Saturday, May 4, 2013

How do you put a price on insanity, exactly?

There's an article put out by The Economist a couple of days ago which is causing all kinds of debate. It raises the question of what's seen as a bit of a contradiction, that either government's are not serious about climate change or that the oil companies which continue to value themselves based on their recoverable reserves must be overvalued.

This premise derives from the idea that if governments and oil companies were serious about climate change then energy companies would be valued accordingly by not including reserves which would not be burned.

I'd like to weigh in on this debate as it's both important unto itself and also provides plenty of places of entry into other incredibly important and undeniably linked issues.

First of all I'll state my position, the entire argument is flawed and perhaps more importantly exists within a bubble inflated with ideology about the free market which doesn't exist, and the supposed 'duty' people feel oil companies will service regardless of cost. I've explained once before why even if we did have a "free market" that it is impossible that the free market could facilitate some sort of voluntary energy transition.

I would assert that both claims are true, it is not an either/or situation, but rather both are true at the same time. Even stranger though, I would also assert that both claims are false - also at the same time. We'll address these points directly before tying it all in to the bigger picture.

Governments are not serious about climate change
Governments are serious about climate change

How can this both be true and false at the same time? I guess it depends on your definition of "serious". For instance, from the 2012 budget I noted:
A few other paragraphs confirm for me that the government believes fully in climate change and that it is occurring now and is inevitable as earlier signs have indicated.
Canada’s Economic Action Plan laid the groundwork to establish a world-class research station in the North. As announced by the Prime Minister in August 2010, the station will be located in Cambridge Bay. Once established, the station will provide a year-round presence in the region and anchor the network of research infrastructure across Canada’s North, making a significant contribution towards the Government’s Northern Strategy. The Government will be announcing next steps in the establishment of the Canadian High Arctic Research Station in the coming months.
Combine the link, the "research station", and the explicit mission we have for research directly from section 3.1:
The Government’s science and technology strategy, Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada’s Advantage, emphasizes the importance of ensuring that federally supported research contributes to the commercialization of new products, processes and services that create high-value jobs and economic growth. Guided by this strategy, the Government provides significant resources to support research, development and technology.
It's not unreasonable to assume the research station will be heavily involved in arctic mining research as that's one of few products, services, or processes that can be commercialized. This compliments another paragraph in regards to climate change (from the section on GMO research):
•Increasing the competitiveness of the forest industry. Spruce trees are the most widely used species in Canada’s forest plantations. Researchers at Université Laval are working to develop tools and protocols that make it possible to select high-performance spruce trees with better quality wood and high potential to adapt to climate change. Government and industry have partnered to transfer molecular breeding technology to commercial application across a broader range of tree species, to increase the competitiveness of the Canadian forest industry.
I'm more convinced than ever now that the government's climate change strategy is adaptation and not prevention (indeed I believe they believe it is now impossible to prevent). Take note of the wording "better quality wood with high potential to adapt to climate change". It's current tense and matter-of-fact. I anticipate most policy will be geared towards adaptation with climate change simply becoming a reality.
The government is very "serious" about climate change, they also are very "serious" about economic development and growth. Being serious doesn't mean there are plans to address it (as in a solution), it can just as easily mean their plans are to address it are to adapt to it.

Energy companies are over-valued
Energy companies are under-valued

The fundamental flaw here is that we are "valuing" energy based on supply and demand, which when it comes to energy over-simplifies a very complex resource.

In example: Let's say that you lived 500 years ago and you had a cart that weighed roughly the same as a car. You need to push that cart 10km to get your water, or food, or something from town. Now let's say you're a person living today, who has to drive a car 10km to get the modern equivalent of those items. Has the value of your trip changed?

You can accomplish things today it would take Kings to accomplish in the past. 500 years ago you'd need slaves, horses, etc, to accomplish 1/100th of what we've accomplished today and yet our value of energy is only of the day. So how can energy companies both be undervalued and overvalued at the same time?

For the "overvalued" we will look at Alberta's oilsands and the so-called "bitumen bubble". Up until the "bitumen bubble" the value of Albertan bitumen (which is very expensive to produce) was very high. This was caused by energy demand in the U.S. but ever since their so-called fracking revolution the value in our bitumen has dropped significantly because it is perhaps the most expensive energy to produce and has little added return. However with tight energy supplies that small return is incredibly invaluable. The moment however that a (what is claimed to be) cheaper supply comes online, the value evaporated. Was the value even there to begin with?

For the under-valued argument we will actually look at the so-called fracking revolution.

Crude Falls as U.S. Supplies Climb to 82-Year High

The price of crude is (for the moment) collapsing due to the sudden rush for fracking profit. However, do you believe this price represents the value of crude? Keep in mind that they are fracking a finite resource. What do you think that barrel of crude will be worth 50 years from now? What is the value of the current temporary over-supply to the generations of the future? We are using the rules of the past to buoy the present at the cost of the future. The 82year energy surplus record exists only because we've taken this energy from the future generations. This should be invaluable, priceless, but because of the way our modern economics works with growth as the be-all, end-all" of prosperity this over-supply has resulted in the depressed price of a resource generations in the future may well be rioting over.

The fracking boom's "monkey-see, monkey-do, follow the leader" gold rush is really to our own detriment, taking from the future at the costs of the present is absolute insanity.

Coming back to climate change, the insanity of our need for growth and reflex-action markets extends also to our "seriousness" about climate change. We are very serious about adapting because we will not be changing. We won't be changing for the same reason we won't leave the resources in the ground for future generations.

EVERYTHING we are doing to "sustain growth" right now is at the expense of the future and when you see your energy and poverty stricken children in the future just remember all the good times that consumer debt bought.

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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for eQube gaming systems.

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

20 comments:

  1. We realized the cat was among the pigeons four or five years ago when two independent studies reached remarkably similar conclusions as to the remaining atmospheric greenhouse gas "carrying capacity" if warming was to be kept within the 2C target.

    Once the math was done we had a reasonably accurate forecast of how many gigatonnes of emissions remained to be exploited.

    The larger question at that point was who would get how much of that remaining capacity? How can it be apportioned?

    The poor and vulnerable countries, with their low per capita emissions, argued that it should be allocated equally, per capita. They were willing to "spot" the developed world on the existing atmospheric greenhouse gases since the Industrial Revolution if only because it was pointless not to. So they said, "forget about the past, let's share the atmosphere equally from here on in." Wow, forgiveness and equity.

    But if we accepted the idea that the atmosphere should be treated as a genuine commons to which all people on earth should be entitled equally we in the developed countries would be in a position where we would have to heavily decarbonize our economies and our societies in very short order. That alone prevents us from accepting the notion of the atmosphere as a commons.

    What the developed world and the emerging economies are quietly trying to do is to maintain a virtual monopoly on remaining carrying capacity. We'll make hollow gestures on alternative, clean energies and measures such as carbon capture and sequestration. The American people would see anything else as the unearned transfer of wealth to the undeserving... utter socialism.

    I tend to agree with Australian Tim Flannery that achieving effective action against AGW and associated challenges is going to necessitate our civilization transcending tribalism to achieve the level of cooperation required to solve our problems. Yet Americans see themselves as Americans, Russians as Russians, Canadians as Canadians - this national tribalism courses through our veins. It also underlies the current American approach that each nation should be allowed to independently do what it deems best to arrest climate change.

    Unfortunately, our civilization isn't moving in the right direction to overcome our self-imposed limitations.

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  2. Dude, you totally just wasted what should have been a post on a comment! Great stuff :)

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  3. I read the Economist article with great interest. I am an environmentalist, and I was also trained as a financial analyst, so I have actually constructed financial pricing models before. I share your concerns for the future, but your post is not really relevant to the questions raised in the article. The reason I say this is because you are focusing on changes in the price, and or underlying values over time, and assuming these things are not being valued by the markets.
    Analysts price, or value financial assets (such as energy reserves) through models that are extremely sensitive to three major factors. Real Interest rates, Risks, and cash flows. In essence, a flow of money over time gets converted into a price today, on the spot. This is how a bond, or a loan gets priced. How much is the monthly payment for a $10,000 loan for example, where the monthly payment is the flow, which determines the amount of the loan. Analysts look long and hard at the cash that will be generated over the entire operating life of an asset. They then attempt to quantify the risks as to whether or not those putative values will actually happen. Those risks, once quantified will show up in the pricing model as a 'risk premium' which is a discount factor. Since in the case of carbon we are thinking about cash flows over many many years, even small changes in the expecetd cash flows, or small changes in the risk premium get magnified by their impact year over year on net cash flows. It`s like your mortgage, when interest rates drop a lot, it has a huge impact on how much you can borrow with a fixed monthly payment, because the change is magnified over time.
    In essence, the Ecomomist article is saying that the analysts valueing reserves are either making an error in calculating the time frame, and quantity of carbon that will be sold,(cash flows) or they are knowingly making the decision that it shall in fact all get burned, despite whatever governments are saying.(risk premium) I promise you, there is nothing controversial in the actual models they are constructing, and the methods of valuing cash flows over time. Believe me, an incorrect model means a huge scandal, like when a dopctor amputates the wrong arm. The controversy lies in the implied fact that analysts are making a very very hard nosed calculation that we shall burn it to the last drop. You want to know the conclusion I make from reading this article, that conclusion is that there is probably a middle ground, we shall burn much more than we should, but will stop when the consequences are unbearable (too late probably). Sell Oil shares quick my friend, this analysis demonstrates that the analysts are probably not valueing `political risks`very well!

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  4. I'm actually not saying the model itself is controversial, I'm more trying to say that perhaps the questions being asked are being asked from within a very specific point of view, one that perhaps on paper under current economic ideology seems to make sense but in reality is not properly calculating the risk at all.

    For instance, is the risk of how much will need to be burned to repay current debts with real wealth being factored in? Once the next generation pays this generations debt, how much of that resource will be left for their own wealth, and what will that be worth?

    My main problem with your thesis is that it depends on the "free market", which I think we've all seen with LIBOR and energy manipulation doesn't actually exist. The idea that markets are properly accounting for long term energy risk is directly opposed by the numerous "peak oil is dead" articles that have come out in response to the fracking boom. It's not dead, in fact the theory is validated by the turn to fracking: http://canadiantrends.blogspot.ca/2013/03/one-big-fracking-mess.html

    The reality is the markets right now believe we're in a new energy revolution, and are calculating that risk accordingly. Of course the problem with the "energy revolution" is that the revolution energy is of a lower quality than conventional energy. No energy revolution has ever occurred due to a lower quality energy source. Wood -> Coal -> Oil -> Lesser oil? I don't think so.

    I stick by my original conclusion, that we significantly both underprice and overprice our energy at the same time, that the whole idea of "value" itself is skewed. The model fits the infinite growth economy, it's not the model that's flawed, it's the economy they're basing it on.

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  5. I have a question.
    "How do you put a price on insanity, exactly?"

    How does that relate, exactly?

    See, folk like the sound of words. Imagine this scenario: Assad wants to fire a shot into the rebel's efforts, below the water-line, so he arranges for a group of his thugs to declare themselves Al Qua'eda, then they say they're fighting with the rebels. Alongside the rebels.

    CBC and such says "a group reported to be allied with the rebels is Al Qua'eda" ...
    ... and what do nice Canadian kids say? They call that evidence that the rebels are Al Qua'eda. Complicated enough, too much, "nice" kidz around the world spread propaganda.

    So, tell me: what's the "insanity" you're talking about? and are you talking "cost" or "consequences"?
    And what does this relate to?

    p.s. this is not flattering. so you'll feel offended. that's what it is to be human. to have authenticity, you'd say to. to have integrity, you wouldn't allow that to affect your judgment. "What matters is what a person truly wants." I believe that. Cuz it's fact. What do other people think? They think it's rubbish. So ... you wanna talk about insanity? or not?

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  6. " the whole idea of "value" itself is skewed."
    Of course it's skewed. There's how those who profit value things, and then there's how those who live with the consequences value things.

    This was true when we built the pyramids.
    What's the problem? that each generation has been so brain-tripped that they have to figure it out as though re-inventing the wheel. That's the opposite of culture. That's the opposite of wisdom. Realizing that is, maybe, the beginning of wisdom.

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  7. Hi Bernard, glad you're enjoying my blog.

    ~~
    I have a question.
    "How do you put a price on insanity, exactly?"

    How does that relate, exactly?
    ~~

    From my post:
    ----------------------
    The fracking boom's "monkey-see, monkey-do, follow the leader" gold rush is really to our own detriment, taking from the future at the costs of the present is absolute insanity.
    ----------------------

    Which is in reference of course to an earlier section:
    ----------------------
    The price of crude is (for the moment) collapsing due to the sudden rush for fracking profit. However, do you believe this price represents the value of crude? Keep in mind that they are fracking a finite resource. What do you think that barrel of crude will be worth 50 years from now? What is the value of the current temporary over-supply to the generations of the future? We are using the rules of the past to buoy the present at the cost of the future. The 82year energy surplus record exists only because we've taken this energy from the future generations
    ----------------------

    It relates because this is the topic of this post.

    ~~
    See, folk like the sound of words. Imagine this scenario: Assad wants to fire a shot into the rebel's efforts, below the water-line, so he arranges for a group of his thugs to declare themselves Al Qua'eda, then they say they're fighting with the rebels. Alongside the rebels.
    ~~

    Actually, my writing sucks, I'm fairly sure my readers enjoy this blog (if they enjoy it) because folk like facts, not stories like your story which you've provided no sources to back up. The CBC article you are refuting is a source. Of course since you are new to this blog you have absolutely no idea that I've been covering that story for almost 8 months:

    http://canadiantrends.blogspot.ca/2012/08/cfr-syrian-rebels-would-be-immeasurably.html - The source for this post is not CBC, it's the Council on Foreign Relations.

    ~~
    " the whole idea of "value" itself is skewed."
    Of course it's skewed. There's how those who profit value things, and then there's how those who live with the consequences value things.

    This was true when we built the pyramids.
    What's the problem? that each generation has been so brain-tripped that they have to figure it out as though re-inventing the wheel. That's the opposite of culture. That's the opposite of wisdom. Realizing that is, maybe, the beginning of wisdom.
    ~~

    I'm not saying it hasn't been that way since then. What I am saying in this post is not just a general stab at the value system. Preserving energy and infrastructure given the current situation and using it as intelligently as possible I think is in everyone's best interest - rich and poor. What I'm saying here is we're not in the age of the pyramids and if we want to keep the wheels of our society moving then we need to start treating energy a lot differently, and respect it. Not exploiting it for bottom basement prices so that we can pay off fraudulent debts. Our infrastructure is extremely complex and as the financial situation deteriorates further will be prone to increasing points of failure.

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  8. 1 of 2 ... hit the 4K limit

    "taking from the future at the costs of the present is absolute insanity"
    Well ... I bet you could develop that into a cogent criticism of exploitative practices. But as stated, it's just Twitter hyperbole. Bumper-sticker logic.

    Of course we can't run at a deficit forever. That goes without saying. Or, rather, it should.

    But, see, my problem is more systemic: talking about technical things in a fuzzy way. Doesn't work with physics. Or chemistry. Nor with economics.
    "do you believe this price represents the value of crude?" Define "value". And as soon as you do, you're speaking for a particular point of view.
    Which, by the way, is how we progress: by consciously taking a specific position and speaking precisely as we can with that perspective. Done authentically, it's good intellectual work. Inauthentically, in bad faith, it's just old-fashion bullshit ... look up "hermetic".
    But all you get from blurring thing is arguments that seem to work. And that sort of argument gets supporters ... and attention ... and even money ... and electoral success. What it doesn't get is policies that actually work. It's like buying the game when you're playing poker.

    All depends what a person really wants, right?
    Is why when I bloviate, I do it without pretending to anything else.

    "What do you think that barrel of crude will be worth 50 years from now?" I wouldn't pretend to that sort of crystal ball. You?

    "Preserving energy and infrastructure given the current situation and using it as intelligently as possible I think is in everyone's best interest - rich and poor." Once upon a time that position would be described as conservative. Humbling, how things change, isn't it. (Point: those who can't be bothered with history tend to think in terms of bumper-sticker slogans. The social ROI can't be beat!)
    So, how's that crystal ball doing? ;p

    "we're not in the age of the pyramids" Ohhhh really. Care to specify how things are fundamentally different? you mean that they had technology and we have technology but our technology is way more fun?
    heh ... spelling that sort of thing out actually clarifies a lot of thing. And the bumper-stickers start looking like 3000 year old graffiti.

    "we need to start treating energy a lot differently, and respect it." Ummmmm ... yes?
    And you figure a lotta folk will disagree with you on that?
    Oh, hey, some will ... some will object to your attitude, totally ignore the point, and hang you out to dry as a liberal/commie.

    "Our infrastructure is extremely complex and as the financial situation deteriorates further will be prone to increasing points of failure." I agree, kind of. You have to shift focus. You're becoming enthralled by finance. But, I think, your whole point is that the systems rests on material fundamentals i.e. resources, not just markets.
    But mark this: the wealthy have everything they need in order to live in luxury while the planet spirals into unimaginable catastrophe. Hence my use of #GlobalGulag.


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  9. Throwing rocks is easy. And, lord knows, sometimes it seems the appropriate thing to do. Depends what a body truly wants.

    So long as oligarchs can manipulate rule of law, all bets are off. So long as citizens satisfy themselves with bumper-sticker slogans and celebrate as though being a mob is the kewlest thing evahr, we remain in danger of dire consequences.
    Al-qua'eda ain't clumsy. And Taliban aren't primitive animals. There's no reason home-grown extremism can't take power. The only thing standing in the way? Citizens saying we're sick and tired of nonsense!
    #AttentionEconomy is about buying into one sort of nonsense or another.

    Wanna treat macro-economics? okie dokie ... good luck on that.

    Wanna treat social justice? proper thing. that shit plays out in front of our faces every day of our lives.

    All comes down to what a person truly wants. Period.

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  10. ~~
    "taking from the future at the costs of the present is absolute insanity"
    Well ... I bet you could develop that into a cogent criticism of exploitative practices. But as stated, it's just Twitter hyperbole. Bumper-sticker logic.
    ~~

    No, it isn't: http://canadiantrends.blogspot.ca/2013/03/one-big-fracking-mess.html

    I provide an example of value here, I am not defining it, I'm asking your point of you. Hence why I ask in a question format:
    -------------
    In example: Let's say that you lived 500 years ago and you had a cart that weighed roughly the same as a car. You need to push that cart 10km to get your water, or food, or something from town. Now let's say you're a person living today, who has to drive a car 10km to get the modern equivalent of those items. Has the value of your trip changed?
    -------------

    ~~
    "What do you think that barrel of crude will be worth 50 years from now?" I wouldn't pretend to that sort of crystal ball. You?
    ~~

    You're completely missing the point of this question.

    ~~
    "Preserving energy and infrastructure given the current situation and using it as intelligently as possible I think is in everyone's best interest - rich and poor." Once upon a time that position would be described as conservative. Humbling, how things change, isn't it. (Point: those who can't be bothered with history tend to think in terms of bumper-sticker slogans. The social ROI can't be beat!)
    So, how's that crystal ball doing? ;p
    ~~

    I'm not actually "left-wing" or "progressive". I am simply aggregated on progressivebloggers.ca. I come out against NDP, Liberal, and Conservative alike. You really need to read more of my blog before assuming my position on everything.

    ~~
    "Our infrastructure is extremely complex and as the financial situation deteriorates further will be prone to increasing points of failure." I agree, kind of. You have to shift focus. You're becoming enthralled by finance. But, I think, your whole point is that the systems rests on material fundamentals i.e. resources, not just markets.
    ~~

    No, actually, that is my point you are correct. Again, my entire blog is on these sorts of topics, that Syria post was more or less an "exception" as I wanted an answer and very little information was available. I leveraged my blog to aquire information in that instance. However, normally, this is the sort of information I talk about.

    This post is simply weighing in directly on what I felt was a far too simplistic take on the situation to begin with.

    I'm not enthralled by finance, however at this stage it is in the financial system that we are going to see the breakdown take place I believe and because of this lately it's been the primary focus. Although again, what we're actuall focused on here are the resources.

    Also, when I refer to the financial system I'm not just talking about markets. I'm also talking about less and less money for maintenance, the extension of nuclear facilities beyond their lifetime, etc.

    ~~
    Al-qua'eda ain't clumsy. And Taliban aren't primitive animals. There's no reason home-grown extremism can't take power. The only thing standing in the way? Citizens saying we're sick and tired of nonsense!
    ~~

    I actually agree with you: http://canadiantrends.blogspot.ca/2012/10/the-reality-of-real-change.html

    ~~
    Wanna treat macro-economics? okie dokie ... good luck on that.

    Wanna treat social justice? proper thing. that shit plays out in front of our faces every day of our lives.
    ~~

    I write about both and a lot more. Really whatever is on my mind.

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  11. The way individuals assess value is, of course, a matter of their own experience. It's subjective. One person might be thrilled by the occasional hamburger while another might be totally bored with anything other than haute cuisine. And politics that don't take that into account (like technocrats, with spreadsheet economism instead of human factors) can only lead to dehumanization.
    But I think the point is that we need to do accounting more precisely. Ecological footprint is one way to do that. Some people's "normal" burns through a thousand times as much resources as someone else's decent living.
    Which is why I asked about how you use the term "value".

    You can say I missed the point of your question. But in fact that just gives you pretext for ignoring mine.

    Bumper-sticker slogans don't shed light on that. We are very rarely inspired or moved by what we find inside fortune cookies.

    "Left-wing" or "progressive"? Assuming your position? I wrote nothing of the sort.
    Looks like you found another rationale for ignoring what I did write.

    "No, actually, that is my point you are correct." I always notice when someone is so compelled to disagree that they start sentences with "no" even when the sentence means "yes".

    "it is in the financial system that we are going to see the breakdown take place"" Sure, we can always point to the financial system rather than attending to root causes. If we run out of oil, some folk will concentrate on finances. If we run out of fresh water, they will do the same.
    It all comes down to what a person really means.

    keep on keepin' on!
    ^5
    --ben

    p.s. you might want to try using some basic HTML in your writing. I mean instead of using tildes and such.
    <b>bold</b> and <i>italics</b> are handy. Better ... let's see if blogspot still allows <blockquote> Nope ... blocked that bit.
    HeyHo

    ReplyDelete
  12. ~~
    The way individuals assess value is, of course, a matter of their own experience. It's subjective. One person might be thrilled by the occasional hamburger while another might be totally bored with anything other than haute cuisine. And politics that don't take that into account (like technocrats, with spreadsheet economism instead of human factors) can only lead to dehumanization.
    But I think the point is that we need to do accounting more precisely. Ecological footprint is one way to do that. Some people's "normal" burns through a thousand times as much resources as someone else's decent living.
    Which is why I asked about how you use the term "value".

    You can say I missed the point of your question. But in fact that just gives you pretext for ignoring mine.
    ~~

    You took a single sentence out of the paragraph out of context. It's not an exact answer to the question which is important, you've completely missed the point of asking it. Also, you've practiced the selective type of replying that you claim I am practicing. You take single sentences out of context and ignore the surrounding text.

    -------------------
    The price of crude is (for the moment) collapsing due to the sudden rush for fracking profit. However, do you believe this price represents the value of crude? Keep in mind that they are fracking a finite resource. What do you think that barrel of crude will be worth 50 years from now? What is the value of the current temporary over-supply to the generations of the future? We are using the rules of the past to buoy the present at the cost of the future. The 82year energy surplus record exists only because we've taken this energy from the future generations.
    --------------------

    ~~
    "Left-wing" or "progressive"? Assuming your position? I wrote nothing of the sort.
    Looks like you found another rationale for ignoring what I did write.
    ~~

    You've repeatedly referred to me as "progressive" on your Twitter, and here you act as though I don't know what "conservatism" is. Clearly you are implying that I lean left, don't play coy.

    ~~
    "No, actually, that is my point you are correct." I always notice when someone is so compelled to disagree that they start sentences with "no" even when the sentence means "yes".
    ~~

    The "No" was a direct response to this:

    --------------
    But, I think, your whole point is that the systems rests on material fundamentals i.e. resources, not just markets.
    --------------

    I'm not compelled to disagree, the "no" disagrees with your assertion that you think that's what I'm trying to get at. I'm telling you: no, that is exactly what I'm getting at. The no is a response to your context not the information.

    ReplyDelete
  13. ~~
    If we run out of oil, some folk will concentrate on finances. If we run out of fresh water, they will do the same.
    It all comes down to what a person really means.
    ~~

    The financial system being that it manages and distributes resources will be exactly where we begin seeing most problems before they extend beyond it. Again, coming back to oil:

    Those who are not very familiar with peak oil theory have made simplistic and generalist statements like the price will just continue to rise, maybe $200/barrel+. This sort of analysis ignores the integral aspect the financial system plays. Alberta's own oilsands provide the best current example, they were supposedly modelled economically around 'peak oil' (although I distinctly remember back in 2009 CAPP telling me that there is no peak oil but.. ya know), but their model was too simplistic based on the idea oil price will just continue moving in the same direction.

    Unfortunately this model didn't account for people's finances in that their is a maximum cost people will pay before they start driving less or whatnot. We saw this last year when for the first portion of the year gas prices were on every frontpage and then shortly later energy prices collapsed, growth collapsed, the EU re-entered recession, etc.

    Again, you've taken a single sentence out of context, what I actually said was:

    --------------
    I'm not enthralled by finance, however at this stage it is in the financial system that we are going to see the breakdown take place I believe and because of this lately it's been the primary focus. Although again, what we're actuall focused on here are the resources.
    ---------------

    "At this stage", "lately it's been the primary focus". "what we're actually focused on here are the resources". You are very good at selectively choosing quotes to make yourself seem controversial but really your comments are all old news, you haven't yet said anything which isn't already on this blog in multiple forms. You are taking one post which is geared towards a reply towards a specific news article.

    If I had known this was going to be as long as this has ended up being I probably would have formatted these better to help with reading however since the formatting is already set for this convo I'll keep it as is for future readers.

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  14. What I find most puzzling about you, sir, is that you practice everything you accuse everyone else of doing. You ignore all points you are refuted on. I will not be responding to anymore attempts to distort what I've written here, if you're going to quote me then quote it in context.

    Also, I'm still waiting for you to provide any sources for your conspiracy about Assad or to correct your inaccurate and made-up information since I have now provided 2 sources, and you've provided 0.

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  15. You see, sir, big boys have no problem admitting when they were wrong and correcting the information as quickly as possible: http://canadiantrends.blogspot.ca/2013/05/did-israel-just-nuke-syria.html

    I guess it all comes back to what we want though, isn't it? I want to provide accurate trends and commentary for people and for myself. I wrote about the information I have, and if that information changes I write about that too. You clearly want something different, what might that be?

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  16. I've been looking at your blog, it seems you fancy yourself quite the philosopher. But a real philosopher wouldn't need to resort to insults and aggressive tones to get their point across. You have no real information about anything, just half-baked thoughts which you sprinkle with colorful metaphors for effect. You're full of bite-sized one liners, but have no real depth.

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  17. "here you act as though I don't know what "conservatism" is."
    You're snotty.

    bah-bye

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  18. p.s. actually had come by to let you know about a documentary on TV right now ... solid stuff ... about "the end of oil".
    pfffffffffffffft

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  19. I see, you can dish it out but the moment you're called on your bullshit you call the person "snotty". Later.

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  20. Seen it, it's not very good.

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