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News from December 2008

Humans, Oceans Shaped North American Climate Over Past 50 Years

Humans, Oceans Shaped North American Climate Over Past 50 Years thumbnail

ScienceDaily (Dec. 29, 2008) This latest assessment, Reanalysis of Historical Climate Data for Key Atmospheric Features: Implications for Attribution of Causes of Observed Change, describes what has changed


Mexico City cleans up its reputation for smog

Mexico City cleans up its reputation for smog thumbnail

Not long ago, air in this capital city was so bad birds fell dead in mid-flight Not long ago, air in this throbbing capital was so bad that cyclists wore surgical masks. Birds fell dead in mid-flight, and children used brown crayons to draw the sky. Ozone exceeded safe levels on 97 percent of days […]


Grease drive: S.F. turns cooking oil into fuel

Grease drive: S.F. turns cooking oil into fuel thumbnail

The cooks of San Francisco, where sauteing is a sacred rite for some, now have a place to send their used cooking oil without turning the city’s sewer system into a choked maze of congealed grease. On Saturday, the city kicked off a four-day cooking oil recycling drive, during which residents can drop off their […]


Turning Landfill Gas into Energy

Turning Landfill Gas into Energy thumbnail

Methane is a true “natural gas,” produced as a by-product in the breakdown of organic matter. If you’ve ever read a newspaper headline about grazing cows being an environmental threat and contributing to global warming worries – it’s because cows are huge producers of methane gas. OK, enough said on that. But another large producer […]


Idaho energy czar aims to harness cow pie power

Idaho energy czar aims to harness cow pie power thumbnail

That odor wafting from 550,000 cows that make up Idaho’s growing dairy herd smells like energy independence and economic development to state energy czar Paul Kjellander. Idaho is now America’s No. 3 milk producer, trailing California and Wisconsin. That also means it’s cow pie central. Mountains of manure are fueling Kjellander’s dream of pipelines crisscrossing […]


Oil prices risk falling further next year

Oil prices risk falling further next year thumbnail

LONDON: Oil prices, which hit record highs above 147 dollars a barrel this year before plunging under 33 dollars, risk slumping more in 2009 as recession curbs the world The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries oil producers


Biodegradable plastic made from plants, not oil, is emerging

Biodegradable plastic made from plants, not oil, is emerging thumbnail

Here is one word about an up-and-coming innovation in plastics: cornfields. Bioplastics They already are showing up in a variety of products, such as plastic gift cards, food containers and cellphone casings, says Steve Davies, a spokesman for NatureWorks. NatureWorks, based in Minnetonka, Minn., developed one of the first plant-based plastics with the creation of […]


New Zealand Signs Options to Meet IEA Stockpile Requirement

New Zealand Signs Options to Meet IEA Stockpile Requirement thumbnail

(Bloomberg) — New Zealand New Zealand is required by the International Energy Agency to hold 90 days of fuel to help sustain global energy demand in the event of a supply disruption from war or natural disaster. Increasing domestic oil production cut next year


Brazil unveils plan to expand ethanol sales in Asian market

Brazil unveils plan to expand ethanol sales in Asian market thumbnail

Brazil


Ron Paul: No such thing as an independent Israel

Ron Paul: No such thing as an independent Israel thumbnail

What is your opinion on the idea of the US blocking Iran’s oil exports and preventing its gasoline imports from reaching the country (based on H. Con. Res. 362 previously sought by US congressmen)?

PRESS TV, Iran


American Shores Face Threat of Rising Sea Level

American Shores Face Threat of Rising Sea Level thumbnail

Report Projects 4-Foot Rise in Global Sea Level by End of Century An Iditarod without snow, Florida’s coastal towns lost forever to the Gulf of Mexico, wheat farmers in Kansas without crops. What sounds like the climatic end of days could be coming a lot sooner than previously anticipated. A recent report released by the […]


With gas falling, trucks come back

With gas falling, trucks come back thumbnail

Pickups and SUVs will outsell cars this month, according to sales trackers at Edmunds.com. NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — After nearly a year of flagging sales, low gas prices and fat incentives are reigniting America’s taste for big vehicles. Trucks and SUVs will outsell cars in December, according to researchers at the automotive Website Edmunds.com, something […]


UK: Power shift

UK: Power shift thumbnail

Russia’s warning about gas shortages in the EU comes right Opec-style cartel with other major producers Britain was given a sharp reminder of the dangers to its energy supplies yesterday when Gazprom warned that western Europe could be hit by gas shortages. The Russian gas provider said a long-running row with Ukraine could disrupt supplies […]


James Hansen on why scientists should speak out

James Hansen on why scientists should speak out thumbnail

In this EarthSky Clear Voices for Science podcast, Dr. Hansen spoke with EarthSky


Pakistan: Highway blocked to protest loadshedding

Pakistan: Highway blocked to protest loadshedding thumbnail

MANSEHRA: Angry people blocked the Karakoram Highway on Saturday as the frequent and prolonged power outages have affected routine life in Mansehra, Battagram and Balakot. The hours-long suspension of power supply to Mansehra, Battagram and Balakot has resulted in lay-offs as various small and medium industries are on verge of collapse. Khan Afsar, a tailor, […]


A Recent History of Oil Prices.

A Recent History of Oil Prices. thumbnail

…The upshot will be a gap between the demand for crude oil and the limits of how much of it can be produced, a quantity that must inevitably fall beyond the point of arrival of The remarkable hike in the price of oil in the summer of 2008 was driven partly by a period of […]


Minnesota’s iconic moose are dying off

Minnesota’s iconic moose are dying off thumbnail

Scientists eye climate change as the primary reason the beloved animals are disappearing.It wasn’t long ago that thousands of moose roamed the gentle terrain of northwestern Minnesota, affirming the iconic status of the antlered, bony-kneed beast from the North Woods. In just two decades, though, their numbers have plummeted, from 4,000 to fewer than a […]


Food needs ‘fundamental rethink’

Food needs ‘fundamental rethink’ thumbnail

A sustainable global food system in the 21st Century needs to be built on a series of “new fundamentals”, according to a leading food expert. Tim Lang warned that the current system, designed in the 1940s, was showing “structural failures”, such as “astronomic” environmental costs.Professor Lang lists a series of “new fundamentals”, which he outlined […]


Blackout fear as UK power plants face axe

Blackout fear as UK power plants face axe thumbnail

A tenth of the UK’s power plants could be forced to close by the spring of 2013 – two-and-a-half years ahead of schedule, new research shows. The revelation will stoke fresh concern that the government has not done enough to head off a looming energy generation gap that could lead to blackouts across the country.Under […]


Demand for oil will fall by largest margin in 25 years

Demand for oil will fall by largest margin in 25 years thumbnail

Gloibal demand for oil in 2009 will fall by the largest amount for 25 years, according to the chief energy economist of Deutsche Bank. Adam Sieminski said oil prices could hit a low of $30 a barrel next year, a fall of a quarter from today’s price, because of the sickly global economy. He forecast […]


South Korea to Spend $28 Billion on New Power Plants

South Korea to Spend $28 Billion on New Power Plants thumbnail

South Korea plans to spend 37 trillion won ($28.5 billion) building more nuclear and gas-fired power plants by 2022, to reduce its dependency on oil and meet rising demand for energy. The country will build 12 more nuclear-powered plants, seven coal-fired plants and 11 fueled by liquefied natural gas by 2022, the Ministry of Knowledge […]


Iran, Turkey Plan to Set up Gas Company

Iran, Turkey Plan to Set up Gas Company thumbnail

Iran and Turkey are planning to set up a gas pipeline venture company to transport gas from the Islamic Republic to its northwestern neighbor. The two countries signed an agreement last month to deliver 35 billion cubic meters of gas a year to Europe to bolster greater energy cooperation.Iran, which sits on the world’s second […]


Inertia is threatening long-term energy strategies

Inertia is threatening long-term energy strategies thumbnail

Is the Energy Revolution, which seemed to have great momentum when U.S. gasoline prices topped $4 a gallon in July, going to be put on a sustained hold? Could the stunning drop in oil and gasoline prices in the past five months, coupled with the brutal economic recession expected to extend deep into 2009, stunt […]


Australia: The road to perdition

Australia: The road to perdition thumbnail

MELBOURNE — a world-class city with a rich cultural diversity, fantastic architecture and a dynamic mosaic of communities — is drowning in traffic because of its love affair with the car. It is a love affair fuelled by over-generous budgets and the space provided for roads and illustrates a nervousness Melbourne has about getting to […]


Russia inflation to reach 15%

Russia inflation to reach 15% thumbnail

MOSCOW – INFLATION in Russia could climb as high as 15 per cent in 2009 depending on oil price levels, Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin told Vesti-24 television on Saturday. ‘This year (2008), inflation could reach between 13.5 and 13.8 per cent,’ Mr Kudrin said. ‘With (annual) growth of 2.4 per cent and a price […]


Venezuela to seize gold concessions as oil falls

Venezuela to seize gold concessions as oil falls thumbnail

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) – Venezuela will seize several gold mining concessions that previous governments granted private operators, in a bid to supplement falling oil prices with proceeds from state-controlled gold, President Hugo Chavez said Saturday. Chavez named no specific contracts or companies to be affected, but his mining minister has vowed to next year take […]


Alamosa solar plant’s success helps prove resource’s viability on large scale

Alamosa solar plant’s success helps prove resource’s viability on large scale thumbnail

A sun-powered generating station in the San Luis Valley will finish 2008 as the nation’s most productive utility-scale solar electricity plant. The 82-acre SunEdison station north of Alamosa generated enough power this year to serve 1,652 homes, making it the largest plant of its kind in the nation. Solar experts said the facility’s successful first […]


Phoenix opens $1.4 billion light-rail system

Phoenix opens $1.4 billion light-rail system thumbnail

PHOENIX (Reuters) – With a hearty “All Aboard,” Phoenix launched a sleek new $1.4 billion light-rail system on Saturday amid uncertainty people will hop out of their cars and onto the train. About 75 people became the first riders of the 20-mile (32-km) system that snakes through a sprawling desert metropolitan area that includes the […]


Ecuador to Shut Agip

Ecuador to Shut Agip thumbnail

(Bloomberg) — Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa has ordered Italian oil company Agip to suspend production in Ecuador as the country moves to meet the output reduction agreed to by Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. In his regular Saturday radio and television broadcast, Correa also today said that Ecuador is losing money on its contract with […]


Falling oil prices endanger alternative sources

Falling oil prices endanger alternative sources thumbnail

The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression has lessened the demand for fossil fuels around the world. Americans are driving fewer miles, while growing economic powers such as China and India have begun to stop gorging on petroleum. Along with the drop in demand was the removal of investment dollars from the commodity markets. […]


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PO Real Time

@g_kallis Dr. @BrankoMilan seems to believe that spreading ideas against the established ones and against the interests of the establishment is a fast way to mass a big fortune. By this standard Karl Marx preached to get rich. But being selfish or not #Peakoil is here. #Degrowth

@paulcurrion @RodZeidan @giancarlotorpi @BrankoMilan Touché ! This is one of the problems with some economists: they have invested so much time preaching the goodness of growth that they cannot stop without risking their intellectual prestige. #Peakoil