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"The Truth About Oil" is the title of a long and fairly useful article that was published in the April 9 (2012) issue of Time. I think that I can -- and in reality often have -- done a lot better, but the author of that article (Brian Walsh) has performed almost as well as I could if I encountered a fanatic crew of Time subscribers and/or devotees at a conference, or perhaps even in a seminar room.
I was recently asked to give lectures on nuclear energy and oil, and participate in a general debate about energy, at the Singapore Energy Week. My lecture on nuclear was highly commended by many members of the audience, although where the debate was concerned, the environmentalist Jeremy Leggett informed a friend of his -- Professor Kjell Aleklett (of Uppsala University) -- that my posture was insulting, and I couched my arguments in "the disgusting language of conflict and belittlement".
Guilty as charged, because conflict and belittlement are sometimes essential when dealing with academics who interfere in things they choose not to understand. Aleklett is a professor of physics who has hit the oil trail because that is where the money is, but unlike my good self he has only marginally contributed to the international energy literature, and even is a total stranger to the Swedish academic energy scene. Of course, despite his affectations, I have never called him a charlatan, because I save that word for persons who suggest that I am without the academic status I occasionally claim.
The question now is what does the above have to do with the present topic, and the answer is everything. Neither my audience in Singapore, nor my friends and colleagues in the United States (U.S.), have got the Iraqi oil intentions correct. For the most part these friends and colleagues and others are being manipulated into believing that the fundamental hypothesis of neo-classical economic theory -- which is that rational human beings prefer more to less -- does not apply to the Iraqi oil managers, and they will provide enough oil to international markets to make the dreams of motorists in Europe and North America come true.
This is not going to happen, because the bottom line on the oil scene happens to be the maximization of individual country incomes that has been achieved by the formation and success of OPEC -- a cartel whose standard operating procedure has become routine, and amounts to the following: when the oil price dips below what might be called in game theory a focal price, then a meeting takes place for the purpose of determining how much production is to be reduced. Note -- how much, not if! The most important aspect of Walsh's article is his understanding of the importance of oil -- and oil-like liquids -- although he suffers from the usual journalistic fault of believing that a knack with language is a passable substitute for academic excellence. He mistakenly believes that "billions" of dollars in investment, and "human ingenuity", will not only extend the age of oil, but allow for it to mellow, and eventually to end on the "terms" of oil importing countries like the U.S.
If you go to a reference such as GOOGLE, or the usual commercial literature, you will read or hear (or possibly be called a fool if you do not believe) that in the next five years Iraq will increase production by a large amount, and in the next ten or fifteen years by a very large amount. Please note that I do not bother to present any numbers, because as a student and teacher of game theory and energy economics, I know that numbers are without any significance when they are not supported by economic logic.
As John von Neumann and Oscar Morgenstern make clear in their famous book (1944), firms that can form a cartel without being interfered with by the anti-cartel authorities, would be foolish if they did not do so. I also want to point out that OPEC receives crucial though perhaps not intentional support from the 'oil majors'. In case you do not know, these large firms are in the profit maximization business you read about in your favourite Economics 101 textbook, and because their strategy does not have a social component -- other than the salaries of their executives -- find it economically correct to vary output in tune with the actions of OPEC, if and when that happens to be possible, which means most of the time.
In the lecture on nuclear that I gave at the Singapore Energy Week, I assured the faithful that they can learn everything they need to know about the nuclear future by studying the achievements of the Swedish nuclear sector, by which I meant the ability to construct 12 nuclear reactors in only 13-14 years. It was this statement that brought outrage to the face of Mr Leggett, and not the manner of speech that I developed teaching weapons and tactics in the U.S. Army, and teaching financial economics to high achievers at Uppsala University.
Where oil is concerned, I believe that the next day I made it clear that the power of oil is revealed by the impact on the oil price of a decline in the oil production of Libya caused by the recent war. Of a global production of oil of about 88 mb/d, the absence of a Libyan supply of 1.7 mb/d resulted in the oil price to increasing by about 17 percent. This says more about the power of oil than trite contentions like 'oil is the life blood of the global economic system' (which also happens to be true, though for reasons that cannot be gone into here). I can also mention that I became aware of this power in the aftermath of the oil price meltdown in 2008, when one of those famous OPEC meetings raised the oil price by about $40/b.
Alan Greenspan, former governor of the U.S. Central Banks (The Federal Reserve System) in his book 'The Age of Turbulence' stated in non-ambiguous terms that the war in Iraq that began in 2003 was about oil, which suggests that not only could "The New Prize" of copious Iraqi oil be made available, but OPEC could eventually be taught a lesson. None of this is going to happen, and as they might say in the financial district of New York: "No, Ingrid, Iraq will not spoil that party." To which I can add, I cannot possibly understand how anyone could believe otherwise.
(2012) Banks, Ferdinand E. Energy and Economic Theory. Singapore, London and New York: World Scientific (Forthcoming)
(2008) 'The Sum of Many Hopes and Fears About the Energy Resources of the Middle East'. Lecture given at the Ecole Normale Superieure (Paris).
(2008) Bezat, Jean-Michel. Petrole: le pouvoir a changé de camp. Le Monde (20, Mai)
(2011) Hunt, Tam. 'The Peak Oil Catastrophe in Waiting'. EnergyPulse (3/10/2011)
(1983) Saunders, Harry D. 'Optimal Oil Producer Behaviour Considering Macrofeedbacks'. The Energy Journal, Volume 4, Number 4.
(1944) Von Neumann, John and Morgenstern, Oscar. 'The Theory of Games and Economic Behavior'. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
(2012) Walsh, Bryan. 'The Future of Oil'. Time (April 9, 2012)
For information on purchasing reprints of this article, contact sales. Copyright 2013 CyberTech, Inc.
Guess what, the oil price did not fall to thirty dollars a barrel or twenty or lower, despite what you might have been told by street-corner oil experts on other sites. In fact, the average price (WTI and Brent) is probably around 100 dollars a barrel, and if it stays there I think that the OPEC people will/should be quite satisfied, given the state of the global macroeconomy.
The problem is that if the global macroeconomy gets better, they might decide to increase that average price. After all, they want to split a trillion dollars this year, as they did last year, and as a result the health of the global economy is not as important to those gentlemen in the executive suite in OPEC headquarters (in Vienna) as it is to some of the rest of us. I therefore suggest that now is the time to send some 'mash notes' to the folks in Vienna, informing them of how much we have in common, and suggesting that it would be lovely for everybody if they waited before stepping on the gas.
One other point that may infuriate the cognoscenti. For years, decades, it was erroneously believed that the OPEC bosses were too dumb to make the best use of their valuable energy resources. This was actually the opposite of the truth: in reality they were/are ten times smarter than Milton Friedman and know-nothings like the Harvard fellow Signor Maugeri
Len Gould 8.10.12
Excellent reminders Fred, though it fails my understanding why it clearly IS necessary to repeat for the illuminateriitae class such things as the obvious "For years, decades, it was erroneously believed that the OPEC bosses were too dumb to make the best use of their valuable energy resources. This was actually the opposite of the truth".
Ferdinand E. Banks 8.11.12
Thanks Len, because unless I'm mistaken this article and one I published somewhere about the movements of the oil price during 2008 (and maybe slightly before), and in the year or so after TELL THE ENTIRE STORY OF THE OIL PRICE! Understand these and you have the entire oil price story for your lecture at Harvard or Oxford, or for that matter if you don't feel like lecturing at those institutions of higher learning you can sit in the front row at one of Signor Maugeri's nutty lectures on oil, and straighten him out when he moves into cloud cookoo land.
Len Gould 8.12.12
Jim Beyer 8.13.12
My take on this is that during the secret energy meetings of 2001 held by GWB and Cheney, it was made clear the oil production was peaking. Barring some lucky new discoveries, the only source of known untapped reserves of significant quantity were in Iraq. But sanctions kept us from being able to tap it. So I think after that meeting, the desire/incentive to topple Saddam was there. Note that I'm not saying anyone wanted to steal the oil, just get it drilled and pumping.
After 9/11, there was reason to contrive an excuse to go into Iraq. Since they wanted to go there anyway, it wasn't hard for folks to justify. Then Rumsfeld did everything on the cheap, and it didn't go so well. But Saddam is gone and I suppose some of that oil is being tapped.
Anyway, that's my belief/theory.
Michael Keller 8.13.12
New oil discoveries? How about we use what we have, as in oil in Canada, as in oil off the coasts of Florida, California; oil in Alaska; pipelines to move the oil, etc.
Further, we have vast coal reserves that can be used to create all manner of liquid transportation fuels.
Sorry folks, but I simply do not believe oil was the main driver behind the war in Iraq. The driver was killing terrorists, with the happy hopeful byproduct of establishing an outpost of semi-democracy in a region ruled by despots and religious fanatics, thereby further undercutting the terrorists. We have certainly killed a lot of terrorist. Remains to be seen whether or not we made the "wrong mistake", paraphrasing Yogi Berra.
Seems to me, left-wing environmentalist extremists are at the root of a lot of the world's continued instability, vis-a-vis oil. Technology needs to be unleashed without a leftist agenda attempting to short-circuit progress for all of mankind. This progress needs to be based in competitive economics and better efficiency, which also happens to be a very good means to effectively reduce emissions - including CO2.
Len Gould 8.14.12
Its pretty clear to anyone observing rationally, Micheal, that the 2003 invasion of Iraq created a lot more terrorists than it killed. Hopefully other world events unrelated to that invasion (democratic revolutions in neighbouring nations, dramatically increased antiterror measures worldwide as a reaction to 9/11, etc.) will act to mitigate that.somewhat. History will judge, harshly against the Bush II reign I espect.
Ferdinand E. Banks 8.14.12
Michael, as you might have guessed, I am pretty satisfied with my knowledge of the oil markets, but somebody else who is in my class is James Hamilton at the University of California, San Diego. I sincerely doubt if he would pass my name to anybody, nor do I give a you-know-what about anything he thinks or does, however he is not only very smart about oil, but is recognized as being very smart, and the best part of this is that he takes the same position as my good self about oil.
As for the war in Iraq, Alan Greenspan (former chairman of the Fed) says that it was about oil, and that is good enough for me. For your information, Greenspan not only played a saxaphone on the same stage as Stan Getz (in case you like jazz), but he is as conservative as you are, and sat at the dinner tables of all the insiders in Washington, and probably a lot of other places. Of course, it was the cognac consumed after the dinners that helped Sir Alan ascertain the inside dope on that war.
And of course Len in correct about that war creating terrorists. That explains my intense dislike of George W. Bush, because I know what that situation will eventually mean. As for new oil discoveries, find out what James Hamilton has to say about them.
Jim Beyer 8.14.12
It is also on record that the neo-cons wrote about toppling Saddam before 9/11, so I can't believe the terrorist angle was more than a convenience.
The idea that killing terrorists creates more terrorists is just plain illogical. Following that line of reasoning leads to the conclusion that we should not have killed the Nazi's and Japs, as it would only create more of the fanatics.
I think you folks are seriously underestimating the depth to which Bush and Cheney were determined to reign in and kill the terrorists using all manner of tools.
Seems to me Greenspan has allowed his dislike of Bush's economic policies (running up the debt) to extend into the war on terrorism.
As for the oil problem, seems to me the US has the energy resources to get the hell out of the Middle East, so let's do it.
Len Gould 8.14.12
Micheal. Your "killing terrorists creates more terrorists" bit is ridiculous. a) No Iraquis prior to the invasion could be formally defined as terrorists. b) A terrorist by current definitions is simply a fighter for a cause who is not in an identifiable uniform. By the definition you appear to support, almost all the heavily armed right-wing militia and survivalists in the US are terrorists or potentially so. Tend to your own gardens.
Len Gould 8.14.12
In NO way were the bulk of the Nazi and Japanese fighters in WWII "terrorists", they were soldiers organized into recognized military units. The French and Italian underground fighters, on the other hand, definitly WERE terrorists by any definition, heavily supported by allied nations.
You need to clear your head of the propaganda. Be suspicious of EVERYTHING that you are told by anyone with political interests.
Michael Keller 8.14.12
A terrorist deliberately kills people to impose his ideas on society thru fear. Such vermin need to be eradicated to protect civilization. To suggest that their actions are acceptable is arsine
While I am not a particular fan of militias, they are not planting IUD's all over the place.
Michael Keller 8.14.12
Oops, 'IED's". The militant feminist are deploying the IUDs!
Len Gould 8.14.12
I in no way do or did defend terrorists. My point was that your claim that the US military was in Iraq "to kill terrorists" is completely wrong. There were none/very few there until your military arrived.
Len Gould 8.14.12
Until your military forced the Iraqi soldiers out of uniform, then did nothing to maintain civil order in the country. So they then picked up their guns again and started shooting you, and each other. What did you expect? They are / were doing nothing different than you or I would do in the same circumstance, which would agreed fit us into the definition of "terrorist" but clearly not in the same way as the core Al Queda terrorists.
Ferdinand E. Banks 8.15.12
Len, I suspect that Michael is just pulling our legs. He knows as well as we do that George W. Bush can hardly spell terrorist much less devise a comprehensive plan to exterminate any. As for Dick Chaney, I happen to consider him a very intelligent man who for some reason got off on the wrong foot.
Spanish language book outsold english version about 3/5-1, But royalties were greatly reduced.
Wednesday August 15, 2012 09:45
Dig link to Schott by Ms Glick. Still not read because of other more important tasks.!
Green Energy Charge To Hit PNM Bills [Google for full article]
The Public Regulation Commission approved a new renewable energy rate rider Tuesday to allow Public Service Company of New Mexico to begin recovering its investments in solar, wind and other clean energy sources.
Customer bills, for the first time, also will carry a line item showing the cost of renewables along with an explanation that they reduce the amount the utility spends on fossil fuels.
The green energy charge could begin appearing on bills as soon as this month, depending on when the commission publishes its final order, said PNM spokeswoman Susan Sponar. ...
PNM needs to recover about $18.29 million in renewable investments in 2012, said Carolyn Glick, the hearing examiner in PNM’s case, who recommended in June that the PRC approve the rate rider. ..
bill payne 8.15.12
Whoops, we all makie misteaks. :) http://www.prosefights.org/nmgco/intervene/hearing/ut145/ibm360spansih/spanish360book.jpg
J Orlin Grabbe made a bad mistake with interview with Lesley Stahll
We are in process of correcting. http://www.prosefights.org/nmgco/intervene/hearing/ut145/warrior.mid http://www.prosefights.org/nmgco/intervene/hearing/ut145/warrior.mid
Don Hirschberg 8.16.12
“In NO way were the bulk of the Nazi and Japanese fighters in WWII "terrorists", they were soldiers organized into recognized military units. “
I do not want to dance minuets about the the definition of terrorist. As to the quote of Len's above I can say the behavior of German troops in WWII was far better than that of of Japanese troops.
The behavior of Japanese troops during the Bataan Death March is quite unmatched by anything in our history. As was the behavior of Japanese troops in Korea, China, Philippines and elsewhere. These hard to even imagine egregious atrocities were not just crimes of individual soldiers, they were approved and blessed by their officers. Enjoyed?
I fought in Korea and had contact with many Koreans. I like them. I worked in the Philippines and I have done business in Japan. I also had a neighbor who survived the Bataan Death March. I wish I had done more for him.
I cannot to this day understand how the Japanese who committed unbelievable atrocities (who enjoyed public executions of captured Americans) instantaneous became pacifists.
Ferdinand E. Banks 8.16.12
I agree Don. The Germans were great except when they were burning down churches filled with women and children, and sending children to extermination camps.
As for the Japanese, they believed that they were the greatest race that ever existed, and they had the right to do as they please. Of course it was interesting for me to wonder what they thought when they saw us tramping through the streets of Kobe, armed to the teeth. As for the Koreans in Japan, they were treated like Blacks in the US, and sometimes worse.
But I dont think about that. What I think about is the degeneration taking place in the United States of America, thanks to presidents like George Bush and Mr Obama. Unless I am mistaken, they have finally learned how to train soldiers in the US, snd so why not learn how to teach and take care of children.
And since you can't understand how the Japanese instantaneously became pacifists, I will explain it to you: THE UNITED STATES NAVY AND AIR FORCE WAS THE BIGGEST AND BEST IN THE WORLD, AND NO SECRET WAS MADE OF THIS VERY SIMPLE FACT. because the teaching of American history is out of fashion - in the US that is..
And Bill Payne, some of your comments have make a lot of sense, but please dont send me any facebook nonsense or links to exploit. I know almost everything I need and deserve to know about the present subject - almost - and I dont need any help from facebook or for that matter ___book. And surprise surprise, I rewire my brain every morning. I began doing that after failing (twice) math and physics at Illinois Institute of Technology.
Jim Beyer 8.16.12
I can almost never understand what Bill Payne is saying. He should write in complete sentences. And think in coherent thoughts.
Len Gould 8.16.12
Agreed Don. However, the discussion was not about brutal militaries, but about terrorists, a clear and very important distinction. If someone can figure out a way to attach the tag "terrorist" to you, none of our long-fought-for and hard-won rights and freedoms will apply, and you will be at the mercy of whomever may take an interest. So we'd all better take a strong interest in being VERY careful of the definition of terrorist.
Don Hirschberg 8.18.12
Len, of course you make a good point. But I despair of furnishing a definition of terrorist or racist. Those using the terms will use them as they wish without regard to your or my definitions. When Fred above referred to German atrocities he did mot refer to the military – more likely the SS. When Islamists commit the most egregious acts but can cite an authorizing Koran chapter and verse can this be still be called an atrocity? I'd say yes. But the Bible says to not let a witch to live – no options, she must be killed I'd still call this murder. Several studies tell us that Black children after HS test no better than whites in eight grade – in the same schools. The media never reports these facts. It would be considered racist. When a white is involved in the death of a Black it is front page news, guilty or not. The media never tells us that the murder rate of Blacks killing whites is some 25-30 times the rate of whites killing Blacks. Imagine!! When I am called a racist I ask my accuser for his definition of a racist, so by using his definition I can say whether I am a racist or not. I have yet to get a definition. I come from a time, place and culture in which there were no felonies. Telling a lie was like a capital offense.
Ferdinand E. Banks 8.19.12
This business with schools and who knows what is interesting, Don. The reason I cant stand Obama is his failure to make the schools of America what they could and should be for all races. In these circumstances I am mostly - mostly - uninterested in anything Mr Obama has said, done, or will do.
As for military atrocities, your belief that only the SS was responsible is very wrong, although the worst cases were undoubtedly sponsored by the SS. Of course when the war was over, German officers who were responsible for the murder of American and Canadians - and probably UK - soldiers were given slaps on the wrist, because it was reasoned that German soldiers would be necessary when the Soviets attacked us - which of course they had no intention of doing.
Don Hirschberg 8.22.12
Sorry to tell you this, Professor, but your comments about education make no sense whatsoever. And your second paragraph re military/political is just so much recycled conspiracy theory tripe.
The schools when my father and when I went to school were quite good. My father , b 1897, got two years of education at Carl Schurz HS in Chicago. I am amazed how much he learned. He went to work at a corporate office doing such (office boy) chores as writing business letters! – a task very few college graduates can do today.
People today would be astonished by the quality of education children got in one or two room schools from teachers who never saw the inside of a college. My first year in a single grade room was 6th grade. My class sizes were circa 40 to 48.
Delinquency was limited to such offenses as chewing gum, not assaulting or even sassing the teacher. There was no hookey whatsoever all the way through HS. Everyone could read or they didn't get promoted to third grade. (exception for a Downs Syndrome girl, then called a Mongoloid.)
Your comment about Obama doing something about schools is off the wall in several directions. When education was quite good there was absolutely no federal participation at all. None.
The integration problem was heart breaking for nearly all. With the “All men are created equal” myth firmly in American psyche schools had to be integrated. Blacks until then had done quite well and were progressing. White schools were giving good education. Despite great and sincere efforts the education of both went down. Nothing since has been to the plus side. We hear so often that the US ranks 23rd in math or science. As if it is someone's fault.
Korean schools don't have to cope with undisciplined fatherless kids with 85 average IQs. Don't blame our schools because Korean kids are well behaved, can be taught in large classes and have average IQs over 100.
Len Gould 8.22.12
Don. Your fond reminiscences of education systems of 50 or 100 yrs ago may not jibe with those whose ancestors are / were black or etc. Fixing that (or at least trying) was only done by the feds. The more parocial the system, the more likely it will reflect such parocial views, most often to their and your detriment.
Don Hirschberg 8.22.12
Len, you consistently ignore what I write and blindly strike out without regard to facts.. I find no merit in your last comments. It is insulting. No efforts made to fix it? Indeed! I had already dealt with your criticism.
The feds have consistently made the situation worse and are still making it worse.
An example. When project Head Start began I thought, aha, here is a federal social program I can enthusiastically support. Boy, was I wrong. The project has been an utter failure. Not only a failure but it turns out the feds have been lying about it from almost day one. For a long time they reported success. There was NO success. By 2nd or 3rd grade ALL the claimed vestige benefits of Project Head Start had disappeared except for those who reaped financial benefits of the huge program. Some deserve jail time.
You have made me the fool on previous occasions by inducing me to respond goodheartedly and in good faith only to have my facts ignored. It will not happen again.
Ferdinand E. Banks 8.23.12
Don, the probability that you know more about the American military than I do, or about the second world war is exactly zero. Where the Korean and Vietnam wars are concerned, I know more than you, but I am not sure of how much more. Let's leave it at a lot more, although I might add, in a seminar room it would be my pleasure to make a fool out of you OR ANYBODY ELSE where THIS subject is concerned.
The feds have consistently made the situation worse and are still making it worse you say. That statement is just stupid. Without the feds the machine cannot produce results.
About Obama. Once more let me assure you that I am a Democrat, but Obama has failed and that means to me that Romney should be the next president. The US has lost 12 years, do you really want them to lose 16?
A change in the schools for the better can begin tomorrow. The classes in elementary school and junior high are single sex, porr and dope absolutely forbidden (and police paying schools a visit every day to check on this), school grounds are off limits to strangers. Strange clothes and hair-doos outlawed, pledge of allegiance to the flag and singing of the national anthem every morning for American citizens (and others who want to join in). Optional prayer at the end of the day. Students stand up when teachers enter the room, and sir and mam are used.
Moreover, people like you with military and perhaps combat experience recruited to occasionally walk the halls of schools and to sit down and eat with students.
I will admit that that may be too simple.
Don Hirschberg 8.23.12
Professor, your last comments neither informed me nor amused me. You talk about the “probability” of my knowledge of wars. I understand the probability of throwing an ace with a die and even the probability of rain today but I don't understand the probability of my knowledge. Should what I know from experience be rated at 100%. How about the casualty data from the almanac? How does one measure the amount of knowledge so quantities can be compared? Perhaps it would be determined in a seminar as you seem to suggest by who could make the biggest fool – perhaps out of himself?
As to that “just stupid statement” of mine, it was about the feds making it worse, referred to education programs. I cannot tell what you might have thought the subject was. Nor do I have any idea of what your “Without the feds the machine cannot product results.” means. I will let others comment on you school solutions. Anyone?
Len Gould 8.23.12
Don. I apologise if what I said above offends you; it was not intended. I only intended to point out that the US federal government has at times made some serious positive contributions regerding education, and other areas as well. Contrary to present popular rightwing advertising.
Len Gould 8.23.12
It looks to me like the present political divide in the US is entirely over the question of how to balance the federal budget. The right refuses to allow any tax increases apparently because they fear that in any fair tax increase, eg. a"progressive" tax, they (being usually lead and politically educated by the most wealthy minority and their captive media), may wind up paying a bit more proportionally than the poorest among their countrypersons. The left demands the problem be solved with primarily tax increases, combined with some minor cuts to military budgets among the more radical.
I'm personally of the opinion that there is absolutely no excuse for the US to run a deficit budget at any time since WWII, so current taxes should always match current expenditures plus debt reductions, every year, no matter who voted the expenditures.
But it looks to me like the big commercial banks are making too much of their earnings from the commissions on re-selling treasuries for that ever to happen, witness that debts and deficits always INCREASE whenever the right-wing gains control of the levers.
What has this to do with the discussion of education? It's economics education. If you want the details, read eg. "The Cash Nexus" by Nial Ferguson, lots of good hard data in that book (though that isn't the author's thesis, only mine).
Don Hirschberg 8.23.12
Glen, I'll give you credit for an attempted apology. (The first word after “apologize” is “if.”) But that's just fine with me because I don't need an apology. I would much rather influence your thinking , even a little.
Within the last few days I heard a number that I have trouble accepting: There are 10,000 federal social programs, many of them touching on education. (Aside: In recent decades we hear much about education. Most of the time they mean not education but schooling. The two greatest things we learn is how to walk and to talk.) Ten thousand fed programs. I can't think of one that has touched my life and can only this minute name but a very few. None effective.
The Department of Education is a recent addition to our bureaucracy and frankly I don't know what they are supposed to do. I do know education was much better before we had such a department.
As a life-long atheist I was upset with the faith-based programs of the Bush II administration and was glad to hear the Obama 2008 campaign saying an Obama administration would promptly do away with them. What did they do? They very quietly expanded them. (Aside:Classmates of Barry in Indonesia say he was very religious and participated in optional after school religious sessions in which the Koran was recited by the hour. People have routinely been executed for renouncing Islam by converting to Christianity.)
Neither you nor Professor Banks or anyone on EnergyPlus has been willing to acknowledge (expose themselves) the US education system has a severe handicap because we have large minorities with low cognitive abilities. Perhaps the world's greatest example of denial ever. The Great Taboo.
Don Hirschberg 8.23.12
Taxes. In the US all spending bills must originate in the House. When I was in HS during WWII I worked three jobs. I was 15 or 16 complying with Illinois laws of child labor. I was paid 25 cents, 50 cents, and 42 cents per hour. The federal government froze my rate at 42 cents, at what became O'Hare International Airport. ORD for Orchard Place. We have all been there.
I paid taxes. TV didn't exist and I didn't even own a radio. I got no benefits and never thought I should.
Today about 50% of Americans pay no federal income taxes whatsoever. Instead they get federal benefits. My HS education was excellent. It would not be today.
Don Hirschberg 8.24.12
Len, I have become aware that I have innocently called your name by mistake. Many years ago I admired a Canadian piano player named Glenn Gould. He sorta sang along as he performed Bach - what a problem for the recording people. And he screwed around with the action of his Steinway piano. A sacrilege hard to forgive. Yet I liked his Bach.
Len Gould 8.24.12
Agreed, Don. Though Glenn was a brilliant pianist his recordings were awful due to his vocalising. He eventually refused to make any more recordings. No relation to me (unfortunately, or some of his talent may have passed to me).
As a preliminary finding of my quick investigations, I note that Canada has NO federal department of education, since constitutionally education is a responsibility of the provinces. However, Canada's federal government makes very large direct grant payments from current income to poorer provinces (Equalization Payments) "To support provision of an equal level of provincial services across the nation"
I'd guess that the US DOE is primarily an attempt to make similar "equalization payments" in an environment where direct payments are politically impossible, an action which I would support but no doubt the ultra-conservatives would disallow.
Perhaps if the right wing backed off alowing direct equlaization payments to the poorer states, they could kill the DOE with its associated bureaucracy and duplication of efforts?
Len Gould 8.24.12
Regarding your "large minorities with lpw cognitive abilities" which I take to be referring quite offensively to the black population. Both Canada and Australia also have large "visible minority" populations, and observe none of your supposed problems.
From Canadian Studies in Population, Vol. 33.2, 2006, pp. 241-269 , a quote. "In 2001, the foreign-born population in Canada amounted to 18% of the total population compared to 22% in Australia and 11% in the U.S.A., the two countries similar to Canada in immigration." Note that large numbers of former slaves from the US migrated to Canada in the 1800's to escape slavery and descrimination as well.
Your whole position refer. minority populations' inherint cognitive abilities was shot down previously here, with both your two references discredited. Put up a credible reference or drop it please.
Len Gould 8.24.12
Its also interesting to note that the issue of equalization payments among sub-states of a federation is the core weakness of the EURO system, now being exposed. Without the support of such payments, the perihperal states necessarily must run deficit budgets in order to keep services such as education and healthcare at a sufficient level to keep their populations from moving en mass to the wealthier states, creating large problems in both the states moved to and from. Any state trying to operate a government budget without having any control of its currency (Europe, USA, Canada, etc) will have serious budget problems in its economically weaker members unless it arranges such a transfer payment system. If a state cannot devalue its currency to improve its relative competitiveness, then some comparable system of transfer payments is normally required to provide equality of services among individual members. Wikipedia - Equalization payments
Don Hirschberg 8.24.12
Len, my statement about US minorities was just that. Blacks, Aboriginal Americans, and a large very mixed segment called Hispanics which can include Spanish, but usually a mixture of native Americans, Blacks and Europeans. About half of Hispanic Americans define themselves on census documents as White. Black Americans after 400 years of mixing with Europeans and native Americans are quite different than their relatives in Africa. They look different and they have quite higher IQ's. Few American Blacks could pass for a Congolese with black shiny skin, peppercorn hair, large lips and flat broad noses. Not Blacks such as Whitney Houston, General Powell, Condelessa Rice, nor the majority of black congressmen and professors or show business people or Michele Obama. American Blacks average 85 IQ versus 70 across Sub-Saharan Africa. Native Americans and Hispanics are so diverse that the probability curve is not an ideally bell shaped – longer tails, but it is safe to say averages between 85 and 90.
Because you mentioned that there doesn't seem to be any problem in Australia I spent a few minutes looking around on the internet. A few facts I just learned: Australia has 2.3% of its population Aborigines. Except for Northern Territory which has thirty some percent Aborigines, no other territory has over 4%. most live in cities.
I found some test score data from 2004. After 7 years of schooling Aborigines/Australians scores were thus: Reading 71/91. Writing 78.8/93.6 Numeracy 51.9/82.1. Clearly only the very brightest few Aborigines can compete with the average White Australians.
You call me offensive. Would falsifying the data be less offensive? Falsifying data seems to be quite easily justified in the social sciences. (Alas, It seems to be getting much more common in the hard sciences.)
Ponder this from a previous comment of mine. “Korean schools don't have to cope with fatherless kids with average IQ's of 85. Don't blame our schools because Korean Kids are well behaved , can be taught in large classes and have average IQ's of over 100.”
Washington D.C. spends 19 thousand per student per year. More than any state. In all fifty states the outcome is better, students learn more.
Don Hirschberg 8.25.12
Len wrote: "Note that large numbers of former slaves from the US migrated to Canada in the 1800's to escape slavery and descrimination as well"
In 1951 there were a mere 18,000 Canadian Blacks. About 0.1% of the population. The largest number of Canadian Blacks I can find in the past is 21.5 thousand in 1871. These are quite small numbers.
Canada did not have a significant Black population until about 1981 when it had risen dramatically to 1% of the popualation. To equate the US problem with Canada's is either very ignorant or dishonest..
Ferdinand E. Banks 8.25.12
Don, I won't lose any sleep tonight thinking about walking into a seminar room or conference, and finding you in the front row ready to hand me my head on a plate. Instead you would be given a lesson, by which I mean you would join the long multicultural line that made the mistake of thinking that they could give Professor Banks his lumps. Some were students, some professors, some louts, and I guess some of them had genius IQs, but it didn't make any difference to yours truly. I've got too much in my favor. I've got history in my corner.
You see. I learned how to play the game of life in what I consider the greatest school in the world, but which I mean the United States Army. This however is completely and totally uninteresting. The thing that is interesting is why didn't the others learn. And please believe me Don when I say that I made fools of the bosses. Not at the beginning of course - in fact when I called First Sergeant Rozier out I got a very bad beating. But I didn't care, because as with economics, I knew what was in the last chapters of the books. I learned how to do this and do that and do a few other things, and so the young man who failed all his courses, was expelled from leadership school and put to work on a garbage truck, was fired from Hughes Aviation in LA, etc etc ended up by walking into a classroom.writing equations on the board, and explaining those equations in a foreign language.
Please excuse me for saying that most of the things I explained to those athletic young gentlemen and gorgeous young ladies were nonsense, which I figured out shortly after the git-so, although it took me quite a few years to break free. Almost all of the others are still teaching nonsense and will be teaching it when hell freezes over, and even worse will believe it and trick their students into believing it.
Finally, about this race thing. A gentleman from California, white-latino, came to Uppsala to hear me trash talk a number of energy economics experts. At some point in the discussion he asked me about my race, and I gave him the bad news: black, white, but probably mostly indian (cherokee and choctaw), with one grandparent born in Mexico, and neither of my parents with a secondary school diploma. I explained this background to the high and mighty at the University of Chicago when I applied for a visiting position , but they still found me wanting. What they wanted was a gay, oddly behaving and dressed, unproductive foreigner who was also a poor teacher. and a woman. My wife and grandchildren call me oddly behaving, but I lack the other advantages. Poor me
Len Gould 8.26.12
Don. I'll do no more than call your posts in the poorest taste, until you comply with my request to review your references. A vague "I found" doesn't qualify.
Don Hirschberg 8.26.12
Len, by now I'd think everyone on the blog must know how unqualifed, how offensive and in bad taste I am.
When I tried to give references in the past you rejected them because they were not peer-reviewed.
(Aside: I cannot recall ever once requiring an article to be peer-reviewed. Peer-reviewing is often an academic game: You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. And before tenure it's publish or perish.)
Plate tectonics is perhaps the first or second most important principle in Geology. I can tell you that I well remember when articles favorable to plate tectonics could not get a favorable peer -review. In fact those espousing plate tectonics were sometimes even denied degrees they earned.
After I read a comprehensive n article by Canadian geologist Tuzo Wilson I was convinced the geology academic hierarchy, the peer reviewers and text book authors, were stubbornly and persistently wrong.
Len Gould 8.26.12
Ok Don, so you're admitting that there is no credible study data supporting your position that people with darker skin colour have seriously lower average intellectual abilities. So far as I can tell, wour proposition is entirely based on the output of a seriously racist website owner in southern US, who bases his entire position on some study which presented average IQs for children by nation in Africa. However, further investigation of that study revealed that "many countries have never done any such study, so were assigned results from nearby countries" and "for Ethiopia, the entire data set was a group of about 26 refugee children who wound up in Isreal, and were tested there". Complete nonsense.
Ferdinand E. Banks 8.27.12
It might be asked what the latter collection of comments is doing in an article with the title 'Oil and Iraq'. I wont ask that question however because when somebody ( Don) points out that the academic hierarchy, peer reviewers and textbook authors are - on the average - wrong at least as often as they are right, my coment is immediately HOORAY, because that's what Joe Sixpack and Sarah need to hear.
But the rest of us need to hear it too, and we need to hear it night and day, because the lies and misunderstandings are coming thick and fast these days, and it is inexcusable for people in a forum such as EnergyPulse not to get the right messages about...energy. That's what an article called Oil and Iraq is all about, It is about peer reviewers and the peer reviewed coming to the stupid conclusion that the decision makers in e.g. ''Eye-rak'' are going to put the well-being of motorists in the US and Canada ahead of their own incomes and comfort.
Don Hirschberg 8.27.12
Professor, I apologize to you and EnergyPulsers for going too far off topic.
As to Len Gould I am not annoyed that he has different beliefs and views. I am annoyed that time after time he misrepresents what I say and what I don't say; what I reference and what I don't reference.
Ferdinand E. Banks 8.28.12
Don, Energy Pulse is a wonderful forum, and as far as I am concerned no apologies are needed now or later. As for some of the parasites and charlatans that I have had to deal with in the academic world, they should apologize, but perhaps not to me. They should apologize to somebody for not being able to add and subtract, nor wanting to remedy this unfortunate state of affairs.