Open Choke is the nom de plume of an anonymous oil and gas industry executive.
Open Choke's ideas and opinions do not necessarily represent the ideas or opinions of Drillinginfo.com, its owners, or employees.
"Well-meaning intellectual movements, from communism to post-structuralism, have a poor history of absorbing inconvenient fact or challenges to fundamental precepts" excised text from an article in "The Age" and the Sydney Morning Herald.
Duffy asked Marohasy: "Is the Earth stillwarming?"
She replied: "No, actually, there has been cooling, if you take 1998 as your point of reference. If you take 2002 as your point of reference, then temperatures have plateaued. This is certainly not what you'd expect if carbon dioxide is driving temperature because carbon dioxide levels have been increasing but temperatures have actually been coming down over the last 10 years."
Duffy: "Is this a matter of any controversy?"
Marohasy: "Actually, no. The head of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has actually acknowledged it. He talks about the apparent plateau in temperatures so far this century. So he recognises that in this century, over the past eight years, temperatures have plateaued ... This is not what you'd expect, as I said, because if carbon dioxide is driving temperature then you'd expect that, given carbon dioxide levels have been continuing to increase, temperatures should be going up ... So (it's) very unexpected, not something that's being discussed. It should be being discussed, though, because it's very significant."
He also has another post where he addresses income equality. He discovers we DO have it relative to Europe, but that overall we are better off, EXCEPT at the bottom end. In essence, equalizing income drags EVERYONE down. His research caused him to change his mind on the subject. One of my favorite bloggers.
I made the "unfortunate decision" in January to participate in a chat forum on www.peakoil.com. It was terrifying. At the very top of the page was a poll that showed 51% of the people on the forum wanted us to run out of oil soon. The forum was dominated by posters that "Are Concerned With The Environment" and "Fighting Global Warming" that have found in hydrocarbons all that is wrong with mankind.
I was immediately and roundly decried as a greedy moneyhound. Ideological debates are not really winnable, as I once again discovered. I wonder when I will ever learn?
I went back and reread the thread today, hoping that time and distance would provide a better perspective and clarity. It did, indeed.
First, the majority of the posters (those that want an immediate end to the hydrocarbon age, and which account for a predominance of posters on this site) attacked anyone who posted anything about large scale reserves being found today, and discounted heavily those reserve numbers as fallacious. One comment read "<The Big Number> came from an Exxon engineer and the <Very Low Number> from a scientist not in the industry. Which do you believe?"
Uhhhh. Trick question? Probably the industry expert opinion. My bankers would certainly agree. He knows what he is talking about and he actually has something to lose being wrong. Of course, in socialist in environmentalist clothing land, where NO ONE has anything to lose being wrong, where the "preventative principal" holds form control, only dilettentes with social engineering agendas are held to be "non-corrupt" purveyors of wisdom. Too bad my banker won't accept this level of expertise to loan money on. Being rational, they only do it when the dilettente social engineers actually talk the government into guaranteeing the bank's loan portfolio on stupid invetsments.
In essence, this is a world where ignorance is deemed supreme to expertise... IF ignorance agrees with my opinion. Hmmm. In other words, these folks are terrified that there might be MORE recoverable hydrocarbon than less.
Second, several, the majority really, did not really believe in human ingenuity. A couple stated it outright. They apparently believe that human progress is the product of governmental and inter-governmental mandates. I was roundly attacked for making a statement that human ingenuity was at work in all aspects of energy efficiency, including oil and gas, and that we should keep an open mind with regards to where those breakthroughs may occur. One fellow discounted out of hand that human progress could recover more hydrocarbons, despite much evidence to the contrary.
Eventually, the truth emerged. Several of the posters claimed Hydrocarbons evil because they have allowed human population, greedy capitalism, and industrialized society to grow and prosper. One woman, who admitted to being a "human doombat" looked forward with glee to the destruction of society and and "couldn't wait to hear the wails of human despair as they faced the pits of hell while <she> crunched her apple, ate wild lettuce, and read her latest fantasy book". Unlike ol' Open Choke, who tried to provide reserves facts and an open mind to where energy could or should be derived, and was attacked on a very personal level, nary a peep of criticism came the way of our misanthropic apple cruncher. The argument that environmentalism has devolved into a cover for a human death cult couldn't have been more starkly made.
Clearly, there were plenty of idealistic folks that are not human-haters on this forum... they are seeking how renewable and low carbon load energies could be adopted for the benefit of mankind, and are not anti-human per se. Nearly all are convinced that hydrocarbons are keeping us from living in Tomorrow World. Revolutionaries, really. Willing to destroy in order to build. Not concerned with the human sacrifice necessary to transition RIGHT NOW.
These concerned me the most. They don't seem to be great students of history, they certainly don't believe in free market solutions to anything, and don't believe in a human ingenuity focused solution. They are mightily attracted to the dark side of heavy handed, single point, "damn the consequence" intervention. They despise business and businessmen. They find it easy to condemn business men as carrion feeding of the body of society, and society a stupid bunch of cows willingly subjugated to the needs of bug business. They think of themselves as enlightened and the only ones not sullied enough to do the hard work of keeping the stupid people from getting what they want, and making sure they get only what they need... defined by the enlightened. I think "elititist" is a term appropriately applied.
Why do you think that is? What has convinced them that good solutions come exclusively through the power of a central authority? It was amazing how many of the comments mimic'ed Lenin's "a few eggs get broken to make an omelette" quote. Damn what the majority... the stupid people... want. They will be happy with what we give them. Let them eat Wind and Solar Cake.
Beware the "perfect" society. History shows that individual liberty, life, and property are the first casualties when we chase after that chimera.
Confused about whether the "debate" on global warming is really over, and we are all going to die as proclaimed by Nobel "Lariat" Al Gore and his advisory panel of Climate Scientists including Micheal "Hockey Stick" Mann, or that it is all alarmist bunk, ala Fred "PetroLacky" Singer?
Here is the Real Deal... a poll of 500+ climate scientists (and ONLY climate scientists) from all over the world done in 1996 and repeated in 2003 conducted by Bray and Storch of the GKSS Insititute of Coastal Research in Geesthact, Germany. So what do Climate Scientists REALLY believe?
32% strongly believe that Global Warming is a process already underway. 34% believe it is likely so, 16% think it is probably so, 6% don't know, 3.5% think it is probably not, 5% think it most likely not, and 2.5% think it is definitely not. From 1996 to 2003, the average response has moved from Probably So to Likely So.
With regard to Climate Scientists consensus as to Anthropogenic Causation as the most important factor (which include urban heat sinks, greenhouse gas emissions and other various factors), 9% think it definite, 25% think it is likely, and 21% think it probable. 45% are neutral to strongly in disagreement. Between 1996 and 2003, the average consensus has moved from negative side of neutral to the positive side of neutral.
The "tipping point" argument, which states that we are at the verge of a catastrophic climate change, whether human induced or not, enjoys the support at some level or another of around 50% of climate scientists. The other 50% disagree with this or are neutral. The average response has changed since 1996 from slightly negative neutral to slightly positive neutral.
With regards to the question of whether Climate Models can accurately predict climate conditions in the future, less than 1% strongly believe so, 6% believe it is likely, and 28% think they are probably predictive. 65% of climate scientists have a neutral to negative opinion on the predictive capability of current models. The average response has barely moved since 1996, and remains in the likely NOT predictive column of the survey.
This represents less than 10% of the full results which I will publish as time allows over the next week or so.
To summarize so far, there is a consensus of Climate Scientists that say Global Warming is indeed occuring at some level. Climate Scientists are currently Neutral as to whether anthropogenic causes are the the major drivers, although they are tending to move into the man 'dunnit' column. Unfortunatley, we don't exactly know if they mean Greenhouse Gas or other anthro drivers, which, from a policy point of view is... uh... pretty FRIGGIN' important!
Climate Scientists are equally divided and officially Neutral on the "tipping point" argument... the "we are all gonna die" hysteria. Climate Scientists have moved in the "oh my Gawd" direction a little bit in the last decade.
Lastly, Climate Scientists have little faith in their climate models, the major tool used to "predict" climate change and anthropomorphic forcings. The consensus is that these models are likely wrong, and there has been little movement from that position in the last decade.
So in essence, they believe we are in a warming stage, but they are fighting about if Mankind is responsible, if we have some huge apocalyptic event facing us, and they think the Crystal Ball they use for looking in the future... well, it doesn't really work.
I have a lot more coming in the days ahead... including what parts of the Crystal Ball the climate scientists believe are more reliable than others, the extent they think the press drives their or their colleagues research choices and topics, how their own personal values are integrated into the science, and much more...
I guess most of you think I do nothing but slam alt energy because, after all, I am an oilman and everyone knows oilmen are sinister folk, doing all sorts of nefarious things to preserve the primacy of king god hydrocarbons. Even to the point of melting babies. Vivoleum, a set of wacky anti oil Alalskan radicals called this in a past post I referenced.
However, we oilmen know that we don't have to really DO anything to promote hydrocarbons. Incredibly efficient and easily transportable, energy in the form of oil and gas wins hands down against other sources of energy from an objective point of view... you know, like physics and chemistry. Of course, when faced with objectivity, bigots and politicians resort to "subjectivity", like philosophy and political science that always lead to a Big Idea. TAXES and REGULATIONS designed to knock the stuffing out of the pure objective excellence that is hydrocarbons in favor of far less efficient sources of energy. That is the Way of the Subjective... first, lets hobble the excellent, so that the poor may shine. Public education is another example of this mantra.
By the way, although I have mentioned this a million times before, did you know that Exxon paid more than its earnings in taxes and excise fees last quarter and every quarter in recent history? Government made more than Exxon for the efforts that Exxon undertook. Seems unfair, really. In any case, with enough penalties attached to the excellent, I guess natural shorts like wind and ethanol can even look good. I always though that the Punk movement was a conspiracy by fat ugly girls to talk good looking girsls into dressing like crap and chopping off all their hair. An analogy of sorts.
However, I have written extensively on the boondoggles of ethanol in this blog (read ArcherDanielMidland) and wind (read GE) and the billions, maybe trillions, they are extracting from taxpayers like you and me through very effective lobbyists. Family farmer indeed.
Al Gore is set to make billions (I heard he made 600 mil on his Google options already) on his cap and trade system infrastructure investments that he set up as he sets out to create a mandated market via propganda and Kleiner Perkins, the Sand Hill Road VC firm was so impressed at Al's masterful manipulation of government to mandate markets that he was heavily invested in that it made him a partner. So the ol' saw that Big money does drive bad energy policy is true, just not from whom you might expect it ... Syriana indeed.
"But, but... all we need is a little push by the government forcing people to buy alt energy, and it will take off and become efficienct once everyone is buying it".
Well, yes and no. Maybe. People don't elect to spend $200 per month to heat their house when they can do so at $50. The political/money agenda, then, is to tax the fuel that does heat the house at $50 per month to make it $100 per month, and use the the $50 tax and other tax dollars (the stuff you pay but don't know you pay because it is "withheld") to subsidize the $200 per month fuel so you think that "by golly, these are the same dang price!"
Now, the government HOPES that the alternative CAN someday equal the artifiial $100 price it set, basically because it gets to keep your tax money for other things, like studying the sex life of chickens or some such. The money won't EVER come back or cease to be NOT taxed! If it doesn't ever become economic, oh well, it still subsidizes the inefficienct crap everywhere else, all on your nickle. OR $50 dollars. The lesson? Government never saves money, makes anything mroe efficient, and never loses. It feeds on you, the taxpayer, and it is never satisfied. There is always some other crisis around it can make much worse.
What are Alt Energies that look good on their own merits? I think algae-based biodiesel looks interesting... grown in brackish water environments, it looks to yield 5000 barrels per acre rather than the 5o barrels per acre that corn produces, all without the problems of food or fuel land use and water use questions that are proving intractable. http://www.oilgae.com/algae/oil/yield/yield.html
The other technology focus I like? It sounds like a con job, and probably is, but I like it anyway. It harkens back to Tesla and his fascination with resonant frequencies... energies amplified by constructive waveform interference... the thing that causes glass to break when the opera singers hits the right note... in the realm of "microwave" energy. Breaking chemical bonds with tuned electromagnetic frequencies. The claims are that they can break long chain hydrocarbon bonds using microwave rather than thermal "cracking". If so, then it has particular use in heavy oil. Also, this may be the technique referred by a reader in a previous post claiming that "ultrasonics" were used to break hydrogen and oxygen bonds in water molecules to create non hydrocarbon-derived hydrogen for fuel cells with very low energy requirements.
One proviso about this, though. Although the claim (and black box) exist, the bond lengths for hydrocarbons are in the soft to hard X-ray range (106 to 140 angstroms), way out of the microwave range. Perhaps they focus on resonance along the chain length and not bond length, but I am pretty sure that this is not in microwave territory either. Maybe it is not resonant frequencies at all, but induced thermal cracking via microwaves, somehow deriving additional energies from the molecules being acted upon, keeping it "non-magic"... ie following the laws of thermodynamics. Of course, I am crappy at organic chemistry. When I found out that steam and a nickle catalyst was a real method of cracking hydrocarbons, I bowed out of trying to really figure out the process approach. Thus, you wouldn't be wrong to say I don't understand how this works at all. But I like it. It sounds cool. But I bet Al Gore knows.
The Nobel Committee once again lived up to expectation and delivered its prize to a more than questionable recipient... Albert Gore, for his work fabricating propoganda films and attempting to strip away even more freedoms from the people of the world in favor of oligarchs. All for Peace. Kinda like they "Broke off a Peace".
Rumor has it that the Nobel Committee deliberations were actually used in a commercial... you know, the one for Monster.com that has a board room full of chimps?
In a brilliant move on the part of global warming skeptic strategists, George W. Bush came out yesterday, via Condi Rice, in full support of using the power of government to “solve climate change”, saying we should avoid the decision “between sacrificing global economic growth to secure the health of our planet or we sacrifice the health of our planet to continue fossil-fuelled growth”.
That should stick a fork in this debate once and for all.
Of course, Bush has made this mistake of co-opting the other side's issues once before, when he adopted the previous Clinton Administration position that regime change was necessary in Iraq due to their bio-chemical-nuclear arms programs.He apparently thought that by having Gore, Kerry, and all the rest of the Democratic leadership all on record supporting, no, demanding regime change and ground intervention in Iraq, then they couldn’t challenge his post 9/11 policy.Whadda dumbass.Today, George W. Bush is known worldwide as a “Liar” while ol' Bill Clinton as a potential Nobel Prize nominee.Ah, the power of the press. Lewis Carroll would be proud.
The only reason a good ol' boy like me knows this is because somehow they forgot to destroy all the Time magazines from 1997 hidden in chests in South Texas ranch houses... the ones that described and mapped all of Saddam’s labs, Bill’s desire for a ground attack, coincident with his Grand Jury testimony in the criminal investigation of the accusation that he raped that Arkansas woman, with Madeline Albright telling him he couldn’t get Security Council approval because Germany, France, and Russia were doing too much business with Iraq at the time, and having Bill finally settle for bombing runs announced the day of his Grand Jury testimony instead. Of course, the Republicans apparatchiks were claiming a “wag the dog” scenario, and are all on the same record as claiming that Saddam posed "no real threat".
Funny how the same set of facts have been spun by these characters to support the exact opposite conclusions they espoused ten years ago, with each side having firmly staked each others position at least once. You would think this strategy flawed, since it would depend on a really stupid electorate and a press interested in pursuing an objective truth. Apparently it isn't flawed, since I see a lot of Bush Lied bumper stickers.
Of course, those of us in the oil business are exposed to this kind of logic all the time.I see the same drilling prospect come back time and time again after yet another dry hole was drilled in the previous "great" location. The prospect comes with a whole new set of assertions to explain WHY we see what we do and WHY we need to drill another exporatory well HERE, in the new "great" location.It is a classic example of what we call an underdetermined system. This is bigspeak for the idea that "The less you know (or the less data you have), the wilder your story can be (more degrees of freedom you have to create a hypothesis that fits the known facts). Kinda like string theory and cutting edge physics...
As you collect more data (or the facts change), your fundamental assumption doesn't change... ie There Is A Prospect In Here Somewhere, it's just not where you put it before… unless, of course, "they screwed up the completion (the fact is false)".And be assured that the geologist will be every bit as confident in the new interpretation as he or she was in the previous one.Especially if he or she gets a fee and an override and isn't participating in the risk investment part of the funding. Big Lesson Here- Always make sure you know how the seller benefits.The closer that benefit coincides with yours, the better.
Bush’s seemingly brilliant political plan to co-opt every Democratic position, such as rampant deficit spending, supporting illegal immigration for all, full-priced American pharmaceuticals bought by the Federal Government to anyone who has ever dined at Luby's, and saying last week that he would devote the rest of his administration towards subsidized healthcare for all should ensure that these agendas die on the vine.I mean, who in their right mind would support a Bush proposal today?
In ten years (100 years, 1000 years, a million years), when the Climate is still Changing, it will be Bush’s Fault. He will have Lied to us about Climate Change.If history is a guide, Al Gore may well lead the charge! Of course, the good people of Berkeley may not be around to see it, if the Berkely Daily Planet is an accurate voice of it's citizenry... http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/article.cfm?issue=09-25-07&storyID=28081, where the position that humans should be eradicated is espoused... a position I fully support, incidentally... for Berkeley.
Of course, as a geoscientist, the concept of “solving Climate Change”, or that “solving” it will make Earth “healthier" is like saying that feeding ten year olds growth retarding hormones will make them “healthier”, or that making it Daytime on Earth all the time and getting rid of that pesky night will make us “healthier”. The same kind of straw man, false statistical arguments used in the Global Warming Debate can be used here... such as:
human productivity will be much higher if it was always day, because we sleep at night and thus we wouldn’t ever need to sleep if it was daytime all the time;
we would herald in a "golden age" of agriculture where productivity would be increase at least two fold because crops could grow all the time;
no more pesky vampires;
no more night terrors and the like;
no more lightbulbs. Just think of the energy we could save and the planet we could save if it was daytime all the time! The shadows that humans throw when walking upright cause "false nights" and lower ground temperature to potentially catastrophic effect.
One last piece of advice to the genii running this administration. In order to coopt the entire Democratic agenda, It might be time to spin the Abu Ghraib incident as "Homosexual Tolerance and Sensitivity Training" as they piled up the nekkid homophobic fundamentalist criminal jihadists. I know they are homophobic because Ahmadinejad's only comments at Columbia that were booed and not cheered were (guess which):
1. America was a terrorist state (booed) (cheered)
2. Israel should be destroyed (booed) (cheered) (ok, he didn't exactly say that, but he smiled and didn't answer, to applause, when asked if he thought Israel should exist)
3. Iran doesn't have gays. It is a particularly western conceit. Those guys that are horse whipped are pretending it is a girls rump. (booed) (cheered)
Yep, three would be the right answer.
This interpretation is no more ludicrous than insisting that “ Republicans Support Texas Chainsaw Massacre Type Torture” charges made by the other side. I can hear it now.
"No, Judge Adjutant. Them boys and that ugly gal weren't torchrin' them gay bashin' A-rabs. They are Log Cabin Republicans teachin' how to be sen'tive!"
Is it any wonder why approval ratings for Bush and Congress are so low?