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News from June 2009

Kurt Cobb: Is the United States drifting toward "war socialism"?

Kurt Cobb: Is the United States drifting toward "war socialism"? thumbnail

Jay Hanson is a well-known voice on issues of peak oil and sustainability. A systems analyst by trade, he established one of the first web sites (dieoff.org) to discuss these issues in depth in the mid-1990s. His latest web venture is a site called War Socialism on which he describes a form of governance which […]


Big Alaska Looks to Small Nuclear

Big Alaska Looks to Small Nuclear thumbnail

In a quest to lower energy prices, some municipalities in the oil-rich state of Alaska are looking to small-scale nuclear power. Galena, a village of 580 people on the Yukon River, has been working for years with energy giant Toshiba to bring a small nuclear power plant to their village. …Toshiba


Robots and cars for the future

Robots and cars for the future thumbnail

…Electric vehicle research has gone into overdrive recently and MIT’s Smart Cities Lab is developing a whole new transportation system for urban environments one element of which could be the stackable City Car. They are like luggage carts at the airport. You pick one up, use it briefly and drop it off at another location. […]


Why nuclear works in France

Why nuclear works in France thumbnail

I traveled to Normandy this week to see something not to be seen in the United States (or Canda): a nuclear reactor under construction. I visited the Flamanville reactor as a guest of NEI, the Nuclear Energy Institute. An executive at the Institute had seen me on television lecturing Bill Maher that nuclear energy was […]


Super-size deposits of frozen carbon threat to climate change

Super-size deposits of frozen carbon threat to climate change thumbnail

The vast amount of carbon stored in the arctic and boreal regions of the world is more than double that previously estimated, according to a study published this week. The amount of carbon in frozen soils, sediments and river deltas (permafrost) raises new concerns over the role of the northern regions as future sources of […]


The Dirty War Against Clean Coal

The Dirty War Against Clean Coal thumbnail

WHILE President Obama The big project, a public-private partnership called FutureGen, was first announced by George W. Bush in 2003. Dreading facing up to the problem of greenhouse gases from electricity generation, the Bush White House suggested that decisions should wait while FutureGen developed a coal-fired power with no emissions. FutureGen


Investing in durability

Investing in durability thumbnail

Industrial society is fully committed to tossing the planet in the waste bin. The throw-away products of the Industrial Age became particular obvious after World War II, when the quaint idea of durable goods gave way to all the trappings of planned obsolescence. We invested heavily in items fabricated from non-renewable materials and specifically designed […]


Serious Action Needed Against Overpopulation and Wastefulness

Serious Action Needed Against Overpopulation and Wastefulness thumbnail

(LWN-Commentary) The ongoing discussion of alternative energy and nuclear power remains unrealistic as overpopulation and genuine energy efficiency go largely overlooked. Regardless of worsening resource depletion and environmental harm, the mainstream media and other corporations continue to promote energy-wasting frivolous new “consumer” products while the government almost encourages parents to have more children. Regardless of […]


Climate war could kill nearly all of us, leaving survivors in the Stone Age

Climate war could kill nearly all of us, leaving survivors in the Stone Age thumbnail

by James Lovelock …We have enjoyed 12,000 years of climate peace since the last shift from a glacial age to an interglacial one. Before long, we may face planet-wide devastation worse even than unrestricted nuclear war between superpowers. The climate war could kill nearly all of us and leave the few survivors living a Stone […]


China thirsty for foreign oil

China thirsty for foreign oil thumbnail

Country’s percentage dependency on imported oil surpassed that of the U.S. in May China’s dependence on foreign oil has surpassed that of the United States, as consumers race to the pumps to fill their new cars with gas and the country feverishly stockpiles supplies to take advantage of weak markets. The country’s increasing appetite has […]


Disaster Transitionism

Disaster Transitionism thumbnail

If you haven’t read Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, you really should. It’s an examination of how the Chicago School of Economics and its adherents have taken advantage of or created crises to further their privatization agendas. In country after country, free market and pro-corporate devotees have used the chaos, […]


Global food supply seen far from secure

Global food supply seen far from secure thumbnail

GENEVA (Reuters) – Africa’s farmers need help to access loans, fertiliser and export markets to avoid future food supply crises caused by climate change and commodities speculation, a top agricultural expert said on Tuesday. Wheat, rice and maize prices have fallen sharply from their 2008 highs, when protests broke out across the developing world over […]


Nigeria: Shell Suspends Operations

Nigeria: Shell Suspends Operations thumbnail

The threat by militants to cripple Nigeria’s oil export is gradually being actualised as Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) has suspended its entire operations in the Western Niger Delta, covering Delta State and parts of Bayelsa State, THISDAY has learnt. With this development, only the company’s activities in the Eastern Niger Delta […]


EPA relents, discloses list of high-risk coal ash sites

EPA relents, discloses list of high-risk coal ash sites thumbnail

WASHINGTON The EPA initially refused to disclose the location of the high-hazard sites to the public, saying it would share the information only with members of Congress and their staffs. Sen. Barbara Boxer , D- Calif. , the chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee , pressed the agency to release the list, […]


EPA to let California tighten pollution law

EPA to let California tighten pollution law thumbnail

WASHINGTON – — The Environmental Protection Agency will announce Tuesday that it is granting California’s request to begin imposing new, tougher restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks — a decision that reverses the Bush administration and opens the way for the state to regain its role of leading the way on global […]


Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Economic Review: The Peak Oil Debate

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Economic Review: The Peak Oil Debate thumbnail

For the past half-century, a debate has raged over when The lack of a common definitional framework also confuses the debate. The author provides definitions of frequently used terms, delineating types of reserves and conventional versus nonconventional resources. She also discusses how technological innovations, government policies, and prices influence oil production. Regardless of the exact […]


Fed works to speed solar development in Southwest

Fed works to speed solar development in Southwest thumbnail

LAS VEGAS “We are putting a bull’s-eye on the development of solar energy on our public lands,” Salazar said during an announcement with U.S. Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, in a courtyard shaded by a solar power array at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Salazar and Reid, the Democratic Senate majority leader, invoked President […]


Iraqi oil licensing round runs into trouble

Iraqi oil licensing round runs into trouble thumbnail

BAGHDAD But by midday, only one field had been awarded and several others drew limited to no interest. The government was hoping that the high-profile licensing round


Action needed to tap energy reserves

Action needed to tap energy reserves thumbnail

Britain needs to do more to help industry tap the country’s remaining oil and gas reserves to ensure its future energy supplies, a government committee said in a report issued on Tuesday. High costs, low prices and lack of affordable credit in a global recession are bedevilling oil and gas companies operating in Britain, making […]


Top 10 green U.S. cities

Top 10 green U.S. cities thumbnail

Although the EPA has not established official criteria for ranking the greenness of a city, there are several key areas to measure for effectiveness in carbon footprint reduction. These include air and water quality, efficient recycling and management of waste, percentage of LEED-certified buildings, acres of land devoted to greenspace, use of renewable energy sources, […]


CLIMATE CHANGE: 2020 Deadline Is the Crucial "Litmus Test"

CLIMATE CHANGE: 2020 Deadline Is the Crucial "Litmus Test" thumbnail

VIENNA (IPS) – “So who here thinks there will be a meaningful deal in Copenhagen?” Few of the more than 600 energy ministers, officials and experts from 80 countries attending the Vienna Energy Conference raised their hands in response to the conference moderator’s question about the final round of climate negotiations this December in Copenhagen. […]


It

It thumbnail

DURANGO, Colo. Now two new laws in Colorado will allow many people to collect rainwater legally. The laws are the latest crack in the rainwater edifice, as other states, driven by population growth, drought, or declining groundwater in their aquifers, have already opened the skies or begun actively encouraging people to collect.


Talks Held Over Ukraine's Gas Payments To Russia

Talks Held Over Ukraine's Gas Payments To Russia thumbnail

BRUSSELS Underlining the gravity of the situation, Nobuo Tanaka, the executive director of the International Energy Agency, said Monday that he was


Peak Oil And World Food Supplies

Peak Oil And World Food Supplies thumbnail

Only about 10 percent of the world The other problem with the 10:90 ratio is that with


Iraq Oil a Big Draw for Chinese

Iraq Oil a Big Draw for Chinese thumbnail

HONG KONG In another sign of China


Toyota Said to Consider Offering Version of Prius Hybrid to GM

Toyota Said to Consider Offering Version of Prius Hybrid to GM thumbnail

(Bloomberg) — Toyota Motor Corp. may offer to supply a version of its Prius hybrid car to General Motors Corp. during a meeting between the companies A version of the world


Obama Opposes Trade Sanctions in Climate Bill

Obama Opposes Trade Sanctions in Climate Bill thumbnail

WASHINGTON He added,


IEA still sees major role for Canadian oil sands

IEA still sees major role for Canadian oil sands thumbnail

PARIS — The Canadian oil sands sector is “down but not out” in its role as a major and secure safety net in the global energy market, the International Energy Agency reported Monday. The Canadian oil sands “appears to be the sector hardest hit by the recession and the sharp fall in oil prices,” the […]


Citigroup predicts Shell production drop

Citigroup predicts Shell production drop thumbnail

BP Plc, Europe Shell


Crash Puts Focus on Aging Rail Fleets

Crash Puts Focus on Aging Rail Fleets thumbnail

The train that rear-ended another in Washington on Monday evening, killing nine people, was made up of some of the oldest cars in Washington By contrast, the $787 billion stimulus law contains only $8.4 billion for transit capital improvements across the nation. Outdated equipment does not necessarily mean unsafe trains, and the cause of the […]


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@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

It's going to come crashing down when #PeakOil, starts hitting the fan. Life as we're living it is unsustainable, fool's paradise! twitter.com/KieranSuckling…