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News from January 2009

Energy Loan Program With No Projects May Get Funds

Energy Loan Program With No Projects May Get Funds thumbnail

(Bloomberg) — Congress is planning to direct at least $10 billion in economic stimulus funding to an Energy Department loan guarantee program that hasn …A July Government Accountability Office report found the Energy Department


Florida stores zero natural gas, yet critically depends on it

Florida stores zero natural gas, yet critically depends on it thumbnail

Russia’s recent decision to halt shipments of natural gas to Europe resulted in millions of people losing heat, light, and electricity. What they gained in return, though, was a better appreciation of how tenuous their energy security is By now, most Floridians know that our state is increasingly dependent on natural gas for its electricity


Arctic’s thaw brings security risks for NATO

Arctic’s thaw brings security risks for NATO thumbnail

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) “I would be the last one to expect military conflict


UNH/NOAA Report: Arctic Region Underprepared for Maritime Accidents

UNH/NOAA Report: Arctic Region Underprepared for Maritime Accidents thumbnail

The existing infrastructure for responding to maritime accidents in the Arctic is limited and more needs to be done to enhance emergency response capacity as Arctic sea ice declines and ship traffic in the region increases, according to new report released today by the University of New Hampshire and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. […]


Australian heatwave sign of climate change

Australian heatwave sign of climate change thumbnail

SYDNEY (Reuters) – A heatwave scorching southern Australia, causing transport chaos by buckling rail lines and leaving more than 10,000 homes without power, is a sign of climate change, the climate change minister said on Thursday. The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting a total of six days of 40-plus Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) temperatures for southern […]


Cold, dark nights ahead in wake of deadly ice storm

Cold, dark nights ahead in wake of deadly ice storm thumbnail

More than a million households remain without power after snow and ice slammed the country from Texas to Maine, disrupting hundreds of flights and forcing Kentucky state troopers to use four-wheelers to find stranded residents. …There were about 20,000 households without power in Oklahoma as of Thursday morning. The numbers soared into the hundreds of […]


OPEC warns of further oil cuts: sec gen

OPEC warns of further oil cuts: sec gen thumbnail

DAVOS, Switzerland (AFP) Even 50 dollars did not guarantee a “decent income for our countries,” he said, adding: “I hope that the price will pick up… a 50-dollar price will not permit us to invest.” Asked about further cuts by the cartel, he said: “If we still have some downward problems (of prices), OPEC will […]


Over the Cliff for Natural Gas in North America?

Over the Cliff for Natural Gas in North America? thumbnail

Is natural gas production in North America headed for cliff? No one can know for sure; but all signs point down. The recent crash in North American natural gas prices has been welcome news for industrial, commercial and residential gas consumers. The reason behind the decline in prices, however, is not so welcome, namely, an […]


I’m a sceptic now, says ex-NASA climate boss

I’m a sceptic now, says ex-NASA climate boss thumbnail

The retired scientist formerly in charge of key NASA climate programs has come out as a sceptic. Dr John Theon, who supervised James Hansen – the activist-scientist who helped give the manmade global warming hypothesis centre prominent media attention – repents at length in a published letter. “As Chief of several of NASA Headquarters


Peak Middle Class

Peak Middle Class thumbnail

One of my high school history textbooks went to great lengths to shoot down communism as it was explaining it. The authors cited a large middle class, such as in the US, as a bulwark against the class struggle predicted by Marx and Engels. I guess that argument stuck with me, and over the years […]


Saudi Arabia Seeks New Role in Global Economy, More Foreign Investment

Saudi Arabia Seeks New Role in Global Economy, More Foreign Investment thumbnail

DAVOS, Switzerland — Saudi Arabia’s business and political elite have come to the World Economic Forum on a mission to drum up investor interest, as the kingdom feels the strain from falling oil prices and the global financial crisis. They also hope to gain a greater understanding of the impact the downturn will have at […]


Scientists Rank Global Cooling Hacks

Scientists Rank Global Cooling Hacks thumbnail

Not all climate hacks are created equal. The dozens of ways that scientists, as well as crackpots, have proposed to geoengineer the world’s climate won’t all be equally effective. In fact, some of them, particularly the ones that rely on sucking up carbon dioxide instead of blocking out solar radiation, will hardly have any impact […]


Korea Electric Posts Record Loss on Fuel Costs, Won

Korea Electric Posts Record Loss on Fuel Costs, Won thumbnail

Korea Electric Power Corp., supplier of almost all of the country’s electricity, posted the biggest quarterly loss in the company’s 26-year history after the falling won boosted the cost of importing fuels. The loss widened to 2.16 trillion won ($1.58 billion) in the three months ended Dec. 31 from 647.2 billion won a year earlier, […]


Shell Posts First Loss in 10 Years on Oil Price Drop

Shell Posts First Loss in 10 Years on Oil Price Drop thumbnail

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s largest oil company, posted its first quarterly loss in 10 years following a record plunge in oil prices, and warned that industry conditions “remain challenging.” The fourth-quarter net loss was $2.81 billion, or $0.44 a share, compared with a profit of $8.47 billion, or $1.36, a year earlier, The Hague-based […]


”Green” Energy Sought As Fix For Economy And Planet

”Green” Energy Sought As Fix For Economy And Planet thumbnail

Investments and policies to combat climate change will put the world economy on the road to recovery and help cool the planet in the process, delegates at the World Economic Forum said on Wednesday. Although the meeting is dominated by the global recession, climate change is a central issue for policymakers and business leaders who […]


Key Food, Biofuel Crop Sorghum’s Genome Deciphered

Key Food, Biofuel Crop Sorghum’s Genome Deciphered thumbnail

Scientists have deciphered the genetic make-up of sorghum, a drought-tolerant crop and important food and biofuel source, and said the breakthrough could help develop better crops for arid regions. Sorghum is one of the world’s leading cereals, along with corn, wheat, oats and barley, and can thrive in hot, dry conditions other crops cannot tolerate.Sorghum […]


Nigeria: Black Market Fuel Prices Increase Astronomically

Nigeria: Black Market Fuel Prices Increase Astronomically thumbnail

Prices of fuel sold at black markets in Abuja yesterday rose astronomically as the marketers capitalised on the long queues at major filling station to exploit motorists. Prices at satellite towns and the city centre rose from N100 a litre to about N300 to N350 depending on the location.In satellite towns, such as Nyanya, Kubwa […]


Africa: Financial Turmoil Hits Energy Projects

Africa: Financial Turmoil Hits Energy Projects thumbnail

The turmoil in global financial markets has slowed down the participation of international lenders in energy projects in Africa, a South African legal expert said yesterday. The trend is likely to perpetuate the lack of investment in energy infrastructure in Africa.According to the South African National Energy Association (Sanea) , only one third of the […]


Businesses cold to climate change

Businesses cold to climate change thumbnail

The examples of successful responses to a changing world, singled out in a report released this month, are few and far between in a region that is vulnerable to climate change. Companies that will be exposed to the ravages of dramatic shifts in the weather and natural disasters are yet to join the wave seeking […]


Is ethical capitalism possible?

Is ethical capitalism possible? thumbnail

Instilling the practice of ethical capitalism is possible and practical. Consumers increasingly demand products that coincide with their moral awareness. Likewise, politicians are under pressure to implement policies that mitigate the stresses of globalization. These forces can come together to produce products that are recycled, carbon neutral, free range, or fair trade, and policies that […]


Russia and Iran get strategic

Russia and Iran get strategic thumbnail

While many analysts predicted a rosier picture for United States-Iranian relations with the President Barack Obama administration, the situation is rapidly becoming profoundly more difficult and more complicated. The new dimension is Russia. On February 20, the Russian Federation Security Council and the State Council will approve a new national security strategy to go through […]


UK: Scepticism grows over the viability of green projects

UK: Scepticism grows over the viability of green projects thumbnail

Lord Turner of Ecchinswell is to investigate the collapse of funding for renewable energy projects in Britain after the recent exit of a string of companies, including BP and Shell. Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, Lord Turner, chairman of the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and of the Government’s Committee on Climate […]


The Ugly Truth: America’s Economy is Not Coming Back

The Ugly Truth: America’s Economy is Not Coming Back thumbnail

…Obviously the Obama administration recognizes that it needs to keep the finger of blame for the current economic collapse squarely pointed at the Bush administration, which is certainly fair in large part (though the Clinton deregulation of the banking industry played a major part in the financial crisis and its enthusiastic promotion of globalization began […]


Tanaka gears up for ‘double challenge’

Tanaka gears up for ‘double challenge’ thumbnail

The double challenge of cheaper oil and a global recession is to ensure enough is spent on new sources of fossil fuel and to grab the opportunity to get greener supplies, Nobuo Tanaka, the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) said today. Oil at near $40 a barrel has slowed investment in oil projects, […]


OPEC Optimism Over Production Cuts Jars With PetroLogistics

OPEC Optimism Over Production Cuts Jars With PetroLogistics thumbnail

(Bloomberg) — OPEC Secretary General Abdalla el- Badri said the group may achieve its new output quotas in full before the end of the month, even as tanker-tracking estimates suggest otherwise. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries on Jan. 1 started another round of supply cutbacks, aiming to lower production by a cumulative 4.2 million […]


Australia: Top scientists warn of catastrophic rise in sea levels

Australia: Top scientists warn of catastrophic rise in sea levels thumbnail

Several of Australia’s most pre-eminent climate change scientists have given evidence to a federal parliamentary committee in Hobart. The committee is investigating the impacts of climate change on Australia’s coastal communities. Scientists from the CSIRO and the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre gave evidence on Wednesday afternoon. They have reiterated the need for […]


Global energy investment hit by financial crisis

Global energy investment hit by financial crisis thumbnail

The deepening of the global financial crisis and the sharp drop in energy prices have forced companies to scale back spending and delay projects, with expensive ventures in the Canadian oil sands hardest hit. Below is a list of projects that have been delayed or scaled back in recent months, as well as other related […]


IT industry joins energy efficiency push

IT industry joins energy efficiency push thumbnail

The IT industry is joining the push toward energy efficiency by developing new power management technology to curb the sector’s harmful contribution to climate change, operators say. The global computing industry has recently been criticized for the high carbon dioxide emissions of its data centers and energy consumption.The sector contributes 2 percent of global carbon […]


Brussels proposes billions for energy projects after gas crisis

Brussels proposes billions for energy projects after gas crisis thumbnail

The European Commission unveiled proposals Wednesday for 3.5 billion euros (4.6 billion dollars) of energy projects to cut dependence on Russian gas and boost the economy, but the plan was swiftly panned by member states. Reducing the EU’s dependence on Russian gas piped through Ukraine has become a top priority for the bloc since a […]


Peak Oil in Latin America

Peak Oil in Latin America thumbnail

Present and Future Perspectives for the Oil & Gas Markets … Since 2003 we observed high oil prices (above USD$ 100 during 2008), that provide us with an excellent “laboratory” to understand the implications of the Peak Oil in Latin America. This situation obliged Latin American countries to increase investments in exploration and production activities, […]


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