Monday, February 27, 2012

The Slow Mo Blog Roll Makeover

As many of you know, our blog roll has needing culling for many a moon. The Baron hasn’t been able to fit that task into his already overburdened schedule, and I can’t sit here long enough to begin, much less finish such a long task. Doing it piece-meal made a shamble of my good intentions.

But to the rescue came a very nice fellow, the admin for Like many others, he asked if we’d be willing to add his blog’s name to the list. I explained the problem of our deadwood and the Baron’s rule of no-new-additions-until-a-time-of substantial-subtractions…

When I told Mr. Stafford about the situation, he volunteered to do the necessary house-cleaning on the sidebar. Remarkable offer! He was saying he’d clean up the whole enchilada. Amazing.

For a normal person, this probably isn’t a difficult job, just tedious. And if Mr. Stafford had been dealing with a normal person, his work would’ve been up on our side bar late last year. However, I am an Obstacle in the Universe so the changes have been sitting in the Baron’s hands while he waits for me to do this post. He won’t do any large changes without informing readers about them.

I’ve long forgotten how many blogs are in that whole listing, but I do know many have been out of business for a long time. Eventually, marshalling the remnants of my mind, I had the Baron tell me again what Mr. Stafford needed to do to create a list of dead blogs in a format Da B could use on our template. Then I passed this protocol from the Baron onto our heaven-sent volunteer. In short order he returned the completed spread sheet. In fact, it was a remarkable turn-around time when you consider that he and his assistant had to visit each URL and make a judgment as to whether it was still viable. If I remember correctly, our definition of a closed blog was one that hadn’t been updated in the previous nine months or so.

So back came the completed spreadsheet — about ninety out-of-date websites in all, plus new URLs for old websites that had migrated to new addresses. And then…and then, the Baron and Mr. Stafford have waited patiently for this post to be written. The same way our donors are kept waiting for their acknowledgements to arrive.

Please, as a favor to our donor for his time and energy, visit Oil Price. A separate page has a free sign-up for a Market Intelligence Report. Go to the page to sign up for breaking information on energy news. Free information, and it’s interesting. I know, because we get it in our email.

In the period I’ve been reading the Oil Price site, they’ve changed the ‘skin’ quite a bit. The new version is visually pleasing, and sections are divided clearly. I clicked on one main story, “The Reasons for High Oil Prices“, to find an author I hadn’t noticed before. Her essay contains information I’d not seen before. In addition to the usual reasons for high costs (like Iran’s perturbations) the author says something rather stunning (the emphasis is mine):

Between 1983 and 2005, world oil supply rose by 1.64% per year. If world oil supply had continued to rise at that rate, oil production would have been about 5 million barrels a day higher in 2011 than it actually was. The fact that oil production has remained relatively flat since 2005 is the primary reason oil prices have continued to rise, except during the 2008-2009 recession. (This recession was to a significant extent caused by high oil prices…)

The amount of the oil shortfall is huge. It is far more than the amount of oil taken off-line by Libya, and more than Saudi Arabia’s supposed spare production capacity. Given the high price of oil, most of the missing oil seems to be oil that we do not have production capacity for.
Did you know that? I didn’t. But I do know why our production capacity sucks. Because of Obama’s refusals here and efforts of the greenies at a global level. It goes back well before Obama, this scandal of the ageing infrastructure of oil refineries. But he has made it worse by demonizing the producers. He saves his tax breaks for businesses he likes. Oil and coal don’t make his list.

In looking at the list of previous essays at the bottom of her post, I found this one, explaining the absolute necessity for the future of an abundant supply of cheap oil. That declaration would seem to be a no-brainer, but we have a president who has other ideas. He thinks we should use a substitute for oil….we should burn algae.

Yes, algae.

Here’s what he says in a recent, more-surreal-than-usual-speech:

Charles Krauthammer did a slam-bam sarcastic response to this idea:

Of course the (not so) secret reason behind this insanity is money: think of all the research and development funding Obama can hand out to his greenie supporters in return for campaign infusions. And this back-scratching isn’t even illegal. Tacky and ethically challenged, perhaps, but no one can prove anything.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

I don’t cover our presidential news much. It’s too demoralizing to watch this man proclaim bizarre, trivial solutions to serious problems. Besides, others have better contacts and excel at the game.

I wish them well; I couldn’t do it and stay sane.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Don’t forget James Stafford’s energy website, Oil Price. com. I remain in his debt for taking on a task I couldn’t possibly have done.


Anonymous said...

The US oil production peaked in the seventies (resulting in the energy crisis) and has never been restored to those levels. The world oil production peaked around 2005 and has been on a plateau ever since, despite of frantic efforts to increase production. If it were possible to increase the production with prices this high (and what they were in 2008), it would be increased.

Here's a short (about 30 mins) summary about the matters of energy and economy.

This is quite relevant to the mass immigration we experience in the western world, as when resources are constrained, it will make matters quite worse. It would help if we could curb third world invasion, but even if we did, matters would still be awfully complicated.

Still, regardless of what we do, there is no brighter future ahead.


Anonymous said...

Very nice, good work !

Chiu ChunLing said...

Actually, the algae thing should terrify anyone that thinks about it for a half-second. What they're talking about is genetically engineering a microbe that competes with natural plant-life and secretes flammable hydrocarbons as part of its metabolic process.

Because nothing could possibly go wrong with that, like if it got out into the environment and turned out to be capable of killing a wetlands ecology and feeding on the horrible wreckage until it soaked the area with enough flammable oil to set it on fire. If the numbers they claim are anywhere near the truth (which I hope they are not, given the implications), then this is not a minor danger, it is a near certainty the moment large-scale production is attempted.

Chiu Chun-Ling.

Mr. Rational said...

DymphnaI do know why our production capacity sucks. Because of Obama’s refusals here and efforts of the greenies at a global level.

US oil production has RISEN under Obama; it FELL under both Bushes.  You are manifestly wrong; production responds to depletion and price.

World oil production has been falling mostly due to depletion.  See the production curve for Mexico's Cantarell field.  You can see the effects both of new production technology (nitrogen injection beginning in 2000) and depletion.  The "greenies" somehow failed to stop that boost, proving your other claim wrong as well.

In looking at the list of previous essays at the bottom of her post, I found this one, explaining the absolute necessity for the future of an abundant supply of cheap oil.

If it's essential, we are done for.  There is no infinite supply of anything on a finite globe, and the tens of cubic miles we've extracted thus far were the easiest and cheapest to get at.  What's left is not easy, and cannot be cheap.

I would like to think that we are smart enough to realize what we cannot do (e.g. wish more cheap oil into existence), and then do what we can with what we have.  Instead, I see an American public doing its best to prove that da Nile isn't just a river in Egypt.  Not even the counterjihad faces reality squarely and without flinching!

The largest reserves of oil we know of are under Muslim lands.  Do I need to spell out what that means?

Mr. Rational said...

the algae thing should terrify anyone that thinks about it for a half-second.

If you think about it just a little bit longer, you'd realize that the bacteria and algae which colonize oil seeps and clog diesel-fuel tanks would quickly grow to eat that production unless they are carefully kept out.  They'd eat the producing algae themselves, too.  These "bugs" are hothouse flowers, not bred for survival.

This does not mean they would be at all economical, no matter the price of oil.  Fuel from algae has been 20 years away since the 1980's, and may always be.

Professor L said...

Why not hydrogen? All you do is split water into hydrogen and oxygen in order to burn the hydrogen again to make water.

Seriously, this is high school stuff. Why bother with anything harder?

Mr. Rational said...

Why not hydrogen? All you do is split water into hydrogen and oxygen

When you have a water-splitter that runs on sunlight, reproduces itself and doesn't need expensive care and feeding, get back to us.  There will be a mighty big check waiting for you.

this is high school stuff.

If only the catches in these schemes could be understood and solved with the level of science you get in high school.  Since we can't simplify the world to the level of a high-school science lab, I suggest we teach intensive science starting in K-6 and raise the high school curriculum to the equivalent of the first year or two of a bachelor of science degree.

That would actually be easier than hydrogen.