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News from January 2012

Resilient people, resilient planet: a future worth choosing

Resilient people, resilient planet: a future worth choosing thumbnail

The Report of the High-level Panel on Global Sustainability, entitled Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing, contains six sections in its entirety: Section I – The Panel’s vision Section II – Progress towards sustainable development Section III – Empowering people to make sustainable choices Section IV – Working towards a sustainable economy Section […]


China and UAE ditch US Dollar, will use Yuan for oil trade

China and UAE ditch US Dollar, will use Yuan for oil trade thumbnail

The US dollar is fast losing out its reserve currency status with China aggressively replacing the dollar with the Yuan as a currency for bi-lateral trade. The latest is an agreement signed between the China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which will use the Yuan for oil trade. The deal is worth around $5.5 […]


The End of Elastic Oil

The End of Elastic Oil thumbnail

The last ten years have brought a structural change to the world oil market, with changes in demand increasingly playing a role in maintaining the supply/demand balance.  These changes will come at an increasingly onerous cost to our economy unless we take steps to make our demand for oil more flexible. We’re not running out […]


Global Oil Production Update: A Strange Future Has Arrived

Global Oil Production Update: A Strange Future Has Arrived thumbnail

Since 2005, European oil consumption has fallen by 1.5 million barrels a day. And, in the same period, US oil consumption has fallen by 2 million barrels a day. If oil was priced at $60 a barrel, rather than $100 a barrel, then a fair portion of that lost demand might return. Instead, since 2005, […]


The Price of Growth

The Price of Growth thumbnail

Growth. It’s what every economist and politician wants. If we get ‘back to growth’, servicing debts both private and sovereign become much easier. And life will return to normal (for a few more years). There is growing evidence that a major US policy shift is underway to boost growth. Growth that will create millions of […]


Biological Conservation Journal: Peak Timber

Biological Conservation Journal: Peak Timber thumbnail

Buzz words sprout from controversies of the day. From the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona, “subpoena” and “alpha  lists” spilled into chatter at barbershops and even diplomatic receptions. Emerging issues mint new buzz words. “Peak timber” is one of them. “Tropical countries should consider implications of ‘peak timber’… [even as] it has become […]


Peak Oil: The Crisis No One Is Talking About

Peak Oil: The Crisis No One Is Talking About thumbnail

The conversion of energy, from forms that aren’t useable to forms that are, is the basis of the survival of any living thing. Any creature, when given an abundance of energy to consume, will either find balance between their numbers and the source of energy, or will multiply until that resource is gone and have […]


Saudi Arabia says it can cover any oil shortages

Saudi Arabia says it can cover any oil shortages thumbnail

* Oil minister says can respond to shortages due to investment * Growing domestic demand won’t crimp ability to export * To rely more heavily on gas for rising domestic demand Saudi Arabia can meet any future world oil shortages thanks to massive investment, and its rising gas output will mean crude exports will not […]


A Shrinking Trust Horizon – And Hard Times In The City

A Shrinking Trust Horizon – And Hard Times In The City thumbnail

Nicole Foss, who under the pen name Stoneleigh co-edits the Automatic Earth website, just did a long-form interview with an Italian magazine where she lays out her peak energy, societal collapse thesis in the coherent, accessible way that fans of her writing have come to expect. One part was especially interesting: When you have economic […]


Texas ain’t the oil king that it used to be

Texas ain’t the oil king that it used to be thumbnail

Texas used to be a king of the energy industry, but Texas circa-2012 isn’t the same oil giant that it was in the 1970s – in fact few states are, according to a new report. Economist James Hamilton wrote in his new National Bureau of Economic Research paper that the boom in domestic oil production […]


Kunstler: Jive Talkin

Kunstler: Jive Talkin thumbnail

Well, he had to get up there and say something. In this particular winter of our discontent, the wispiest nostrums and baldest lies will do. America is not interested in reality. America is a nine-hundred pound man imprisoned in a fetid trailer bedroom begging for one more case of Little Debbie Cocoa Cremes before the […]


World lacks enough food, fuel as population soars

World lacks enough food, fuel as population soars thumbnail

The world is running out of time to make sure there is enough food, water and energy to meet the needs of a rapidly growing population and to avoid sending up to 3 billion people into poverty, a U.N. report warned on Monday. As the world’s population looks set to grow to nearly 9 billion […]


The Future of India, the Fate of China

The Future of India, the Fate of China thumbnail

India and China are two giant Asian neighbors which are increasingly dominating global trade and economies. These two countries have each engineered extraordinary social and economic advancements over the past two decades. However, owing to cultural and other factors, India and China are following dramatically different trajectories in their paths to prosperity. For one thing, […]


Does Cheaper Natural Gas Mean Cheaper Electricity?

Does Cheaper Natural Gas Mean Cheaper Electricity? thumbnail

Other factors — including high capacity prices and congestion — could offset any savings For the fourth consecutive year, falling natural gas prices may lower the cost of the electricity delivered to most of the state’s businesses and residents, beginning in June. At least that is the conventional wisdom, when the state Board of Public […]


EU Sees No Need to Regulate Shale Gas

EU Sees No Need to Regulate Shale Gas thumbnail

There is no need for new legislation to regulate shale gas exploration in the European Union, according to a study published Friday that proposed the bloc adopt a low profile on the controversial issue. The study, carried out by a consultant and authorized by the European Commission, the EU’s executive body, says that existing legislation […]


UK Refinery Closure Stirs Fuel Shortage Fears

UK Refinery Closure Stirs Fuel Shortage Fears thumbnail

Nearly 1,000 jobs are at risk after one of the UK’s largest oil refineries announced it would halt supplies, as its Swiss owner prepares to file for insolvency. The Coryton refinery in Essex halted sales on Monday after negotiations with lenders broke down and credit lines were suspended, leading to a default on $1.75bn (£1.12bn) […]


Iran to stop oil exports to “some” countries soon

Iran to stop oil exports to “some” countries soon thumbnail

Iran’s oil minister said on Sunday the Islamic state would soon stop exporting crude to “some” countries, the state news agency IRNA reported. “Soon we will cut exporting oil to some countries,” Rostam Qasemi was quoted by IRNA as saying. Benchmark Brent crude prices rose to around $111.50 a barrel on Friday on expectations Iran’s […]


Peak Oil: Yes, Still a Serious Issue

Peak Oil: Yes, Still a Serious Issue thumbnail

The director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will be delivering a lecture titled “U.S. Energy Outlook: Whatever Happened to ‘Peak Oil’” at Indiana University on February 6. The description of the lecture provides some background: “Not long ago, the public heard much concern that the nation and the globe had reached or was about […]


Oil sands brace for higher costs

Oil sands brace for higher costs thumbnail

For oil sands companies, the pinch is on. Or at least, it’s starting. After several years of recovering from the beating they took at the hands of plunging crude prices and collapsed credit, the swarm of energy producers spending billions of dollars on the oil sands are at the cusp of a familiar problem: soaring […]


Iran says oil may hit $150/bbl on EU ban

Iran says oil may hit $150/bbl on EU ban thumbnail

Oil prices could rise as high as $150 a barrel because of the European Union ban on imports of Iranian crude, the country’s deputy oil minister was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency on Sunday. “Although a precise prediction cannot be made on oil prices, it seems we will witness a $120 […]


Don’t Worry About Global Warming, Say 16 Scientists in the WSJ

Don’t Worry About Global Warming, Say 16 Scientists in the WSJ thumbnail

The following has been signed by the 16 scientists listed at the end of the article. There’s no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to ‘decarbonize’ the world’s economy. A candidate for public office in any contemporary democracy may have to consider what, if anything, to do about “global warming.” Candidates should understand that the […]


Plans for sea energy device Searaser

Plans for sea energy device Searaser thumbnail

The BBC has a report on a wave power design from Britain – Plans for sea energy device Searaser. A Devon inventor’s electricity from seawater generator could be sited at 200 points around the UK coastline. Energy firm Ecotricity wants to develop a commercial Searaser for testing off Falmouth in Cornwall and put hundreds around […]


Thyroid cancer, fracking and nuclear power

Thyroid cancer, fracking and nuclear power thumbnail

Thyroid cancer cases have more than doubled since 1997 in the United States, while deadly industrial practices that contaminate groundwater with radiation and other carcinogens are also rising. New information released by the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) estimates that 56,460 people will develop thyroid cancer in 2012 and 1,780 will die from it. That’s […]


Iran to restart IAEA nuclear talks

Iran to restart IAEA nuclear talks thumbnail

UN nuclear inspectors are due to begin three days of meetings in Tehran on Sunday – the first such talks for over three years Iran is due to open talks with UN nuclear inspectors on Sunday in an attempt to allay their suspicions of a covert Iranian weapons programme, the first such discussions in more than […]


Feeding 9 billion in 40 years

Feeding 9 billion in 40 years thumbnail

Although world agriculture has met the food demand of growing populations and expanding economies over the last half of the 20th Century, U.S. growers and their counterparts worldwide face a “continued challenge” to meet the continued growth in food demand over the last half of the 21st century, according to Iowa State University emeritus ag […]


Icelanders: Recovering Dubiously From the Crash

Icelanders: Recovering Dubiously From the Crash thumbnail

Three years ago, thousands of Icelanders were standing outside Iceland’s parliament building chanting “incompetent government” in an attempt to bring down the conservative government that had been seen as responsible for the collapse of the country’s banking system. In 2008 all three major commercial banks collapsed because they could not refinance their short-term debt. It […]


BP emails reveal company veiling spill rate

BP emails reveal company veiling spill rate thumbnail

On the day the Deepwater Horizon sank, BP officials warned in an internal memo that if the well was not protected by the blow-out preventer at the drill site, crude oil could burst into the Gulf of Mexico at a rate of 3.4 million gallons a day, an amount a million gallons higher than what […]


Roubini warns of tough times ahead

Roubini warns of tough times ahead thumbnail

Economist Nouriel Roubini, nicknamed “Dr. Doom” for his gloomy predictions in the run-up to the financial meltdown four years ago, says the fallout from that crisis could last the rest of this decade. Roubini, widely acknowledged to have predicted the crash of 2008, sees tough times ahead for the global economy and is warning that […]


Canadian Retail Gas Pricing 101

Canadian Retail Gas Pricing 101 thumbnail

(Or “Talk To Me About Gas Retail Pricing—Like I’m in Grade Four”) Last year back in April-May, when I visited family and friends in Hamilton, Ontario, regular gas was being retailed at the $1.37 to $1.45 per litre range. You could literally hear groans from motorists each morning as they saw the daily updated pricing […]


Another Terrifying Drought Paper

Another Terrifying Drought Paper thumbnail

The conviction has been growing in me for quite some time that the really big deal about global warming is increasing frequency and severity of droughts.  If I’ve succeeded in convincing you of this too (or you already believed it for other reasons of your own), then you will be interested in a new paper by […]


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Even the Saudi Crown Prince thinks oil has had its day, with monumental plans afoot to diversify the Saudi economy... #Peakoil by late 2020s ? ... twitter.com/the_ecologist/…