Elaine Meinel Supkis
Ever since the government threatened the hedge funds, the price of oil has dropped a tiny bit but has stabilized at between $123-125 per barrel. Indeed, the oil markets seem as quiet as Wall Street on Sunday. Gold has bounced around within severe limits, too. Between $800 and 900 an ounce. In the news: more scandals in the mystical magical carbon markets. Obviously a total fraud. The hell hounds of Carlyle are carving out gas storage places so they can play a ruthless gas market in coming winters of shortages. And George Will is angry about the US not pumping out ALL our future oil NOW for our darling SUV fleet.
Evidence of serious flaws in the multi-billion dollar global market for carbon credits has been uncovered by a BBC World Service investigation.
The credits are generated by a United Nations-run scheme called the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).
The mechanism gives firms in developing countries financial incentives to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
But in some cases, carbon credits are paid to projects that would have been realised without external funding.
Right on the heels of my own story about how the carbon trading business was a total scam, comes this article detailing the latest scams. First of all, there is no such thing as 'trading' carbon. Either one makes carbon or one doesn't. Giving someone money so a business or country can merrily pollute fixes absolutely nothing at all. The polluters are basically bribing the nonpolluters. The pollution should simply stop. But the polluters make money doing this. The Japanese, for example, bribe small countries into voting for Japan's whale slaughters, for example. The rules are set up to protect whales. But the commission that does this is corrupted by the Japanese funds so the whales are not protected.
Developing nations should be allowed to pollute. This is part of the process of industrialization. A country can't jump from the 17th century to the 21st century in one leap. If the US or Europe or Japan, the G7, refuse to jump into the 21st century, why should China or Somalia? Giving money and technology to third world nations is fine. But giving them money and then forcing them to be clean while the G7 continue to pollute and not do the right thing? That is odious.
For example, the US should have about one million more wind mills than at present. There is NOTHING to stop this. Nothing at all. Every house built in the last 20 years should have had solar panels on the roofs. I and others up here in the Northeast have solar panels and they work, even in winter, even on cloudy days. Only snow storms stop them from working. The entire south and west should have these on every roof long ago. As we put in granite sinks and swimming pools, no one was being forced to spend a penny on clean or renewable energy systems. Far from it.
So demanding third world nations do what we adamantly refuse to do is pure evil.
Arguably, this defeats the whole point of the CDM scheme, set up under the Kyoto climate change protocol, as these projects are getting money for nothing.
The findings reinforce doubts that the CDM is leading to real emission cuts, which is not good news for the effort to combat climate change.
And in one case a company is earning truly staggering sums of money from the carbon credits it is receiving - perhaps as much as $500m (£250m) over a period of 10 years - for a project it says it would have carried out without the incentive of the CDM.
There are so many things wrong with this concept! Most of the work needed to be done in the G7 nations can be done via the simple method of the government MANDATING it! Giving tax breaks or stipends or government loans coupled with laws that force people to do the right thing: this worked in the past and will in the future.
The US has to do this for the simple reason, not the pollution problems, but because we import far too much energy and can't afford to keep doing this. It is leading us into bankruptcy! It would be patriotic to set up renewable systems. We can't depend on one or three people to do the sensible thing. We have to enforce building codes on new houses that feature these systems as a matter of course. A $20,000 energy system on a $400,000 house is not very expensive. The electrical requirements can be set as a percentage of the value of the house. So a $100,000 house only has to have an $8,000 system, for example. Which is the cost of a bathroom, for example. So many houses have far more bathrooms than houses just 30 years ago when two baths were rare.
Rising in the Senate on May 13, Chuck Schumer, the New York Democrat, explained: "I rise to discuss rising energy prices." The president was heading to Saudi Arabia to seek an increase in its oil production, and Schumer's gorge was rising.
Saudi Arabia, he said, "holds the key to reducing gasoline prices at home in the short term." Therefore arms sales to that kingdom should be blocked unless it "increases its oil production by one million barrels per day," which would cause the price of gasoline to fall "50 cents a gallon almost immediately."
One million barrels is what might today be flowing from ANWR if in 1995 President Bill Clinton had not vetoed legislation to permit drilling there. One million barrels produce 27 million gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel. Seventy-two of today's senators -- including Schumer, of course, and 38 other Democrats, including Barack Obama, and 33 Republicans, including John McCain -- have voted to keep ANWR's estimated 10.4 billion barrels of oil off the market.
So Schumer, according to Schumer, is complicit in taking $10 away from every American who buys 20 gallons of gasoline. "Democracy," said H.L. Mencken, "is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard." The common people of New York want Schumer to be their senator, so they should pipe down about gasoline prices, which are a predictable consequence of their political choice.
Everyone at the top is crazy right now. Schumer isn't hammering on Saudi Arabia over the oil. He represents Israel, not New York. Or rather, a significant and powerful block of rich people in New York who support Israel very strongly. They want to stop these weapons and are riding on the oil issue as cover. The ANWAR business is amusing in a horrible way. Eventually, we will suck up the oil there. But holding off is actually a good thing. This is because we waste most of the oil we use right now. We have a bottomless appetite for oil. The last thing we need is more oil.
Why? Well! I went to the hospital today as we must regularly. And instead of a parking lot filled with heaving behemoths, all but three of the cars were small. Nearly all of the SUVs were gone! I really hated the SUV mania. Those things were dangerous. They block the view in traffic. They roll over. The drivers tend to be rather careless because they are 'big'. I feel a lot safer, driving around in this new, reduced sized universe. If we pump all the oil in America in the next 20 years in a frenzied attempt to keep this nasty fleet of huge machines rolling, leaving nothing for our grandchildren, this is a crime and a curse.
George Will, like many neo cons, can't think ahead by 20 years or even 2 years. He wants everything now and the devil take the hindmost. If we reduce our oil consumption, we will be better off, not worse off. Oil is not infinite nor eternal. It is a very limited resource that is dangerous to overuse. The pollution is bad for living things. We must control our desire to pump all of it out and consume it on the spot.
French fishermen have been on strike for several weeks over the price of diesel, which has risen by 240% in the past five years.
In recent days they have been joined by members of fleets from the UK, Spain, Portugal and Italy, who have blockaded ports across Europe, and truck drivers.
Due to speculators and a shortage of diesel which is used for local and international shipping, the price of diesel has shot far above gasoline. I use diesel a lot. This is terrifying. I now have to carefully consider taking the truck out on jobs. The tractor is very efficient but it uses diesel, too. Farmers around me are complaining about the cost of plowing, haying and harvesting.
The fishermen besieged the European Parliament and attacked it, setting things on fire, smashing windows, overturning cars. The police battled them and they were shoved out. But they are angry and will strike out again. Probably at various ports. Unlike in America, the Europeans tend to lunge for the throat of their ruling elites. History is clear about this: unhappy 'peasants' are very dangerous. Heads can and will roll. In the US last month, unhappy truckers drove around DC and waved signs and honked horns then went home to die. When they demonstrated, diesel was at $3.80 up here. Afterwards, it shot up to $5.15. The demonstration was utterly useless. If Congress is in session and the President at home and 20,000 angry truckers showed up waving torches and pitchforks and try to smash through the cement barriers and iron fences surrounding the rich Senators and administrators, you can bet, this will wake up even the dreamers in the heart of our empire.
John Arnold turned $8 million into $1.5 billion in the past six years by betting on natural-gas prices. Now the former Enron Corp. trader is seeking his next fortune under a Colorado cow pasture.
Arnold's Centaurus Advisors hedge fund and the Carlyle Group buyout firm are digging natural-gas storage caverns 2,500 feet (760 meters) under scrub grass on Rocky Mountain ranches and cypress trees in Louisiana swamps.
Storage demand is surging as new pipelines and import terminals expand supplies of natural gas, this year's second best-performing commodity after coal. Speculators buy and store the fuel when costs are low and sell as prices rise during cold snaps or heat waves in major U.S. cities.
The off shore hell hounds and the ruling elite investment schemers are hard at work preparing to ream us all out when they corner the energy markets. Carlyle is owned by people like the Bush clan who run the US out of the White House, for example. The board of directors can see in to the future because they are our rulers! And of course, they know how we will all be forced to pay them DOUBLE and QUADRUPLE what we are paying now!
Obama is probably going to be our next President. He just went off to AIPAC to bow to the Jewish Lobby which was very steamed Hillary wasn't getting the nod. To gain their support, he promised more wars in the Middle East. He promised to continue the Apocalypse. He promised to do everything in his power to make oil much more expensive. This is because wars on behalf of Israel=higher energy prices. Carlyle's board of directors is delighted with this. Just as all the money makers are overjoyed. More wars means more money in the military/industrial complex and the war daddies and war mommies in DC will be rolling in dough.
NO ONE is allowed to rule us unless they promise more war, more debts and more slavery. The reason the last 200 Democratic 'super delegates' refused to endorse Obama when he won the primary was because they needed him to go grovel to AIPAC and promise them nothing would change. They all fear AIPAC and worry that if they endorsed him too fast, he wouldn't be beholden to AIPAC's money kingmakers. He would continue all the stupid things that got us into this mess.
And the reason oil is expensive is due to too much easy lending coupled with stupid wars. 3 soldiers were blown up today in Iraq. The US is negotiating a secret treaty that keeps us stuck there forever. And we want to make the place a platform for future invasions and attacks and alarms. So we can pin down all of Israel's neighbors from behind while Israel finishes off the last of the Palestinians. And then we all drop dead because we are bankrupt and have far too little energy or capital to rebuild America, much less, save the world.