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News from December 2011

Sharon Astyk: 2012 Predictions The More Things Change…

Sharon Astyk: 2012 Predictions The More Things Change… thumbnail

First of all, I owe y’all an apology for the radio silence. Somehow this month I’ve felt a deep need for some quiet, rest and offlineness. It was quite an autumn here – it started with the destruction of Irene and Lee (and dealing with those disasters are still a major part of life in […]


Oil’s Uncertain Forecast for 2012

Oil’s Uncertain Forecast for 2012 thumbnail

Oil is the bad boyfriend of the international economy: we can’t live with it, and we can’t live without it. We complain about the price of gas—which really is crippling middle-class America—and worry about the threat of oil spills and all the greenhouse gases released by the 30 some billion barrels of oil we burn […]


Plummeting Population in 2050?

Plummeting Population in 2050? thumbnail

With a world population higher than 7 billion, it’s only a matter of time before the decrease, in the increase, is fully realized. Then population “maximum” can be calculated. Even the United Nation population increases are beginning to fall slowly, but faster as time proceeds. Unfortunately, mankind will realize too late the population freefall bound […]


Lindsey Williams Predicts: Total Collapse of The Dollar and Skyrocketing Oil Prices in 2012

Lindsey Williams Predicts: Total Collapse of The Dollar and Skyrocketing Oil Prices in 2012 thumbnail

Alex also talks with pastor Lindsey Williams about the crisis now threatening to erupt in the Middle East and the possibility of skyrocketing oil prices that will decimate national economies. http://www.lindseywilliams.net/ Lindsey Williams, an ordained Baptist minister went to Alaska in 1970 as a missionary. While in Alaska, Pastor Williams found out about the Trans-Alaska […]


In with the new: part III of “As economic growth fails, how do we live?”

In with the new: part III of “As economic growth fails, how do we live?” thumbnail

We need a map for uncharted territory as we enter this New Year, as the realization is dawning we are dealing with an economic crisis of an entirely different character than ever before.  Our industrial civilization is reaching limits to growth, and we don’t know how to live with that. Part I of this series of three articles addressed the four major challenges […]


Venezuela to Open up Massive Natural Gas Field with European Investment

Venezuela to Open up Massive Natural Gas Field with European Investment thumbnail

On 23 December Spain’s biggest oil firm Repsol YPF, S.A. and Italy’s Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi S.p.A., better known by the acronym ENI, signed a $1.5 billion deal with state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA, (PDVSA) to develop a huge new gas reserve in Venezuela. Repsol YPF, S.A. Chairman Antonio Brufau, ENI S.p.A. Chairman Paolo […]


Global maps show human impact on Earth

Global maps show human impact on Earth thumbnail

On the last day of October 2011, the U.N. says the world population will hit seven billion people — an increase of one billion since 1999. To show some of the impacts of this vast human upheaval, Canadian anthropologist Felix Pharand has created a series of visualizations mapping the presence of technology onto a selection […]


Renewable energy still not cost effective

Renewable energy still not cost effective thumbnail

Sooner or later, the laws of economics prevail, even in heavily subsidized industries such as solar power. The latest evidence that government manipulation cannot overcome economic reality is the decision by BP PLC, the giant British energy company, to leave the solar power business. BP has developed solar energy for 40 years and for more […]


How New Financing Models Could Make Solar the Facebook of the Energy Industry

How New Financing Models Could Make Solar the Facebook of the Energy Industry thumbnail

Rapidly dropping polysilicon prices over the past year have inspired several utility-scale solar developments to move forward after many months’ pause. At the same time, those in favor of distributed generation (placing solar on every available rooftop to supply energy locally) have also made strides in improving the business case for small-scale solar, particularly with […]


Rare earth crisis: Innovate, or be crushed by China

Rare earth crisis: Innovate, or be crushed by China thumbnail

Laptops, cars, smartphones, TVs, MRI scanners, LCD displays, light bulbs, optical networks, jet engines, cameras, headphones, nuclear reactors. It might seem like a random selection of high-tech gizmos, but every single object on that list has one very important thing in common: Their manufacture requires one or more rare earth metals. Rare earths — a […]


U.S. Raises Alarm Over Oil Lanes

U.S. Raises Alarm Over Oil Lanes thumbnail

Iran said it will launch missiles and torpedoes as part of an ongoing naval drill in the Persian Gulf, an Iranian news agency reported, following a week of saber-rattling in which Tehran threatened to close some of the world’s most vital oil-shipping lanes. Tehran said this week it could easlily block oil deliveries through the […]


Brazil, short of biofuel, can’t open spigot to US

Brazil, short of biofuel, can’t open spigot to US thumbnail

For three decades, the U.S. government sought to protect American corn farmers and ethanol makers from a feared flood of Brazilian imports by imposing a tariff that had the South American country crying foul. But as the contentious tax finally expires at year-end, American farmers’ fears of being swamped by sugar-based tropical biofuel seem unfounded. […]


Deep Gulf drilling thrives 18 mos. after BP spill

Deep Gulf drilling thrives 18 mos. after BP spill thumbnail

Two hundred miles off the coast of Texas, ribbons of pipe are reaching for oil and natural gas deeper below the ocean’s surface than ever before. These pipes, which run nearly two miles deep, are connected to a floating platform that is so remote Shell named it Perdido, which means “lost” in Spanish. What attracted […]


Oil will decline shortly after 2015, says former oil expert of International Energy Agency

Oil will decline shortly after 2015, says former oil expert of International Energy Agency thumbnail

Olivier Rech developed petroleum scenarios for the International Energy Agency over a three year period, up until 2009. Since then, he has been advising large investment funds on behalf of La Française AM, a Parisian assets management firm. His forecasts for future petroleum production are now much more pessimistic than those published by the IEA. […]


Satellite Studies Reveal Groundwater Depletion around the World

Satellite Studies Reveal Groundwater Depletion around the World thumbnail

Access to freshwater resources has always been a critical need for human and all forms of life on Earth. With a world population estimated at just shy of 7 billion and growing, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization says agricultural production will need to increase 70% by 2050. As agriculture takes up most of human […]


Biofuels not food the biggest driver of ‘land grabbing’ deals, says report

Biofuels not food the biggest driver of ‘land grabbing’ deals, says report thumbnail

‘Land grab’ report highlights growing interest from speculators in ‘flex’ crops like soya, palm oil and sugarcane that can be used for biofuels or food The amount of land acquired for biofuels globally is far higher than previously thought, according to one of the most comprehensive assessments yet by the International Land Coalition (ILC). Biofuels […]


Uranium mining: Is it really for our benefit?

Uranium mining: Is it really for our benefit? thumbnail

Tanzania plans to use its uranium deposits to generate alternative energy with technical backing from the International Energy Agency, (IEA) but how is the country prepared to handle the minerals. Literatures on uranium stipulates that the radioactive metal can easily change its shape and cause negative impact if care is not taken In his discussion […]


Dispelling The Clean Coal Fairy Tale

Dispelling The Clean Coal Fairy Tale thumbnail

It’s hard to think about coal without feeling a bit dirty. After all, the image of the conventional American coal miner, emerging from the depths of an Appalachian anthracite mine, caked in a foundation of jet-black, coal-based makeup, does not exactly scream out Mr. Clean. But what coal lacks in hygiene, it makes up for […]


Was the Kyoto Protocol a Failure?

Was the Kyoto Protocol a Failure? thumbnail

This year’s COP17 United Nations climate change summit in Durban, South Africa increased awareness of the uphill effort required to establish an international emissions reduction treaty. But Durban was just the latest in a long line of attempts to limit global warming. Almost 15 years ago, the world gathered in Japan to negotiate the Kyoto […]


Saber-rattling in Persian Gulf Escalates

Saber-rattling in Persian Gulf Escalates thumbnail

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have rejected a warning issued by the United States not to close down the Strait of Hormuz in response to crippling sanctions. Iran’s “response to threats is threats,” said Brigadier General Hossein Salami, a Revolutionary Guards commander. He added that the United States is not in a position to tell Tehran “what […]


Matt Savinar: Analysis of Matt Simmons’s Astrological Chart

Matt Savinar: Analysis of Matt Simmons’s Astrological Chart thumbnail

If you’ve learned about Peak Oil anytime in the last 10 years, there is an excellent chance you learned about it from one of only a handful of sources, most of whom occupied the fringes of the alternative media. (Investigative reporter Michael C. Ruppert, whose chart I analyzed here, is one notable example.) The perceived […]


Middle East wealth there for the sharing

Middle East wealth there for the sharing thumbnail

In the euphoria of the “Arab Spring”, observers began predicting the blooming of Arab economies after a temporary slowdown attributed to demonstrations, shortages, bottlenecks and ensuing dislocations. The overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt was forecast to bring democratic change, with Islamists as the only roadblock to Nirvana. The move toward democratic governance was assumed […]


Dangerous Rare Earth Supply Risk

Dangerous Rare Earth Supply Risk thumbnail

One of the world’s largest rare earth producers was just stripped of its ability to export rare earths on “environmental concerns.” The company is called Baotou Steel. It produces about half of the world’s rare earth supply, and was just excluded from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce’s list of 11 approved exporters for 2012. ”Baotou […]


Threat of Rare Earths Shortages to Hybrids and EVs Remains Unclear

Threat of Rare Earths Shortages to Hybrids and EVs Remains Unclear thumbnail

According to a recently-released Department of Energy report (PDF), several clean energy technologies—including electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid vehicles—are at risk due to the “critical risk” posed by short-term supply disruptions in the rare earth elements market. The DOE’s newly release report, titled “2011 Critical Materials Strategy,” outlines several components, including five rare earth metals, […]


All eyes on German renewable energy efforts

All eyes on German renewable energy efforts thumbnail

FELDHEIM, Germany (AP) — This tiny village of 37 gray homes and farm buildings clustered along the main road in a wind-swept corner of rural eastern Germany seems an unlikely place for a revolution. Yet environmentalists, experts and politicians from El Salvador to Japan to South Africa have flocked here in the past year to […]


Bugs may be resistant to genetically modified corn

Bugs may be resistant to genetically modified corn thumbnail

One of the nation’s most widely planted crops — a genetically engineered corn plant that makes its own insecticide — may be losing its effectiveness because a major pest appears to be developing resistance more quickly than scientists expected. The U.S. food supply is not in any immediate danger because the problem remains isolated. But […]


Is there really 100 years’ worth of natural gas beneath the United States?

Is there really 100 years’ worth of natural gas beneath the United States? thumbnail

The recent press about the potential of shale gas would have you believe that America is now sitting on a 100-year supply of natural gas. It’s a “game-changer.” A “golden age of gas” awaits, one in which the United States will be energy independent, even exporting gas to the rest of the world, upending our […]


EU warns wasting environmental resources could spark new recession

EU warns wasting environmental resources could spark new recession thumbnail

The overuse and waste of valuable natural resources is threatening to produce a fresh economic crisis, the European Union‘s environment chief has warned. Janez Potočnik, the EU commissioner for the environment, linked the current economic crisis gripping the eurozone with potential future crises driven by price spikes in key resources, including energy and raw materials. […]


EPA rolls the dice on cellulosic biofuels

EPA rolls the dice on cellulosic biofuels thumbnail

A close reading of the Environmental Protection Agency’s 97-page final rule setting 2012 production requirement for renewable fuels reveals that when it comes to the futuristic area of cellulosic biofuels, the EPA is crossing its fingers, knocking on wood and blowing on dice. The final rule, issued December 27, boosts cellulosic requirements next year by […]


U.S., Israel Discuss Triggers for Bombing Iran

U.S., Israel Discuss Triggers for Bombing Iran thumbnail

The Obama administration is trying to assure Israel privately that it would strike Iran militarily if Tehran’s nuclear program crosses certain “red lines”—while attempting to dissuade the Israelis from acting unilaterally. Eli Lake reports exclusively. When Defense Secretary Leon Panetta opined earlier this month that an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities could “consume the […]


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@PaulGambles2 @CNBCJou @JMJancovici To be clear, not asking for predictions, but a hedge vs #peakoil. Fair bet policy makers are behind & will be overwhelmed. #antifragile

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