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News from March 2008

Oil and power in Latin America

Oil and power in Latin America thumbnail

Indigenous peoples in South America are taking on Big Oil over decades of environmental abuse. Tomas Maynas Carijano, an elder of the Achuar tribe, left his home in the Peruvian Amazon earlier this week and traveled to Los Angeles. He came, he said, to tell the story of his people’s suffering at the hands of […]


Brazil, Venezuela Pledge Deeper Energy Integration

Brazil, Venezuela Pledge Deeper Energy Integration thumbnail

The presidents of Venezuela and Brazil pledged Thursday to accelerate energy integration between the two countries in an effort to heighten the region’s autonomy. Although energy integration in Latin America is not a new movement and some feel it can help limit regional energy crises, closer energy interdependence between Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile over […]


Peak oil? Consider it solved

Peak oil? Consider it solved thumbnail

For more than a decade, a fierce debate about peak oil has been raging between those who think a peak in global oil production is at hand and those who think the world is not close to running out of oil. The debate is moot for two reasons. First, the growing threat of global warming […]


Will capitalism survive climate change?

Will capitalism survive climate change? thumbnail

There is now a solid consensus in the scientific community that if the change in global mean temperature in the 21st century exceeds 2.4 degrees Celsius, changes in the planet’s climate will be large-scale, irreversible and disastrous. Moreover, the window of opportunity for action that will make a difference is narrow – that is, the […]


Asian rice crisis starts to bite

Asian rice crisis starts to bite thumbnail

Cambodia has become the latest Asian country to impose restrictions on exports of rice – the staple food for half the world’s population. The government announced the two-month export ban to ensure “food security” on Thursday, blaming surging overseas demand – particularly in Africa and the Middle East – for the skyrocketing cost of rice. […]


Russian Oil Output May Fall for First Time in Decade in 2008

Russian Oil Output May Fall for First Time in Decade in 2008 thumbnail

Russian oil output may fall this year for the first time in a decade as the world’s second-biggest supplier struggles with rising costs and harder-to-reach fields, Natural Resources Minister Yuri Trutnev said.`Two years ago, we said the growth rate was falling, and we said this was bad for Russia, remember?” Trutnev said in televised remarks […]


‘Perma(nent) Culture’

‘Perma(nent) Culture’ thumbnail

Solutions to environmental challenges in the place where one lives are what the Humboldt Peak Oil Action Group is all about. ”I think the Peak Oil Action Group is one of many groups that want to help make people aware of the solutions to many of the environmental problems we are facing and help them […]


The Arctic ice and the carbon dioxide

The Arctic ice and the carbon dioxide thumbnail

In 2004-2005, Russian polar explorers measured for the first time the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere in different seasons at the SP-33 and SP-34 floating stations. Specialists of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, analysed results of these measurements and came to the conclusion that seasonal fluctuations in the CO2 […]


Peak oil’s slippery slope

Peak oil’s slippery slope thumbnail

Both President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, when questioned about their subterranean public-approval ratings, have repeatedly asserted their administration will be vindicated by history. After you’re done guffawing, consider this: They just might be right. Why? In a phrase, peak oil. For those unfamiliar with peak oil—and here I include Gov. Arnold […]


Warning on plastic’s toxic threat

Warning on plastic’s toxic threat thumbnail

Plastic waste in the oceans poses a potentially devastating long-term toxic threat to the food chain, according to marine scientists. Studies suggest billions of microscopic plastic fragments drifting underwater are concentrating pollutants like DDT. Most attention has focused on dangers that visible items of plastic waste pose to seabirds and other wildlife. But researchers are […]


Vietnam must improve sea defence in climate change fight

Vietnam must improve sea defence in climate change fight thumbnail

Vietnam will have to upgrade its sea defences to brace for rising ocean levels and stronger typhoons caused by global warming, a senior scientist has said, state media reported Thursday. The country must spend more than 600 million dollars until 2020 to reinforce and raise sea dykes between central Quang Ngai and southern Kien Giang […]


Nigeria’s forests to disappear by 2020: expert

Nigeria’s forests to disappear by 2020: expert thumbnail

Nigeria will lose all of its remaining forests in the next 12 years if the rate of deforestation remains unchecked, an environmental expert warned Thursday. “Considering the rate at which trees are chopped down without any regeneration efforts … all of Nigeria’s forests will disappear by 2020,” Kabiru Yammama told AFP. Yammama, who heads up […]


Nanomaterial turns radiation directly into electricity

Nanomaterial turns radiation directly into electricity thumbnail

Materials that directly convert radiation into electricity could produce a new era of spacecraft and even Earth-based vehicles powered by high-powered nuclear batteries, say US researchers. Electricity is usually made using nuclear power by heating steam to rotate turbines that generate electricity. New Scientist


Climate change threatens Amazonian small farmers

Climate change threatens Amazonian small farmers thumbnail

A six-year study of Amazonian small farmers and their responses to climate change shows the farmers are vulnerable to natural catastrophes and risky land use practices, say Indiana University Bloomington anthropologists Eduardo Brondizio and Emilio Moran. The researchers found a rapid decay in farmers’ memories even of major climate events. For example, more than 50 […]


Ryanair execs take pay freeze as oil soars

Ryanair execs take pay freeze as oil soars thumbnail

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary and 37 other top managers will have their pay frozen this year as the no-frills airline cuts costs to combat its soaring fuel bill. Mr O’Leary, who earned a total of €992,000 (Telegraph


Despite Awareness of Global Warming US Concerned More with Local Environment

Despite Awareness of Global Warming US Concerned More with Local Environment thumbnail

Last week, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown declared climate change a top international threat, and Al Gore urged politicians to get involved to fight global warming. Results from a recent survey conducted by a University of Missouri professor reveal that the U.S. public, while aware of the deteriorating global environment, is concerned predominantly with local […]


Peak Oil Passnotes: Peak Oil Is Here, Enjoy

Peak Oil Passnotes: Peak Oil Is Here, Enjoy thumbnail

One of the reasons the message has found such stony ground on occasions has been the antics of peak oil ‘believers’. We use the word ‘believer’ in brackets because, although peak oil is a reality, the ‘believers’ take it to a whole new faith-based level. Anyone with a whacko axe to grind, be they the […]


Sleepily eyeing a peak in world oil output

Sleepily eyeing a peak in world oil output thumbnail

Some analysts cite a lack of preparation for a looming economic event. Last week the price of crude oil broke new records, running about $110 a barrel. That’s well above the previous record (in inflation-adjusted dollars) reached in 1980 after the revolution in Iran resulted in the nationalization of its oil. Since tanks of crude […]


The New Face of Crime: Copper Theft

The New Face of  Crime: Copper Theft thumbnail

Cleveland Heights — Police broke up an organized copper-theft ring Wednesday that used foreclosure lists to pinpoint targets. The burglars based what houses to hit on information they gathered from an unlikely but official source: the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office, according to Police Chief Martin Lentz. “We suspected that it was more than random targeting […]


Colin Campbell and the Crack of Doom

Colin Campbell and the Crack of Doom thumbnail

For many peak oil believers, this is the scariest chart you can imagine. The blue lines show historical oil discoveries. The gold lines project discoveries into the future. The line that looks like a rising serpent shows annual production up to about 2005. The chart was created by peak oil guru Colin Campbell in 2004 […]


More-Powerful Solar Cells

More-Powerful Solar Cells thumbnail

An MIT researcher has found a way to significantly improve the efficiently of an important type of silicon solar cells while keeping costs about the same. The technology is being commercialized by a startup in Lexington, MA, called 1366 Technologies, which today announced its first round of funding. Venture capitalists invested $12.8 million in the […]


The Peak Oil Crisis: Load Shedding

The Peak Oil Crisis: Load Shedding thumbnail

Largely unnoticed in America are the increasingly frequent electricity shortages developing around the world. Many of these are caused by shifting weather patterns that are leaving hydro-electric dams with insufficient water to produce at full capacity. While some aspects of global climate change are temporary, many, such as the melting of glaciers, seem destined to […]


Too Far, Too Fast: The Trouble with $100 Oil

Too Far, Too Fast: The Trouble with $100 Oil thumbnail

It Today at 10:30 AM, the U.S. Energy Department released the weekly crude oil inventories. According to the most recent numbers, oil inventories rose again this week, although somewhat less than expected. While you can’t place too much emphasis on a single data point, the inventory trend has been no friend to energy bulls in […]


The Pied Piper of Peak Oil

The Pied Piper of Peak Oil thumbnail

I hope that Fools with an interest in energy pay at least some attention to Matthew Simmons’ ruminations about the sector. The Texan (by way of Utah) author offers a sobering perspective on an oil supply-demand picture that I believe looks bleaker by the day. Simmons, who’s written Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi […]


Military action to influence oil-producing nations ineffective, expert says

Military action to influence oil-producing nations ineffective, expert says thumbnail

Trying to influence oil supply with military force in the Middle East is not only ineffective, it also is counterproductive. So says Clifford Singer, a professor of nuclear engineering and of political science at the University of Illinois, who has done extensive work on energy systems for the U.S. Department of Energy. Singer also has […]


Treasure in the desert

Treasure in the desert thumbnail

Pretty much every time I grab a bite to eat, I am consuming the ill-gotten gains of one of the world’s more flagrant invasions of one country by another. So, probably, are you ??? wherever you are in the world. And with growing concern about food shortages, this international crime could come back to haunt […]


The oil slickers will survive

The oil slickers will survive thumbnail

PEAK Oil. Remember the phrase. Either capped, like this: Peak Oil, or probably soon lower case: peak oil, as it comes into common usage. Then as sub-editors come to grips with throwing the phrase into single-column headlines: PE, or maybe P-oil, then, finally, as we lose the art of making newsprint simply “poil”. The idea […]


Australia: The oil price is no big deal for toll roads

Australia: The oil price is no big deal for toll roads thumbnail

Apparently the oil price is no big deal for toll roads. A ring around some of the key operators Transurban, Connect East, Connector Motorways and even the peak body, Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, delivered not one oil price assumption. Even an industry range was out of the question.Top secret stuff it was. When a barrel of […]


New eco-towns to make it hard going for cars with 15mph limit

New eco-towns to make it hard going for cars with 15mph limit thumbnail

Half of all households in eco-towns will have to live without a car and those that have one will find their speed limited to 15mph, according to standards for the wave of new towns unveiled yesterday. In a series of anti-car measures announced by Hazel Blears, the secretary of state for communities, large parts of […]


Cambodian dam plans suffer information drought

Cambodian dam plans suffer information drought thumbnail

Cambodia has rejuvenated old plans to develop the country’s huge hydropower potential, big-ticket schemes to be led by Chinese investors which will simultaneously fill government coffers and have severe social and environmental impacts on local communities. Like neighboring Laos in the 1990s, foreign donors, electricity-hungry neighboring nations such as Thailand and Vietnam and big business […]


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@terrymorse @gianlucatdc @BrankoMilan @ClubOfRome Probably because they know they are running out of coal. Let's cross our fingers for their success... #PeakCoal #PeakOil

test Twitter Media - @terrymorse @gianlucatdc @BrankoMilan @ClubOfRome Probably because they know they are running out of coal. Let's cross our fingers for their success...  #PeakCoal  #PeakOil https://t.co/91qHT3vAbJ

@terrymorse @gianlucatdc @BrankoMilan @ClubOfRome What evidence ? The only way we've found to reduce fossile fuels consumption has been #Degrowth periods usually called recessions. In Greece for example they are experiencing the harshest chaotic degrowth. And its costs are not fairly shared. #Peakoil

test Twitter Media - @terrymorse @gianlucatdc @BrankoMilan @ClubOfRome What evidence ? The only way we've found to reduce fossile fuels consumption has been #Degrowth periods usually called recessions. In Greece for example they are experiencing the harshest chaotic degrowth. And its costs are not fairly shared.  #Peakoil https://t.co/WGluUZULlo

@terrymorse @gianlucatdc @BrankoMilan @ClubOfRome Still we need countries to take #Peakoil seriously and implement a Marshall Plan for renewables. Better to have a planned #Degrowth than a massive struggle for the last oil and gas fields. Imperialist wars in the Middle East could doom humanity. LEAVE OIL BEFORE IT LEAVES US

test Twitter Media - @terrymorse @gianlucatdc @BrankoMilan @ClubOfRome Still we need countries to take #Peakoil seriously and implement a Marshall Plan for renewables. Better to have a planned #Degrowth than a massive struggle for the last oil and gas fields. Imperialist wars in the Middle East could doom humanity.
LEAVE OIL BEFORE IT LEAVES US https://t.co/B3uf5n3dV5

@terrymorse @gianlucatdc @BrankoMilan @ClubOfRome The only renewable to have a good EROI is hydropower but it's difficult to find enough rivers to dam and climate change may affect the rain patterns. Solar power for example has a low EROI when we transform it into electricity. Solar power for heating is much better. #Peakoil