Good chess players are always planning many moves ahead…
In investing, we call that second-level thinking.
Today’s guest is retired petroleum industry engineer and avid chess player, Dale Haessel. He shares why he likes to avoid the “investing crowd”… as well as the opportunities he sees in the natural resource sector—all through the lens of a second-level thinker [32:44].
The Mike Alkin Show | 64
Here’s why security tokens represent a trillion-dollar opportunity
Announcer: Free and clear of the chatter from Wall Street, you’re listening to Talking Stocks Over a Beer hosted by hedge fund veteran and newsletter writer Mike Alkin, who helps ordinary investors level the playing field against the pros by bringing you market insights and interviews with corporate executives and institutional investors. Mike sifts through all the noise of mainstream financial media and Wall Street, to help you focus on what really matters in the markets. And now, here is your host Mike Alkin.
Mike Alkin: It’s Monday, June 24th 2019. Hope you had a good weekend. Had a nice weekend, I think I mentioned our really close friends lost their daughter in a car accident on June 8th. We’ve been spending a lot of time with them and trying to help them get through this just unspeakable time for them. It’s interesting because you don’t … just listen. I sure as heck don’t have the words to know what to say. Just console and listen and just be there for them. God, there’s no playbook for this. I always say with the parent playbook there’s no playbook and then with this, my goodness. Real life, real grown up things you come across that are like wow.
Mike Alkin: We learn on the fly, but besides that we spend time with them this weekend. We do a barbecue and had a little lacrosse tournament in our backyard and some badminton, and a bunch of fun stuff. My son who’s 13, there’s probably 12 to 15 kids always playing lacrosse in our yard. All these kids do is lacrosse, lacrosse, lacrosse. So it’s good, it was a good distraction for their other kids and it was nice. But I was driving my daughter and her friend to SoulCycle yesterday, which is … I don’t know if you guys … I think it’s national. It’s like spin class. When we were younger it was spin class, but now they have a whole company around it and programs, and my wife, my daughter, they love it, and their friends. But driving them, it was about 20 minutes away, and I don’t know why in that 20-minute drive on the … here we call them parkways. They’re two-lane roadways uninterrupted, no traffic. Other places are highways and freeways, here they’re parkways.
Mike Alkin: We’re driving and it hit me that you’re driving, you’re doing 60-65, and you come across the guy in the left lane doing 45 and it just drives me bananas. So I talk about it, I talk out loud in the car and I tell the girls, what else? And I got to thinking what else drives you crazy? And I thought it would be a good topic for the podcast, the things that drive you crazy. What are the things that drive you crazy? I was thinking about it, so driving too slow, but that seems to be a common occurrence. People drive … now, I don’t drive fast, they call me grandma driver, but I do a little above the speed limit, where I’m not going to get pulled over. I’m cautious, but it’s constant. It’s like people are driving and they just are completely unaware that you’re on a highway, a freeway, a parkway and you’re doing 10 miles below the speed limit, which is bad enough in the right lane, but now you’re in the speed lane.
Mike Alkin: You flash your brights, maybe a little toot on the horn, a friendly toot. Nothing. Clueless. Then you go around them and I can’t help myself, I stare at them, and they just are oblivious. But it happens all the time. I’ve got to think it happens to some of you too.
Mike Alkin: The other thing that drives me nuts. The right turn into the driveway people on busy roads, and they stop. So you’re going down, it’s a main road, it’s a busy road, and they’re making a right into a store. And instead of making the right and driving and accelerating into the … slowing down and then driving into the turn, accelerating a little bit, they basically stop on the road, and it backs everything up. It drives me crazy.
Mike Alkin: Then you’re in the store and there’s an 18-year-old behind the checkout counter. You’re doing some grocery shopping, I like to grocery shop. You say, “Thank you, have a good day.”
Mike Alkin: “No problem.” No problem. When a kid says to me, “No problem,” when I say thank you, it’s like nails on a chalkboard. Who says no problem?
Mike Alkin: “Thank you.”
Mike Alkin: “You’re welcome.”
Mike Alkin: “Have a nice day.”
Mike Alkin: “You too.”
Mike Alkin: I didn’t think it was a problem for you to take my money. That drives me crazy.
Mike Alkin: Celebrity news. Do you care what Kim Kardashian ate for breakfast? The celebrity news drives me absolutely bonkers, and it’s all over the place. You get pop-ups. I’m on ESPN or I’m on some website and something pops up. I don’t care, I could not care less what they do. It’s so trivial, it’s so meaningless. Entertain me, I’ll go to your movie, I’ll watch your TV show, leave me alone.
Mike Alkin: Rap music. My daughter listens to country, love it. My son listens to rap. I think I told you not too long ago, I went outside and he was playing music and they’re dropping the F-bomb everywhere on the song. But it literally goes right through me. He gets in the car, first thing he does, puts on the rap music. I can’t even tell you how that … again, nails on the chalkboard.
Mike Alkin: Snapchat. If you have teenage kids you’ll know what I’m talking about. You’re driving in the car, you’re sitting in the living room, you’re at the kitchen counter or the kitchen table, and they’re taking selfies of themselves and snapping it, and then sending it around. I ask, “What do you do? What is that?”
Mike Alkin: “What do you mean? I have a streak going with so-and-so.”
Mike Alkin: “What’s a streak?”
Mike Alkin: “Well, it’s where you take a picture of yourself and you send it to a person and you keep the consecutive day streak going.”
Mike Alkin: “Yeah, but you open your mouth you look like a clown, you’re making funny faces.”
Mike Alkin: They’re like, “Yeah, I know. That’s a streak.”
Mike Alkin: “But what’s the purpose of it?”
Mike Alkin: “Well, it’s a streak.”
Mike Alkin: Mindless. Mindless, that’s a business. Thank gosh, thank God we didn’t have this when I was a kid. I’m not the sharpest bulb in the shed anyway, or the brightest bulb in the pack, but my goodness, can’t even imagine what would have happened if I had it then.
Mike Alkin: People who don’t say thank you in the store when you open the door for them. You’re walking in, you see the reflection. A person behind you, it’s a family or it’s an older person. Of course, I see the reflection of them, I step to the side, I open the door and they just walk in. Say thank you. Or the guy who’s walking in front of me who opens the door and doesn’t hold it and it slams in my face. Drives me nuts.
Mike Alkin: Yesterday I’m on line in the grocery store. Really nice … I go to the grocery store, I go to the deli counter. You get cold cuts, lunch meat, it’s called different things throughout the country. Take a number and you’re standing there, and then there’s the person, the grouchy older woman who’s yelling at the guy behind the counter because she didn’t get what her order was. This woman’s New York accent was so thick it would … nails on a chalkboard. You couldn’t understand what she said anyway. Not screaming, but yelling at the guy. Making everyone uncomfortable. What’s the point? Just be nice. You’ve got to go into a store, you’ve got to go yell at the people there, makes everyone around you uncomfortable. Stop.
Mike Alkin: Now, by the way on any given day, any given day, it could be the kid who says no problem where I might say to them, “I didn’t think it was a probably.” Or it could be a day when I just say nothing. Now, because it was an older woman, I wouldn’t say anything, but if it was a guy I might have to say, “Really dude? Come on, the guy’s just, he’s making a living, he’s working, he didn’t hear you.” Depends on the day.
Mike Alkin: People who walk down the middle of the store. The middle of the aisle in the parking lot. You get out, you back out, you’ve got your stuff, you want to leave, and now there’s the guy with the grocery cart walking right down the middle. Oblivious to the fact that there’s three cars behind him waiting. He’s got a three-four hundred foot walk and there you go. He could move to the left, could move to the right, but he doesn’t. Drives me crazy.
Mike Alkin: What else drives me … I wrote a whole bunch of stuff down. Winter coat zippers, they all suck. I was doing some cleaning out in our mud room we each have our own locker. When we built the house my wife gave us all lockers, and then I have a separate closet, I don’t know why, where my winter coats go and others, spring coats. Not just winter zippers, but I don’t think I have anything that has a zipper that works. They all break. Is it just me or does there need to be a better zipper? Drives me nuts.
Mike Alkin: The people who always have to be right. I tend to insulate myself from them. You get to know them, you walk away, but sometimes you can’t help it. We have a thing called Promenade in town on Friday nights. All the vendors are outside and they have music and so on. I’d say when the kids are younger it’s pretty cool, but as they’re getting a little older we do it less. But when you go there you’re just walking up and down the street and you see people. And there’s, you know that guy? You have to know that guy. You see him, you put your head down a little bit and he stops you because he wants to talk and he’s always right. You can’t avoid them.
Mike Alkin: People who leave their trash on the counter at the fast food restaurant or at Chipotle. You watch the guy, you’re eating, and he gets up, and he just leaves the stuff there. So the next guy’s got to come and clean up his mess. You couldn’t put your wrappers on the tray, lift the tray, walk over like every other human being does and put it down into the trach receptacle so that the people in the store don’t have to come out and do it, you don’t inconvenience other customers. Drives me crazy.
Mike Alkin: I could go on and on, but these are little things that … and I don’t sweat the small stuff. And we laugh about it because I don’t sweat small stuff things, I walk around I’m pretty happy. But the one little thing yesterday of this driver going too slow, and girls laughing about me getting annoyed at it, and me just saying, “There’s a lot of little things.” So I sat down and started to write these little things and I realize it’s actual a lot of little things.
Mike Alkin: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 29-year-old freshman congresswoman that represents the Bronx and Queens, not too far from where I live. She drives me crazy. On one hand, it’s fabulous that we live in a wonderful country where some who a year ago was a bartender, and she represented her community, and she went out and talked to them and got them to vote for her. It’s gone downhill since then. This woman has an opinion on everything. First of all she’s a complete socialist, but she’s in my opinion on the fly when talking. I said I am not the brightest bulb in the pack, so I lay that on the table. But I didn’t run for congress. I don’t think she is either, yet she’s so arrogant and so combative and so nasty with how she goes after people.
Mike Alkin: She has an opinion on everything. She’s got four million Twitter followers. I read her stuff on Twitter, and I just … makes my skin crawl. I have to mute her now because I just can’t even, and I just have to ignore her. But here in New York, she’s local, it’s always in the press. You can’t avoid it. She’s part of the whole, and I’m fairly moderate socially. I’m down the road I can see both sides of issues. I think that helped, being an investor looking at a bull case and a bear case. I’m not zealous on either side. I can see different points. I’m probably a little more leaning right a little bit on stuff, fiscally. Socially, I’m down the middle. But what annoys the crap out of me are the hardcore left-leaning liberals who A, are nasty, and B, have to be belligerent in their words. And if you don’t agree with them, you’re right-wing maniac, you’re a bad guy, you’re a bad person.
Mike Alkin: Anyway, now that I got that off my chest I’m sure I’ll hear from a bunch of you on Twitter or in the emails I get about the things that drive you crazy day to day. And I actually, I went on Google, I Googled “things that drive you crazy”. There’s thousands of lists, and it was pretty funny to read some of the stuff. So I realized, hey, I’m not alone the day-to-day things that you just laugh at. They don’t really drive me crazy. You just laugh at them, and I laugh at myself on all of these. I’m like, “Why do you let that bother you? Who cares? Let it go.” And I do and I move on and you forget about it.
Mike Alkin: But the good thing to know though, is that my kids, I think I told you when I talk uranium or nuclear power, it’s crickets around here. They’re like, “Okay Dad, whatever.” So yesterday I took my son, my daughter’s gluten free, so there’s a special bakery. It’s about 20 minutes from here, I was going to get my daughter some stuff. My son said, “Okay Dad, I’ll come with you.” Actually, I didn’t even ask him. He said, “Hey Dad, could I come with you?” I said, “Sure.” I love hanging out with him, so we’re driving, we’re in the car and he says to me, “You know Dad,” I’m not going to say his teacher’s name. He says, “Mr. So-and-so says that nuclear power is a really good thing and that in a few years, it’s really going to turn around because we need it to save the planet.”
Mike Alkin: I said, “They said that in school?” I just assumed everyone’s liberal and they hate it. And he said, “Yeah, he was telling us all about it.” I said, “Well, did you tell him that your dad runs a uranium hedge fund and nuclear power and all that stuff?” He goes, “No, I thought you just do uranium.” I said, “Well, yeah, you know uranium is for nuclear power.” He’s like, “I kind of thought that.” I said, “Really?” He goes, “Yeah, but no. Mr. So-and-so says this that and the other thing.” I said, “Yeah, I guess I talked to a wall because I’ve been saying that for four years.”
Mike Alkin: He’s like, “Oh, I never really made the connection. [inaudible 00:18:29] listening when you’re talking about it.” I said, “Oh,” then I spent the next hour with him. We got to the store, he was so intrigued, he had so many great questions. He asked about the economics of it. He asked about the safety of it and it was great. So for an hour I was talking nuclear power to my kid and he actually listened and cared. And thank you to his teacher because if it wasn’t for his teacher, he’d still not be listening to me and caring about it. So that was good.
Mike Alkin: Anyway, I got a direct message from someone not too long ago on Twitter and he was talking about different aspects of energy. He’s a very bright guy and I talked to him and he had some good thoughts and it got me thinking. He had a suggestion for a show, and I said, “Well, why don’t you come on?” He’s actually our guest today. But it got me thinking, I get a lot of people who ask me about … you got me thinking about my son saying, “Geez, I didn’t realize the connection with you, uranium and nuclear power.” He’s a kid, so I give him a free pass on it, but I get a lot of questions because I can’t just know about uranium. I can’t just know about nuclear power.
Mike Alkin: To me, it all starts at the top with energy, and I have to work backwards, and I have to know a lot about a lot of different things within the energy complex to understand the role of nuclear, to understand working all the way back to uranium. Got to know the uranium nuclear fuel cycle, but a lot of my time is spent understanding the various aspects, the broad aspects of energy policy. Globally, in the US, and when I see that it opens up not only just in uranium, but in looking through all the different things, a lot of different opportunities, a lot of threats, a lot of ideas.
Mike Alkin: And I thought since I am asked a lot about, “How do you think about this or how do you know that or why did you say this?” I thought maybe for the podcast over the next, I don’t know, a couple months will probably take, because I don’t … I’m going to talk to you and walk you through kind of different aspects of the energy complex. If you listen to the podcast, you hear me talk a lot about that I’m a geopolitical junkie, that I love geopolitics. But geopolitics it’s really, it shapes everything. But if you think about what geopolitics are, it’s really the battle for space and power that’s played out geographically. And geopolitics encompasses a lot of different segments. The military, its diplomacy, its economics, and its energy.
Mike Alkin: If you think about energy’s role, it shapes every society. Every early, every modern society’s been driven by natural resources and the trade routes that get them there. The geography and the battle for land, and the relationships developed and fought over, they’re critical. Go back to the British Empire, coal and steam drove the British Empire. Petroleum drove the rise of industrial America. Asia is now the driving force of growth in the world. I think over the next 20 years 85% of the global growth of energy consumption is going to be in Asia. They already consume 25% of the world’s liquid hydrocarbons. India’s energy consumption is going to grow 130, 140%. China and Brazil over 70%.
Mike Alkin: So it’s a changing energy landscape. What we’re going to start to talk about over the next several podcasts, and who knows where it goes, is really starting from the top. We’re going to talk about the historical context of global and US energy policies. From a historical context we’ll talk about currently, what the landscape looks like. We’ll touch on the changing global energy mix, and over time how that’s evolved. I think it’s important too, because these are things that I look at and know.
Mike Alkin: Understanding energy densities. It’s an important concept to understand. How much energy do you get from a certain source of, from a certain feedstock. We talk about shipping and energy for transportation, industrialization, power. We’re going to talk about the role of petroleum, the geopolitics involved and how that’s evolved and is evolving in today’s changing energy landscape.
Mike Alkin: I certainly have to know a lot about the role of coal. Where it came from where it is now. It’s a pariah, right? Guess what? It’s growing. Now, as a percentage of the energy mix, it will decline over the next 20 years. But consumption is growing quite a bit. So the actual volume of coal is growing. Flattish to a little bit of growth. Think about all these climate goals. Where’s that play? We’ll talk about how around the world everything coal, “Why would I own a coal company?” Well, some parts of the world, you get them for almost free. Yet they’re growing.
Mike Alkin: Talk about the history of nuclear power, where it came from throughout the decades. The role of it now, the role of it then. What its role is in a world concerned about clean air. Going to give you a little historical lesson on the evolution of environmentalists’ attitudes towards nuclear power. How they went from supporting it in the early days to opposing it and fear-mongering, and what motivates them to do it. That’s going to be a fun one. I’m going to let it rip on that one.
Mike Alkin: Then we’re going to talk about the reality about the safety of nuclear power. We talk about the big three accidents, what really happened, and the real numbers behind it. Then we’ll touch on, along the way, the economic challenges of nuclear power. Construction cost, delays, competition from renewables, natural gas. Government attitudinal shifts towards it. Some away and some towards it. More towards now, but you wouldn’t know that. Talk about the new technologies. We’re going to talk about Germans’ disastrous commitment to renewables and away from nuclear. We’re going to talk cold, hard economic facts. Something the environmentalists don’t like to talk about. Or if they do, they skew it.
Mike Alkin: We’re going to talk about renewables, the economics of, the limitations of, the benefits and the challenges of it. There’s a great role for renewables. See, unlike the far-leaning left who can’t stand nuclear power, rather than being honest about it, there is a role for renewables and it is going to be a much greater portion of the energy mix, but we’re going to talk about the economics behind it. Not some overzealous agenda.
Mike Alkin: We’re also going to touch on the environmental hazards of solar waste, because it’s coming, it’s coming. Solar panels that are going to need to be discarded over the next few decades with lead and cadmium that wind up in the electronic waste stream. That’s uncontrolled. We’re going to talk about a real waste problem, and it’s not nuclear. Going to get a little bit of a lesson in that, the bullshit that’s thrown your way all the time on that.
Mike Alkin: We’re going to talk about the massive grid costs that will be required for the real rapid growth of renewables and how it gets stranded right now. Natural Gas, right? See the commercials clean natural gas. We’re going to put the numbers around that. And bring truth to that. When you have a massive lobby, and you have massive advertising from big oil and gas companies they could get in your mind. We’re going to talk about that. We’re going to talk about natural gas prices and how regional they are. The role of liquefied natural gas, the opportunities it presents to transport it around the world, and how in some countries where it’s just too expensive and coal is going to be the game, and maybe nuclear is there in a certain part. We know nuclear is in developing world.
Mike Alkin: We’re going to talk about energy independence in the US the American Shale Revolution. Is it real? Or is it short-lived abundance of oil and gas built upon the back of a glorified Ponzi scheme, if you will. Where you just keep raising more and more money to keep drilling and keep losing more and more cash.
Mike Alkin: We’ll talk about the role of hydroelectric. You want to talk about real environmental disasters, when you’re building one of those or when one of those have a problem. We’re going to touch on how transportation and the routes affect energy prices. Talk about pipelines, the geopolitics and how they play a critical role in moving product around the world.
Mike Alkin: So what we’re going to do is open it up to the broad energy landscape, and within those, each segment, there are opportunities. And I’m going to share with you how we, how I think about it. How I think about it, how my team thinks about it, and the work we do on it. And point you in the right direction if you’re interested you may not be. But I think if you know, if you’re looking at something and drilling down on something as let’s say, like nuclear power, you have to know a lot of the other stuff that goes in and around it. You can’t just know how many reactors there are, how many are going to be started? How many are going to retire? How much supply and demand of uranium there is?
Mike Alkin: It goes way beyond that, because you have to try and project and forecast to the best of one’s ability and understand the political climate in each of the countries that have them. You have to understand the role of China and Russia, and what the Belt and Road Initiative is, and understand the geopolitics of what the Russians and Chinese are doing when they’re trying to own the nuclear fuel cycle as the Russians do right now. Why? What’s the purpose of it? And in each of these things I just talked about there are investment opportunities.
Mike Alkin: Things are cyclical, not all of them, but in certain parts of them there are. There are things maybe you should avoid, things that are hyped up, things that are BS. But to the world of energy, energy is everything. And because it’s cyclical, and goes to extremes and booms and busts, there’s opportunity in that. That’s what interests me. I hope it interests you. If it doesn’t, you won’t listen.
Mike Alkin: But anyway, so we’re going to bring on a guest that is on Twitter. He is a private investor, he’s retired. He’s an interesting guy. I’m going to let him … when I’ve spoken to him before I just let him go and let him talk. He has a lot of interesting thoughts. He’s not a professional investor, but he has a lot of interesting energy thoughts, and I find … you’ll notice once in a while I bring people on who are … I don’t want to bring on all professional investors. Once in a while I bring a CEO on to update you on something, but I don’t like giving a lot of them the platform to just promote their companies either. I like talking to regular smart people. Regular smart people who open up our minds to different things. And today’s guest is one of them. So without further ado, Dale Haessel, welcome to the podcast.
Dale Haessel: Thank you.
Mike Alkin: All right man, so tell us, tell listeners, give us a little background on you. Where do you live? Where are you from? What did you do? I know that, but you tell them.
Dale Haessel: All right. Well, I was born in the States. I was born in Iowa. My father’s an economist and he was jumping, he wanted to go here and there and there, so we moved every three years basically. It was on a three-year cycle. We lived three years in Pennsylvania, and three years in Iowa, and then we moved to Ghana, in Africa. Stayed three years there. Then we went to London, Ontario, because my father was an economist, so he taught at the university there. And then we went off to State College, Pennsylvania. So the …
Mike Alkin: Nittany Lions.
Dale Haessel: Nittany Lions, yeah. Joe Paterno, made big news a few years ago. Me too.
Dale Haessel: So when we were in State College, Pennsylvania, that’s when Three Mile Island melted down. So my father is getting all these calls from all his relatives about, oh, how devastating it is, are evacuating yet? Mainstream media just bloats everything up, and I’ve lost all respect for mainstream media.
Mike Alkin: Me too.
Dale Haessel: The other thing is it’s 94 miles away from where the Three Mile Island is. So we never even knew about it except for the media is just harping on it and people are phoning and whatnot, right?
Mike Alkin: Right. Right.
Dale Haessel: And after that, we went to Kirkland, Quebec because my father was working for Bank of Montreal. After that, we moved to Calgary, Alberta. So basically the headquarters of most of the oil and gas industry in Canada.
Mike Alkin: And a good rodeo too.
Dale Haessel: Yeah, yeah, yeah. The Stampede.
Mike Alkin: Yeah, Stampede.
Dale Haessel: Middle of July, greatest outdoor show on earth, at least that’s their, their slogan. And after that, so then I graduated high school in Calgary and then I went to the University of British Columbia and got a degree in Engineering Physics. Then came back to Calgary and worked in the oil and gas industry pretty much for 25 or so years or whatever.
Mike Alkin: And what did you do in the oil and gas industry?
Dale Haessel: Okay, so I worked in strictly software. The first job … one summer I actually walked the lines of a Canadian Western Natural Gas line. So basically, in the old days you would have these sensors, which would track the gas line, and you’d be looking for leaks. You basically looked for patches of dead grass. Wherever there was a leak the natural gas always looks for the path of least resistance, so it’d always come up like Richardson ground squirrels holes and whatnot. So you’d put your sensor down all the … you find a hole, put it down and see if it reads any natural gas.
Dale Haessel: Of course, nowadays I don’t know if they’re doing drones, but they should be using drones. It saves so much money rather than having people go out and walk a few kilometers every day over the entire line, it takes a lot of time.
Mike Alkin: And people.
Dale Haessel: We’d have to stay in … so we’d go to High River, and they’d put us up in a motel or whatever. So they’d have to supply meals and whatever else. So it’s like, a lot of expenses there. After that I worked on … so one other summer job I had there was with the Petroleum Recovery Institute, and it’s basically a research institute. The job I had was actually interesting, looking at the porosity of rocks. Without any annulus holes in the rock there’d be no trapping of oil and gas, or there would be no … so the oil and gas is, people think of oil and gas as just something down a hole. But it it’s actually held within the annulus of rocks.
Dale Haessel: If you have an imporous rock formation you’re not going to have any trapped gas. So you won’t have pores, and the pores are in the rocks. And then permeability allows the movement of it, so you want porous and permeable rocks in order to produce. They’re the best producers. So even if you talk about in situ or ISL it needs to have … they’re all in sandstone. Sandstone is porous in nature and whatnot.
Dale Haessel: You have to also trap, oil and gas has to be trapped, so you need an impermeable layer above it to keep it. So now, a lot of times you use seismic and you can find a location say, “Oh, there’s a good chance of a deposit there.” But the thing is there could be a fault line or whatnot, and it seeps through the impermeable layer into a different zone or whatever. So you never know until you actually drill. You can predict that there’s going to be a deposit somewhere, but unless you actually drill it you never know for certain. Same thing with uranium and whatnot. You don’t know what grade it is or anything like that until you actually put down a hole.
Dale Haessel: After I worked for that company, I went on and worked for Halliburton. Worked on lot of drilling software there. I started out actually in production software, and the interesting thing about production software is that every single state in the United States has different reporting requirements. You can’t even agree across the country. Regulations would be so much simpler if one report for every state. Every single state had a different reporting requirement. Same with Canada, we have Alberta, like the royalty structures and whatnot. Alberta’s is different from Saskatchewan versus different from every province.
Dale Haessel: All your software has to be redundant. It’s like, this is what you need to report for this state, and therefore you need different input requirements for this state, and you need different input requirements for this state and whatnot. Right? It’s a lot more overhead burden for every oil and gas company.
Dale Haessel: After I worked on that I worked on engineering software for drilling. So learned a lot about the process of drilling and surface casings and different types of casing. And the one thing you learn about that is how much steel that an oil and gas company actually uses.
Mike Alkin: Yeah, it’s amazing, right?
Dale Haessel: One of my software I worked on was called StressCheck, so it would try to minimize the, the cost of the steel you’re using. When you drill a hole you drill a, say, nine five-eighths-inch hole, and then you put in a nine-and-a-half-inch casing. But you can have a certain leeway in terms of how thick that casing is. So you could use a really thick casing, well, it’s never going to fail, but then you’re using extra cost. And then the same thing with all your other casings.
Dale Haessel: So, based upon the pore pressure and the frac gradient of the hole, you determine the size of the casing you’re going to use. Also, you have to know if it’s a sour gas well or not a sour gas well, for instance, because sour gas is always very corrosive. So it will eat through your standard metal. So there’s different grades of pipe, there’s different if you have vanadium or different components and whatnot. So you would have to use … and each grade of pipe has different cost to it. So you can use high grade pipe, but it’s going to cost you more money to whatever, to case it.
Dale Haessel: So it was always about minimizing the cost. And the thing is that’s just for one well, these wells can cost millions of dollars, and every single well. And they have extended reach wells, which can go for kilometers upon end. The other thing you learn is there’s also, there’s software production too and whatnot the byproducts that you’d rather not have. And as you produce the oil/gas ratio starts to decline, so you’re going to get less and less oil and more and more water generally speaking. As you’re depleting your reserves and whatnot.
Dale Haessel: The other thing is you learn enhanced oil recovery and various other methods to increase the lifetime of the well.
Mike Alkin: As you’re talking Dale, it’s fascinating to me because you really started your career walking pipelines, but now you’ve seen a technological revolution in the oil and gas industry.
Dale Haessel: And fracking.
Mike Alkin: Fracking, right? And so you’ve lived it. It’s so curious because there are those of us who have the school of thought, myself included, and I’d love to get your view on this, that while we’re seeing enormous production, it costs a fortune and two-thirds of them can’t generate free cashflow.
Dale Haessel: I read that 90% of the companies in Permian are losing money.
Mike Alkin: Talk to us about that from a guy who’s developed software for drilling, and what’s going on with this technology technological revolution in the last 15 years. What’s your view on fracking and sustainable economic production, from a guy who’s been involved in this? How do you think about this? What you’ve seen take place?
Dale Haessel: Let me think about that for a second. Well, I believe that the … I saw this movie called Gas. I haven’t seen the movie Gas, but I’ve watched the movie FrackNation. Basically all it does is refute all the arguments of Josh Fox, who basically lambasted the fracking because of his documentary, which won an Academy Award for Best Documentary, they had all these protests and whatnot about fracking. The problem here is that FrackNation basically refutes everything. Basically it’s a fiction, because it’s too boring, a documentary is boring. You have to juice it up a little bit. Just like the media and everything, you’ve got juice it up.
Mike Alkin: Exactly, like Chernobyl.
Dale Haessel: It’s too boring. How am I going to win an Academy Award with facts? I’ve got to make it the evil thing that it really is. Well, it’s not evil, it’s been happening for centuries, right. In Gas, he was showing some water being put on fire, because there’s natural gas in it. But the thing is that was happening in BC times. It didn’t happen just because of fracking, it was happening all the time.
Dale Haessel: The other thing, and people always worry about contamination of the aquifers and water supply. The first thing that people have to realize is that you always, always put down surface casing, which isolates the aquifer from your well. Always. They spend so much time and money on just being environmentally and reclamation costs. There’s a lot of money spent on just community and trying to appease the communities and whatnot. For social acceptance, the process and whatnot. What you find is that most farmers, actually like oil and gas, because most farms don’t make money. It’s the legacy that they’ve had for years and they don’t want to leave their farm and whatnot. But oil and gas provides a lot of support for a lot of these farms, which would probably fold without oil and gas on their properties.
Dale Haessel: Now, in terms of the fracking it is … I can’t really explain why there is so much stuff being done in the Permian and losing money. The logic just kind of defies me, so I can’t really explain. It’s like, if you can’t make money, you don’t do it. That’s my philosophy.
Mike Alkin: But from a software standpoint, from a drilling standpoint, from an engineering standpoint, have you done a deep dive to understand why?
Dale Haessel: Not really. The depletion rates on these things is just astronomical. You just have to keep on drilling and drilling and drilling and never stop. Because you decline at 60% or whatever in the first year. A lot of ISRs like in situ, they deplete pretty quick too. Somewhere around 70% some of these in situs, so you’re gonna be doing the same thing. Their thing, you’re producing a lot of sand, which is very abrasive in in situ. Now, normally in a gas and oil well they have sand controls. So they try to get rid of the sand before it hits the well head, so you don’t produce as much sand.
Mike Alkin: Right, and not as abrasive and not as much money. It always comes down to cost, right?
Dale Haessel: Right. You don’t want to produce sand, but in the in situ for uranium you have to produce the sand because that’s where the solvent and whatnot is all in, right? As far as I understand.
Mike Alkin: So you retired. You retired from the oil and gas industry and now, what are you doing now? I know you’re very learned, you’re well read, you have a lot of different views on different things, and investing is one of them. And uranium is one that you’ve really caught on to, so how did investing come into all of this? How did that morph into it for you?
Dale Haessel: I was just pretty much a passive investor for most of my life. So basically, just did mutual funds and whatnot, and it was like you’re paying all these guys the management expense ratios, and they hide the fees and stuff like that. It’s like hidden fees all over the place. The thing is, the first thing I do every day is I get up and read my Bing, the Bing news whatever. The biggest items on there, and then I check Twitter and there’s just so much out there and whatnot. One thing I heard from a mutual fund advisor for Fidelity was they asked her, “If for your own money, excluding your mutual fund, what would you do for yourself? Not for the mutual fund, just your own personal investing?” And the interesting thing that the person said was, “I would invest in the thing which had the worst return the previous year.”
Dale Haessel: So basically, what goes up must come down, what is up must go down. If you follow that philosophy, you will never buy into something that’s over hyped or over promoted as much. You may have like, “Well, I’m going to invest in Bitcoin because it’s down by 30%.” Well, it might continue to go down by 30%, so you’re not guaranteed of anything. But you are guaranteed of never buying high if you buy something that’s the worst performer in the previous year. You’re not guaranteed of 100, nothing’s guaranteed in life, but at least you’re guaranteed of not being the worst investor out there.
Mike Alkin: Well, your interest seems to, as I read your stuff, and you communicate with me, and it has a, I’d say, an energy bent a little bit to where your interests lie, and obviously that would make sense. You said something when I was saying that you sent this. It was the distortion of the markets through activism. I’m going to read for listeners what your thoughts were, and we’re going to run with it.
Mike Alkin: You said, “The new green ETFs and activist investors are distorting the markets. For instance, Norway Wealth Fund is selling off all fossil fuel companies. Banks like HSBC is rejecting lending to fossil fuel companies. Rio Tinto sold off all the coal projects. BP and other oil and gas companies are being forced into renewables. Fossil fuel companies have very low valuations given the fact that oil and gas demand continues to increase. Environmental lawsuits are being filed on every project,” and you talked about the Japanese nuclear reactor that gets a green light faces an injunction by lawyers working on a pro bono basis to delay them.
Mike Alkin: Salamanca, the uranium mine in Spain talk about endless protests, and Keystone Pipeline facing uncertain future. Many countries and cities are claiming climate emergencies. And these factors are causing changes and uncertainty to projects that would have been successfully done in the past to be questioned and many canceled. You point out the new norm is for protesters to claim the necessity defense for criminal environmentalism, aka saving the planet by criminal acts. You point to an article on theconversation.com.
Mike Alkin: Then you went on and said, “The green movement based on Mark Jacobson’s 100% renewable using wind solar pumped H2O is driving a lot of this, although the science is sketchy and questionable. The problem is the voice of scientists like Patrick Moore and Judith Curry are overshadowed by the voice of Al Gore and Greenpeace. And the markets are being distorted and have been distorted for a while.” And then obviously you’ve got to think Tesla, the darling of environment. As you were writing that, before I even got to that I’m like, “Yeah, well, Elon Musk.”
Mike Alkin: “Even if the fundamentals don’t hold, they will still believe in the dream of a clean tomorrow.” And then you asked, “Will the political IPCC and activism be able to destroy the demand for oil and gas? Is there truly a paradigm shift, or is this a phase? The stock markets are based not on fundamentals, but what people’s perceptions are, what you’re willing to pay for something. And people are valuing clean things disproportionately to what they view as dirty and are taking actions to enforce dirty things become economical. However, driving things to uneconomical is also destructive to the economy.” And you point out, “Look at Germany and Australia who have escalating energy prices, and the penalty for distorting the market by changing regulations and adopting poor policies.”
Mike Alkin: I thought that was a really fascinating take on things. Talk about your view of all of that because I know from speaking to you that, that’s your view, and then you could kind of run with that. So, how do you A, think about that in general? And then B, from an investing standpoint, how do you … because you make a great point. The markets are being distorted, but things go on for a while. So we can look at things, I look at Tesla and say, “You’ve got to be kidding me.” It might produce less carbon emissions, a Tesla vehicle, which it does. Forget the infrastructure that goes in and the carbon footprint of getting that car. But at the end of the day, unfortunately, they have a capital structure that is unsustainable, and that’s the law of the jungle. That’s the markets.
Mike Alkin: So how do you think about all that, and we’re seeing valuations. You’re an oil and gas guy, I look at the valuations in offshore oil and gas, and the service companies, you mentioned you work for Schlumberger. But these offshore oil and gas companies have been decimated. They trade for half of tangible book value. If you liquidated it tomorrow you’d get a huge increase.
Dale Haessel: Yeah, if they just sold off all their assets, they’d make more money than the market cap.
Mike Alkin: Exactly, and eventually, and what happens as you tend to see is, right now because of fracking and US energy independence, all these offshore projects have been put on the shelf. A trillion dollars’ worth over the last several years, but eventually they’re going to need to be there. So you can find really great value-
Dale Haessel: I think one of the things which is driving that is the short cycle, because you can get production in such a short time through Permian, because you’ll get production within a year. Versus an oil and gas a multibillion dollar offshore plan will take years to get production. I think a lot of the oil and gas companies are scared from the 2015 or so where the price dropped enormously, and they don’t want to commit the huge amount of capex, which is required for these offshore projects.
Dale Haessel: I was reading this thing called Motivated Reasoning, there was a very good article on Twitter, which is where I get most of my ideas from. So the definition of motivated reasoning, which I’m going to read here, motivated reasoning is an emotion-based decision making phenomenon studied in cognitive science and social psychology. The process of motivated reasoning are a type of inferred justification strategy, which is used to mitigate cognitive dissonance. When people form and cling to false beliefs despite overwhelming evidence, the phenomena is labeled motivated reasoning.
Dale Haessel: I think that is so true these days. Like, there was this one case where I was reading about an offshore driller. They couldn’t get their site because the protesters were blocking the exit for the whatever it was, a jack up rig or semi-submersible, whatever. And I was reading the, Transocean had a contract, I think with BP or whatever. The day rate of the rig is 455,000 per day. So I’m thinking to myself, just that one action of keeping that drill ship or whatever, from getting to site for one day is a $455,000 cost. Now, you take that, and then you have in terms of your GDP, you have to take that and then add in the employee wages and whatnot that goes into that, and then that comes back into the economy. You’re costing the economy $500,000 a day just in that one action.
Dale Haessel: And then you have all these protests over pipelines like we cannot get our oil to market in Canada. And these things are these NGOs that don’t even, they aren’t even in Canada, they’re putting money into blocking your oil. Most of that money comes from the US to stop us from getting to market. Thing is, and I was reading in Minnesota where the Chamber of Commerce is opposed to a to the Line 3 Replacement. This line, which goes from Alberta down to, I’m not sure where it goes down to, but it goes through Minnesota, and the Chamber of Commerce is opposed to the line. So basically, we have a line which is running at half capacity because it was built in the 1960s, so it’s a 60-year-old line.
Dale Haessel: The oil is shipping across Minnesota every day, and they can’t replace it. They’re like, well, the Chamber of Commerce is opposing it, as well as the Democratic governor on the grounds that there could be a leak and whatnot, because they believe in their ideology. But if you think about it, every time there’s leak it’s obviously front page news. They reported in only liters not barrels, because barrels is too large of a quantity. The thing is across the United States, the United States is producing around 12 million barrels per day, which is around close to 400 million barrels in a year. And you have a few leaks of like 20-30,000 liters. That’s nothing, nothing.
Dale Haessel: The thing is pipelines are so safe, and every time there’s a sewage leak there’s no reporting of that. In Canada, there was 20 herons that died because they landed in a tailings pond. And there was a million plus dollar fine or whatever to Suncor for the landing in the tailings pond. Suncor and all these companies spend a lot of money on air horns and whatnot and trying to keep the birds out of the tailings ponds. It’s a million dollar fine. You kill 20, 30, 40 birds or whatever on a wind farm, it’s nothing. No reporting whatsoever and its front-page news if a tailings pond does it.
Dale Haessel: And the thing is what about all the tailings ponds for Rio Tinto and all these other companies? Never even mentioned, never mentioned. There’s got to be birds that are killed in all these open pit mines all over the world, and yet only oil and gas gets front page news and whatnot. I look at it as like the people who protest are the locals, and the thing is these locals don’t realize that they are hurting their own economy. They think they’re doing something for the greater good, and yet there are people in the city that you’re protesting in Vancouver or whatever, and it doesn’t make one ounce of difference in terms of the world of your actions. Not one iota.
Dale Haessel: You think you’re doing so much good and yet you’re destroying your own economy for starters. You’re not destroying somebody else’s economy, you’re destroying your own economy. The oil and gas is going to make it to market somehow, regardless of what you do. It’s going to be shipped by railway or it’s going to be shipped by a different pipeline or something. It’s going to get to market. And the world has a certain supply demand. The demand is there for the product, it is going to be consumed. Whether it’s produced in Canada or it’s produced in the US or it’s produced in Saudi Arabia, it will get to market somehow. Basically, all you’re doing is destroying the Canadian economy by protesting it. The money would go back into the economy through taxes and whatnot.
Mike Alkin: Let’s talk about that. Let’s talk about the Canadian, I mean, you live up there and you’ve lived all over, but you’re a Canadian citizen. Your dad was an economist, and I know from talking to you, you have an interest in all of that. What’s your take right now on the Canadian-US relations, and economics and trade, and how are you thinking that through, and how does that gets expressed in how you make investment decisions?
Dale Haessel: I’m of the opinion that free trade is a win-win situation. Donald Trump, for every good thing does he does something asinine. He actually has no business sense whatsoever, as far as I can tell. The thing is free trade is a win-win situation. For instance, if we have no trade how are we going to get bananas or whatnot? We can’t produce it locally. In terms of steel, well, steel is an input to an end product of manufacturing. So if somebody wants to subsidize their steel, I say go ahead. We will import it at a cheap price and build a whole bunch of stuff with it. Now, it hurts a local industry of just steel. So you’re being protectionistic by any type of tariff.
Dale Haessel: The thing is I actually wanted Donald Trump to actually be tough on Canada. It’s like, what? You want them to be tough? Well, when they’re negotiating NAFTA, renegotiating the trade between Canada and US. I’m in the West, we don’t produce any dairy products. So I want cheap yogurt and cheap milk and whatever. When Donald Trump backed down and gave a 5% reduction in quotas in Canada it’s like, “Oh, come on,” I want a 100% reduction in quotas.
Dale Haessel: Most people in the US would rather zero tariffs on steel and aluminum because more of the US economy is based upon manufacturing with it. Every car, every pipeline, everything is all based upon steel and aluminum, all your soft drinks whatever. It’s more detrimental by putting these tariffs on it than not having the tariffs on, in my opinion at least. Then again, I don’t understand why, and this soft wood number. If I was negotiating I’d say, or if I was Canada it’s like because there’s so few actual dairy producers in Canada, it’s about 100. But the squeaky wheel gets the grease. They make so much noise.
Mike Alkin: Absolutely.
Dale Haessel: If I was a negotiator I’d say lift your soft wood lumber tariffs against Canada and we’ll open up our dairy industry. The thing is the soft wood tariffs just hurt anyone who uses any wood in the United States. Every house or whatnot, where you use any wood. It’s going to be more expensive because you have a tariff against Canadian lumber. And it’s not like Canadian lumber is subsidized or whatnot, it’s just a different way of … different structure. It’s not subsidized, it’s just the biases of the US because the lumber industry in the US obviously has some pull. Just like the steel and aluminum industry obviously has some pull and makes these decisions. Nobody knows what he’s going to decide until you hear the latest tweet that he comes up with.
Mike Alkin: It’s interesting, just from listening to how you think of a lot of different things. You like alternative news, the thing I read to the listeners earlier about the distortion in the markets through activism, but distortion through perception, and perception for a while in the markets is reality. Obviously, by being an investor in Station Cove you’re a contrarian. And so as you’re putting now, you’re retired and you’re well read and you’re learned and you invest now. How do you translate those thoughts that you have on these different things? Because there’s what should be and what is. How do you translate that into your investment philosophy and your investment thoughts to where you recognize something’s mis-valued, but yet that valuation at some point has to be realized?
Mike Alkin: We know in the case of uranium, we think it’s uncovered needs that’s going to cause a contracting cycle and so on and so forth. When you look at some of these other things, how do you how do you say, “Okay, this is just wrong, but I’m looking for investments that are going to capitalize on that in a reasonable period of time?”
Dale Haessel: I’m pretty passive in terms of investing. I don’t like knee-jerk decisions. I believe that there’s no such thing as time is impossible. I also think of things like … a lot of times I think something is going to happen, but yet I don’t act on it. You have the two people. You have the fear of missing out, where people just-
Mike Alkin: The FOMOs?
Dale Haessel: Rumor comes out and they have to invest or whatnot, and the people who want to … they can’t hold a stock for more than a weekend. Versus me it’s like, okay, I’m just like, I don’t want to … I hate kind of selling stuff. Now, of course you should sell stuff if the fundamentals change. You can’t hold on to something if the fundamentals are against you. But I also think that at the end of the day, you should be making money. Some of these companies that never make money or have no future of making money right then you shouldn’t invest in them. It’s like you will never get a dividend, you’ll never get anything. It’s a losing proposition.
Dale Haessel: Same thing with the most of these Permian producers. These guys don’t make any money, why would you invest in them? I look at companies like Suncor, they made $1.4 billion in Q1. Not even Q2, not even for the full year. $1.4 billion and yet their stock is sucking. It’s just you have all these companies, which make no money and this technology stuff. I don’t invest in it, I don’t believe in investing in anything that’s over hyped or over promoted. I don’t understand, like Warren Buffett says, “You should only invest in what you actually understand.” I don’t understand crypto, why would I invest in it? I understand the allure of stuff like cannabis, well, it’s a whole new market and it’s going to do everything else. But everyone’s in that space, and who cares?
Dale Haessel: It’s an addictive drug that people will be consuming regardless of the regulations, and they found out that even though they have legalized it in Canada, for instance, the market of the illicit stuff is still there, because then they don’t have to pay the taxes on it and bypass the entire … the government thinks, “Well, we’ll legalize it and we’ll make a whole bunch of tax revenue on it.” Well, a lot of people are still going to use the illicit stuff anyways because then you bypass the taxes and the controls and everything else anyways.
Dale Haessel: So I avoid any time I see something that’s just over hyped, I always think like, when Bitcoin was going up like 100,000% per month or whatever it was. People should be shorting this not buying it. And I think it’s right there’s a lack of critical thinking, I think in the world. I think that happens with a lot of this climate change. The 12 years before were doom and gloom. It’s like, as FDR said let me quote him here. Okay, here we go, “The only thing we fear is usually fear itself.” It’s all being fearmongering. All this, to me technology is always advancing and always improving, and the government’s always choosing winners and losers all the time. The government is a very poor chooser of winners and losers.
Dale Haessel: For instance, right when Obama basically paid off 100% of the losses of these companies, it’s unfathomable to me because you’re basically paying off these companies because of their incompetence. So you had some companies, which did not invest in the subprime loans, and you had other companies that did. The companies who did obviously didn’t do the due diligence, and they were greedy. Nobody got thrown in the slammer for the fraud, except for a guy in Iceland, go figure. The only guy responsible for all the subprime is one guy in Iceland. But the thing is to me, it’s like these Charles Schwab and whatever these other, Goldman Sachs or whatever, who were promoting these things, to me that’s fraud. It’s actually going against the best interests of your investors.
Dale Haessel: You’re supposed to be making money for these guys, and you have internal audits and internal memos that says that this stuff is going to zero. Yet you’re pushing it, you’re pushing it knowing that it’s a bad investment, and the government then rewards all these companies for their fraudulent behavior by bailing them out at 100%. Now in Greece’s case, they got these people giving them money, even though their debt to GDP was like at 50% or higher or whatever. And they were just giving Greece money because they’re getting good return on their investment. Well, then Greece defaults and says, “We’re going to give you 50 cents on the dollar.” If Obama was going to bail these guys out, he should have given them 50 cents on the dollar not 100% bailout.
Dale Haessel: Or the better alternative is to reward the companies which didn’t do the fraud and didn’t promote these things. Why give money to Charles Schwab or Goldman Sachs, when you can give it to this other company that didn’t do it. You’re still putting the money back into the economy, it’s just not to you guys. It’s like when you bail out a given car company. There’s Chrysler there’s Ford, well, you’re bailing out the guy who’s incompetent. You always bail out the incompetent guys, not the competent guys, because competent guys don’t need building out.
Mike Alkin: Absolutely.
Dale Haessel: It’s like Donald Trump went bankrupt seven times. Most really good investors don’t go bankrupt ever. How many times has Warren Buffett gone bankrupt? Zero. Most people don’t go bankrupt, even normal people don’t usually go bankrupt. And the thing is, I was reading about Donald Trump. I was reading that he would have more money, his net worth would be more if he did no investing, because he inherited like 800 million or whatever from his father. If he just put in like the S&P and just let compounding interest make him money. It’s doing nothing, he would be better off, because he made money and lose money all the time. Whereas if you just follow the S&P will go up and down. I always look at the economy as like a ship. The stock market generally goes up, but not literally. It’ll go up and down in two cycles, but it’s like a ship steering its way up river, but with little ups and downs along the way.
Dale Haessel: That’s the way people can make money is compounding returns. It’s about getting your money in early and letting it grow. People wait till they’re like 50-60 and then decide to invest. Well, you’ve lost the compounding interest of like 50 years, or 40 years. And the other thing, we were talking about philosophies, it’s like a lot of people are chicken. They’re afraid of losing money right. And they always, they put into a GIC or they put it into the collecting interest. But most people don’t realize that the real rate of the nominal money. Any interest rate you ever earn, you have to subtract off the inflation in order to determine your real rate of return on your investment.
Dale Haessel: Most people don’t even think about that. So you’re getting your .5% from the bank to put your money in there. Yet your real rate of interest is negative. People don’t realize that they’re actually not making money by having the money in the bank because the bank lends it to you at .5% then they loan it back out to somebody else at 1%. They’re making money on, you’re losing money. And a lot of people don’t think about it. Oh, I made this much money or that much money, but you lost money. And that’s the advantage of low rate inflation. It’s one of the main components of your GDP or whatnot, is investment. So investment is inversely related to interest rates.
Mike Alkin: I know you are an avid chess player. How does chess help you in investing?
Dale Haessel: Okay, well, I think as … I find that the most dangerous opponent for a highly rated player is one who has no fear. It’s like you had hammer investing on there before. It’s the same thing with chess. The really strong players will bully the weaker players. The same thing with the having a big stack versus a little stack. You push the guy around, so the little guy is afraid of the big guy. And so he backs down. What happens in a lot of chess games is that you just get a little bit of an advantage and you push it. The guy pushes and pushes and pushes and gets bigger and bigger and bigger advantage.
Dale Haessel: The most dangerous opponent is one who has no fear. He will push back. And it’s the same thing with investing. I think you want to, there’s a risk-reward relationship. Most people are chicken. They don’t want to have the … they can’t … you have to be able to sleep at night, but you have to be able to take a little bit of risk in order to actually make a return on your investment. Without having any risk you’ll just put it into the bank and just leave it there. You’re going to have nothing on your money, but ideally you should move your money between the different asset classes in order to … when interest rates are high then the stock market doesn’t do as well and vice versa.
Dale Haessel: But I’m too lazy to move between bonds and whatnot, so I just leave it all in equities 100% of the time. I ideally have some cash in order to be able to buy on dips. Right now I’m just fully invested in because I believe in the current situation in the uranium space is just unsustainable.
Mike Alkin: Me too. Me too.
Dale Haessel: Well, you can’t have the price of uranium at $24. You just can’t. It has to change. No matter what you do it has to change. I could put it in cash and then hope that things drop even more, but I’ve been of the opinion that it’s supposed to go up the last … since I was hearing your 2017 speech on uranium, after I heard that one then I did more investigating. And the thing is with everyone in almost every physicist and whatnot is all pro nuclear anyways. That’s a fundamental of physics. I was already pro nuclear already, and I’d already gone through Three Mile Island. I knew it was ridiculously over hyped, just the damages of it. So I was already pro nuclear already at that point. I was just like okay, and then I read the SmithWeekly with the nuclear report there.
Dale Haessel: Also, to me it’s although I don’t believe in all this climate garbage, I know a lot of people do believe in it, and so I believe if you truly believe in that you have to support nuclear. Even though it’s against my beliefs in this CO2, you can’t fight the crowd. You will always lose. The easiest thing is just to agree with everyone. There’s no critical thought process out there these days. It’s like everyone’s saying that we have a climate emergency or whatnot. If everyone says that and everyone believes that, well, you’re fighting against an immovable force basically. It’s going to do what-
Mike Alkin: You could call it mindless investing.
Dale Haessel: What?
Mike Alkin: Mindless investing, when people are going with the crowd.
Dale Haessel: And it’s the easiest. Nobody’s going to argue with you if you say, “Oh well, 97% of scientists believe in global warming.” Nobody’s going to argue with you if you just … because everyone says that.
Mike Alkin: Absolutely.
Dale Haessel: The thing is that I find astounding, is the climate is settled. That statement right there drives me batty because the science is not settled on almost anything. For instance, everyone … Newton came up with gravitational force, g m1 m2 divided by radius squared, and everyone believed it, and it was the status quo. And then they refuted it in the quantum level. Newtonian gravitation does not work at the molecular level, at the quantum level. Absolutely fails.
Dale Haessel: Then you know about multiverse versus string theory. For instance, the show Big Bang Theory where Sheldon Cooper is a theoretical physicist studying string theory. Well, there’s two camps in physics. There is the string theory camp, and then there’s the multiverse camp. The thing is, both theories cannot be right. They both oppose each other. So, if you’re a physicist and you’re doing string theory, well, it’s over 50% chance, you’re probably wrong. And same thing with the other one, because it could be neither of the two. It’s like, you’re spending all your time developing a theory that the science is unsettled because they can’t both be right.
Dale Haessel: And the thing is the CERN found the Higgs particle, Higgs boson. The big thing about that was, the reason why it was so big is that this Higgs boson was supposed to eliminate one of the two theories. If the weight of the Higgs boson was over such, it would eliminate one theory or if it was under it would invalidate the other one. The thing is, it came in between the two. So both theories are still around, and so the science is completely unsettled. And the things that in terms of the astronomy level Newtonian mechanics still applies. But the problem is that the numbers don’t add up.
Dale Haessel: So they had to invent dark matter to have the numbers add up. It’s like a fudge. They fudged it in order for the numbers to work, because you can’t find this dark matter. But if dark matter didn’t exist, all the universe would just expand much faster, but somehow the universe is being held together. So you need this hidden mass to justify the situation.
Mike Alkin: So it’s a plug number?
Dale Haessel: Right.
Mike Alkin: Which you see a lot in investing with narratives too, and you see where people have a narrative and they need to support that narrative and they can plug. Fudge, plug, however you want to …
Dale Haessel: And the same thing with climate, is it’s too complicated for any model. So I was reading this, Edward Lawrence was doing climate modeling in the 1950s and ’60s. Obviously with the old computers with the punch cards and everything else.
Mike Alkin: You’re bringing me back to my FORTRAN days in college.
Dale Haessel: Oh yeah, I did some FORTRAN coding.
Mike Alkin: There you go.
Dale Haessel: Well, everything in engineering was originally done in FORTRAN. FORTRAN was the language of engineering. Just like COBOL was the language of business. There’s a lot of business applications, which were written in FORTRAN. And they still use FORTRAN actually in some of the, like the Haliburton engineering software. It’s not the same as your WATFOR-77 or your WATFIV. It’s now digital FORTRAN, but FORTRAN is still around. Just not as much.
Dale Haessel: So he was doing this climate modeling, he was using 12 parameters or whatever. And he came up with this chaos theory, which means that slight deviation of the initial inputs would have a dramatic effect on the final results. The problem with all these climate models is that they all run hot. And it’s all binary, these models are like, CO2 makes climate change end of story. There’s nothing else, the narrative of all these people is CO2 is the devil. And so they justify all this renewable stuff by CO2, but CO2 is the giver of life. There would be no plants, no animals, no nothing without CO2. You could probably get some animals at the bottom of the sea without any CO2, because they live off heat vents. But just normal life on the surface wouldn’t exist. And also CO2 creates these CO2 sinks, and the CO2 sinks being obviously the plants. The plants suck up CO2.
Dale Haessel: The thing that drives all these policies, just … to me, it’s like the science is unsettled, and yet you’re doing all these policies and regulations for something that is not necessarily proven, because none of these models can … there’s a saying is that if the model does not mirror reality, or actual, the model’s invalid. And none of these models can model the ice age. Why was there an ice age? A model needs to be able to predict the future, but also explain the present and the past. And none of these models are able to do that because … and the entire premise of greenhouse gases is all based upon Venus, I think it’s Venus where it’s abnormally hot. But for atmosphere and all the other variables is non-existent there. There’s no water, there’s no jet streams. The earth has tilting, the earth tilts in a cycle. The sun has cycles as well.
Dale Haessel: To me the science is unsettled, and you listen to somebody like Patrick Moore, and he’s saying the amount of CO2 in the past was higher than present, and yet the temperatures were cooler. So that goes against every single thing that all these, Greta and all these other people say. And it’s just, to me it’s like, let the economy do it’s whatever. Regulate pollution, but don’t call CO2 pollution. Now, you could get, I think CO2 can maybe cause maybe a little bit of acid rain or something like that, but other than that CO2 is not detrimental. But sulfur monoxide and carbon monoxide and whatever else, regulate all that stuff. Regulate the particulate or whatever.
Dale Haessel: Leave that alone because the way I see it is that we can always use technology in the future to solve these things. I think mankind is adaptive enough and able enough to adjust in the future. Versus destroying your economy, because if you have two countries, country A and country B. One country has all these environments and is all anti-CO2 and you have another country that doesn’t care. The country that doesn’t care is going to have a GDP and a standard of living much higher than the country that cares. The economics just doesn’t justify it. You have countries that produce like no CO2 in their production of electricity like Norway and Iceland. So they have a huge economic advantage over all these other countries. I don’t know, it just doesn’t make sense.
Dale Haessel: And them judges these days are so powerful, as I was saying before. If you don’t agree with the judge, go find another judge. It’s like, in Japan, they’ll file an injunction in one prefecture, judge will reject it. They go to the next judge and he accepts it.
Mike Alkin: Keep shopping it.
Dale Haessel: Yeah, exactly. Same thing with oil and gas, it’s like with a pipeline find another judge. There’ll be some judge who will agree with you, because it goes down to motivated reasoning as I said before. One judge will be biased because he believes in climate change and is trying to do good by the world. There’s no such thing as 100% objective. There’s always a subjective component of everything. And the thing is these judges will reject the regulatory agency. What’s the judge know about nuclear fission and nuclear reactors and nuclear whatever, and they’re making decisions on these things. They know nothing. The regulator’s supposed to know what they’re doing, but yet the judge and the environmentalist don’t care. Just file an injunction.
Dale Haessel: And the thing is it costs billions of dollars to your economy by all these frivolous lawsuits. It’s like these class action lawsuits like the Roundup and the talcum powder. They’ve done the studies and whatnot, and the correlation is not 100% proven, yet everyone feels sorry for these people, these victims. And yet there’s no actual physical proof that it was that. People get cancer. It doesn’t mean that Roundup caused your cancer. Just because they used it, “Oh, I got cancer. I use Roundup. Oh well, Roundup’s the issue.” It’s like some people-
Mike Alkin: It’s interesting because you’re a technology guy and you’re a physics guy, so you’re very science fact proof based.
Dale Haessel: Right. If the science proved it, then prove it. But the problem I have with scientists these days is that they’re all motivated to prove something. All the scientists from the IPCC, they have only one goal in life is to prove that climate change is real. Well, climate change is real, but the anthropological part of this climate changes is questionable. You have no purpose in life except to prove it, you’re going to prove it. You’re going to cherry pick your numbers and whatnot, and prove whatever you are. And these scientists all get grants and whatnot. You can’t get a grant as a scientist to show that there’s no global warming or global cooling or whatever.
Dale Haessel: They did, I was reading on Twitter, it’s like, okay, if you’re going to want to study something you put climate change in its title. So if you want to get a grant for the migratory patterns of the swallow or whatever, you say how is climate change affecting the migratory pattern of the swallows, and then you get your grant. It’s just too boring just to say the migratory pattern of the swallows or something.
Dale Haessel: Climate change these days, you have to … you are an outcast if you do not agree with mainstream media and the politicians. Politicians think they know everything as well. These politicians like AOC, they think they know everything. You guys have no science background whatsoever. In Canada we have this person called climate Barbie, and she basically says, “The louder you say it, the more people will believe you.”
Mike Alkin: Oh God.
Dale Haessel: And that’s so true.
Mike Alkin: Yeah, it is. It is.
Dale Haessel: “The sky is falling,” people will believe you. But if you say, “Oh, by the way, the sky is falling.” Nobody will believe you. You have to shout. Nobody will believe-
Mike Alkin: Shout it from the mountaintop.
Dale Haessel: Nobody will believe you unless it’s a catastrophe. It’s called, I was reading Patrick Moore, and he was saying it’s now CAGW, catastrophic anthropological climate change. They’ve added an extra C to the front. At least the “deniers”. I get called a science denier all the time on Twitter. It’s like I believe completely about science.
Mike Alkin: This has been great. I really enjoyed the wide-ranging topics and talking with you. It was very enjoyable for me.
Dale Haessel: Okay, thank you.
Mike Alkin: Any parting thoughts that you have, that you want to impart on the listeners?
Dale Haessel: Well, as I say, the climate, this environmentalism, it’s causing trillions and trillions of dollars of damage to your economy, basically. If you add up all the day rates and whatnot that you’re causing, it’s just … the people who believe in it. I don’t blame the average person, because they believe what they hear in the media. I blame the people in the know that are promoting this stuff. The fearmongers, the Greenpeaces, the people at the top of these chains who are promoting these things. They know better, but yet they ignore the truth.
Dale Haessel: The people at Greenpeace know that nuclear does not produce greenhouse gases, and yet they have on their website, that nuclear is one of the worst greenhouse emitters. They have on their website that 90,000 people died from radiation at Chernobyl. That is a blatant lie. There’s really like 31 people died and maybe 120 people in total. And they have upwards of 90,000, because they don’t care about the truth. I was reading that Greenpeace has very little concern about the truth. All they care about is donations, and they will change and alter the story, based upon what they believe is the hot topic of the day. Whether it is GMOs, which are perfectly safe, or whatever else. They just change their ideology based upon what they can get for donations.
Dale Haessel: I was also reading that, what was it? Oh, yeah, there was an episode of Madam Secretary, for instance, which is so true, is that a lot of the companies, a lot of these environmental groups, they know that nuclear is beneficial. But they will never admit it because many of their donors are opposed to nuclear. So they have to make the narrative or this thing match what they believe they can get for donations, and what they believe that their clientele believes. So they alter their story to match what they believe that their … They don’t care about the truth. That’s the problem is that the truth is, and there’s so much fake information, fake news out there it’s just-
Mike Alkin: So avoid the mainstream media and seek out the truth. That’s the moral of it.
Dale Haessel: The truth is out there like X-Files.
Mike Alkin: Just go find it. Hey, Dale, thank you, man. I really appreciate it.
Dale Haessel: No problem.
Mike Alkin: Okay, we’ll talk later. Okay, thanks.
Mike Alkin: Well, I hope you enjoyed listening to Dale. I did, I just let him talk. I love listening to Dale and there are sometimes I got a ton of questions. Other times somebody just has really good thoughts, and I like to just let them speak their mind and share their views, and I hope you’re able to take a bunch of insights out of the conversation with Dale. Hope you have a good week and next week, we’re going to start our energy journey. So have a great weekend. I’ll talk with you next week. Thanks.
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