Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2007:April:26 Thursday <Wednesday, Friday>
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2007/4/26-29 [Politics/Domestic/Election] UID:46453 Activity:nil
4/26    McCain wants to talk to you on Youtube:
2007/4/26-29 [Science/Space] UID:46454 Activity:nil
4/26    "Potentially habitable planet found" (outside our solar system):
2007/4/26-29 [Science/GlobalWarming] UID:46455 Activity:nil
4/26 (
        Canadian geology professor Tim Patterson says:
        much of the up-to-date research indicates that "changes in the
        brightness of the sun" are almost certainly the primary cause of the
        warming trend since the end of the "Little Ice Age" in the late 19th
        century. Human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the gas of concern
        in most plans to curb climate change, appear to have little effect on
        global climate, he said.
        Evil-UN report says:
        "most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since
        the mid-20th century is very likely [> 90% probability] due to the
        observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations"
        \_ Because, of course, no one understands climate like a geologist.
        \_ The vast right wing noise machine loves parroting stuff like this.
           For some reason they never repeat when climate scientist debunk
           \_ <dittohead>Climate science is a scam, everyone has to parrot
              the party line in order to get funding.</dittohead>  (Apparently
              except for Tim Patterson).
2007/4/26-29 [Transportation/Car] UID:46456 Activity:nil
4/26    I think i have asked this before, but i really need a search engine
        that can search on, e.g. '^E' (or "\^E").  Are there any out there?
        If not, someone should should go make a search engine for geeks.
2007/4/26-29 [Science/GlobalWarming] UID:46457 Activity:high
4/26    We keep hearing every year about how gas prices are higher because
        of reduced refinery capacity caused by everything from Katrina to
        fire and power outages. When it happens every year, it's not
        unusual and I'm inclined to believe these are lies. Why do market
        analysts continue to repeat these lies?
        Also, interesting stat:
        "On Apr. 13, the California government's State Board of
        Equalization reported that for the first time in 14 years,
        gasoline consumption declined in California for all but three
        months in 2006. "
        \_ What makes you think they are lies?  People can complain about there
           not being enough refineries, but those same people will keep you
           from building one anywhere near them.
           \_ Because every year we hear about these "unusual events". If
              they happen every year then they are not "unusual events".
              They are status quo. No one has said capacity isn't there.
              They say it is offline because of these "unusual events".
              \_ c.f. Enron
              \_ If there is a 1% chance on an "unusual event" happening at any
                 1 refinery per yer, and there are 100 refineries, how many
                 unusual events can you expect per year?
                 \_ Yes, so it's predictively usual in aggregate.
                 \_ Do you think 1% of refineries being offline is really
                    affecting production?
                    \_ Obviously I made these numbers up.  But with very
                       tight supply and very inelastic demand, sure.
              \_ I've heard quite frequently that under optimum conditions we
                 have just barely enough refining capacity.  Therefore any
                 event causes a disruption.  This is the same as saying we
                 don't have enough capacity.
        \_ Analysts are lazy.  Global demand for oil is driving up petroleum.
           Every summer, refineries have to reformulate their blends for gov't
           mandated gasoline and demand spikes up.  Also, routine maintenance
           causes shortages during maintenance.  It's pretty simple econ,
           really. -emarkp
           \_ So in that "simple econ", where does a $10B profit quarter fit
              in that whole "your prices go up because ours go up" line?
                \_ Oil companies are just taking advantage of high crude
                   prices caused by surging demand and not-surging supply.
                   If gold prices go up, companies that own gold mines
                   do better too.  Note that ExxonMobil is only like the 10th
                   or 12th or so largest oil company in the world, if you count
                   nationalized oil companies like Aramco.  Believe me, this
                   is a piece of cake compared to what things will be when
                   we are a few years past the oil production peak.
              \_ That's not econ (your comment in quotes).  The price goes up
                 because people bid it up.  There have been countless
                 investigations into the competitiveness of gas retailers and
                 there's no price fixing.  Sorry to burst your bubble.  Did you
                 notice how Exxon was spending over $4B searching for new
                 reserves?  That's what happens in the market--a higher price
                 means more effort to obtain the commodity to sell it.
                   Even with the "massive profits", Exxon makes only 9% profit
                 on their investment.  Their "biggest quarter ever" has more to
                 do with the rising demand and the consolidation of companies
                 (so instead of seeing the profit broken into two companies, we
                 see it in one, so it looks larger). -emarkp
                 \_ Has anyone ever looked into collusion from refiners?
                    I have no doubt that retailers do not collude.
                    \_ You think when congress investigates oil companies,
                       they're looking at gas stations?
                       \_ You said retailers.
                          \_ Well, someone did. Nevertheless, his odd word
                             choice does not excuse your ignorance.
                             \_ Ignorance of what? Enlighten me.
                 \_ Oil companies are LOSING money searching for new reserves.
                    Because there isn't much left to find, oil discoveries
                    have been declining steadily since the 1960s.  Only the
                    crack smoking analysts at the IEA and Cornucopian right
                    wing economics who believe economics will win over
                    geology think there are going to be this magic spike up
                    in oil production in the next 15 years.
                    \_ Show me some reputable source showing this.  Exxon's
                       balance sheet is public, and enumerates spending on
                       searching for new reserves.  Indeed, the finding in the
                       Gulf of Mexico may be the biggest reserve ever.
                         One group who clearly doesn't believe oil is running
                       out is the oil companies themselves.  Otherwise the
                       price would be spiking much faster. -emarkp
                       \_ This is not necessarily true. There might be
                          a lot of supply right now, but no supply in
                          10 years. The market won't correct for that.
                          It's like the avocado or orange crop. Some years
                          it's a bumper crop and prices are low, but just
                          a few years later there is no supply at all.
                          Your statement is really closer to saying that
                          there is no supply problem at present, not that
                          oil won't run out (relatively) soon.
                          \_ Oil won't run out, but at some point (probably
                             relatively soon) new production capacity will
                             be coming online slower than old production
                             capacity goes offline.  The answer to the
                             question, "what was the guy who cut down the
                             last tree on Easter Island thinking at the time?"
                             is basically "it doesn't matter"; by the time
                             Easter Island was down to one tree, the
                             society had already collapsed.  -tom
                             \_ He was thinking "I've got to build me a
                                canoe and get the hell out of here!"
                             \_ Present prices reflect future value.  If the
                                oil companies really believed that, prices
                                would be going up because of an expected
                                shortage.  And they might even be spending more
                                looking for new reserves/testing new extraction
                                technologies. -emarkp
                                \_ Isn't that exactly what is happening now?
                                   \_ The analysis I've read from non-lazy
                                      analysts is that the current long-term
                                      price increase is entirely explained by
                                      increasing global demand.  It's not
                                      enough to sugggest a fear of long-term
                                      shortage. -emarkp
                                      \_ When do you think we'll hit peak oil?
                                         \_ Every prediction I've seen has been
                                            wrong.  It's entirely possible that
                                            we'll *never* hit peak oil--that
                                            there are reserves beyond our need,
                                            but as they become gradually more
                                            expensive to tap, other energy
                                            sources will be competitive, and
                                            we'll naturally switch. -emarkp
                                            \_ That's a fantasy.  There is
                                               nothing that's within an
                                               order of magnitude of the
                                               ROI on oil drilling; we won't
                                               magically transition to
                                               ethanol or hydrogen or solar
                                               or whatever your magic bullet
                                               of choice is, not without going
                                               through severe pain first.
                                               For the record, oil production
                                               has been basically flat since
                                               the 80s and doesn't show any
                                               plausible signs of increasing.
                                            \_ I think this is happening right
                                               now. Increased consumption,
                                               combined with an increasing
                                               difficulty in finding new
                                               sources of oil, is driving up
                                               prices, causing other sources
                                               of energy to become economical.
                                               This is also spurring research
                                               into alternative energy. I
                                               expect the price of a gallon of
                                               gasoline to just keep going up
                                               at this steady rate. This is
                                               how capitalist price signalling
                                               is supposed to work. -ausman
        \_ FWIW, in my visit to Norway, we paid an average of 12 NOK per litre,
            which works out at current exchange rates to be about $8/gal.
            US gas is cheap!   -ERic
            \_ US $ is cheap too.
        \_ Most of the new profits are coming from oil production, i.e. pumping
           it out of the ground and selling it on world markets. Retail and
           refining are relatively competitive. With the high regulations and
           restrictions on building new refineries, it's not in the refiners'
           interests to build new, "extra" capacity. Especially since gasoline
           demand is so inelastic, so it will hardly budge when prices spike
           due to "disruptions." They sell the same amount at a higher price
           (reaped at the wholesale/refining level, not retail), providing a
           little spike in profits. But not enough to justify overcoming all
           the obstacles and building a new refinery to smooth out supply the
           rest of the year.
2007/4/26-29 [Uncategorized] UID:46458 Activity:nil
4/26    I'm looking for the jacket worn by the guy on the LEFT.  Circa 1984,
        East Germany:
2007/4/26-29 [Recreation/Dating] UID:46459 Activity:kinda low
4/26    This is pretty funny, albeit old.
        Japanese women suffering from Retired Husband Syndrome!
        \_ Funnier:
           \_ This is a hoax.  Never happened.
              \_ And it's now on snopes:
           \_ Ha. But crap, L630 per sheep?  Is that really cheaper than a
              regular poodle?
              \_ in japan... yes.
              \_ Purebred dogs are about $1000 each. I paid $500 each for
                 my Siamese cats. I can buy a sheep for less than a
                 purebred dog.
                 \_ Dang, I rather have the sheep.
                    \_ Didn't want to know.
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2007:April:26 Thursday <Wednesday, Friday>