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News from April 2013

Kunstler: We’ve Dug A Pretty Damn Big Hole For Ourselves

Kunstler: We’ve Dug A Pretty Damn Big Hole For Ourselves thumbnail

The diminishing returns of technology are insidious, and they are ever with us. By this I mean the slow erosion of the quality of life, despite the impression that technological wonders only make our lives better. We’ve Become a Society of Self-Deluded Children The most obvious example is what happened to the telephone over the […]


Food-But-No-Fuel, Fuel-But-No-Food

Food-But-No-Fuel, Fuel-But-No-Food thumbnail

Interesting about the ways climate change will impact Saudi Arabia’s agriculture – already strained pretty much to the limit by inhospitable heat and drought: The difference between ETo and precipitation indicates that there may be a loss of soil moisture by 0.181 m/year (0.042–0.236 m/year) during the period of 2011 through 2050. Increase in temperature was […]


4 Reasons Coal Declines Even As Natural Gas Prices Rise: EIA

4 Reasons Coal Declines Even As Natural Gas Prices Rise: EIA thumbnail

U.S. power plants began burning more coal in February as natural gas prices rose, but coal’s resurgence will not overcome its long-term decline, according to a report released today by the U.S. Energy Information Agency. EIA analyzed the horse race between gas and coal under five scenarios reflecting variations in cost and supply of the two […]


100 Percent Renewable Energy is 100 Percent Possible

100 Percent Renewable Energy is 100 Percent Possible thumbnail

The future is here — it’s just unevenly distributed. This old quote found a new application at the Pathways to 100% Renewable Energy conference in San Francisco last week. An international crowd of energy experts, financiers, clean energy advocates, elected officials, government employees, academics, and more gathered there to discuss how to bring the renewable […]


China Leads in “Clean” Energy Investment

China Leads in “Clean” Energy Investment thumbnail

  “According to a new study (PDF) from Pew Charitable Trusts, China was the world leader in clean energy investment in 2012. The U.S., meanwhile, saw its grip loosen on many of the clean energy technologies it developed. According to the research, total clean energy investment totaled $269 billion worldwide last year, a decline from […]


Chuck Hagel Green Lights Israeli Attacks On Syria and Iran

Chuck Hagel Green Lights Israeli Attacks On Syria and Iran thumbnail

On Tuesday, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel did penance for his perceived sins against Israel. The former senator from Nebraska was criticized during his confirmation process by the likes of John McCain for not joining the march to war against Iran. Hagel’s opposition to sanctions against Iran were considered antisemitic. Chuck Hagel talks with Israeli […]


‘Backyard Oil’ a real-life ‘Beverly Hillbillies’ as DIY drillers turn into millionaires overnight

‘Backyard Oil’ a real-life ‘Beverly Hillbillies’ as DIY drillers turn into millionaires overnight thumbnail

$300,000. That’s how much a guy named ‘Coomer’ makes each month from an oil well he drilled. In his own back yard. So forget about digging for gold or trawling for Alaksan King Crabs, Discovery’s newest show chronicles the “high stakes, comical roller coaster ride through the world of wildcat oil drilling.” “’Backyard Oil’ is […]


EPA snags Keystone XL pipeline

EPA snags Keystone XL pipeline thumbnail

The politics of oil and ecology have put President Obama between a rock and hard place, as he faces a decision on whether or not to permit construction of a new pipeline. The squeeze just got tighter with a new, negative environmental assessment. The Keystone XL pipeline will give America energy independence, thousands of jobs, […]


The Landscape of Energy

The Landscape of Energy thumbnail

his essay comes from the book ENERGY: Overdevelopment and the Delusion of Endless Growth Published by the Foundation for Deep Ecology in collaboration with Watershed Media and Post Carbon Institute. Download The Landscape of Energy Post Carbon Institute/Foundation for Deep Ecology


Global food prices continue to rise

Global food prices continue to rise thumbnail

Continuing a decade-long increase, global food prices rose 2.7 percent in 2012, reaching levels not seen since the 1960s and 1970s but still well below the price spike of 1974. The price increases reverse a previous trend when real prices of food commodities declined at an average annual rate of 0.6 percent from 1960 to […]


Peak Oil Denial: Sticking To The Script (Pt 5)

Peak Oil Denial: Sticking To The Script (Pt 5) thumbnail

This is the fifth in a series of posts [* links below] examining the latest entry straight from the playbook on peak oil denial—that seemingly never-ending attempt to ignore facts, mis-/under-inform readers, or create ever-rising levels of non-credible optimism. [NOTE: Any quotes in this series are taken from the above-referenced Manhattan Institute paper unless otherwise […]


India Clears Projects Worth Billions of Dollars

India Clears Projects Worth Billions of Dollars thumbnail

An Indian ministerial panel on Monday approved 25 oil and gas and 13 power projects involving investments worth billions of dollars as part of its efforts to boost economic growth. These are among the many projects in India which are facing delays due to bureaucratic red-tape, creating an obstacle to growth in an economy expanding […]


Scientists warn bulging population could spawn world starvation

Scientists warn bulging population could spawn world starvation thumbnail

As Earth Day celebrations are happening everywhere today, scientists are contemplating how to increase already declining food supplies by 60 percent in order to meet the needs of a massive global population expected in 2050. On Friday, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported drought-related crop losses in 2012 across the US were the […]


New UAE energy minister seeks energy efficiency

New UAE energy minister seeks energy efficiency thumbnail

Concerned about rising domestic oil consumption, the new minister of energy of the United Arab Emirates has called for national-level improvements in energy-use efficiency. At the Dubai Global Energy Forum, Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei pointed to rapid increases in oil consumption and the UAE’s status as a net importer of natural gas and said, […]


Nobel Physicist: Society Should Convert To Natural Gas

Nobel Physicist: Society Should Convert To Natural Gas thumbnail

Of all the energy sources in play, natural gas offers the most immediate promise as a clean, abundant fuel that can meet society’s needs, including the need to mitigate global warming, Nobel prize winning physicist Carlo Rubbia said in Chicago Friday. Society should pursue two goals, now within reach, to fulfill the promise of natural […]


Why the Peak Resource Crowd Is Wrong

Why the Peak Resource Crowd Is Wrong thumbnail

Legendary investor Jeremy Grantham says we’re headed for “a disaster of biblical proportions” because the earth has only enough resources to support a population of 1.5 billion– just a fraction of the 7 billion already here on earth and growing. Computer scientist and former Microsoft executive Ramez Naam agrees that the world’s population now is […]


Kunstler: Aftershocks

Kunstler: Aftershocks thumbnail

If the FBI can track down two homicidal Chechen nobodies inside of forty-eight hours of their Boston bombing caper, you kind of wonder how come the Bureau can’t detect the odor of racketeering, insider trading, and wire fraud in this month’s orchestrated smackdown of the gold futures markets, including the parts plaid by the Federal […]


Reflections on the Conference on “Peak Oil: Challenges and Opportunities for the GCC Countries”

Reflections on the Conference on “Peak Oil: Challenges and Opportunities for the GCC Countries” thumbnail

By Robert L. Hirsch PhD, Senior Energy Advisor, MISI I was fortunate to be among the few westerners invited to attend and speak at this first-of-its kind “peak oil” (PO) conference in a Middle East. The fact that a major Middle East oil exporter would hold such a conference on what has long been a […]


Taking Practical Action Toward Resilience

Taking Practical Action Toward Resilience thumbnail

Dreaming, organizing, and awareness raising are all important parts of the work we do, but there is something to be said for bringing people together, getting your hands dirty, and creating something beautiful. As we heard in last month’s teleseminar with Rob Hopkins, practical projects are one of the most fun and effective ways to […]


Low Oil Prices Lead to Economic Peak Oil

Low Oil Prices Lead to Economic Peak Oil thumbnail

We have all heard the story about oil supply supposedly rising and falling for geological reasons. But what if the story is a little different from this–oil production rises and falls for economic reasons? If this is the issue, it doesn’t really matter how much oil is in the ground. What matters is if economic conditions […]


UAE: ‘Days of Easy, Cheap Oil are Gone’

UAE: ‘Days of Easy, Cheap Oil are Gone’ thumbnail

The United Arab Emirates is planning to get up to 25% of its power from nuclear energy by 2021 as it looks to reduce its domestic reliance on fossil fuels and ensure it has enough oil to export as its economy expands, the country’s new energy minister said Monday. “Nuclear energy is expected to account […]


Entering a Resource-Shock World

Entering a Resource-Shock World thumbnail

Brace yourself. You may not be able to tell yet, but according to global experts and the U.S. intelligence community, the earth is already shifting under you.  Whether you know it or not, you’re on a new planet, a resource-shock world of a sort humanity has never before experienced. Two nightmare scenarios — a global […]


Peak Oil’s Impact: Baseball

Peak Oil’s Impact: Baseball thumbnail

Oil plays an essential role in almost everything that touches our everyday lives. From the food we eat to the means by which we transport ourselves, our goods, and our services, to what we grow, build, have, own, need, and do, oil is almost always an important element. But the painful truth now and soon […]


Tech Talk – The BP view of the future

Tech Talk – The BP view of the future thumbnail

So I suspect I should apologize. Here I am talking about the future projections for energy production that have been made by companies such as ExxonMobil and Shell, as though they were still the key and only players in the world. Yet, in reality, Saudi Aramco (12.5 mbdoe); Gazprom (9.7 mbdoe) and National Iranian Oil […]


What’s Happening With Chris Martenson?

What’s Happening With Chris Martenson? thumbnail

I admire Chris Martenson and subscribe to his service, Peak Prosperity. By looking at the empirical data, the guy became convinced that Peak Oil was real and significant and took action. He published his “Crash Course” and quit his lucrative day-job to spread his thinking. I particularly admire his synthesis of two ideas: The fractional […]


Obama To Sell $10 Billion In Weapons To Israel, Saudi Arabia And The UAE

Obama To Sell $10 Billion In Weapons To Israel, Saudi Arabia And The UAE thumbnail

11 Plugin Update Having been denied the ability to control guns by the democratically-controlled Senate last Wednesday in the biggest slap to the administration’s face in a long time, Obama decided promptly to put as many guns as he possibly can in the hands of US soldiers and various non-Americans. First, it was the announcement […]


Florida Sues BP Over Gulf Oil Spill

Florida Sues BP Over Gulf Oil Spill thumbnail

The state of Florida filed a lawsuit Saturday against the oil company BP and the cement contractor Halliburton over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, becoming the fourth state to seek damages for the 2010 disaster. The suit, among other things, faults BP for not changing the batteries on the rig’s blowout preventer. It also accuses […]


Natural gas industry experiencing ‘paradigm shift’

Natural gas industry experiencing ‘paradigm shift’ thumbnail

Liquefied natural gas has tremendous upside as a transportation fuel over the next several decades, speakers said Friday on the closing day of a mega-conference in Houston. The 17th International Conference & Exhibition on Liquefied Natural Gas brought together industry and government officials from around the world to discuss the past, present and future for […]


The future of electricity

The future of electricity thumbnail

At some point, we were going to see an ideological stand-off over electricity, but to put the current Labour/Green vs National stoush into perspective requires a dispassionate examination of everything involved: money, energy, and growth. As good a place to start as any, would be a lecture given at Otago University a couple of years […]


Condoleezza Rice: Russia Really Just a Large Oil, Gas Syndicate

Condoleezza Rice: Russia Really Just a Large Oil, Gas Syndicate thumbnail

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice received a warm welcome from a receptive audience at TD Ameritrade Institutional’s annual conference in San Diego on Thursday morning. Introduced by Kate Healy, the company’s managing director of institutional marketing, Rice began by noting the difference between working in the public and private sectors. “When I left government, […]


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@paulcurrion @RodZeidan @giancarlotorpi @BrankoMilan Willingly or by force we are going to make the transition because there is no alternative. The problem is what level of economic output we'll have after it. I doubt for example that we are going to see electrical planes. Will we have energy rationing like in the 40s ? #PeakOil

@paulcurrion @RodZeidan @giancarlotorpi @BrankoMilan If renewables were easy to implement and they had good EROIs then I wouldn't worry. But since most renewables have very low EROIs then I think we are heading towards catastrophe. Many industries depend on fossile fuels. And we need a hard rudder turn... #PeakOil

@RodZeidan @paulcurrion @giancarlotorpi @BrankoMilan And Growthers should give us a realistic way to increase fossile fuels production. But they ignore the problem and then wishfully hope that something like fusion power is going to come to the rescue. That's foolishness at its best ! #PeakOil