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News from September 2007

Riding an Israeli electric car to peace

Riding an Israeli electric car to peace thumbnail

The electric car is being resurrected. Amid the global threats of pollution, oil funded terrorism, and ‘peak oil’, the Western world is looking to replace fossil fuels with clean, renewable sources of energy. Cornucopians are becoming extinct; scientists, engineers, politicians, and oil tycoons have recognized that we have used 50% of the world’s oil supply […]


Hold onto your wallet

Hold onto your wallet thumbnail

THE squeeze on the ordinary American promises only to get worse as the world price of oil goes up, the U.S. economy fails to create jobs, mortgage foreclosures increase, and the value of the dollar falls against other currencies. After the recent shock of the roller-coaster ups and downs of U.S. and world stock markets […]


Operators balance safety with production

Operators balance safety with production thumbnail

Earlier this month, a tropical depression in the Atlantic caught the attention of local residents who thought the storm might be the area’s first hurricane since Rita. But the storm, which at one point was predicted to cut across most oil fields in the Gulf, was particularly worrisome for oil companies. Coming on the heals […]


New oil law is not in Iraq’s interest

New oil law is not in Iraq’s interest thumbnail

Iraq’s draft oil and gas law, which was approved by the Iraqi government in April and which is scheduled for parliamentary approval, is one of the most dangerous laws issued since the occupation of the country began in 2003. The permanent constitution, passed in 2005, is another dangerous document that threatens the future of Iraq. […]


As Prices Soar, U.S. Food Aid Buys Less

As Prices Soar, U.S. Food Aid Buys Less thumbnail

Soaring food prices, driven in part by demand for ethanol made from corn, have helped slash the amount of food aid the government buys to its lowest level in a decade, possibly resulting in more hungry people around the world this year. The United States, the world


D.C. region produces more carbon dioxide than many countries

D.C. region produces more carbon dioxide than many countries thumbnail

WASHINGTON (Map, News) – The Washington region, with its crawling traffic and several coal-fired power plants, produces more carbon dioxide than several medium-size European countries, according to a new study of pollution. Estimates produced by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments show 65.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide were emitted in the region in […]


Wind power only part of the solution

Wind power only part of the solution thumbnail

…But all of those efforts — from wind power to biodiesel to high-tech light bulbs — aren’t enough to preserve what James Howard Kunstler calls our “happy motoring culture.” Kunstler, a New York author and frequent speaker at environmental conferences, said he sees more similarities than differences between the “greenies” and the giant corporations, land […]


How Economy Could Survive Oil At $100 A Barrel

How Economy Could Survive Oil At $100 A Barrel thumbnail

The world economy has managed, with some indigestion, to swallow the rise of oil prices past $80 a barrel. How well could it survive $100 a barrel? The answer is quite well — so long as several conditions still hold true. The price rise would probably have to be gradual. Inflation couldn’t get so bad […]


Corn-to-Ethanol: US Agribusiness Magic Path To A World Food Monopoly

Corn-to-Ethanol: US Agribusiness Magic Path To A World Food Monopoly thumbnail

Eight years of Biofuels (ethanol) policy and legislation has cemented in place the first world wide food cabal, which promises a humanitarian disaster, a famine more serious than those caused by any tsunami, earthquake or drought. This crisis is not in the dim future, it is here. Congress has, in a series of acts passed […]


The Once and Future American Car

The Once and Future American Car thumbnail

How long is the collective American memory? About ten years. As evidence, I offer the example of what happened after the Arab oil embargo of 1973. America reacted with a swiftness and force that included a national 55 mph speed limit along with tough and tightening standards for vehicle fuel economy. We were so close […]


Food shock as ‘agflation’ sees prices rise

Food shock as ‘agflation’ sees prices rise thumbnail

IN THE 1970s it was “stagflation”, the simultaneous combination of economic stagnation and high inflation. Now, in the noughties, we have “agflation” “This comes at a time of unprecedented concerns globally of very low grain stocks. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that we will see a food shock in the next few […]


Human Behavior, Global Warming, and the Ubiquitous Plastic Bag

Human Behavior, Global Warming, and the Ubiquitous Plastic Bag thumbnail

When she moved to the United States from Germany seven years ago, Angela Neigl brought with her the energy-conscious sensibilities of life in Europe. You drove small cars. You recycled every can, lid and stray bit of household waste. You brought your own reusable bags or crate to the market rather than adding to the […]


Holiday outlook bleak as Americans see more economic troubles

Holiday outlook bleak as Americans see more economic troubles thumbnail

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Amid expectations of falling home prices, foreclosures, job cuts and concerns about toy safety, Americans are girding for their gloomiest holiday season in years. The struggling economy, tighter credit, high energy prices and the calamity in the real estate market are just part of the bleak picture as the year-end holidays approach.Consumers […]


Weak dollar could prevent OPEC from new output hike: analysts

Weak dollar could prevent OPEC from new output hike: analysts thumbnail

LONDON, Sept 30, 2007 (AFP) – The weak US dollar is slashing the value of oil revenue for the biggest crude producers, leading analysts to predict that OPEC will not rush to hike output again despite tight world energy supplies. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries recently decided to increase its crude output by 500,000 […]


Nigeria loses ground in OPEC in face of unrest

Nigeria loses ground in OPEC in face of unrest thumbnail

PARIS (AFP) – Oil output in Nigeria has plunged by a quarter since the start of 2006 in the face of political unrest in the Niger Delta, reducing the country’s influence in OPEC and limiting the effectiveness of OPEC itself. Nigeria, Africa’s biggest producer, accounts for a daily output of 2.6 barrels at peak production, […]


Security Fears Keep Oil Prices at High Levels

Security Fears Keep Oil Prices at High Levels thumbnail

The price of US light crude dropped to $78 a barrel this week, compared with its recent record level of $84.10. However, despite the rise in the US crude oil reserve, prices returned to rise to $85 at the end of the week, with the prospect of a new storm threatening the Mexican coast. OPEC […]


Coal fired plants: a national Catch-22

Coal fired plants: a national Catch-22 thumbnail

About half of the nation’s energy comes from coal-fired power plants. They’re the powerhouse of our power grid, but they’re also a major source of the country’s air pollution. The plants contribute more than 30 percent of the nation’s industrial carbon dioxide emissions, a prime contributor to global warming. They’re the No. 1 industrial polluters […]


The Oil Drum: Social Norms, Climate Change, and the Energy Crisis We Face

The Oil Drum: Social Norms, Climate Change, and the Energy Crisis We Face thumbnail

This post is Robert Cialdini’s testimony to the Subcommittee on Research and Science Education, House Committee on Science and Technology, on the topic of “The Contribution of the Social Sciences to the Energy Challenge,” September 25, 2007. A link to the committee’s session (which involved other prominent social scientists such as Dr. Robert Bordley, John […]


Costly Fuel Is Never Far From a Match

Costly Fuel Is Never Far From a Match thumbnail

THERE are deep roots to Myanmar Neither choice


Burma, Darfur and Democracy — The Bush Betrayal

Burma, Darfur and Democracy — The Bush Betrayal thumbnail

If you’ve been hiding out in a remote cabin for a few days, the brutal troops in Burma bludgeoned a protest of 100,000 monks into submission over the past few days. All Bush did, as he has done for years, is give lip service at the U.N. to denouncing the latest crackdown in Myanmar, but […]


“Black Rush” in Sakhalin: Dramatic Discovery of Oil, Natural Gas

“Black Rush” in Sakhalin: Dramatic Discovery of Oil, Natural Gas thumbnail

The “black rush” for crude oil, which reminds us of the “gold rush” in the 19th century west, is now taking place in Sakhalin, Russia. About 30 percent of Russian oil and natural gas have been reported to be buried under Sakhalin: 2.7 billion barrels of oil in 11 oil fields, 1.261 trillion square meters […]


New biofuels can stand on their feet

New biofuels can stand on their feet thumbnail

The science of today is quite likely to be the everyday technology of tomorrow. Consider biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel, which are now blended with petroleum products like petrol and diesel. Given that biofuels use biomass as feedstock, they are a more sustainable and ‘carbon-neutral’ supply source. Biofuels make economic sense as well, with petroleum […]


Mandelson told to halt biofuel flood

Mandelson told to halt biofuel flood thumbnail

Biofuels firms are demanding the British government and the European Union take action to stop American rivals exploiting subsidies to flood the European markets with cut-price fuel. The Renewable Energy Association, an industry group, contacted the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and European Union trade commissioner Peter Man-delson in recent weeks. The European […]


Saudi Arabia expected to meet rising oil demand

Saudi Arabia expected to meet rising oil demand thumbnail

RIYADH, Sept 29: Producing more than five million barrels a day for decades now, the Ghawar oil field of Saudi Arabia, the world With focus on Saudi Arabia, Ghawar holds an unparalleled significance to future global oil supplies. Stretching for more than 150 miles beneath the desert, it is the largest known global crude deposit. […]


Black gold turns grey as Western giants prepare to draw from the wells of Iraq

Black gold turns grey as Western giants prepare to draw from the wells of Iraq thumbnail

The big oil multinationals thought the prize was theirs under new production-sharing agreements in the war-torn country. But the ‘Iraqi wealth for the Iraqi people’ movement is growing amid internecine conflicts and trade union resistance. “Iraq is open for business,” promised oil ministry officials. “Investment can reduce Iraq’s poverty and help bring peace,” came back […]


Does BP have licence to drill?

Does BP have licence to drill? thumbnail

INVESTORS in BP are having to get used to Hayward-o-grams. Tony Hayward, the new chief executive of the oil group, sent shockwaves through the FTSE One way or another, however, this new Hayward-o-gram provides a timely reason to revisit BP


The end of Las Vegas

The end of Las Vegas thumbnail

Why alternative energy sources won’t save us in the post-oil age …They talked about all the usual, obvious solutions. We should harness the power of the sun; use soybeans and fry grease to run the cars; create a hydrogen economy; and all the other stuff Americans have been hearing about of late to lower those […]


Algeria says OPEC output rise would not halt prices

Algeria says OPEC output rise would not halt prices thumbnail

ALGIERS, Sept 29 (Reuters) – Any decision by OPEC to expand oil output further would fail to stop crude prices from climbing, the Algerian official news agency APS quoted Algeria’s energy minister as saying on Saturday. “I think a further production rise would not stop oil prices from soaring because geopolitical problems still exist,” APS […]


Iraq and Angola oil output will soar in two years

Iraq and Angola oil output will soar in two years thumbnail

Abu Dhabi: The oil output of Iraq and Angola, two members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), which are outside the Opec-10, is set to rise over the next two years, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The Paris-based IEA, which advises 26 member countries on energy policy, said the Iraqi export […]


Solar pushes for tax breaks

Solar pushes for tax breaks thumbnail

Here comes the sun: Congress urged to extend same federal benefits as given to other energy industries. Long Beach, Calif. “We are going to become a political force,” Rhone Resch, president of the Solar Energy Industries Association, declared at an industry conference here this week. “It’s our time … we’re in position to grow like […]


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