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News from August 2010

Chron: EPA regulation of greenhouse gases: Survey says ‘yes’

Chron: EPA regulation of greenhouse gases: Survey says ‘yes’ thumbnail

Most voters want the U.S. to regulate greenhouse gases blamed for global warming. They also say the government needs to do more to crack down on companies that pollute, according to a new survey done for the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Action Fund. The poll revealed that 60 percent of voters surveyed over five days last […]


NYT: Risk-Taking Rises as Oil Rigs in Gulf Drill Deeper

NYT: Risk-Taking Rises as Oil Rigs in Gulf Drill Deeper thumbnail

In a remote reach of the Gulf of Mexico, nearly 200 miles from shore, a floating oil platform thrusts its tentacles deep into the ocean like a giant steel octopus. The $3 billion rig, called Perdido, can pump oil from dozens of wells nearly two miles under the sea while simultaneously drilling new ones. It is part […]


MIT: Sign of the Times

MIT: Sign of the Times thumbnail

A year before the oil shock, a geologist wrote of the coming energy crises. It was with something like an apology that Earl Cook, a geologist and executive secretary of the division of earth sciences at the National Research Council, began his December 1972 article for Technology Review on the energy issues that he felt […]


Cobb: Do you “go with the flow” or do you “stock up” just in case?

Cobb: Do you “go with the flow” or do you “stock up” just in case? thumbnail

frequent critique of those who claim we still have enormous stocks of resources left to exploit is that the flow or rate of extraction is far more important to the health of the world economy than the size of the stocks. If we can’t get it out of the ground at the rate we’d like […]


Transition movement sees opportunity to plan for change

Transition movement sees opportunity to plan for change thumbnail

Monday, August 30, 2010 123456 GORDON DANIELS Lundy Bancroft, of Transition Northampton, says the group will hold an event this fall at which people interested in the Transition Initiative will meet and break into smaller groups to discuss concrete plans for dealing with issues such as local food supply. He is shown here on fields […]


‘Central banks, governments can’t print barrels of oil…’

‘Central banks, governments can’t print barrels of oil…’ thumbnail

Recent discoveries of shale gas have given the world much hope. But not everybody is optimistic. “Shale gas is expensive to produce and the current price of gas is not high enough to warrant profitable shale gas production…The hydraulic fracturing process used to extract the gas is extremely polluting and devastating for the environment.Although the […]


China to Globe: “No More Rare Earth”

China to Globe: “No More Rare Earth” thumbnail

China defended its controls on exports of rare earth after Japanese officials raised concerns about supplies of the raw materials used in the manufacture of products from cell phones to radar. Restrictions on the rare earth industry will help protect the environment, the state-run Xinhua News Agency cited Chen Deming, China’s commerce minister, as saying […]


What Are Billionaires Buying? Oil.

What Are Billionaires Buying? Oil. thumbnail

That’s Buffett, Icahn, and Paulson — three of the most legendary investors in the game. But do you know what they all have in common besides being multi-billionaires? They each added to energy positions in the last quarter. What are billionaires buying? At the end of each quarter, fund managers have 45 days to report […]


The Pitfalls of Feed-In Tariffs

The Pitfalls of Feed-In Tariffs thumbnail

Energy Outlook I recently ran across a story indicating that regulators in Arizona are considering implementing a feed-in tariff (FIT) for solar power in that state. This is somewhat ironic, coming as it does amidst a wave of hotly-debated reductions in European solar FITs, in response to the burden they’ve imposed on electricity customers and […]


TOD: How limited global oil supply may affect climate change policies

TOD: How limited global oil supply may affect climate change policies thumbnail

On Wednesday, August 25, I gave a presentation called How limited global oil supply may affect climate change policies at the MIT-NESCAUM Endicott House Symposium on climate change. The audience included leaders from governmental, industrial, academic, and non-governmental (NGO) sectors. They were very concerned about climate change, but not very aware of, or concerned about, […]


Plotting the coming oil shock

Plotting the coming oil shock thumbnail

Peak Generation A study based on the Hubbert model of peak oil suggests a coming global oil shock may begin as early as 2014 – which ties in with the timeline suggested in a variety of other reports and statements. Peak oil, the concept that geological constraints dictate a time must come when oil production […]


50 years of OPEC

50 years of OPEC thumbnail

by Sun News Publishing Thursday, August 26, 2010 Fifty years ago, five countries initiated bold discussions on ways to increase the price of crude oil produced by their respective countries. The talks that followed lasted four days, from September 10 – 14, 1960. They culminated in the establishment of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries […]


USA Today: As sales fall, is the hybrid car fad over?

USA Today: As sales fall, is the hybrid car fad over? thumbnail

USA Today Will it turn out that hybrid cars were just a fad that will go the way of bell-bottom pants? The sales numbers this year seem to point to the possibility. Ford Escape hybrid sales were off 23.7% through the first seven months of the year, Toyota Camry hybrid sales were down 42.5% and […]


PetroChina Vows Global Expansion as Price Controls Curb Profit

PetroChina Vows Global Expansion as Price Controls Curb Profit thumbnail

PetroChina Co., Asia’s biggest company by market value, pledged to step up acquisitions and boost cooperation with global oil companies after profit growth slumped because of state controls on fuel prices at home. “PetroChina will continue to expand globally,” President Zhou Jiping said at an earnings briefing in Hong Kong yesterday. “We will boost profitability at […]


Salon: Why our agricultural empire will fall

Salon: Why our agricultural empire will fall thumbnail

An expert tells us how our food system is repeating the history of doomed civilizations BY RIDDHI SHAH In an age of super-sized meals and obesity epidemics, food-shortage doomsday scenarios always seem a little surreal. Backed by half a century of agricultural abundance, it’s easy to imagine that cheap food will permanently abound. But in a […]


BP Declines to Participate in Greenland Oil Licensing Round

BP Declines to Participate in Greenland Oil Licensing Round thumbnail

BP Plc, the energy company responsible for the biggest oil spill in U.S. history in the Gulf of Mexico, said it won’t seek exploration licenses in Greenland for the time being. “After doing the first stages of investigation, we decided not to compete,” BP spokesman Robert Wine said in a telephone interview today. He declined to […]


NYT: A Challenge to Bill Gates on Energy Research

NYT: A Challenge to Bill Gates on Energy Research thumbnail

Richard Rosen, a senior fellow at the Tellus Institute in Boston, which charts scenarios for human development in this century, took issue with some of the points made by Bill Gates in the Technology Review interview explored here earlier this week. I’ve posted Rosen’s note below, then some questions I sent back to him in response, and […]


It’s Not Environment vs. Economy: Green Is the Path to Prosperity

It’s Not Environment vs. Economy: Green Is the Path to Prosperity thumbnail

The day after the climate bill failed in the U.S. Senate, the New York Times’ conservative columnist Ross Douthat gave his take on the political-right and the climate in a piece that on the surface sounded reasonable. “Maybe it was best that the bill didn’t pass,” he says. While he displays some bravery in calling […]


Peak oil: two words to worry about

Peak oil: two words to worry about thumbnail

The crisis would be so severe, we wouldn’t be able to run our tractors, heat our homes or drive our cars. As if you don’t have enough to worry about, add two more words to your list: peak oil. Forget climate change -peak oil is the biggest problem on the human horizon according to some. […]


NYT: Job Losses Over Drilling Ban Fail to Materialize

NYT: Job Losses Over Drilling Ban Fail to Materialize thumbnail

WASHINGTON — When the Obama administration called a halt to virtually all deepwater drilling activity in the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon blowout and fire in April, oil executives, economists and local officials complained that the six-month moratorium would cost thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in lost revenue. Oil supply firms went […]


Rigzone: Natural Gas, Other Production Sources Rise as Oil Declines

Rigzone: Natural Gas, Other Production Sources Rise as Oil Declines thumbnail

Overall, U.S. primary energy production in 2009 fell .6 percent to 73.0 quadrillion Btu, down from the record high of 73.4 quadrillion Btu the previous year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Annual Energy Review 2009. The U.S. energy production mix from 1989 to 2009 shifted as natural gas production, coal, nuclear and […]


Sky News: Oil Firms ‘Will Overcome Arctic Challenges’

Sky News: Oil Firms ‘Will Overcome Arctic Challenges’ thumbnail

Despite hostile conditions and intense environmental opposition, the Arctic is set to become a key global oil supplier as demand for fossil fuels continues to rise, analysts have said. The region’s role in meeting future energy needs has been highlighted once again with news that Edinbugh-based Cairn Energy had found “early indications of a working […]


Mother Jones: Oh Yeah, That’s Why the Climate Bill Failed

Mother Jones: Oh Yeah, That’s Why the Climate Bill Failed thumbnail

Environmental groups spent a record amount of money on lobbying in 2009, a year everyone thought presented the best hope for signing landmark climate change legislation into law. But for every dollar they dropped, the fossil fuel industry spent almost eight times as much, according to anew report from the Center for Responsive Politics. Last […]


How Much Is Left? The Limits of Earth’s Resources, Made Interactive

How Much Is Left? The Limits of Earth’s Resources, Made Interactive thumbnail

This Web-only article is a special rich-media presentation of the feature, “How Much Is Left?,” which appears in the September 2010 issue of Scientific American. Link


As U.S. economy sputters, China’s importance to oil producers grows

As U.S. economy sputters, China’s importance to oil producers grows thumbnail

(Calgary Herald) ou could sense some angst last week in the United States and Japan when China overtook the latter as the world’s second largest economy. No one who follows the numbers was really surprised, because the momentum to pull China into second place was inevitable, the only question was, when? Surprise was also muted among […]


Reuters: Toyota plans 5 million cumulative hybrid sales by 2015

Reuters: Toyota plans 5 million cumulative hybrid sales by 2015 thumbnail

(Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp said on Wednesday it wants to reach cumulative sales of 5 million hybrid vehicles in the early part of this decade. Toyota, the pioneer in gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles, said earlier this month it had sold more than 2.68 million hybrid vehicles globally since it launched the first model in 1997. […]


Reuters: Biden says country on track to double renewable energy capacity

Reuters: Biden says country on track to double renewable energy capacity thumbnail

(Reuters) – Government stimulus spending has put the country on track to double renewable energy production capacity by 2012 and halve solar power costs by 2015, Vice President Joseph Biden said on Tuesday. President Barack Obama’s stimulus spending poured $814 billion into the U.S. economy, including more than $100 billion for science, technology and innovation […]


Saudi Aramco says crude oil may end year higher

Saudi Aramco says crude oil may end year higher thumbnail

Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s state oil and gas producer, said crude prices may end the year as high as $82 a barrel because of demand from China and India. “The prospect is good,” Mohamed Daoudi, head of research and technology at Aramco Overseas Co. B.V., said on Monday in an interview in Stavanger, Norway. “There […]


A Crisis of Democracy: Real Solutions to the BP Oil Spill

A Crisis of Democracy: Real Solutions to the BP Oil Spill thumbnail

For Gulf residents, the BP oil spill has made the problem of unchecked corporate power painfully clear. Exxon Valdez survivor Riki Ott on why this may be the moment to overcome our political divides and take back our democracy. by Brooke Jarvis When the Exxon Valdez oil tanker struck a reef in Alaska’s Prince William Sound, Riki […]


Grist: Fossil fuels and climate change still suck

Grist: Fossil fuels and climate change still suck thumbnail

Grist Oil and water don’t mix. But oil, climate change, and politics? You just can’t tease those three apart. The investigation into the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon well continues today with a hearing in Houston amidst a swirl of bad energy. There’s sniping between Transocean, the owner of the ill-fated rig, and BP. Government scientists are saying […]


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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

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…