Tuesday, May 18, 2010

SAR #10138

Hell must be a very large place.

Progress:  According to our man with the Afghans,  “Nobody is winning.” Of course General McChrystal – who was supposed to be the man with the plan – says the problem is the fault of the corrupt Karzai regime we installed in Kabul.

Responsibility:  Five days after appearing before Congress and saying they were not responsible for the disaster, Transocean has meet their responsibilities to their stockholders by declaring over $1 billion in dividend payouts.  Next they divide the assets among the execs and declare bankruptcy.  Shazam.

Switch Hitters:  In April, 44% of the country wanted a Republican Congress while 41% favored the Dems.  Now 45% want the Dems and only 40% want the GOP.  But 66% want somebody new.  The more the certifiable crazies take over the GOP, the poorer they do at the polls.

Payback:  For BP, even success is a failure.  BP's Thunder Horse production platform cost $1 billion and was expected to produce 250,000 bpd.  The best it has achieved was 172,000 bpd in January 2009.  By December it was down to 61,000 bpd and falling by 3% a month even though new wells are being brought on line. At least 25 deepwater wells show similar rapid declines in productivity.

Darn:  Turns out those lazy, self-indulgent Greeks work more than the Germans do, and Greek households owe less than the Germans, too.

Gap is as Gap Does: The EIA's newly released Outlook 2010 is not comforting:  Hidden in 220 dense pages of charts and tables is this:  By 2015 the gap between production and demand will be abut 10 million barrels a day.  But don't worry, they say the gap will be filled by “Unidentified projects.”  Like Deepwater Horizon...

Educated Plan:  Instead of spending four years and $50,000 picking up a useless degree, a lot of  – perhaps most – students would be better off learning how to actually work, to communicate, how to behave in the workplace and then going out and doing.  Even at base wages they'd be better off than the unemployed/unemployable graduates who can't get a job and can't pay back their student loans with whatever pittance they do manage to earn.  Just another debt trap.

Record Records:  According to NASA-GISS's data, this was the hottest April, the hottest Jan – April and a new record high global 12-month temperature.  As of April, the atmospheric CO2 level is 392.39 ppm, up 2.93 ppm y/y.  Back in the 1950's the yearly increase was less than 1 ppm. And new research shows that increased CO2 levels are not good for plants and trees, either.

Discussion: The Headline read “Regulation: Is The U.S. Set To Damage The Only Industry Actually Making Money?”  In what fantasy land can the banksters be the only ones making money?

Gone Fishing:  According to the UN, fish will disappear from the oceans within the next 40 years.  Some blame will go to global warming, some to pollution, but most to simple greed – we are taking more fish than is sustainable.  Once they're gone, the billion humans that rely on fish for sustenance will be gone, too.

Chew Your Food:  The larger an animal is, the more time it spends eating. And if that's not sufficient, the animal stops chewing and resorts to gulping as much as possible as often as possible as fast as possible.  We're talking about those giant dinosaurs – who did you think we were talking about? You been hanging out at Wally World?


mistah charley, ph.d. said...

Fewer fish - this seems like a perfect example of the tragedy of the commons, and an argument for world government.

It's too bad that more carbon dioxide won't promote plant growth.

Re long-necked gulping dinosaurs - this is interesting and it makes sense. However, I don't think it's a general principle that "the larger an animal is the more time it spends eating." For warm-blooded animals, heat loss by radiation goes down at size increases (surface area goes up as the square of linear size, but heat-generating mass goes up as the cube). And it depends on WHAT they eat - pandas spend all day eating because they eat low-nutrient-density plant food, while cats of all sizes can lie around after eating meat (or Fancy Feast Shrimp and Cod Medley, in the case of my own cat).

Dink said...

"they say the gap will be filled by “Unidentified projects".


kwark said...

Re: Educated Plan Unfortunately the $50 grand is more likely to be closer to $80K. Equally unfortunate is this little catch-22 - the "learning how to actually work, to communicate, how to behave in the workplace and then going out and doing" part is even harder to achieve without the degree unless you're interested in a career in retail food-service or widget assembly. Maybe that'll change . . . but for now, where I work we actually hire college students (at cut-rate wages) and if they "work-out" have the option of keeping them on when they graduate. They learn the ropes, get a dose of reality, and we get to judge if they can handle reality. But HS grads need not apply. It's a cruel world.