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News from October 2012

Time up for one child policy in China

Time up for one child policy in China thumbnail

A top government think tank has suggested that China gradually loosen its one child policy to correct population-related imbalances now plaguing its ageing society. It is one issue that the new generation of leaders in China, who will soon take over the reins of the most populous nation in the world, might have to take […]


Reason for Military Intervention by the West in Libya and not Syria: Oil

Reason for Military Intervention by the West in Libya and not Syria: Oil thumbnail

U.S. Reason Against Intervening in Syria: “White House press secretary Jay Carney announced (7/24/12), “The U.S. is not going to intervene the Syrian situation in a military way or to invade the territory of this country, President Barack Obama believes that such actions would be wrong, he said, commenting on Republican senator John McCain’s statement […]


How many people have ever been born?

How many people have ever been born? thumbnail

How many people have ever been born? @newscientist


Does U.S. shale mean cheap global oil by 2020?

Does U.S. shale mean cheap global oil by 2020? thumbnail

Does the rise of U.S. shale oil mean fuel buyers can look forward to a multi-year period of crude price decline? Or is oil destined for new record highs above $150 a barrel? The question is dividing energy analysts who are split on whether or not shale and other predominantly North American “unconventional” supply like […]


Toward a More Abundant Energy Future: New Nuclear Technology

Toward a More Abundant Energy Future: New Nuclear Technology thumbnail

Brian Westenhaus takes a look at Tri-Alpha Energy’s approach to Boron fusion:fission. That article complements an earlier piece by Brian Wang on Tri-Alpha. Tri-Alpha’s position is, “We want to know the energy and location of every outgoing alpha particle.” This is important because in a pB11 reaction the harvest is high energy Helium that can […]


Iran and Syria swap fuels as both aim to dodge sanctions

Iran and Syria swap fuels as both aim to dodge sanctions thumbnail

Iran and Syria have arranged a gasoline-for-diesel swap, helping each other overcome international sanctions that have cut them off from fuel supplies needed to keep their economies afloat and support their armies. Tracking data shows that a tanker from Iran arrived in Syria with a cargo of fuel, and a shipper who works in the […]


China prioritizes use of natural gas by vehicles, ships

China prioritizes use of natural gas by vehicles, ships thumbnail

China unveiled on Wednesday a natural gas policy designed to spur the transport sector’s use of the cleaner-burning fuel, and particularly of liquefied natural gas (LNG), as the world’s second-largest user of fuel reins in consumption of dirtier oil. Besides homes, utilities and factories, the government for the first time targeted the transport sector, covering […]


The Big Deal About U.S. Energy Self-Sufficiency

The Big Deal About U.S. Energy Self-Sufficiency thumbnail

Mark J. Perry caused a minor sensation on October 22, 2012 when he posted a blog about record-breaking fossil fuel production in the United States. Perry is an economics professor at the University of Michigan at Flint and a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. His blog is titled as an economics and finance […]


World population explosion

World population explosion thumbnail

The world’s population reached the seven billion mark in 2011 and is likely to rise by another two billion by the middle of this century. The rapid increase is attributed to people living longer, with healthier children being born and more of them surviving into adulthood. According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the […]


The rust-bucket reactors start to fall

The rust-bucket reactors start to fall thumbnail

The US fleet of 104 deteriorating atomic reactors is starting to fall. The much-hyped “nuclear renaissance” is now definitively headed in reverse. The announcement that Wisconsin’s Kewaunee will shut next year will be remembered as a critical dam break. Opened in 1974, Kewaunee has fallen victim to low gas prices, declining performance, unsolved technical problems […]


East Coast refineries not damaged by Sandy

East Coast refineries not damaged by Sandy thumbnail

Eight oil refineries that make up about 8 percent of U.S. refining capacity sit in the area hit by Hurricane Sandy. Nearly all of them were affected by the superstorm. Most shut down or ran at reduced rates and are cranking up to normal operations. But two have no power and it’s unclear when they […]


The world’s most prosperous countries

The world’s most prosperous countries thumbnail

The most prosperous nations 1. Norway 2. Denmark 3. Sweden 4. Australia 5. New Zealand 6. Canada 7. Finland 8. Netherlands 9. Switzerland 10. Ireland   Scandinavian winners Scandinavian countries lead the way in this year’s study.   Norway retains its position as the most prosperous nation for the fourth year running. Denmark too has […]


How to Bomb Iran

How to Bomb Iran thumbnail

During the Napoleonic Wars, when it was reported that the French were preparing to invade England, Admiral John Jervis said “I do not say they the French cannot come–I only say they cannot come by sea.” Barring the movement of a regiment of sans culottes across the English Channel by a fleet of Montgolfier balloons, […]


Norwegian Robot Rig Technology

Norwegian Robot Rig Technology thumbnail

Statoil, ConocoPhilips and Norske Shell are teaming up with WeST Drilling Products to help develop a new fully-robotized drilling technology. The ‘Continuous Motion Rig’ technology enables continuous drilling and, promises WDP, “substantial efficiency improvements” that will result in cost reductions. Additionally, the CMR technology can help achieve several well-related improvements, including better pressure control and […]


Iraq Violence Surges Amid Corruption

Iraq Violence Surges Amid Corruption thumbnail

Iraq has endured “a troubled year evidenced by increasing official corruption, resurgent violence” and apprehension about the war in Syria since the last American troops departed, according to an assessment by a U.S. special inspector general. Violence during the last quarter “rose to levels not seen for more than two years,” with at least 854 […]


Slowing the Pace of Consumerism by Design

Slowing the Pace of Consumerism by Design thumbnail

A new book, Architecture & Design versus Consumerism: How design activism confronts growth (Earthscan/Routledge 2012), helps close the “meaning” gap between architecture and design’s potential for social good and the ruthless commercialism and consumerism that serve as the context for the professions. This excerpt, part of a a virtual book tour during October and November, […]


The ‘Peak Shrink’ Kathy McMahon, Psy.D. will be on HUFFPOSTLIVE

The ‘Peak Shrink’ Kathy McMahon, Psy.D. will be on HUFFPOSTLIVE thumbnail

In times of crisis, Americans are quick to respond with precautionary measures, but why do we let our guard down in the calm between the storms? Hosted by: Nancy Redd Ahmed Shihab-Eldin GUESTS: Ahmed Shihab-Eldin (New York City, NY) HuffPost Live @ASE Kathy McMahon, Psy.D. (Northampton, MA) Clinical Psychologist @Peak_Shrink Kathleen Koch (Clarksville, MD) Author […]


ITER Fusion Project Struggles To Put the Pieces Together

ITER Fusion Project Struggles To Put the Pieces Together thumbnail

“The world’s largest scientific project is threatened with further delays, as agencies struggle to complete the design and sign contracts worth hundred of millions of euros with industrial partners. Sources familiar with the project warn that the complex system for buying ITER’s many pieces could put the fusion reactor project even further behind schedule. Rather […]


Russian Domination of Germany: Consequences of Peak Oil

Russian Domination of Germany: Consequences of Peak Oil thumbnail

Germany is highly dependent upon Russia for crude oil imports, namely 40 percent. Germany also imported 14.1% of its oil from Norway and 10.7% from Great Britain. All together, Germany imports 93 percent of its oil from all sources. Here is a graph of impressive Russian oil production:                   […]


Reducing Agriculture’s High Energy Costs

Reducing Agriculture’s High Energy Costs thumbnail

Click to play 47:26 minutes (21.71 MB) UVM Lecturer Eric Garza on the energy use–and energy production in the US food system. The food system now consumes 14 calories of fossil fuel for every calorie of food produced. Garza will be on a panel at UVM’s conference on Biophysical Economics this weekend that looks at […]


China Takes New Step in Canada’s Oil Sands

China Takes New Step in Canada’s Oil Sands thumbnail

China is cementing its Canadian energy ambitions with a commitment to a new $3-billion pipeline that would carry oil sands crude south. (The U.S. and Canadian dollars are trading at roughly parity.) Phoenix Energy Holdings Ltd., the Canadian subsidiary of PetroChina Co. Ltd., is partnering with TransCanada Corp. to build a 900,000 barrel-a-day project, called […]


U.S. nuclear plant declares “alert” after Sandy storm surge

U.S. nuclear plant declares “alert” after Sandy storm surge thumbnail

Exelon Corp declared an “alert” at its New Jersey Oyster Creek nuclear power plant due to a record storm surge, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said, warning that a further water rise could force the country’s oldest working plant to use emergency water supplies to cool spent uranium fuel rods. The alert — the second lowest […]


Turning point in history determined by human consumption

Turning point in history determined by human consumption thumbnail

I am the 80,564,737,269th person to have lived since history began. Consider that. I’ve been alive for 7,628 days, and slept for almost 7 years. I spent 745 hours in the classroom so far, with another semester and graduate school to go. I am among a United States population of over 311 million. Almost 5.5 billion […]


Why Energy May Be Abundant But Not Cheap

Why Energy May Be Abundant But Not Cheap thumbnail

It doesn’t matter how abundant liquid fossil fuels might be; it’s their cost that impacts the economy. Many people think “peak oil” is about the world is “running out of oil.” Actually, “peak oil” is about the world running out of cheap, easy-to-get oil. That means fossil fuels might be abundant (supply exceeds demand) for […]


The 127th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and Peak Oil

The 127th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and Peak Oil thumbnail

“The Inter-Parliamentary Union” (IPU) has its seat in Geneva and was formed as long ago as 1889 on the initiative of the then freedom activists William Cremer of the United Kingdom and Frédéric Passy of Frankrike. They were both members of their respective nations’ parliaments and intended that conflicts would be solved by negotiation rather […]


Sandy cuts East Coast fuel supply; refiners, pipelines shut

Sandy cuts East Coast fuel supply; refiners, pipelines shut thumbnail

The supply of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel into the U.S. East Coast ground almost to a halt on Monday as Hurricane Sandy forced the closure of two-thirds of the region’s refineries, its biggest pipeline, and most major ports. Benchmark New York Harbor gasoline futures jumped as much as 11 cents a gallon As traders […]


Hurricane Sandy May Score a Direct Hit On Spent Fuel Pools at Nuclear Plant

Hurricane Sandy May Score a Direct Hit On Spent Fuel Pools at Nuclear Plant thumbnail

New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut Nuclear Plants In Path of Storm Preface:  We hope and expect that the severity of the hurricane is being overblown, and that the nuclear plants in the Northeast will ride out the storm without any incident.   We noted Friday that more than a dozen nuclear plants are near Hurricane Sandy’s […]


Energy on voters’ minds as US elections approach

Energy on voters’ minds as US elections approach thumbnail

Energy is clearly on voters’ minds as the 2012 elections approach, American Petroleum Institute Pres. Jack N. Gerard declared. Voters realize that federal, state, and local governments’ policies will determine the extent to which the nation’s considerable oil and gas resources are developed over the next 4 years, he said during one of API’s final […]


Talk of a Wind Subsidy ‘Phaseout’

Talk of a Wind Subsidy ‘Phaseout’ thumbnail

The wind industry, fighting to hold onto a generous tax credit set to expire in December, has been arguing that it does not need the support forever – just a little while longer, until it can compete with fossil fuels on its own. The tax break subsidizes wind power by 2.2 cents a kilowatt hour […]


No slip up for UAE oil industry

No slip up for UAE oil industry thumbnail

The UAE produced on average 2.69 million barrels per day (bpd) in September, similar to the production levels in a month earlier, latest data from the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) showed. The UAE has a sustainable oil production capacity of 2.79 million bpd at present, said the IEA, which advises 28 industrialised countries on […]


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