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News from September 2009

Can Wind Power Be Stored?

Can Wind Power Be Stored? thumbnail

Wind farms typically generate most of their energy at night, when most electricity demand is lowest. So a lot of that “green” energy is wasted. So the big question is: How do you bottle that power for air conditioners and other appliances that are busiest during the day?There are many companies moving to fill the […]


The end of the world as we know it

The end of the world as we know it thumbnail

San Francisco will face spreading poverty, possible food shortages, skyrocketing costs and increased gentrification as the production of oil and natural gas declines in coming years, according to a report issued last week. The report by the Peak Oil Preparedness Task Force had some grim predictions, but also said that if officials begin planning now, […]


Energy Economics and Some Energy Myths for the 21st Century

Energy Economics and Some Energy Myths for the 21st Century thumbnail

Taking oil as a case in point, it might be true that the most imaginative myths in circulation today are those being generated by OPEC. Having come to appreciate the supreme importance of oil – and how it functions as a benchmark for the world’s energy systems – that organization has informed the oil importing […]


Alternate-energy scramble on across West

Alternate-energy scramble on across West thumbnail

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Want some solar energy with your geothermal? In Utah, state officials are fielding various combinations of energy proposals, a list that includes solar and geothermal installations and an energy storage project that would turn salt caverns into a kind of giant battery. The caverns would hold compressed air when they’re […]


Systemic Collapse: The Basics

Systemic Collapse: The Basics thumbnail

Systemic collapse, societal collapse, the coming dark age, the great transformation, the coming crash, the post-industrial age, the long emergency, socioeconomic collapse, the die-off, the tribulation, the coming anarchy, perhaps even resource wars (to the extent that this is not an oxymoron, since wars themselves require resources) ― there are many names, and they do […]


'Land grabs' for rice production due to supply threats

'Land grabs' for rice production due to supply threats thumbnail

Los Banos, Philippines


The 1.258 trillion-barrel question

The 1.258 trillion-barrel question thumbnail

How much oil lies in reserve? The Earth contains a finite amount of oil. Burned to power our vehicles, heat our homes and light our cities, this fuel is a nonrenewable resource. So when Peter Maass, author of How do they know?


Kunstler: The Season of the Witch

Kunstler: The Season of the Witch thumbnail

… Most curious, though, was when the interviewer, Jim Puplava, probed Dent about his views on Peak Oil. Dent said he didn’t believe in it; that when he was in college in the 1970s (remember the OPEC oil embargo of ‘73), he learned to disregard any suggestions that we are “running out of oil.” He […]


Heinberg: Sustainable farm practices needed

Heinberg: Sustainable farm practices needed thumbnail

AMES, Iowa Heinberg, the senior fellow in residence at the Post Carbon Institute, has written eight books about sustainability and gave a lecture last week at Iowa State University Memorial Union. His lecture, titled


Interview with Sadad al Husseini – "The Facts Are There"

Interview with Sadad al Husseini – "The Facts Are There" thumbnail

IEven at these modest decline rates, we are basically going to see a shortage of capacity within two to three years. We


Heinberg: Is the Global Oil Tank Half-full, Is It Half-Empty

Heinberg: Is the Global Oil Tank Half-full, Is It Half-Empty thumbnail

…Or Are We Running On Fumes? …Let me summarize: the industry needs oil prices that are both stable and near economy-killing levels in order to justify investments necessary to possibly replace depleting reserves and overcome declining production in existing oilfields (I say Several commentators (including analysts with financial services company Raymond James Associates and Macquarie, […]


Natural Gas Feint Means Prices Poised to Plummet 19% on Storage

Natural Gas Feint Means Prices Poised to Plummet 19% on Storage thumbnail

(Bloomberg) — The steepest rally in natural gas prices since 2006 is coming to an end as the 400 salt caverns, depleted oil fields and aquifers used to store the fuel in the U.S. reach capacity for the first time. Stockpiles may surpass the record of 3.545 trillion cubic feet by as much as 350 […]


High tech may pinpoint Antarctica sea rise risks

High tech may pinpoint Antarctica sea rise risks thumbnail

Climate change is turning Antarctica’s ice into one of the biggest risks for coming centuries. Even a tiny melt could drive up sea levels, affecting cities from New York to Beijing, or nations from Bangladesh to the Cook Islands — named after the mariner — in the Pacific. Scientists are now trying to design ever […]


Solar analyst sees supply, other challenges

Solar analyst sees supply, other challenges thumbnail

Hapoalim Securities analyst Gordon Johnson, who accurately predicted a fall in solar stocks last year, said solar companies face excess supply and other challenges through 2010, according to Barron’s on Sunday. The photovoltaic sector will see a supply of 7.1 gigawatts this year and about 10.8 GW the next, compared with demand of roughly 4.3 […]


Geo-Engineering Could Save the Planet – and Sacrifice the World

Geo-Engineering Could Save the Planet – and Sacrifice the World thumbnail

To maintain the atmosphere’s equilibrium, we need to reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases. Our chief goal should be to return the climate to something approximating the pre-industrial status quo. But what if such a return isn’t possible? What if the planet has gone permanently haywire? As the effects of climate change become obvious and […]


Met Office: catastrophic climate change could happen with 50 years

Met Office: catastrophic climate change could happen with 50 years thumbnail

Catastrophic climate change could happen with 50 years, five decades earlier than previously predicted, according to a Met Office report. An average global temperature rise of 7.2F (4C), considered a dangerous tipping point, could happen by 2060, causing droughts around the world, sea level rises and the collapse of important ecosystems, it warns.The Arctic could […]


China becomes world's largest energy producer

China becomes world's largest energy producer thumbnail

In the 60 years since the founding of New China, China’s energy supply capacity has developed from weak to strong, and the country has become the world’s largest energy producer. This is according to Zhang Guobao, deputy chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and director of the National Energy Administration speaking at […]


China official warns on "too fast" nuclear plans

China official warns on "too fast" nuclear plans thumbnail

China may have to put the brakes on the construction of nuclear power plants to ensure the plants are safe, the country’s top energy planning official told reporters on Sunday. Zhang Guobao, head of the National Energy Administration, warned of signs of “improper” and “too fast” development of nuclear power in some regions.China had previously […]


China's Wind Farms Come With a Catch: Coal Plants

China's Wind Farms Come With a Catch: Coal Plants thumbnail

China’s ambition to create “green cities” powered by huge wind farms comes with a dirty little secret: Dozens of new coal-fired power plants need to be installed as well. Part of the reason is that wind power depends on, well, the wind. To safeguard against blackouts when conditions are too calm, officials have turned to […]


Venezuela says no plans yet on exploring uranium

Venezuela says no plans yet on exploring uranium thumbnail

Venezuela has yet to develop a plan to explore or exploit its uranium deposits despite comments by a government official saying it was working with Iran to locate them, Venezuela’s energy minister told Reuters. On Friday, Mining Minister Rodolfo Sanz said Iran and Venezuela were working together to find uranium, and preliminary tests showed the […]


China's Oil Needs Affect Its Iran Ties

China's Oil Needs Affect Its Iran Ties thumbnail

China’s dependence on Iranian oil could deter it from backing tougher sanctions on Iran, though Beijing supports containing nuclear proliferation as part of a broader push to raise its international diplomatic stance. China’s trade with the U.S., at $150 billion in the first seven months of this year, dwarfs its $12 billion trade with Iran […]


As Oil Enriches Australia, Spill Is Seen as a Warning

As Oil Enriches Australia, Spill Is Seen as a Warning thumbnail

Visitors hoping to peek at Australia’s exotic marine life usually head straight for the Great Barrier Reef. But conservationists say that an equally remarkable, but lesser known, marine environment is under threat from the booming oil and gas exploration taking place among the reefs and atolls off Australia’s northwest coast.A damaged oil well in the […]


China

China thumbnail

HONG KONG But other governments and businesses reacted quickly as word of the proposed ban spread late this summer. The Chinese threat has touched off a frenzied international effort to develop alternative mines, much as the 1973-74 Arab oil embargo


What

What thumbnail

Natural resources are meant to be used; in fact, every generation has left future generations with more resources than existed when that generation arrived on the planet. Today we have more coal, minerals, and oil and gas, for example, than were predicted would exist a few short years ago. Months ago, many predicted peakoil and […]


Tehran sees shortage of gas in winter

Tehran sees shortage of gas in winter thumbnail

TEHRAN: Iran will be short of around 200 million cubic metres per day of gas this winter due to rapid growth in demand, the country’s oil minister said yesterday. Iran has bought its first diesel cargoes for six months this month to supplement gas it is burning in power plants. The country has failed to […]


The Age of Wisdom?

The Age of Wisdom? thumbnail

The need to address climate change is going to transform entire industries, our infrastructure, and our lifestyles. But will this transformation be driven by wise policy, oil depletion, or a real climate crisis? Will it be a benign process that creates new jobs and technologies and leaves our societal structures intact, or will it cause […]


Do you want to know why Iran has a nuclear program?

Do you want to know why Iran has a nuclear program? thumbnail

I had an American friend tell me that she was fascinated with Iran, and wanted to know my opinion regarding Iran …The principal lesson taught in school regarding personal finance is that everyone should have at least a five-year business plan. Creating such a plan forces us to take inventory of what we have, allowing […]


U.S. Panel Shifts Focus to Reusing Nuclear Fuel

U.S. Panel Shifts Focus to Reusing Nuclear Fuel thumbnail

OXON HILL, Md. The board heard presentations from three major nuclear companies on strategies for sorting out the components of nuclear waste: burying some, recovering others for use as fuel and putting some in reactors to be transformed into materials that are easier to handle. But developing such plans would take decades, experts said, and […]


Study may shift where foods grow

Study may shift where foods grow thumbnail

FEDERAL PLAN: Goal is to get Northeast to supply more of its own produce WASHINGTON The U.S. Department of Agriculture said this week it is pouring an additional $230,000 into the food security effort, which will examine soil types, climate and economic issues that could shed light on the region’s potential to produce more of […]


A Paradise Built in Hell

A Paradise Built in Hell thumbnail

The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster’ by Rebecca Solnit The bad news is that more disasters are coming, arising from any number of sources: climate change, widespread infrastructural vulnerabilities, toxic threats brewed at cellular or weapons-grade levels, seismic or oceanic volatility, and so on and so on. Whatever their cause, disasters will be born […]


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PO Real Time

Or simply: We have no clue. #peakoil #demand twitter.com/WoodMackenzie/…

@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