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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Is the perpetual motion machine in stocks grinding to a halt?

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Is It Time To Sell Energy Stocks Short?

Coal accounts for 43% of the grid energy in the U.S. and, perhaps more importantly 81% in China and 68% in India. Even India though, where growth has long taken precedence over environmental concerns, is looking to reduce coal consumption and since 2008, has adopted a National Action Plan on Climate Change.

Obviously the world is looking to move away from coal as such concerns become more commonplace. At the same time alternative energy sources are becoming more readily available and economically viable, so the end of expansion for the coal industry at least is in sight. It would be reasonable, then to expect coal stocks to be cheap, but many are far from it; in fact some are just downright expensive.

Then, there are the oil companies. Their products are just as doomed. And, the market is valuing them on the value of their inventory in the ground. But, what if the human race suddenly came to its senses and realized that burning fossil fuels is a death sentence for the planet? What if legislatures passed laws prohibiting the oxidation of fossil fuels? The oil in the ground would then only be worth its usage outside of burning, such as for making plastics and fertilizer, for example.

Oil, gas and coal stockholders are definitely “cruisin' for a bruisin'” at some point.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Storage Costs To Hit $100 Per kWh

The cost of electrical storage is expected to plummet to $100 per kWh in the next few years. Currently, it costs between $200 and $250 per kWh according to industry experts.

Elon Musk recently stated that he'd be very disappointed if it took a decade to reach the $100 per kWh milestone.

Storage costs are essential to eliminate the so-called “intermittentcy problem” which tends to keep the mainstream from embracing solar energy. That problem is actually shared with conventional fossil-fuel generators. In fact, conventional fossil-fuel plants have unscheduled outages which last far longer than solar outages. But, the utilities pretend that this intermittency problem should limit the amount of renewables placed on the grid. It's only a plot by these investor-owned corporations to retain their profitability, though. With the addition of storage to solar arrays, the uptime from solar generators will come very, very close to 100% and far outstrip the service record of fossil fuel plants.

Thus, it's very important that storage costs continue dropping. We think $100 per kWh is just a minor milestone toward much lower costs. The additional storage will mean that solar-based microgrids will be feasible to keep the lights on with no intermittency at all.

If we're right, solar will become the predominant source of electricity in the next decade. And, the grid itself will likely fade to insignificance.

Obama Has No Middle East Strategy? Good!

By Ron Paul

Last week President Obama admitted that his administration has not worked out a strategy on how to deal with the emergence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as a dominant force in the Middle East. However, as ISIS continues its march through Syria and Iraq, many in the US administration believe it is, in the words of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, a threat “beyond anything we have ever seen.”

Predictably, the neocons attacked the president’s speech. They believe the solution to any problem is more bombs and troops on the ground, so they cannot understand the president’s hesitation.

Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Buck McKeon made it clear that fighting ISIS is going to cost a lot more money and will bring US forces back to Iraq for the third time. The post-Iraq, post-Afghanistan peace dividend disintegrates.

Mr. McKeon said last week:
ISIS is an urgent threat and a minimalist approach, that depends solely on FY15 funding or pinprick strikes that leave fragile forces in Iraq and Syria to do the hard fighting, is insufficient to protect our interests and guarantee our safety in time.

What does this mean in practice? If the neocons have their way, the Federal Reserve will “print” more money to finance another massive US intervention in the Middle East. In reality this means further devaluation of the US dollar, which is a tax on all Americans that will hit the poorest hardest.

A new US military incursion will not end ISIS; it will provide them with the recruiting tool they most crave, while draining the US treasury. Just what Osama bin Laden wanted!

McKeon and the other hawks act as if they had only recently become aware of the ISIS. Or if they noticed it, they pretend US policy had nothing to do with its rise.

McKeon also said last week, “ISIS threat was allowed to build and fester over a period of time.”

In fact, US regime change policy in Syria was directly responsible for the rise of ISIS over these past three years. As journalist Eric Margolis observed recently, the emergence of ISIS is the “mother of all blowback.” The neocons who want us to get tougher on ISIS, including a US attack on Syria, are the same ones who not long ago demanded that we support groups like ISIS to overthrow the Assad government in Syria. US-trained and funded “moderates” from the Free Syrian Army joined the Islamist militias including ISIS, taking US weapons and training with them.

Three years of supporting any force that might overthrow the secular government of President Assad has produced a new monster in the Middle East that neocons insist the US must slay.

Why can’t they just admit they were wrong? Why can’t the interventionists just admit that their support for regime change in Syria was a terrible and tragic mistake?

If ISIS is as big a threat as they claim, why can’t they simply ask Assad to help out? Assad has never threatened the United States; ISIS has. Assad has been fighting ISIS and similar Islamist extremist groups for three years.

Why does the US government insist on aligning with theocracies in the Middle East? If there is anything that contradicts the US Constitution and American values it is a theocratic government. I do not believe that a majority in the Middle East wants to live under such a system, so why do we keep pushing it on them? Is that what they call promoting democracy?

A lack of strategy is a glimmer of hope. Perhaps the president will finally stop listening to the neocons and interventionists whose recommendations have gotten us into this mess in the first place! Here’s a strategy: just come home.

Copyright © 2014 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
Please donate to the Ron Paul Institute

Friday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes #WeekendAnalysis have been updated on the website. Labor Day on Monday will see cash markets closed all day, but futures will be closed only from 13:00-18:00 ET.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Friday, August 29, 2014

Bill Gates: Wrong On Fossil Fuels

Some people believe Bill Gates is a business genius. Well, if screwing your peer group is a talent, he certains deserves the title of evil genius.

Now, Gates is coming out in favor of tradtional, centralized fossil fuel energy plants as oppposed to renewable energy. This is demonstrating either just how stupid Gates is, or that he's shilling for Big Oil now.

Don't take our word for it. Read Powering the World’s Poorer Economies: A Response to Bill Gates and Jigar Shah. The bottom line:

Can renewables meet industrial as well as household needs? India uses 25 percent of its scarce electrons providing occasional, middle-of-the-night irrigation power --- a purpose for which solar pumps are phenomenally reliable. Solar pumps work when farmers want them to --- during the day. In Chile, solar electrons easily outperform imported LNG for meeting the power needs of copper mines. In the conditions where the poor live, renewable power is more reliable and robust than fossil fuels.
It is striking that in Big Carbon's response to Jigar Shah in a Forbes blog post, the industry was forced to predict fossil fuel's continued global dominance by citing growth trends over the last thirty years. Unsurprisingly, it failed to reveal the cresting competitive edge for distributed renewables. That's akin to looking back 40 years and suggesting that today's dominance of mobile phones is a delusion.
Distributed renewables are about a decade behind telephony, but the arc of the two technologies is the same. The new world will come to small villages in Tanzania before it comes to Chicago --- just as the cell-phone revolution reached Bangkok before it dominated New York.
Bjorn Lomborg may not want to believe Jigar Shah --- or me --- on this. But he ought to base his projections and assumptions on current numbers, not outdated ones.
So, who is right? Well, in the nation with the world's largest energy-deprived population, India, a new, very pro-business and quite conservative prime minister, Narendra Modi, has cast his best with distributed solar. He is promising to give every energy-deprived Indian household solar power within the next five years.
Let's get on with the job.

Austin Ups Solar Goal By 800 Megawatts

Stephen Lacey reports on Austin's new law:
The city of Austin may have just single-handedly propelled the Texas solar market into the top-ten leading states.
Last night, the Austin city council voted in favor of a resolution that would increase the city's rooftop and utility-scale solar targets by 800 megawatts over the coming years.
It creates a plan that would build a small paradise for distributed energy companies, including a utility-scale solar target of 600 megawatts by 2017, a rooftop solar target of 200 megawatts by 2020, explicit language enabling third-party solar ownership, a floor price for the value-of-solar tariff, and a mandatory strategy to procure 200 megawatts of fast-response storage.
The plan builds upon earlier climate goals created and revised since 2010. After Austin Energy signed a power-purchase agreement for 150 megawatts of solar at 5 cents per kilowatt-hour in May, city officials asked if they should require more solar that could provide a hedge against natural gas prices.
A task force convened by the city council took a look at the potential savings offered by solar PV and decided to sharply increase goals. The resolution was written by councilman Chris Riley and championed by energy experts and environmental groups alike.
"The 2014 Task Force found that solar energy represents a cost-competitive means of securing clean peak power hedging against the volatility of fuel-dependent thermal resources, and recommended that solar energy generation should be the new default generation resource through 2024."
Chad Blevins, a financial analyst with The Butler Firm, a law office devoted to renewable energy transactions, watched the proceedings closely. He said there were a lot more serious businesspeople involved in the goal-setting process this time around compared to previous targets. "In the past, the people involved used environmental arguments to justify renewable goals. This time around, the case for renewables was based on economics — operational cost data from the utility, robust dynamic models projecting market prices and the very low PPA rates that we have seen from PV in response to recent RFPs," said Blevins.
That didn't mean that Austin Energy was fully on board. Although the municipal utility is seen as progressive in its support of renewables, executives were not enthusiastic about such a big increase in solar --- mostly because they were worried about managing it all on the grid. That's partly why the requirement for fast-response storage was added.
Advocates of the plan said it would save Austin ratepayers money and keep electricity prices in the range of the 50 percent lowest among Texas utilities.
The consumer advocacy group Public Citizen put together a cost analysis showing that ratepayers could save millions of dollars a year compared to building a new natural gas plant, assuming solar contracts are signed for $50 per megawatt-hour.
Cory Honeyman, a solar analyst with GTM Research, said the new goals will put Texas in the top-ten overall rankings and the top-five utility-scale solar rankings in the coming years.
"This plan cements Texas as an emerging leader in the near future," said Honeyman.
The plan is also representative of a broader shift for utility-scale solar around the country. According to Honeyman, there are now 3 gigawatts of large-scale projects in the pipeline in states like Georgia, North Carolina, Utah, Kentucky, and soon, Mississippi.
The surge in solar projects in states without the help of renewable portfolio standards is due to three reasons: price competition with natural gas, the need to fill in closing coal plants, and hedging against natural-gas price volatility.
"All three of the main reasons we see for justifying this goal in Austin is what we're seeing in other states, as well," said Honeyman.

Hawai'i Leads The Way In Renewable Energy

No, not California, but Hawai'i, is leading the way to minimizing fossil fuel burning in favor of renewables. Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO) on Tuesday announced their intention to triple the amount of rooftop solar in the state, just one part of a plan that the companies say will make Hawai'i the highest renewable energy-using state in the country. Climate Progress reports:
Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light — known together as HECO — proposed a package of initiatives that they said would help Hawaii generate 65 percent of its electricity from renewable energy and slash electric bills by 20 percent, all within the next 16 years. While admittedly vague on how the initiatives will be implemented and how they will impact prices, the package includes efforts to increase energy storage, develop smart grids, and support community solar projects. "Our energy environment is changing rapidly and we must change with it to meet our customers' evolving needs," Shelee Kimura, HECO’s vice president of corporate planning and business development said in a statement. "These plans are about delivering services that our customers value. That means lower costs, better protection of our environment, and more options to lower their energy costs, including rooftop solar."
Much of HECO’s plans include efforts to ensure the electric grid is stable in the face of more solar being installed. The utility said it would work closely with the solar industry to figure out just how much solar can be built and added to the grid every year without destabilizing it. It also said it would plan technological enhancements to the grid, as well.
If Hawaii can indeed begin getting more of its electricity from sources generated in-state, it is likely the state's electricity costs will decrease. Part of the reason electricity costs are currently so high there is because it is dependent on imported petroleum for 70 percent of its electricity generation. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Hawaii altogether imported 93 percent of its energy in 2012. At the same time, utility-scale solar generation in 2013 increased nearly six-fold.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Was that the 2014 version of the Flash Crash this morning? Sure looks like it.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Do we have to wait for the 1% to return from their summer holidays to see a trend?

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Congressional Budget Office: US GDP Will Grow Only 1.5% in 2014

The slowing US economy will only be able to grow at less than half its historic rate this year as the CBO reports today:
The Congressional Budget Office on Wednesday forecast that the U.S. economy will grow by just 1.5 percent in 2014, undermined by a poor performance during the first three months of the year.
The new assessment was considerably more pessimistic than the Obama administration's, which predicted last month that the economy would expand by 2.6 percent this year even though it contracted by an annual rate of 2.1 percent in the first quarter.
The economy did grow by 0.9 percent during the first half of 2014.
Looking ahead, the CBO said it expected the economy to grow by 3.4 percent over 2015 and 2016, and predicted that the unemployment rate would remain below 6 percent into the future.
The economy went into reverse at the beginning of this year, reeling from an unusually harsh winter that disrupted consumer spending, factory production and other business activity.
Growth in the gross domestic product, the economy's total output of goods and services, recovered in the second quarter, advancing at an annual rate of 4 percent, according to the government's first estimate. That forecast will be revised on Thursday.

Debunking the Myth That Deleveraging Is Why US Growth Is Poor

Andrew Smithers has debunked the myth that deleveraging is to blame for slow US growth on his blog today. The reason why growth is slow is that the US economy is stuck in a long term decline in growth that predates the last recession. Smithers concludes:
First, the US recovery has been slow because its long-term capacity for growth has slowed, and the recovery cannot therefore be sensibly described as feeble.
Second, the evidence is against the growth of debt in the US being associated with growth of the economy.
And third, growth has not been held back by a wish to deleverage private sector balance sheets.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Finding the Cause and the Cure For Autism (Video)

Too many synapses appear to cause autism. A cure may be upcoming:

Monday, August 25, 2014

Hurricane Sandy: Is a Successor Storm Setting Up? (Video)

The pattern looks similar, but we will know more in the next week as to whether another Hurricane Sandy is setting up. Levi Cowan describes the pattern similarity he sees with Sandy in today's Tropical Tidbits video:

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Where is support in the stock market? It's at a prior wave E low.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Wall Street Brokerage Warns It's "Time To Join the Revolution"

Leading investment bank UBS says the payback time for unsubsidized investment in electric vehicles paired with rooftop solar and battery storage will be as low as six to eight years by 2020, potentially triggering a massive shift in the energy industry.
"It's time to join the revolution," UBS wrote in a note to clients, in what could be interpreted as a pointed rejoinder to those governments and corporates that believe centralized fossil-fuel generation will continue to dominate for decades to come.
By 2030, according to UBS analysts, this combination will deliver a payback time of around three years. Right now, the payback is probably around twelve years, enough to encourage the interest of early adopters. (You can read more here on why EVs will make solar viable without subsidies.)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Ferguson: The War Comes Home

By Ron Paul

America’s attention recently turned away from the violence in Iraq and Gaza toward the violence in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting of Michael Brown. While all the facts surrounding the shooting have yet to come to light, the shock of seeing police using tear gas (a substance banned in warfare), and other military-style weapons against American citizens including journalists exercising their First Amendment rights, has started a much-needed debate on police militarization.

The increasing use of military equipment by local police is a symptom of growing authoritarianism, not the cause. The cause is policies that encourage police to see Americans as enemies to subjugate, rather than as citizens to "protect and serve.” This attitude is on display not only in Ferguson, but in the police lockdown following the Boston Marathon bombing and in the Americans killed and injured in “no-knock” raids conducted by militarized SWAT teams.

One particularly tragic victim of police militarization and the war on drugs is “baby Bounkham.” This infant was severely burned and put in a coma by a flash-burn grenade thrown into his crib by a SWAT team member who burst into the infant’s room looking for methamphetamine.

As shocking as the case of baby Bounkham is, no one should be surprised that empowering police to stop consensual (though perhaps harmful and immoral) activities has led to a growth of authoritarian attitudes and behaviors among government officials and politicians. Those wondering why the local police increasingly look and act like an occupying military force should consider that the drug war was the justification for the Defense Department’s “1033 program,” which last year gave local police departments almost $450 million worth of “surplus” military equipment. This included armored vehicles and grenades like those that were used to maim baby Bounkham.

Today, the war on drugs has been eclipsed by the war on terror as an all-purpose excuse for expanding the police state. We are all familiar with how the federal government increased police power after September 11 via the PATRIOT Act, TSA, and other Homeland Security programs. Not as widely known is how the war on terror has been used to justify the increased militarization of local police departments to the detriment of our liberty. Since 2002, the Department of Homeland Security has provided over $35 billion in grants to local governments for the purchase of tactical gear, military-style armor, and mine-resistant vehicles.

The threat of terrorism is used to justify these grants. However, the small towns that receive tanks and other military weapons do not just put them into storage until a real terrorist threat emerges. Instead, the military equipment is used for routine law enforcement.

Politicians love this program because it allows them to brag to their local media about how they are keeping their constituents safe. Of course, the military-industrial complex’s new kid brother, the law enforcement-industrial complex, wields tremendous influence on Capitol Hill. Even many so-called progressives support police militarization to curry favor with police unions.

Reversing the dangerous trend of the militarization of local police can start with ending all federal involvement in local law enforcement. Fortunately, all that requires is for Congress to begin following the Constitution, which forbids the federal government from controlling or funding local law enforcement. There is also no justification for federal drug laws or for using the threat of terrorism as an excuse to treat all people as potential criminals. However, Congress will not restore constitutional government on its own; the American people must demand that Congress stop facilitating the growth of an authoritarian police state that threatens their liberty.

Originally published on Ron Paul's site The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

Friday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes #WeekendAnalysis have been updated on the website. What do the Dow and the SmallCap Index have in common? The same outlook!

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Grid Is A Dead End

The power grid has failed. Or, at least it has failed for the vast majority of the human population.

India is the best example of this. The country has suffered massive grid failure and it's not an isolated instance. It's a function of the centralized grid to fail with certainty of 1.

The answer people are looking for is the distributed grid, connecting microgrids down to the individual prosumer level. Each microgrid provides power to a small geographical area and feeds its excess to the grid. If the grid has a failure, people don't have to go without energy due to the fact that the microgrid is backed by storage.

Sorry, Bill Gates, But You're Wrong on This Issue notes how wrong Bill Gates is on this issue:

The World Bank's Lighting Africa program clocked a 95 percent CAGR (compound annual growth rate) for solar products being sold beyond the grid in sub Saharan Africa. In Bangladesh, the wildly successful IDCOL solar program has installed 3 million solar home systems at a whopping 60% CAGR over the past decade. After much deliberation, even the dispassionate new Prime Minister of India decided against grid extension in favor of using distributed energy to meet his 2019 goal of electrifying every family.
In the meantime, grid extension has proceeded at incredibly marginal rates. Worse, 2.5 billion people who are connected to the grid receive power that is so unreliable that they are considered under-electrified' by current grid extension efforts. The cheap reliable grid is a fallacy that is no longer cheap, nor reliable.
When it comes to energy poverty, Gates is arguing for outdated and ineffective solutions that will keep people energy poor.
It is time that we deploy our 21st century energy solutions and put power directly in the hands of the poor.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. It's definitely a trap for investors, who will give back substantial profits soon.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Coffee Could Be Extinct in 70 Years (Video)

Say it ain't so! But, coffee could be a victim of Global Warming.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. The strongest bearish divergence in stocks we've seen today, in chart form.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

How Global Warming Is Distorting the Jet Stream (Video)

Now that we've been experiencing much more radical changes in our weather since 1980, just how is Global Warming causing these changes? Rutgers' Jennifer Francis explains how the jet stream slows down and increases in amplitude due to the accelerated warming in the Arctic in this video:

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. See the chart that proves that the rats are deserting the sinking ship!

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Countertrend rally continues in stocks, giving investors more chances to sell.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Friday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes #WeekendAnalysis have both been updated on the website.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Power To The People

Why are the Germans so good at energy? Well, the reason is pretty obvious: they give power to the people, not corporations.

Instead of letting large utilities decide on building power plants and forcing the people to accept whatever the utilities decide they need—usually whatever creates the most revenue for the utilities themselves—the German way is to let individuals and communities decide. And, that means that Citizens own half of German renewable energy.

We could learn a lot from Germany.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Wall Street is a dry tinderbox, awaiting a stray match to set it on fire.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Did options levitate stocks this week? Yes, indeed, they did.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Poor breadth does not a sustainable rally make!

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Could Hemp Outdo Graphene in Supercapacitors?

Is marijuana the next big energy thing? New research into supercapacitors is yielding a surprise finding: hemp can produce an electrode similar to, and perhaps superior to, graphene. Could hemp nanosheets topple graphene for making the ideal supercapacitor? suggests so:
The race toward the ideal supercapacitor has largely focused on graphene—a strong, light material made of atom-thick layers of carbon, which when stacked, can be made into electrodes. Scientists are investigating how they can take advantage of graphene's unique properties to build better solar cells, water filtration systems, touch-screen technology, as well as batteries and supercapacitors. The problem is it's expensive.
Mitlin's group decided to see if they could make graphene-like carbons from hemp bast fibers. The fibers come from the inner bark of the plant and often are discarded from Canada's fast-growing industries that use hemp for clothing, construction materials and other products. The U.S. could soon become another supplier of bast. It now allows limited cultivation of hemp, which unlike its close cousin, does not induce highs.
Scientists had long suspected there was more value to the hemp bast—it was just a matter of finding the right way to process the material. "We've pretty much figured out the secret sauce of it," says Mitlin, who's now with Clarkson University in New York. "The trick is to really understand the structure of a starter material and to tune how it's processed to give you what would rightfully be called amazing properties."
His team found that if they heated the fibers for 24 hours at a little over 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and then blasted the resulting material with more intense heat, it would exfoliate into carbon nanosheets.
Mitlin's team built their supercapacitors using the hemp-derived carbons as electrodes and an ionic liquid as the electrolyte. Fully assembled, the devices performed far better than commercial supercapacitors in both energy density and the range of temperatures over which they can work. The hemp-based devices yielded energy densities as high as 12 Watt-hours per kilogram, two to three times higher than commercial counterparts. They also operate over an impressive temperature range, from freezing to more than 200 degrees Fahrenheit. "We're past the proof-of-principle stage for the fully functional supercapacitor," he says. "Now we're gearing up for small-scale manufacturing."
And that's what leading scientists are smoking these days!

Colliding Atmospheres: Mars vs Comet Siding Spring (Video)

EIA Projects Fossil Fuel Prices

Price Summary
  2012 2013 2014 2015
a West Texas Intermediate.
b Average regular pump price.
c On-highway retail.
d U.S. Residential average.
WTI Crude Oila
(dollars per barrel)
94.12 97.91 100.45 96.08
Brent Crude Oil
(dollars per barrel)
111.65 108.64 108.11 105.00
Gasolineb
(dollars per gallon)
3.63 3.51 3.50 3.46
Dieselc
(dollars per gallon)
3.97 3.92 3.89 3.87
Heating Oild
(dollars per gallon)
3.79 3.78 3.83 3.74
Natural Gasd
(dollars per thousand cubic feet)
10.69 10.31 11.06 11.35
Electricityd
(cents per kilowatthour)
11.88 12.12 12.46 12.69

Source: Short Term Energy Outlook

Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Countertrend rally ongoing in stocks, but where will it end?

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Friday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes #WeekendAnalysis have been updated on the website. Are we in a waterfall decline in stocks?

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Waterfall Decline in Stock Market Due

Tom McClellan has produced an eye-opening report on how the second year of a President's second term produces a waterfall decline from July to September. We are in that decline right now. Investors should have sold all stocks by now, but it's not too late. In fact, according to the pattern, a brief bounce in the market should give investors one last chance to get out of equities:
The steep drop which began from the July 24 top is happening pretty much on schedule. A brief pause in the decline is due over the next few days, and then a resumption of the decline should appear. The ideal bottom equates to around Sep. 10, although the bottom to go up out of does not appear until a month later.

Forward To the Good Old Days

Our current societal discontent will be seen by historians of the future as the Bad Old Days which preceded the Good Old Days. That's because we are living in an era of unsustainable crimes against nature. We stick straws in the ground and suck fossil fuels out of it. That's when we're not leveling mountains to extract coal. We burn those fossil fuels and expect that we can continue to do so forever on a finite planet. Maybe historians will call these days the Stupid Old Days. Humans are incredibly stupid.

What else can you say when we despoil our nest so badly? We have the technology to eliminate all burning of fossil fuels, but the rich and powerful are fighting tooth and nail to protect their “property.” Who gave them the right to decide whether their fellow humans would die of pollution? Or, in the long run, die of Climate Change? These are the people who will find themselves on the business end of the pitchforks that the people will use to exact justice.

But, this is an optimistic article. The future holds great promise of eliminating fossil fuels used in powering our society. Those fossil fuels, probably better called fossil resources since we won't be burning them, have great uses outside of energy. The reason we will eliminate fossil fuels is not because the politicians will suddenly wake up and realize the burning of fossil fuels is a suicide strategy. No, the politicians won't have anything to do with it. The reason we will stop burning fossil fuels is simply that it won't pay to do so. Alternative energy is available cheaply today and will only get cheaper because the energy is available for free. We simply need to develop the pot to catch all the free energy that's available to us.

Of course, we're talking about the free energy from that fusion reactor that's located 93 million miles away from us in the sun. As much energy as we need in one year falls on the Earth from the sun every hour. All we have to do is to create a pot to catch it. And, we know how to do that already. If we need more free energy, we simply will send more satellites into space to capture the energy that isn't going to land on Earth in the first place. The sun puts out enough energy in one hour to meet human needs for several millenia. And, it will continue to do so for billions of years. Enough time for humanity to destroy itself, of course. At least on Earth. Maybe not on Mars if Elon Musk has his way.

But, historians of the future will definitely see humanity emerging from these Bad Old Days into the sunlight of the coming Good Old Days as long as we delay our inevitable demise due to stupidity.

Friday, August 08, 2014

This Changes Everything: Capitalism Vs. Climate

This Changes Everything: Capitalism Vs. the Climate by Naomi Klein forcefully makes the case that:
Our economic model is at war with life on Earth.
We can’t change the laws of nature, but we can change our broken economy.
And that’s why climate change isn’t just a disaster. It’s also our best chance to demand—and build—a better world.
Change or be changed. But make no mistake… this changes everything.

The publisher says:

Forget everything you think you know about global warming. The really inconvenient truth is that it's not about carbon—it's about capitalism. The convenient truth is that we can seize this existential crisis to transform our failed economic system and build something radically better.
In her most provocative book yet, Naomi Klein, author of the global bestsellers The Shock Doctrine and No Logo, tackles the most profound threat humanity has ever faced: the war our economic model is waging against life on earth.

Non von Neumann Computer Chip Mimics Biological Brain

IBM has introduced a silicon chip which mimics a biological brain. Although it contains only 4096 synaptic cores, it emulates a brain containing one million programmable “neurons,” 256 million programmable “synapses,” and 46 billion “synaptic operations” per second per watt — simulating the function of neurons and synapses in the brain.* Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence reports:
This radical new cognitive chip architecture is also a departure from the classical von Neumann architecture — the basis of almost every computer today — which inherently creates a bottleneck limiting performance of the system.
Instead, the new "TrueNorth" chip architecture features an digital on-chip, two-dimensional mesh network of 4096 digital, distributed neurosynaptic cores.
Each core module integrates memory, computation, and communication, and operates in an event-driven, parallel, and fault-tolerant fashion.
IBM says it is planning to integrate its neurosynaptic processing into mobile devices to overcome limitations constrained by power, volume and speed.
Eventually, by 2030, chips which exceed the capacity of a human brain are expected to power the coming singularity described by Ray Kurzweil in his book The Singularity Is Near.

Coming Soon From the UK: Skylon Spaceplane Operations (Video)

Which States Will Legalize Marijuana This Decade? (Video)

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. When will the next round of QE be announced? We think it won't be long.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Solar's Rapid Growth

Solar power worldwide is now growing faster than cellphones. This video debunks the myth that a reliable electricity supply from mostly or wholly renewable resources will need giant "baseload" power stations or a breakthrough in cheap electrical storage.

But, cheap electrical storage is coming anyway.

US GDP Growth Rate Trend: 0.7-1.0%

Most economists hope the US growth rate, historically about 3.2%, will soon return to that level. Unfortunately, it appears the trend growth rate for the USA is stuck between 0.7% and 1.0% per annum. Andrew Smithers examines the issue and finds that we are indeed on a slow growth path:
The likelihood that the underlying growth rate of the US economy has declined is shown in the data on investment and capital productivity as well as in the declines in labour supply and productivity.
Investment has fallen as a percentage of GDP. It is currently lower in total than it has been in any year since 1947 and equipment investment is similarly depressed (chart five). The rate of growth of the economy is thus likely to have declined unless investment has become more efficient.
But the efficiency of new capital investment has fallen rather than risen. This is measured by the incremental capital/output ratio ("ICOR"), which is derived by dividing the ratio of investment to GDP by its growth rate. As growth is volatile from year to year, it is usual to calculate ICORs over longer periods and in chart six I do this by measuring investment and growth over the previous 10 years. The more capital it takes to increase GDP, the less efficient it is and, as chart six shows, it has recently taken about twice as much capital for a given rise in GDP as it has on average in the past.
As both capital investment and its efficiency have fallen, a continuation of current trends points to a marked fall in the trend rate of growth of the US economy. However, provided there is no further deterioration in capital efficiency and the level of investment is unchanged, the implied trend growth rate of the US economy is rather better than that suggested by the labour data. The trend growth rate derived by dividing the current total level of investment of 19.1 per cent of GDP by the ICOR derived from the past 10 years, which is 13, indicates a trend growth rate of 1.5 per cent per annum.
Well, there's the good news. We might find GDP growth trending higher at 1.5% per annum. Far less than Wall Street economists are perenially predicting!

"The Economist" Magazine Was Hacked

You may recall that we lambasted The Economist for printing an article full of lies about how solar was inferior to other forms of energy. Now, it appears that the magazine was hacked. Amory B. Lovins explains:
That full-page article highlights a May working paper by Charles R. Frank, Jr. (economics Ph.D. 1963), a nonresident fellow at the nonpartisan and notably debate-friendly Brookings Institution. His background is in international development and finance. I daresay most experts on the economics of energy technologies and climate change had never heard of him—but they have now. As soon as The Economist featured his paper, their inboxes and Twitter feeds lit up with incredulity: could his conclusions possibly be true?
They're not (and yes, I've written The Economist a letter saying so). My detailed critique at RMI.org explains why, and cites two other reviews and a podcast. But for anyone who knows the subject, Dr. Frank's con­clu­sions don't even pass the giggle test. He finds that new wind and solar power are the least, and new nuclear power and combined-cycle gas generation are the most, cost-effective ways to displace coal-fired power—just the opposite of what you'd expect from observing market prices and choices.
How does Dr. Frank reach his contrarian conclusions? By using, apparently unwittingly, obsolete data and incorrect methods. He assumes wind and solar power half as productive and twice as costly as they actually are, gas power twice as pro­duc­­­tive as it actually is (but with no methane leakage or price volatility), and new nuclear power at half its actual total cost and con­struction time and one-fifth its actual operating cost. He also posits a need for new U.S. generating capacity and bulk electricity storage, but no efficiency oppor­tuni­ties worth mentioning. His strange method of assessing reliability suggests little under­standing of how power grids integrate, and their operators analyze, renew­ables.
So are Dr. Frank's odd findings artifacts of errors in his methodology, his data, or both? Both, but there are so many mistakes that just nine data points can carry the whole load. My colleague Titiaan Palazzi reconstructed Dr. Frank's spread­­sheets, reproduced his results, then simply updated the nine most egregiously outdated figures to those in the latest official historical statistics (not forward-looking projections) from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Department of Energy, Nuclear Energy Institute, and similarly authoritative sources.
Presto! The conclusions flipped. Instead of gas combined-cycle and nuclear plants' offering the greatest net benefit from displacing coal plants, followed by hydro, wind, and last of all solar, the ranks reversed. The new, correct, story: first hydro (on his purely economic assumptions), then wind, solar, gas, and last of all nuclear—still omitting efficiency, which beats them all.
Beneath Dr. Frank's wrong answer, however, lurks a useful question. He adopts the distinguished economist Prof. Paul Joskow's 2011 valid thesis that the way power-sector investments are chosen—lowest long-run eco­nomic cost—is incomplete, because different technologies generate power at different times, creat­ing different amounts of value. Of course value as well as cost should be con­sidered. But interestingly, this case suggests that if we use correct and up-to-date cost and per­for­mance data, the cost- and value-based calculations yield the same priorities, whether judged from the perspective of financial investment or climate-protection effectiveness. That is, adjusting for different resources' time of genera­tion, though theoretically nice, doesn't change the result; cost-benefit analysis gives the same answer as a simple cost comparison. The resulting best-buys-first sequence would also gain even more value if other hidden costs, risks, and benefits were counted too.
Making a splash—intentional or not—with a flawed analysis that doesn't survive more careful scrutiny is nothing new. My esteemed Stanford colleague Dr. Jon G. Koomey cowrote a 2002 Annual Review of Energy and the Environment paper (here) called "Sorry, Wrong Number: The Use and Misuse of Numerical Facts in Analysis and Media Reporting of Energy Issues." Its abstract says: "Students of public policy sometimes envision an idealized policy process where competent data collection and incisive analysis on both sides of a debate lead to reasoned judgments and sound decisions. Unfortu­nate­ly, numbers that prove decisive in policy debates are not always carefully developed, credibly documented, or correct. This paper presents four widely cited examples of numbers in the energy field that are either misleading or wrong. It explores the origin of those numbers, how they missed the mark, and how they have been misused by both analysts and the media. In addition, it describes and uses a three-stage analytic process for evaluating such statistics that involves defining terms and boundaries, assessing underlying data, and critically analyzing arguments." It's a bracing read, with a nice summary and update.
The diligent Dr. Frank has collected not just one wrong number but a flotilla, together driving a false conclusion that gained a prominent platform in The Econo­mist. The ana­lytic lesson: rapidly changing data quickly pass their sell-by date.
It's too early to guess whether prompt refutations will prevent the distres­sing phenomenon Dr. Koomey describes, whereby media and advocates fond of a false thesis (or who don't know any better) keep repeating it long after it's been de­cis­ive­ly debunked. Time will tell. But your ability to stay well-informed and to exer­cise your critical faculties can help build sound public discourse. If you hear a claim that sounds nutty, maybe it is. If it is, say so. As biologist Prof. E.O. Wilson wrote, "Some­times a concept is baffling not because it is profound but because it's wrong."

Why the Pitchforks Came Out in the First American Revolution

David Brin explains what a lot of us only suspected. The reasons behind the American Revolution (the first one in the 18th century, that is) were not at all what the history books told us. It turns out that there are many parallels between that first American Revolution—and the upcoming one:
  1. Monopolies such as the East India Company had been granted exclusive trading rights, cutting out American merchants, crushing competition, funneling commerce through ports and markets controlled by the top one hundred British families -- the one-percent of one-percent of one-percent.
  2. The insanely destructive 1764 Currency Act, which forbade the colonies from issuing paper currency and required use only of coinage released by the cartel.
  3. Almost half of the land in the colonies was owned by absentee lords. The main reason Franklin was sent to London (around 1760) was to attempt persuading the Penn family (also later the Baltimores and other members of the aristocratic cartel) to allow themselves to be taxed, even at very low rates, so that the colonies could function.
  4. Coming in at number four, at last: taxation without representation! Yes, it is the classic. Only let's dive deeper into this one, because true history is nothing like what we’re told by the Norquist/Teaparty narrative. The British Parliament was at that time hugely "gerrymandered,” to apply a modern term. There were many Rotten Burroughs where a lord and a few dozen tenants got to elect their own MP, while the masses in Birmingham and London were steeply under-represented… and Americans had no representation at all. Reforming this mess (it eventually happened) would have prevented the explosion, keeping the colonies loyal. But it would also hurt the short-term self-interest of those lords and MPs. So, the blatantly unjust system was maintained and American grievance ignored. Did you catch the parallel? Today’s Republican Party relies utterly upon two kinds of gerrymandering. In red state legislatures and the U.S. House of Representatives, it is the blatant twisting of electoral districts. (Some blue states do it, too, but more of them are abandoning the foul practice; not one red state has.)
  5. British laws against settlement beyond the Appalachians. At surface, this rule was to protect native tribes. Indeed, resentment against this restriction, particularly by Scots-Irish immigrants and transports arose because they wanted to go over the mountains to grab farmland from peoples already living there. But the Crown and Lords weren't doing this to be nice to the tribes. They had a real problem on their hands. The frontier provided an easy haven to which tenant farmers, indentured servants and slaves might flee, and/or remake themselves. That escape option - unavailable in old Europe - made it very hard to maintain a bottom-caste peasantry. For all its faults, the frontier forged the deeply libertarian American soul. (Again... I am talking about older libertarianism... not the weirdly-mutated thing the movement has become.)
  6. Egalitarianism. Some historians anchor the American Revolution upon a single day, when Ben Franklin was summoned before the King’s Privy Council for a public berating and humiliation… the day that the smartest man in a century was converted from an impudent-but-loyal subject into a dedicated conspirator for independence. The colonies were already home to a new spirit and ethos - part cantankerous, part ebullient and hopeful, and part-scientific, with all those portions combining to demand one core question: “Why should I have to bow down, or be bullied, by another mere human… just because of who his father was?” The irony is rich. Those today citing the Founders most often are folks who are most vigorously helping propel us back into a world of inherited status, dominated by clans and cartels of aristocratic families.

The new American Revolution will simply reset the stage. So, get those pitchforks ready, folks, 'cause it's coming soon to North America. And, maybe this time, we'll get Canada on our side as well and join the two North American nations into one.

Get Those Pitchforks Ready

El Nino Arrival Delayed, But Still 65% Probable

The imminent arrival of El Nino was not to be. According to the Climate Prediction Center:
Over the last month, model forecasts have slightly delayed the El Niño onset, with most models now indicating an onset during July-September, with the event continuing into early 2015. A strong El Niño is not favored in any of the ensemble averages, and slightly more models call for a weak event rather than a moderate event. At this time, the consensus of forecasters expects El Niño to emerge during August-October and to peak at weak strength during the late fall and early winter (3-month values of the Niño-3.4 index between 0.5°C and 0.9°C). The chance of El Niño has decreased to about 65% during the Northern Hemisphere fall and early winter.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Are we ready for a dead animal bounce? Could be.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Banking Facts

Frank Hollenbeck in Confusing Capitalism with Fractional Reserve Banking explains some facts:
Today, capitalism is blamed for our current disastrous economic and financial situation and a history of incessant booms and busts. Support for capitalism is eroding worldwide...
Most, if not all, booms and busts originate with excess credit creation from the financial sector. These respondents, incorrectly, assume that this financial system structured on fractural reserve banking is an integral part of capitalism. It isn't. It is fraud and a violation of property rights, and should be treated as such.
When you put your money in a bank it is no longer your money. The bank can do anything it wants with it. It can go to the casino and play roulette. It is not fraud legally, and the only requirement for the bank is to run a Ponzi scheme, giving you the money deposited by someone else if they lost your money and you happen to come back asking for your money. This legalization of fraud is essentially one of the main reasons no one went to jail after the debacle of 2008.
The Federal Reserve System was created following the panics of 1903 and 1907 to counterbalance the negative impact of fractional reserve banking. One hundred years after its creation, the Fed can only be given a failing grade. Money is no longer a store of value, and the world has experienced two of its worst financial crises. Instead of a counterbalance, the central bank has fed and expanded the size of the beast. This was to be expected.
That global poll on capitalism also found that almost half (48 percent) of respondents felt that the problems of capitalism could be resolved with added regulations and reform. Janet Yellen also holds this view, and that regulation, not interest rates, should be the main tool to avoid another costly boom and bust in global finance. This is extremely naïve. We already have more compliance officers in banks than loan officers. Recent banking legislation, Dodd-Frank, and the Vickers and Liikanen reports will probably make the situation even worse. Banks will always be able to use new technologies and new financial instruments to stay one step ahead of the regulators. We continue to put bandages on a system that is rotten to the core. Banking in its current form is not capitalism. It is fraud and crony capitalism, kept afloat by ever-more desperate government interventions. It should be dismantled. Under a system of 100 percent reserves, loan banks (100 percent equity-financed investment trusts) would be like any other business and would not need any more regulation than that of the makers of potato chips.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Tuesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Why buying dips in one particular security has been, and is likely to continue to be, so profitable.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Climate Change & Wildfires Explained in Less Than Three Minutes (Video)

Why Tesla Will Triumph Over Toyota

Joe Romm writes Tesla Trumps Toyota: Why Hydrogen Cars Can’t Compete With Pure Electric Cars which exposes why Elon Musk calls fuel cells “fool cells:”
From a greenhouse gas perspective, there is no competition between pure electrics and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. EVs win hands down and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
It's inexplicable why Toyota would make such a bad mistake in choosing “fool cells” over pure electrics.

The End of Jobs

We've discussed what it means for the coming End of Jobs. Gradually, but accelerating, we are seeing more and more human jobs disappear as machines take over. What will replace jobs for humans? Vivek Wadhwa writes about the quandary in I Have Seen the Future and It Is Jobless:
There won't be much work for human beings. Self-driving cars will be commercially available by the end of this decade and will eventually displace human drivers — just as automobiles displaced the horse and buggy — and will eliminate the jobs of taxi, bus, and truck drivers. Drones will take the jobs of postmen and delivery people.
The debates of the next decade will be about whether we should allow human beings to drive at all on public roads. The pesky humans crash into each other, suffer from road rage, rush headlong into traffic jams, and need to be monitored by traffic police. Yes, we won't need traffic cops either.
Robots are already replacing manufacturing workers... It will be like the future that Autodesk CEO Carl Bass once described to me: "The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment."
How are policy-makers going to grapple with entire industries' disruptions in periods that are shorter than election cycles? The industrial age lasted a century, and its consequent changes have happened over generations. Now we have startups in Silicon Valley shaking up bedrock industries such as cable and broadcasting, hotels and transportation.
The writing is clearly on the wall about what lies ahead. Yet even the most brilliant economists — and futurists — don't know what to do about it.
In his debate with me, Kurzweil said: "Automation always eliminates more jobs than it creates if you only look at the circumstances narrowly surrounding the automation. That's what the Luddites saw in the early 19th century in the textile industry in England. The new jobs came from increased prosperity and new industries that were not seen." Kurzweil's key argument was that just as we could not predict the types of jobs that were created, we can't predict what is to come.
Kurzweil is right, but the problem is that no matter what the jobs of the future are, they will surely require greater skill and education — robots can do all the grunt work. Manufacturers who want to bring production back already complain that they can't find enough skilled workers in the U.S. for their automated factories. Technology companies that write the software also complain about shortages of workers with the skills that they need. We won't be able to retrain the majority of the work force fast enough to take the new jobs in emerging industries. During the industrial revolution, it was the younger generations who were trained — not the older workers.
At best we have another 10 to 15 years in which there is a role for humans. The number of available jobs will actually increase in the U.S. and Europe before it decreases. China is out of time because it has a manufacturing-based economy, and those jobs are already disappearing. Ironically, China is accelerating this demise by embracing robotics and 3D printing. As manufacturing comes back to the U.S., new factories need to be built, robots need to be programmed and new infrastructure needs to be developed. To install new hardware and software on existing cars to make them self-driving, we will need many new auto mechanics. We need to manufacture the new medical sensors, install increasingly efficient solar panels, and write new automation software.
So the future is very bright for some countries in the short term, and in the long term is uncertain for all. The only certainty is that much change lies ahead that no one really knows how to prepare for.
Wadhwa thinks we will shrink the work week to give everyone who wants a job a job. But, that kind of stopgap nonsense simply won't fly for long. Eventually, we will inevitably run into a limit. That limit is the day when all jobs for humans simply end because the machines can do better. We will need to transition to a jobless society. It's as simple—and radical—as that.

How To Power California With Wind, Water and Sun

Study shows how to power California with wind, water and sun:
Imagine a smog-free Los Angeles, where electric cars ply silent freeways, solar panels blanket rooftops and power plants run on heat from beneath the earth, from howling winds and from the blazing desert sun.
A new Stanford study finds that it is technically and economically feasible to convert California's all-purpose energy infrastructure to one powered by clean, renewable energy. Published in Energy, the plan shows the way to a sustainable, inexpensive and reliable energy supply in California that could create tens of thousands of jobs and save billions of dollars in pollution-related health costs. "If implemented, this plan will eliminate air pollution mortality and global warming emissions from California, stabilize prices and create jobs—there is little downside," said Mark Z. Jacobson, the study's lead author and a Stanford professor of civil and environmental engineering. He is also the director of Stanford's Atmosphere/Energy Program and a senior fellow with the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and the Precourt Institute for Energy.
Jacobson's study outlines a plan to fulfill all of the Golden State's transportation, electric power, industry, and heating and cooling energy needs with renewable energy by 2050. It calculates the number of new devices and jobs created, land and ocean areas required, and policies needed for infrastructure changes. It also provides new estimates of air pollution mortality and morbidity impacts and costs based on multiple years of air quality data. The plan is analogous to one that Jacobson and other researchers developed for New York state.
The study concludes that, while a wind, water and sunlight conversion may result in initial capital cost increases, such as the cost of building renewable energy power plants, these costs would be more than made up for over time by the elimination of fuel costs. The overall switch would reduce California's end-use power demand by about 44% and stabilize energy prices, since fuel costs would be zero, according to the study.
It would also create a net gain, after fossil-fuel and nuclear energy job losses are accounted for, of about 220,000 manufacturing, installation and technology construction and operation jobs. On top of that, the state would reap net earnings from these jobs of about $12 billion annually.
Read more ...

Monday, August 04, 2014

Monday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. Great breadth today, but is it a major Change-in-Trend?

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

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Sunday, August 03, 2014

Friday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes #WeekendAnalysis have been updated on the website. Is there life after a digaonal triangle?

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Fossil Fuel Energy Companies Panic, Call EPA a "Terrorist"

You can tell we're winning when the representatives (Congressional puppets) take to calling the Environmental Protection Agency a “terrorist.” Their business models, based upon mining fossil fuels, burning them and destroying our planetary habitat is going the way of the dodo bird. And, good riddance to all their lot, including shareholders.

ThinkProgress reports:

Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Kelly (R) had choice worlds for the Environmental Protection Agency's new rule on power plant emissions Monday, moving beyond the usual "war on coal" language and likening the proposed regulations to an act of terrorism.
Kelly delivered his remarks at an event at the conservative Heritage Foundation, a think tank that opposes the new rule. "You talk about terrorism — you can do it in a lot of different ways," he said. "But you terrorize the people who supply everything this country needs to be great — and you keep them on the sidelines — my goodness, what have we become?"
When asked to clarify what he meant by that, Kelly said he used the word "terrorism" broadly, E&E News reports. "When a government can level on you taxes and regulations that makes it impossible for you to compete, then you're going to stay on the sidelines," he said.
Opponents of the rules should continue fighting them, Kelly said, because if critics give up, the EPA has "effectively won."
Kelly is the author of the Coal Country Protection Act, legislation which would halt the EPA's new carbon rule and any regulation that aims to limit carbon from power plants until various criteria are met, including certification from the Secretary of Labor that the regulation won't cause job losses. "The Coal Country Protection Act will defend hardworking Americans from the EPA's extreme overreach by stopping unfair, job-killing regulations in their tracks," Kelly said in a statement. "The ideological ambitions of a few in Washington must never be allowed to force economic pain on families across our country."
In the same statement, Kelly referred to coal as a "sustainable, reliable, and affordable energy source," and calls the EPA's new rule a "harsh new energy tax."
Like Kelly, many lawmakers from coal-heavy states have blasted the EPA's new rule, saying it will harm the coal industry and put miners out of work. Some, however, stood up for the rule in the weeks after it was announced, despite their states' sizable coal industries. "From floods to fires to beetle-killed trees, we know the consequences of the changing climate," Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) said in response to the rule. "State-based solutions that limit the effects of climate change will keep these industries and our economy strong. This responsible proposal gives states flexibility to balance the needs of today with the demands of tomorrow."
The EPA is currently gearing up for public hearings on the rule, which start Tuesday in Atlanta.
It's time us terrorists did something to reverse the damage these original terrorists have been doing to the environment.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Corporate Welfare for Walgreens

It seems that Walgreens is planning to become US tax evaders:
Walgreens used to be a U.S. company that grew by competing on price and service.
Not anymore. They’ve found an easier way: Change their mailing address to Switzerland and skip out on billions of dollars in taxes.
Yes, Walgreens may soon be a Swiss company – on paper. Nothing changes except the return address. They’ll still make business decisions and operate in America. There are no executives taking crash courses in Romanche (one of the five official Swiss languages).
Walgreens is making us the suckers. While they will still deliver their freight on our roads, recruit workers we educated and use the courts we built, they won’t pay their share of taxes anymore.

The End of Work

Radio Open Source discusses a timely topic—the end of work:
The jobless economy: a fully automated, engineered, robotic system that doesn't need you, or me either. Anything we can do, machines can do better — surgery, warfare, farming, finance. What's to do? Shall we smash the machines, or go to the beach, or finally learn to play the piano?
Economists predict that 50% of US jobs could be automated in a decade or two. Big fun show with tech wizard Ray Kurzweil and the economist Andrew McAfee. We need to hear the worker's voice, too. Will a machine take your job someday? And in a world without work, what would you do?

Bear Market Expectations

John Hampson examines how fast stocks go down in his latest blog post Fire Is Lit:
Dow 1929: 3 weeks 44% declines

Dow 1937: 8 weeks 38% declines

Dow 1968: 8 weeks 18% declines

Dow 1987: 2 weeks 34% declines

Nikkei 1989: 6 weeks 27% declines

Nasdaq 2000: 3 weeks 35% declines

SP500 2011: 2 weeks 18% declines

They average out at 30% declines over 4.5 weeks.

Methane Mega-Flares Threaten To Accelerate Global Warming

Ominous news about a new source of greenhouse gases comes from Icebreaker Oden, currently cruising the Arctic Ocean:
We are ‘sniffing’ methane. We see the bubbles on video from the camera … All analysis tells the signs. We are in a [methane] mega flare.

Chief scientist Örjan Gustafsson of the University of Stockholm writes:

So, what have we found in the first couple of days of methane-focused studies?
1) Our first observations of elevated methane levels, about ten times higher than in background seawater, were documented already as we climbed up the steep continental slope at stations in 500 and 250 meter depth. This was somewhat of a surprise. While there has been much speculation of the vulnerability of regular marine hydrates [frozen methane formed due to high pressure and low temperature] along the Arctic rim, very few actual observations of methane releases due to collapsing Arctic upper slope marine hydrates have been made. ¨
It has recently been documented that a tongue of relatively warm Atlantic water, with a core at depths of 200—600 meters may have warmed up some in recent years. As this Atlantic water, the last remnants of the Gulf Stream, propagates eastward along the upper slope of the East Siberian margin, our SWERUS-C3 program is hypothesizing that this heating may lead to destabilization of upper portion of the slope methane hydrates. This may be what we now for the first time are observing.
2) Using the mid-water sonar, we mapped out an area of several kilometers where bubbles were filling the water column from depths of 200 to 500 meters. During the preceding 48 hours we have performed station work in two areas on the shallow shelf with depths of 60-70m where we discovered over 100 new methane seep sites. SWERUS-C3 researchers have on earlier expeditions documented extensive venting of methane from the subsea system to the atmosphere over the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. On this Oden expedition we have gathered a strong team to assess these methane releases in greater detail than ever before to substantially improve our collective understanding of the methane sources and the functioning of the system. This is information that is crucial if we are to be able to provide scientific estimations of how these methane releases may develop in the future.

The Arctic Methane Emergency Group has been warning governments about the potential for a runaway greenhouse event due to methane:

While land and subsea permafrost thaws ever faster, methane could become the dominant climate forcing agent. Emissions threaten to break through the gigaton-per-year level within twenty years. AMEG has been continuing its research into the situation. A recent paper, co-authored by Peter Wadhams, a founder member of AMEG, has used the Stern Review economic model to show that the economic cost of a 50 megaton release of methane from the Arctic Ocean seabed will cost $60 trillion. Research in the East Siberian Arctic Shelf has suggested that such a vast release of methane was possible, and continued exponential increase of methane could, within 20 years, reach a level where methane dominated over CO2 in global warming. Some researchers warn of a 50 gigaton burst being possible “at any time”.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thursday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. The bear market at its 1-month anniversary.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

From CO2 To H2O

One of the interesting facts about Global Warming is that the #1 greenhouse gas is actually water, not carbon dioxide. However, because the CO₂ humans are injecting into the air triggers evaporation of H₂O, the effect is that of an amplifier, causing temperatures to rise much faster than they otherwise would have.

The Times of India reports:

The increased level of water vapour in the atmosphere is one of the contributing factors to the increase in global temperature, according to a team of researchers from the US.
This new study, conducted by the University of Miami Rosensteil School of Maritine and Atmospheric Sciences and colleagues, shows that the rise in the levels of water vapour in the atmosphere directly affects, not only the temperature on earth, but also the human activities of it. It also brings to light how the activities by the human beings have resulted in an increase in the levels of water vapour in the atmosphere.
"The study is the first to confirm that human activities have increased water vapour in the upper troposphere," said Brian Soden, co-author of the study, and Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Miami Rosensteil School.
Their findings showed that the greenhouse gases trap the heat within the atmosphere, and evaporates more water from the surface. This extra water vapour, they say, is stronger than most of the normal greenhouse gases, increasing the greenhouse effect manifold.
This study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) journal, by the name of 'Upper Tropospheric Moistening in response to Anthropogenic Warming'.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wednesday's Results In The Wall Street Bucket Shops

#SubscriberNotes have been updated on the website. The leading sectors are carrying the weight of the market now.

Note: a bucket shop is an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity futures. Today's stock trading has been divorced from its connection to true valuation of securities and is equivalent to a bucket shop operation.

Stock Market Performance Table

Oil Company: Taxpayers Should Help Mitigate Climate Change They Caused

Here's the ultimate hypocrisy from an oil company:
Oil companies seem to think they have the most to gain by denying climate disruption.
Why? Well, carbon pollution caused by burning fossil fuels is a key cause of the climate crisis -- and without action, they'll be free to drill, extract, frack, refine, transport, and burn oil as much as they want. Apparently, it's easy for them to ignore the cascade of problems their polluting behavior creates when they've got profits to be made. But, as it happens, such irresponsible, deeply flawed logic eventually comes full circle.
In Delaware, severe storms are eroding the shoreline and affecting homes and businesses up and down the coast — including the business of an oil refinery. The functioning of the Delaware City Refining Company property just south of New Castle, a division of PBF Energy, is threatened by increasing extreme weather. In other words, climate disruption is hitting the doorstep of its source.
The refinery has tried to get help, submitting an application with the Coastal Zone Management Act seeking shoreline protections due to "tidal encroachment" -- which is one way of saying sea level rise. "The extent of the shoreline erosion has reached a point where facility infrastructure is at risk," says the permit application from the company.
You read that right -- an oil company feels jeopardized by sea level rise. And they're asking for assistance. That's like a cigarette company asking for help paying for ventilators for its executives after they've peddled tobacco for decades.