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News from January 2010

How healthy is Barnett Shale?

How healthy is Barnett Shale? thumbnail

The hydraulic fracturing process carried out in horizontal shale gas wells has had a lot of criticism for its environmental record. The process is very water-intensive and there are many claims that it can contaminate nearby drinking water. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, meanwhile, has carried out a study into air pollution from 94 […]


China Sees Oil at $80 a Barrel

China Sees Oil at $80 a Barrel thumbnail

BEIJING In December, China’s apparent oil demand surged 15% compared with the same period a year earlier, helping underpin a 16% rise in oil-future prices from mid-December to early January. More recently, signs that China’s government is trying to head off inflation and asset bubbles by curbing bank lending have created uncertainty over China’s economic […]


John Michael Greer: This Presupposition of Passivity

John Michael Greer: This Presupposition of Passivity thumbnail

The conversation about community that That unanimity, it has to be said, does not extend much further. Any number of circumstances, and no shortage of malevolent schemes, have been offered up as the reason why Americans have had their communities taken away from them. Still, the Archdruid Report post that started the recent conversation made […]


Wen heads 'super ministry' for energy

Wen heads 'super ministry' for energy thumbnail

An overarching government agency has been set up to take charge of the country’s energy policy for better coordination in formulating strategy and planning development. Premier Wen Jiabao will head the agency, called the National Energy Commission (NEC), and Vice-Premier Li Keqiang will be the deputy, the State Council, or the Cabinet, announced yesterday. The […]


Research on Global 'Sun Block' Needed Now, Experts Argue

Research on Global 'Sun Block' Needed Now, Experts Argue thumbnail

Internationally coordinated research and field-testing on ‘geoengineering’ the planet’s atmosphere to limit risk of climate change should begin soon along with building international governance of the technology, say scientists from the University of Calgary and the United States. Collaborative and government-supported studies on solar-radiation management, a form of geo-engineering, would reduce the risk of nations’ […]


Oil executives talk up shale gas at Davos

Oil executives talk up shale gas at Davos thumbnail

New reserves of natural gas found in shale rock are a “big deal” and a “game changer.” That’s the message Thursday from oil company executives at the World Economic Forum in addressing global concerns about rising dependency on oil and the need to develop cleaner energy to slow climate change. New extraction methods have opened […]


Saudis say don't worry about peak oil

Saudis say don't worry about peak oil thumbnail

There is still plenty of oil in the ground and the world should put aside fears about “peak oil”, the head of the Saudi state oil firm Saudi Aramco said on Thursday. “The concern about peak oil is behind us,” chief executive Khalid Al Falih told a session on energy supplies at the World Economic […]


Stratospheric Water Vapor is a Global Warming Wild Card

Stratospheric Water Vapor is a Global Warming Wild Card thumbnail

A 10 percent drop in water vapor ten miles above Earth Observations from satellites and balloons show that stratospheric water vapor has had its ups and downs lately, increasing in the 1980s and 1990s, and then dropping after 2000. The authors show that these changes occurred precisely in a narrow altitude region of the stratosphere […]


Salazar and Oil Group Trade Barbs

Salazar and Oil Group Trade Barbs thumbnail

The war of words between the Obama administration and the oil industry continues. For months, Ken Salazar, the Interior secretary, and Jack Gerard, the president of the American Petroleum Institute, have been involved in a tit-for-tat over the administration For its part, the administration says it wants to develop a comprehensive policy for renewable and […]


Aramco CEO Expects Energy Use to Double, Led by China

Aramco CEO Expects Energy Use to Double, Led by China thumbnail

(Bloomberg) — Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the world Saudi Aramco, as the Dhahran-based company is known, has begun to expand and upgrade its oil and gas production and refining businesses at a cost of $100 billion to tap rising demand in Asia, Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said in November. China and Saudi Arabia aim […]


Geothermal power could be solution for Indiana's abandoned coal mines

Geothermal power could be solution for Indiana's abandoned coal mines thumbnail

Vacant coal mines in southwest Indiana could once again generate energy, not from coal, but from the water reservoirs now found on their surface and deep underground. That is the objective of Purdue University geologists studying how to transform old strip and shaft mines into new sources of geothermal power, a process that could conserve […]


On Weather Stations and Climate Trends

On Weather Stations and Climate Trends thumbnail

There The revelations fueled charges that all that asphalt and the like was inflating temperature estimates and thus conclusions that the nation


Oil bigs to Obama: Get real

Oil bigs to Obama: Get real thumbnail

The CEO of Saudi Aramco, the national oil company of Saudi Arabia, lashed out at the Obama administration Thursday, lamenting the oversupply of Al Falih anchored an extraordinary collection of representatives of major oil producers at a morning session at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Chaired by consultant and prizewinning author Daniel Yergin, […]


Scientists Warn Doing Nothing Will Likely Lock in Worst Consequences of AGW

Scientists Warn Doing Nothing Will Likely Lock in Worst Consequences of AGW thumbnail

WASHINGTON – Three top U.S. climate scientists stressed on a telephone press conference today the United States must rapidly reduce its global warming emissions to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. The scientists, all of whom have been involved in U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports, were speaking during a telephone press briefing […]


Radiation Levels Cloud Vermont Reactor

Radiation Levels Cloud Vermont Reactor thumbnail

Levels of radioactive tritium have risen rapidly in recent weeks in the groundwater surrounding Vermont But the rising radiation levels, an indication that reactor water is leaking into the soil, have stirred deep concern about the plant


Sharon Astyk: For men

Sharon Astyk: For men thumbnail

Statistics from cultures undergoing major crises seem to bear out the assumption that often, women adapt better than men to many difficult situations. The decrease in lifespans in the former Soviet Union that accompanied the collapse was in part due to loss of health care, but a lot of it had to do with rises […]


Brother, can you spare some time?: New Haven's time bank turns 1

Brother, can you spare some time?: New Haven's time bank turns 1 thumbnail

NEW HAVEN SHARE Haven turned one year old this month, and membership has risen to more than 100 people. But time banks have been around for decades as a way to share or trade skills without paying for them. New Haven


Conflicting 'peak oil' views at Davos

Conflicting 'peak oil' views at Davos thumbnail

The head of Saudi oil giant Aramco has tried to ease international concerns over dwindling stocks of oil. Khalid al Falih, Aramco’s chairman and chief executive, hit out at ‘misleading’ rhetoric that the world was weaning itself off fossil fuels, saying this did not give producers confidence to keep investing in production. The head of […]


The Peak Oil Crisis: A Meeting in California

The Peak Oil Crisis: A Meeting in California thumbnail

Last weekend, one of the more out of the ordinary meetings in recent memory took place out in Berkeley where some 30 people gathered to begin planning for the world’s transition from the industrial age to whatever is to come. They were a diverse group, coming from all over North America and representing an array […]


Tapping Methane at Lake Kivu in Africa

Tapping Methane at Lake Kivu in Africa thumbnail

Beneath the surface of Africa


What are your top green books?

What are your top green books? thumbnail

Cambridge academics have compiled a list of their top 50 books on sustainability. Which books would make your own list? “What’s your favourite ‘green’ book?” I get asked this question quite a bit and I always struggle for an answer. It presents the same problem as when you’re asked to name your favourite song or […]


Saudi Arabia To Use Solar Energy for Desalination Plants

Saudi Arabia To Use Solar Energy for Desalination Plants thumbnail

Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia uses 1.5 million barrels of oil per day at its plants, according to Arab News. But the solar-powered plants will help keep costs down. Prices for desalinated water have been trending upward in Saudi Arabia in recent years, said the Saudi Minister of Water and Electricity, Emirates Business reported.


The Greening of the Pentagon

The Greening of the Pentagon thumbnail

Climate change may be an Among other things, the draft QDR suggests the military will have to start planning for operations in which rising sea levels, an ice-free Arctic and higher overall global temperatures may be an important factor. What


Arctic 'Melt Season' Is Growing Longer, New Research Demonstrates

Arctic 'Melt Season' Is Growing Longer, New Research Demonstrates thumbnail

New NASA-led research shows that the melt season for Arctic sea ice has lengthened by an average of 20 days over the span of 28 years, or 6.4 days per decade. The finding stems from scientists’ work to compile the first comprehensive record of melt onset and freeze-up dates — the “melt season” — for […]


Anadarko test well hits giant reservoir in GoM

Anadarko test well hits giant reservoir in GoM thumbnail

BANGALORE (Reuters) – Anadarko Petroleum Corp (APC.N) said one of its deepwater test wells in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) hit oil and gas bearing sands in what could be one of its biggest finds ever, sending its shares up 4 percent. The company said it encountered 600 net feet of high quality oil bearing […]


Microbes produce fuels directly from biomass

Microbes produce fuels directly from biomass thumbnail

A collaboration led by researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) has developed a microbe that can produce an advanced biofuel directly from biomass. Deploying the tools of synthetic biology, the JBEI researchers engineered a strain of Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria to produce biodiesel fuel and other important chemicals derived […]


Africa a Challenge for Obama in 2010

Africa a Challenge for Obama in 2010 thumbnail

…The Africa Policy Outlook is an annual report released by Africa Action and Foreign Policy In Focus. Each year, the publication highlights key issues and developments for U.S. policy towards Africa. This year, it calls on the Obama administration to prove its commitment to long-term development in Africa with policies that emphasize “respect for human […]


Past Peak Oil Travelling towards Transition

Past Peak Oil Travelling towards Transition thumbnail

From pre Hubbert’s Peak Oil chart towards Transport and travel in a world where transition has taken place. A positive animation look at the future of traveling without oil fuel, in this climate changing world to where we will again be able to hear the sound of birds. (Video) Anita Sancha, Eco-Animator


The Coming Boom in Oil Recovery

The Coming Boom in Oil Recovery thumbnail

The peak oil theory is simple on the surface: Over the long haul, oil supplies will diminish. Production rates will reach a peak and then decline. However, the simple Hubbert Curve doesn’t account for the addition of new hydrocarbon provinces (i.e. deep offshore, Kurdistan) or technology improvements. One only need to look at the North […]


Temperature and CO2 feedback loop 'weaker than thought'

Temperature and CO2 feedback loop 'weaker than thought' thumbnail

The most alarming forecasts of natural systems amplifying the human-induced greenhouse effect may be too high, according to a new report. The study in Nature confirms that as the planet warms, oceans and forests will absorb proportionally less CO2. It says this will increase the effects of man-made warming – but much less than recent […]


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