Extreme Temperature Diary-June 15, 2019/ Oil Tankers And Excuses For War…Another Case For Renewables

Saturday June 15th… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉

Oil Tankers And Excuses For War…Another Case For Renewables

This week we began to see pictures of burning oil tankers near the Strait Of Hormuz, which could be a prelude between war with the United States And Iran. I pray not, thinking that cooler heads will prevail, but what if we lived in a world in which transporting oil, and of course the need for drilling the stuff, was unnecessary? What if we lived in a world in which Iran and Saudi Arabia were peacefully manufacturing components for renewable energy, making money from that process instead of drilling crude oil?

I bring these questions up because we do have a very dangerous situation brewing between my country and Iran with the catalyst for any spark being oil, much like with what happened with Iraq last decade. Here is more as quoted from Bloomberg:

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/u-blames-iran-oil-tanker-181847986.html

U.S. Blames Iran for Oil Tanker Attacks as Gulf Tensions Climb

Glen Carey, Margaret Talev and David Wainer Bloomberg June 13, 2019

(Bloomberg) — The Trump administration blamed Iran for attacks on two oil tankers near the entrance to the Persian Gulf, escalating tensions between the two rivals despite denials from officials in Tehran and a lack of public evidence for the U.S. claim.

“The United States will defend its forces, interests and stand with our partners and allies to safeguard global commerce and regional stability,” Secretary of State Michael Pompeo told reporters Thursday in Washington, noting that Iran had previously threatened to curtail oil transport in the Strait of Hormuz.

Pompeo read a short statement blaming Iran, offering no evidence and taking no questions from reporters at the State Department.

Senior administration officials said that at least one of the ships was attacked by mines. In a briefing with reporters, they showed a photo of a tanker, the Courageous, with a hole in its side caused by a mine that exploded, they said, and an undetonated mine lodged inside.

The officials said they didn’t know for sure whether the mines were Iranian. The U.S. concluded that Iran was responsible for the attacks based on intelligence sources and the absence of any better explanation, the officials said. They declined to elaborate on the intelligence sources.

The officials said Iran conducted the attacks to demonstrate that it’s not interested in discussions with the U.S. and to escalate the conflict.

Hours after Pompeo spoke, officials with U.S. Central Command issued a statement saying that “a war with Iran is not in our strategic interest, nor in the best interest of the international community.”

The statement followed calls at the United Nations for an investigation into the episode to continue.

Iranian Denial

Iranian officials denied any involvement, with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif suggesting that Iran’s enemies may have been behind the attacks and reiterating calls for a regional dialogue.

“Suspicious doesn’t begin to describe what likely transpired,” Zarif wrote on Twitter earlier on Thursday.

Kuwait’s envoy to the United Nations, Mansour Al-Otaibi, said it was too soon to assign blame in the attacks.

“We are not going to blame anyone yet, the investigation is still going on,” Al-Otaibi told reporters before a UN Security Council meeting on the attacks. Another diplomat at the UN briefing, who asked not to be identified discussing a closed-door conversation, said the U.S. didn’t present hard evidence of Iran’s culpability.

U.S. Ambassador Jonathan Cohen told reporters after the Security Council meeting that “the U.S. will continue its diplomatic and economic efforts to bring Iran to the negotiating table. And Iran should meet us with diplomacy, not with terror, attacks on ships, infrastructure and diplomatic facilities.’’

Iran’s permanent mission to the UN said in a statement on Thursday evening that the country “categorically rejects the U.S. unfounded claim with regard to 13 June oil tanker incidents and condemns it in the strongest possible terms.”

Oil Chokepoint

Global benchmark Brent crude jumped almost a dollar a barrel immediately after Pompeo’s remarks, but quickly gave up most of those gains to trade at $61.25 a barrel, up 2.1% on the day.

The attacks on Thursday, including an assault on a Japanese-operated vessel, were the second in a month to hit ships near the Strait of Hormuz chokepoint, through which about 40% of the world’s seaborne oil travels. They came as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, an ally of President Donald Trump who maintains relations with Iranian leaders, visited Tehran in an effort to ease tensions.

The U.S. is confident that the earlier attacks were also the work of Iran, the senior administration officials said.

The officials said the U.S. is considering a number of responses, including the possibility of providing naval escorts to commercial ships traveling through the Strait of Hormuz. A U.S. military response hasn’t been ruled out, they said, saying all options are on the table.

The prospects of a conflict have spiked since the Trump administration tightened its sanctions on Iranian oil exports in early May, following the president’s decision a year ago to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear accord.

“The attacks put upward pressure on the probability of a US-Iran conflict in the Gulf (currently 30%),” the Eurasia Group said in a note before Pompeo spoke. “The incidents appear aimed at demonstrating the vulnerability of Gulf shipping while damaging confidence in the U.S. ability to protect freedom of navigation.”

The world’s economy would take a big hit if oil could not move out of the Persian Gulf area, the choke point being only the thirty-seven nauical miles wide. A third of the world’s liquefied natural gas and almost 20% of total global oil consumption passes through the strait, making it a highly important strategic location for international trade. It would be quite ironic if Trump, in a “wag the dog” fashion because of legal problems, allied with neocons to go to war, probably sending the world economy into a tailspin due to the increase in energy prices a war with Iran would cause if the Strait of Hormuz got choked off. Such a move would surely backfire on Trump, though.

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All this consternation and potential for great trouble would go away if in the future oil tankers became a thing of the past. Too, that choke point called the Strait of Hormuz would not have such a choke hold on the planet, pun intended. Let’s contemplate about this one more reason to go towards renewables as we continue our protests to get a brighter, cleaner future worldwide.

A picture obtained by AFP from Iranian News Agency ISNA on June 13, 2019 reportedly shows fire and smoke billowing from Norwegian owned Front Altair tanker said to have been attacked in the waters of the Gulf of Oman. – Suspected attacks left twoAFP/Getty Images

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Here is more climate and weather news from Saturday:

(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article.)

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Guy Walton- “The Climate Guy”

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