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Freeport-McMoRan Inc. Message Board

  • etaion_99 etaion_99 May 24, 2008 9:35 PM Flag

    Andean glaciers are melting.

    Don't care? You will.

    At the recent Las Vegas money show, I ran into a guy that I've talked to before about some aspects of petroleum engineering... he's a pretty sharp cookie, and his insights have proven valuable. He brought up yet another issue that seems obvious when you think about it, but it'd never crossed my mind. Whether you 'believe in' anthropogenic global warming or not, the fact is that Andean glaciers are melting at a much higher than normal rate. Temporarily, that's OK for the region's hydroelectric power plants... but it's not sustainable. HE produces some 60% of Chile's electricity, and copper production consumes
    a WHOPPING 65% of the nation's electricity supply. Copper is critical... no, copper IS the Chilean economy, since in 2006 copper represented 57 percent of the country’s total exports and 32 percent of its total fiscal revenues. In 2006, Chile produced 5,361K metric tons of copper... more than twice the output of the next two producers combined.

    What's to take the place of that electrical supply when the glaciers are gone?

    The way I see it, there are two simultaneous investment opportunities here... both the copper aspect, and whatever becomes the solution to the problem. The world MUST have that copper, and Chile MUST produce it. The only question is where the electricity to do so will come from.


    Rate of melting glaciers has doubled in ten years

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    • Amen brother.....lets strangulate the economy even moreso and increase our energy dependancy outside the US...makes perfect sense. I think that is one of Obama's "changes" we might have to not look forward to

    • Hope for the Glaciers, below:

      Cooling Underway: Global Temperature Continues to Drop in May

      'Significantly Colder' - 16-month temperature drop of -0.774°C!

      Global temperatures continued to slide in May 2008. Meteorologist Anthony Watts details the cooling temperatures in a report titled “Global Temperature Dives in May.” The new global temperature data reveals a whopping three quarters of a degree Celsius drop in temperatures since January 2007. Watts reported late yesterday that the cooling is “equal in magnitude to the generally agreed upon ‘global warming signal’ of the last 100 years.”

      “Confirming what many of us have already noted from the anecdotal evidence coming in of a much cooler than normal May, such as late spring snows as far south as Arizona, extended skiing in Colorado, and delays in snow cover melting in many parts of the northern hemisphere, the University of Alabama, Huntsville (UAH), published their satellite-derived Advanced Microwave Sounder Unit data set of the Lower Troposphere for May 2008,” Watts reported on June 3.

      “It is significantly colder globally, colder even than the significant drop to -0.046°C seen in January 2008,” Watts explained. (The updated global temperature chart is here )

      “But even more impressive is the change since the last big peak in global temperature in January 2007 at 0.594°C, giving a 16 month change in temperature of -0.774°C which is equal in magnitude to the generally agreed upon ‘global warming signal’ of the last 100 years,” he added. [Note: MIT Climate Scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen’s March 2008 presentation of data from the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office found the Earth has had “no statistically significant warming since 1995.” (LINK) An April 2008

    • Ok Dokey -- looks like we are on nearly the same page, anyway! Good to hear and I guess I am sorry that I jumped on you. Accept my apology.

    • Actually, the enviro-wackos won't have any effect at all on hydroelectric development. Drought, coupled with what will eventually become reduced flow from glacial melt, will convince the developers that more dams aren't the answer, and that Chile will have to diversify their electrical grid... probably to nuke if they can't talk their neighbors into better longterm natgas contracts. (not likely)

      All of this will take time, and short-to-mid-term it won't ease the supply constraints I expect from this issue.... in fact, they'll probably get the problem solved right about the time that the drought ends, snowfall levels increase, and glacial melt comes back... ;)

      Now are we on the same page?

    • Am I to presume that you don't think the glaciers will disappear? You are supporting more electrical dams in lieu of electrical shortages and increased demand? Where am I going wrong?

    • ...... and still, you didn't read my original post....

      And I typed it reeeeeeaaaallll slow, since I know you can't read so well.....


    • What did you say? What did you mean by what you said? No ostrich here, but someone pushing doomsday scenarios sure has a big mouth and a little brain. Now what did you say =="What's to take the place of electrical supply when all the glaciers are gone?"=== Are you kidding? No more winters, no more rain, no more ice, no more water -- what a disaster!!!! Why would you even presume such an assinine conclusion except for the environmental thrust of the two articles that you used to substantiate your claim. To quote:: "Scientists from the Center of Scientific Studies of Valdivia (CECS) said this week that Chile’s glaciers are melting at twice the speed observed just ten years ago. The scientists, who recently participated in a specially called international forum on glaciers (a group of environmentalists), also warned that this trend could have devastating ramifications due to current plans to construct hydroelectric dams around Chile." and then, from the following article: "Aaron Sanger, a U.S. environmentalist formerly with NGO ForestEthics and now helping lead an international effort to stop dam construction in Chile’s Patagonia region, also linked the mining industry’s needs to the destruction of Chile’s southern Patagonia region.Local residents in Patagonia have joined with Chilean environmentalists and activists from around the world to fight the dam project (ST, Oct. 8)". "This past year several influential U.S.-based environmental groups – the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council and International Rivers Network (IRN) – have thrown their weight behind the movement (ST, Sept. 25)." -- Now, I wonder where we got the idea that the global environmentalists were trying to stop electrical development in Chile? And, that you were promoting the idea? Could it be anything that you said, or that these articles said? Here is a clue about the world's long, long history -- glacial periods have come and glacial periods have gone -- the world persists in one shape or another. Man has been here for only a tiny part of these changing periods. He is a piss in the pot, so to speak. And no, the glaciers will not dry up and disappear within your puny life time, for sure. In the meantime, progress (yes, that includes mining)and economic development must continue. Sorry about that.

    • Small wonder you have such difficulty assimilating new data.... you don't even read my post before you've decided:

      A. What I said...

      B. What I meant by what I said...

      C. Why what I said (and what it meant) was wrong...

      and D. Why you're right even though you've presented zero facts.

      Amazingly ostrich-like....

    • You don't need to go to Rush Limbaugh to get rational Global Warming info. Try the Senate Environmental Protection agency at When there go to Senator Inhofe's EPW Press Blog -- rummage around and download Senator Inhofe's "A Skeptics Guide to Debunking Global Warming Alarmism". This could start your "education". Sign up for his newsletter. This is only one of many sites, but it is very well done and gives lots of references.

    • <<<are you that guy they were writing about?>>>


      We have a winner!

      Too cool that a redneck like me would get an interview in Barrons, or any financial-type magazine... and thanks.

      Now, as a result, hopefully copper will go to 4.50 tomorrow, and FCX will blast to 150. LOL

      Doubt it, though.


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