Entries by Rudolf Huber

The end of effortless oil

German literature knows the expression “Schlaraffenland” which can loosely be translated into English as “the land of milk and honey”. The concept has been used in German-speaking literature and especially so in fairy tales and describes a fictional land where everything exists in abundance.  Water becomes wine, milk or honey, animals run and fly around […]

The Holy Church of Climatology

In May 1969, almost exactly 50 years ago, the Soviet planetary exploration space probe Venera 5 sent a lander into the atmosphere of the planet Venus. It was not the first such lander as they tried to land a probe in 1967 and were surprised by the far greater than assumed atmospheric pressure. Venera 5 […]

The gas of life and the climate

I was a bookish child. While others honed their skills on the round leather, I devoured encyclopedias. You read right. At the time, I thought that if I read a certain number of pages from the biggest encyclopedia every day, I would have read everything one day and would hence be all-knowing. I always wanted […]

Taking the heat

I was 18 years old when Robin Williams hit my awareness level with “Good Morning Vietnam”. He was an instant superstar, not only for me. At the time we still had to go fetch clunky VHS videotapes (that’s a plastic box with a magnetic band inside that was used to store movies for those who […]

The new American age

When we think of ancient civilizations, we think of the Romans or the ancient Greek city-states. But when those guys looked back in order to see what’s ancient to them, they looked beyond the Assyrians into the lands of Sumer. Civilization started over there more than 6000 years ago. But if you look at the […]

Is it smart for the US to export LNG

Oscar Wilde once famously said that there are two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it. It is easy to feel concerned for developers of new, unsanctioned US-based LNG terminal projects today. The US Gulf Coast and the gas business therein have a tormented history. Most […]

Statistics

In 1906, the North American Review published Mark Twain’s “Chapters from my autobiography” in which he ascribed the phrase “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” to the British statesman Benjamin Disraeli. The phrase has come to be a prime example for the persuasive power of numbers and statistics in order […]

Damned lies

About 180 years ago, the great Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen published the last of his Fairy Tales Told for Children – “The Emperors New Clothes”. There was no Facebook or Instagram at the time, but the storyline could not have been more fitting for our very own times now. Two weavers had promised an […]

Lies

In 1920, an Italian immigrant tricked thousands of New England residents into investing in a postage stamp speculation scheme. He promised that he could provide a 50 percent return in 90 days. He’d use funds from follow up investors to pay off earlier ones to create the illusion of a legitimate business. At the height […]

The fallacy of external costs

A report by the International Monetary Fund says that the world spent the incredible sum of 5.200 billion USD on fossil fuel subsidies in 2017. According to this report, the US alone spent a whopping 649 billion USD – more than the already quite gigantic defense budget. The US is not the worst subsidizer in […]

Destination Clauses – Japan got it all messed up

Anyone who follows the current flurry of activity in the Asian LNG marketplace must be startled. The casual LNG observer might have the impression that it’s just some contractual clauses that are at the heart of the problem and that their modification – or even better their removal solves all ills of the world. That’s […]

Could Russia be importing US LNG soon?

Yeah, I know what you are going to say when reading the title. Now he has gone completely nuts. Russia has the biggest gas reserves on this planet so how on earth would importing US LNG ever make sense? For the sake of the argument, I will not dwell on political considerations. Some nations would […]