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General Ideas

New Currencies and their Relationship with Fiat Currency

Complementary Currencies aim to work alongside the pound or the dollar. Classically they seek to broker exchanges of underused resources with unfulfilled need, and facilitate activity in niches neglected by the mainstream economy. They do much good work and are worthy of support. Intentional Currency designs on the other hand will generally be grounded in a critical assessment of the way fiat currencies operate, and recognise and seek to remedy or mitigate their dysfunction. In this way they are competitive with fiat. Consequently if fiat currency plays a role in the start-up or continued operation of a new currency, it is appropriate to manage these interactions carefully and to understand the impact that fiat-dependence can have on the currency’s development. This article outlines management issues associated with some of the potential interactions with fiat. It has been produced as a Working Paper ...


Oil Heads for Biggest Monthly Drop This Year

Oil headed for its biggest monthly drop this year on speculation that increased OPEC supplies and threats to demand in China will prolong a global glut. Futures slid as much as 2.4 percent in New York, extending their drop to 20 percent this month. U.S. crude stockpiles are almost 100 million barrels above the five-year seasonal average, while exports from southern Iraq rose to a record this month. Producers from BP Plc to Royal Dutch Shell Plc have started a new round of cost cutting as prices decline. Oil’s worst month since December paces a slump across raw materials amid expanding surpluses and concern that slower economic growth in China will crimp demand. Commodities also dropped as the dollar gained on signs that the Federal Reserve may increase rates. Sanctions on oil exports from Iran, holder of the world’s fourth-biggest crude reserves, ...


Lessons for the Degrowth Movement

Is degrowth only conceivable in the context of “oversaturated” industrial societies while the global “South” remains dependent on growth? In two installments, this article questions such assumptions. In this first part it introduces positions critical of development which refuse to adopt the Western model of prosperity; the second part will focus on the analysis of these positions with a view to their relevance for the European degrowth movement and the growth debate here. A common objection against visions of degrowth is raised with regard to the material needs of large parts of the global population – those who live in so-called “developing” or “underdeveloped” countries under conditions of extreme poverty. This group, so the argument goes, essentially depends on growth in order to improve their living conditions. Interestingly, this argument is often brought forward in order to justify further growth in ...

“Bomb Iran” plan simply won’t go away thumbnail

“Bomb Iran” plan simply won’t go away

Even before the upcoming August recess on Capitol Hill, the dogs of war, unleashed by remote control from Tel Aviv, predictably are trying to tear the Iran-P5+1 nuclear deal to shreds from all sides. It does not matter that the National Iranian American Council – which happens to be widely respected in Washington itself – has forcefully come out in defense of the deal. It does not matter that the Obama administration can count on the combined efforts of the so-called E3 ambassadors (Britain, France and Germany) in Washington, who are exhausting themselves to explain the obvious: This is an international treaty, already approved by the United Nations, and not a parochial squabble decided in Idaho. On the other hand, it does matter that the Obama administration has not been forceful enough to defend its strategy as well as the result of such a long ...


Saudi Arabia to Cut Oil Production After Summer

The world's top crude-oil exporter, Saudi Arabia, is planning to pull back from record-high levels of production at the end of the summer when domestic energy demand subsides, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The reduction could begin as soon as September and would amount to about 200,000 to 300,000 barrels a day, bringing production to about 10.3 million barrels a day, the people said. Saudi Arabia told the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries that it produced 10.56 million barrels a day in June, a record high. "It is purely based on the [domestic] demand situation," one of the people said, adding that "production is likely to hover around" 10 million barrels until the end of the year.   Saudi Arabia—one of a handful of countries that generates electricity by burning crude oil—generally reduces production in the fall, when demand for ...

General Ideas

The Cimmerian Hypothesis, Part Three: The End of the Dream

Let's take a moment to recap the argument of the last two posts here on The Archdruid Report before we follow it through to its conclusion. There are any number of ways to sort out the diversity of human social forms, but one significant division lies between those societies that don’t concentrate population, wealth, and power in urban centers, and those that do. One important difference between the societies that fall into these two categories is that urbanized societies—we may as well call these by the time-honored term “civilizations”—reliably crash and burn after a lifespan of roughly a thousand years, while societies that lack cities have no such fixed lifespans and can last for much longer without going through the cycle of rise and fall, punctuated by dark ages, that defines the history of civilizations.   It’s probably necessary to pause here ...

World’s population to reach 11.2 billion by end of the century thumbnail

World’s population to reach 11.2 billion by end of the century

India is set to overtake China and become the world’s most populous country in less than a decade - six years sooner than previously forecast, the United Nations said on Wednesday. Fast-growing Nigeria is on course to outstrip the United States by about 2050 to become the country with the third largest population, the United Nations predicted. The current global population of 7.3 billion is forecast to reach 9.7 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100, slightly above the last set of U.N. projections. Most growth will happen in developing regions, particularly Africa, according to the report World Population Prospects. The demographic forecasts are crucial for designing and implementing the new global development goals being launched later this year to replace the Millennium Development Goals. John Wilmoth, head of the U.N. population division, said the concentration of growth in the poorest countries would make ...

Public Policy

The New Politics of Oil Abundance

The oil-price shocks of the 1970s and '80s marked the dawn of the modern era of United States energy policy. Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Carter all responded to those shocks by launching big programs that promised a rapid switch from oil to other energy sources. Every president since has pledged to chart a similar transition, although the fervor with which these pledges have been pursued has sometimes ebbed perceptibly during periods of low oil prices. The goal of reducing oil dependence, in general terms, remains bipartisan. Over time, environmental concerns have gradually gained prominence as a rationale for measures meant to decrease U.S. reliance on oil. It was the first President Bush who took the large step of signing the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which set global, long-term goals to limit greenhouse-gas concentrations and anthropogenic climate change. Most recently, ...

World’s population to hit 9.7 BILLION by 2050 as India becomes largest country thumbnail

World’s population to hit 9.7 BILLION by 2050 as India becomes largest country

The number of people on earth is set to reach almost 10 BILLION by 2050, experts have said. The United Nations have revealed that estimates suggest the world's population will be a staggering 9.7 billion and India will be the largest country. According to research, in just 35 years' time it is predicted there will be an extra 2.4 billion people thanks to high fertility rates in a number of developing countries. The UN predicts that the figure will rise to 11.2 billion by 2100. Between 2015 and 2050, half of the growth will be concentrated in India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America, Indonesia and Uganda. India will surpass China as the country with the greatest population around 2022, and Nigeria is predicted to have more people than the United States by 2050. The number ...

Public Policy

Some U.S. senators want to start oil war with Iran

As Secretary of State John Kerry tried to sell the Iran nuclear deal to Congress Tuesday, some U.S. senators were ready to start an oil war with Iran. Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski is sponsoring a bill to lift the ban on exporting American crude oil. Send U.S. oil abroad, she argues, so America can "compete against our foes in a way that doesn't involve sending our troops in and boots on the ground." In other words, let the U.S. and Iran go head to head on the world oil market. It's a timely debate. At a Senate Banking Committee hearing Tuesday, she asked why the U.S. would lift sanctions on Iran so it can export its oil, yet keep a ban in place on American oil exports. Related: CNN/ORC poll: Majority wants Congress to reject Iran deal "We're going to let Iran go out onto ...

Play Video
Cheap natural gas spurs more chemical investment thumbnail Cheap natural gas spurs more chemical investment
Buoyed by a continued flood of cheap natural gas, the U.S. chemical industry continues ...
Consumption Low-Tech Living as a “Demand-Side” Response to Climate Change and Peak Oil
Abstract: Energy is often called the ‘lifeblood’ of civilisation, yet the overconsumption of fossil energy ...
BP, Total writing off oil assets in Libya thumbnail BP, Total writing off oil assets in Libya
Libya has become a major headache for European oil companies as a four-year conflict ...
I Just Got Laid Off … Now What? thumbnail I Just Got Laid Off … Now What?
So you’ve just been laid off … and you’re hit with a whirlwind of ...

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"Upstream businesses were particularly hard hit, as lower #oil prices reduced revenues" @Chevron @exxonmobil fossils cry the #peakoil blues.

#peakoil Oil Heads for Biggest Monthly Drop This Year: Oil headed for its biggest monthly drop this year on sp... bit.ly/1gte7Lf

#peakoil New Currencies and their Relationship with Fiat Currency: Complementary Currencies aim to work alongs... bit.ly/1gte81x

Why in the hell would we lift the restrictions allowing exporting gas, did someone find some more? we are running out of gas! #peakoil #CNN