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News from July 2011

Grantham: recycle and farm as if your life depended on it…because it will

Grantham: recycle and farm as if your life depended on it…because it will thumbnail

In his last quarterly letter, GMO’s perma bear Jeremy Grantham highlighted with devastating effect the inevitable mismatch between finite resources and exponential population growth. This quarter, he focuses on the ‘most dangerous’ parts of the coming shortages. In a piece titled: ‘Resource Limitations 2: Separating the Dangerous from the Merely Serious’ Grantham orders the resource problems he […]


Kunstler: Nobody Knows Anything

Kunstler: Nobody Knows Anything thumbnail

That sound you hear out there is spaghetti hitting the wall. Everybody wonders: will it stick?  The European Union lobbed a wad of kartoffelkloesse at a Greek wall last week. The thud was impressive, but then the darn thing started sliding down the greasy wall to where a gang of CDS counterparty wolves waited, snapping […]


The scourge of ‘peak oil’

The scourge of ‘peak oil’ thumbnail

When demand for oil consistently surpasses supply, experts warn that our lives will look “very differently”. Energy derived from oil reaches, quite literally, every aspect of our lives. From the clothes we wear, to the food we eat, to how we move ourselves around, without oil, our lives would look very differently. Yet oil is […]


Peak Oil: Realities, Myths and Risk

Peak Oil: Realities, Myths and Risk thumbnail

“We are not going to run out of oil any time in my lifetime or yours. The resource base is enormous and can support current and future demand” Exxon CEO. At this point there are still people who defend the thesis that warns about the risk of declining oil reserves as a massive threat to the world. […]


Chris Martenson – Peak Oil – Crash Course (June 2)

Chris Martenson – Peak Oil – Crash Course (June 2) thumbnail

Chris Martenson addressed the Minnesota Legislative Energy Committee on June 2, 2010. He explained how our current economic system requires exponential growth, which creates a predicament given that our resources are finite. This is a 5-minute clip of a 2.5 hour program. The entire program, which I edited, can be viewed at commissions.leg.state.mn.us/​lec/​meetingarchive.html There, the […]


World Oil Supplies as Reported in EIA’s most recent International Energy Statistics

World Oil Supplies as Reported in EIA’s most recent International Energy Statistics thumbnail

This post is mainly an update based on World Oil Supplies as Reported in EIA’s most recent International Energy Statistics. The world is split into four economic groups to describe supply developments as follows: OECD, Russia, OPEC and Rest of World (ROW; Rest of World = World – (OECD + Russia + OPEC)). Figure 01: […]


Can economic growth last?

Can economic growth last? thumbnail

As we saw in the previous post, the U.S. has expanded its use of energy at a typical rate of 2.9% per year since 1650. We learned that continuation of this growth rate in any form of technology leads to a thermal reckoning in just a few hundred years (not the tepid global warming, but […]


China And Iran To Bypass Dollar, Plan Oil Barter System, And A Deeper Dive Into The Iranian Oil Bourse

China And Iran To Bypass Dollar, Plan Oil Barter System, And A Deeper Dive Into The Iranian Oil Bourse thumbnail

One of the more notable events in the past week was the previously discussed reopening of the Iranian Oil Bourse, an attempt by Iran to launch a venue that bypasses US sanctions against Iran which has prevented payment in the world’s reserve currency for Iranian goods. “Big deal”, some will say, this is not the […]


Road to Endless War – The Final Chapter – Part 6 – The US, China, & Peak Oil

Road to Endless War – The Final Chapter – Part 6 – The US, China, & Peak Oil thumbnail

China has been winning all the oil field development contracts globally much to the dismay of the US and Western Governments. What will the west do to stop China from winning the global race for energy security?


Strong earthquake jolts northeastern Japan; no tsunami warning issued

Strong earthquake jolts northeastern Japan; no tsunami warning issued thumbnail

Japan’s Meteorological Agency says a strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.5 has jolted northeastern Japan, the same region devastated by March’s massive quake and tsunami. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage from the Saturday afternoon quake, and no tsunami warning was issued. The quake was centered 25 miles (40 kilometers) […]


Inside the Military’s Green Energy Mission

Inside the Military’s Green Energy Mission thumbnail

First up this week, the U.S. Department of Defense spends $15 billion a year on energy, mostly on oil-based fuels. Transporting that fuel to the battlefield puts lives at risk, so the military is finding ways to save energy and use alternatives to oil. Correspondent Lee Patrick Sullivan checks out a fighter jet that runs […]


natural gas production, as shale gas arrives

natural gas production, as shale gas arrives thumbnail

The natural gas industry in the United States has undergone significant changes in the last twenty years. As I noted last time, until 1993 the industry was beset by regulation that controlled both price and flows. With the removal of those regulations the industry was able to make considerable strides to increase market share. As […]


Iran to Ship $10 Billion in Gas to Iraq, Syria Via New Pipeline

Iran to Ship $10 Billion in Gas to Iraq, Syria Via New Pipeline thumbnail

Iran will sign a $10 billion contract tomorrow to export natural gas to Iraq and Syria, the Oil Ministry said on its news website, citing remarks yesterday by Javad Owji, National Iranian Gas Co.’s managing director. The gas will be shipped from the South Pars field via a new pipeline route that may take three […]


PEMEX and the long road to privatization

PEMEX and the long road to privatization thumbnail

Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) is the state-owned oil company (and natural gas) of México, which since the 90’s has been discussed for privatization like many other state-owned companies in México. The policy of privatization is sometimes called liberalizing the company, however many aspects of privatization need to be taken into consideration when discussing such a lucrative […]


In America’s National Interest – Canadian Oil

In America’s National Interest – Canadian Oil thumbnail

Attempting to restrict American imports of Canadian oil is a mistake that ignores both the reality of US dependence on imported oil, as well as the only major alternative sources of such oil—repressive governments that restrict civil, political, and economic freedoms. The study points out that Canada now provides more oil to America than all […]


Iranian nuclear scientist killed in Tehran

Iranian nuclear scientist killed in Tehran thumbnail

An Iranian physicist was shot dead by a motorcyclist in Tehran on Saturday and Iran’s student news agency ISNA quoted an unnamed police official as saying the man was a nuclear scientist. ISNA named the scientist as Darioush Rezaie, 35, a university teacher who held a PhD in physics. It was not clear whether he […]


Orlov: Dead Souls

Orlov: Dead Souls thumbnail

With each passing week more and more of us become ready to concede that economic growth is no longer possible. Economic development, on the old model, which UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon recently characterized as a “global suicide pact,” is becoming constrained by the limits of natural resources of the finite planet, energy, arable land and […]


What happened and what do we face in Fukushima?

What happened and what do we face in Fukushima? thumbnail

What happened in Fukushima, Japan on March 11, 2011 may be the most sinister global disaster in the recorded history of our planet. The repercussions of this historic disaster will remain for centuries to come. The manifestations of nuclear radiation from the meltdown of the reactors in Fukushima will haunt humanity in ways that we’ll […]


Brazil’s new nuclear subs to defend oil wells

Brazil’s new nuclear subs to defend oil wells thumbnail

Work on the country’s first nuclear submarines has begun in an effort to defend oil reserves and project global power. Plans for a Brazilian nuclear submarine that had been postponed since the 1970s are beginning to materialise, as the nuclear-propelled sub is regarded as a strategic necessity to guard Brazil’s deep water oil reserves, and […]


Earnings up but output down at many oil companies

Earnings up but output down at many oil companies thumbnail

The world’s largest oil companies, including Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) and Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L), are expected to report out-sized quarterly profits, but investors are likely to respond with a yawn, focusing instead on the companies’ ability to raise output. Analysts at Barclays Capital expect profits at the oil companies and refiners it follows […]


EROEI – EROI sources

EROEI – EROI sources thumbnail

The subject of net energy or Energy Returned on Energy Invested (ERoEI was introduced by Howard T. Odum’s 1973 article in Ambio, the Journal of the Swedish Academy of Sciences. And while the subject had been brought up before, such as in Frederick Cottrell’s 1955 book, Energy and Society, Odum’s article triggered wide attention, and […]


Grantham On The Coming “Peak Everything” Disaster

Grantham On The Coming “Peak Everything” Disaster thumbnail

It was just three short months ago that Jeremy Grantham was spewing Malthusian fire and brimstone. He did so, however, from a broadly generalist perspective. Today, the head of GMO has released his second follow up in the “peak everything” series which is sure to provoke yet another round of bickering and debate between the […]


The next climate debate bombshell

The next climate debate bombshell thumbnail

Get ready for the next big bombshell in the man-made warming debate. The world’s most sophisticated particle study laboratory—CERN in Geneva—will soon announce that more cosmic rays do, indeed, create more clouds in earth’s atmosphere. More cosmic rays mean a cooler planet. Thus, the solar source of the earth’s long, moderate 1,500-year climate cycle will […]


The Global Village Construction Set by 2013

The Global Village Construction Set by 2013 thumbnail

This year, especially after my TED talk on the Global Village Construction Set (GVCS), we have been expanding rapidly. At this exciting juncture in the evolution of the OSE experiment, I would like to take time to regroup and reorganize. I would like to explain where we are and where we are going for the next 18 […]


India to fill Iran supply gap with Saudi, Iraqi oil

India to fill Iran supply gap with Saudi, Iraqi oil thumbnail

India’s immediate strategy to deal with the loss of crude from Iran in August is to buy more from Saudi Arabia and Iraq, while inventories and plant maintenance give refiners breathing space as they seek to establish new supply lines. Iran has cut supply as it tries to put pressure on Indian refiners to settle […]


China, rich with coal, seeks more next door in Mongolia to meet its energy needs

China, rich with coal, seeks more next door in Mongolia to meet its energy needs thumbnail

Overlooking a deep black gash in the Gobi Desert, Od Jambaljamts watched Caterpillar trucks rumble across the rim of the world’s biggest undeveloped coal deposit — and mused on Mongolia’s good fortune to have the world’s most voracious consumer of coal just a few scores of miles away. “China is so big that even if […]


Peak oil – are we sleepwalking into disaster?

Peak oil – are we sleepwalking into disaster? thumbnail

Governments and oil companies have been silent over the ramifications of fossil fuel depletion, but we have now reached the moment for urgent debate on a future without cheap oil Like climate change, peak oil is often perceived by the more pessimistic analysts as one of those apocalyptic conundrums where we are already past the […]


Our Oil Future may not be as Bleak as it Seems

Our Oil Future may not be as Bleak as it Seems thumbnail

The wide-ranging Al Fin hit upon a graph that will stun the peak oil believers.  You’ll want to save this.  The flip side is it comes from the International Energy Agency (IEA) – a point that many will use to cast justifiable suspicion.  Yet absolute accuracy isn’t needed, the blocks paint a picture of a […]


Energy Crisis Prices Persist

Energy Crisis Prices Persist thumbnail

Watching oil prices is a hard habit to break, once formed. They’re always moving up and down, sometimes for obvious reasons and sometimes not. It has probably escaped most observers’ notice that the magnitude of this year’s price moves has exceeded the total nominal price of oil that prevailed not many years ago, yet without […]


Overpopulation debate comes to one conclusion

Overpopulation debate comes to one conclusion thumbnail

Overpopulation is the world’s biggest problem, write biologists Mary Ellen Harte and Anne Ehrlich in Thursday’s Op-Ed pages. They contend that the world’s growing population is creating an unsustainable strain on Earth’s resources and forcing the future of humanity to hang in the balance. Our editorial board recently took a similar position in “Diffusing the […]


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