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News from August 2010

‘Abandon affluence’ — 25 years on

‘Abandon affluence’ — 25 years on thumbnail

Sunday, August 15, 2010 In his influential 1985 book Abandon Affluence, radical Australian sociologist Ted Trainer made the argument that the capitalist economies of the rich world, and the wasteful consumer culture they spawned, were unsustainable and the ecological limits of capitalist growth were fast approaching. Trainer will speak at the November 5-7 Climate Change Social Change […]


Peak Generation: ‘cheap oil is over’ as demand approaches new record

Peak Generation: ‘cheap oil is over’ as demand approaches new record thumbnail

SUNDAY, AUGUST 15, 2010 Matthew Wild The International Energy Agency (IEA) is forecasting world oil demand will set a new record next year when is smashes through 2008’s pre-recession high – and warning that the “era of cheap oil is over.” According to the IEA’s latest Oil Market Report, published August 11, global demand will […]


Climate Experts Agree: Global Warming Caused Russian Heat Wave

Climate Experts Agree: Global Warming Caused Russian Heat Wave thumbnail

As Russia chokes from a heat wave of unprecedented ferocity, president Dmitry Medvedev has strengthened his call for the world’s leaders to take action to fight global warming pollution. The scientific community has warned for decades that burning coal and oil without limit would intensify heat waves, droughts, and floods. Now that the planet is […]


Mark Engler, Paying Oil’s True Cost

Mark Engler, Paying Oil’s True Cost thumbnail

I won’t claim it was the first time in all these months, just the first I noticed. On Monday, my hometown paper had no mention of the Gulf of Mexico, BP, or what we’ve come to call its disastrous “spill,” though that word hardly catches the dimensions of what happened. On Tuesday, the catastrophe that […]


NYT: A Battle in Mining Country Pits Coal Against Wind

NYT: A Battle in Mining Country Pits Coal Against Wind thumbnail

LORELEI SCARBRO’S husband, Kenneth, an underground coal miner for more than 30 years, is buried in a small family cemetery near her property here at the base of Coal River Mountain. The headstone is engraved with two roosters facing off, their feathers ruffled. Kenneth, who loved cockfighting, died in 1999, and, Ms. Scarbro says, he […]


“Geo-Engineering” As Futurological Greenwashing

“Geo-Engineering” As Futurological Greenwashing thumbnail

“Geo-engineering” is one of the latest thrilling contributions of futurology to the ongoing derangement of sensible deliberation about ongoing technoscientific change in the world. In a recent piece capturing this derangement rather nicely the usually more sensible Chris Mooney bemoans “the incredible gap between the importance of geoengineering as a possibility on the one hand, […]


Aleklett: Petro China is the world’s most valuable listed company

Aleklett: Petro China is the world’s most valuable listed company thumbnail

The journalist Björn Lindahl at Svenska Dagbladet [a Swedish broadsheet] is, without doubt, Sweden’s leading journalist on oil and natural gas issues. In today’s “Industry” section of the newspaper he has written a very interesting article on Petro China and their development into the world’s highest value listed company. At a value of 333 billion […]


Gregor: The Ascent of Middle East Food and Energy Demand

Gregor: The Ascent of Middle East Food and Energy Demand thumbnail

At the EIA’s International Energy Outlook (IEO) presentation this May the issue of future oil exports from OPEC nations came up, and in an interesting way. Readers may be familiar with the phenomenon of declining net exports, from major oil producing nations, as a result of internal demand from growing, domestic populations. The phenomenon was […]


ClimateWire: Senate presses World Bank to reduce coal plant loans

ClimateWire: Senate presses World Bank to reduce coal plant loans thumbnail

12 August 2010 The U.S. Senate ratchets up the pressure on the World Bank, including language in the 2011 foreign operations funding bill demanding a fossil fuel phase out and a commitment to renewable energy in the Bank’s new energy strategy. Source: E&E News by Lisa Friedman The U.S. Senate is leaning on the World […]


Lithium: The Next Frontier in Alternative Energy

Lithium: The Next Frontier in Alternative Energy thumbnail

AUGUST 10, 2010 07:01 AM by Anton Polouektov With peak oil occupying the minds of energy experts and the Gulf oil spill acting as a painful reminder of the dangers posed to the environment by our unquenchable thirst for fossil fuels, a rejuvenated interest in alternative energy is sweeping the nation. Electric and hybrid vehicles […]


Blog: Boone Pickens’s Plan Full of Hot Air

Blog: Boone Pickens’s Plan Full of Hot Air thumbnail

Jeff Rubin Boone Pickens’s plans to save the United States from its energy dependence on so-called hostile petro-powers is, simply put, full of hot air. The abundance of shale gas in the US will no more free the country’s motorists from dependence on foreign oil than have either the American production of over ten billion […]


Blog: Dirty fuels ‘could follow’ peak oil

Blog: Dirty fuels ‘could follow’ peak oil thumbnail

Friday, August 13, 2010 Rising oil prices could lead to an increase in the use of ‘dirty fuels’ unless policy measures are taken to intervene, a leading scientist has said. Writing in the forthcoming edition of Public Service Review: Science and Technology, Daniel Kammen, professor of energy at the University of California, warned that vast […]


Reuters: EPA proposes rules on greenhouse gas permits

Reuters: EPA proposes rules on greenhouse gas permits thumbnail

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday proposed new rules to ensure factories and power plants will be able to obtain permits they will need to emit greenhouse gases starting next year. The proposed rules, which the EPA wants to finalize before January 2 next year, are largely an administrative measure that is necessary for […]


Will NY hearing debacle damage EPA’s cred?

Will NY hearing debacle damage EPA’s cred? thumbnail

By Bill Holland on August 11, 2010 12:12 PM The Environmental Protection Agency’s inability to schedule and hold the final in a series of public hearings before kicking off its much-anticipated hydraulic fracturing study may be just the ammunition industry and pro-drilling landowners need to bury the concept of federal oversight of fracking. Hearings were […]


Dot Earth:The Technology Imperative for Energy and Climate

Dot Earth:The Technology Imperative for Energy and Climate thumbnail

If you care about fostering prosperity in poor places while limiting the buildup of greenhouse gases in the globe’s shared atmosphere, it’s time to recognize the technology imperative that lies behind the world’s entwined climate and energy challenges. Without greatly intensified work to advance and disseminate energy choices that don’t come with heat-trapping emissions, there’s […]


Beyond BP: Michael Klare on US Energy Policy

Beyond BP: Michael Klare on US Energy Policy thumbnail

Why we should heed the warnings offered by Hampshire College’s famed peace and world security prof. Thursday, August 12, 2010 By Jim Cabral Michael Klare talks straight about energy and politics. The disaster engendered by the explosion and subsequent hemorrhaging of British Petroleum’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico has thrust energy […]


Financial Times: IEA warns of Gulf spill effect on new oil supplies

Financial Times: IEA warns of Gulf spill effect on new oil supplies thumbnail

BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has placed the ability of the industry to find important new oil supplies on “a knife-edge,” the International Energy Agency, the rich country’s watchdog, warned on Wednesday. “Macondo also places the ability of the industry to access important new reserves on a knife edge. Some 30 per […]


Matthew Simmons: a tribute

Matthew Simmons: a tribute thumbnail

Energy Investment banker and leading peak oil proponent Matthew Simmons died suddenly on Sunday [Aug. 8], following an apparent heart attack. While Simmons did not come up with the idea of peak oil – geophysicist M King Hubbert first published the theory in the 1950s – he arguably did more than anyone to publicize it. […]


O&G Reserves Grow Despite Upstream Spending Decline

O&G Reserves Grow Despite Upstream Spending Decline thumbnail

Rigzone All categories of upstream spending declined in 2009 and total costs incurred fell 47 percent from $139.8 billion in 2008 to $73.4 billion in 2009, Ernst & Young reported in its U.S. E&P Benchmark study of the exploration and production results of 50 companies from 2005 to 2009. Spending was impacted by the declines […]


Rigzone: Water Treatment Key to Hydraulic Fracturing’s Future

Rigzone: Water Treatment Key to Hydraulic Fracturing’s Future thumbnail

The Marcellus shale gas exploration rush that has washed over Pennsylvania has created concerns over how hydraulic fracturing impacts local water supplies. A single well hydrofracture in the Marcellus may require two million to five million gallons of fracturing fluid, of which 25 percent to 100 percent may be returned to the surface as “flowback” […]


DOE Announces Secretary of Energy Advisory Board

DOE Announces Secretary of Energy Advisory Board thumbnail

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy today announced the members of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB). Eliminated during the last administration, SEAB is being reestablished under the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The twelve member board comprised of scientists, business executives, academics and former government officials will serve as an independent advisory […]


Saudi Aramco: Oil reserves are plentiful

Saudi Aramco: Oil reserves are plentiful thumbnail

The head of Saudi Aramco has brushed aside ‘peak oil’ concerns, saying the world has plentiful supply of oil and gas, with a vast quantity of known reserves yet to be tapped and additional resources still to be discovered. Speaking at the Oxford Energy Forum, Saudi Aramco President and CEO Khalid A. Al-Falih said that […]


Oil reserves are plentiful, says Aramco chief

Oil reserves are plentiful, says Aramco chief thumbnail

International Business Times The head of Saudi Aramco has brushed aside ‘peak oil’ concerns, saying the world has plentiful supply of oil and gas, with a vast quantity of known reserves yet to be tapped and additional resources still to be discovered. Speaking at the Oxford Energy Forum, Saudi Aramco President and CEO Khalid A. […]


IEA: Global oil demand seen rising slightly

IEA: Global oil demand seen rising slightly thumbnail

Global oil demand will rise 2.2 percent this year and will continue to grow in 2011, thanks to improving economic conditions in Europe and developing countries, the International Energy Agency said Wednesday. In its monthly report on the oil markets, the Paris-based agency said global oil demand this year will reach 86.6 million barrels a […]


Peak oil is the villain governments needs

Peak oil is the villain governments needs thumbnail

Climate change is a stealthy foe, hard to feel, see or identify. Unlike peak oil. So here’s another question: did western administrations know that the International Energy Agency (IEA) had been consistently concealing the imminence of peak oil? One might hope our leaders would know about something as serious as this. But if they did, […]


Foreign Policy: The Ministry of Oil Defense

Foreign Policy: The Ministry of Oil Defense thumbnail

Shortly after the Marines rolled into Baghdad and tore down a statue of Saddam Hussein, I visited the Ministry of Oil. American troops surrounded the sand-colored building, protecting it like a strategic jewel. But not far away, looters were relieving the National Museum of its actual jewels. Baghdad had become a carnival of looting. A […]


Blog: The Future Of Natural Gas Prices – Permanently Lower Due To Disruptive Technology ?

Blog: The Future Of Natural Gas Prices – Permanently Lower Due To Disruptive Technology ? thumbnail

(Here is another investor blog on energy with some interesting analysis. Pops) I’ve been sucking my thumb considering making an investment in two natural gas producers who are actually quickly diversifying into a more balanced oil/gas production mix. The two companies I’m looking at are Chesapeake Energy and Sandridge Energy. What is holding me back […]


Record heat waves and floods could become the norm

Record heat waves and floods could become the norm thumbnail

The record heat wave in Russia and the deadly heat and flooding in Asia may become the norm rather than the exception according to climate scientists. Combined with glacier melting, water shortages, and rising sea levels, global warming could do more than change the environment, it could trigger global conflict. This is what the wildfire […]


National Post: Can Greens and Conservatives Get Along?

National Post: Can Greens and Conservatives Get Along? thumbnail

August 09, 2010 3:14 PM By Jonah Goldberg Ross Douthat, Brad Plumer, David Roberts, Tim Carney, and our own Reihan, among others, have been pondering the question. There’s a lot of interesting stuff here. I for one would love to see more cooperation between greens and conservatives on the idiocy of ethanol and other corporate-welfare […]


Telegraph: Biofuels cause four times more carbon emissions

Telegraph: Biofuels cause four times more carbon emissions thumbnail

Green fuels made from soy beans cause four times more climate-warming emissions than standard diesel or petrol, according to a European report into biofuels. By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent Published: 7:30AM BST 22 Apr 2010 The European Union, including the UK, has set a goal of obtaining 10 per cent of its road fuels from […]


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