An observation on gasoline prices

An observation on Calgary, Alberta, Canada gasoline prices

Gasoline prices at the pump in Calgary are rising much faster than the price of crude oil as well as the average national Canadian or US gasoline prices. The chart below illustrates price increases over the past 5 months from 12-Jan-02015 through 12-Jun-02015, summarized as follows:

  • Crude oil prices up +- 21%
  • US gasoline prices up +- 23%
  • Canadian gasoline prices up +- 28%
  • Calgary gasoline prices up +- 50%

The Canadian refining sector picture as per the chart below does not explain the discrepancy between Canadian and Calgary fuel price increases, indeed it is difficult to pinpoint any market metric(s) in support of this obvious discrepancy.

Not only have Calgary gasoline prices risen at almost twice the Canadian national average, the price rose +- 25% in the two weeks leading up to the recent Calgary Global Petroleum Show 07-09.06.02015.

One has to ask:

  • A confidence booster for a declining and beleaguered industry in desparate need of some good news, however superfulous or manufactured? Possibly.

The 2015 Calgary Global Petroleum Show theme (arguably the most transformative/disruptive) in many years:

Reimagine, Reinvent and Reposition

One has to ask:

  • Non-market driven increases in localized gasoline pump prices support reimagination, reinvention and repositioning?
  • Why are the current and inevitable near term disruptions to the energy industry being hidden under a self-indulgent feel good story at the expense of the travelling public?
  • Are we the people that gullible?


the crowd

the crowd
the crowd, people;
the crowd, people connected; 
the crowd, humanity’s beating heart;
the crowd, core of the internet of everything;
the crowd, evolutionary specie;
the crowd, real power.

the crowd year 02015:
people, around seven billion;
people connected, less than three billion intermittently;
humanity’s beating heart, young and strengthening;
core of internet of everything, ~ sixteen billion connections;
evolutionary specie, not yet self-aware;
real power, emerging.

the crowd year 02025:
people, around eight billion;
people connected, everyone, all eight billion continuously;
humanity’s beating heart, maturing and strong;
core of internet of everything, ~ one trillion connections;
evolutionary specie, self-aware;
real power, the crowd.




paradise: young man, early 80’s,
Copacabana beach by day, sin city by night,
and again, and again, and again…

refuge: young man, early 80’s,
conversation and prose, absence of debauchery,
pints and English, anecdote and debate,
Ipanema, Lord Jim’s Pub, pints and…

‘Excuse me, do you have the time’,
a voice sweet and sublime,
without timepiece, eyes to table drift,
six arms, three watches, eyes to voice lift…

two decades, without blood above neck,
an awakening, where is the one, the one once thought met,
a girl from Ipanema, modest, happy and free,
to princess of london, money, money and me…

refuge: seasoned man, mid 20’teens,
future thought and prose,
humanity thought and stories,
future of humanity thought and poetic license.

refuge: prose, stories and poetic license.



A question on safeguarding humanity

A question on safeguarding humanity

A number of non-profit organizations in some way seek to safeguard humanity. Each organization will have its own set of perceived risks, whether or not supported by science, as to what humanity needs safeguarding from.

Two organizations very much on the science side of any debate on humanity’s future would be The Long Now Foundation and The Lifeboat Foundation. The Long Now Foundation takes a 10,000 year view, whereas the Lifeboat Foundation appears to focus on this century. Both organizations are populated by some of the brightest scientific and intellectual minds on the planet.

Yesterday, 01.06.02015, an advisory board member of the Lifeboat Foundation, posted a challenge to 800 or more colleagues in a members’ private forum. The challenge: to come up with new ideas for a “Plan of Action to Prevent Human Extinction Risks”, the plan laid out in an easy to follow chart format.

Quoting author Alexei Turchin, ‘…anyone who can suggest a new way of X-risk prevention that is not already mentioned in this roadmap…’.

A case was made to, and accepted by, the author to allow this roadmap to travel outside of the halls of intellectuals and think tanks into the worlds of engineers, oil & gas people professionals, international viewpoints, grassroots artists, white and blue collar alike, for new ideas.

So there lies opportunity and question:

  • opportunity: to send one’s thoughts on safeguarding humanity to The Lifeboat Foundation;
  • question: what new ideas for safeguarding humanity are out there?

The Turchin Plan of Action to Prevent Human Extinction Risks is pasted below and is freely downloadable and shareable. Comments and ideas arising will be directed to Alexei Turchin.

[Interesting that there does not seem to be much emphasis on near term risk, particularly the next decade as many exponential technologies come out of deceptive phase and into a disruptive phase, very disruptive. The risks to humanity’s future within a decade as the world changes from less than 3 billion occasionally connected souls to 8 billion hyper-connected souls as an example.]

What do you think?


Exponential Growth doesn’t stay Exponential Forever. Ride it While it Lasts.

Box Thoughts

I was recently forwarded a presentation on the power of exponential growth and business disruption.  Every other slide told the story of how exponential growth was the new normal and how it needed to be harnessed.  The problem is that eventually exponential growth collapses or has no additional value or becomes focused on a niche instead of the mainstream.  Exponential isn’t forever.

But exponential can last a century as well – it’s just that you may not realize the trend for the first 50 years of the cycle.  Harness it while you can but don’t expect to ride it forever.  The same business rules as always still apply.

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iCubeSat 2015 presentations online


Most slides and other supporting materials from iCubeSat 2015 are now online here – the rest will be posted as soon as we receive the final clearances from presenters or their institutions. Thank you to everyone who participated in another exciting and stimulating workshop and for the amazing response to the call for deep space payloads for the launch next year – it’s great to see the community working together in this way. We hope you’ll join us again next year in Oxford in the United Kingdom on Tuesday 24th and Wednesday 25th May 2016 on or near the University of Oxford campus – see you then!

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