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News from August 2009

Toward Limitless Energy: National Ignition Facility Focus Of Symposium

Toward Limitless Energy: National Ignition Facility Focus Of Symposium thumbnail

ScienceDaily – Chemists are preparing to play an important but often unheralded role in determining the success of one of the largest and most important scientific experiments in history The experiment could also lead to new insights into the origins of the universe. A special two-day symposium addressing this topic, “Nuclear Diagnostics in Fusion Energy […]


Three Triggers for Higher Crude Oil Prices

Three Triggers for Higher Crude Oil Prices thumbnail

Force #1 I


Peak Oil? Urban Farms? Cuba's Been There, Done It

Peak Oil? Urban Farms? Cuba's Been There, Done It thumbnail

Last year all of us were afforded a frightening glimpse of how expensive fuel can trigger a global food crisis. And then, when zooming oil prices tumbled again (for now), causing food commodity prices to drop (for now), our news media moved on. But I didn’t. I became interested in Cuba as an example of […]


Easy solar energy: Is the writing on the wall for fossil fuel?

Easy solar energy: Is the writing on the wall for fossil fuel? thumbnail

JEDDAH: Investment in green technology has gone far beyond earth closets and recycled brown paper bags, admirable first steps though they were. When a major global industrial player commits to it to the extent that the corporate giant Siemens AG has, that alone is a convincing argument that the world is looking for cleaner ways […]


More Sun for Less: Solar Panels Drop in Price

More Sun for Less: Solar Panels Drop in Price thumbnail

When Greg Hare looked into putting solar panels on his ranch-style home in Magnolia, Tex., last year, he decided he could not afford it.


Detroit: The Next Agrarian Paradise?

Detroit: The Next Agrarian Paradise? thumbnail

Many people have all but written off the once booming But before we entirely write off Detroit as an environmental wasteland, let


OPEC Raised Crude-Oil Supplies in July, PetroLogistics Says

OPEC Raised Crude-Oil Supplies in July, PetroLogistics Says thumbnail

(Bloomberg) — The 11 OPEC nations bound by quotas increased crude-oil supplies last month, straying further from their official limits, according to estimates from tanker- tracker PetroLogistics Ltd. Those 11 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries provided consumers with an average of 26 million barrels a day in July, up from 25.96 million […]


POLL: Energy Policy has Support But Jobs and Cost are Crucial

POLL: Energy Policy has Support But Jobs and Cost are Crucial thumbnail

Support for fossil fuel plants is down, support for nuclear power is up (though with a strong not-in-my-back-yard component) and hopes are reasonably high that a new U.S. energy policy will create jobs and help address global warming President Obama, likewise, has a 55 percent approval for handling energy policy, compared with his 46 percent […]


A perfect economic storm

A perfect economic storm thumbnail

…This perfect economic storm already has a number of winds gathering speed. Firstly of course is the heavy government action to protect and boost the global auto industry with tax breaks, direct investment and loans. Secondly, electric cars, long sidelined as a marginal technology strategy are emerging as a serious global contender, driven by the […]


Two officials in Texas go after one of state's biggest benefactors: Exxon

Two officials in Texas go after one of state's biggest benefactors: Exxon thumbnail

DALLAS (AP) The state land commissioner and comptroller, however, don’t want Texas to drop the case. “They sabotaged the wells,” said Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who began a campaign against Exxon in July by asking state regulators to levy massive fines. “If they’re allowed to get away with that, that puts the world on notice: […]


Reading Peak Oil Deniers Is a Waste of Time

Reading Peak Oil Deniers Is a Waste of Time thumbnail

3 Peak Oil Bombs Drop Three bombs were dropped on the peak oil community this week, in what smells like a coordinated attack timed to incite public uncertainty about the validity of the peak oil argument, and question the importance of mitigating climate change and transitioning to renewables. The peakers are mobilizing a response, an […]


Weak dollar is pushing energy prices higher

Weak dollar is pushing energy prices higher thumbnail

The effect of the weak dollar is again pushing oil prices higher in the face of little demand for energy and huge surpluses of crude. On Friday, the dollar again fell against major currencies. Since March, the dollar index, which weighs the U.S. currency against a basket of foreign currencies like the euro, the Japanese […]


Australia sweats through long, hot winter

Australia sweats through long, hot winter thumbnail

SYDNEY (AFP) “August 2009 is almost certain to be Australia?s warmest August on record,” the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said. Taken with above-average temperatures in June and July, the bureau said the exceptional August figures would be “sufficient to lift average winter temperatures to record or near-record levels”. The heatwave smashed records across the country, […]


Economic Hit Men and the Next Drowning of New Orleans

Economic Hit Men and the Next Drowning of New Orleans thumbnail

Ivor van Heerden is the professor at Louisiana State University But I


Climate change poses threat of war, USF forum will hear

Climate change poses threat of war, USF forum will hear thumbnail

TAMPA – Military analysts say climate change threatens a cascade of natural disasters McGinn is a 35-year Navy veteran who commanded the San Diego-based Third Fleet. He’ll be joined at USF by former Sens. Bob Graham, the Florida Democrat, and John Warner, Republican from Virginia, and former U.S. Rep. Connie Mack, the Cape Coral Republican. […]


Escalating tensions over hunt for oil and gas in the Arctic

Escalating tensions over hunt for oil and gas in the Arctic thumbnail

The Arctic has captured the attention of all the major world powers, and Russia is no exception. Growing interest in the Arctic has been driven by the recent spike in energy prices, which makes developing energy resources in hard-to-reach areas increasingly lucrative. Onshore mineral resources are being depleted, and the Arctic will soon become the […]


Speaking At Jackson Hole

Speaking At Jackson Hole thumbnail

…Petro Keynesian growth stimulus to the global economy is different. Sometimes it works too well. Its outright and unambiguous success through 2004-2007 was quickly followed by failure. As we know, and Bernanke reminded us on August 21, global growth turned south, when oil prices went far north in 2008. The basic reason for this is […]


Copenhagen's 'best city for cyclists' goal

Copenhagen's 'best city for cyclists' goal thumbnail

Rush hour in Denmark’s capital seems anything but rushed. City workers glide through the streets – trousers tucked into their socks and briefcases slung on to the side of their bicycles. Some even have children following on behind, wrapped in waterproofs and perching on special trailers known as cargo bikes. The air feels fresh and […]


US seeks independence with natural gas

US seeks independence with natural gas thumbnail

…The company drilling here is Range Resources, and according to its vice-president, Stephen Rupert, natural gas could help break this country’s dependence on foreign oil. “Natural gas is our cleanest fossil fuel. It can be used in cars, to generate electricity. It can be liquefied and used as jet aviation fuel,” he says. Then comes […]


Suburbanization: The impact on energy use, CO2 emissions

Suburbanization: The impact on energy use, CO2 emissions thumbnail

A new congressionally mandated report from the National Research Council, DRIVING AND THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT: THE EFFECTS OF COMPACT DEVELOPMENT ON MOTORIZED TRAVEL, ENERGY USE, AND CO2 EMISSIONS, examines how suburbanization — made possible largely due to the prevalence of automobiles and the extensive U.S. highway system — impacts the number of miles we drive, […]


Another Biofuel Scam?

Another Biofuel Scam? thumbnail

Scam – A fraudulent business scheme; esp. for making a quick profit; swindle. To scam means to victimize; deprive of by deceit. I am generally very cautious about calling any business proposition a scam, but when I read a recent article on the E-Fuel MicroFueler, described as “Earth’s First Home Ethanol System” – that term […]


Oil firms win Bangladesh rights

Oil firms win Bangladesh rights thumbnail

Bangladesh has granted Conoco Phillips of the US and Ireland’s Tullow Oil three offshore exploration blocks in disputed waters in the Bay of Bengal. The firms have been given the right to explore for gas, despite ownership claims on some of the territory by neighbouring India and Burma. “The government approved the leasing out of […]


Deficits, Dollars, and the Price of Energy

Deficits, Dollars, and the Price of Energy thumbnail

The latest revision to the forecasted federal deficit has implications beyond the sustainability of current government spending. Reading a pair of high-profile, skeptical assessments of Peak Oil in the context of a $9 trillion deficit projection for the next decade, it occurred to me that the most serious risk of higher oil prices in the […]


Washington Capitulates – Peak Oil Is Real

Washington Capitulates – Peak Oil Is Real thumbnail

Projected production, as you can see, is suddenly shriveling up. From 107.5 million b/d of oil projected for 2030 in 2007, to 102.9 million b/d in 2008, to this yearThe report assumes that some of this stunning shortfall will be made up by development of unconventional liquids to the tune of 13.5 million b/d, including […]


The Next Dark Age?

The Next Dark Age? thumbnail

In the post Peak Oil and a Brick Wall I discussed briefly how peak oil is upon us. So what does this mean. Peak oil itself is not important, we will feel it when demand exceeds supply. That won’t happen gradually The slave society of the Roman hegemony was replaced by the manorial society. The […]


Millions in Nepal facing hunger as climate changes

Millions in Nepal facing hunger as climate changes thumbnail

KATMANDU, Nepal The British aid agency described the situation as “deeply worrying.” “Communities told us crop production is roughly half that of previous years … Last year many could only grow enough (food) for one month’s consumption,” said Oxfam’s Wayne Gum, adding that less precipitation has been forecast this winter, which will make the situation […]


Russian Energy Strategy Calls for Increased Production

Russian Energy Strategy Calls for Increased Production thumbnail

The Russian government has approved an energy strategy that aims to make full use of the country’s natural resources and strengthen its position on international energy markets, Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said Thursday. The strategy, approved until 2030, would increase domestic oil and gas production, and it outlined three phases for energy development, Shmatko told […]


Recession Speeds Coal's Long-Term Decline

Recession Speeds Coal's Long-Term Decline thumbnail

Declining industrial electricity demand and an abundance of cheap natural gas will threaten coal’s status as the dominant U.S. fuel to generate electric power, even after the economic recession ends. Power companies are reducing use of coal plants because of declining demand from heavy industry, the economic sector hardest hit by the recession. The loss […]


Annual cost of climate change 'will be £190bn'

Annual cost of climate change 'will be £190bn' thumbnail

The true global cost of adapting to climate change is likely to be many times greater than official United Nations’ estimates: in 2030 alone, the world could be spending more than three times the annual budget of the NHS, a study has found. A team of British experts has discovered that the UN Framework Convention […]


The glitzy face of Eurabia

The glitzy face of Eurabia thumbnail

Qatar’s love affair with all things French does not exactly include “liberty, equality, fraternity”. Everything in what is technically a constitutional monarchy is in the hands of the al-Thani clan. Socially, it’s a hardcore pyramid. What’s the place of “Western liberal democracy” in all this ocean/desert of cash? The emir and his ultra-pro team have […]


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