gas the weather

January 14, 2013

vintage-service-station-kenneth-krolikowskiClear and cold again this Monday morning along California’s northern coast — the weekend seems to be getting shorter!

My first-ever ‘adult‘ job while a high school sophomore was for Avis-Rent-A-Car, which had facilities at a Pure Oil gas station in my Florida neighborhood — I later worked for station itself as a gas pumper and whatnot (no such thing as ‘self serve‘ in them days).
In 1965, Pure Oil was purchased by the Union Oil Co. of California — now the Union 76 brand and where I put another $20 worth of gas in my old Jeep last Friday at $3.79 a gallon for regular.

(Illustration found here).

And in this new year, gas pump prices continue the tale:

AAA said in its weekly gas watch report that the national average price of gas at the start of 2013 was $3.29 a gallon, which set an all-time high to open a new year.
And that’s on the heels of a year that set an all-time high for the national average price of gas at $3.60 a gallon.

In California all over, prices at the pump are still pretty nasty with the state average at $3.61, though, down one cent from last month, but the highest in the state is still up here — Eureka, a town about 10 miles south of where I am, is considered the peak for the state at $3.78.
Yet what about my Union-76 at a penny more? We never get the recognition we deserve.

Crude oil prices rose on trading this morning: In midday London deals, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in February added 62 cents to $111.26 a barrel. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for February or West Texas Intermediate (WTI), gained 66 cents to $94.22 a barrel.
The oil people are apparently optimistic by economic news from China and elsewhere, but “…demand fundamentals are perhaps less robust…” and as the year plays out, it’s just a matter of wait-and-see how high the benchmark.

And this is just freakin’ crazy, sitting here writing about a subject like it’s normal — this shit is killing all of us and killing us faster than we realize.
As the weather gets more weird, new optics are needed — China had to re-tool its smog indicators because of the horror now swallowing Beijing, where according to the US embassy there the air is at a “hazardous” level.
Aftermath of so many vehicles on the road:

The contributing factors to heavy smog?
Cars, of course, which have exploded in popularity in the last decade in China, and in Beijing in particular.
There have been measures to slow the car congestion, but things like limiting the amount of new vehicle registrations have just made people stand in long lines.
And talk offering rebates on electric vehicles sounds like a great idea, until you remember that it’s coal producing most of the city’s electricity.
Still, something tells me emission controls are going to be a talked-about item at the next Beijing Auto Show.

But where to stop it — I contribute with my old Jeep, everybody does and we all do it without thinking and without considering the consequences because the threat is visibly non-existent to the slow crawl of day after day.
People have been pumping this shit for decade upon decade, and Beijing is just a highlight of our future.
On Friday, the U.S. National Climate Assessment report was released and it didn’t look too pretty for our immediate future, with the bottom line the problem “is due primarily to human activities, predominantly the burning of fossil fuel” like in my Jeep.
The future is here:

The draft report, which was made public for the people and experts to respond, said that the average US temperature has increased by about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since 1895; more than 80 per cent of this increase has occurred since 1980.
The most recent decade was the nation’s hottest on record.
“US temperatures will continue to rise, with the next few decades projected to see another 2 degrees Fahrenheit to 4 degrees Fahrenheit of warming in most areas,” the report said.
The chances of record-breaking high temperature extremes will continue to increase as the climate continues to change, the report said, adding that there has been an increasing trend in persistently high night time temperatures, which have widespread impacts because people and livestock get no respite from the heat.
“In other places, prolonged periods of record high temperatures associated with droughts contribute to conditions that are driving larger and more frequent wildfires,” the report said.
“There is strong evidence to indicate that human influence on the climate has already roughly doubled the probability of extreme heat events like the record-breaking summer of 2011 in Texas and Oklahoma,” it added.

Visit your local gas station and help.

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