News from me, and about the blog

Here’s my semi-regular newsletter, and a followup with links to a couple of recent articles about climate change and the disastrous floods in eastern Australia.

I’ve been using Mailchimp to send out the newsletter, but it’s mostly oriented to marketers. So, I’ve decided to move to Substack, which quite a few commentators have already done. One option is to move the blog there. That would be a big shift for me, as I’ve had the current site for most of the nearly 20 years I’ve been blogging. The main difference for readers would be the option of getting email alerts when new posts go up. If you like or dislike the idea, say so in comments

Over the page the followup email with links:

Hi all,

A quick followup. Immediately after my last email, I published a couple of pieces about climate change and the flood disasters. Rather than wait another month, I’m sending links out now

The costs of climate disasters far outweigh our earnings from coal, published, amazingly enough in the Brisbane Courier-Mail (Murdoch)
One in 1,000 years? Old flood probabilities no longer hold water, in The Conversation

Also, and an interview here with Chinese agency Xinhua on implications of Putin’s war on Ukraine

17 thoughts on “News from me, and about the blog

  1. Possibly it’s a basic economic point, but if the price of oil increases, could oil consumption decrease such as to lessen CO2 emissions substantially?

  2. Email alerts are fine provided one has the option to receive or not receive such alerts.

    xenForo run an excellent forum service. You probably have to pay a bit as host though. I used to frequent the Cossacks 3 Forum site implemented on xenForo. Features include tabbed forums, member sign-up and log-in, starting own topics, ability to correct typos, mistakes in own posts after typing, profile posts, votes for best comments, commentator (if you like that kind of thing), alerts to your posts and any thread you post on if you want, personal profile, ability to start private conversations with invited participants only. Ease of posting text and picture files. Would take some curating. Probably could nominate a few moderators to alert you of dubious material. Probably other features and maybe levels of membership: general public, tertiary students, colleagues for access to given fora.

    Excellent but maybe too fancy and costly. I have not investigated costs.

  3. eliotness: your point is a basic one, and correct. If the price of oil rises due to the withdrawal of some supply, consumption will decline until demand and supply are in balance at the new higher price. Emissions will therefore fall

  4. Higher prices will also cause an increase in supply – unless thwarted by regulation or other interference. Any reduction in emissions would be temporary.

  5. Joe Blow. This is incorrect. Although competing producers will increase output, the net effect will be reduction in the total quantity produced and consumed, along with an increase in price

  6. Dt+ market and demand “along with an increase in price” and an increase in production of more fuel efficient vehicles, inviting the Jevons Paradox over time?

  7. Joe Blow: – “Higher prices will also cause an increase in supply – unless thwarted by regulation or other interference.

    High enough oil prices induce demand destruction, per JQ above.

    Ultimately, geology will trump technology. In many plays/regions we are already witnessing the point of diminishing returns. It’s not about how much oil is remaining in the ground, but how quickly it can be extracted and how much more energy is required to get it out of the ground and process it into a form useful for society. Diesel is the premier transport fuel and it seems currently there’s a worsening global shortage, particularly in Europe.

    The dire diesel supply situation predates the Russian invasion of Ukraine. While global oil
    demand hasn’t yet reached its pre-pandemic level, global diesel consumption surged to a fresh
    all-time high in the fourth quarter of 2021. The boom reflects the lopsided COVID economic
    recovery, with transportation demand spiking to ease supply-chain messes.

    https://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/the-oil-price-surge-is-bad-the-diesel-crisis-is-worse-20220315-p5a4ne.html

  8. I have observed retail petrol prices in Australia have a degree of price inelasticity. Is petrol still a staple good? If so it’s demand elasticity may be a relevant determinant. But it is the price gouging that seems to affect petrol prices at the pump. With the franchise system locking many retail suppliers into preset prices, the elasticity of supply may be compromised. Our price commissioner seems to do little leaving it up to the ACCC to police petrol price surges. Price creep can be used to edge up bowser prices over time. Of course, as we saw recently, the crude oil price can be affected by supply changes in the medium term. But such changes can take up to two weeks to work their way through to retail petrol prices. The uptake of electric cars and trucks. and buses should change much of the above in the long run.

  9. Elasticities of supply and demand may affect petrol prices in a slightly different way. If petrol is a staple good then there will be some inelasticity of demand. Without adequate stockpiling by our government, Australia is at the mercy of global oil prices. Changes in the crude oil price can take up to two weeks to affect bowser petrol prices. Price gouging in some local markets, on certain days of the week, may also cause some price inelasticity of demand. with our price commissioner doing little to influence petrol prices, it is left up to the ACCC to police cartel pricing activities and collusion among petrol distributors. The franchise system that is found in petrol retailing also may be imposing some price inelasticity of supply in the medium term. Electric cars may affect the elasticity of supply and demand for petrol and diesel in the long run.

  10. GJMcK: – “If petrol is a staple good then there will be some inelasticity of demand.

    People less able to afford higher fuel prices will curtail consumption and either do without or find alternatives, like cut back on discretionary travel using cars, reduce patronage of hospitality and recreational services, etc. In the longer-term, people will need to switch to non-petroleum-based transport solutions.

    GJMcK: – “Without adequate stockpiling by our government, Australia is at the mercy of global oil prices.

    Australia has been a net oil/petroleum fuel importer for many decades and has therefore been a price taker. I’d suggest stockpiling is only a short-term buffer. People need to get their heads around the proposition that the era of cheap oil/petroleum fuels has gone forever.

    A Goehring & Rozencwajg blog post on Nov 19 (before the Russian invasion) included:

    Twelve months ago, few people listened when we predicted an energy crisis was imminent. Now, our models suggest that we could be entering a new period in the history of oil – a period without any excess global pumping capability. The ramifications could be huge.

    https://blog.gorozen.com/blog/running-out-of-spare-capacity-global-oil-markets

    I’d suggest more storage becomes useless in a regime of sustained decline of global petroleum supplies. The only solution in this circumstance, and in order to maintain energy security (and food security), is to rapidly transition away from petroleum dependency – get off petroleum fast.

    I keep coming back to Figure 5 in the blog post published on 16 Nov 2020 titled Peak Oil Never Went Away. We are now on the supply downhill slope and it will get steeper.
    https://economicsfromthetopdown.com/2020/11/16/peak-oil-never-went-away/

    GJMcK: – “Electric cars may affect the elasticity of supply and demand for petrol and diesel in the long run.

    I’d suggest the supply of EVs won’t keep up with rapidly increasing demand.

  11. “ We..estimate future energy system costs and find that, compared to continuing with a fossil-fuel-based system, a rapid green energy transition will likely result in overall net savings of many trillions of dollars – even without accounting for climate damages or co-benefits of climate policy.

    We show that if solar photovoltaics, wind, batteries and hydrogen electrolyzers continue to follow their current exponentially increasing deployment trends for another decade, we achieve a near-net-zero emissions energy system within twenty-five years.”

    https://www.inet.ox.ac.uk/files/energy_transition_paper-INET-working-paper.pdf?fbclid=IwAR0TwddA_NhUygKwJpk3oXh3yeBaoOIxeHdxaiz_I9U9_0DDVJW1JkaEXXo

  12. Don, +1 ” Biloea incident, … Nadesalingam family”

    +1 ” hope that we can resettle many Ukrainians here”
    *

    “Don says: March 6, 2022 at 5:38 pm
    “As the fourth anniversary of the Biloea incident, the placing of the Nadesalingam family into detention, trundles on, what purpose does this serve? It is futile and turgid politic, to hold them hostage like this.

    “… the very worst of our human behaviour seemingly in the dominant position on which extreme is in force.

    “I would hope that we can resettle many Ukrainians here in Australia, but in such a manner that is fair to people who suffered (under our command) in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.”
    https://johnquiggin.com/2022/02/28/monday-message-board-546/#comment-251090

  13. Re ” One in 1,000 years? Old flood probabilities no longer hold water”, nor does murky Josh Frydenberg’s fake news claim re floods are “a one-in-500-years event.”

    How can we prevent such claims by Federal Ministers?

    “Patricia Karvelas asks the treasurer, Josh Frydenberg…
    “7.44am 07:44
    “Now he’s talking about delays in rolling out emergency help for flood victims, particularly in Ballina and Byron. Frydenberg says the government has already made lots of payments and that this was a one-in-500-years event. (That x-in-x-years claim is a little murky).”
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2022/mar/18/australia-news-live-updates-josh-frydenberg-budgt-scott-morrison-covid-coronavirus-omicron-weather-nsw-victoria-queensland?page=with:block-62339d3e8f08ee17b5371801#block-62339d3e8f08ee17b5371801

  14. No strong feelings about JQ’s choice of blog platform. Point in favour of the current one: visually agreeable. Point against: no editing function for commenters.

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