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News from December 2010

Sharon Astyk: 300 Years of Fossil Fuels and Not One Bad Gal: Peak Oil, Women’s History and Everyone’s Future

Sharon Astyk: 300 Years of Fossil Fuels and Not One Bad Gal: Peak Oil, Women’s History and Everyone’s Future thumbnail

If you haven’t seen this video by Richard Heinberg and the Post Carbon Institute, you should. In a lot of ways it is an excellent summary of the history of fossil fuels, entertainingly and creatively done. In some ways, it is extremely valuable as a basic educational piece. I’m very impressed with the clarity of […]


Our increasing use of biomass could mean trouble for our planet

Our increasing use of biomass could mean trouble for our planet thumbnail

According to research released by NASA, humans are using more and more plant life for “food, fiber, building and packaging materials and biofuels.”  That increase is happening not just overall as the world population increases but also per person. According to satellite data, our consumption of the Earth’s total land plant production in 1995 was […]


Roof Shingles Meet Solar Panels

Roof Shingles Meet Solar Panels thumbnail

“We have the technologies for a global clean economy, but they will not deploy in significant numbers without greater public policy certainty and incentives,” said Andrew Liveris, Chairman and CEO, The Dow Chemical Company. “Even without the optimal policy environment, however, we are investing in energy efficiency, in research, development and the deployment of clean […]


Interview: Gail the Actuary

Interview: Gail the Actuary thumbnail

Actuaries help companies manage risk. Gail Tverberg wants to help us all manage our energy risk. “If I plant a garden and all my neighbors are starving, I’ll have to share it with them and it’s not going to go very far,” says Gail Tverberg, known to readers of the Oil Drum as Gail the […]


World Oil Production – Looking for Clues as to What may be Ahead

World Oil Production – Looking for Clues as to What may be Ahead thumbnail

If we look at a graph of historical world oil production, we see a somewhat bumpy production pattern with two major price spikes (in 2009 $)–one peaking in 1981 and one peaking in 2008. Figure 1. World oil (crude and condensate) average daily production and refiners average acquisition cost in 2009 $, both based on […]


Does Peak Oil Even Matter?

Does Peak Oil Even Matter? thumbnail

It is easy to become befuddled by the current discourse on peak oil. Peak oil is defined generally as the point at which the flow rate of oil to society has reached a maximum. But this simple definition has issues too, such as what should be considered “oil.” Take, for example, the following sentences from […]


Grocery prices grow by 1.5 times inflation rate

Grocery prices grow by 1.5 times inflation rate thumbnail

For the first time since 2008, inflation is hitting consumers in the stomach. Grocery prices grew by more than 1 1/2 times the overall rate of inflation this year, outpaced only by costs of transportation and medical care, according to numbers released Wednesday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Economists predict that this is […]


Scary math

Scary math thumbnail

The impact the humans are having on Earth’s resources depends essentially on three factors; population size, the affluence of this population, and our technological efficiency. This simple equation, laid out by the Stanford professor Paul Ehrlich nearly 40 years ago, makes for pretty scary math in 2010. In a sobering, post-global-financial-crisis book, Prosperity Without Growth; Economics […]


CFTC proposes new limits on commodity trading

CFTC proposes new limits on commodity trading thumbnail

Seeking to combat manipulation and speculation, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Thursday proposed restricting the number of commodity futures and option contracts that any investor can hold in energy, agriculture or metals derivatives. The agency is required to implement the measure by the Dodd-Frank Act that was approved in July. “Position limits help to […]


Peak Oil: The Basics of Oil Depletion in 5 Minutes

Peak Oil: The Basics of Oil Depletion in 5 Minutes thumbnail

This essential information summarizes Peak Oil through includes interviews with Richard Heinberg, Paul Roberts, Gerald Cecil, Otis Graham, Jeremy Rifkin, James Howard Kunstler, Jerry Mander, and a cameo from Jimmy Carter.


Bashing the oil industry

Bashing the oil industry thumbnail

Bashing the oil industry seems to be popular. The most recent example is the New York Times’ editorial They haven’t learned. I don’t think any industry is perfect, but I also have a hard time seeing that any industry should be singled out for uniquely harsh treatment. Things are going to go wrong whenever human […]


It Takes a Worried Man to Sing a Worried Song

It Takes a Worried Man to Sing a Worried Song thumbnail

At first, there were only a few who were not shy about singing the worried song, Kathy a.k.a. Peak Shrink, Matt Simmons, Matt Savinar, Colin Campbell, Richard Heinberg, Tom Whipple, and James Kunstler to name a few. Initially it was easy to pick out the individual “voices” singing the worried song. Now instead of a […]


Rising oil prices, the recession and a new world order

Rising oil prices, the recession and a new world order thumbnail

A discussion between economist Kazuo Mizuno and Tsuda College associate professor Toshihito Kayano, which was carried in a book, is based on a bold hypothesis and is inspiring. In the book, titled “Cho-Makuro Tenbo, Sekai Keizai no Shinjitsu” (“Ultra-macro Outlook — The Reality of the World Economy”), Mizuno and Kayano discuss the global economy from […]


Video: Peak Oil Escalating Cycles of Recessions

Video: Peak Oil Escalating Cycles of Recessions thumbnail

Colin Campbell, Richard Heinberg, etc..


Zero Hedge’s Tyler Durden: US Should Invest in Alternative Energy Infrastructures

Zero Hedge’s Tyler Durden: US Should Invest in Alternative Energy Infrastructures thumbnail

What are your views on Peak Oil? Assuming you think its arrival is relevant to people alive today, when do you forecast the market will recognize its significance? If we have to cut our use of oil, will we also have to cut our addiction to economic growth in conjunction? The rate of global consumption […]


WikiLeaks cables: BP suffered blowout on Azerbaijan gas platform

WikiLeaks cables: BP suffered blowout on Azerbaijan gas platform thumbnail

Striking resemblances between BP’s Gulf of Mexico disaster and a little-reported giant gas leak in Azerbaijan experienced by the UK firm 18 months beforehand have emerged from leaked US embassy cables. The cables reveal that some of BP’s partners in the gas field were upset that the company was so secretive about the incident that […]


UNFPA launches World Population Report

UNFPA launches World Population Report thumbnail

The United Nations Population Fund launched the State of World Population Report 2010; ‘From Conflict and Crisis to Renewal:   Generations of Change’ last evening. According to the report  “when women have access to the same rights and opportunities as men they are more resilient to conflict and disaster and can lead reconstruction and renewal efforts […]


An agriculture that stands a chance: perennial polyculture & the hard limits of post-carbon farming

An agriculture that stands a chance: perennial polyculture & the hard limits of post-carbon farming thumbnail

“The American food system rests on an unstable foundation of massive fossil fuel inputs. It must be reinvented in the face of declining fuel stocks.” — Richard Heinberg and Michael Bomford, ‘The Food and Farming Transition‘ (http://www.postcarbon.org/report/41306-the-food-and-farming-transition-t…) “The United States and many other heavily populated countries face a growing threat of severe and prolonged drought […]


Transparency: How Much Does the United States Subsidize Energy

Transparency: How Much Does the United States Subsidize Energy thumbnail

The government spends billions of dollars to support the energy industry, which allows it to make energy cheaper than it should cost on the open market. These subsidies—either in the form of tax breaks or direct funding—favor some types of energy over others, giving our country a skewed sense of what each gallon of gas […]


Peak in oil demand will be the genuine wolf at the door

Peak in oil demand will be the genuine wolf at the door thumbnail

Sir Richard Branson, the British tycoon, said at the opening of the Cancun talks on climate change last week: “The next five years will see us face another crunch – the oil crunch.” He predicted that prices, now about US$90 per barrel, would hit $200. “Our supplies of … oil and natural gas are being […]


Kunstler: The Revolutionary Moment

Kunstler: The Revolutionary Moment thumbnail

I overheard a conversation between two employees over at the Price Chopper supermarket last week. (The Price Chopper logo is a picture of a Mercury dime with an ax cleaving into Mercury’s head; in other words, an ax murder.) The supermarket employees were both middle-aged women. First: “I’m going home to a cold house.” Second: […]


Thoughts On Peak Oil & Planning by Rich Turcotte

Thoughts On Peak Oil & Planning by Rich Turcotte thumbnail

“We are on the brink of a new energy order. Over the next few decades, our reserves of oil will start to run out and it is imperative that governments in both producing and consuming nations prepare now for that time. We should not cling to crude down to the last drop – we should […]


OPEC Cheating Most Since 2004 as $100 Oil Heralds More Supply

OPEC Cheating Most Since 2004 as $100 Oil Heralds More Supply thumbnail

OPEC is breaching its production limits the most in six years, signaling the world’s biggest suppliers are ready to pump more crude next year as oil rallies toward $100 a barrel. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries excluding Iraq pumped 26.78 million barrels a day this year, exceeding the quotas by an average of 1.934 […]


Stuart Staniford: Prospects for a New Peak in Crude & Condensate

Stuart Staniford: Prospects for a New Peak in Crude & Condensate thumbnail

I pointed out on Friday that there provisionally appeared to be a new peak in global liquid fuel production, at least based on reports from OPEC and the IEA, and subject to confirmation by the third agency (the EIA) and the inevitable revisions to the series. Predictably, this led to a chorus of comments that […]


New Worry of Potential World Resource Wars

New Worry of Potential World Resource Wars thumbnail

Scientists have been warning for years that the inevitable peak in oil production could lead to serious skirmishes or even the next world war. There is disagreement over whether peak oil has already occurred or, if not, then how far into the future the finite supply will no longer be enough to supply soaring demand. […]


The Myth of Peak Oil Demand and the Example of Loma Prieta

The Myth of Peak Oil Demand and the Example of Loma Prieta thumbnail

The 1989 San Francisco earthquake, known as Loma Prieta and which occurred during that year’s World Series, forced a number of unexpected changes in Bay Area transport–many of which survive to this day. The most visible is the opened up San Francisco waterfront which now finds a streetcar running over cobbled streets in place of […]


Cancun agrees on ‘climate deal’, funds for developing countries

Cancun agrees on ‘climate deal’, funds for developing countries thumbnail

Delegates at the UN climate change conference in Cancun have agreed on a deal to curb climate change and fund developing countries on Saturday. Bolivia however, raised objections to the proposals drawn up the host Mexico. The draft comes as respite as the last summit in Copenhagen failed to agree on the best way to […]


Libya Oil Head: Preferred Oil Price $100 A Barrel

Libya Oil Head: Preferred Oil Price $100 A Barrel thumbnail

Libya’s top oil official said Saturday that $100 a barrel is a “good price” for oil. Shokri Ghanem also joined the chorus of ministers going into Saturday’s OPEC meeting, saying the group won’t change its current self-imposed limits on crude-oil output. “A good price is a little bit higher than $80 to $90 a barrel,” […]


OPEC ministers make no change in output

OPEC ministers make no change in output thumbnail

OPEC ministers decided Saturday to keep oil output at current levels, citing ample inventories amid persisting global economic uncertainty and a price of just under $90 a barrel. The 12-member cartel said after an unusually short meeting that it based its decision on projections showing demand for crude would grow more slowly in 2011 than […]


Local Future 2010 – Nathan Ayers, Kurt Cobb, David Gard, John Sarver

Local Future 2010 – Nathan Ayers, Kurt Cobb, David Gard, John Sarver thumbnail

Nathan Ayers, Kurt Cobb, David Gard, and John Sarver field questions regarding peak oil, climate change, permaculture, and the future of energy. This is part 1 of 2 videos following the first session of talks at the 2010 International Conference on Sustainability: Energy, Economy & Environment organized by Local Future and directed by Aaron Wissner. […]


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@terrymorse @gianlucatdc @BrankoMilan @ClubOfRome Probably because they know they are running out of coal. Let's cross our fingers for their success... #PeakCoal #PeakOil

test Twitter Media - @terrymorse @gianlucatdc @BrankoMilan @ClubOfRome Probably because they know they are running out of coal. Let's cross our fingers for their success...  #PeakCoal  #PeakOil https://t.co/91qHT3vAbJ

@terrymorse @gianlucatdc @BrankoMilan @ClubOfRome What evidence ? The only way we've found to reduce fossile fuels consumption has been #Degrowth periods usually called recessions. In Greece for example they are experiencing the harshest chaotic degrowth. And its costs are not fairly shared. #Peakoil

test Twitter Media - @terrymorse @gianlucatdc @BrankoMilan @ClubOfRome What evidence ? The only way we've found to reduce fossile fuels consumption has been #Degrowth periods usually called recessions. In Greece for example they are experiencing the harshest chaotic degrowth. And its costs are not fairly shared.  #Peakoil https://t.co/WGluUZULlo

@terrymorse @gianlucatdc @BrankoMilan @ClubOfRome Still we need countries to take #Peakoil seriously and implement a Marshall Plan for renewables. Better to have a planned #Degrowth than a massive struggle for the last oil and gas fields. Imperialist wars in the Middle East could doom humanity. LEAVE OIL BEFORE IT LEAVES US

test Twitter Media - @terrymorse @gianlucatdc @BrankoMilan @ClubOfRome Still we need countries to take #Peakoil seriously and implement a Marshall Plan for renewables. Better to have a planned #Degrowth than a massive struggle for the last oil and gas fields. Imperialist wars in the Middle East could doom humanity.
LEAVE OIL BEFORE IT LEAVES US https://t.co/B3uf5n3dV5

@terrymorse @gianlucatdc @BrankoMilan @ClubOfRome The only renewable to have a good EROI is hydropower but it's difficult to find enough rivers to dam and climate change may affect the rain patterns. Solar power for example has a low EROI when we transform it into electricity. Solar power for heating is much better. #Peakoil