Pandemic Pandemonium Panic Poker

Don’t panic or get suckered! – There’s rarely more than one winner in a game of poker!

Pandemic Pandemonium Panic Poker

Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser

The sky is falling, Chicken Little said so. And Foxy Loxy is licking his lips in anticipation.

COVID-19 virus is nearly everywhere, “City Killer” asteroids are whizzing by earth, apparently at increasing frequency and a few million miles closer day by day, the oceans are said to be rising by leaps and bounds, and the atmosphere supposedly is getting warmer every summer.

Surely, we are all going to drown (in the oceans), or fry (in hell), being “blazared” by a gigantic black hole, or hit on the head by a big rock from outer space.

It probably does not matter which comes first, “Hell or High Water.” But there is even more mayhem in the world right now; I call it:

The Big Boy Syndrome

As you may have read, to make matters worse, the Big Boy (BB), down there on that mid-eastern peninsula put the squeeze on oil prices. Just to teach everyone a lesson. He’s about to give away all his possessions to the energy-starved world populace. Well, he may get a bit of blowback coming from his harem and the thousands of others that depend on the rich income from selling their resource.

The former like to go shopping for expensive accoutrements from the courtiers on the Champs Elysee in Paris and the latter need to have their penchant for super-duper new cars, or new racing- dromedaries ( picture nearby), regularly satisfied.

Racing dromedaries and jockeys; source Wikipedia.

I suspect, BB’s dream of having the world by the b…. isn’t quite going to work out as planned. There are many forces that take umbrage against his ideas, from various sides. So, IMHO, it will end as a failed bluff. A “Good Try,” but destined to failure, nonetheless.

I’ll take my clues from nature. Yes, even out there in the wilderness (not far from “civilization”) one can find similar bluffs. One of the most interesting ones, in this neck of the woods, is the

Bluff Adder

Actually, its correct name is “Puff Adder” (not “Bluff”), also known as hognose(d) snake. It is quite rare and hardly ever seen. Over the last 50 years, I’ve come across one only four times, never for long. I think “Bluff …” would be a better name for it than “Puff…”. The picture nearby may show you why.

Eastern hognose snake; photo by author

Surely, that’s a vicious-looking beast, ready to attack with its large head and eyes. And, if you aren’t frightened enough yet, it will puff, burp and groan like nothing you’ve ever heard before – better take flight in a hurry!

It’s all a Bluff

In reality, this snake, rarely reaching 3 ft. in length, is one of this continent’s best bluff artists. Just look at the photo again: What, at first glance, seems to be the snout, in fact is the entire head.

The poor critter, shown in the pic, I spotted on the ground of a small pine tree grove while on a leisurely fall hike with friends. The other few specimens of the kind that I ever saw were close to some brush and disappeared out of sight in the blink of an eye. Not so this one – it had no place to quickly escape to.

Of course, I couldn’t let this opportunity slip by without having some fun. Using my walking stick, I punched it into the ground a foot in front of it. Without an obvious way to escape this danger, it slowly went into “attack mode” by splaying its upper body into this cobra-like display and starting to “groan like a pig.” Admittedly, I began to wonder who was more surprised and afraid of the other.

But it was all bluff – from each of us — and without further ado, we all went happily on our way to more adventures.

So, what’s the gist of the story?

Don’t panic or get suckered! – There’s rarely more than one winner in a game of poker!


Dr Klaus L E KaiserDr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser is a professional scientist with a Ph.D. in chemistry from the Technical University, Munich, Germany. He has worked as a research scientist and project chief at Environment Canada‘s Canada Centre for Inland Waters for over 30 years and is currently Director of Research at TerraBase Inc. He is author of nearly 300 publications in scientific journals, government and agency reports, books, computer programs, trade magazines, and newspaper articles.

Dr. Kaiser has been president of the International Association for Great Lakes Research, a peer reviewer of numerous scientific papers for several journals, Editor-in-Chief of the Water Quality Research Journal of Canada for nearly a decade, and an adjunct professor. He has contributed to a variety of scientific projects and reports and has made many presentations at national and international conferences.

Dr. Kaiser is author of CONVENIENT MYTHS, the green revolution – perceptions, politics, and facts

Dr. Kaiser can be reached at:

8 thoughts on “Pandemic Pandemonium Panic Poker”

  1. Well put. But …

    Not to be really fussy about spelling, but, I think that “courtiers” in the sixth paragraph probably should be “coutouriers”. The first the folks who hang around royal courts. The second designs fashions and other showy things. The second is more likely to irritate the occupants of an harem.

  2. The problem is for all oil producers is that it is not all that hard to crash the oil market but it is darn hard to put it back together. After the Saudis pulled the market share stunt in 1986 it took over 14 years to get oil prices back up above fire sell prices. While actual reserve and production capacity numbers are a closely held secret in Saudi i don’t think they have the capacity to do the damage they did for as long as they did in 1986. They can however damage the US oil industry to the point it can no longer sustain itself. The current weak link in the oil industry is personnel. Oil contrary to what Wall Street believes is not a labor cost intensive industry, but what labor it does require is extremely technically specialized and experience intensive. Without replenishment and stable employment this labor force will dry up and along with it the US Oil industry. The current Shale Oil boom was brought about by a handful of now aging Baby Boomers working for Independents that managed to survive the oil bust of 1986. During the 1990’s and early 2000’s the majors did nothing but layoff engineers and geologist to impress Wall Street in a usually vain attempt to prop up stock prices. They not only lost current employees but drove off many college students who seeing no future long term career but only a layoff 5 to 10 years down the road decide to pursue other careers. Another round of layoffs this fall will eliminate the handful of experienced employees, scare off potential younger employees which will finally finish off the long term viability of the US domestic Oil Industry which is exactly what the Saudi Crown Prince and Putin are counting on.

    • thing is? if? youre now elf suffiecient in oil nand gas as claimed
      then what the idiot in saud does shouldnt affect you at all
      own supply means things keep running
      unlike places that are dependant on os product entirely.
      and seeing as many of us are still…being ripped off paying fuel prices the same as when oil peaked andits been around 65 for ages
      while we saw no discounts but did see rises to 1.45 a LITRE for eg
      a drop is just fine with us.
      its now 1.39 a litre and thats nice

  3. Who is buying all the cheap Saud oil ? Demand has dropped globally so Saud can’t sell what they were already producing, why up production to lower price ? Doesn’t pencil.
    Demand went down , supply went up so price drops. They can sell cheap because it’s oil , not fracked oil which cost more to produce.
    Even at 30. Saud will be selling less than pre-pandemic level with no demand, it could go down to 20. !0. ? Depends on demand.
    We’re in uncharted waters and tharr be dragons.

  4. My grandmother used to talk about puff adders in our farmhouse basement. I had not ever seen one but had seen hognose snakes. Thanks for the picture and the education.

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