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News from February 2011

Graph of the Day: The Cost of Production Of Oil

Graph of the Day: The Cost of Production Of Oil thumbnail

TreeHugger points to a TOD post looking at the cost of production for oil from various sources – Does Peak Oil Even Matter?. The summary – “Peak Oilers have always pointed out that we will never run out of oil, it will just get a lot more expensive. And when it does, it will crush […]


Beyond the False Dawn: Global Crisis 2020-2022

Beyond the False Dawn: Global Crisis 2020-2022 thumbnail

Four long-wave cycles will likely intersect around 2020-2022. Longtime correspondent Ken R. asked me to elaborate on my recent reference to the “real crisis being pushed forward to 2020” ( A 5-Year Scenario: 2011-2016 February 15, 2011). The long answer would fill entire volumes, so I’ll attempt a shorthand version. Let’s start with the chart […]


World On Fire – Mapping Last Week’s 88 Global Protests

World On Fire – Mapping Last Week’s 88 Global Protests thumbnail

Feeling like the entire world is on the verge of a global revolution? It’s understandable. According to the attached interactive map, based on Google News data, in the past week, there have been 88 reported instances of protest somewhere in the world. How much of this is due to snow, and how much is due […]


The Six-Legged Meat of the Future

The Six-Legged Meat of the Future thumbnail

At the London restaurant Archipelago, diners can order the $11 Baby Bee Brulee: a creamy custard topped with a crunchy little bee. In New York, the Mexican restaurant Toloache offers $11 chapulines tacos: two tacos stuffed with Oaxacan-style dried grasshoppers. Could beetles, dragonfly larvae and water bug caviar be the meat of the future? As […]


Saudi Arabia Risks Shiite Unrest in Wake of Bahrain

Saudi Arabia Risks Shiite Unrest in Wake of Bahrain thumbnail

Violent unrest in Bahrain provoked by discontent among the majority-Shiite Muslim population risks spilling over to their co-religionists in neighboring Saudi Arabia, which holds one-fifth of the world’s oil, analysts say. Bahrain, a close Saudi ally which is ruled by the Sunni Muslim Al Khalifa family, has been rocked by protests since Feb. 14 that […]


Stanford, UCD Researchers Say 100% Renewable Energy Possible By 2050

Stanford, UCD Researchers Say 100% Renewable Energy Possible By 2050 thumbnail

But a recent article claims it could take just 40 years to convert the bulk of the world’s global energy usage from fossil fuels to renewable energy, primarily wind and solar power. That’s not only vehicle fuel, but also electric-power generation, home heating, and the many other global activities that rely on the remarkably high […]


The Peak Oil Crisis: The 3rd Transition

The Peak Oil Crisis: The 3rd Transition thumbnail

Modern man, the kind with the 1400 cc brain, is said to have been around for about 200,000 years. For the first 190,000 years however, not much of note happened, or at least that we know about. Tools got better – sharper spears and axes – but in general our remote ancestors went through life […]


Oil and Gas Oversight Still Lacking

Oil and Gas Oversight Still Lacking thumbnail

The Government Accountability Office, weighing in somewhat belatedly, has found the Interior Department’s oil and gas regulation and revenue-collection offices to be beset by problems and in need of a major overhaul. The G.A.O., the investigative arm of Congress, added the former Minerals Management Service to its list of so-called high-risk programs, saying that the […]


John Michael Greer: Energy What really matters

John Michael Greer: Energy What really matters thumbnail

It’s not uncommon, when I give public talks about the end of the industrial age, for people to ask me whether I can offer them any hope. Now of course people mean many different things by the very indefinite word at the end of that utterance; some want me to tell them that I was […]


Human Fertilization Starts at the Bottom

Human Fertilization Starts at the Bottom thumbnail

In the Middle East and other regions with increasing water stress, using clean water to whisk excreta out of sight is increasingly wasteful. For the more than 40% of the world’s population that don’t have private toilets with running water, it is not even a choice. For the rest of us, who are the heirs […]


Trying to untangle the mystery of China’s oil reserve

Trying to untangle the mystery of China’s oil reserve thumbnail

One of the big mysteries in the oil world is how much crude China is sticking in its newly-developed strategic petroleum reserve. In a recent report,  Barclay’s attempts to answer the question. In short, the answer is: not much in 2010, but maybe a lot more in 2011. Unlike the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve, where […]


A New Look At Peak Oil’s Impact: The Sales Conference

A New Look At Peak Oil’s Impact: The Sales Conference thumbnail

Earlier this week, my wife and I returned from an 8-day trip to the West Coast. After suspending their annual sales conference for the past two years, my wife’s company resumed the practice this year. (The usual methodology is to alternate West Coast and East Coast locales, so we’ll be attending next year’s conference here […]


Max Keiser Interviews Greg Palast

Max Keiser Interviews Greg Palast thumbnail

Max Keiser and co-host, Stacy Herbert, talk about Guanxi schemes selling fictional forests for real money, while real farmland cant find even a virtual penny. In the second half of the show, Max talks to author and documentary filmmaker, Greg Palast, about whether it is peak oil or oil dictatorships that is the bigger threat […]


Solar Power Comes to Saudi Arabia in a Big Way as Peak Oil Looms

Solar Power Comes to Saudi Arabia in a Big Way as Peak Oil Looms thumbnail

Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest exporter of oil. But as experts and WikiLeaks previously detailed–the country’s oil supply may be fast dwindling and that has made renewable energy options, such as solar, that much more appealing. Just this week the country announced that construction of its largest solar power plant will be completed by […]


Bahrain, Yemen, Libya Face Protests as Region’s Unrest Spreads

Bahrain, Yemen, Libya Face Protests as Region’s Unrest Spreads thumbnail

Bahrainis took to the streets for a third day of pro-democracy rallies as Yemeni demonstrators clashed with police and the Associated Press reported the first- ever protests in Libya against leader Muammar Qaddafi. Bahrain’s interior minister, Sheikh Rashid bin Abdullah al- Khalifa, apologized for the killing of two protesters in clashes with security forces this […]


Long-term future energy prices will likely decrease

Long-term future energy prices will likely decrease thumbnail

There is an extraordinary disconnect between what the experts write about oil prices, and what is likely to happen out in the real world. The pundits inhabit an economist’s perfect dream world, where oil prices respond to changes in supply and demand that are driven mainly by production costs and economic conditions. In the real […]


Saudi Arabia and Peak Oil

Saudi Arabia and Peak Oil thumbnail

Recently, Wikileaks made a lot of news by making public a large number of cables and correspondence between various governments and their agencies. While most of the focus from the media has been on revelations pointing mostly to the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (and other diplomatic shenanigans), there were also some interesting revelations that directly affect […]


Nicole Foss aka Stoneleigh – A Century of Challenges – Peak Oil & Economic Crisis

Nicole Foss aka Stoneleigh – A Century of Challenges – Peak Oil & Economic Crisis thumbnail

Nicole M. Foss is co-editor of The Automatic Earth, where she writes under the name Stoneleigh. She and her writing partner have been chronicling and interpreting the on-going credit crunch as the most pressing aspect of our current multi-faceted predicament. The site integrates finance, energy, environment, psychology, population and real politik in order to explain […]


The coming misery that Big Oil discusses behind closed doors

The coming misery that Big Oil discusses behind closed doors thumbnail

When big-thinkers at companies with the most skin in the energy game are behind closed doors and they discuss how the world really looks going forward, do they say that there are bumps in the road but that things will be fine, just fine, as they suggest publicly? Three years ago, we got a glimpse […]


Heinberg: Why Growth Won’t Return

Heinberg: Why Growth Won’t Return thumbnail

We have just seen why, since 2007, growth has languished for reasons internal to the world financial system—the system of money and debt. Problems arising from speculative overreach, real estate bubbles, and the inherent Ponzi dynamics of our global debt-based financial structures are endemic and profound. Still, if these were our only difficulties, we might […]


Obama gives up on cap-and-trade to curb climate change

Obama gives up on cap-and-trade to curb climate change thumbnail

US President Barack Obama has officially given up hope of enacting a cap-and-trade plan to limit the emissions of greenhouse gases that are blamed for global warming. The system that would have made companies pay for climate-changing pollution was not included in Obama’s 2012 federal budget proposals presented on Monday to Congress. Cap-and-trade had been […]


The meditation of the red pill

The meditation of the red pill thumbnail

An image that I come across often when meeting people in the peak oil world is taken from the movie The Matrix. Morpheus offers two pills to Neo and explains, “you take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the […]


Is time running out?

Is time running out? thumbnail

In this article, Dr Samuel Fenwick takes a look at the long-term issues facing the energy sector and looks at how we might escape the seemingly inevitable. One of the most worrying issues that I’ve been introduced to since I started this position at IFandP is that of peak oil and resource depletion. Much of […]


The fast lane to the adoption of electric cars

The fast lane to the adoption of electric cars thumbnail

McKinsey QUarterly has an article on how to “catalyze early adoption” of electric cars – The fast lane to the adoption of electric cars. As more and more electrified vehicles hit the floors of car dealerships, conventional wisdom has it that the market won’t get moving without richer incentives and dense battery-charging networks. Yet our […]


Gail Tverberg : Low Quality is What is Killing Us, Not Low Quantity

Gail Tverberg : Low Quality is What is Killing Us, Not Low Quantity thumbnail

The Peak Oil argument focuses on the question “How much oil?” We spend a lot of time discussing the exact inputs for Hubbert Linearization and projections of Ultimate Recoverable Reserves, in order to calculate the moment of Peak Oil. Sadly, the question of “How much oil?” is a lot more complicated than it seems. As […]


Is “shale oil” the answer to “peak oil”?

Is “shale oil” the answer to “peak oil”? thumbnail

Readers have been asking questions about a couple of shale oil articles recently. One is an AP article called New drilling method opens vast oil fields in US. A similar article is a CNBC article titled Massive New US Oil Supply – ‘Peak Oil’ Fears Overblown? Both of these articles talk about the extraction of shale […]


Iranian Police Fire Teargas at Protesters

Iranian Police Fire Teargas at Protesters thumbnail

Iranian security forces have fired teargas on Monday to disperse thousands of Iranians rallying in support of the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. Witnesses say riot police, many of them on motorbikes, fanned out across central Tehran, as opposition groups vowed to rally despite the government’s rejection of their request for a permit. Security forces […]


‘Peak oil’ — it’s baaaack

‘Peak oil’ — it’s baaaack thumbnail

Hey, remember “peak oil“? I used to blog about that a lot back in the early days of this blog back in 2005 or so, and so did a lot of other libs. For a time it was on a par with global warming — because a) oil prices were climbing well over $100 a […]


Bahrain Hands Out Cash Ahead of Day of Protest

Bahrain Hands Out Cash Ahead of Day of Protest thumbnail

Seeking to head off Egyptian-style unrest, ruler also vows more freedom to the media Bahrain is handing out generous cash grants to citizens and promising more freedom to the media as it moved to defuse an aggressive social network campaign calling for a Valentine’s “Day of Rage” on Monday in the Gulf island country. The […]


It’s time to rethink call to ‘go forth and multiply’

It’s time to rethink call to ‘go forth and multiply’ thumbnail

At current growth rates, nine million babies will be born this year, and four million people will die. It doesn’t take Charles Darwin to conclude that we can’t keep doing this forever. What Darwin, and others of his ilk, did teach us is that we are not “above” nature; we are part of it. One […]


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