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News from March 2013

As Cyprus Collapses, It’s A Race To The Mediterranean Gas Finish Line

As Cyprus Collapses, It’s A Race To The Mediterranean Gas Finish Line thumbnail

Cyprus is preparing for total financial collapse as the European Central Bank turns its back on the island after its parliament rejected a scheme to make Cypriot citizens pay a levy on savings deposits in return for a share in potential gas futures to fund a bailout. On Wednesday, the Greek-Cypriot government voted against asking […]


Poverty Hits America’s Suburbs

Poverty Hits America’s Suburbs thumbnail

Like many Americans who move to the suburbs, Tara Simons came to West Hartford, Conn., because she wanted her daughter to grow up in a nice, safe place with good schools. Her fall from a more financially secure suburban life to one among the working poor also happened for the same reason it’s happened to […]


Half of world’s population could face water scarcity by 2030

Half of world’s population could face water scarcity by 2030 thumbnail

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned that by 2030, nearly half the world’s population could be facing a scarcity of water, with demand outstripping supply by 40 percent. One in three people already live in a country with moderate to high water stress, Ban told a U.N. event marking the opening of the International Year of […]


Pain at the pump: gas prices reflected in markets

Pain at the pump: gas prices reflected in markets thumbnail

Bloomberg news 18 March 2013


US Truckers Considering Natural Gas Over Diesel Say Transition Costs Still Too High

US Truckers Considering Natural Gas Over Diesel Say Transition Costs Still Too High thumbnail

The alternative fuel industry faces a Catch-22: Manufacturers are pressuring their distribution partners to ship their products using natural gas trucks because they’re far less expensive to run than diesel fuel trucks. However, the distributors are pushing back, arguing three major reasons that natural gas trucks are still too expensive to adopt. First, natural gas […]


Benoit Thevard – Europe facing peak oil – European Parliament

Benoit Thevard – Europe facing peak oil – European Parliament thumbnail

Benoît Thevard presents the conclusion of the report “Europe facing peak oil” at the European Parliament in November 2012. This study, commissioned by the MEP Yves Cochet, aimed to clearly redefine the contours of the oil situation, to place them in the current geopolitical and economic contexts, and to consider the potential impact on Europe. […]


Britain’s running out of gas: just how critical is it?

Britain’s running out of gas: just how critical is it? thumbnail

AS BRITAIN braces for another cold spell, The Times reveals the country has only two days supply of gas left in reserve. Are householders facing sharp price rises or something even worse? Why are we using so much gas? People around the UK have been turning up their heating systems to cope with the coldest […]


Canada’s Most Priceless Commodity Is Not Oil

Canada’s Most Priceless Commodity Is Not Oil thumbnail

During a 2008 visit to Ottawa Senator John McCain commented, “Water exports will be the defining issue of the 21st century but it must be done with the consent of the people.” So why wouldn’t Canadians consent to exporting water, which Matthew Simmons pointed out, “is even more priceless than oil.”? To the Council of […]


Water Crisis Hitting Food, Energy – And Everything Else

Water Crisis Hitting Food, Energy – And Everything Else thumbnail

How much water does it take to turn on a light? It took 10,000 litres to make your jeans. Another three big bathtubs of water was needed for your two-eggs-toast-coffee breakfast this morning. Piped water has made life easier for this Laotian boy, who no longer has to help his parents fetch water from afar. […]


The Next Energy Shortage: Big Oil CEOs

The Next Energy Shortage: Big Oil CEOs thumbnail

In recent years oil and gas companies have applied innovative technologies to make discoveries of vast new hydrocarbon resources. If only it were that easy for them to deal with a dire challenge above ground: identifying and training a new generation of qualified and prepared executives who are ready and willing to lead oil and gas companies […]


The price for energy independence

The price for energy independence thumbnail

Move over OPEC, North America is about to become a net exporter of oil. At least that’s the supposed good news from the International Energy Agency’s latest outlook. According to the IEA, the drilling boom for shale oil is putting US production on track to pass Saudi Arabia. North of the border, output from Alberta’s […]


Declining car use drives demand for transit

Declining car use drives demand for transit thumbnail

For more than a decade, some environmentalists have been warning about “peak oil”. This refers to the point at which global oil production reaches a crescendo before going into inexorable decline. In recent years, there’s also been talk of “peak food”. Former Vancouver councillor Gordon Price uses a new term—peak car—to describe the growing number […]


Rosneft Becomes World’s Largest Listed Oil Producer

Rosneft Becomes World’s Largest Listed Oil Producer thumbnail

Russian state oil giant OAO Rosneft Thursday closed deals worth around $55 billion to take over TNK-BP and become the world’s largest listed oil producer, with BP PLC as a major shareholder. BP Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley and Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin met with Russian President Vladimir Putin at his residence outside Moscow to […]


Can Natural Gas Save Cyprus?

Can Natural Gas Save Cyprus? thumbnail

After Cyprus was left scrambling to salvage a bailout package left nearly dead after a titanic misstep last week, the country’s new-found energy potential finally entered the conversation despite assurances from on high that it would not. Cyprus is one of a handful of countries in the Eastern Mediterranean with a firm claim on one […]


Cyprus is really screwed

Cyprus is really screwed thumbnail

At this point the Cyprus situation is pretty clear — and clarity does not bring reassurance. In fact, it looks as if Cyprus has managed to combine in one place everything that has gone wrong elsewhere. 1. Runaway banking. Cyprus has a huge banking system — assets around 8 times GDP — based on a […]


US Crude Oil Production 1920-2012

US Crude Oil Production 1920-2012 thumbnail

The Archruid yesterday posted a graph that purported to be US oil production from 1920-2012: In fact, his graph only goes through 2010.  The full record through 2012 is as follows: Production in 2013 is likely to be over 7mbd. The full graph makes it clear that the tight oil boom of the last few […]


LA Off Coal by 2025 at the Latest

LA Off Coal by 2025 at the Latest thumbnail

Today the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP) Board unanimously approved its plan to get off of coal by 2025 and replace it with cleaner energy. This is the culmination of years of work and negotiation, and sets the stage for the largest municipal utility in the country to be coal free by […]


The Peak Oil Crisis: The Beijing Syndrome

The Peak Oil Crisis: The Beijing Syndrome thumbnail

As the term “China syndrome” has already been taken, I am terming what is happening in the country these days the “Beijing syndrome,” for China’s capitol seems to be shaping up as the epicenter of a great upheaval to come. A “syndrome” is a group of symptoms that when taken together point to a more […]


85% of the world’s population lives in the driest half of the land

85% of the world’s population lives in the driest half of the land thumbnail

85% of the world’s population lives in the driest half of the land, 783 million people do not have access to clean water, and 2.5 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation. The economic and health effects will be exacerbated by climate change and its effect on water ecosystems. Of the numerous challenges climate […]


OPEC must prepare for big rise in oil supplies

OPEC must prepare for big rise in oil supplies thumbnail

High oil and gas prices have unleashed the biggest drilling boom in 30 years. OPEC members must prepare for a big increase in oil supplies in the second half of the decade, as well as heightened competition from natural gas in some of their core markets, and a further erosion in demand as conservation and […]


Roger Helmer: Peak Oil or false summit?

Roger Helmer: Peak Oil or false summit? thumbnail

The doomsters have spoken. We’re facing “peak oil” – a point of maximum production, followed by an inexorable decline, when oil prices will skyrocket, and petrol and diesel cars will rust by the road-side. In 1922, a US federal commission predicted that “production of oil cannot long maintain its present rate”. Back in the sixties, […]


Peak oil takes an unexpected turn

Peak oil takes an unexpected turn thumbnail

No less authority than the United States government itself has declared that some time this year, the country should reach a landmark not seen in nearly two decades – indeed, one that many experts believed had been permanently consigned to the history books. The U.S. will be producing more oil than it is importing. Globe […]


Transition Lab – Preparing the next generation of reconomists?

Transition Lab – Preparing the next generation of reconomists? thumbnail

Most of us would love to experiment with, develop, and launch new businesses that will transition our economy. But without the extra time, resources, and training necessary, it is hard to make such a radical leap. In a way, it is so easy to get stuck working in the traditional economy just to make ends […]


John Michael Greer: The Illusion of Invincibility

John Michael Greer: The Illusion of Invincibility thumbnail

One of the wry amusements to be had from writing a blog that routinely contradicts the conventional wisdom of our time is the way that defenders of that same conventional wisdom tend to react.  You might think that those who are repeating what most people believe would take advantage of that fact, and present themselves […]


Kunstler: Things Went Awry

Kunstler: Things Went Awry thumbnail

      If you’ve never had major surgery before there’s the cool part after they’ve got you all scrubbed and prepped in pre-op, and inserted IVs in your veins, and you’re ready to rock and roll with whatever’s on the program. I’m familiar with this routine. It’s the only part of the surgery your […]


U.S. could cut fossil fuel use, emissions by 80% in cars and trucks

U.S. could cut fossil fuel use, emissions by 80% in cars and trucks thumbnail

A new National Research Council report says the U.S. may be able to reduce fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 in light-duty cars and trucks. The highly ambitious goal could be reached, the report says, through a combination of more efficient vehicles and the use of gasoline and diesel alternatives […]


Peak Oil: Same Pie, Smaller Slices

Peak Oil: Same Pie, Smaller Slices thumbnail

I have offered several posts on Jeffrey J. Brown’s Export Land Model [here, here, and here]. The ELM is a too-often overlooked yet critically important aspect of (declining) global oil production. I will be the very first person to acknowledge that my math skills and my understanding of economics hover somewhere just about the “pitiful” […]


Renewables – Good for some things; not so good for others

Renewables – Good for some things; not so good for others thumbnail

Based on the sound of the name renewable, a person might think that using only “renewable” energy is ideal–something we should all strive to use exclusively. But there are lots of energy sources that might be called “renewable,” and lots applications for renewable energy. Clearly not all are equally good. Perhaps we should examine the […]


Oil majors are whistling past the graveyard

Oil majors are whistling past the graveyard thumbnail

The world’s “supermajor” independent oil companies — BP, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell, and Total — project a rosy future, assuring us that oil will be abundant for decades to come. But in fact they’re spending record amounts to keep oil flowing, while their production is actually falling. The BP Energy Outlook 2030, released in […]


Which Costs More: A Load of Laundry or a Cup of Coffee?

Which Costs More: A Load of Laundry or a Cup of Coffee? thumbnail

Does a load of laundry cost you more than a cup of coffee? That’s not a question many can answer, yet depending on where you live the size of your household, laundry can be expensive … or not. As far as saving money on laundry, the decisive factor is the age of your washer and […]


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