Gasoline demand (a dynamic link): screenshot data at this post. RTCC is reporting:
Weekly US gasoline demand soared to five-year highs last month, after a collapse in oil prices, in a worrying sign that previous gains in efficiency and emissions cuts may evaporate.
The final week of December saw the highest US weekly consumption in any week of the year since July 2010.
Several years of high oil prices, and the financial crisis, have driven energy savings by consumers and vehicle manufacturers.
In addition, governments have sought to curb oil imports and drive savings and carbon emissions cuts through increasingly ambitious efficiency standards for motor vehicles, planes and ships.
An important question is how far these recent savings have been hard-wired into consumer behaviour, and whether the new standards will drive long-term cuts in carbon emissions and energy consumption.
A Note to the Granddaughters
I wrote about the Marine Mammal Care Center In San Pedro a few weeks ago. A bit more on the story. Reuters is reporting:
California sea lions – mainly pups – are turning up stranded and starved on Southern California beaches in record numbers this year, leaving experts worried that this winter may be the worst season ever documented for the marine mammals.
The precise cause is not clear, but scientists believe the sea lions are suffering from a scarcity of natural prey that forces nursing mothers to venture farther out to sea for food, leaving their young behind for longer periods of time.
Experts theorize that this winter's mild El Nino effect, which alters ocean currents and temperatures, may be compounding the shortage of fish that sea lions rely on for food, said Keith Matassa, executive director of the nonprofit Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach.