a. Yes, Naoto Kan was yesterday named Prime Minister of Japan, #6 PM in four years. Part of the reason, I suspect, is that the DEBT TO GDP PERCENTAGE for Japan is close to 200%. I see that the U.S. is at 53%. The CIA also shows these same numbers. I thought we were closer to 100%. Italy is at 115% and Greece at 113%, thus the European problem.
b. For no particular reason, South Korea President Lee Myung-bac suffered a mid-term election embarrassment yesterday.
2. The Environment
a. Earlier this week, I received the following e-mail:
Okay, here's the bombshell. The current volcanic eruption going on in Iceland, in it's first week of spewing volcanic ash, NEGATED EVERY SINGLE EFFORT you have made in the past five years to control CO2 emissions on our planet. Not only that, this single act of God, in it's first week, has added emissions to the earth estimated to be 42 times more than can be corrected by the extreme human regulations proposed for annual reductions.
So I sent this quote out to my various virtual discussion forums. Every response I got indicated that the above had very little validity. This form of disinformation sells books, as shown on the left. Thus, I then decided to take a stronger stand, not because I absolutely believe that our atmosphere is dangerously warming, but because of simple risk management logic, which is very well explained if you click on:
b. I also changed my global warming box on the right:
WE MUST TAKE ACTION ON GLOBAL WARMING NOW!
c. I regularly receive solid information from James Hansen of Goddard. He is hanging in there after being crucified by previous White House Administration.
3. Peak Oil
a. Gary McMurtry sent me the following alarm about Peak Oil:
identifying 2012 as the crucial year when the current oil surplus vanishes, with the shortfall being 10 million barrels/day (world now uses 87 million barrels/day) by 2015. The clear conclusion was skyrocketing petroleum prices. This from the U.S. Department of Defense. However, there are other similar reports:
b. However, if you look to the right and click on
FUTURE PRICE OF OIL
the Chicago Mercantile Exchange shows the price of petroleum only up to $95/barrel in December of 2018. At no time in the next eight years do crude oil prices reach $100/barrel.
c. So, who do you believe, just about everyone or investors?
d. GOOD NEWS!!! In the Gulf of Mexico, there are early reports that BP capped the Gulf leak today,but that their liability nevertheless should be from $14 billion to $37 billion...we are talking billions. Follow up information indicated capturing only 1000 barrels today, with the oil flow rate being 20,000 barrels/day. But a BP spokesman said that, in time, they could harvest 90% of the escaping crude.
Oh, oh! The Dow Jones Industrials crashed 323 to 9,932, and world markets also almost all fell. Crude oil sunk almost 5% to $71/barrel. But gold jumped $14/toz to $1220. Sign of a coming recession? Again? Strange, but the blame this time was placed on a bleak jobs report, even though the unemployment rate actually fell from 9.9% to 9.7%.
Tropical Cyclone Phet struck Oman and is now headed for Pakistan. Even though Phet at one time was a Category 4 storm, it weakened before landfall and apparently only killed two, not quite the cataclysm predicted by the United Nations. As with Swine Flu, UN organizations regularly exaggerates the reality.