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Health Care & Environment

01.18 Learning From Cuba’s ‘Medicare for All’

01.17 As Planet Heats Further, Even Davos Elite Warns Humanity Is 'Sleepwalking Into Catastrophe' [Intelligent government is desperately needed]

01.17 Could a Green New Deal Save Civilization? [Intelligent government is desperately needed]

01.17 New plant-focused diet would ‘transform’ planet’s future, say scientists

01.17 Studies Show Ice Melting and Ocean Warming Both Happening Much Faster Than Previously Thought

01.16 Immediate fossil fuel phaseout could arrest climate change – study [Intelligent government is desperately needed]

01.16 Our oceans broke heat records in 2018 and the consequences are catastrophic [charts]

01.15 Solar Farms Shine a Ray of Hope on Bees and Butterflies [Wonderful!]

01.15 Australia could hit 100% renewables sooner than most people think

01.15 Ion age: why the future will be battery powered

01.15 Barclays on wrong side of history with climate policy, says Greenpeace

01.15 'One fish at a time': Indonesia lands remarkable victory

01.15 Insect collapse: ‘We are destroying our life support systems’

01.14 V.A. Seeks to Redirect Billions of Dollars Into Private Care [The most public and efficient healthcare in America has been demonized and will be destroyed rather than improved, raising total  per-capita costs]

01.14 Saudi Arabia Increases Solar Targets To 20 Gigawatts By 2023 & 40 Gigawatts By 2030

01.14 Solar + Storage Half The Cost Of Gas Peaker Plants — 8MinuteEnergy

01.14 Why thousands of Los Angeles teachers are going on strike [Well at least we got a big tax-cut for the super-rich, that was the most important thing.]

01.14 Air pollution 'as bad as smoking in increasing risk of miscarriage'

01.09 Dutch eco initiative halves energy bills in first UK homes

01.09 'It's a nightmare': Americans' health at risk as shutdown slashes EPA

01.08 Monarch butterfly numbers plummet 86 percent in California [0:58 video; Do You Care?]

01.08 Carbon emissions up as Trump agenda rolls back climate change work [Making America Less  Great Again]

News Media Matters

01.19 How conservative media became a “safe space”

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

01.19 The Biden Band-Aid: Will Democrats Contain the Insurgency?

01.19 Donald Trump Has Never Cared About Workers, and Never Will

01.19 Republicans’ lack of alarm over the shutdown reveals a disturbing truth [Sociopaths have little or no conscience, empathy or morality...]

01.19 Arizona: Four women convicted after leaving food and water in desert for migrants [morality is against the law]

01.19 Mueller breaks silence to dispute parts of bombshell report on Michael Cohen

01.18 “Are We Really Where We Are?”: Trump, Putin, and Washington’s Unbelievable New Normal

01.18 With Mattis Gone, Trump Is Already Sowing More Global Chaos [Trump plays General—what could go wrong...]

01.18 The Right’s Case Against Soaking the Rich Is Dirt Poor

01.18 Trump Worsens the Border Crisis

01.18 Impeach Donald Trump

01.18 President Trump Directed His Attorney Michael Cohen To Lie To Congress About The Moscow Tower Project [An impeachable offense]

01.18 10 Things We All Lose If Bernie Chooses Not to Run in 2020 [Intelligent government is desperately needed]

01.17 These 2020 hopefuls are courting Wall Street. Don't be fooled by their progressive veneer

01.17 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lambasts US government shutdown in first House speech [3:27 video; Intelligent government is desperately needed]

Justice Matters

01.15 The US apparently kept no detailed notes of Trump-Putin meetings for the past 2 years

01.15 California’s largest utility just declared bankruptcy. Hello, climate change.

12.28 Mueller closes in: what will the Trump-Russia inquiry deliver in 2019?

High Crimes?
Economics, Crony Capitalism

01.17 Trump's economy is great for billionaires, not for working people [chock-full of pesky facts that government and media ignore and distort]

International & Futurism

01.19 The Ebola outbreak in Eastern Congo is moving toward a major city. That’s not good.

01.19 Ahead of Third Annual Women's March, Group Releases Far-Reaching 'Intersectional Feminist Policy Platform'

01.17 +++ Brexit crisis: Germany and Europe react — live updates +++

01.17 White people assume niceness is the answer to racial inequality. It's not [More equality requires us to fix ignored and distorted problems]

01.16 Global tensions holding back climate change fight, says WEF [Consistently stupid and harmful policies... Seeing a pattern?]

01.16 How Governments React to Climate Change: An Interview with the Political Theorists Joel Wainwright and Geoff Mann

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  Thinking About Accelerants

COMMENTARY:

Thinking About Accelerants

by Fred Cederholm

What will fund the Mexican “War on Drugs” when oil revenues dry up? Will border violence increase? Will Mexican domestic “stability” cease? Will illegal emigration into the US accelerate?

I’ve been thinking about accelerants. Actually I’ve been thinking about the US economy, gasoline/diesel, trade deficits (the quick deficit), energy imports, Mexico, and Cuba/Russia. The November 2009 trade statistical recaps of our imports and exports and our energy imports for the month of October 2009 were made public a week ago. It used to be that the two monthly recaps for a given month came out at the same time. Not anymore... the lag in the energy numbers is growing to be now over two months. Things ( or delays in the reporting) like this do not happen on good news. Trust me...

You see we are being told how our current recession/depression is over and that the now two year old slowdown/decline is behind us. I heartily doubt any solid recovery is in process, we are on the verge of a new boom, or that Uncle $ugar has really “fixed anything.” Washington D.C. loves to make their case with statistics and numbers even if the stats and numbers are being delayed in publication and defy the rational. Any US need to buy things (and energy) from the rest of the world has not diminished. The “just out” figures for November (trade) and October (energy) raise much for consideration.

November exports of goods and services ($138.2 billion) were the highest since November 2008 ($141.5 billion). November imports of goods and services ($174.6 billion) were the highest since December 2008 ($174.8 billion). November exports of automotive vehicles and parts ($8.6 billion) were the highest since November 2008 ($9.2 billion). Exports of goods and services have increased for seven consecutive months, but our imports levels have increased at even greater and faster levels – thus we STILL have a growing deficit. Given our largest deficit of imports exceeding exports is crude oil and distillates, these dismal numbers are not be as bad as when the energy deficits are included.

On a per country basis the results for November are mixed. The November deficit with Mexico ($5.1 billion) was the highest since August 2008 ($5.8 billion). November exports to China ($7.3 billion) were a record. The November deficit with Japan ($5.4 billion) was the highest since October 2008 ($6.1 billion). The November deficit of Advanced Technology Products ($8.3 billion) was a record. The November import average price per barrel of crude oil ($72.54) was the highest since October 2008 ($91.73). The November quantity of crude oil imports (245 million barrels) was the lowest since February 1999 (234 million barrels). (Note: these energy numbers are not the stats from the Energy Information Agency of the US Department of Energy, which I normally cite.)

Our largest October 2009 imports of crude oil came from Canada (1.858 million BPD), Mexico (1.015 million BPD), Saudi Arabia (0.938 million BPD), Venezuela (0.879 million BPD), and Nigeria (853 million BPD). It should be noted that in October our sixth largest supplier of crude oil was IRAQ (0.499 million BPD)! Our five largest suppliers of October 2009 total petroleum—crude oil and distillates—were Canada (2.360 million BPD), Mexico (1.136 million BPD), Venezuela (0.955 million BPD), Saudi Arabia (0.943 million BPD), and Nigeria (0.869 million BPD). Remember also, that such energy consumption occurred during a time of diminished economic activity within the US.

The global media (not the US press or TV broadcasts) have raised questions as to the continued viability of Mexico’s oil industry. The Cantarell Field is the largest in Mexico and one of the largest on the planet. It was discovered by fishermen Rudesindo Cantarell in 1976 approximate 80 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. Its production peaked at 2.1 million BPD in 2000. In 2009, production had fallen to 0.772 million BPD. Continued production declines are expected to accelerate in 2010 and 2011. The lion’s share of revenue for the Mexican government comes from its oil and gas dealings. What will fund the Mexican “War on Drugs” when oil revenues dry up? Will border violence increase? Will Mexican domestic “stability” cease? Will illegal emigration into the US accelerate?

Last summer, the global media had numerous reporting of mammoth energy discoveries around Cuba, within Venezuela, around Brazil, and a few other nations in the Caribbean and in South America. Exploiting such reserves is exceeding costly! Venezuela has primarily funded its own oil and gas development, but recently the Caracas government of Hugo Chavez has experienced significant set backs in electricity production and distribution. The Venezuelan currency, the Bolivar, was very recently devalued by 50%! Will these newly discovered energy riches be developed by the BIG oil companies of the US and Europe? Or... will they follow the Cuban example and be developed by Russian oil interests? Hummm...

I’m Fred Cederholm and I’ve been thinking. You should be thinking, too.


Copyright 2009 Questions, Inc. All rights reserved. Fred Cederholm is a CPA/CFE, a forensic accountant, and writer. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois (B.A., M.A. and M.A.S.). He can be reached at asklet@rochelle.net.




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This story was published on January 18, 2010.

 

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