Sunday, October 26, 2014

Why "shareholder value" and humanity are on a collision course

Chopped down Boreal forest near a tar sands mine in Alberta, Canada -CC- Greenpeace  - Credit: Jiri Rezak / WWF
Here is why I think humanity will end with a bang followed by a whimper or a whimper followed by a bang. Take your pick. DS
(H)ardcore conservatives: (...) have come to understand that as soon as they admit that climate change is real, they will lose the central ideological battle of our time—whether we need to plan and manage our societies to reflect our goals and values, or whether that task can be left to the magic of the market.” Naomi Klein - "This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate"

Oil and gas companies produce away their main asset each year –- reserves — and have to replace them or eventually go out of business. It’s a fact of life. Valuations, debt lines and ultimately stock prices flow from this single piece of paper, which is how you figure out profitability. Oil and Gas Investment Bulletin

The reserves replacement ratio is one of the key metrics for assessing an oil company’s performance. It measures the extent to which it replaces the crude oil it produces with new reserves, such as those discovered through exploration. A company could eventually run out of oil if it fails to maintain the ratio at 100 per cent or higher.(...) The majors used to have little trouble replenishing but that changed as the balance of power switched to oil-producing states, especially in the Middle East, who shut the majors out. With control of the world’s oil reserves now in the hands of big state-owned energy groups such as Russia’s Gazprom and Saudi Aramco, western oil companies have to run ever faster just to keep still. Financial Times

The past decade has seen a reassertion of state control over national petroleum resources, which has continued to limit international oil company (IOC) access to easy oil. The bulk of the oil that remains freely accessible to IOCs is technically difficult and expensive to produce such as the Canadian tar sands, ultra-deepwater and the offshore Arctic. BP’s Gulf of Mexico disaster highlights the scale of the risks involved in pursuing some of these marginal resources. Oil International

I'm your mamma, I'm your daddy
I'm that nigga in the alley
I'm your doctor when in need
Want some coke, have some weed
You know me, I'm your friend
Your main boy, thick and thin
I'm your pusherman

Sunday, October 12, 2014

ISIS: Obama's Vietnam?

Better than anything else I have come across, the two quotes below sum up, in just a few words, the enormous clusterfuck into which the USA is entering in its mission to "degrade and destroy" the ISIS.
I wouldn't want my country to help the defendants of Kobani because Kobani is held by the PKK, and Turkey has been at war with the PKK for 30 years. Why should we stand in the way of Isis on this particular occasion? After all, Isis has already carried out untold massacres in just about every other Syrian and Iraqi town that it has invaded to date. Why extend a degree of mercy to Kurdish terrorists that has been denied to the Christians of Maloula or Shiite Turkomans of Iraq? Let Isis carry on with its grizzly work. Our soldiers cannot be placed in the line of fire to rescue the same Kurds who were exploding land mines under their feet. Ahmet T. (comment) -  Financial Times

The Sunni states are unable to defend the region from the disciplined, aggressive, but relatively small, lightly equipped forces of IS. Despite lavish expenditures, extensive training programs, and impressive numbers of battalions and squadrons, Gulf armies are deeply flawed by corruption, tribal and sectarian fissures, and poor leadership. There is no reason to expect reform, especially when outside forces are available to provide security. Regional security is also limited by sectarian hostility, which has reached new highs with the demise of Sunni control in Iraq and the rise of Iran's nuclear program. Shia troops from Iran are unable to act decisively in Iraq without triggering fears and reactions from Sunni states. Sunni troops cannot intervene without triggering the same responses in Iran. Brian M Downing - Asia Times
If this war goes much further and it certainly looks like going much, much, further, it could turn out to be infinitely more dangerous and destructive, for all concerned: humanly, economically and politically, than the war in Vietnam ever was. 

The ways that this could all spin out of control are too uncountable for any amateur Cassandra like me to number. Conventional wisdom is that after the demise of the USSR, World War Three is unthinkable, but I think that if anyone in Hollywood were trying to dream up a way of starting it, America's entering this whirlpool would make for quite a believable scenario. DS