Medal of Freedom

Written by SK Ashby

(Cartoonist - Lalo Alcaraz)

In other news, the number of service members diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries as a result of Iran's retaliatory missile strike on al Asad airbase in Iraq has increased to over 100.

They initially said there were no injuries.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department has charged four Chinese military hackers for the 2017 breach of credit rating agency Equifax.

Finally, the mild winter has been good news for jobs but also bad news for the energy industry that depends on demand for winter heating.

The loss in global oil demand due to mild temperatures is probably about 800,000 barrels a day in January, according to Gary Ross, chief investment officer of Black Gold Investors LLC and founder of oil consultant PIRA Energy. That’s the equivalent of knocking out Turkey’s entire consumption. The natural gas market has taken a similar hit.

“The oversupply keeps coming and winter so far hasn’t really showed up,” said Ron Ozer, chief investment officer of Statar Capital LLC, an energy-focused hedge fund in New York.

Last month was the hottest January ever in Europe, the Copernicus Climate Change Service reported. Surface temperatures were 3.1 degrees Celsius (5.6 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than average.

Northern Europe was particularly hot, with some areas from Norway to Russia more than 6 degrees above the 1981-2010 January average. Temperatures in Tokyo took until Feb. 6 to hit freezing point, the latest date on record. Globally, the last five years have been the hottest for centuries, as greenhouse gases change the Earth’s ecosystem.

Natural gas prices have collapsed globally as the weather crimped the need for heating. U.S. futures are trading at the lowest levels for this time of the year since the 1990s. Asian spot prices for liquefied natural gas have crashed to a record as demand slumps in the world’s three biggest importers—Japan, South Korea and China.

I can't take much pleasure in this cosmic karma since we're all going to pay for it.