Daily Digest

Daily Digest 6/4 - Carving Up Iraq Barrel By Barrel, Portugal Cuts Growth Forecast, MI Spill Highlights Need For Safety Overhaul

Monday, June 4, 2012, 10:03 AM
  • Don Coxe - Emergency Fed Meeting & Gold Backed Bonds
  • Carving Up Iraq, Barrel By Barrel
  • Merrill Losses Were Withheld Before Bank of America Deal
  • Portugal Cuts Growth Forecast, Adding to Economic Gloom
  • Rainwater Harvesting in the Amazon Cleans up Where Oil Left its Mark
  • Michigan Oil Spill Highlights Need for Safety Overhaul

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Economy

Don Coxe - Emergency Fed Meeting & Gold Backed Bonds (Thomas C.)

With continued turmoil in global markets, today King World News interviewed 40 year veteran Don Coxe, Global Strategy Advisor to BMO ($538 billion in assets). Coxe shocked KWN by saying that Europe is actively working to introduce gold backed bonds. He said, “They would have the security of gold.” Coxe stated we could see this take place “within the next three months ... because this crisis is developing so fast.” Coxe also discussed the possibility of an emergency Fed meeting, but first, here is what Coxe had to say about the spectacular gold rally which took place on Friday: “First of all, a rally like this, you know a huge amount of it is short covering. The short positions had been building up on this. We were having one of the highest short positions on the gold futures that we’ve seen in a long time.”

Carving Up Iraq, Barrel By Barrel (James S.)

Internal politics get even trickier when you add to the mix in-fighting over oil with the country’s Kurdish north. Baghdad went as far as to slip a clause in the contracts on auction forbidding international companies from signing any deals with the semiautonomous Kurdish north. The addition of this clause was a direct response to a skirmish with Exxon Mobil, which had the audacity to sign a contract with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in October last year for six exploration blocks. From Baghdad’s perspective, this was an illegal deal that threatens Iraq’s sovereignty. The clause also comes amid rumblings that other oil giants, including Shell and Total, are considering similar deals with the Kurdish north that would bypass Baghdad.

Merrill Losses Were Withheld Before Bank of America Deal (jdargis)

The filing in the shareholder suit included sworn testimony from Mr. Lewis in which he concedes that before Bank of America stockholders voted to approve the deal he had received loss estimates relating to the Merrill deal that were far greater than reflected in the figures that had appeared in the proxy documents filed with regulators. Shareholders rely on statements made in proxy filings to decide whether to approve transactions their companies have proposed, and companies must disclose all facts that could be meaningful for shareholders trying to decide how to vote on a deal.

Portugal Cuts Growth Forecast, Adding to Economic Gloom

Portugal last year sought 78 billion euros, or $97 billion, from the European Union, the European Central bank, and the International Monetary Fund after a loss of confidence in its public finances left it unable to access the bond market. Of the funds, 12 billion euros was earmarked to repair banks’ tattered balance sheets.

Energy

Rainwater Harvesting in the Amazon Cleans up Where Oil Left its Mark (jdargis)

Collecting and processing rainwater in such a polluted place requires extra care. The harvesting systems that ClearWater is using were designed specifically for this area: They have a filtration layer that targets the heavy metals that pollute the area, Anderson says. And the group is going to be doing tests on the water to make sure that it is clean enough to serve as drinking and cooking water—which would be its primary use.

Michigan Oil Spill Highlights Need for Safety Overhaul (James S.)

A few shifts later, it appears operators were still debating what happened with Line 6B. A manager had suggested that "something else" was going on, possibly with the "computer or the instrumentation." If it was a rupture, the manager said, "someone is going to notice that and smell it." At 11am on the morning of July 27, a utility company employee reported Talmadge Creek "was black" and got a call in to Enbridge. Residents in Marshall, however, had called the police to report odors at 9 pm on July 26, but nobody bothered to call Enbridge.

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to dd@PeakProsperity.com. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."

23 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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Time2help's picture
Time2help
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Tired...

...crisis fatigue.

JAG's picture
JAG
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Reinventing Fire

Attention doomers, don't watch this!

Marteen's picture
Marteen
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What Next?

Dear Europeans,

All kind of secret meetings are hold in europe between all kind of "non-elected" eurocrats at the moment. They are talking about integration of finance and politics but actually this will be a coup by germany and france. Our new country will be called the UNITED STATES OF EUROPE with a german of french president or so.

This seems the only way forward

In the 70's little countries like The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemberg were already affreight of power of France and Germany. This was the main reason why the Brits were begged to join the European Economic Community. It seems that our leaders from the little countries were 100% right.

It looks like the small countries have lost. With a German or French "president"  we will soon have to eat German sausage and Frenche wine as breakfast whether we like it or not.

Marteen

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Poet
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Europe’s Screwed Generation and America’s

(Note: Cross-posted to Other News, Articles, Or Links Of Interest.)

How the young are being screwed by the old. In Europe and in Ameica.

Europe’s Screwed Generation and America’s (June 4, 2012)
"As the boomers have held on to generous jobs and benefits, their children have given up on raising families, writes demographer Joel Kotkin. "

And...

"This demographic implosion makes sense given the legacy left behind by the boomers, who have held on to generous jobs and benefits but left little opportunity for their children, not to mention a high tax burden on what opportunities they do find. For a generation academics have sold higher education - the more the better - as the cure for unemployment and the great guarantor of success. Yet rising education rates in places like Spain have not created jobs for the rising generation, but only expanded unemployment and falling wages among the ranks of the educated."

And...

"Across the developed world, wages are being cut for young Americans, Europeans, and Japanese as politicians prefer to offer less to the young than to take anything away from those already ensconced in employment, particularly if organized into unions. In the U.S., everything from government jobs to employment in auto factories and even supermarkets is now on a two-tier track, with older workers’ guaranteed pensions and higher salaries not shared by newer hires.... Pensions represent a bigger generational issue than salaries do. The European welfare state makes America’s seem Scrooge-ish. Their lifetime guarantees are so extensive, and unsustainable, that even the über-frugal Germans are calling for a special tax on younger workers to fund their parents’ pensions."
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/06/04/it-can-happen-here-europe-s-screwed-generation-and-america-s.html

And you were worried about a few cannibals in the news?

Poet

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crash_watcher's picture
crash_watcher
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RE: Reinventing Fire

Lovins' chart at 2:35 min. says it all, I guess: 43% of all energy coming from wind solar and other renewables, 26% from natural gas, 23% from non-crop biofuels, 4% from hydrogen, and 4% from hydro.  And...no energy from coal, nuclear and petroleum by 2050 (3:01 min)!  A growing economy and all energy and climate change problems solved, just like that in one simple chart!  And all with no new inventions and government legislation (3:07 min)! 

Why didn't anyone think of this before?

Wow, thanks Captain Sheeple, what a Rosy Colored future we all have!

(Chris, based on Lovins' presentation, don't you think that you should just repudiate everything that you have said in the Crash Course and shut this site down?)

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
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JAG wrote: Attention

JAG wrote:

Attention doomers, don't watch this!

Yes, let's all h.o.p.e. that Amory does not repeat his dismal track records of the 1980's, 1990's and 2000's where he was amongst the wrongest of the wrong in terms of how far and how fast we'd all adopt alternative feuls and electrify ourselves.

Mr. Lovins has been about as wrong as one can be over time, but he gets continued free passes from an adoring public because he is telling people what they want to hear.

Not that there's anything wrong with that....optimism is a hardwired human trait.

See also:  The Optimism Bias a different TED talk that helps to put Amory's in proper context. 

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Poet
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Amory? Isn't That A Girl's Name?

Up until today, the only Amory I knew was a woman, Amory Starr.

One of the topics she focused on was community.

Poet

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Optimism Bias

The Tali Sharot talk was interesting. 

Hypothesis: Lovins has a hyperactive left inferior frontal gyrus—let's get him into the fMRI machine now!

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
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Reinventing Fire

crash_watcher wrote:

Why didn't anyone think of this before?

Wow, thanks Captain Sheeple, what a Rosy Colored future we all have!

(Chris, based on Lovins' presentation, don't you think that you should just repudiate everything that you have said in the Crash Course and shut this site down?)

Lovins is such a smart man, you have to wonder why he never mentions all the UP FRONT fossil energy needed to realise his green wet dream... THAT is where the real problem lies, how to spend ever greater amounts of FFs as they deplete to smithereens, and the nations exporting them keep an ever larger slice of them for themselves as they build their own green wet dream...

At least he's dropped Hydrogen as a major item in his energy future, now occupying only 4% of the storage/release part of the scheme.

Mike

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crash_watcher
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Reinventing Fire

At least he's dropped Hydrogen as a major item in his energy future, now occupying only 4% of the storage/release part of the scheme.

Indeed, as Chris and others have pointed out, hydrogen is a means of storing energy, not a source of energy. 

Therefore, for Lovins to even have this listed as being 4% of an energy supply, makes me wonder if he understands what he is talking about.

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An Open Mind?

cmartenson wrote:

JAG wrote:

Attention doomers, don't watch this!

Yes, let's all h.o.p.e. that Amory does not repeat his dismal track records of the 1980's, 1990's and 2000's where he was amongst the wrongest of the wrong in terms of how far and how fast we'd all adopt alternative feuls and electrify ourselves.

Mr. Lovins has been about as wrong as one can be over time, but he gets continued free passes from an adoring public because he is telling people what they want to hear.

Not that there's anything wrong with that....optimism is a hardwired human trait.

See also:  The Optimism Bias a different TED talk that helps to put Amory's in proper context. 

Dr. M, I hope you are not implying that you approach information without a personal bias, because you would be the first person in history to pull that off. Doomerism is not only a bias, it's an identity. You often accuse people that disagree with your outlook as being hampered by their belief system, but don't you suffer from the same belief bias?

Aren't you guilty of telling your "target audience" what they want to hear as well? 

While we sit around and groupthink our intellectual superiority, this guy is out there actually building a better future. And yet you criticize him. I expect that from the doomer population, but I have to hold you to a higher standard.

Afterall, the most powerful weapon we have against an unknown future is an open mind.

Best...Jeff

P.S. Mr. Lovins would probably make a great podcast interview / debate.

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That was the most retarded 22 minutes of my life

Great plan.  We'll just reinvent everything right away and it will all be OK.  Simple.  What the hell have we been thinking all this time.  The audience shots tell the whole story for me.

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Adam........"Please don't feed the the troll" Smiley

JAG wrote:

Dr. M, I hope you are not implying that you approach information without a personal bias, because you would be the first person in history to pull that off. Doomerism is not only a bias, it's an identity. You often accuse people that disagree with your outlook as being hampered by their belief system, but don't you suffer from the same belief bias?

Aren't you guilty of telling your "target audience" what they want to hear as well? 

While we sit around and groupthink our intellectual superiority, this guy is out there actually building a better future. And yet you criticize him. I expect that from the doomer population, but I have to hold you to a higher standard.

Afterall, the most powerful weapon we have against an unknown future is an open mind.

Best...Jeff

P.S. Mr. Lovins would probably make a great podcast interview / debate. 

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Rector wrote:  That was the

Rector wrote:

That was the most retarded 22 minutes of my life

How the hell did you last 22 minutes?  I think I got to 5 and couldn't stand it anymore.  That ridiculous statement about cars achieving ridiculous mpg was about as far as I got.  They guy is clearly clueless and put the whole rest of the presentation in doubt, even if I could swallow any part of it.

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Debt is even harder to get rid of in Spain (CBS Evening News)

Debt is even harder to get rid of in Spain (CBS Evening News Video)

russiaways's picture
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why the raw nerve response?

Amory can rightly be accused of being way skewed off of the adoption timeline of the materials, techniques, and approaches he advocates but why the vitriol?  I have known him and his ideas for decades and have levied the same types of criticisms to him but without malice, only sadness that so many good ideas seem so hard to impliment against the tide of previous habit momentum.  (By the way, his optimistic response was that his advocated changes would be overestimated in their short term effect but underestimated in the not specified longer term).  The upfront costs are the deterent but also the way to long term savings and had more progress been made a generation ago we would be better off today.

When I ponder my own perspective of his influence I see tremendous positve action.  He was the first person I knew to espouse the use of compact florescentbulbs and by biting the price bullet decades ago I paid more to slowly replace my traditional incadescents and found a rising tide of their use ever since.  He impressed me with the idea of regerative braking to charge a hybrid electric power train and lighter weight materials to save weight etc, all things I was disappointed with by their absence in the 80s but now I use in my Prius.  His consulting work with and access to large corporations has been instrumental in photovoltaic panels appearing on Walmart roofs and new thinking along all these lines in the halls of the Pentagon, where changes may take time but have great influence.  They recently helped retrofit the Empire State Building as an example of achievable energy savings.

Sometimes the vibe here actually reminds me of subtle pious self righteousness that also permeates Amory's RMI organization and I think that take is just another angle on the inherant optimism that draws me to learn from both places.  He convinced me long ago of the value of insulation, lighting, power efficiency etc, and now Chris has opened my eyes to the inefficiencies of our money, resource use and the possibilities of a joyful sustainable lifesyle on our planet.  I hope to see them both succeed in spreading their respective outlooks and don't think they are inherantly at odds with each other.

 

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Dreams are good, but can distract us from the work needed

russiaways wrote:

I have known him and his ideas for decades and have levied the same types of criticisms to him but without malice, only sadness that so many good ideas seem so hard to implement against the tide of previous habit momentum.

I do have not problem with optimism, and I have faith we as humans will figure it out (perhaps after a bit of pain).  The problem is we have people telling us look at the bright future and not discussing the hard reality we are facing.   It's very clear to anyone that spends the time to do the basic math that things are not sustainable, and that the pipe dream of ever increasing energy and the 158% larger economy just aren't likely to happen.   It's the same thing we are being told by our politicians - just a bit more control, or money, or ... and we can make it all better.  It's a lie.

I like Chris's approach much better - here are the problems, if we face them rationally we can make things better, not necessarily bigger.  It's good to dream and I do a lot of it myself, but it's also necessary to keep a realistic view of the world based on math to make sure we don't overlook really big issues while we pursue the dream.

If we are constantly dreaming it distracts us from the hard work necessary to achieve them.  Faith in technological advances saving us is the biggest issue I run into when discussing the three E's with someone.  I always get well someone will develop something to solve the problem, never a thought as to what happens if "they" don't.  It's the mythical "they" will save us, not the I will do something to sovle the problem that is a really big concern.

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
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who's clueless...?

phecksel wrote:

How the hell did you last 22 minutes?  I think I got to 5 and couldn't stand it anymore.  That ridiculous statement about cars achieving ridiculous mpg was about as far as I got.  The guy is clearly clueless and put the whole rest of the presentation in doubt, even if I could swallow any part of it.

http://www.wired.com/autopia/2008/07/laugh-at-high-g/

Laugh at High Gas Prices With a 235-MPG VW

 

Vw_one_liter_concept01_2

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
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russiaways wrote:When I

russiaways wrote:
When I ponder my own perspective of his influence I see tremendous positve action.  He was the first person I knew to espouse the use of compact florescent bulbs and by biting the price bullet decades ago I paid more to slowly replace my traditional incadescents and found a rising tide of their use ever since.

I totally agree.....  Lovins may not get the end of growth idea, but his methods for reducing energy consumption are the best around.  Who else has managed to build a zero energy dwelling at 8000 feet in the Rockies?  AND grow banana there!

Project

Amory Lovins Uber Solar Home (Colorado)

Credits: ©2009 Jeffrey Ball / Wall Street Journal

At about 8,000 feet elevation, Rocky Mountain Institute founder Amory Lovins' house (RMI's original headquarters) serves as an office and a showcase for the kind of ultra-efficient housing that is possible today. Though it was built in 1984, it was renovated and now includes additional solar panels that allow the building to produce more energy than it uses. The house is filled with a series of systems that are designed to get the most out of the building, and to make the space as liveable as possible. Lovins is apparently fond of saying that people who live in energy-efficient houses need not skimp on hot showers or cold beer. The Snowmass, Colorado-based Rocky Mountain Institute is a non-profit dedicated to promoting sustainability in three main areas: Energy, transportation and green buildings. Read below for Jeffrey Ball's article from the Wall Street Journal. (Scroll to bottom for additional resources.)

Amory Lovins House Colorado

Leading green thinker Amory Lovins of Rocky Mountain Institute lives in a solar home in Old Snowmass, Colorado that costs a miserly $5 per month to power, thanks to passive solar design, 16-inch-thick walls, xenon-filled windows and a pair of wood-burning stoves. The home is festooned with solar panels, and there's a passively controlled greenhouse that yields tropical fruit. Begun in 1982, the house was updated with LEDs, the latest energy-monitoring technology and other green tweaks.

http://www.solaripedia.com/13/220/2278/amory_lovins_house_colorado.html

IF/WHEN we move to Tasmania, it is my intention to emulate this house on a smaller scale.......

russiaways wrote:
 

Sometimes the vibe here actually reminds me of subtle pious self righteousness that also permeates Amory's RMI organization and I think that take is just another angle on the inherant optimism that draws me to learn from both places.  He convinced me long ago of the value of insulation, lighting, power efficiency etc, and now Chris has opened my eyes to the inefficiencies of our money, resource use and the possibilities of a joyful sustainable lifesyle on our planet.  I hope to see them both succeed in spreading their respective outlooks and don't think they are inherantly at odds with each other.

Hear hear.....  could not have said it better myself....  and the idea of Chris interviewing Lovins is GREAT!  Lovins might even learn something, as would the rest of you energy guzzlers...

Mike

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