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News from June 2011

Making sense of peak oil and energy uncertainty

Making sense of peak oil and energy uncertainty thumbnail

There are currently no viable substitutes for oil at current rates of consumption.  Although alternatives to oil do exist for many of its uses, they are generally vastly inferior to oil in their energy content and in the ease of which they can be extracted, transported, and turned into a commercially-useable fuel. For over 65 […]


Fracking Culture

Fracking Culture thumbnail

“We are right at that spaghetti junction where all the lines converge with population and resources, food supply, energy, water and the rest. We’re at that point right now, in exactly the decade The Club of Rome predicted we would arrive here. We have to somehow get through this collapsing passageway and into the next […]


Feeling Peaky?

Feeling Peaky? thumbnail

Earlier this month, we had Tony Greenham of The New Economics Foundation visit Henderson to talk about “peak oil” and the implications for future economic growth.  Over 40 fund managers from across Henderson’s equities and bond teams turned up to hear what Tony had to say, demonstrating that investors from a wide range of perspectives […]


IEA eyes oil release ‘extension’

IEA eyes oil release ‘extension’ thumbnail

The move would be in defiance of Opec’s criticism of the IEA’s decision last week to release 60 million barrels over an initial 30-day period to fill the gap in supplies left by the disruption to Libya’s output. Richard Jones, deputy executive director of the 28-member agency, said he believed the release would be temporary […]


Shell President Odum optimistic on chances for 2012 Arctic offshore drilling

Shell President Odum optimistic on chances for 2012 Arctic offshore drilling thumbnail

Shell Oil President Marvin Odum has faith that his company can develop vast reserves in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska’s northwest coast. But he’d like to get on with exploratory drilling to tap into a resource that could be crucial to meeting the country’s energy needs. “That’s an area where working in Alaska has, frankly, […]


Peak Oil Investments

Peak Oil Investments thumbnail

nfortunately, U.S. sentiment toward domestic oil production is a case of foggy optimism. Look at the facts: U.S. production peaked at just slightly over 10 million barrels per day in November 1970. Domestic production that year averaged approximately 9.6 million barrels per day. That’s it. There’s no getting around it. To think we’ll ever return […]


Fukushima spews, Los Alamos burns, Vermont rages and we’ve almost lost Nebraska

Fukushima spews, Los Alamos burns, Vermont rages and we’ve almost lost Nebraska thumbnail

Humankind is now threatened by the simultaneous implosion, explosion, incineration, courtroom contempt and drowning of its most lethal industry. The nuclear one. We know only two things for certain: worse nuclear disasters are yet to come, and those in charge are lying about it—at least to the extent of sharing what they actually know, which […]


A reality check on nuclear fusion at MIT

A reality check on nuclear fusion at MIT thumbnail

-Nuclear fusion suffers from an image of being too good to be true. But researchers here say they are already doing nuclear fusion on a small scale and it’s just a matter of time–decades, realistically–before it becomes practical. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology houses an active research lab for nuclear fusion, which many consider the […]


Central Petroleum plans to tap world’s biggest coal field

Central Petroleum plans to tap world’s biggest coal field thumbnail

An Australian company says a coal field discovered in the Simpson Desert could be the biggest in the world. Central Petroleum Limited says it recently discovered the field in the south-east of the Northern Territory, about 300 kilometres from Alice Springs. It says the coal seam stretches across 400 kilometres. The company has signed an […]


How can a government fix its debt problem?

How can a government fix its debt problem? thumbnail

We have all read about the standard “fixes” for a governmental debt problem–(1) inflate your way out of the problem, (2) cut programs and/or raise taxes, and (3) restructure debt, perhaps delaying repayment and giving bondholders a “haircut” on promised payouts. A fourth one seems to circulate through peak oil circles, namely “debt jubilee”. It […]


Extortion goes Global

Extortion goes Global thumbnail

I want you to read carefully the attached article ‘World Economy at stake in Greek austerity vote. It should give you an idea the ends to which a certain species will go to preserve itself and its masters. Read and marvel at the audacity of the threats from this trough feeding maggots known as bureaucrats. […]


Experts warn epic weather ravaging US could worsen

Experts warn epic weather ravaging US could worsen thumbnail

Epic floods, massive wildfires, drought and the deadliest tornado season in 60 years are ravaging the United States, with scientists warning that climate change will bring even more extreme weather. The human and economic toll over just the past few months has been staggering: hundreds of people have died, and thousands of homes and millions […]


population growth is really one of our biggest problems

population growth is really one of our biggest problems thumbnail

This fall the Earth’s human population will exceed 7 billion. It took modern humans about 200,000 years to reach 1 billion people in 1800. Since 1960, humanity has grown by one billion about every 12 years. The dramatic growth in human population is a direct result of advances in medicine, sanitation and agriculture that significantly […]


Who’s got gas? The question at the heart of European pipeline politics

Who’s got gas? The question at the heart of European pipeline politics thumbnail

What constitutes having gas? If you want to build a pipeline, this is obviously one of the most crucial questions to ask. But it’s not usually asked in quite that form. The point is that it is worth considering what constitutes availability. In theory, of course, there’s lots of gas that can be made available […]


Iran secretly tested ‘nuclear-capable missiles’

Iran secretly tested ‘nuclear-capable missiles’ thumbnail

Iran has carried out secret tests of ballistic missiles capable of delivering a nuclear payload in breach of UN resolutions, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Wednesday. Hague’s comments came a day after Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards said they had fired 14 missiles in an exercise, one of them a medium-range weapon capable of striking […]


Oil, water shortages, climate change could provoke wars

Oil, water shortages, climate change could provoke wars thumbnail

Critical energy and water shortages combined with climate change could provoke wars within the next 15 years, warns a newly-released analysis by the Department of National Defence. “Global reserves of crude oil could become problematic by 2025,” wrote Maj. John Sheahan in a draft version of the report, Army 2040: First Look. “This implies that […]


Are we at the point of no return?

Are we at the point of no return? thumbnail

Past the point of no return No backward glances Our games of make believe are at an end … — Andrew LLoyd-Webber’s Phantom of the Opera About 20 years ago, I read a book on global warming called “The Next One Hundred Years.” The book was filled with dire — and, as it turns out, […]


Philippines to seek more oil in South China Sea

Philippines to seek more oil in South China Sea thumbnail

The government said Wednesday it would grant more permits to private firms to search for oil and natural gas in the South China Sea, where it has a simmering territorial dispute with China. A total of 15 exploration contracts would be offered Thursday for mostly offshore prospects off the western island of Palawan, the energy […]


China’s admission spotlights Three Gorges woes

China’s admission spotlights Three Gorges woes thumbnail

Last October, a huge chunk of hillside broke free in this city on the Yangtze River, and the deafening landslide nearly knocked Wang Songlian’s home and a dozen others into a deep ravine. But such incidents are hardly news in Badong, where the scars of frequent landslides are sprinkled throughout the city, and local residents […]


Michael Klare: The new thirty years’ war: Winners and losers in the great global energy struggle to come

Michael Klare: The new thirty years’ war: Winners and losers in the great global energy struggle to come thumbnail

A 30-year war for energy preeminence?  You wouldn’t wish it even on a desperate planet.  But that’s where we’re headed and there’s no turning back. From 1618 to 1648, Europe was engulfed in a series of intensely brutal conflicts known collectively as the Thirty Years’ War. It was, in part, a struggle between an imperial […]


What Are Schools Teaching Kids About Our Energy Future?

What Are Schools Teaching Kids About Our Energy Future? thumbnail

A very important component of our future energy development and production will come not necessarily from the truth but what is perceived to be the truth. Make no mistake, what today’s young people are taught in school about energy and its relationship to global warming will determine what direction we go in developing the critical […]


Fukushima in Nebraska? Raging Flood Waters Threaten Nuclear Catastrophe

Fukushima in Nebraska? Raging Flood Waters Threaten Nuclear Catastrophe thumbnail

Once again, the corporate media is ignoring a potentially deadly nuclear situation, this time right here in the United States. The Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant in Nebraska is now inundated with flood water from the Missouri River. A berm protecting the plant collapsed on Sunday. Prior to the failure of the berm, there was […]


Lab-grown meat would ‘cut emissions and save energy’

Lab-grown meat would ‘cut emissions and save energy’ thumbnail

Meat grown using tissue engineering techniques, so-called ‘cultured meat’, would generate up to 96% lower greenhouse gas emissions than conventionally produced meat, according to a new study. The analysis, carried out by scientists from Oxford University and the University of Amsterdam, also estimates that cultured meat would require 7-45% less energy to produce than the […]


When disaster strikes: looting or love?

When disaster strikes: looting or love? thumbnail

“A powerful riposte to those who argue that in difficult times people become more selfish and turn on each other.  Beautiful,” says Rob Hopkins about a video from a New Zealand town recently leveled by an earthquake with a plucky community spirit. It makes dramatic TV to see angry mobs brandishing Glocks, busting store windows […]


Lester Brown: The Good News About Coal

Lester Brown: The Good News About Coal thumbnail

During the years when governments and the media were focused on preparations for the 2009 Copenhagen climate negotiations, a powerful climate movement was emerging in the United States: the movement opposing the construction of new coal-fired power plants. Environmental groups, both national and local, are opposing coal plants because they are the primary driver of […]


Peak oil is ‘getting closer’ but the world is not ready

Peak oil is ‘getting closer’ but the world is not ready thumbnail

The end of cheap oil has got governments panicking to control prices rather than planning for a post-oil era. The Ecologist reports Was it a sign of desperation or show of strength? In a surprising move, the major oil consuming countries, principally Europe and the US, agreed last week to release some of their emergency […]


Population bomb: 9 billion march to WWIII

Population bomb: 9 billion march to WWIII thumbnail

Sshh. Don’t tell anyone. But “while you are reading these words, four people will have died from starvation. Most of them children.” Seventeen words. Four deaths. That statistic is from a cover of Paul Ehrlich’s 1968 provocative “Population Bomb.” By the time you finish this column, another five hundred will die. By starvation. Mostly kids. […]


Global Ranking of Top 10 Resilient Cities

Global Ranking of Top 10 Resilient Cities thumbnail

Resilient cities, those that are working to transition towards a low-carbon economy while also preparing to avert the worst of climate change, are gaining interest and attention from policy makers, city councils and others worldwide. In fact, today, leaders from the public and private sector, supported by ICLEI (see below) and the U.S. Green Building […]


Peak Oil is not Synchronous

Peak Oil is not Synchronous thumbnail

This morning, I took the oil consumption page of the BP spreadsheet, and applied a mechanical test to each country: was 2010 the highest year of consumption over the range 1990-2010?  If this is true, let’s call the country an “advancer”, and if not, let’s call it a “decliner”.  Here are all the advancers: On […]


Getting crude oil outta Cushing: it’s not cheap nor fast

Getting crude oil outta Cushing: it’s not cheap nor fast thumbnail

Depressed WTI prices and a favorable spread against Light Louisiana Sweet crude are encouraging WTI shipments by land and water from the NYMEX delivery point at Cushing, Oklahoma, to the US Gulf Coast. But as market players are finding out, most routes are less than a bargain. The WTI/LLS spread, which at one point last […]


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