Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Statistics don't lie, People do

There are some serious benefits to Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder. I never get bored reading the myriad reports coming out of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Take this report for example. I dare you to read it. After you get through the verbage you will come to "Table 1". Notice line item "Other Liquids New Supply". That is the ETHANOL component.

Now let us go back to paragraph 4 in the report:

"Total products supplied over the last four-week period has averaged nearly 20.7 million barrels per day, up by 0.5 percent compared to the similar period last year. Over the last four weeks, motor gasoline demand has averaged nearly 9.3 million barrels per day, up by 0.4 percent from the same period last year. Distillate fuel demand has averaged about 4.3 million barrels per day over the last four weeks, up 0.7 percent from the same period last year. Jet fuel demand is 4.2 percent lower over the last four weeks compared to the same four-week period last year."

The report claims that "Total products supplied... (were) up by0.5 percent compared to the similiar period last year. Hmmmm..... Ethanol supply was 352,000 barrels per day, total supply 20.7mm, ethanol made up 1.7% of total products (up from a negative number the year before, whatever that heck that means), it follows that TOTAL PETROLEUM SUPPLIES fell 1.2% for the same 4 week period, 2008 over 2007. The 1st quarter of 2008's petroleum supy actually fell by more... (Stay with me, don't let your eyes glaze over just yet... if you want to make money trading in the markets you gotta do your research. You gotta listen to what "they" aren't telling you. After all, EVERYBODY can hear what "they" are trying to convince you of.) Ethanol contains about 66% of the BTU's of gasoline per unit of volume... so even if you count the ethanol increase the TOTAL BTU AVAILABILITY has not increased year over year, BUT YOU HAVE CAUSED FOOD PRICES AND NATURAL GAS PRICES (Natural Gas is the primary energy input for producing corn ethanol) TO SKYROCKET .

Who thought that one up? Wow! Let me stand back in awe! What a beautiful mind! NOT! (Well, except for the crazy part).

The data supports the Export Land Model contention of Jeffrey Brown, and kudo's to Dr. Tad Patzek of Cal Berkley, Physics. His excellant paper: "Thermodynamics of the Corn-Ethanol Biofuel Cycle" was met with derision when it was published in 2006. Now it would seem Dr. Patzek has not only been fully vindicated, but that we have wasted presious time and resources - sort of like convicting the wrong man (Dallas P.D., are you listening?), you harm an innocent soul unconscienably, and you let the bad guy go free to harm another innocent soul. Way to go, guys!!

The market is going to figure this out eventually, probably fairly soon.

Yours for a better world,

Mentatt (at) yahoo (d0t) com


Anonymous said...

I wish I had something to add to this discussion, but it is hard to improve on such an excellent rant. Thanks! I learn something with every post.

Anonymous said...

That is why we read your stuff. Because you do read the reports and are not just taking the spoonfed crap they dish out for our consumption. Way back in 2005 when I first learned about PO I started to research all of the alternative energy to find out where to invest my money. I went through everything I could find and I couldn't find anything at all that would solve the problem of liquid fuels. Nothing. Yes there is stuff we can do about electric generation (ocean power, coal, biomass, solar and possibly wind) but our civilization can't survive on electricity alone. We can just prolong the decline and delay collapse a bit. Actually alternative energy is a misnomer. It should be called DERIVATIVE ENERGY. Without the huge hidden and overt fossil fuel subsidies the are NO possible alternative energies that are now even closely feasible. They can subsidize and augment fossil fuels but they can't replace them.

Lets just do this thought exercise. Modern humans have existed for about 140 thousand years. Why have they advanced so much in the last 150 years. If modern civilization was possible based on renewable fuels alone wouldn't someone back in the Egyptian, Mayan, Angor or Greek Civilization have already harnessed the power of ethanol? They could all produce fermented alcohol. Why did they drink it instead of burning it up in their machines? Hmm...

We are already on the slide down and have been as a civilization since 1968 or so. It is only now that we are noticing the slope getting steeper. Now we are going to start falling off the cliff. If you look at the roller coaster analogy. At first it was a hard but rewarding climb, now its an easy and slightly accelerating slope with much contemplation of the great view of the heights, the fun part of the ride is over. As the car tilts and we can see the abyss below we all fall silent for a second. Now the sheer terror at the lack of control and the absence of brakes sinks in. The screaming is about to begin.

Chuck H.