Whales Prove Climate Change Caused By Ocean Currents

This is a fascinating video just for all the neat extinct animals it illustrates. Basically the guy just walks you through the massive evolutionary radiation of different animal types that happened after the dinosaurs got wiped out. There are really giant bunnies, a snake that’s the largest animal on Earth, whale ancestors walking around both on dry land and under the water, and dry land walking “hoofed” alligators (busy eating the proto-horses of the era – Yeah, I’m not liking the idea of a ‘gator that chases down horses on land either…)

Now in general, when watching it, one big take away is that extinction is frequent, common, and does NOT need people to happen. It’s an arms race and most critters lose it.

Also of interest is just all the strange paths nature takes. Sea Cows closet relative is the Elephant. There was a giant carnivorous land duck / goose. Ever have one them mean buggers chasing you at the park? (One pecked / bit my 3 year old kid back in the day). Well, imagine it being 6 foot tall… Then there are some very bizarre animals that were alive when people entered the Americas that now we think of as horrific monsters. Now THAT would make an interesting movie!

But what really “lit me up” was near the end when he got to whales. Seems they were mostly small until fairly recently in evolutionary terms. Then, suddenly, a lot of baleen plankton eaters got real big real fast. (Discussed at about 44 minutes to 47 in the video) What happened? A lot of cold deep water formed as the ice age began when the Isthmus of Panama formed and rearranged the ocean currents.

So here we have two things in the evolutionary record, attested. Closure of the Isthmus caused Ice Age formation. Rearranged ocean currents can cause dramatic climate change. I think that makes the notion of lunar tidal current re-arrangement (that is known to happen) a much stronger contender for “climate changes” than CO2.

Post Script

This article discusses the whale paper and has the following reference in it:

http://www.geologypage.com/2017/05/whales-recently-evolved-giants-changing-ice-oceans-concentrated-prey.html

Reference:
Graham J. Slater, Jeremy A. Goldbogen, Nicholas D. Pyenson. Independent evolution of baleen whale gigantism linked to Plio-Pleistocene ocean dynamics. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2017; 284 (1855): 20170546 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2017.0546

The Paper:

http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/284/1855/20170546

Abstract

Vertebrates have evolved to gigantic sizes repeatedly over the past 250 Myr, reaching their extreme in today’s baleen whales (Mysticeti). Hypotheses for the evolution of exceptionally large size in mysticetes range from niche partitioning to predator avoidance, but there has been no quantitative examination of body size evolutionary dynamics in this clade and it remains unclear when, why or how gigantism evolved. By fitting phylogenetic macroevolutionary models to a dataset consisting of living and extinct species, we show that mysticetes underwent a clade-wide shift in their mode of body size evolution during the Plio-Pleistocene. This transition, from Brownian motion-like dynamics to a trended random walk towards larger size, is temporally linked to the onset of seasonally intensified upwelling along coastal ecosystems. High prey densities resulting from wind-driven upwelling, rather than abundant resources alone, are the primary determinant of efficient foraging in extant mysticetes and Late Pliocene changes in ocean dynamics may have provided an ecological pathway to gigantism in multiple independent lineages.

Sudden increase in whale size when oceans cool and upwelling increases

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Posted in AGW Climate Perspective, Science Bits | 40 Comments

I’ll Believe The FBI Is Clean When Hillary Is Indicted For This

This is an interesting video. I stumbled upon it while wandering through Youtubes looking for Michael Smith ( I found him, BTW) This one references him, but is by a different party.

The upshot of it is that Australian $Millions were funneled to The Clinton Foundation while Gillard was in charge and while Hillary was either Secretary Of State OR had a shot at becoming President (POTUS). Then suddenly stopped when she got kicked to the curb. (Pay to play, anyone?)

14 minute video. After 7 or 8 it cuts to a Fox news report on 4 Clinton Investigations.

What is shaping up as pretty darned clear is that the Clintons were running a Charity Scam to cover for influence peddling. They were doing this internationally, and something like $80 MILLION got sucked out of Australia. (How much ended up in kickbacks to folks like Gillard TBD.) That’s what this video says to me.

There seems to be a widespread shell game with money being laundered through many hands before it would appear in someone’s pocket and then favors “mysteriously” worked out. In short, it looks like a complex multinational conspiracy. (Shades of Madam Hillary and her “Vast Conspiracy”… one is reminded that folks most often accuse others of what they are doing…)

The basic flow seems to be to infest then parasitize a government, use that to funnel cash to “fellow travelers” and “charities” that are really slush funds, then proceed to leverage it by selling government access (read “favors”). In Gillard’s case, she is stated as having set up a bogus “association” (that looks to me like a non-profit corp. with no payment to principles allowed) that was used as a slush fund. Kind of like a Clinton Foundation Lite…

I find it very hopeful that this video claims there are several investigations into the Clinton Foundation. However: I’ll believe the FBI is clean and honest when they file some indictments of Hillary and I’ll believe the investigation is serious when a Special Council or similar is assigned to hound Hillary the way the Faux Russia Investigation via Mueller is hounding President Trump.

Simply put, I’ll believe the swamp is drained and the swamp critters banished when I’m seeing some equality before the law; and the obvious and undeniable felonies committed by Hillary are prosecuted.

Just the email server mishandling alone ought to give her jail time. If I’m running the email at a company (or law firm) and lose email (not even confidential email), I get a ticket to jail under Sarbanes Oxley law. But she gets a free pass for deleting secret email that never ought to have been sent off site in the first place? Trumps folks get threatened with Obstruction charges if they can’t remember every time they ever talked to anyone, and Hillary gets a pass on deleting 33,000 subpoenaed emails? Bill gets a pass for collusion with the Attorney General in a clandestine airport meeting?

Until there is clear equal treatment and some Liberal Democrats and Progressives hit the slammer too, we’ve got a kangaroo court, corrupt DOJ, and partisan FBI; IMHO. If the folks there don’t like 1/2 the nation thinking that, they can put on their Big Boy Pants and start doing an honest, fair, and non-partisan job. We, the Deplorables, saw the crimes committed by the Clintons and Friends Of Bill. Until we see justice for them, there is no justice.

You can run all the phony Street Theater demonstrations you like. You can hand feed talking points to the Yellow Stream Media all you like. You can even Bitch Slap Zuckerburg and Google and Twitter into being your Brown Shirt Censors all you like. Ain’t gonna change a thing. We’re onto all of that crap.

See, we now have video from behind the curtain and you have been seen “in action”. We’ve watched Comey trying to play suck-up while also trying to sabotage Trump (and bungling it so bad he tossed the election to Trump). We know he’s your boy; now his book makes it clear he is “on side”. The only question, really, is how many more are in the FBI being 5th Column saboteurs?

So it really is tedious watching all the Street Theatre Fraud, and the DOJ Fraud, and now the Special Prosecutor quasi-legal-fraud, and the carefully manicured press, and now the attempt to censor and muzzle the internet free speech.

What needs to be remembered is that every action is highly visible and every quashing of speech is visible and doing things like demonetizing Diamond & Silk does not go un-noticed. What it does is turn a slow burn into a deeper and faster burn, headed toward rage. Remember that the Ancient Deplorables, the plain folks of the French Revolution, when driven to rage, implemented the French Haircut. Throughout history, when the Deplorables hit the rage point, the 1% is the target. Things are headed that way and the 1% is blissfully unaware. Please, just stop accelerating that direction! Tell Soros his “Color Revolutions” and his day are passed. We know about them now. We have your play book.

I’d really rather see just a little bit of fair real justice holding Hillary to the same standards as everyone else; than to see where Rage leads this time.

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Posted in Political Current Events | Tagged , , | 30 Comments

In Praise Of Michael Smith

There’s a peculiar thing happens when you are a Smith. Lots of other folks have your name. I’ve seen the death of Michael Smith in a boating accident reported on the TV News by Michael Smith. Driving to work I heard that the Space Shuttle was launching, pilot Michael Smith. Then had to pull over when it blew up… There’s a Michael Smith doing weather on a blog, but trying to find which one, well:

The Search finds a lot

Michael Smith, Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation …
Michael Smith, Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Executive, leads advanced research in severe weather detection for AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions.. Known as “America’s Tornado Expert,” Mike is one of America’s leading authorities in the field of extreme weather and its effects on society and business.

Michael Smith – Miami News, Fort Lauderdale News, Weather
When most kids were watching cartoons, Michael was watching The Weather Channel and couldn’t wait for the local weathercasts on the evening news.

Michael Smith « CBS Miami
It’s the same great news, weather, … There is a potential for strong to severe storms throughout the day, according to CBS4 meteorologist Michael Smith.

Michael Smith Meteorologist – Home | Facebook
Michael Smith Meteorologist, Atlanta, Georgia. 1,326 likes · 1 talking about this. Meteorologist Michael Smith

Michael Smith leaving ESPN’s ‘SportsCenter’ – usatoday.com
A little more than a month after co-host Jemele Hill’s departure, Michael Smith is also leaving the ESPN show.
[…]

We are sort of everywhere. One running a major bank in Australia. Another a Christian Rock musician. There’s one Michael Smith per 2000 of working population at every place where I’ve worked. That’s a LOT of Michael Smiths.

FWIW, the Fred Smiths of the world have made the Fred Smith club and has annual get-together parties. The club was on some TV show a few decades back. Keeping the address list up to date must be interesting. “Hi, this is Fred Smith, my new address is…” But to the best of my knowledge the Michael Smiths of the world have not yet set up a club.

Generally this means that when I hear of a Michael Smith doing something, it tends to just be noted as Anonymous Anonymous doing something. When the same guy has several different big splashes, unless I read the bio, they are catalogued as different folks / events.

So in this case I’d seen michaelsmithnews.com but not realized the back story to how it came to be. I’d figured “just another one of us blogging”… But oh, was there more. I take some solace, for my sloth in not knowing, from this particular Michael Smith being an Australian News Reporter, so not in media here in the USA. At least, that’s my excuse for not looking up the bio.

What is most intriguing in this Michael Smith is that, as a dogged reporter uncovering dirt in Australian Politics, he raised the ire of Julia Gillard, who got him fired in revenge. (Politicians really need to learn that in the age of the internet, petty revenge and personal attacks are not going to stay hidden and do not sit well with us little people voters.) The Pointman did the work to lay out this bit of history. It is well worth the read. Yes it’s Australia centric, but it involves the Leftist Globalist Cabal and their methods, so is pertinent to all of us.

https://thepointman.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/who-is-michael-smith/

Any bolding was done by me.

Who is Michael Smith?

Posted by Pointman on December 12, 2013

From about 4 years ago, but still relevant.

This is a guest article by one of our regular commenters, Blackswan. Among other things, it demonstrates the new reality that if the mainstream media allows itself to be muzzled by politicians, or chooses to only represent views it finds itself in agreement with, then those views can nowadays find an alternative platform in the wide open plains of the internet and the blogosphere. This is a great success story showing yet again that one determined person can make a difference. Given a moribund mainstream media which is increasingly detached from the ordinary person and which is hesitant to do investigative reporting of powerful interests, I think it’s the shape of things to come.

So kudos to you, Blackswan.

Yes, it is no longer possible to muzzle the truth. Politicians are finding themselves surrounded by a million reporters they can not control nor influence. And no, recruiting left wing friends and fellow travelers at Facebook & Google to decide what is YOUR accepted “truth” and censor all others is not going to work. Folks will just move on to other platforms. For example, I use DuckDuckgo for my searches, not Google. I abandoned Google as soon as they were demonstrated biased and manipulative for political ends.

I’ll skip over the history of Gillard and how she rose in Australian politics.

[…]
It also emerged that Gillard’s name had been mentioned in the Victorian State Parliament in 1995 regarding an alleged fraud perpetrated against the Australian Workers Union (AWU) by Gillard’s then lover who happened to be an official of the AWU, her firm’s major union client, and that she had received benefits from that crime including extensive home renovations. At the time she dismissed the matter as scurrilous politicking and was adamant that she had done “nothing wrong”.

Meanwhile the Rudd/Gillard government lurched from one financial crisis to the next, with Rudd’s popularity in the polls plunging into the 30s zone. In 2009 Gillard, with the backing of the faceless Union puppet-masters of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and an election due the following year, made her move in a late night strike at Rudd’s leadership, ousting him from Office with herself duly installed as Prime Minister by the Labor Caucus. Her term in office was even more disastrous than Rudd’s with the Parliament at times sounding more like a fish market than a sober chamber of debate in the nation’s administration.

The Liberals won a slim majority in the 2010 election but in a last-minute bid to avoid the Opposition benches, Gillard signed a post-election deal with the Greens and three so-called Independent MPs thereby forming a coalition wresting control from the Liberals and forming a minority ALP government with a margin of one single vote. Our democracy teetered on a knife-edge.

Remember that in Australian politics, “liberal” has the classical sense more like libertarian.

The key point here being that Gillard has some dirt there in the background waiting to be found. Skipping down some more (really you ought to just hit the link and read the article. I flows so well I feel like I’m being a butcher here with just quoting chunks).

In August 2011 Glen Milne, a senior mainstream journalist, revisited his earlier profile article on Gillard and expanded it to examine those old ‘rumours’ about her involvement in the AWU matter and her defence of the alleged corrupt behaviour of one of her ALP MPs Craig Thomson, whose conviction on any criminal offence would see him expelled from the Parliament and Gillard’s minuscule majority lost. Milne’s retracted article can be found here.

It was reported that Gillard’s reaction to Milne’s article was “ballistic” and she demanded a retraction and apology from the publisher. The CEO complied and Milne was fired.
Not satisfied with that, Gillard also demanded that Milne’s appearances on our taxpayer-funded national broadcaster, the ABC, cease forthwith and he lost his regular spot on a weekly political commentary program.

Gillard wasn’t finished yet.

In the offending article Milne had mentioned one Michael Smith, a Sydney talkback radio broadcaster/journalist
who had been pivotal in extracting vital admissions from the allegedly crooked Thomson. Smith’s radio station began promoting a forthcoming interview with a one-time President of the AWU, Bob Kernohan, who intended to discuss the long history of corruption, fraud and theft in the Union movement and its extensive cover-up over decades. For Smith, what took Kernohan’s story out of the realm of rumour, gossip and innuendo was the fact that he had extensive documentation from old court proceedings to validate his concerns.

So here we have a vain vindictive political machine hack attacking the messenger. Then the publisher folds and fires them. Spineless publishers being political puppets. ANY publisher (print, TV, whatever) who doesn’t stand up for their people, or fires folks for political pressure, needs to find another job. That puts you in the “no news here” political lap dog group and you will find your readership in rapid decline as all the “good stuff” goes elsewhere. And that’s just what happened, the good stuff went to blogging.

Gillard went for the jugular. Ten minutes before the pre-recorded interview was due to be broadcast, station management called Smith in and ordered him to ‘pull’ the interview. Although Smith had extensive legal advice to clear the interview of any likelihood of litigious consequences, the management was adamant and Smith was suspended from the airwaves.

He was told that unless he signed a legally binding agreement to cease and desist from any story on Union corruption or the Prime Minister’s close historic connection to it, he would not be returned to his desk. He refused to sign the document and resigned forthwith.

And now the most extraordinary chapter in this story begins.

There’s something about the Michael Smiths of the world that involves a lot of spine. Best way to get us “in your grill” is a threat. “Do THIS or else” is a call to battle. No, not for all of us. But a lot of us seem to share that trait. I suspect it is a mix of the heritage of being a Smith. Somewhere up the family tree was a guy with a hammer and fire, making weapons during time of war, and ploughs in peace. “Invasion” or “Being attacked” meant “Get to work at the forge”. That kind of thing enters family lore and soaks into the family culture.

[…]
Meanwhile, with Gillard on the warpath and MSM CEOs cringing at the prospect of a Finkelstein axe hanging over their corporate heads, nobody would touch Michael Smith with a barge pole and his promising broadcasting career came to a shuddering halt.

Smith had an interesting and varied career – he had been a soldier, a police officer, managed a state symphony orchestra, been CEO of a telco in Indonesia, and had spent several years as a very popular and charismatic radio broadcaster and journalist in Queensland. He had been head-hunted to Sydney, the mecca of talkback radio, much of it syndicated to regional areas. He had a deceptively relaxed, easygoing style which often lulled his political interviewees into a false sense of security. He was not intimidated by the usual political double-speak and doggedly pursued probing questions which made him popular with his listeners, long fed up with being sidelined by the arrogance of the political classes.

It’s a Very Bad Idea to antagonize someone who’s been a cop. These are folks who have chosen to strap on a gun and go out to face injustice in the streets defending others. Nothing gets a cop fired up more than a Big Baddy doing Bad Things to the Little Guy. I can just feel the bit in the teeth when that Michael Smith realized he was the one being attacked.

Now, again, the Smith heritage has a point to make. By Definition we come from families with Independent Small Business in the background. It is being employed by OTHER people that’s the weird thing. Being told “nobody will hire you” just says “OK, go do it yourself. Take out your hammer and anvil, light a fire, and get to work.” And that is what Michael Smith did.

[…]
Events escalated when the seemingly impossible happened; Harry Nowicki, a lawyer researching a book on the AWU, located Ralph Blewitt and persuaded the one-time AWU official to return to Australia from his current home in south-east Asia to make a sworn statement to police confessing his role in the 1990s exploits of Gillard and her lover, Bruce Wilson. He was described as Wilson’s “bag man” and his role was pivotal in the siphoning of hundreds of thousands of dollars into spurious accounts and laundering the cash.

Blewitt had watched from afar as Gillard rose to power and he became increasingly troubled by his past. As a veteran of Vietnam war service getting older and seeking some redemption in his latter years, Blewitt resolved to “puts things right” and see justice finally take its course. He was refused immunity from prosecution for his confessed crimes but returned anyway, making full statements to police, waiving any client privilege in legal documentation involved and prepared to let the chips fall where they may.

With no funds and little experience in the blogosphere michaelsmithnews.com (MSNews) was born. It is a website that has become a phenomenon, unprecedented in its scope and popularity in Australia and probably unique in the world.
Drawing on his creative flair and a fearless ‘anything is worth a try’ attitude, Smith has devised a very innovative format and style.

Folks who’s ancestors spent their lives “playing with fire” at a time when it was nearly magical, and always risky, are rather likely to be fearless. Scared folks don’t play with molten metal and make swords and knives. Smiths do. We don’t intimidate worth a damn. It’s a bad idea to try to intimidate a Smith.

[…]
Beginning with his devoted radio audience, people began to login to MSNews in increasing numbers. Few people outside of Brisbane or Sydney had previously heard of Michael Smith but gradually hundreds from around the country climbed on board. This was amazing, unique – instead of our news being pre-digested by a journalist hack who generally put a left-wing bias into every news item, here we could see documents for ourselves – lay people with no previous knowledge of the union movement or the legal profession could read the material, see for themselves the relevant pieces of legislation involved and have it explained to them either by Smith or other bloggers, professionals themselves.
[…]
As the evidence mounted, Gillard became even more strident in an effort to distract, deter, and denigrate Smith and his blog.
She saved her most vitriolic attack for Blewitt describing him as “an idiot, an imbecile, rotten to the core and a stooge.” Her famous ‘misogyny speech’ erupted in her increasing attempt to adopt ‘victim status’, to become a martyr who was only being criticised because of her gender not her incompetence or highly questionable moral, ethical or legal practices. She stood in the Parliament and shrieked “Who is Michael Smith?” dismissing him as just another shockjock who had been “sacked for his lies and smears” against her. That question became a catch phrase on the blog – ‘who is Michael Smith?’ It became farcical as most of the MSM continued the cover-up and refused to challenge her shrieking denials.

Meanwhile MSNews moved on – relentlessly.

See, what Gillard may have missed is that WE wonder “Who is Michael Smith?”. We know we will never have fame and name recognition. We are by definition Anonymous Anonymous. It is only our deeds that speak. So I’m pretty sure that Michael Smith got a bit of a chuckle out of the question. I can imagine him saying “We are what we do. Let me show you what I do.”

I’m going to skip over the step by step on what was done, what happened next. It’s a good read, so hit the link. Jumping to the end game:

And all the while the audience has grown, taking MSNews into uncharted territory for an Australian blog site. In 15 months he has had over 15 million page views, moderated and posted several hundred thousand comments, scanned and published hundreds of documents and all as a one-man operation. Regular bloggers, appreciative of Smith’s work on their behalf, post donations to his nominated bank account, his only source of income to maintain the site and its resources.

Recent weeks have seen several prosecutions end up in court hearings in Melbourne – one being the allegedly corrupt Health Services Union (HSU) Secretary/MP Thomson
who used his union credit card for thousands of dollars worth of hookers, pornography, family airline tickets and $100,000 worth of ATM cash withdrawals. Such prosecution was only taken after Michael Smith extracted certain admissions during a past radio interview. That investigation led to the revelation that the head of the HSU and a former national president of the Labor Party, Michael Williamson, had stolen $20 million from the Union over a long period. He took a guilty plea on only $1 million and currently awaits sentencing. Very convenient – no witnesses called, no further investigation of other parties involved and $19 million vanishes into the ether as though it never existed.

In another courtroom appeared Gillard’s old boyfriend Wilson who is busily pleading legal professional privilege
over documents seized in a police raid on her old law firm. That action was only taken after Michael Smith lodged a formal complaint with the Victoria Police Fraud and Extortion Squad over an alleged ‘false instrument’ Gillard signed to further her lover’s money laundering operation. Smith also lodged a formal complaint with the Victorian Law Society over the false entry in her law firm’s Trust Account which further concealed the source of stolen money.

You know, it’s a Very Bad Idea to annoy the Smith; now Gillard is seeing why.

In the times of knights and armor, it was frequently the case that orders were given to capture the smiths alive. They were the arms industry, after all. This resulted in folks with swords and armor entering the smithy. The smith would look at them and, so the family story goes, say “This hammer makes armor and it can take it apart too.” Or maybe it’s just an attitude thing… Attack me, I’m gonna get a bigger hammer.


Happily for Smith and his family, after two years in the broadcasting wilderness, the leading Sydney talkback radio station 2GB has given him a weekly afternoon spot for political commentary
and this Christmas will see him hosting a full program when the current popular host is on holiday. It’s a step in the right direction for Smith. The owners of that radio network are not entirely altruistic in their choice; they are masters in the advertising world and read the winds of change in the broadcasting industry. They know that Smith will bring with him a devoted base of discerning listeners from across the country who will tune in on the internet and broaden 2GB’s reach way beyond its current licensed broadcasting footprint.

Meanwhile MSNews remains unique; a new genre in communications that combines politics, the law, anti-corruption whistle-blowing, humour, entertainment, interactive participation in published comment or by the phone, interaction between commenters themselves, and most importantly, a new optimism within the community that they actually have a voice, they will be heard and that the tentacles of corruption that have blighted our nation can be weeded out.

Justice will prevail.

Nice ending that. The original has an update after that point.

My takeaway from all this is pretty simple. That Michael Smith is doing a bang up job. Some cranky connected political brat decided to get all pissy at him, and discovered it’s a Very Bad Idea to be a brat to a cop.

Who is Michael Smith? We are all Michael Smith… Millions and millions of us.

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Posted in Human Interest, Political Current Events | Tagged , | 11 Comments

What’s The Deal With Oil?

I admit it. I’ve not been paying any attention to oil for a year or two. I know it is fundamental to economic performance and a great indicator of global activity and all; but I was being lazy as the USA was in an oil boom.

Now this:

USO Oil ETF 1 year daily for 15 April 2018

USO Oil ETF 1 year daily for 15 April 2018

Gold isn’t on a rocket ride, so inflation fears and currency depreciation seem unlikely. We’ve got US vs USSR tensions, but that seems inadequate to be causal. To the best of my knowledge Russia is still pumping.

There was news that the Saudi / OPEC folks were in talks with Russia to constrain supply and raise rates, but I’ve not seen anything saying that was a done deal.

http://www.oil-price.net/

has WTI at $67.39 and Brent at $72.58. Significantly up from the $40-something of not that long ago. Gasoline is over $3.50 / gallon for regular and headed to $4 for super, here in California. That’s prices we saw at $100 / bbl oil, so out of line with crude prices anyway.

These folks seem to think it all nervous ninnies over “geopolitical risk” mixed with a ‘weaker dollar’:

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Why-Oil-Prices-Just-Rallied-To-70.html

Why Oil Prices Just Rallied To $70
By Julianne Geiger – Apr 10, 2018, 12:30 PM CDT
[…]
The price of a Brent barrel surpassed the $70 mark in morning trading on Tuesday, after a rather rocky start to the week. But is $70 Brent here to stay?

Both the WTI and the Brent benchmarks were trading up on Tuesday by almost 3 percent, with Brent reaching the psychologically important $70 threshold shortly after 9:00am EST. This was a dramatic one-day increase over Monday morning’s level of about $67.00 per barrel. The WTI barrel followed a similar upward trajectory.

In today’s volatile oil market, it can be tough to assign any single catalyst to oil price movements; often its many catalysts, other times it’s an undefinable one. While it may be tough to finger one specific catalyst, the weaker dollar, followed by geopolitical unrest over Venezuela, Iran, Russia, Syria, N Korea, and of course China, are likely culminating in somewhat of a perfect storm, helping to lift oil prices.

But with the USA a net exporter (or about on balance) of oil, why ought WTI spike up because the UK might have a tiff with Russia? Yeah, I know, oil is more or less fungible. But still, seems artificial to me. More Goldman Sachs trading gnomes and less reality of supply.

A Different POV

This article, from some time back in the $43 price range (Sept. 2015), is supportive of the ‘renewing oil’ idea:

https://journal-neo.org/2015/10/09/oh-oil-where-is-thy-peak/

09.10.2015 Author: F. William Engdahl
Oh Oil, where is thy peak?

There are two great myths used in recent years to convince the world of imminent catastophe unless we drastically change our living style in the direction of austerity. Both myths are based on scientific fraud and uncritical propagation by sympatheic mainstream and even some alternative media. One is the idea that world climate is warming, or at least “changing,” owing almost solely to us, to our man-made emissions. The second great myth, launched first in 1956 in Houston Texas by an employee of one of the world’s largest oil companies, was dusted off some 15 years ago at the start of the Dick Cheney-George W. Bush Administration. It’s called the theory of Peak Oil.

The most dramatic discoveries of new oil and gas reserves in recent years has come from the Mediterranean in areas off Cyprus, Israel, Lebanon and believed to be offshore Greece as well. In 2010 Israel and the Houston, Texas company, Noble Energy, discovered the largest offshore gas field, Leviathan. It was the world’s largest gas discovery in a decade, with enough gas to serve Israel for at least a century. The geophysics of the offshore areas around Greece suggest that that hapless country could also have more than enough undiscovered oil and gas to repay all foreign debt and more. Not surprisingly the Washington-led IMF demands that Greece privatize her state oil and gas companies, a near certainty that major Western oil firms would sit on their development as was done in past decades until leases expired in 2004 and reverted back to the Greek Government.

In 2006 Brazil’s Petrobras made the largest offshore oil discovery of the last 30 years, holding at least 8 billion barrels of oil in the Santos Basin 250 kilometers from Rio de Janiero. Then-President Lula da Silva proclaimed it would give the “second independence” for Brazil, that from Western oil imports. In 2008 nearby Petrobras, a state company, discovered an equally large natural gas field called Jupiter near their Santos oil discovery. Under Lula’s presidency, the Parliament passed measures to insure oil development would remain in Brazilian hands under Petrobras and not in those of the American and British or other foreign oil majors. In May 2013 after Lula retired and was succeeded by Dilma Rousseff as President, US Vice President Joe Biden flew to Brazil to meet with her and the heads of Petrobras. According to Brazilian sources, Biden demanded Rousseff remove the laws that kept American oil majors from controlling the huge oil and gas finds. She politely declined and soon after she was hit with a major US Color Revolution destabilization that continues to this day, not surprising, with a scandal around Petrobras at the center.

Then a half dozen more listed from Iceland to Gatwick to Cuba…

Any bolding by me.

In the 1950s a group of Soviet scientists was tasked with making the USSR self-sufficient in oil and gas as the Cold War heated up. The first step in their research was to critically investigate all known scientific literature on origins of hydrocarbons. As they looked closely at the so-called fossil fuel theory of oil, they were amazed how unscientific it was. One physicist estimated that for the huge oil that has come out of one giant well, Ghawar, in Saudi Arabia, it would require a block of dead dinosaurs, assuming 100% conversion of meat and bone to oil, that would reach 19 miles wide, deep and high. They soon looked for other explanations for the birth of oil.

They made exhaustive tests in the deep-earth research labs in Moscow of the Soviet military. They developed the brilliant hypothesis that oil was constantly being created deep in the bowels of the Earth below the mantle. It pushes upward towards the surface passing through beds of various elements such as ferrite. They did repeated laboratory experiments producing hydrocarbons under temperature and pressure imitating that in the mantle. These migration channels, as the Soviet scientists termed them, were fissures in the mantle caused over millions of years under the expanding of the earth and forced by the enormous temperatures and pressures inside the mantle. The path the initial methane gas takes upwards towards the surface determines whether it emerges and collects as oil or as gas, as coal, as bitumen as in Canada’s Athabasca Tar Sands, or even as diamonds which are also hydrocarbons. The Russian and Ukrainian scientists also discovered, not surprisingly, that every giant oilfield was “self-replentishing,” that is new oil or gas is being constantly pushed up from inside the mantle via the faults or migration channels to replace oil withdrawn. Old oilwells across Russia that were pumped far beyond their natural full rate during the end of the Soviet era when maximum production was considered highest priority, were then shut, considered exhausted. Twenty years later, according to Russian geophysicists I have spoken with, those “depleted” wells are being reopened and, lo and behold, completely refilled with new oil.

I’d like to see documentation / confirmation of the claim of “completely refilled” as usually it’s just tertiary production techniques of lower quantities…

The Russians have tested their hypothesis to the present day, though with little support until now from their own government, whose oil companies perhaps feared that a glut of new oil would collapse oil prices. In the west, the last thing Exxon or other Anglo-American oil majors wanted was to lose their (once) iron grip on the world oil market. They had no interest in a theory that would contradict their Peak Oil theory.

Today a geopolitical decision by Saudi Arabia to wipe out the market-disturbing recent emergence of the United States as world’s largest oil producer owing to the major increase in shale oil production, has temporarily collapsed world oil prices from over $100 a barrel in July 2014 to around $43 today in the US market. That is leading to a dramatic cut-back in oil exploration around the world. In a fair world, oil or gas should be available at affordable prices to every nation to serve its own energy requirements and not the monopoly of a tiny cartel of British or American companies. Good to know is the fact that the oil and gas are there in super-abundance that we need not freeze in the dark or turn to windmills until the time mankind develops completely different forms of energy that are clean and earth-friendly. Wars to control oil or gas would become silly nonsense.

So is it possible this is just the eventual drop of oil supply from lack of exploration and development at $43 / bbl come home to roost, and soon enough the worm will turn again?

One thing I wonder about, contrary to the ‘refilling’ notion from that article, is simply has Saudi Arabia seen a significant sign of dropping production from their major light oil fields? They are talking of selling off (listing) their oil company. You do that when you’ve creamed off the best profits and want to edge out the door before your failings show up. Saudi is busy “diversifying” all over the globe. Getting away from dependence on oil. You don’t do that when you own the market, as they have.

http://www.oil-price.net/en/articles/5-oil-price-predicitions-for-2018.php

Domestically this “anti-corruption” cleanup serves Saudi Arabia at least 4 purposes.

Saudi Aramco’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) needs transparency if it’s to take place in 2018. This open secret of an IPO is long in the tooth, nearly 3 years in the making and is yet to be cleared. As a result, pressure for transparency in mounting. Unfortunately for the IPO, Saudi billionaires have been using Saudi oil revenues as a piggy bank for years – under the shell of Aramco – with little to no record book-keeping. As you know, public exchanges demand transparency from all company regarding their financial statements in order to list their stock. The high level purge forces the hands of recalcitrant big Aramco players to turn over their ownership before it’s too late so that the IPO can move as planned. Let’s not forget, Saudi Arabia needs this IPO (and the money raised) in its efforts to diversify and move away from an oil dependent economy.

So Saudi short of cash, buying overseas assets and weapons at a prodigious rate, and looking to sell off the historical cash cow. Something smells fishy… but what?

The Fight over control of the US electrical grid

Back in June we reported that Blackstone Group LP and Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia inked a deal allowing Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund to invest $100 billion dollar in US infrastructure. In the following days, for the brave reporting, we received monumental flak from many trolls in Riyadh. That wouldn’t cease us from ferreting out the truth, be assured.

The bitter irony is that, under the guise of “modernizing” the US infrastructure, the Trump administration is, in reality, busy in the process of privatizing power transmission lines in 20 western states currently operated by the Federal Government.

Among the budget proposals of President Trump was the plan to privatize publicly owned transmission assets, chief among them the assets of Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). Take the case of BPA itself, the system manages a high-voltage transmission grid that distributes power from 31 hydroelectric dams to provide electricity to more than twelve million people. This sell off, along with other assets of the Power Marketing Administration, is expected to save $5.5 billion. The rub is that the saving would roll off slowly over the course of a decade, if it does at all. As things stand, President Trump enjoys a cozy relationship with Prince M.M.S., swooning so far as to plead with the Saudis to list the IPO of Aramco on the New York Stock Exchange.

No guesses as to who will buy the assets, then. So, with dubious effects, this plan will hand over control to the Sandi Kingdom one of the most important strategic assets and chore engine of American innovation: electrical power in the western states, the same – currently inexpensive – power that make Google, Facebook, Data Centers and the Silicon Valley competitive. Every which way, expect both your power and internet bills to surge in 2018 should this proceed. Meanwhile, is privatization of the electric grid the norm everywhere? In the case of Saudi Arabia, the massive $300 billion privatization programme is moving slower than the slowest snail. As far as the power sector is concerned, 2018 is earmarked for the said privatization in the Kingdom. The rider is that the companies would be corporatized before the privatization process takes place. Would that happen to Saudi Arabia in 2050? Possibly.

The doubter in me wonders if this is a way for Saudi to get control of the “fuel supply” for electric cars to maintain their place as their oil runs low to out. Some years back I’d seen a report that Ghawar field had started producing up to 50% water in what was pumped. So first off, there’s no way to know the truth of that as Saudi holds that secret (but would need to divulge it to list stock… in the USA at least). But if true, that’s what happens at end of life of a field.

Now Russia is overtaking Saudi as the global leader in oil production. The USA is at balance or net exporter, depending on the month. Saudi is talking about an IPO, and would LOVE to have a high oil price at the moment it lists.

Is it maybe the case that Saudi is looking to restrict supply, raise demand, pump & dump on the IPO? Could the bombing in Syria, Yemen, etc. be at least in part to assure oil prices rise for that event? Cause strain with Russia, make their supply risky, block any Syria pipeline (just as wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have caused pipelines to not be built, keeping more supplies off global markets.)

I don’t know.

But I’m pretty sure that what’s in the papers and on TV has nothing true in it. The Silence on all things Saudi Oil in the MSM also makes me wonder. What does that “negative space” indicate?

What I do know is that $4 / gallon gasoline is staring me in the face ( saw $3.95 today). Who benefits? The Electric Car Cabal, the Loony Green Left Machine, The House of Saud, Goldman’s trading desk. Who loses? The average Joe & Jane Sixpack that are “Trump’s base”.

It just looks awfully artificial to me.

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Posted in Economics - Trading - and Money | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments