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News from October 2009

An energy game-changer?

An energy game-changer? thumbnail

Louisiana shale could change fate of U.S. energy supply GRAND CANE, La. The gas found in the area’s Haynesville shale and in other shale formations throughout the country has changed the nation’s energy outlook in just a few short years. Some see abundant North American natural gas as the gateway to reduced dependence on foreign […]


Rubin: Oil price to affect trade

Rubin: Oil price to affect trade thumbnail

Expect to see fewer ships coming into Halifax from across the Atlantic Ocean as the price of fuel skyrockets, says Jeff Rubin, a former chief economist at CIBC World Markets. “Between the first and second OPEC oil shock, which was a period of great increase in oil prices, there was massive trade diversion away from […]


Oil to touch $100 per barrel in the longer term, say analysts

Oil to touch $100 per barrel in the longer term, say analysts thumbnail

Not only are the current oil prices, hovering between $65 and $80 per barrel, sustainable in the short-term, going by the recent developments they could touch $100 in the longer term, according to analysts. “Long-term prospects look a lot different, with all market fundamentals pointing towards oil at $100 and more,” Philipp L Lotter, Senior […]


No easy answers when electricity is cut off

No easy answers when electricity is cut off thumbnail

The electricity had been cut off and it was dark in the house, so her young daughter didn’t realize that the lid was down on the toilet seat around 3 a.m. last Friday. “She’s in there cleaning up urine and she didn’t even wake me up, because she knew I had to work,” said the […]


The Nuclear Wait

The Nuclear Wait thumbnail

With climate talks starting in Copenhagen next month, many countries are eager to report advancements in nuclear power. The United States now has new applications for 26 nuclear power reactors Companies that design reactors, like General Electric and Westinghouse, and construction firms that build them, have experienced swift growth as countries in Europe and Asia […]


Willing to give up blue skies for climate fix?

Willing to give up blue skies for climate fix? thumbnail

Geoengineering gets closer look as a ‘Plan B’ in case emissions don’t fall We can probably engineer Earth’s climate to cool the planet, scientists say, but are we willing to live with the downsides? Those could include creating more droughts, more ozone holes and, oh yeah, a thin cloud layer that obscures blue skies and […]


'Almost out' of old Arctic sea ice, expert warns

'Almost out' of old Arctic sea ice, expert warns thumbnail

‘I’ve never seen anything like this,’ he tells Canadian lawmakers OTTAWA – The multiyear sea ice covering the Arctic Ocean has effectively vanished, an Arctic expert says, a startling development that will make it easier to open up polar shipping routes. Vast sheets of impenetrable multiyear ice, which can reach up to 260 feet thick, […]


Chevron profit hit by oil, refinery weakness

Chevron profit hit by oil, refinery weakness thumbnail

NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Chevron Corp (CVX.N) posted a 51 percent drop in quarterly profit on Friday, becoming the latest oil major to be hit by the steep decline in oil and natural gas prices and anemic margins at refineries. Although the profit was better than expected, shares of the second-largest U.S. oil company […]


After takeovers, Venezuela oil area languishes

After takeovers, Venezuela oil area languishes thumbnail

CIUDAD OJEDA, VENEZUELA (Reuters) – Five months after Venezuela nationalized dozens of oil service contractors in Zulia state, the once-bustling industrial dock on Lake Maracaibo is nearly abandoned, and the 16 red flags raised to celebrate the takeovers are already tattered and faded. A few small groups of workers remain, hoping to get the jobs […]


Lessons from oil industry may help address groundwater crisis

Lessons from oil industry may help address groundwater crisis thumbnail

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Although declining streamflows and half-full reservoirs have gotten most of the attention in water conflicts around the United States, some of the worst battles of the next century may be over groundwater, experts say A new analysis by researchers at Oregon State University outlines the scope of this problem, but also points […]


Edward Burtynsky: Economies of Scale

Edward Burtynsky: Economies of Scale thumbnail

…A believer in the concept of What will the world look like after oil is used up? Burtynsky found the answer in Azerbijan were he photographed former oil fields and offshore rigs abandoned by the Soviets after the deposits were sucked dry. He photographed a repository for decommissioned military aircraft, which sit in vast rows […]


French Ideal of Bicycle-Sharing Meets Reality

French Ideal of Bicycle-Sharing Meets Reality thumbnail

PARIS But this latest French utopia has met a prosaic reality: Many of the specially designed bikes, which cost $3,500 each, are showing up on black markets in Eastern Europe and northern Africa. Many others are being spirited away for urban joy rides, then ditched by roadsides, their wheels bent and tires stripped. With 80 […]


Farmers may want to rethink selling corn residue

Farmers may want to rethink selling corn residue thumbnail

LINCOLN, Neb. Some companies will pay up to $20 a ton for long-term contracts. At an average of 3 tons per acre, a mere 100-acre field could yield a gross profit of $6,000. But University of Nebraska-Lincoln farm experts say that residue is even more valuable to the farmer by adding nutrients and lending structure […]


The holdout: Alone in an abandoned car plant

The holdout: Alone in an abandoned car plant thumbnail

DETROIT (CNNMoney.com) — Most people assume the Packard Plant in Detroit is vacant. It’s an industrial ruin where the last car was manufactured 53 years ago. Almost all the windows are blown out. Collapsed walls litter the overgrown sidewalks with broken bricks, mixed with charred metal and shattered glass. But one tenant remains headquartered among […]


Is this the true face of rural Ireland?

Is this the true face of rural Ireland? thumbnail

…Farmers At the Tipperary Institute, minds are being applied. The optimistic view is that rural Ireland will come full circle, simply because of national need. In the rush to specialise, farmers have lost the key skills of the kitchen garden, the means of producing food.


Kuwait oil production seen rising 30% by 2018

Kuwait oil production seen rising 30% by 2018 thumbnail

Oil production in Kuwait is predicted to grow by nearly 30 percent by 2018, with crude volumes reaching 3.6m barrels per day, according to a new report. Between 2008 and 2018, global research firm Business Monitor International said it was forecasting an increase in production of 29.3 percent. Oil consumption in the same period is […]


The Future of European Transport: iTREN-2030

The Future of European Transport: iTREN-2030 thumbnail

On 21 October the final workshop was held in Brussels (Belgium) of the integrated transport and energy baseline until 2030 (iTREN-2030) modeling project. At the workshop a final scenario was presented that incorporated likely transport and energy policies, and the effects on European transport of a continued global plateau in oil production up to 2030. […]


Byron King: Rare Earths and Other Critical Metals

Byron King: Rare Earths and Other Critical Metals thumbnail

All the vital technologies in your life rely on an incredibly small number of specialty metals. Electronics, aerospace, military defense, automotive, clean-tech, renewable energy: none of these would exist without these That


U.S. Inflation to Appear Next in Food and Agriculture

U.S. Inflation to Appear Next in Food and Agriculture thumbnail

Prices are rising all around us, yet agricultural commodities have for the most part been left behind and remain at historically depressed levels. Fundamentals for agriculture are improving on a daily basis. A worldwide shortage of farmers combined with food inventories falling to record lows is setting up the perfect storm for an explosion in […]


Huge Texas Wind Farm's Turbines Will Be Made in China

Huge Texas Wind Farm's Turbines Will Be Made in China thumbnail

Clean tech has seen a boost as the U.S. pours government funding into renewable energy, and China looks set to reap much of the benefits. Latest example: a Chinese wind-turbine company has just become the exclusive supplier for one of the largest wind-farm developments in the U.S. The Shenyang Power Group has signed on to […]


Local Motors: A New Kind of Car Company

Local Motors: A New Kind of Car Company thumbnail

When John B. Rogers was a Marine deployed in Iraq in 2004, he brought a book called Winning the Oil Endgame with him to the Gulf. The book, by environmental activist Amory B. Lovins, discusses how people can end their dependence on fossil fuels. Rogers says reading the volume inspired him to create a new […]


Arctic Sediments Show That 20th Century Warming Is Unlike Natural Variation

Arctic Sediments Show That 20th Century Warming Is Unlike Natural Variation thumbnail

ScienceDaily The UB researchers and their international colleagues were able to pinpoint that dramatic changes began occurring in unprecedented ways after the midpoint of the twentieth century. “The sediments from the mid-20th century were not all that different from previous warming intervals,” said Jason P. Briner, PhD, assistant professor of geology in the UB College […]


An interview with Stoneleigh – the case for deflation

An interview with Stoneleigh – the case for deflation thumbnail

…Firstly, I would say that the energy prices that currently seem stubbornly high should fall substantially as the speculative premium evaporates and demand falls on a resumption of the credit crunch. The sucker rally that has spawned all the talk of green shoots is essentially over in my opinion. The result should be a reversal […]


Exxon, Majors Battle to Lift Profits as Oil Use Sags

Exxon, Majors Battle to Lift Profits as Oil Use Sags thumbnail

(Bloomberg) — Exxon Mobil Corp., PetroChina Co. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc are battling slumping fuel demand as oil majors seek to rebuild profits battered by the global fallout from the worst U.S. downturn since the Great Depression. Exxon Mobil Oil companies around the world are slashing costs, cutting jobs and holding back on some […]


Putin Warns Ukraine Over Gas Crisis

Putin Warns Ukraine Over Gas Crisis thumbnail

NOVO-OGARYOVO, Russia (Reuters) – Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko risked provoking a new gas crisis that could disrupt supplies to Europe. “It looks like we will again have problems with energy payments,” Putin said after a telephone call with Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, Yushchenko’s main political […]


Jeff Rubin: Get ready for triple-digit oil again soon

Jeff Rubin: Get ready for triple-digit oil again soon thumbnail

Nothing is shrinking faster these days than global trade. For the first time in decades, world trade volume, the lifeblood of the global economy, is actually falling. And chances are that downsizing is here to stay. One reason global trade is shrinking is that most major economies have been contracting. Recession-scarred economies will of course […]


An open letter to Steve Levitt

An open letter to Steve Levitt thumbnail

The problem of global warming is so big that solving it will require creative thinking from many disciplines. Economists have much to contribute to this effort, particularly with regard to the question of how various means of putting a price on carbon emissions may alter human behavior. Some of the lines of thinking in your […]


The recession is dead … long live the recession!

The recession is dead … long live the recession! thumbnail

The world Among the many consequences of passing the world oil peak: the days of cheap inexpensive food are behind us. And, too, every time the inflation-adjusted price of oil tops $80/bbl, we head into a recession. Most commentators think Saudi Arabia will continue to bail us out, but the kingdom clearly has reached peak […]


Saudis to drop WTI as price benchmark for U.S. crude

Saudis to drop WTI as price benchmark for U.S. crude thumbnail

… WTI has, in fact, already slipped below its major benchmark competitor, North Sea-based Brent, several times in the past two years


Clever 'chopped' cars promise cheap electric commuting

Clever 'chopped' cars promise cheap electric commuting thumbnail

IT COULD take a “perfect storm” to create electric cars that match gas-powered cars’ range – a mix of motor-industry investment, infrastructure change and advances in battery technology. Instead of waiting, a new project aims to build cheap vehicles good enough for short commutes. Huge effort has been expended on untested new technology, says Illah […]


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@paulcurrion @RodZeidan @giancarlotorpi @BrankoMilan Willingly or by force we are going to make the transition because there is no alternative. The problem is what level of economic output we'll have after it. I doubt for example that we are going to see electrical planes. Will we have energy rationing like in the 40s ? #PeakOil

@paulcurrion @RodZeidan @giancarlotorpi @BrankoMilan If renewables were easy to implement and they had good EROIs then I wouldn't worry. But since most renewables have very low EROIs then I think we are heading towards catastrophe. Many industries depend on fossile fuels. And we need a hard rudder turn... #PeakOil

@RodZeidan @paulcurrion @giancarlotorpi @BrankoMilan And Growthers should give us a realistic way to increase fossile fuels production. But they ignore the problem and then wishfully hope that something like fusion power is going to come to the rescue. That's foolishness at its best ! #PeakOil