Good news for the gulf

And for BP's share price. Though in fact I came to this the other way round: the rise in BP's share price reflects a gradual re-pricing of the risk and damage extent, as well as the more recent news that the new cap-fitting seems to have gone well.


[Update: speaking of political risk - this is the kind of thing I mean -W]


More like this

Looks like that should turn into a nice little earner. Not that we got in right at the bottom, of course - I like to leave a little profit for others :-)

[I sooo nearly bought more at 300, but decided I had enough exposure already given the political risks -W]

Why does this conversation make me feel nauseous. Perhaps it's because your profit taking comes off the back of this:…

[Well, first off I haven't done any profit taking, because I still own the shares. Secondly, their rise in value largely comes from (I think) two things: firstly the political risk has eased, and the overblown rhetoric coming out of the Prez etc has been toned down. And secondly the chances of BP having finally capped the thing have gone up. there is a third, which is less good, which is that BP is hoping that the cleanup costs are tax deductible. that will be funy, cos it will hit the US govt too -W]

Actually my profits came off the back of people who tried to destroy BP over this accident. I don't excuse or condone their behaviour in any way, but the contrast in approach to environmental disasters caused by US companies operating abroad is sickening.

(Bhopal, where thousands died, compensation was limited to a few million $ in total, and the USA protected the perpetrators from prosecution, is the canonical example, but hardly the only one.)

I fail to see how it's the US' fault if the Indian gov't are such sellouts that they basically sold the lives of their citizens cheap. You can bitch about war-mongering etc, but using Bhopal as some sort of quid pro quo for BP to dump all over the Gulf of Mexico is pretty nuts. It's not like the pelicans & sea turtles voted for Reagan or Bush or Obama.

[I think you're excusing the US too easily. I'm with James: Bhopal showed fairly clearly what the US will do to excuse itself when convenient. Different Prez, etc, but nonethelss pretty well the same public: only that time I didn't hear the public creaming for accountability -W]

Apologies for breaking in on the financial wizardry, but I'd like to ask about this quote from Dr. Chris Field et al at Politico: "Climate change caused by humans is already affecting our lives and livelihoods â with extreme storms, unusual floods and droughts, intense heat waves, rising seas and many changes in biological systems."

Is any of that grounded in actual science? I'm happy to be corrected, but where is there any evidence? Tropical ACE is low. There are no unusual floods or droughts or heat waves, only the usual ones. Maybe it's sea level or bio systems.

[I think I'd like to see the quote in context before answering. Have you got a ref? -W]

By Paul Kelly (not verified) on 13 Jul 2010 #permalink

CarlC, besides the compensation issue, the USA is *still* protecting the executives from prosecution.

I don't think it excuses BP. I do think a little perspective is useful. And a little less hyperbole and hypocrisy from the politicians.

Looks like an oops for BP.

By Rattus Norvegicus (not verified) on 13 Jul 2010 #permalink

PK, by now you've hung around these blogs enough to find that sort of material yourself. IIRC the article even referenced a specific document. Read it.

By Steve Bloom (not verified) on 13 Jul 2010 #permalink


Thanks for your help, but I'm hoping for guidance from William who we both agree is authoritative in these matters. The specific document reference is "Americaâs Climate Choices,â recently released by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, states that âscientific evidence that the Earth is warming is now overwhelming.â No disputing that.

If there is reasonably convincing scientific literature backing up the specific claims in the Field quote, I'd be happy to see it. I'm just trying to find out what the science really is because I think overstating the science is as wrong as understating it.

well isn't there a bad irony or hypocrisy (at worst) over top climate bloggers turning apologists for BP & gloating over their oil riches? I still maintain India wimped out on Union Carbide because they didn't want to look "bad for business." You can't blame it all on Uncle Sam.

[Blame it all on Uncle Sam is a strawman. Bhopal was *not* all Uncle Sam's fault. There, are you happy? Now, can you accept that the contrasst between the reactions to the two incidents is striking? Of course it is easy to explain: Bhopal killed mostly poor people in a distant country, so why would the US public care? It didn't affect their livelihood or environment. So far, so uncontroversial. But to start claiming to care deeply about corporate misbehaviour is hypocritical.

As to apologists for BP: I didn't intend to be. I certainly do think that he US govt is ducking its share of the blame and acting like a bully, for the obvious reasons -W]

And indeed since then they've reaped huge rewards and are the kingdom of offshored jobs, especially in the IT field etc. So it seems they've made a deal with the devil that paid off. I was always taught "two wrongs don't make a right." It just seems silly to make all sorts of excuses for BP over $20 billion in a cleanup fund, when we want to spend much more than that for mitigating climate change etc.

[See above. These are all strawmen -W]

Sorry, I forgot you boys are products of Oxford, so "two wrongs don't make a right" was probably long drummed out of your brains. Look into "ethical investing" though, it's done alright for me the past 20 years, and I can sleep t night! ;-)

The quote is from this article at Politico.

[Oh, I see. Well I wouldn't pull that one quote out as being the obvious error. But yes: they should actually read the IPCC report, at least the SPM, if they want to convince other people it is correct -W]

By Paul Kelly (not verified) on 14 Jul 2010 #permalink

7 years? ouch

How's BP's relationship with the Vikings there in the North Sea?

By thomas hine (not verified) on 14 Jul 2010 #permalink…

"Companies with violations of federal or state safety standards more than five times the industry average going back seven years would be barred under the amendment. The measure would also ban leases to companies that have received fines of $10 million or more for violating the Clean Water Act as well as those that have more than 10 fatalities at their facilities over the period."

"Before the explosion at BPâs Gulf of Mexico well, which killed 11 workers, a 2005 explosion at the companyâs refinery in Texas City, Texas, killed 15 workers, and a 2006 pipeline leak dumped 200,000 gallons of crude at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.

Miller said those incidents all figured into his amendment. BP has been hit with more than 800 âegregiousâ violatons at its facilities over the past seven years compared with none by most other operators, Miller said."

If that last statistic is accurate, then the "political risk" sounds a lot more like "common sense."


I don't see any "top climate bloggers" on this thread, just a has-been and a never-was :-)

If you've followed the betting stuff, you may realise that I'm generally in favour of the use of markets (but that does not make me anti-regulation). I'm doing everyone a favour by using my judgement to shift the price of BP to a more rational level :-)

(of course if the cap goes tits-up I may end up looking silly, but that's never worried me in the past)

As for ethical investing, I do draw the line at tobacco and war-mongering. But big industry is not in the same league IMO. Of course BP cocked up this time and should pay compensation, but there is plenty of blame to be shared amongst the other parties too.

Re #13: So PK's next step should be to send Chris Field a note explaining that the latter needs to familiarize himself with the IPCC's prior work before making such statements, and in particular check with somebody authoritative in the IPCC structure before doing so again. It probably is the most useful contribution PK can make.

By Steve Bloom (not verified) on 14 Jul 2010 #permalink


Always lovely to read your cogent analysis. What does it say about the IPCC that the incoming head of WGII is unfamiliar with their prior work. If a foolish layman like me can spot the misrepresentation, why would you think that Dr. Field's statement does anything other than reduce his and the IPCC's credibility?

I won't be dropping Dr. Field a note, but I hope somebody does. Maybe my next step should be asking William what in the Politico article he would pull out as being the obvious error.

By Paul Kelly (not verified) on 14 Jul 2010 #permalink

PK, at least try not to be so obviously dull. Read the document Field and colleagues referenced as the basis for the claims. If *after* doing so you think they went a bridge too far in the article, then there might be something worth discussing. To the extent that the document varies from the conclusions of the AR4 WG1 report, do bear in mind that the latter is four years older.

By Steve Bloom (not verified) on 14 Jul 2010 #permalink


You seem to be under the misapprehension that I have a problem with any aspect of climate science. I do not. Dull is making snide assumptions. You've been following me around long enough to know I'm a fairly avid student of the science. Please don't tell me what I have or have not read.

Being criticized for being wrong doesn't bother me if I learn something. In this case, tho, it appears I'm right. That's surely as surprising to you as it is to me. Must be broken clock luck.

By Paul Kelly (not verified) on 14 Jul 2010 #permalink

For it to appear that you're right, PK, you'd have to be able to cite to the relevant passages in the NAS report and point out how they fail to support the statement you're disputing. Failing that you've provided evidence for nothing.

By Steve Bloom (not verified) on 14 Jul 2010 #permalink


All I did was ask a question. If you've got a problem with the answer, take it up with an expert. Once again you assume I haven't read the NAS report. Nothing in the report validates the claims made in the Field quote.

By Paul Kelly (not verified) on 14 Jul 2010 #permalink

No, you made an assertion. Without stating any evidence.

By Steve Bloom (not verified) on 15 Jul 2010 #permalink


#6 [I'd like to ask about this quote from Dr. Chris Field et al at Politico: "Climate change caused by humans is already" Is any of that grounded in actual science?]

The composition of these sentences is, in English, called interrogatory. Clues are the word ask and the use of a question mark. You'll find this book useful.

By Paul Kelly (not verified) on 15 Jul 2010 #permalink

PK: "a foolish layman like me can spot the misrepresentation"

Now you're really being dull. Or is an assertion that there's a misrepresentation a kind of question in your universe?

By Steve Bloom (not verified) on 15 Jul 2010 #permalink

> "Climate change caused by humans is already
>" Is any of that grounded
> in actual science?

Hmmm, William, do you think Paul would get anything out of the Wikipedia article?

If not, where would someone with no idea about any of this be advised to start reading?

(I know Paul's not ignorant, and enjoys the reaction he gets to the naive questions repeated, but he's speaking for people who do have no idea at all how to find the answers to this sort of question)

Well, I guess this is better than pulling weeds in the back yard. Yes, Steve, I sought an expert opinion because the quote seemed in conflict with my understanding of current scholarship. Had William said the quote was entirely accurate and reflective of the best science, I'd have happily altered my understanding.

For someone who apparently comments an a daily basis at just about every climate related blog, you have a rather limited understanding of science, policy, and reading comprehension.

By Paul Kelly (not verified) on 15 Jul 2010 #permalink


1) My question wasn't naive. It was sincerely asked to clarify my own knowledge, not to elicit a reaction.

2) I did not repeat it. My following comments were only in response to Steve's silliness.

3)I'm pretty sure I speak only for myself. If you know of others, please let me know too.

4) It's extremely easy for anyone to find the answers to this sort of question. Ask an expert. I asked William.

5) I'll gladly read almost anything you recommend except Wikipedia. I only use it in solving crossword and double acrostic puzzles.

By Paul Kelly (not verified) on 15 Jul 2010 #permalink

I sincerely hope you're under 25 or so, PK. Otherwise you need help.

Now, since there's something you're missing, let's take it from the top:

William is retired from the biz. Even if he weren't, he wouldn't necessarily be aware of the hottest-off-the-press D+A stuff.

Now, we have here an article by four very large cheeses, part of an outreach effort in behalf of the World's Largest Cheese Shop. Maybe they over-reached. But maybe not. Since we know the passage of concern must be referring to cutting-edge science, noting conflicts with the 4-y.o. AR4 isn't illuminating.

So, the most obvious first step to take to try to find out is to check the relevant material in the cited NAS report. William *could* do that work for you, but why should he? Why should I, for that matter?

OTOH, when you purport to have done that work but simply make an assertion rather than saying something like "Cheeses said X, report and references say Y (quoting the specifics), Y does not support X, and *therefore* Cheeses are wrong (unless they had some other basis for the saying X)," one suspects you may not really have done that work.

That's especially the case when you are otherwise known to be overly prone to taking RP Jr.'s word for things, notwithstanding your avidity about the science. That doesn't make me want to extend you credit.

By Steve Bloom (not verified) on 15 Jul 2010 #permalink

Oh, to be 25 again!

I think you - and possibly Dr. Field - are conflating what can or will happen with what is already happening. Letâs break it down.

Extreme storms: Kerry Emanuel of M I T says that, even in a dramatically warming world, hurricane frequency and intensity may not substantially rise during the next two centuries.

[But many others differ. Why do you pick this one opinion? -W]

Unusual floods and drought: Dr Janece McDonald, a conjoint fellow at the University of Newcastleâs School of Environmental and Life Sciences said the study of the stalagmites shows an increasing drying trend since ~1600AD. The past decade of drought in south-eastern Australia is not unusual in the context of a longer-term drying trend.

[This really means very little -W]

As said before, I looked at the NAS report and saw nothing that validates Dr. Field's statement. Feel free to to show where it does.

BTW I originally picked up the quote at climateprogress. I have many disagreements with RP Jr.

By Paul Kelly (not verified) on 16 Jul 2010 #permalink


I picked Emanuel because he was easy to Google. On reflection, it's off point because it deals with the future rather that what is already happening. The already happening part was what prompted my original question.

By Paul Kelly (not verified) on 16 Jul 2010 #permalink

Interestingly Emanuel no longer thinks that. For that matter, we don't even know what he really said (or when)since you didn't provide a link. Anyway, the science moves on.

Re the NAS report, basically your challenge is that I should read the whole thing in order to see if you're right. Declined.

By Steve Bloom (not verified) on 16 Jul 2010 #permalink

might as well ask as this is something that's bugged me on or off for a year and perhaps someone knows. It's somewhat relevant to the thread - the graph shows the BP stock price as recored every couple of minutes over 5 days. I can find plenty of similar graphs online but cannot find any historical data with such a high 'couple of minutes' resolution. Any data further back than a week is all daily close/open data, not even per hour let alone per minute.

Thought I might as well ask, as I generally ask whenever I get the chance as it's one of those things I have been looking for out of interest of doing some analysis on such data. I expected to find this data easily through google but it seems it doesn't exist. I figured that something like the FTSE100 is pretty well known and there would be places logging the stuff.

Turns out that historical arctic sea ice data is better recorded on the internet than the historical values of the FTSE100. I imagine the financial places have copyrighted it and charge for it or something.

How sad is it that I can't find a bunch of number representing FTSE100 values over the course of say Monday two weeks ago? That information was all over the internet 2 weeks ago, but now it might as well not exist. It's just really odd.

By superglue (not verified) on 16 Jul 2010 #permalink