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News from January 2011

Europe Begins to Run Short of Water

Europe Begins to Run Short of Water thumbnail

Half of the Czech Republic’s population could face water shortages because of climate change, a top climate change expert has warned. The country has become one of the driest in the EU, according to local media, and climatologists say the land, and crucial underground water supplies, are drying up. Professor Michal Marek, head of the […]


OPEC poised to dominate global energy markets

OPEC poised to dominate global energy markets thumbnail

The OPEC domination of the global energy markets is set to grow, says BP in its just released BP Energy Outlook, and it made headlines all over the globe, sending shivers through some spines. The outlook underlined that world is entering an era of OPEC dominance over the markets. BP’s forecast shows that over the […]


A Long Bet on Peak Travel

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The Long Now has a post on a bet on the advent of “peak travel” – Long Bet on Peak Travel. One of the miracles of the modern world is our capacity for getting around – hop on a plane, nap a few hours, and you’re on the other side of a continent! Technologically enabled, […]


Middle East Fast Bleeding Money

Middle East Fast Bleeding Money thumbnail

Middle East countries have seen the largest increase of illicit outflows of funds to richer nations, depriving the developing nations of much needed development money, a new international report shows. Developing countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region lost 1.2 trillion dollars in the nine years of the study, an average of […]


The Future Is Becoming More Clear — Abandon Sprawl, Intensify Use of High Speed Rail and Return to Urban Life, Like the US Was in the ’20s

The Future Is Becoming More Clear — Abandon Sprawl, Intensify Use of High Speed Rail and Return to Urban Life, Like the US Was in the ’20s thumbnail

Crippled by economic depression and environmental catastrophe, the American dream is dead in the water. And with peak oil hot on its hyperconsuming heels, America is looking for solutions, and it may have found a good one in the form of an ambitious national high-speed rail network that would connect its metropoles and mid-size cities […]


Population Redux

Population Redux thumbnail

Recently I’ve been thinking about world population again. Here are some of the things that have come up. The first thought is that “we” (as in the aggregate species h. Sap) are not rational creatures. We are instead rationalizing creatures who make most of our decisions unconsciously, based on a stew of emotions and heuristics […]


If Britain starts fuel rationing, could US be next?

If Britain starts fuel rationing, could US be next? thumbnail

This week, a committee of the British parliament released a plan to start rationing fuel within the next ten years. Could the US follow suit? The plan calls for the government to issue an equal number of Tradable Energy Quotas to all British adults for free and to auction credits off to businesses and government […]


Toyota’s Jim Lentz Predicts Peak Oil by 2020

Toyota’s Jim Lentz Predicts Peak Oil by 2020 thumbnail

Toyota’s Jim Lentz Predicts Peak Oil by 2020 Commonwealth Club – The Commonwealth Club of California Though the auto industry seemed on the brink of collapse, the recent Cash for Clunkers program arguably helped to jump-start the car economy and get wheels moving again. But what does this really mean for cars and drivers today?During […]


Chinese oil demand: still chugging along

Chinese oil demand: still chugging along thumbnail

Platts’ monthly survey of Chinese oil demand can be found here, and it is more of the same: still hanging in at a per annum rate of increase in excess of 18%. In its recent monthly report, the International Energy Agency said China would see its demand rise 5% to 9.79 million b/d in 2011 from 9.34 […]


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 interviews with Richard Heinberg, Paul Roberts, Gerald Cecil, Otis Graham, Jeremy Rifkin, James Howard Kunstler, Jerry Mander, and a cameo from Jimmy Carter. According to many sources, oil production stagnated in 2005 resulting in increasing oil prices. World economic growth now struggles to match the limitations of crude […]


High energy prices need not mean doom

High energy prices need not mean doom thumbnail

BP reckons demand can be met in an economically sustainable way. As on most things, economists disagree – sometimes violently – on the question of whether apparently ballooning global demand for energy can be met in an economically sustainable way. Among the many schisms are two over-arching tendencies. One trusts to the genius of markets […]


Marginal Land Produces Marginal Biomass

Marginal Land Produces Marginal Biomass thumbnail

The global potential for energy crops is a topic of great interest, and the media is often filled with reports of the potential for production on marginal land. Indeed, some of these reports go so far as to suggest that a substantial fraction or even all of current global oil consumption could be replaced by […]


Could Inefficiency Save Us From Peak Oil?

Could Inefficiency Save Us From Peak Oil? thumbnail

Whether it is activists claiming that a “globalized consumer society without oil is nonsense”or Richard Heinberg arguing that we’d best get used to life without growth when peak oil hits—the idea that the end of cheap oil means a permanent and drastic change to our entire notion of economics keeps cropping up recently. The argument […]


Energy intensity is converging across the world

Energy intensity is converging across the world thumbnail

THE energy required to produce a unit of GDP is falling in most countries around the world. As countries industrialise, energy-intensive businesses make up a bigger share of the economy. Peaks generally correlate to the high point of heavy industry, before lighter industry and higher value-added businesses (such as services) begin to replace old-fashioned smokestack […]


Where are the “peak oil” alarmists?

Where are the “peak oil” alarmists? thumbnail

Where are the “peak oil” alarmists when we need them to spice up the news of rising gasoline prices? Have they all gone into hiding? Gas prices in Colorado are about to crack $3 a gallon again and possibly stay there for some time. Isn’t the moment ripe for doomsayers to emerge, blaming this market […]


The Onset of Catabolic Collapse

The Onset of Catabolic Collapse thumbnail

I’ve commented more than once in these essays on the gap in perception between history as it appears in textbooks and history as it’s lived by people on the spot at the time. That’s a gap worth watching, because the foreshortening of history that comes with living in the middle of it quite often gets […]


Could We See Fuel Rationing by 2020?

Could We See Fuel Rationing by 2020? thumbnail

With secret government talks suggesting peak oil may be nearer than we think and IEA insiders claiming world oil stats have been inflated, it makes sense to start planning for a world where energy is much scarcer than we have gotten used to. I doubt this will please those who believe environmentalism is just an […]


Dramatic Shift in the Peak Oil Debate

Dramatic Shift in the Peak Oil Debate thumbnail

If you write about, speak about, or talk with your family, friends and co-workers about peak oil, you’ve almost certainly been asked: “Well, who else is saying what you’re saying?” It’s wise not to rely on just one source of information. Humans are fallible creatures. Knowing that, we feel much more comfortable when we can […]


What Is Permaculture

What Is Permaculture thumbnail

Permaculture – a future of possibility Lama Foundation, located in the Mountains of New Mexico is host to Grow Here Now and Build Here Now. Annual workshops which bring together teachers as well as students of sustainability. Join us as we examine “what is permaculture” as we attend the Grow Here Now – Convergence at […]


IEA issues bullish oil report as OPEC attacks its projections

IEA issues bullish oil report as OPEC attacks its projections thumbnail

The International Energy Agency on January 18 made a big upward revision to its estimate of world oil demand in 2011, even as its oil market projections came under attack from OPEC. The IEA’s latest monthly oil market report predicted that world oil demand would average 89.13 million b/d in 2011, 360,000 b/d higher than previously forecast […]


The Ultimate Oxymoron: Industrial Civilization And Mental Health, By Carolyn Baker

The Ultimate Oxymoron: Industrial Civilization And Mental Health, By Carolyn Baker thumbnail

[Industrial] civilization does not occur among healthy people. ~Ken Carey, Return of The Bird People~ In the days following the tragic Tucson massacre where Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was critically wounded and several other individuals shot and killed by suspect Jared Loughner, mainstream media has simmered with interviews and sound bytes regarding the status of mental […]


The Terrible Disconnect

The Terrible Disconnect thumbnail

But that said I have a huge beef with a big contingent of the Peak Oil crowd. I know a lot of these folks, many are good friends of mine, but I see them spreading a message of fear that shuts people down and weakens the message. I know people who have bought farmland off […]


Cash-strapped UK to sell its forests to stop climate change

Cash-strapped UK to sell its forests to stop climate change thumbnail

To raise revenue and stop global warming, the cash-starved UK government plans to privatize England’s crown forests. Environmental groups, unable to explain why climate change shouldn’t trump the preservation of forests, have to date been largely muted. The UK policy, revealed in November by Jim Paice, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food, would see […]


Venezuela Says Oil Reserves Surpass Saudi Arabia’s

Venezuela Says Oil Reserves Surpass Saudi Arabia’s thumbnail

Venezuela has overtaken Saudi Arabia as the world leader in oil reserves with certified deposits leaping to 297 billion barrels at the end of 2010, President Hugo Chavez’s government said Saturday. Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez told Reuters that the new reserves, which pushed the total 41 percent higher than the previous year, were booked in […]


The population timebomb is a myth

The population timebomb is a myth thumbnail

The human appetite for bad news knows no bounds. That is why gossip is usually malicious and why, on a grander scale, prophets of doom are always guaranteed a credulous audience. Conversely, good news – however well attested – is generally squeezed in the margins of newspapers. For example, The Independent buried in a few […]


1.6 bn people still have no access to electricity

1.6 bn people still have no access to electricity thumbnail

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in an address to the Fourth World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi that energy provisions can help fight poverty and improve health care services as part of the Millennium Development Goals for the developing world. ‘Our challenge is transformation,’ Ban said. ‘We need a global clean energy revolution […]


U.K. call for shale gas drilling halt

U.K. call for shale gas drilling halt thumbnail

A study by the Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research comes amid reports an oil firm has found shale oil reserves in Lancashire, the BBC reported Sunday. The study notes that officials in the United States are investigating allegations that drilling for shale oil has polluted water supplies. British ministers have rejected a moratorium, saying […]


Alyeska restarts Trans-Alaska Pipeline System

Alyeska restarts Trans-Alaska Pipeline System thumbnail

he Trans-Alaska Pipeline System resumed operations at 10:18 a.m. local time on Jan. 17 after crews at Pump Station 1 successfully installed a 157-ft bypass pipeline. TAPS operator Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., contractors, and regulators are closely monitoring the restarted line. Alyeska initially shut down the line the morning of Jan. 8 after discovering crude […]


NASA scientist blames democracy for failure to pass climate bill; Declares Chinese government ‘best hope’ to save world from global warming…

NASA scientist blames democracy for failure to pass climate bill; Declares Chinese government ‘best hope’ to save world from global warming… thumbnail

November’s election made it quite clear that the people of the United States do not want to radically change our society in the name of global warming. Pretty much every close House race went to the Republicans, while the Democrats won all the Senate squeakers. The difference? The House on June 26, 2009, passed a […]


On Not Jumping the Gun By Sharon Astyk

On Not Jumping the Gun By Sharon Astyk thumbnail

The e-mails started coming in to my mailbox this fall, their quantity and excitement level tracking the rising oil prices. Had I heard that this analyst just predicted $110 a barrel of oil by next year? How about this analyst, who suggested we might hit $200 a barrel by the end of 2015? As oil […]


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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