Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Water, Water, Neverywhere ...

From Casey Research: "Peak oil we can handle. We find new sources, we develop alternatives, and/or prices rise. It's all but certain that by the time we actually run out of oil, we'll already have shifted to something else. But "peak water" is a different story. There are no new sources; what we have is what we have. Absent a profound climate change that turns the evaporation/rainfall hydrologic cycle much more to our advantage, there likely isn't going to be enough to around. As the biosphere continually adds more billions of humans (the UN projects there will be another 3.5 billion people on the planet, a greater than 50% increase, by 2050 before a natural plateau really starts to dampen growth), the demand for clean water has the potential to far outstrip dwindling supplies. If that comes to pass, the result will be catastrophic. People around the world are already suffering and dying en masse from lack of access to something drinkable... and the problems look poised to get worse long before they get better. With a problem of this magnitude, there is no such thing as a comprehensive solution. Instead, it will have to be addressed by chipping away at the problem in a number of ways, which the world is starting to do. With much water not located near population centers, transportation will have to be a major part of the solution. With oil, a complex system of pipelines, tankers, and trucking fleets has been erected, because it's been profitable to do so. The commodity has a high intrinsic value. Water doesn't – or at least hasn't in most of the modern era's developed economies – and thus delivery has been left almost entirely to gravity. Further, the construction of pipelines for water that doesn't flow naturally means taking a vital resource from someone and giving it to someone else, a highly charged political and social issue that's been known to lead to protest and even violence. But until we've piped all the snow down from Alaska to California, transportation will be high on the list of potential near term solutions, especially to individual supply crunches, just as it has been with energy." And don't forget, Canada is in-between Alaska and California.  (On second thought, it might be instructive to see how thirsty Americans deal with environmental/aboriginal pipeline protesters and the BC government.)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Gold is Moving! (From West to East)

Eric Sprott (Sprott Asset Management): "... we are so well into the financial crisis, there’s not a week that goes by that’s there’s not some event that comes up, whether it was three weeks ago, Banco de Monte Paschi [Belgio], and two weeks ago the third largest bank in the Netherlands gets taken over, over the weekend. And last week the ECB lending money to Peugeot, which seemed totally ridiculous. And I think everyone’s trying to keep it together, even though it would appear from the reading of the economy that things are not going well at all here. And everyone’s ignoring things. But I think in their hearts the Central Bankers must know [that] what they’re doing is totally irresponsible. And the tell of that irresponsibility, the debasing of the currencies, is the fact that real things will go up in value. It would start with the price of gold and silver. I’ve done a lot of work on the flow of metals. I come up with a net change of 2300 tons a year in new buying in gold when the supply of gold hasn’t even gone up in the last twelve years. And you keep wondering, where’s all this gold coming from? And when I see China buying 95 tons of gold in December and I read that India bought 100 tons in the month of January, when we all collectively know there’s only about 200 tons a month available – one of the things we saw in December was that the U.S. Department of Commerce reported that U.S. exports of gold were $4 billion dollars. We exported 2.5 million ounces of gold. And where it comes from, God knows. The country only produces 8.8 million. And most of that’s used internally. So I don’t know how you just come up with 2.5 million ounces that you’re able to export.  So I believe that even though it’s described as non-monetary gold, my guess is that it is monetary gold. So there’s lots afoot here in central banking to try to keep it organized. And I think one of those things is to keep the price suppressed. But the non-G6 nations have been huge buyers of gold, and I think the more anybody looks at the system from outside looking in, they realize they have to have gold and silver, notwithstanding the nonsense that goes on in COMEX and the LBMA (London Bullion Market Association)."

Friday, February 22, 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Outbreak of "Virtually Untreatable" TB

By Daily Mail Reporter: "The world could be on the brink of an outbreak of a deadly and ‘virtually untreatable’ strain of drug resistant tuberculosis unless immediate action is taken, doctors have warned.  The first cases of 'totally drug-resistant' tuberculosis have been found in South Africa, according to a new paper published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Emerging Infectious Diseases journal.  Clinics across the country ravaged by the bacterial lung infection, have reported an explosion in the number of patients struck down with a virulent strain.  Fears are mounting that conventional treatments would be next to useless in the face of the new disease, which killed 1.4 million people globally in 2011, according to the World Health Organisation.  The disease is particularly prevalent in South Africa, where high rates of HIV means the immune systems of many more people are susceptible to infections.  But compounding the problem is the higher cases in which the illness is only partially treated.  This has led to the disease evolving into a strain which is not vulnerable to antibiotics. As far back as March 2010, the World Health Organisation warned that in some areas of the world, one in four people with tuberculosis were being struck down with the 'disease that can no longer be treated with standard drugs regimens'.  After widespread vaccination in much of the developed world, the disease has been largely isolated in 22 so-called 'high burden' countries - including South Africa.  These poorer regions account for around 80 per cent of global cases of TB.  But it is feared not enough is being done to tackle the growing problem, which is not limited to South Africa.  A New York hospital was hit by a multi drug-resistant TB outbreak in the early '90s.  Of the 32 patients who caught the infection, 29 died (over 90%).  Serious outbreaks have also been reported in Peru, Russia, and India during the last ten years. Read more: outbreak

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

"Finished" and "Complete"

No English dictionary has been able to adequately explain the difference between these two words. In a recently held linguistic competition held in London, England attended by the best in the world Samsundar Balgobin, a Guyanese man from Bachelors Adventure was the clear winner with a standing ovation lasting over 5 minutes.  Here is his answer which made him receive an invitation to dine with the Queen, afterwards who decided to call him after the contest. He won a trip to travel the world in style and a case of 25 year old Eldorado rum for his answer.  His final question was this.... How to explain the difference between COMPLETE and FINISHED in a way that is easy to understand. Some people say there is no difference between COMPLETE and FINISHED.  Here is his astute answer ...  When you marry the right woman, you are COMPLETE. And when you marry the wrong woman, you are FINISHED.  And when the right one catches you with the wrong one, you are COMPLETELY FINISHED!