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News from October 2010

Lurching from One Disaster to the Next

Lurching from One Disaster to the Next thumbnail

So say experts like Peter Walker, director of the Tufts University-based Feinstein International Center near Boston. In late 2008, his organisation authored a report titled “Humanitarian Costs of Climate Change” for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. “We may be keeping people alive, we may be helping people to survive,” Walker […]


Russia prepares to spend billions on smart grid upgrades

Russia prepares to spend billions on smart grid upgrades thumbnail

Russia’s Federal Grid Company (FGC) has signed a deal with the New York-based battery maker Ener1 to find ways to use high-performance batteries to make the ageing Russian electrical grid smarter and more reliable. Russia, the world’s fourth-largest electricity market, has seen record-setting demand for power. After two decades of deferred investment, the nation is […]


US Military Leadership Acknowledge Peak Oil, Develop Alternatives

US Military Leadership Acknowledge Peak Oil, Develop Alternatives thumbnail

Two reports this week clearly indicate that the U.S. military is aware of the peak oil threat and is seriously pursuing development of alternative fuel and energy sources. The immediate costs of transporting fuel on the battlefield as well as the long-term costs of foreign oil dependency (and oil scarcity) have prompted a pragmatic shift […]


Dr. James Schlesinger “The Peak Oil Debate is Over”

Dr. James Schlesinger "The Peak Oil Debate is Over" from ASPO-USA on Vimeo.

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Former Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Energy and CIA Director


An open letter to medicine, nursing, and public health upon reaching the limits to growth

An open letter to medicine, nursing, and public health upon reaching the limits to growth thumbnail

* 206 reads * Printer-friendly version Bookmark and Share Published Oct 30 2010 by Energy Bulletin, Archived Oct 30 2010 An open letter to medicine, nursing, and public health upon reaching the limits to growth by Dan Bednarz, PhD, J. Mac Crawford, PhD, RN and Nancy Lee Wood, PhD 0 Please Log in or register […]


Brazil deepwater well hits huge oil reserve

Brazil deepwater well hits huge oil reserve thumbnail

The Brazilian government has found up to 15bn barrels of oil in a deep-water field known as Libra, in a further indication of potentially enormous reserves contained in the so-called pre-salt region first discovered in 2007. If confirmed, the Libra field alone could more than double the size of Brazil’s current proven reserves of about […]


Halliburton Says BP Is to Blame in Gulf

Halliburton Says BP Is to Blame in Gulf thumbnail

Halliburton, whose failed cement job on the BP well in the Gulf of Mexico was identified as a contributing factor to the deadly blowout by a presidential investigative panel on Thursday, is defending its work and assigning the blame for the accident to BP. In a six-page statement issued late Thursday night, Halliburton questioned tests […]


Can you really afford that second child?

Can you really afford that second child? thumbnail

I had a conversation with a friend not too long ago who had one child in her mid-thirties and stopped there. She and her husband had an overwhelming desire to have one child, she said, but the desire for a second child just wasn’t strong enough to outweigh the cost. And that was that. I […]


Another Green Energy Technology suppressed by Government?

Another Green Energy Technology suppressed by Government? thumbnail

Within the last 18 months Green Energy Reports has discovered two very real, and very green technologies being suppressed and witheld from public disclosure. In both cases Halliburton has tried to buy the technologies and their offers were rejected. The first case involves a company called Hobson Secondary Oil, a small company with an incredible […]


Trillions necessary to maintain Russia’s oil production

Trillions necessary to maintain Russia’s oil production thumbnail

Keeping up Russia’s oil output will cost 9 trillion roubles ($292 billion), according to Vladimir Putin. The prime minister called for that level of investment over the next decade to maintain crude oil production levels at 500 million tons a year. And he admitted that tax regimes needed to be reformed before new reserves can […]


Nitrogen independence crucial to sustainability

Nitrogen independence crucial to sustainability thumbnail

Nitrogen is the fertilizer nutrient used in the greatest quantity in our country, with 12.5 million tons consumed in 2008. In the past decade, the amount we import from abroad has dramatically increased from only 12 percent in 1999 to 52 percent in 2008. Production of nitrogen fertilizer with the Haber-Bosch process uses natural gas […]


‘World’s biggest’ solar power plant planned

‘World’s biggest’ solar power plant planned thumbnail

Giant mirrors and solar panels in Northern Cape would reduce carbon emissions and generate one—tenth of the country’s energy needs South Africa is to unveil plans this week for what it claims will be the world’s biggest solar power plant — a radical step in a coal—dependent country where one in six people still lacks […]


Gas-Guzzling US Military Confronted with Reality of ‘Peak Oil’

Gas-Guzzling US Military Confronted with Reality of ‘Peak Oil’ thumbnail

It’s a secret just how much oil the US military uses, but estimates range from around 400,000 barrels a day in peacetime – almost as much as Greece – to 800,000 barrels a day at the height of the Iraq war.This puts a single nation’s armed forces near Australia as an oil consumer and among […]


Halliburton Knew of Cement Flaws Before Spill

Halliburton  Knew of Cement Flaws Before Spill thumbnail

Halliburton knew weeks before the fatal explosion of the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico that the cement mixture they planned to use to seal the bottom of the well was unstable but still went ahead with the job, the presidential commission investigating the accident said on Thursday. In the first official finding of […]


Population Demographics, Energy Consumption

Population Demographics, Energy Consumption thumbnail

In our last Musings we discussed the aging population challenge China’s economy may be confronting and its possible ramifications on the country’s future energy consumption.  We have been doing more research on the question of population aging and energy consumption because the world is certainly aging, which is likely to impact energy needs globally, and […]


The energy prophet

The energy prophet thumbnail

Peter Tertzakian says the world is on the verge of an energy “break point” that will change the way we live and work. He talks to Derek Brower “ENERGY-consuming devices, such as air conditioners, light bulbs and the car, serve us like slaves and make kings of us all. But what do we do now […]


The great transition: Beyond carbon

The great transition: Beyond carbon thumbnail

If there is one thing that defines the 21st century, it is the end of oil. But not just oil. Over the coming decades, we face the prospect of terminal depletion of the world’s major mineral energy reserves, with major ramifications for the future of industrial civilization. A survey of about a hundred of the […]


The Peak Oil Crisis: The Midterms

The Peak Oil Crisis: The Midterms thumbnail

As we approach another round of Congressional elections, it is a good time to review how the peaking of the world’s oil supply fits into the American political scene. It has been obvious to anyone who cared to look at the issue that for the last six or seven years something has been seriously wrong […]


Ingredients of Transition: Respectful Communication

Ingredients of Transition: Respectful Communication thumbnail

The challenge: There are few things more off-putting for newcomers to an organisation, nor more destabilising for the initiative, than for those involved to lose their ability to listen to each other, or to communicate in the without kindness. Any organisation that fails to maintain levels of respectful communication between its members runs the risk […]


The Return of $100 Oil

The Return of $100 Oil thumbnail

If the Fed had half a brain… it’d be dangerous. But they fail to see that another trillion dollar injection will do more harm than good. The Fed has already driven stocks and gold to new nosebleed heights — first on the idea of QE2, and then pretty much on the promise of one. But for […]


Peak Oil — Where Do We Stand?

Peak Oil — Where Do We Stand? thumbnail

On October 14, 2010, Aaron Task interviewed Chris Martenson at Yahoo’s Tech Ticker (video below). Martenson, fresh off of attending ASPO-USA’s annual peak oil conference, told Aaron that “conventional oil” peaked “around 2005.” Aaron had no way to assess this statement, so he ran with it. It was then that I decided to write this […]


Highlights from Seventh Advances in Energy Studies Conference in Barcelona

Highlights from Seventh Advances in Energy Studies Conference in Barcelona thumbnail

Last week, I participated (as an invited speaker) in the 7th Advances in Energy Studies Conference in Barcelona, Spain. Other invited speakers were Charlie Hall, Joe Tainter, Marcel Collel, and Seth Blumsack. Other Oil Drum staff members at the conference were Ugo Bardi and Dave Murphy–Ugo as one of the speakers, and Dave as the […]


A Specter Is Haunting America

A Specter Is Haunting America thumbnail

The American middle/working class is still preoccupied with gazing at the shadows cast upon the walls of its cave/prison, preferring to go on believing what they are told by their owners and handlers: that all will be right with their little world, provided they keep their head down and work hard (at trying to find […]


What’s new in the shale gas revolution?

What’s new in the shale gas revolution? thumbnail

Maybe it says something when talk of unconventional gas being a game changer starts to seem like old hat. So many facets of the US shale gas revolution — the shift in LNG shipments to European markets, the contribution to a gas glut in key consumer markets — now get taken for granted. So what’s […]


Government Slashes Estimate of Alaskan Oil

Government Slashes Estimate of Alaskan Oil thumbnail

The U.S. Geological Survey says the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska contains less than one-tenth of the amount of oil it previously estimated. The government’s scientists say new data put the estimate at 896 million barrels, compared with the agency’s 2002 mean estimate of 10.6 billion barrels. The agency also cut its estimates of natural gas in […]


IEA: Unclear If Oil Reserve Growth Will Contribute to Future Supply

IEA: Unclear If Oil Reserve Growth Will Contribute to Future Supply thumbnail

Recent increases in oil reserves in Iraq, Iran and Venezuela are “good news,” but it remains unclear whether they will contribute to future supply, Nobuo Tanaka, executive director of the International Energy Agency, or IEA, said Monday. “To have more reserves is certainly good news, because it gives us a more precise prediction of costs […]


Richard Heinberg: Alaska and energy

Richard Heinberg: Alaska and energy thumbnail

During my recent visit to Anchorage, Alaska to speak at that city’s Bioneers satellite conference, the friendly locals seemed eager to educate me about their local energy issues. Some of what I learned struck me as important to share with a wider audience. Alaska is, of course, a huge energy exporter. Crude from the North […]


‘Peak Phosphate’ Spells End of Cheap Food

‘Peak Phosphate’ Spells End of Cheap Food thumbnail

By way of background, all agricultural crops require phosphate, which is an essential element for plant growth. And it cannot be substituted with anything else. Unfortunately, the academics at Sydney’s University of Technology believe “peak phosphate” could become a reality as soon as 2030. They also include Professor Stuart White, who suggests that the price […]


Feeding the Hungry Billions

Feeding the Hungry Billions thumbnail

There is a population boom worldwide and natural resources are decreasing fast. With an additional 40 million persons to the world population trends, indicates alarming food situations likely to grow worse by the passage of time. The gap between demand and supply of food grains is increasing fast with developing countries worst affected. The assumption […]


Why Malthus Was Wrong

Why Malthus Was Wrong thumbnail

For a few decades in the 20th century, it seemed as humanity’s triumphs of public health were turning into an ironic and deadly trap. Because more babies were surviving infancy than ever before, and more adults were safe from deadly diseases, the human race’s numbers were growing at a spectacular rate—from 2 billion in 1930 […]


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