider this a rant, and a news piece at the same time. Part of what we love to do here at WTW is to expose the MSM, and yes, expose others in the process. I ask a question I asked all the way back to 1963...1963: I was a second-grader, seven in age, yes. We met in the cafeteria one morning, a presentation by the local nuke guys, to sell us on the wonders of neutrons-moderating-heavy water. Yes, nuclear power. No, I'm not here to sell that. However, there was this nice man, he looked like he worked for Mission Control, but everyone did back then. White shirt, tie, crewcut.
Why did we need nuclear power?
"Boys and girls, it's like this. Some time in the future, around 2100, we will run out of oil."
The talk was cute, explanations of how fission reactors work, and how that steam turns fan blades, which crank generators so we could all watch Bonanza. Very educational, yes.
God, I was a nosy little Vulcan back then. After the lecture, I hung around, met this man and his aides, and asked what any decent scientist asks for. I did not mean to be rude, I just wanted to know....how is this a fact?
A local boy told them so, a man working for Shell in Houston: Marion King Hubbert, geologist for Shell. You should know well that name by now, we all do. Oil, it was explained to me in brief, is not as renewable as many think it is. (Well, it is, provided you can wait 1,450,000 years between fill-ups, that is...)Hubbert produced, I was told, a paper that stated that two oil peaks were on the glideslope: America, around 1965-1970 (1970 exactly), and a world peak to arrive on or around 2000 to somewhere around 2050. (Hubbert's peak was extrapolated by others for the "world peak".)
Golly gosh, I think I replied, what are we to do?
Almost 10 years later, here I be, in my Pinto, two blocks from the gas station. My car had a dinky 4-cylinder engine, it didn't guzzle like the New Yorkers now adorning the junk yards. OPEC was pissed off at America for helping Israel, hence, the Arab Oil Embargo.
Hence, the first Big Oil Ripoff, I truly mean.
Ten years and change later, I ask, what's changed, if, at all?
Oh, not much. As a child, I'd expected to see changes in our technology, to get us out of this habit of being Big Oil's crack whore. And we are. Since Titusville, Big Oil slowly transformed humans into crack whores. Oil is in everything, everywhere. Food, medicine, clothing, plastics, you name it, they sucked us in and refuse to let go. Or is the other way around?
People wanted oil for lamps, and since whaling sucked...the species were disappearing, thanks to the whalers...another source was needed. Drake found one in Titusville. As oil was being refined, they found some stuff that came out they wanted to sell: Gasoline. A whiff in the direction of Ford did it. Later, the 1930's, another use of oil appeared: Polymers. Oil and natural gas are ingredients. Then, medicine, then.....
The bitch of it all? Who is telling the truth anymore? Was Hubbert correct? Are the Megadittoheads correct? Who's on First?
Despite the yatterings of the Limbutt lovers, the sad truth is, yes: You could bet the ponies at Belmont with Hubbert's math. Oil is renewable, but the process takes eons to make. Read that again: Eons. And, according to the smart crowd, the last time a lot of bitumen was made, oh, golly, it was during a huge global warming during the Jurassic Period, a time when all the plant life and sea life died and went to become oil, gas and coal...only a few million years ago, give or take.
Peak Oil, sportsfans, be here. Deal with it.
But like any good drug dealer, Big Oil is not about to let such a cute opportunity go to waste. Apparently, there is no such thing as an upper limit to greed, now is there?
No. It's a con game, courtesy we who are hooked to the gills on Texas Tea.
Prices rise and fall, we were told in school, depending on two balancing factors: Supply and demand. Demand is high, supply is low, prices soar. The other way around, and you can't give the shit away. This explains why stores selling pickled eggs aren't.
But, suppose you take some fear, add in some clever marketing practices, and make it appear worse than it is? For one, the oil speculators are using the news reports as excuse after excuse to jack the prices of oil up substantially. Bush's Folly, the UK pipeline shutdown, war here and there, oh, yes, stories like this one suggest that the speculators are using fear to play the ponies, mmm?
Thus, up and up and up and up the prices climb. $119 a barrel last look. Lovely. Someone's getting rich on me, but that's capitalism, true?
Big Oil was up before Congress not long ago, asked many a sharp question, and as always, the old Shell game (pin intended) was tossed around. Big Oil blames Jesus, the weather, their socks...but do not intend to tell the truth: They're using us like the crack whores we really are, and we are scared silly to press them on such.
Or, I should say, some of us. Not all of us. This is one David who ain't scared. Redneck does that.
Is Big Oil lying, ripping us off? Yes: From Consumer's Union:
-Anti-competitive practices. (Monopoly was never this good!)
-Crappy refinery practices, shutting down refineries, or just not making more. (Goes to an artifical shortage, yes.)
-Saying one thing to Wall Street (Goddamn, do we make money!) and crying poor to me and you. (Al Qaeda! The weather! We're as broke as you are!)
But, what is not mentioned? Look who runs America. Prez Dopey, Darth Cheney, Rice, and most of Congress are on Big Oil's payroll. A little Googling, and one can read who donates to whom. Fact: Our government is on payola, courtesy Exxon-Mobil, BP Amoco and anyone else selling the stuff.
In other words, if you smell a rat, you are most correct. Big Oil is Earth's biggest crack dealer. Guess who is the junkie. Three guesses, come on, it's so easy.
Yes, the cheap stuff is gone, back with the finned monsters with V-8's. True, what oil to get now...isn't gonna be cheap. But, why are we allowing a scam to take place?
Gasoline reserves on hand are at the highest levels since the early 1990s, which is remarkable considering the nation's refineries have been cutting back on the production of gasoline because their margins have declined. In fact, average gasoline reserves on hand have risen since this past October, while oil reserves in this country have gone up virtually every week this year—and only fog in the Houston Ship Channel that kept oil tankers from unloading their crude one week kept it from being every week.Meaning? Big Oil, speculators and money traders are having a riot lately. Fear, a decline in oil reserves, a metric of greed, and there you have it.
As for the speculators, in 2000 approximately $9 billion was invested in oil futures, while today that number has gone up to $250 billion. Now, if any publicly traded company had an additional $241 billion put into its stock in the same period, its stock would rise out of sight too—even if the company was not worth anywhere near that amount of market capitalization.
Moving on to the weak U.S. dollar as a primary cause for skyrocketing oil prices—there is "some" truth in that statement. But consider this: The dollar has depreciated 30% against the world's currencies since 2002, while the price of oil has gone up 500%. So is it the weak dollar that has caused a 500% increase in the price of oil, or is it the extra $241 billion worth of speculation? You can make the call on that one.
But, with this artificial shortage will come great danger: It's already affecting food availability, and as every good schoolboy knows, mess with hungry stomachs, and that's one way to toggle...revolt. Rice prices are going up, so is corn, wheat, you name it. Why? Oil, of course.
And some fear, as I do, that the food riots elsewhere are due here eventually. Pray tell, what then?...when we can't go to work, and cannot get something to eat?
I then suggest that Big Oil, the speculators, and our government reread A Tale Of Two Cities. It may be playing in the streets near you....and to all...our regret.
Over and out.
$250 billion is equivalent to about 1 months worth of crude contracts. The way oil is different to stocks is that the contracts expire and the oil is delivered. If it were speculation that was causing prices to rise then each month just before expiration occurred the price would crash. The high prices are only due to lack of spare capacity, pure and simple.
If it were speculation that was causing prices to rise then each month just before expiration occurred the price would crash.
Say what? No, the prices would not crash just before expiration of the contracts if, in fact, there was competition for the contracts and the investing community continued to think price was going up and price did, in fact, go up. ???????
The high prices are only due to lack of spare capacity, pure and simple.
As Six mentioned in the article, part of any acrtual market scarcity is due to the oil companies "judiciously" manipulating capacity. A shut down here, a slow down there, mix in increased demand and voila: scarcity and hoarding. All of which maximizes the oil producers' and refiners' profits on the planet's remaining oil.
Ergo, I stand here and I call SHENANIGANS.
Spud is take off one tiny red plastic shoe and is thump it on the blog table unmercifully in a move he learned from watching a vid about Kruschev!
** Thump Thump Thump **
They WILL bury us.
...In a sea of lies and debt.
Big Oil has become insanely powerful. To the point where it now writes US energy policy for itself and against the long term needs and desires of the populace.
BushCo is a slimy Oilygarchy indeed. From the moronic meat puppet Dumbya "Arbusto" Boosh to the real brains behind the gig Dickless "Helliburton" Chainedheat. Even their bit players like Neo-Condi i293.photobucket.com Rice-cakes are former denizen of the world of BigOil.
Here's another thought that the MSM aren't particularily curious about.
The Stategic Oil Reserves. ...remember them?
Huge reserves of oil that were put there in order to be dumped onto the market in order to bring prices back down to something resembling sanity. Prices are achieving nuttier levels than ever and still the morans in DC won't use the SOR the way it was intended. Makes nothing but sense if you understand the true nature of the corporatocracy that runs DC but not much at all if ya don't. The media silence is, as always, as instructive as it is maddening.
Meanwhile, "I drive a Yugo" Chaves over in Venezuela has been put on the US hit list not fer being a dictator, (hell, America in it's history has destroyed more democracies and set up more dictatorships than the reverse despite all the rhetoric to the contrary) but fer having the audacity to say "Fuck You!" to the sweetheart deals cut with Big Oil, countenanced by the Monroe Doctrine and backed up with American Military power and covert operations aplenty.
Meanwhile, blogworld still reels with continual arguments over whether or not Iraq and Afghanistan are primarily about the oil rather than bringing democracy to the ME. Somehow, people still aint got it in their heads that ALL US POLICY in the region since WWII has been predicated on the need for oil.
The Carter Doctrine enacted when the Soviets rolled into Afghanistan back in the day states that the US is perfectly justified in interfering with the region militarily when an external force tries to interfere with their resources. The Iraq/ Afghanistan thing is actually based upon the Reagan Corrollary to the Carter Docrine which states that the US is also justified in using military force in the event of "internal stability".
Did ya catch that last? Instability? In the ME?! Say it aint so!/snark> Effectively, the inherent instability of the region itself gives the US government Carte Blanche in terms of justifying any and all actions.
The nuclear tipped sabre rattling towards Iran and it's still nationalised oil fields?
You guessed it.
The first step to taking away chunks of over-influence from the likes of BigOil, BigAgra, BigPharma, Corrupt Int'l Banking groups, etc etc ad nauseum is to make people aware that that over-influence exists, that these groups are entrenched and that they work ceaselessly against the best long term interests of the largest chunks of humanity in order to benefit a ridiculously slim minority who, quite frankly, don't need the help.
The MSM aids and abets these forces. MSM exists to distract from all these important questions with non-essential fluff pieces disguised as news, ad disguised as news, minor molehills made up into massive media mountains like Rev Wright, Bittergate, the Dean Scream Moment etc etc, ad nauseum, ad infinitum and all in an effort to shape public opinions (and especially elections) under the guise of reflecting public opinion and always in order to preserve the corrupt status quo.
Blogworld exists to call shenanigans on these tactics.
Spud is call Shenanigans NOW!
/Nice piece, Number Six!