Oil the irony

June 1, 2013

gas-station-chuck-staleyUp here on California’s north coast this Saturday morning, outside looks deep-overcast, gloomy and gothic — a book by its cover?
What you see might not be what it is, yet, at the same time, be exactly what it looks like, only worse.

Weather has become more than just background noise. Under the weather, we all live and breath, and in some parts of the earth it’s getting real shitty: In all, 17 tornadoes were reported in the Midwest.
And in just a short space of time. Weather directly/indirectly killed nine people last night in the serial-ravaged Oklahoma midsection, including two kids, and a mother and her child. This latest turbulent, dramatic weather front is expected to roll across the country toward the Atlantic this weekend, whipping up chaos along the way.

(Illustration found here).

There were five big twisters in the Oklahoma City region alone — right near Moore, where near-couple of weeks ago 24 died when the nexus of tornadoes, an EF5, gutted the town — and this morning residents a new threat, flooding, with eight to 11 inches of rain and the consequences thereof to the metro area of “…widespread flooding throughout the entire 621 square miles.”
Talking about the weather ain’t idle chit-chat no more.

And this weather is changing for the worse, although no pin-pointed scientific consensus on how climate change effects/affects natural events like tornadoes, at minimum a warming environment can only alter it well beyond ‘normal,’ or maybe, even livability.
Via National Geographic a week ago:

Linking any particular weather event to climate change is always tricky, because weather is inherently random.
But weather patterns can speak to a warming planet.
Scientists can detect that extreme rain events, for instance, are already happening more often than they used to, and that a warmer atmosphere with more water vapor in it is making such events more likely.

“It really comes down to two ingredients in the atmosphere, in the environment in which storms form,” says Jeff Trapp, an atmospheric scientist at Purdue University.
Trapp has been on the road in Kansas and Oklahoma since last week, launching weather balloons into supercells—large, tornado-producing thunderstorms—as part of an effort to improve forecasting.
He was 20 or 30 miles away from Moore when the tornado hit on Monday.

What we find in the models,” Trapp says, “is there’s actually an increase in the product.
The decrease in wind shear is more than compensated [for] by the increase in energy.
This tells us that the number of days that support severe thunderstorms generically should increase.”

Trapp is now at work on a study that will combine a global climate model with a local, high-resolution model, which will show tornadoes as if on a virtual radar screen.
This new study may offer a glimpse of what the future has in store for Oklahoma and other parts of Tornado Alley.
Meanwhile, he can say one thing with certainty: “The last several days in Oklahoma, both the wind shear and the energy have been incredibly large.”

Influence of a warming planet on a ton of life-sustaining shit is obvious to those with any walking-around sense. A quick, eventuality in a number of aspects: A majority of the population – about 4.5 billion people globally – already live within 50 kilometers of an “impaired” water resource – one that is running dry, or polluted. If these trends continue, millions more will see the water on which they depend running out or so filthy that it no longer supports life.
See evidence for climate change without all them scientific models or the UN here.

So to continue doing my small part in warming this planet, thus aiding-and-abetting the violent death of us all, I put another $20 worth of gas in my old Jeep a couple of days ago in order to ensure I could continue in the fashion to which I’ve come to expect — getting from here to there, point A to Point B, through the use of a machine operated by a fossil-fuel-burning, internal-combustion engine.
And this reminder from NASA: Next time you’re pumping gasoline into your car or truck, think about this: Three-quarters of the energy in that pricey petroleum will be wasted. Only about 25 percent of the energy in every gallon of gasoline you buy actually helps your vehicle to run. The rest is converted to heat, which is radiated uselessly off of your engine or blown out of your exhaust pipe.
And this addendum from the EPA:

The combustion of fossil fuels such as gasoline and diesel to transport people and goods is the second largest source of CO2 emissions, accounting for about 31 percent of total U.S. CO2 emissions and 26 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2011.
This category includes transportation sources such as highway vehicles, air travel, marine transportation, and rail.

The break-down of my Jeep’s $20 worth of gas was at $4.19 a gallon for regular — still well below the California state average of $4.007 a gallon for regular, 3.7 cents lower than last week and nearly 27 cents less than one year ago. Up here behind the Redwood Curtain, we don’t fluctuate much, the $4.19 a gallon has been at that mark for weeks.
Nationwide, the average is about $3.63 a gallon, almost 4 cents less than a week ago.
And the source material for my Jeep’s fuel — oil — has had a happy week: New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light sweet crude for July, closed at $93.61 a barrel, up 48 cents from Wednesday. Brent North Sea crude for delivery in July dropped $1.80 to $102.43 a barrel in London trade.
All the glow despite big supplies (via Raw Story):

Crude stockpiles jumped by three million barrels in the week ended May 24 to 397.6 million barrels, striking an all-time peak since the start of the weekly data in 1982, the Department of Energy reported.
The supplies also were the highest since May 1931, according to the department’s monthly inventories reports.
“This was really a bearish report. I don’t know why it doesn’t show in prices,” said James Williams of WTRG Economics.
“It might be traders repositioning themselves after yesterday’s drop,” he said.
WTI shed $1.88 after 2013 growth forecasts were cut for the global economy and for China.
“The economic front still looks bearish for crude,” Williams said.
“We have far more crude oil than we need.”

Most assuredly, future peoples will totally catch the ugly irony in all that.

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