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On Atlantic Oil is a Bad Investment

Hi Geoffery, 

Thank you for your thoughtful comments. A couple of points--

I am aware that the seismic survey in the Atlantic OCS is quite out of date in terms of how much oil is located where. However, the update on economically recoverable resources for the Atlantic is from 2014, and based on current extraction technology. Best knowledge to date is that the bulk of the oil is deep and ultradeep water, which is expensive to extract. New techniquies may find shallower plays, it is true. But that is not something we can comment or speculate on until the survey is done. I wrote the post with best avalible knowledge, but you are correct to point out that it is old. 

Regarding Saudi Arabia, the dynamics of giving up market share are entirely different in a world were oil consumption will be finite based on environmental constraints rather than a world where oil will be consumed to the last drop. Thirty years ago, yielding market share merely meant that Saudi Arabia had higher margin on the oil that it produced. Today it might mean that Saudi Arabia, not a higher cost producer, will be left holding the bag. Even if Saudi's reserves are overstated, new U.S. oil is still too high up the cost curve to be the next best option. 

U.S. offshore oil--indeed, oil worldwide--is exhibiting diminishing returns in terms of both energy inputs and dollars spent to extract a barrel of oil. This dynamic cannot be changed. Investment costs are increasing and long term, stable high oil prices will not come rushing in to cover this. While the future will no doubt see prices spikes, the long term trend for oil is down. For infastucture projects with such upfront costs, long lead time, long project life the smart investor should be putting their money in projects with increasing returns instead. 

 

February 6, 2015    View Comment    

On Did the "People's Climate" March Leave Conservatives on the Sidelines?

I certainly do not dispute that vested interests play a big role in inaction! 

October 9, 2014    View Comment    

On Did the "People's Climate" March Leave Conservatives on the Sidelines?

Hi Clifford, 

Thanks for your response. I do not claim that there were no conservatives there at all, or that most people were motivated to come out to march against capitalism. Certainly, I joined because I am concerned about   inaction on climate change. I am glad that you joined as well. But I think that the presence of anti-corporate/anti-capitalism messaging was both undeniable and unhelpful. This messaging is off-putting even to many liberals. We can do better, and we will need to.

Sieren 

October 9, 2014    View Comment    

On Did the "People's Climate" March Leave Conservatives on the Sidelines?

Thank you for your thoughtful comments and yes, it is important to distinguish what kind of market when discussing them in depth. While I do not see banking as uniformly bad, (and I understand from your comment taht you do either) I completely agree that modern credit markets have gotten out of hand, are rife with fraud, and have become an end in and of themselves rather than a service to the real economy. 

October 8, 2014    View Comment    

On Did the "People's Climate" March Leave Conservatives on the Sidelines?

Hi Bart, 

Thanks for your comments. Yes, I agree. We see overexploitation of fossil fuels and inaction in all parts of the political spectrum, in all economic systems. 

 

S

October 8, 2014    View Comment    

On Did the "People's Climate" March Leave Conservatives on the Sidelines?

Thank you for your comments. Yes, I agree that this is an important distinction and tried to use only accurate terms in the article above. I agree that using the terms interchangeably simply muddies the dialog. 

October 7, 2014    View Comment    

On Did the "People's Climate" March Leave Conservatives on the Sidelines?

Yes, I agree. Conservative voters who are about climate change are not yet properly organized. There are some groups who are working on this effort, but they are, as yet, small and not well funded.  

October 7, 2014    View Comment    

On Why Richard Tol is Wrong about the IPCC

Well put! You should be posting on this topic!

April 3, 2014    View Comment    

On Quantifying the Impact of Multiple Avenues of Methane's Underestimation

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Hi Bob, 

Thanks for your comments. Yes, I agree that our understanding of the way that carbon dioxide moves in underground reservoirs is not sufficiently developed to begin pumping 100% of our CO2 emissions underground. The solution should be on the front end, not a tailpipe solution. Unfortunately, this becomes a problem when one looks at countries like China which, unlike the U.S. are still building coal fired power plants. In order to meet any kind of reasonable target worldwide these plants will either have to be decommissioned, or use sequestration. The likelihood of decommissioning is low, though of course I wouldn’t want to give it up. But at the end of the day there’s a bit of a devil’s bargain in CO2 solutions when it comes to parts of the world that are still building coal.

 

Sieren

January 27, 2014    View Comment    

On Quantifying the Impact of Multiple Avenues of Methane's Underestimation

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Dear Erik, 

Thank you for your comments. I agree, the technology is inexpensive enough and the data on methane emissions already clear enough that we should proceed immediately with control technologies.

Unfortunately, despite the simplicity of the solution in many cases, it has yet to be implemented. This, I think, is a testament to social and political nature of blockages to pollution control vs. technical issues. But yes, those pushing for implementation of control technologies need not wait the release of more data. 

I think that quantification continues to be important not only because it gives even more authority to the argument for control, but also because the U.S. needs to have realistic records on what it is emitting and where. This is just a matter of needing to have transparent information on an issue critical to the health and safety of the country. At the moment we are falling well short of the mark.

 

S

January 27, 2014    View Comment    

On Quantifying the Impact of Multiple Avenues of Methane's Underestimation

Thank you everyone for your comments. Bobbi, Howarth included methane leakage from mines in his analysis. You can find the research here: http://www.eeb.cornell.edu/howarth/web/Marcellus.html

Joanne, thank you for your comments. I agree that methane is not just from gas pipelines, and other sources are important but the topic for a different article. Further completely agree that simply enforcing best practices for newly drilled wells will not address the problem as leaks are widespread on all manner of existing infastructure. 

Guy, thank you for pointing out the timeframe issue. I did not include any discussion of time scale of GWPs in the interest of keeping the post within a readable length. There is also some controversy around whether timescales for methane actually mean that we should be worrying about it less not more. I am of the school of thought that we are facing tipping points in the near term, and so we actually should be more concerned. But I didn't think that I could give that fair treatment within the scope of the post, so I simplified. I do have a seperate post that I did for my personal blog about a year ago that is here: http://theantediluvian.com/wordpress/?p=178 Anyway, thank you for raising the issue. I agree with you on its importance and that it actually makes the picture even worse. 

 

January 25, 2014    View Comment    

On Politics and the Language of REDD+

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Hi Steve, 

Thanks so much for taking the time to read, comment, and clarify your position, and also for your kind words on my article. I agree with you regarding Nilsson--it is a terrible example that has received disproportionate outside attention. At a very least, if a news outlet wanted to focus on this, there are other, better-run projects that should have been covered for the sake of balance and responsible journalism. 

 

Kind regards,

 

Sieren 

November 20, 2013    View Comment