Matt Simmons Dead

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Matt Simmons Dead

Matthew Simmons, an international oil expert who most recently focused on developing renewable energy from the waters off Maine, died Sunday night of an apparent heart attack, his office is reporting. He was 67.

Matthew Simmons was a leading energy investment banker, a former energy adviser to President George W. Bush, and author.

Simmons founded the Ocean Energy Institute in 2007, hosting a grand opening of its new office last month in Rockland. The  goal of the think tank and venture capital fund was to attract investment in research to make Maine a global leader in offshore wind and other ocean energy sources.

According to police reports, Simmons suffered a heart attack while in a hot tub at his home on North Haven. An autopsy is planned for today in Augusta, according to the Knox County Sheriff's Office.

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Re: Matt Simmons Dead

This is certainly sad.  I learned a lot from Matt's book "Twilight in the Desert" and I had the opportunity to meet him a couple of times.

Sorry to hear of his passing.

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Re: Matt Simmons Dead

The conspiracy theorists will have a heyday with this.  Looking at unretouched photos of Matt leads me to believe he may not be unfamiliar with adult beverages.  At 67 Matt was no Spring chicken or the image of perfect health.  Put Matt in a hot tub (causing vascular expansion) add alcohol (vascular expansion) and the possibility of a heart attack rises by a huge factor.  But perhaps like an artist his death will raise the net value of his peak oil predictions - though many have already been "de-bunked" and we are well past many of his dire predictions time wise.

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Re: Matt Simmons Dead

Yobob - I believe you are almost certainly right about the beverages...they have a distinctive physical toll.  May also partially explain the wild rhetoric and theories espoused towards the end?  I hate to suspect as much, but it's a possibility.

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Re: Matt Simmons Dead

One of the guys that worked for me was a pretty heavy drinker - massive heart attack a few months back - dead at 61.  No hot tub requjired.

Some of Simmon's ravings over the last few months were pretty far out.  Having his own company "retire" him not too long ago is also indicative of something amiss. 

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Re: Matt Simmons Dead
yobob1 wrote:

The conspiracy theorists will have a heyday with this.  Looking at unretouched photos of Matt leads me to believe he may not be unfamiliar with adult beverages.  At 67 Matt was no Spring chicken or the image of perfect health.  Put Matt in a hot tub (causing vascular expansion) add alcohol (vascular expansion) and the possibility of a heart attack rises by a huge factor.  But perhaps like an artist his death will raise the net value of his peak oil predictions - though many have already been "de-bunked" and we are well past many of his dire predictions time wise.

I'm curious about why vascular expansion would cause a heart attack. Would it cause a blow out in a weak vein or artery, dislodge plaque?

Simmons got the details wrong fairly often, granted. He based many of his short term price predictions for oil exclusively on the strongest factor, diminishing global supply. He extrapolated from the macro into the micro and factored out other variables; the feedback systems, political considerations and the impact of derivatives, as well as the fickle action of speculative money flows. 

But his input  with regards peak oil  was crucial. He helped focus a spotlight on diminishing supply issues by garnering a lot of mainstream media attention.  He should be honoured and his passing should be mourned on those grounds alone.

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Re: Matt Simmons Dead

A few years ago, Simmons' former company formally separated itself from him and they have made recent assertions affirming that he has no official role in their company any longer. For whatever the reason (beverages???) it seems there might have been some conflict there at the end.

Simmons' Twilight in the Desert was one of the first, and still remains the best, Peak Oil books I've read. It was clear to me that he worked his butt off researching the issue and it was clear that he had a pretty good grasp of the Saudi oil system.

But I have to say that his bet regarding oil prices caused my confidence in him to weaken. With no real career or insider experience, I agreed with him initially, that prices were going UP and fast. Having gained a better grasp of the challenges we face, I reject this sort of closed minded, one sided view now. I think Simmons should have known a bit better. Still, many were wrong and it is always hard to time things, so this was not a big strike in my book.

With the recent BP oil blowout, I think it's clear that BP has not been totally upfront and I think it's pretty clear that the damage is greater than reported. But Simmons' claims seemed to always lack real data to back them up. It seemed to be pessimism for its own sake. And sensationalist language (e.g. "The Gulf of Mexico is completely destroyed") only serves to elicit emotional responses, and little more. Only time will tell if Simmons' concerns on a second leak play out...

I think perhaps his greatest contribution might be the offshore wind work he has done. Not only does this produce electricity, but it also desalinates water. There is little data on it, it seems, but if it works even a fraction as well as he has hyped it to be, I think it could be a valuable tool in our toolbox. I do hope that someone else will follow him and take up the reigns in developing our offshore wind.

Mike

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Re: Matt Simmons Dead

Matt Simmons went way out on a limb in regard to the BP blowout, with his dire warnings about a subsurface 'lake of oil' under the Gulf, a second blowout away from the main well bore, and so forth. People were asking several weeks ago -- would Matt really blow his credibility by making such statements, after a long and distinguished career? Or could he be right?

Now that his diagnosis seems to have been proven way off base, maybe Matt Simmons literally died of embarrassment, possibly helped along with some recreational and prescription depressants. Or perhaps he was already in 'cognitive transition' to the Other Side months ago, as he advocated nuking the well bore. [Just as I went nuts one night after an excess of polypharmacy, and found myself licking moonbeams through the window screen.] Presumably an autopsy will be performed.

Yobob, according to one source, 'at intoxicating levels, alcohol is a vasodilator (it causes blood vessels to relax and widen), but at even higher levels, it becomes a vasoconstrictor, shrinking the vessels and increasing blood pressure.' It would be nice to know at what BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) the transition takes place.

But either way, you can construct mortality scenarios: hypotension due to vasodilation causes unconsciousness, followed by sliding below the water line and drowning. That's why it's always advisable to share a hot tub with an attractive member of the opposite sex, who can perform 'pre-emptive CPR.' Laughing

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Re: Matt Simmons Dead

My number one complaint about any "alternative energy" plan is they simply won't pass economic muster without large subsidies.  If you so some checking, you'll find a lot of utility companies are increasing rates because of wind generation - even with the subsidies.

I'm unsure of peak oil at this point.  The assumptions of prices going to the moon flies in the face of a normal economic model that would choke off demand long before we hit a sustained $150/bl price (current dollar).  In fact I think the world is struggling hard at $80.  Without doubt US consumption has declined and it is probably a longer term trend as our "fleet" is becoming more efficient as well as the economic prospects for the intermediate to long term are about as bright as Matt Simmon's next hot tub party. If you look at China and other places, consumption has grown, but it is also subsidized by the govt.  I suspect their consumption might level off or possibly even decline if market price were a reality for the Chinese people.  Really this is where the whole Chinese model falls apart.  The rest of the industrialized world had virtually free oil as they grew to present size.  That benefit is gone now.   You can get a pretty good measurement of any economy by its energy use - I like to say economy = energy.  From that angle China is almost 100 years behind the rest of the industrialized world.

Matt no doubt added a lot to the discussion, but Simmons & Co. stood to make great gains the higher the price of oil went- so he certainly wouldn't pass the non-bias muster either.

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Re: Matt Simmons Dead
yobob1 wrote:

the economic prospects for the intermediate to long term are about as bright as Matt Simmon's next hot tub party. 

LaughingLaughingLaughing

 

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Re: Matt Simmons Dead
machinehead wrote:

 [Just as I went nuts one night after an excess of polypharmacy, and found myself licking moonbeams through the window screen.] Presumably an autopsy will be performed.

Laughing

Hope you go for the general anasthetic before hand!

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Re: Matt Simmons Dead
agitating prop wrote:
machinehead wrote:

 [Just as I went nuts one night after an excess of polypharmacy, and found myself licking moonbeams through the window screen.] Presumably an autopsy will be performed.

Laughing

Hope you go for the general anasthetic before hand!

Believe me, I was feeling no pain! Cool

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Matt Simmons was a gentleman and a scholar

I only met Matt Simmons once, at the first British Peak Oil conference in 2004.

He was courteous, modest, charming and extremely knowlegeable.  I subsquently used to joke that he was as far from the stereotype of a Texan Republican Oil banker as it was possible to get.  His book Twilight in the Desert is an extremely good one.

I think it would be more humane to mourn the passing of a decent and morally courageous man, than make unpleasant speculations  about the state of his arteries.  Matt SImmons was one of the people who put Peak Oil on the map, and we should be cognisant of that, and recognise his contribution to the ongoing debate.

RIP Matt

 

 

 

 

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Re: Matt Simmons Dead

Agitating Prop

An adequate blood pressure or perfusion pressure is necessary to keep the vital organs (including the heart) alive.  Anything that causes vasodilation will potentially lower the blood pressure.  If a person has stenotic (narrowed)  and sclerotic (stiff) arteries in their heart, he or she is  more senstivie to an acute drop in blood pressure.  Such a person may require a higher pressure to get the blood through those arteries to the heart muscle tissue.  Getting in a hot tub for example will cause significant vasodilation, with a lot of blood circulating to the skin.  thus less blood or plasma is available to flow to the vital organs.  If that tissue is not adequately perfused, the tissue dies.  The same thing can happen with an ischemic stroke.

Brian 

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Re: Matt Simmons Dead

It'll be interesting to see if some of his most aggressive claims come to be true (huge lakes of oil sitting on the bottom).  

Sad to see at this age.  Pray that I'm able to keep upright a lot longer!

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Re: Matt Simmons Dead
agitating prop wrote:
yobob1 wrote:

The conspiracy theorists will have a heyday with this.  Looking at unretouched photos of Matt leads me to believe he may not be unfamiliar with adult beverages.  At 67 Matt was no Spring chicken or the image of perfect health.  Put Matt in a hot tub (causing vascular expansion) add alcohol (vascular expansion) and the possibility of a heart attack rises by a huge factor.  But perhaps like an artist his death will raise the net value of his peak oil predictions - though many have already been "de-bunked" and we are well past many of his dire predictions time wise.

I'm curious about why vascular expansion would cause a heart attack. Would it cause a blow out in a weak vein or artery, dislodge plaque?

Simmons got the details wrong fairly often, granted. He based many of his short term price predictions for oil exclusively on the strongest factor, diminishing global supply. He extrapolated from the macro into the micro and factored out other variables; the feedback systems, political considerations and the impact of derivatives, as well as the fickle action of speculative money flows. 

But his input  with regards peak oil  was crucial. He helped focus a spotlight on diminishing supply issues by garnering a lot of mainstream media attention.  He should be honoured and his passing should be mourned on those grounds alone.

Yeah, I was wondering the same thing. lol

When I worked the ambulance rig, and later the trauma center, we almost always gave vasodialators as a treatment, partcularly NTG drips. 

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Re: Matt Simmons Dead
bluestone wrote:

Agitating Prop

An adequate blood pressure or perfusion pressure is necessary to keep the vital organs (including the heart) alive.  Anything that causes vasodilation will potentially lower the blood pressure.  If a person has stenotic (narrowed)  and sclerotic (stiff) arteries in their heart, he or she is  more senstivie to an acute drop in blood pressure.  Such a person may require a higher pressure to get the blood through those arteries to the heart muscle tissue.  Getting in a hot tub for example will cause significant vasodilation, with a lot of blood circulating to the skin.  thus less blood or plasma is available to flow to the vital organs.  If that tissue is not adequately perfused, the tissue dies.  The same thing can happen with an ischemic stroke.

Brian 

That makes sense. Thanks. So tell me, does increased vascular capacity result in increased cardiac workload to compensate? 

That indeed would make a lot of sense. 

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Re: Matt Simmons Dead

Evidence has surfaced that suggest that Matt was right - there are two wells.  If this is so, you have to wonder what else he was right about.

Document - PDF download

!

Larry

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Re: Matt Simmons was a gentleman and a scholar
julianj wrote:

I only met Matt Simmons once, at the first British Peak Oil conference in 2004.

He was courteous, modest, charming and extremely knowlegeable.  I subsquently used to joke that he was as far from the stereotype of a Texan Republican Oil banker as it was possible to get.  His book Twilight in the Desert is an extremely good one.

I think it would be more humane to mourn the passing of a decent and morally courageous man, than make unpleasant speculations  about the state of his arteries.  Matt SImmons was one of the people who put Peak Oil on the map, and we should be cognisant of that, and recognise his contribution to the ongoing debate.

RIP Matt

Response:

It's possible to do both. Nobody on this thread wrote anything really mean about Matt Simmons. To speculate that his BP "lakes of oil" theory, was linked to a lake of alcohol in his system, might not be far off the mark. Machinehead's comment that he may have died of embarrassment  may be essentially true.

Hot tubs should come with a warning, advising people to avoid both alcohol and public humiliation before soaking! The problem for Simmons and many who step outside the mainstream, is their critical thinking becomes compromised.  They enter a magical garden of information that isn't carefully vetted. For Simmons, the jumping off point was his carefully assessed theory that oil had peaked. It's common for independent thinkers who are pre-conditioned by the success of their original idea to begin equating truth with any body of thought that is unpopular, shunned. The brightest are just as vulnerable to this kind of polarity in reason, as the clearly stupid. It's just human nature. Simmons could have died from and excess of alcohol and human nature and a heart condition. He's worthy of no less respect for being deeply human.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Re: Matt Simmons Dead
bluestone wrote:

Agitating Prop

An adequate blood pressure or perfusion pressure is necessary to keep the vital organs (including the heart) alive.  Anything that causes vasodilation will potentially lower the blood pressure.  If a person has stenotic (narrowed)  and sclerotic (stiff) arteries in their heart, he or she is  more senstivie to an acute drop in blood pressure.  Such a person may require a higher pressure to get the blood through those arteries to the heart muscle tissue.  Getting in a hot tub for example will cause significant vasodilation, with a lot of blood circulating to the skin.  thus less blood or plasma is available to flow to the vital organs.  If that tissue is not adequately perfused, the tissue dies.  The same thing can happen with an ischemic stroke.

Brian 

Thanks so much for taking the time, Bluestone.  This is very interesting. I had my bp taken the other day and it was 98/52. I'll be avoiding hot tubs, for sure!

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Re: Matt Simmons Dead

Here is a link that a coworker sent me. It is the only source I have found that provides an actual explanation of the Simmons-style concerns. It indicates that there is a subsurface region that contains gas and oil and is not fully stable. Any penetration of the region can create problems. THis is a well written piece with additional links, diagrams, etc. It is not the out of breath hype that Simmons dished out, but it seems in general agreement with him that there is the potential for a lot of seepage. Only time will tell what the future holds, but this article does make one good point: the faster BP and the media clear out of there, the faster we face a blackout in terms of monitoring the seafloor's condition. BP has no incentive to stick around any longer than it absolutely needs to.

http://bklim.newsvine.com/_news/2010/07/30/4781973-why-is-bps-macondo-blowout-so-disastrous-beyond-patch-up-

 

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Re: Matt Simmons Dead

Mike,

I was unable to access the info as I think your link missed a character, but this worked:

http://bklim.newsvine.com/_news/2010/07/30/4781973-why-is-bps-macondo-blowout-so-disastrous-beyond-patch-up-

Look forward to reading it, thanks!

Larry

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Re: Matt Simmons Dead

thanks Larry, you got it. my apologies for the bad link!

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V
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Re: Matt Simmons Dead

Matt "Wellstone" Simmons?

V

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Re: Matt Simmons Dead

 

The youtube videos on page two of this thread raise some very important questions. 

Apparently, BP had applied to drill two wells, A and B.  According to an interview on 60 Minutes, BP had drilled a first well and capped it.  The second well that they were drilling is the one that blew up - was it an second attempt to drill "Well A" or was it "Well B"?   It appears that the well we are watching on tv is "Well A", based on the coordinates.   Is it possible that "Well B" blew up and we are watching BP work on "Well A"?  If the well blew up, wouldn't it also have blown up the BOP, etc. that we are looking at on tv?

This brings up some important questions.  Thank you for posting the videos!

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Re: Matt Simmons Dead

Morpheus

typically when the vascular capacity increases (secondary to vasodilation), the heart responds with an increase in heart rate.  So that does increase the cardiac output (or cardiac workload).  That situation however, could potentially put more strain on the heart.  Normally when the body senses that the blood pressure is too low, the peripheral vessels (those going to the extremities, skin, tip of the nose, etc) will clamp down, thus keeping the blood volume circulating in the vital organs.  Sitting in a hot tub is a potential Catch-22 for the body.  the peripheral blood  vessels dilate and shunt blood to the skin to try to cool the body down.  But if the blood pressure is too low and heart tissue is not being perfused well, the peripheral vessels need to do the exact opposite.  

 

Brian

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