Crude Observations

Be it resolved

How are your New Year’s resolutions working out? I notice that there are a lot more people at the gym these days, so it’s working so far for one group of people. Only 20 days in, I know, but they are hard at it so far so full credit to them.


My resolutions? Comme ci, comme ça.


I made a number of resolutions and so far, it’s a decidedly mixed bag of success. I won’t get into the personal ones (be a nicer person, ski more), but an important one I made was with respect to this blog and that was to evolve it from a weekly rant and diatribe into a more thoughtful bi-weekly succinct analysis of current events.


I may have even mentioned it. I’ve been writing this blog since April of 2015, pretty much every week (does anyone remember the first one? I do – the key message* is below).


It started as an email and eventually morphed into the weekly post on the website it is now.


350 plus blogs. That’s a lot of production. And it has grown every year. In fact, it is now reposted by people who didn’t like it in the first place, demanding even more content. And in that time our business has evolved. Despite the title of Crude Observations, we are no longer 100% fossil fuels. We have even rebranded ourselves from Stormont Energy Advisors to Stormont Capital Advisors. Changed our focus from exclusively oil field service to a more industrial and B2B, Western Canadian economy oriented firm.


And while the time available for blogging has shrunk as we got busier and busier with activities across a broad range of industries, the weekly demands of putting this blog together has also increased, as has the need to speak to and defend a core industry.


You know, it’s kind of like I always say about the energy sector – demand for energy NEVER goes down, just the amount that gets used and what type. Same with the blog – people want to read and be informed, and sometimes the subject doesn’t matter.


At any rate, back to my damn resolutions.


Last year I resolved that I would keep the blog to under 1800 words a week. A worthy goal that got blown out of the water within a few weeks. I can’t help it, I’m verbose. Apparently I have a lot of trouble managing my weekly emissions of words and hot air. The cap was a waste of time.


This year, rather than limit my words, I decided to ration the frequency. After all, two blogs over 4 weeks of 3600 words each is the same as four 1800 word blogs done weekly – it’s just math! Yay for me right?


So the same amount of hot air with maybe a bit less intensity per blog.


And how am I doing? Well so far this is my third blog of 2023 and we are three weeks in. So, yeah.


My net zero change in the blog is in the bag, right?


Nope. Going from one type of blog to another has proved to be a challenge of epic proportions. At least for an old dog like me. I really want to give the market what it wants, but my old ways are just so darned comfortable.


So, dear friends, where am I going with this?


I guess what I’m trying to say is that change is hard, and that to get from one state of existence to another is going to take time, effort, ingenuity and commitment. And if I want the other state to succeed, I need to make sure that all my stakeholders – readers, web designers, co-workers, clients, fan club, spouse, children, pets, Twitter followers and others – are adequately considered and that their needs are addressed as fully as possible so that they aren’t left behind, ignored or otherwise negatively impacted, at least so much as it is within my power to do so. And I have to be able to, all things considered, admit that the old ways are old and need to change.


They aren’t bad. They are still needed. They aren’t going away. They need to adapt. Because people and readers change.


A 2400 word take down of the federal government approach to infrastructure was fair game in 2016 but it’s going to need to adapt in 2023 because let’s face it, that subject has been beaten to death and, well, there’s a lot of shit that has been built in the interim.


In other words, from a blog perspective, to get from where I am to where I want to be, I am going to have to make some concessions while still retaining the soul of what I do – I am likely going to have to implement a Just Transition.


Which term of course has been in the news lately. You may have noticed.


That Just Transition is about energy I think – something like that. A subject I used to write and pontificate about a lot in the old days.


It’s an interesting term, most people think the Just Transition term was invented by the governing Liberal Party of Canada as some nefarious way to poke fun at Alberta by having the extinction event for the oil and gas industry managed by a patronizing and virtue signalling woke term like Just(in) Transition.


But nothing could be further from the truth, even though it 100% feels like something the LPC would come up with.


The actual first use of the term occurred in the 1980’s


According to my AI research generator:


The termjust transition was first used in the late 1980s by organized labor, environmentalists, and other social justice advocates in the United States in response to the economic consequences of the deindustrialization of the countrys manufacturing sector. It has since been adapted by various social movements around the world to refer to the process of transitioning to new economies and societies that are equitable and sustainable.


A little further digging reveals that some cat named Tony Mazzocchi was the first person to use the term while referencing an existing US federal program to clean up environmental toxic waste while he campaigned for the establishment of a similar “Superfund for Workers” to provide workers exposed to toxic chemicals throughout their careers with minimum incomes and education benefits so as to enable them to transition away from their hazardous jobs. The Superfund for workers was then rebranded as “just transition”. Because apparently the term Superfund has some hair on it.


So yeah, not a Trudeau thing.


Now let’s be clear.


My just transition in this blog does not mean that I am cancelling the blog or casting aside all my subscribers or anything like that. Nor does it mean mass unemployment for the many, many individuals who provide me on a regular basis with all the data I need to keep this machine running.


Any rumours, interpretations, media sensationalising, innuendo or graffiti to the contrary is just a bunch of malarkey!


Far from it. I’m adapting it. Trying to make it better. Trying to make myself better as a writer and communicator. You can’t keep doing the same thing over and over again when the rest of the world is changing all around you. You become irrelevant. An afterthought even. You need to be ready for anything.


In the words of my friend Ferris Bueller who took a day off to take stock of his life close to 40 years ago…


Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.


And this gem, which directly applies:


“The Question Isn’t, ‘What Are We Going To Do?’ The Question Is, ‘What Aren’t We Going To Do?'”


So, to all of you readers and subscribers out there who may be fearful about what I am going to do with this blog, worry not. I am still the same guy. Providing the same stuff. Just in a more refined and thoughtful way. Improved even.


Don’t listen to the demagogues of doom who want to convince you that change is bad. That I have some secret motivation to make you go read someone else’s content that they don’t like or approve of. Or that I have been infiltrated by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as some kind of sinister thought control experiment to have their world dominating plans subconsciously implanted into your brains (like in the original Kingsmen – remember when all the heads exploded? What a scene!)


It’s just not going to happen that way.


I care too much about this product. My legacy. What I’ve put into this. You – my subscribers.


Fear not. The blog that comes out of this transition is still going to be a blog. It is still going to be about similar content. In fact, there should be even better and more diversified content since I will have more time to prepare. And it will be cleaner! A cleaner version of the same stuff. And better. Won’t that be awesome?


How’s that for a transition.


Not an end.


An evolution from one thing to another.


Best of both worlds.


Change can be good.


Change is constant.


Denial is a problem.


And a river in Egypt.


So, I will likely see you next week.


Probably. Or in 2 weeks. Who knows? The mystery is fun!


This transition, just or otherwise, is going to be slow. It’s going to take its time. And it will likely be nothing like you expect.


Oh, two things before I go…


  • $253,000 is too much to pay anyone to chair a panel. I don’t care how crazy and toxic the subject matter is or how respected the chair used to be.


  • 500 private jets to a conference in Davos, attended by all the most annoying “woke” enviro-preachers out there is an abomination.


Both can be true.


*At the time of writing, the Calgary Flames were still undefeated with a provincial NDP government.
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