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News from February 2012

Pemex Ready to Drill in GOM’s Deep Waters

Pemex Ready to Drill in GOM’s Deep Waters thumbnail

Mexico’s state-owned oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, is ready to drill in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico near the maritime border with the U.S., its head of production said Tuesday. Pemex has in place high-tech drilling platforms, safety systems and membership in a well-containment group as part of redundant measures to […]


US Dec oil demand down almost 5 pct from yr ago

US Dec oil demand down almost 5 pct from yr ago thumbnail

U.S. oil demand in December was 231,000 barrels per day more than previously estimated, but still down 984,000 bpd from a year earlier, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday. U.S. oil demand in December was revised up by 1.25 percent to 18.738 million bpd from EIA’s earlier estimate of 18.507 million bpd. Demand was […]


The Achilles’ Heel Of Algal Biofuels: Peak Phosphate

The Achilles’ Heel Of Algal Biofuels: Peak Phosphate thumbnail

The depletion of world rock phosphate reserves will restrict the amount of food that can be grown across the world, a situation that can only be compounded by the production of biofuels, including the potential large-scale generation of biodiesel from algae. The world population has risen to its present number of 7 billion due to […]


Revisiting the Limits to Growth Ideas

Revisiting the Limits to Growth Ideas thumbnail

I see that the ultra free market Club for Growth (CfG) has gotten into the news again today teaming with The Wall Street Journal against a legislative proposal to subsidize the adoption of natural-gas-based transportation vehicles. They say they aren’t against natural gas vehicles but like good conservatives they don’t support the idea of government […]


Facing the Facts on Fossil Fuel

Facing the Facts on Fossil Fuel thumbnail

We are so accustomed to our dependence on petroleum that discussions of alternative energy futures take its convenience and efficiency for granted. This is Part 1 in a three-part series focusing on fossil-fuel dependence and the intersection of energy and the environment. Part 1 discusses what underpins our current dependence on fossil fuels to meet […]


Time to tackle ‘last taboo’ of contraception and climate

Time to tackle ‘last taboo’ of contraception and climate thumbnail

Finding a way to put the environmental impact of population and women’s reproductive health more prominently on the climate change agenda is increasingly urgent, experts said in Washington this week. Suggesting a strong connection between family planning and the environment often risks an explosion in the highly charged political landscape of climate talks, meaning the […]


All those cars

All those cars thumbnail

Auto industry leader wonders how planet is supposed to hold cars produced by an industry regaining its health ALONGSIDE recent stories about the auto industry’s reboundcomes this touch of irony: Bill Ford, great-grandson of Ford Motor Co. founder Henry Ford and the company’s current executive chairman, frets about how all these cars will fit on […]


Peak oil, price fluctuations and globalization

Peak oil, price fluctuations and globalization thumbnail

Chen and Hsu have published a recent study about oil price volatility and its impact on global trade. A large annual panel data set covering 84 countries has been examined and the evidence shows that trade will be lower when oil prices fluctuate significantly. This supports the ideas presented earlier by Rubin in the book […]


My great hope for the future

My great hope for the future thumbnail

So far on Do the Math, I’ve put out a lot of negative energy—whatever that means. Topics have often focused on what we can’t do, or at least on the failings or difficulties of various ambitious plans. We can’t expect indefinite growth—whether in energy, population, or even growth of the economic variety. It is not […]


Iran to accept payment in gold from trading partners

Iran to accept payment in gold from trading partners thumbnail

Iran will take payment from its trading partners in gold instead of dollars, the Iranian state news agency IRNA quoted the central bank governor as saying on Tuesday. Iranian financial institutions have been hit by sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union in an effort to force Tehran to halt its nuclear […]


Peak Oil, The Arab Spring, & The Ideological Flip

Peak Oil, The Arab Spring, & The Ideological Flip thumbnail

This video explains the relationship between the current peaking of oil production, the arab spring, and the coming ideological flip when our economies experience significant collapse. See my blog: http://samplocracy.wordpress.com


China establishes renewable energy center

China establishes renewable energy center thumbnail

The center will also help authorities create a “developmental roadmap” for photovoltaic solar power, wind energy, concentrating solar thermal power and other renewable resources, as well as collect and analyze data. The Chinese government on Thursday announced the establishment of a renewable energy policy research center as part of the country’s efforts to realize sustainable […]


Energy Shock: How Peak Oil Will Change Your Life

Energy Shock: How Peak Oil Will Change Your Life thumbnail

Times are changing. Fast. Here is a list of my recommended resources for developing the skills to manage the transition smoothly: Learn aquaponics (hyper-efficient fish and plant production): http://ow.ly/9bJnF Learn to make your own solar panels: http://ow.ly/9bJoD Get tons of woodworking plans: http://ow.ly/9bJpB Learn to build a shed: http://ow.ly/9bJqn Learn to build a chicken coop: […]


WikiLeaks: Stratfor Predicts Huge Oil Profits from Attack on Iran

WikiLeaks: Stratfor Predicts Huge Oil Profits from Attack on Iran thumbnail

WikiLeaks has started publishing more than five million emails hacked by Anonymous from the servers of Stratfor, a US intelligence gathering company. An email sent by Chris Farnham, senior officer for Stratfor, to an internal unnamed source inside the company titled “Israel/Iran Barak Hails Munitions Blast in Iran” provides details about who would benefit from […]


The death of peak oil

The death of peak oil thumbnail

Here’s another structural transformation to add to all the others that you have to get your head around: it’s the transformation of global energy markets as a result of shale oil and gas. We’ve already got the digital revolution and the switch from consumption to savings after the GFC, not to mention the rise of […]


Small modular reactors in Iowa?

Small modular reactors in Iowa? thumbnail

The land of Iowa – home of hogs, corn, windmills, and… SMRs (i.e., small modular reactors). Or at the least, that last part may be true pending a proposal before the Iowa Legislature (HF 561) is passed, allowing for among other things, recovery of costs while construction is in progress on nuclear projects (known as “CWIP” […]


Oil Efficiency Improvements are Global

Oil Efficiency Improvements are Global thumbnail

I posted a graph the other day showing the improvements in the oil efficiency of the US economy.  Several commenters suggested this was due to increasing concentration of financial services in the economy, but that turned out not to be very consistent with the data.  Another suggestion was that the improvement was an artifact of […]


A Dynamic Function for EROI

A Dynamic Function for EROI thumbnail

The post below is a reproduction of a paper published in the open access journal Sustainability by Michael Dale, Susan Krumdieck, and Pat Bodger (Vol. 3).The article is a first in creating a dynamic function where Energy Return on Energy Investment changes of an energy resource are estimated over time. In this manner it becomes […]


Natural Gas Our New Savior? Not So Fast . . .

Natural Gas Our New Savior? Not So Fast . . . thumbnail

Remember how ethanol was going to save us? It was the perfect solution to not one, but two different problems. The first was energy security: since it’s a type of alcohol distilled from home-grown corn, ethanol would replace the gasoline made from oil imported from Bad People in places like Iran. The second was climate […]


Peak Oil Decline Rates of Large Oilfields, featuring Jim Buckee

Peak Oil Decline Rates of Large Oilfields, featuring Jim Buckee thumbnail

Jim Buckee discussing peak oil 2009


Wyoming Introduces ‘Doomsday Bill’ To Prepare For Collapse of Federal Government

Wyoming Introduces ‘Doomsday Bill’ To Prepare For Collapse of Federal Government thumbnail

Lawmakers in Wyoming have introduced a bill that would compel the state to prepare for a complete collapse of the federal government, laying plans for an alternate currency, a standing army raised via a military draft, and an aircraft carrier. “House Bill 85 passed on first reading by a voice vote. It would create a […]


Presidents and the Price of Oil

Presidents and the Price of Oil thumbnail

Even if we go with more offshore drilling, we have to accept that it takes years for one of these rigs to be sited and produce oil. Photo: Agencia Brasil If you’re a primary voter, you’ve got your pick of candidates who’ll promise to bring down the price of gasoline. Unfortunately, whoever wins is going […]


The ‘High Oil Prices = Recession’ Fallacy

The ‘High Oil Prices = Recession’ Fallacy thumbnail

Every time we see oil prices go up we hear that it will cause inflation and/or the economy will go into the tank. … 7 out of the 8 postwar U.S. recessions had been preceded by a sharp increase in the price of crude petroleum. Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in August 1990 led to a doubling […]


$5 gas, 50-cent postage stamps?

$5 gas, 50-cent postage stamps? thumbnail

Remember those carefree days when a gallon of gas was only $5? And when you could cheerfully mail a letter for the rock-bottom price of 50 cents? Just saying those words out loud here to see what they sound like — just trying to imagine what it will be like, 50 or 60 years from […]


A Policy of Energy Starvation in Germany: A Cautionary Tale

A Policy of Energy Starvation in Germany: A Cautionary Tale thumbnail

Last spring, Chancellor Angela Merkel set Germany on course to eliminate nuclear power in favor of renewable energy sources. Now, though, several industries are suffering as electricity prices rapidly rise. Many companies are having to close factories or move abroad. _Spiegel When governments embrace the green fantasy, their economies inevitably suffer. Germany’s government went even […]


Piracy Threatens West Africa Oil Expansion

Piracy Threatens West Africa Oil Expansion thumbnail

Piracy is a growing threat to West Africa’s plans to double oil production over the next decade and is already having a devastating impact on ports, the U.N. Security Council was warned Monday. A growing number of attacks are being recorded in the Gulf of Guinea and entries into some ports have been cut by […]


At the Wellhead: Norwegian renaissance may be on tap

At the Wellhead: Norwegian renaissance may be on tap thumbnail

The CEO of the group responsible for one of the biggest finds ever made offshore Norway stopped short this month of saying there is currently a full-scale renaissance in oil exploration taking place, but says there is a lot of excitement now and more major finds will be made. With output from Norway’s mature fields […]


Kunstler: A Fog of Mendacity

Kunstler: A Fog of Mendacity thumbnail

Those frightening sounds, sights, and odors on the wind this foreboding snowless winter – like emanations from some back ward of a global psychiatric hospital – are the signs of a nation going completely mad. The traumatic rise of oil prices above the $100 level is one irritant, prompting a range of people-who-oughta-know-better to gibber […]


3 doomsaying experts who foresee economic devasation ahead

3 doomsaying experts who foresee economic devasation ahead thumbnail

Behind the mainstream Wall Street happy talk about more stable financial markets and an improving economy are grim warnings of tough times ahead from a small cadre of doomsayers who warn that the worst of the financial crisis is still to come. Harry Dent, author of the new book The Great Crash Ahead, says another […]


It’s Not A Fairytale: Seattle To Build Nation’s First Food Forest

It’s Not A Fairytale: Seattle To Build Nation’s First Food Forest thumbnail

Seattle’s vision of an urban food oasis is going forward. A seven-acre plot of land in the city’s Beacon Hill neighborhood will be planted with hundreds of different kinds of edibles: walnut and chestnut trees; blueberry and raspberry bushes; fruit trees, including apples and pears; exotics like pineapple, yuzu citrus, guava, persimmons, honeyberries, and lingonberries; […]


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