Sunday, December 04, 2016

Global Warming, the beach and risk

Barry Ritholz had a blurb on his blog asking people to lay down
a marker by buying coastal property if they thing AGW isn't
a real problem.
Several years ago we bought a condo on the beach in Florida.
I worry about hurricanes, and I've followed weather and hurricanes
since I could read and my father gave me a book on the history of
hurricanes by the corp of Engineers.  (around 1975)  One of things postulated
in that book and by Nash Roberts (famous New Orleans Hurricane guy)
is that hurricanes peak in 30 year cycles.  That cycle is probably related
to the PDO cycle, but meteorologists in the 70's didn't know about the
PDO cycle, Nash would say throughout my childhood that we were in the
low part of the cycle.  Things picked up in the 90's with Andrew, then
were roaring until 2008 and have pretty much stopped for the past 8 years.

We made a bet that the risk to owning a beach condo for the next 10 years
or so is pretty low due to low hurricane activity.   I also have a side bet with
someone who expects it to flood due to rising sea levels.   I know a little about
geology and know that barrier islands with active beaches should grow
if there is a source of sand and rising sea levels.  The real risk is that the beach
will grow so long that it will be too far to walk back to replenish beers.

The reality is that man has leveed the rivers so that most sediment is transported
too far offshore to be caught in the alongshore current, so beaches are eroding but
are being built up just as fast by the county dredging sand from offshore.

We'll probably look at selling in 3 or 4 years or maybe moving to a higher floor
or increasing our insurance, the hurricane activity should start ramping up then.
Sea level will continue to increase as it has for the past 200 years, rebounding from
the little ice age.  The answer to that problem will be less control of natural rivers,
accepting flooding in some areas (Mississippi Delta) to build land from sediment.

Monday, January 04, 2016

Slip sliding away

"Make myself response-able, only I can control how I respond."-Stephen Covey
"Measure twice, cut once"-Dad
"Be prepared to modify your plan" - Chinese Fortune cookie 4/22/04
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts". Winston Churchill
Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit-"The day will come when even this
ordeal will be a sweet thing to remember." -Virgil
"Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness." So I got that goin' for me, which is nice. - Carl Spackler
"E pur si muove" - Gallileo
"Enjoy every sandwich." - Warren Zevon
"It is impossible to predict the future, the best we can do is to invent it" Dennis Gabor

Just some notes from my corporate profile at work.  Whenever I came
across a good quote that was apt for situation I'd paste it in there.
I think I was supposed to include more statements on how I'd shift
my paradigms to create two quarters for the company.  Anyway,
as of today, as they say in New Orleans I ain't dere no more, so I paste them
here until blogger deletes all of the blogs that don't make money.
(lightbulb - add some ads)

In theory if the oilfield comes back by the end of the year they will
rehire me.  I have my doubts.  Unless Saudi Arabia and Iran nuke
each other, we're in for several more years of downturn.  I don't think
economists take into account how much of the economy depends on
the energy industry.  Each well takes hundreds of tons of steel for
casing and tubing.  Mud, fluids and machined equipment for completions.
Wellheads.  Cabling.   Plus all of the equipment needed to drill the wells
and the associated service companies.

I'd bet that a big portion of the economic improvement since 2008 was
driven by the energy industry, and without it the economy will be on
a more Obama-like flat to decreasing trajectory.  The amount of oil needed
and the amount provided will parallel each other until the decline of
production finally brings us back to shortage.  Fortunately for the long
term viability of unconventional oil, the decline curve doesn't seem to be
as steep as it was claimed.  It appears that will take 4 or 5 years to get
back to 2008 production levels, which is bad for my employment prospects,
but good for the economic viability of shale wells.

Oh well.  I've seen enough to believe Virgil's words.  What seems like
tough times and hard things to get through, when you are 20 years older
seem sweet like new wine.