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Dispatch From A Post-Carbon World: Planting The Seeds For A More Resilient Future thumbnail

Dispatch From A Post-Carbon World: Planting The Seeds For A More Resilient Future

Whenever I buy grapes imported from Chile, fill my gas tank with fuel sourced in the Persian Gulf, or select underwear made in Thailand at a department store headquartered in Minneapolis, I can’t help but wonder how much longer we can all go on like this. That our survival hinges on the economic vitality of countless far-flung suppliers  of food, energy, clothing and other essentials gives me pause. So does our reliance on cheap oil, natural gas and coal to deliver that stuff to our doorsteps and keep us warm, cool or plugged-in once it gets there. Not to mention the equilibrium of our planet’s climate, now threatened by the relentless combustion of all those fossil fuels. One of my greatest fears is that, someday, our remote-controlled, global commodity delivery system will collapse, and we’ll all ...

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The Middle East holds 43.2% of world’s natural gas thumbnail

The Middle East holds 43.2% of world’s natural gas

The Middle East, with 80.3 trillion cu/m, is home to 43.2 percent of the total natural gas deposit in the world, according to a new report. A BP Statistical Review of World Energy June 2014 report said Qatar currently contains the highest deposit of natural gas with 24.7 trillion cu/m with Saudi Arabia next in line containing 8.2 trillion cu/m in the region. Bob Dudley, group chief executive of BP, said “the data in this review shows a flexible global energy system adapting to a changing world. It demonstrates how the world’s quest for secure and fairly-priced energy can be met through competitive industries driving innovation and smart government policies that amplify the creative energy.” The proven natural gas reserves by the end of 2013 stood at 185.7 trillion cu/m, 0.2 percent higher than the previous year, the BP data added. The International Energy ...

Public Policy

Beyond oil and reserves, Russia running on empty

* Russian economy at zero growth despite high oil prices * Sanctions hinder investment in oil production * Drop in crude prices could shake Putin's reign   For all the sanctions Western leaders can throw at Russia, the biggest threat to President Vladimir Putin's ability to back separatists in east Ukraine is something beyond his or their control: the price of oil. With Russia's $2 trillion economy heavily dependent on crude exports, oil prices are always closely monitored by the Kremlin, but the government is particularly wary now as tensions with the West mount and sanctions ratchet up. Such conflicts often push up crude prices, but as long as oil, which accounts for 40 percent of state revenues, remains above the average $104 per barrel written into the 2014 budget, Moscow has little immediate need to worry. The alarm bells will start ringing if it falls significantly ...

Are You Driving the Right Car for an Oil Crisis? thumbnail

Are You Driving the Right Car for an Oil Crisis?

With further escalation in hostilities in Iraq as the militant group, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) tries to lock down more oil and gas assets, it is hard not to worry that an oil crisis might be looming. Saudi Arabia has fortified its northern border with Iraq with more military hardware and troops while Iraqi oil industry sources report that Iranian forces were simultaneously moving into areas surrounding the Southern Iraqi oilfields, raising the stakes in a possible escalation in recent border skirmishes. At the same time, Moscow is doubling down in its support for rebel fighters in the Ukraine, intensifying its conflict with the West and increasingly the likelihood that energy trade with Russia will get disrupted. So far, the looming global instability has not ratcheted up US gasoline prices which are generally hovering around $3.50 a ...

Japan’s About To Make A Move That Could Kill Its Solar Industry thumbnail

Japan’s About To Make A Move That Could Kill Its Solar Industry

On the second anniversary of a scheme aimed at boosting Japan's renewable energy after the Fukushima crisis, its powerful industry ministry is taking steps critics say will choke off solar investment and pave the way for a return to nuclear power. Japan's ambitious plans for solar in the past two years -- if they were to come on stream -- could allow the country to surpass Germany as the world's biggest consumer of solar power. But the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has cut tariffs for solar power by a fifth in the two years and has imposed time limits on installations, arguing solar costs have fallen and projects are running late, with only 13 percent of approved projects actually installed and operating. Solar industry participants say METI's actions mean it does not make commercial sense to invest in the renewables ...

Russia And India Begin Negotations To Use National Currencies In Settlements, Bypassing Dollar thumbnail

Russia And India Begin Negotations To Use National Currencies In Settlements, Bypassing Dollar

Over the past 6 months, there has been much talk about the strategic proximity between Russia and China, made even more proximal following the "holy grail" gas deal announced in May which would not have happened on such an accelerated time frame had it not been for US escalation in Ukraine. But little has been said about that other just as crucial for the "new BRIC world order" relationship, that between Russia and India. That is about to change when yesterday the Russian central bank announced that having been increasingly shunned by the west, Russia discussed cooperation with Reserve Bank of India Executive Director Shrikant Padmanabhan. The punchline: India agreed to create a task group to work out a mechanism for using national currencies in settlements. And so another major bilateral arrangement is set up that completely bypasses the dollar. From ...

Geology

Peak Oil: How Soon? How Serious?

Petroleum Geologist Jeffrey J. Brown provides an overview of the global energy picture, focused on oil supply and demand and the impact of peak oil exports. Is the world at or near the maximum of oil production? Can new finds make up for increasing consumption? How might net exporters alter supply? Series: Humanitas [9/2008] [Public Affairs] [Science] [Show ID: 14989]

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The Gulf of Mexico Is Still Dying: Pathogenic Micro-organisms Proliferate Due To Polluted And Poisoned GOM ‘Bioterrain’ thumbnail

The Gulf of Mexico Is Still Dying: Pathogenic Micro-organisms Proliferate Due To Polluted And Poisoned GOM ‘Bioterrain’

There have been several significant developments over the past few decades in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) which now require special and immediate attention.  The multitude of oil spills — both large and small — require extraordinary remediation measures, as well as the application of safe and proven technologies which will not make the existing hydrocarbon pollution worse. There are other major sources of water pollution in the GOM which have also became apparent, particularly since the eye-opening 2010 BP oil spill. The Gulf of Mexico is Dying: A Special Report On The BP Gulf Oil Spill The BP Gulf Oil Spill drew the world’s attention to the GOM for a variety of reasons. The sheer volume of oil spilt was unprecedented, as were its profound and lasting effects on a large geographic area.  Because it occurred in such a large body of water, ...

Oil companies cooling on Arctic leases thumbnail

Oil companies cooling on Arctic leases

Oil companies that had locked up more than 1.3 million acres of the Beaufort Sea for drilling in 2007 have since relinquished nearly half that territory, signaling the industry’s appetite for tapping those Arctic waters may be waning even as the Obama administration makes plans to auction off more of the area. Oil companies have since ceded the rights to drill on roughly 584,000 acres, despite paying tens of thousands — and sometimes much more — to buy individual leases, according to an analysis of government data by the conservation group Oceana reviewed by Hearst Newspapers. And now, all but seven of the 141 still-active oil and gas leases in the Beaufort Sea along Alaska’s northeast coast are partly or completely held by a single firm, Shell Oil Co. Those tracts, which generally span about 9 square miles, include territory the company ...

General Ideas

Peak Oil: The Limits Of Swashbuckling

I and others have written a number of articles detailing some of the drawbacks, consequences, and less-publicized aspects of the recent oil production surge resulting from hydraulic fracturing (fracking) taking place in several regions of the country—most notably throughout the Bakken Formation in North Dakota and several regions of Texas. Others have focused their attentions on the present financial benefits accruing to localities and workers from the fracking boom. But one of the issues which rarely gets much attention—at least not nearly enough—is how some of the leading companies involved in fracking production have established some rather curious business and financial practices in their dealings with local residents whose properties have become prime sites for the thousands of wells involved in (and necessary for) production from the various shale formations. ProPublica’s Abrahm Lustgarten in particular has done exceptional work investigating the activities of ...

Solar Scams Alive and Kicking in Australia thumbnail Solar Scams Alive and Kicking in Australia
The headline might appear a little alarmist but yet again, I find myself personally ...
Armed men blow up Yemen’s oil pipeline halting crude flows thumbnail Armed men blow up Yemen’s oil pipeline halting crude flows
Armed men blew up Yemen's main oil export pipeline on Wednesday, a local official ...
Orlov: Saving Face thumbnail Orlov: Saving Face
The Americans are finding out the hard way that a fact-free zone is not ...
Average Price of Electricity Climbs to All-Time Record thumbnail Average Price of Electricity Climbs to All-Time Record
For the first time ever, the average price for a kilowatthour (KWH) of electricity ...

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#peakoil Dispatch From A Post-Carbon World: Planting The Seeds For A More Resilient Future: Whenever I buy gra... bit.ly/1quTfS6

.@JTToronto Yes and re: fossil fuels costing too much to extract, I wonder how long we can fool ourselves by financial legerdemain? #peakoil

#peakoil Town's Climate Report offers tips to improve indoor air quality - Woburn Daily Times: Town's Climate ... tinyurl.com/k3waxub

#peakoil The Middle East holds 43.2% of world’s natural gas: The Middle East, with 80.3 trillion cu/m, is home... bit.ly/1qtYdP3

#peakoil Beyond oil and reserves, Russia running on empty: * Russian economy at zero growth despite high oil p... bit.ly/XljKkI