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News from October 2011

Peak Oil, Entirely Nonsense,Technology will save us

Peak Oil, Entirely Nonsense,Technology will save us thumbnail

One of the things that really rather annoys me about the peak oil (and in the UK, there’s a similar one about peak gas) argument is that it entirely ignores the impact of changing technology. The point is indirectly made here at The Guardian: The Earth’s crust is riddled with fossil fuels. The issue is not […]


The Role of Energy in Economic Growth

The Role of Energy in Economic Growth thumbnail

Ecological economist David Stern recently wrote a paper on the importance of energy for economic growth aptly titled ‘The Role of Energy in Economic Growth’. His overview paper follows a long chain of biophysical research on this topic from Schumpeter in the 50s to Georgescu-Roegen in the 70s to Herman Daly, Charles Hall, Cutler Cleveland etc. in the present day. This type […]


The energy trap

The energy trap thumbnail

Many Do the Math posts have touched on the inevitable cessation of growth and on the challenge we will face in developing a replacement energy infrastructure once our fossil fuel inheritance is spent. The focus has been on long-term physical constraints, and not on the messy details of our response in the short-term. But our […]


Jeff Rubin: Peak oil is about price, not supply

Jeff Rubin: Peak oil is about price, not supply thumbnail

Heading down to Washington to speak at the Association for Peak Oil-USA‘s Truth in Energy conference on Nov. 2, I sense a general malaise within the peak oil movement. The pequists, as they have become known, appear to be on the defensive these days as they once again roll back their dating of the dreaded […]


Who’s Right About Commodities: Bears Or Bulls?

Who’s Right About Commodities: Bears Or Bulls? thumbnail

In the last few weeks a slow slide in commodity prices – metals in particular – has turned into a full-scale nosedive. All through 2011 copper had remained essentially between US$4 and $4.50 a pound, but on September 11 it dropped below that range and didn’t really stop falling until October 4, when it bottomed […]


US claims aim to create Iran-Saudi rift

US claims aim to create Iran-Saudi rift thumbnail

President Ahmadinejad made the remarks in an interview with the Al Jazeera television network on Monday night, the website of the president’s office reported. “Creating conflicts in relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia in order to dominate the region and diverting attention from the United States’ internal problems are the most important objectives of this […]


to replace or not to replace the released SPR oil?

to replace or not to replace the released SPR oil? thumbnail

The 30 million barrels of light sweet crude sold from the US oil stockpile this summer has long since flowed into buyers’ refineries and storage facilities. Despite grousing by Republicans about the Obama administration’s decision to label the Libyan civil war a global oil supply emergency, they haven’t followed through with promises to investigate Strategic […]


The peak oil brigade is leading us into bad policymaking on energy

The peak oil brigade is leading us into bad policymaking on energy thumbnail

One can’t assume energy prices are going ever upwards. The real problem is there may be too much fossil fuel, not too little It is almost always a mistake to assume you know where energy bills are going. This is especially true for secretaries of state, and energy policy should never be based upon assuming […]


The Modern Economy, Civilisation, Complexity & Collapse – David Korowicz

The Modern Economy, Civilisation, Complexity & Collapse – David Korowicz thumbnail

Physicist and Human Systems Ecologist David Korowicz presents a lecture on the fragile state of the global economy that is being increasingly pushed to collapse by peak oil and natural resources. So large, complex and intertwined is the global economy that it is not suited to change.


Dmitry Orlov: Crossroads Lecture on “The Fall of the American Empire”

Dmitry Orlov: Crossroads Lecture on “The Fall of the American Empire” thumbnail

pdate: We managed to completely fill Orcas Center. As one of the organizers said afterwards, “The 99%ers loved it, the 1%ers hated it.” I prepared for this eventuality by providing a few shiny new dimes: the 1%ers got a 1% refund on the $10 ticket. I suppose the 1%ers didn’t much like my characterizing them […]


Newsflash: Pipelines Are Everywhere

Newsflash: Pipelines Are Everywhere thumbnail

Like many of you, I have been following the debate over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would bring crude from the oil sands of Canada to refineries in the U.S. I am on mailing lists covering both sides of the issue, and based on some of the e-mails I get it seems that many […]


America must manage its decline

America must manage its decline thumbnail

Recently I met a retired British diplomat who claimed with some pride that he was the man who had invented the phrase, “the management of decline”, to describe the central task of British foreign policy after 1945. “I got criticised,” he said, “but I think it was an accurate description of our task and I […]


Over 20 Radioactive Hotspots Found in Tokyo

Over 20 Radioactive Hotspots Found in Tokyo thumbnail

I noted last week that Tokyo and the adjoining city of Yokohama were found to contain “hotspots” with very high levels of radiation, and that all of the hotspots were originally found by citizens using geiger counters, because the government wasn’t really testing. On the same day I posted, the New York Times reported:   The patch […]


Kunstler: Going Apeshit

Kunstler: Going Apeshit thumbnail

It was amusing to see President Obama try to align himself with the OWS movement. The genial Millard Fillmore update asked them not to “demonize those who work on Wall Street.” Of course, demonization proceeds from the failure of this president and his appointed agents in authority to subject those who work on Wall Street […]


Richard Heinberg: End-of-Growth Uprising Goes Global

Richard Heinberg: End-of-Growth Uprising Goes Global thumbnail

It began in Tunisia and Egypt, then spread throughout the Middle East and North Africa. It spilled into Spain, Greece, and Ireland. It leapfrogged to Wall Street. And this past weekend it erupted in London, Rome, Paris, Tokyo, Taipei, and Sydney. In hundreds of towns and cities around the world the uprising’s refrain is similar: […]


Keystone XL: The pipeline of poison

Keystone XL: The pipeline of poison thumbnail

The aftermath of a tar sands oil spill in Michigan has left a community with sickness, anger, and loss of livelihood. Deb Miller lives less than 30 metres from the Kalamazoo River in central Michigan, site of one of the largest inland tar sands oil disasters in US history. In July 2010, nearly four million litres […]


US Begins Huge Military Maneuvers Aimed at Iran

US Begins Huge Military Maneuvers Aimed at Iran thumbnail

The United States will this week commence huge military maneuvers aimed at Iran, with a massive air fleet patrolling middle eastern skies ready to land at any time, in response to Iran’s involvement in an alleged assassination plot that experts have labeled dubious, amidst fears that US and Israeli targets could be hit by attacks. […]


Too Many People?

Too Many People? thumbnail

This week, Elizabeth Kolbert writes about the world’s population, which is projected to reach seven billion on October 31st. The United Nations Population Fund, which once predicted that the earth’s population would level out at around nine billion in 2050, now foresees no end to growth, estimating that the number of people on earth in 2100 will […]


Peter Bane – How I’m Preparing for the Local Future: Permaculture

Peter Bane – How I’m Preparing for the Local Future: Permaculture thumbnail

Permaculture – (n) agricultural system or method that seeks to integrate human activity with natural surroundings so as to create highly efficient self-sustaining ecosystems Educator Peter Bane is preparing for the local future, beyond the global economy and after peak oil. Bane’s talk is the story of the history of permaculture, and how he has […]


Re-Visiting The Export Land Model (Pt 1)

Re-Visiting The Export Land Model (Pt 1) thumbnail

About twenty months ago, I discussed the topic of the Export Land Model, one defined and credited to Texas petroleum geologist Jeffrey Brown and a colleague (Dr. Samuel Foucher). Its premise begins with a simple question: “What happens to oil exports in a world with constrained oil supplies?” As I noted in that prior post: “As oil-exporting nations […]


What’s NZ’s Plan B for a growthless world?

What’s NZ’s Plan B for a growthless world? thumbnail

It hasn’t dawned on John Key, but the idea that growth in the developed world may have stalled for more than a year or two is now dawning on central bankers, economic thinkers and protestors around the world. The realisation that real and sustainable growth may not have happened in the developed world for the […]


Countdown to $100 oil – no normal recession

Countdown to $100 oil – no normal recession thumbnail

David Cameron describes the economic downturn as “no normal recession” UK Prime Minister David Cameron to party conference, 5th October 2011. This is the fourth post in the series following the oil price, markets and general health of the global economy examining the simple theory that OECD recession may result from annual average oil price exceeding $100 […]


EU: Russia We don’t trust you but give us gas

EU: Russia We don’t trust you but give us gas thumbnail

Peak (Oil) War by political means (16.10.2011.) EU: We don’t trust you but give us gas : http://rt.com/news/want-gas-eu-gazprom-955/ Europe gas and South Stream : http://rt.com/business/news/gas-south-stream-think/ European envy of South Stream puts Trans-Caspian center stage : http://rt.com/business/news/europe-south-stream-caspian-715/ Brussels takes the focus to South Stream : http://rt.com/business/news/south-stream-brussels-gas/ $10 billion Mid-East gas pipeline aims at EU markets : […]


The worsening oil crisis and views of a German military think tank

The worsening oil crisis and views of a German military think tank thumbnail

The global economic crisis shows no sign of significantly abating, with extremely sluggish growth and sometimes economic contraction occurring across Europe and the US in particular. While the problem of credit remains the main focus of economists, there is also another factor to consider that many seem to have overlooked. The world is running out […]


Reducing Ireland’s Oil Dependence: some initial thoughts

Reducing Ireland’s Oil Dependence: some initial thoughts thumbnail

The recent ASPO/SEAI event, which was headlined by a presentation from the IMF on Chapter 3 of their April 2011 WEO, has prompted some further thinking on the issue of Ireland’s strategy for risk management and resilience building. Probably the most important statement by Dr. Kumhof was If there is a non-negligible risk of future oil scarcity in the near […]


Iran’s former president warns of possible US attack

Iran’s former president warns of possible US attack thumbnail

Iran’s former president Mohammad Khatami on Thursday warned the government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of a possible US military attack, following charges that Iran was behind a plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to Washington. “Our political officials should be careful not to give the US any pretext to target our security and territorial integrity,” […]


Daniel Yergin discusses global politics of oil

Daniel Yergin discusses global politics of oil thumbnail

For years, anyone trying to understand the oil industry and its role in the global economy had to start with a single book, “The Prize” by Daniel Yergin. Now Yergin, Pulitzer Prize winner and chairman of the consulting firm IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates, has published a sequel, “The Quest,” which examines modern oil politics, […]


Tech Talk – The future production from Canadian Oil Sand

Tech Talk – The future production from Canadian Oil Sand thumbnail

If one examines the forecast future supply of liquid fuels that the EIA projects in their most recent International Energy Outlook, that for 2011, the agency projects a considerable growth in unconventional supplies of liquid fuels.     EIA projections of future growth in liquid fuel supplies (EIA)  The Oil Drum For North America, the projections […]


China to import Iran gas via Pakistan

China to import Iran gas via Pakistan thumbnail

Managing Director of the National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC) says Pakistan wants to transfer Iran’s gas and China is eager to import it. “Iran’s advantage over its rival countries (Qatar and Russia) is being situated between two big gas consumption markets, China and Europe,” SHANA quoted Hossein Bidarmaghz as saying. He went on to […]


Iran’s gas output to double within 3 years

Iran’s gas output to double within 3 years thumbnail

Iran’s deputy oil minister says the country is planning to more than double its natural gas production to 1.2 billion cubic meters (cbm) per day in the next three years. “If all phases of South Pars gas field come on stream, the country’s gas production capacity will climb by 700-720 million cbm per day in […]


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