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News from January 2008

UK: Carbon emissions show slight fall

UK: Carbon emissions show slight fall thumbnail

The UK’s carbon emissions fell by just 0.1% last year, and the government has admitted it must do more to tackle climate change. The figures would have been worse if the UK’s share of pollution from global flights and shipping had been included. Analysis of the figures highlights key trends: emissions from homes went down, […]


Climate ‘could devastate crops’

Climate ‘could devastate crops’ thumbnail

Climate change could cause severe crop losses in South Asia and southern Africa over the next twenty years, a study in the journal Science says. The findings suggest southern Africa could lose more than 30% of its main crop, maize, by 2030. In South Asia losses of many regional staples, such as rice, millet and […]


‘Doomsday’ seeds arrive in Norway

‘Doomsday’ seeds arrive in Norway thumbnail

The first consignment of seeds bound for the “doomsday vault” on Svalbard has arrived in Norway. Twenty-one boxes containing 7,000 seed samples from 36 African nations were sent by the Nigeria-based International Institute of Tropical Agriculture. The final leg of the journey will take the seeds to the remote Arctic Island. The vault is intended […]


The hedge fund manager who bought a farm

The hedge fund manager who bought a farm thumbnail

Investors are buying a slice of the countryside to make the most of rising food prices The cost of farm property looks likely to soar as traditional British At the same time lifestyle farmers – typically City high-fliers – have become the largest group involved in buying British farmland. According to Mark Ashbridge, of Savills […]


Western majors feel the squeeze

Western majors feel the squeeze thumbnail

Daniel Yergin, the chairman of Cambridge Energy Re …Yet Jeroen van der Veer, Shell


Russia FinMin says lower oil taxes not in sight

Russia FinMin says lower oil taxes not in sight thumbnail

MOSCOW, Jan 31 (Reuters) – Russia may raise taxes on the gas industry but has no plans to cut them for the oil sector despite complaints from oil firms that they need more cash for investments, a government official said on Thursday. “We are planning no radical steps to decrease taxation on the oil industry,” […]


Power Failures Outrage South Africa

Power Failures Outrage South Africa thumbnail

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa The government has confessed to an


People blamed for water woes in West

People blamed for water woes in West thumbnail

WASHINGTON – Human activity such as driving and powering air conditioners is responsible for up to 60 percent of changes contributing to dwindling water supplies in the arid and growing West, a new study finds. Those changes are likely to accelerate, says the study published Thursday in Science magazine, portending “a coming crisis in water […]


Cheap cars in Asia, expensive gas everywhere

Cheap cars in Asia, expensive gas everywhere thumbnail

The debut of the $2,500 car is just another reason Americans will pay more at the pump, and highlights a need for some creative urban planning in the developing world. NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — The debut of the $2,500 car may be billed as a mobility breakthrough for billions of people in the developing world, […]


Dems, Republicans equally green

Dems, Republicans equally green thumbnail

Political party affiliation has little bearing on the number of Regardless of political persuasion, people who believed that climate change is a danger, and who believed that we can combat it, were engaging in more activities to protect the environment. According to the survey, adults who held these beliefs strongly engaged in 60 percent more […]


Saudi Data Show Rise In Dec Crude Oil Output, Lower Exports

Saudi Data Show Rise In Dec Crude Oil Output, Lower Exports thumbnail

NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude oil exporter, boosted its output in December by nearly 2% from November, to 9.206 million barrels a day, but reduced its exports by 2.2%, or 161,000 barrels a day, official data show. The crude oil output figure is the highest reported by the kingdom since […]


OPEC favours holding output amid US pressure for hike

OPEC favours holding output amid US pressure for hike thumbnail

VIENNA (AFP) – OPEC ministers might debate whether pumping more oil would help revive the world economy when they meet here even though ministers favoured no change, the cartel’s chief said on Thursday. US President George W. Bush recently called on the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries to increase output at its production meeting in […]


‘Clean Coal’ FutureGen program is canceled by DoE

‘Clean Coal’ FutureGen program is canceled by DoE thumbnail

The Department of Energy on Wednesday officially quashed a $1.8 billion clean-coal project slated for central Illinois, leaving the experimental venture to capture carbon emissions dependent on Congress for survival. The FutureGen Industrial Alliance was cooperating with the Energy Department to develop a coal-fired power plant designed to gasify and store carbon emissions deep within […]


Senate Bill Would Delay Alaska Lease Sale

Senate Bill Would Delay Alaska Lease Sale thumbnail

Massachusetts Democrat John Kerry introduced Senate legislation yesterday that would scuttle petroleum lease sales in federal waters off Alaska’s northern coast until the Interior Department determines whether polar bears should be listed under the Endangered Species Act. The bill comes as Interior’s Minerals Management Service is readying a Feb. 6 lease sale in the Chukchi […]


Mexico Hikes Gasoline Taxes

Mexico Hikes Gasoline Taxes thumbnail

Despite strong opposition, this month Mexico Not surprisingly, the tax increase has been controversial. Former presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the PRD party has protested the tax hike and is calling for a left-wing coalition to defeat it. Critics say the gasolinazo will accelerate inflation, a concern in Mexico as the prices of […]


Americans Anticipating $4 Gas

Americans Anticipating $4 Gas thumbnail

The overwhelming majority of Americans anticipate prices at the pump will hit $4 a gallon by summer, while a sizable minority believe the number could go even higher this year, according to a newly-released study by the Civil Society Institute. Rising fuel prices were the


Cheap Hydrogen

Cheap Hydrogen thumbnail

A new process uses sunlight and a nanostructured catalyst to inexpensively and efficiently generate hydrogen for fuel. Nanoptek, a startup based in Maynard, MA, has developed a new way to make hydrogen from water using solar energy. The company says that its process is cheap enough to compete with the cheapest approaches used now, which […]


Cold Snap Wreaks Havoc on Central Asian Power

Cold Snap Wreaks Havoc on Central Asian Power thumbnail

Ageing electricity networks have been pushed to the limits by this winter In Kyrgyzstan, a state rich in hydroelectric power, daily consumption is ten per cent higher than it normally would be at this time of year. The jump in use caused water levels in the main reservoir at Toktogul to fall alarmingly as the […]


Jeremy Rifkin: A ‘Third Industrial Revolution’ is nigh

Jeremy Rifkin: A ‘Third Industrial Revolution’ is nigh thumbnail

Climate change and the depletion of oil reserves are taking place faster than expected and the policies being put in place are insufficient to keep up, leading economist Jeremy Rifkin told EurActiv France in an interview, pleading for the EU to lead the way towards a “Third Industrial Revolution”. We are “at the last stage […]


Warmer Atlantic worsens hurricanes

Warmer Atlantic worsens hurricanes thumbnail

WASHINGTON – When the water in the hurricane breeding grounds of the Atlantic warms one degree in the dead of summer, overall hurricane activity jumps by half, according to a new study. Scientists have long known that hurricanes get their enormous energy from warm waters, so the warmer the water, the more fuel a storm […]


Oil may hit $70 as weaker economy lowers demand

Oil may hit $70 as weaker economy lowers demand thumbnail

An economic slowdown in the United States that could turn into an outright recession later this year is likely to weaken demand for oil in the months ahead, which could push the price of a barrel of crude as low as $70 by June, analysts said. But a host of factors ranging from the onset […]


British Renewable Target Very Hard to Hit – E.ON UK

British Renewable Target Very Hard to Hit – E.ON UK thumbnail

Britain will find it very hard to hit the renewable energy target set for it by the European Commission last week, the head of giant power utility E.ON UK said on Wednesday. The Commission, allocating national targets in order to meet the 20 percent overall goal agreed by environment ministers last March, said on Jan. […]


Finnish Nuclear Revival Not Seen in Other Nordics

Finnish Nuclear Revival Not Seen in Other Nordics thumbnail

Finland is pressing ahead with a new atomic power station and Swedes have abandoned some of their deep-seated opposition to nuclear energy but other Scandinavian countries are unlikely to resort to it. While governments worldwide have increasingly been looking to nuclear energy to reduce carbon emissions, Norway is set to rely on its abundant hydro-electric […]


Shell Profit Misses Estimates on Falling Production

Shell Profit Misses Estimates on Falling Production thumbnail

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s biggest oil company, posted fourth-quarter earnings that missed analysts’ estimates for the first time in two years because of a decline in production and lower refining margins.Output fell for a fifth straight year after Shell ceded a stake in Russia’s Sakhalin-2 venture and militant attacks in Nigeria kept fields offline. […]


Shell flags lower oil reserve additions in 2007

Shell flags lower oil reserve additions in 2007 thumbnail

Royal Dutch Shell added “at least 1 billion barrels” of new oil and gas resources in 2007, Chief Executive Jeroen van der Veer said on Thursday, around half the level the oil giant flagged last year. Van der Veer told reporters on a conference call that Shell made 11 material discoveries in 2007 and had […]


France to review biofuel use on environment worries

France to review biofuel use on environment worries thumbnail

France is envisaging changing its policy on the use of biofuels after doubts were expressed on the environmental impact of so-called “green fuels,” the Secretary of State for Environment said on Tuesday. Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet said the government had asked the French agency for environment and energy ADEME to review the technology with a focus on […]


S-Afr: Go to sleep early to save power – minister

S-Afr: Go to sleep early to save power – minister thumbnail

“Go to sleep earlier so that you can grow and be cleverer. Boil less water, use the microwave rather than stove, take a shower and not a shallow bath,” was Minerals and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica’s advice to the country at a special joint parliamentary sitting to discuss the power crisis. She said that perpetual […]


Is the UK ready for an oil shortage?

Is the UK ready for an oil shortage? thumbnail

The cost of oil could pass the $300/barrel mark if there is a 15% shortfall in the supply of crude in the future – and most research suggests a much greater shortfall than that within 20 years. At a meeting this week of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil, Toronto-based transport consultant Richard […]


The Peak Oil Crisis: The Future Of Our Cars – Part 2

The Peak Oil Crisis: The Future Of Our Cars – Part 2 thumbnail

Within the next ten years the size, shape, efficiency, fuel and numbers of private automobiles is going to undergo a radical change. The nine million gallons of gasoline we currently use in the U.S. each day simply will not be available in the quantities desired at any price. If a transition to a more abundant […]


Why Cape Breton shakes in the echo of this distant boom

Why Cape Breton shakes in the echo of this distant boom thumbnail

As young adults from the East race to high-paying jobs in the West, they leave behind hollowed-out towns worried for the future. NEW WATERFORD, N.S. The problem is, Mr. Morrison was making hay in Alberta while he was employed as the town councillor for New Waterford, a small community perched on the eastern tip of […]


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PO Real Time

Or simply: We have no clue. #peakoil #demand twitter.com/WoodMackenzie/…

@PaulGambles2 @CNBCJou @JMJancovici To be clear, not asking for predictions, but a hedge vs #peakoil. Fair bet policy makers are behind & will be overwhelmed. #antifragile

@PaulGambles2 @CNBCJou Cruel irony is, #peakoil may kick in after it's too late to prevent #climatechange. double whammy/hysteresis. @JMJancovici