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News from May 2013

Tech Talk – Cutting Back on Supply in the Presence of Optimism

Tech Talk – Cutting Back on Supply in the Presence of Optimism thumbnail

We have reached, I would suppose, a period of complacency in the perception of the coming of Peak Oil. We are in a period where, as recent posts have shown, the promises of bountiful supply are built on increasingly tenuous propositions. Unfortunately, the evolving story of the mess that we are heading into is at […]


Google Earth and the Bahraini Uprising

Google Earth and the Bahraini Uprising thumbnail

At this minute, the entire industrialized world is having a collective panic attack over the protests and brutal crackdowns now underway in the tiny nation of Bahrain. Sure, it might be the dawn of an oppressed people—democracy, civil rights, rule of law. And it might be a government reacting via violent suppression to the tune […]


The Oil Extremists

The Oil Extremists thumbnail

The federal Energy Information Administration reported in March that at some point this year — maybe in the fall, maybe next month, maybe tomorrow — United States crude oil production will surpass imports for the first time since 1995. This is an important milestone. It does not mean that America has reached energy independence, not […]


Google and Wind Energy: Acquisition of Makani Kite Power

Google and Wind Energy: Acquisition of Makani Kite Power thumbnail

It’s been a long time since we covered Makani Power, the company developing kite-like wind turbines. But the company didn’t float away (bad pun intended). In fact, it has just been bought by Google, for development under its Google[x] division. Image Credit: Makani / Google Some quick history: Makani’s creators several years ago came up with […]


Greenland – The Rare Earth Frontier

Greenland – The Rare Earth Frontier thumbnail

The Economist has a report on Greenland’s rare earth potential – Why does Greenland’s election have global implications?. The world may not often be very interested in Greenland but it is fascinated by what lies beneath it. As the country’s ice cap melts, hidden mineral wealth is coming tantalisingly within reach. The country’s riches include “rare […]


2-child limit for Muslims in parts of Myanmar

2-child limit for Muslims in parts of Myanmar thumbnail

Authorities in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state have imposed a two-child limit for Muslim Rohingya families, a policy that does not apply to Buddhists in the area and comes amid accusations of ethnic cleansing in the aftermath of sectarian violence. Local officials said Saturday that the new measure would be applied to two Rakhine townships that […]


Are Pipeline Spills A Foregone Conclusion?

Are Pipeline Spills A Foregone Conclusion? thumbnail

Exxon Mobil hasn’t asked federal regulatory authorities to restart the Pegasus oil pipeline, which burst open in a neighborhood in Mayflower, Ark.  In March, a 22-foot rupture in the pipeline spilled about 5,000 barrels of diluted Canadian crude oil into an area of marshland, though the company said it’s been effectively cleaning the area with […]


BP, Shell, Statoil in U.S. Lawsuit Over Alleged Oil Manipulation

BP, Shell, Statoil in U.S. Lawsuit Over Alleged Oil Manipulation thumbnail

BP PLC (BP.LN), Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA.LN) and Statoil ASA (STL.OS) have been named in the first lawsuit to be filed following a European Commission antitrust investigation into alleged manipulation of oil prices and benchmarks, the Financial Times in London reported Saturday, citing legal documents. The oil majors were named as defendants in a […]


Bahraini protesters clash with police

Bahraini protesters clash with police thumbnail

Thousands rally in village of Diraz to demonstrate against a raid last week on a top Shia cleric’s home. Thousands of anti-government protesters have rallied in Bahrain to demonstrate against a raid last week on a top cleric’s home. Shia protesters in the village of Diraz, west of the capital Manama, threw stones at hundreds […]


Hacks targeting US oil, gas, and electric companies traced to Iran

Hacks targeting US oil, gas, and electric companies traced to Iran thumbnail

The Wall Street Journal and New York Times both report that recent cyber attacks against US oil, gas, and power companies have come from Iran. The hackers were targeting control systems and probing for the kind of access that would give them the ability to disrupt oil pipelines and other infrastructure. The cyber attacks are […]


Deep Earth Plans Canada’s First Geothermal Power Amid Oil Wells

Deep Earth Plans Canada’s First Geothermal Power Amid Oil Wells thumbnail

Deep Earth Energy Production Corp., a closely help developer, is planning Canada’s first geothermal power plant that will tap into heat resources underneath oil and natural gas fields in Saskatchewan, according to Chief Executive Officer Kirsten Marcia. The project may cost C$35 million ($33.9 million) and would have 5 megawatts of generating capacity, Marcia said […]


Peak oil – Wiki Article

Peak oil – Wiki Article thumbnail

Peak oil is the point in time when the maximum rate of petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production is expected to enter terminal decline. Global production of oil fell from a high point in 2005 at 74 mb/d, but has since rebounded setting new records in both 2011 and 2012. There […]


E-Cat: fool me n-times…..

E-Cat: fool me n-times….. thumbnail

The E-Cat keeps returning. Initially I had found it intriguing, then sort of fun (also here). Eventually, I had lost all interest in this ever-repeating story of unverified and unverifiable claims. However, the recent publication on ArXiv of a series of tests on a new version of the E-Cat has generated a flurry of questions […]


Towards Transparency in Oil, Gas and Mining

Towards Transparency in Oil, Gas and Mining thumbnail

Natural resources are a large source of revenue for many countries, however, without good management local communities may not feel the benefits. The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), the global standard for transparency of revenues from natural resources, is holding its 2013 Global Conference in Sydney. The World Bank is a supporter of EITI which […]


Lack of fresh water could hit half the world’s population by 2050

Lack of fresh water could hit half the world’s population by 2050 thumbnail

Severe water shortages will affect more than half the world’s future population of nine billion people by 2050 if governments fail to collaborate on international efforts to protect and conserve life’s most vital ingredient, experts have warned. One of the first indications of a future water crisis will be mass migrations of people away from […]


Will It Be Inflation Or Deflation? The Answer May Surprise You

Will It Be Inflation Or Deflation? The Answer May Surprise You thumbnail

Is the coming financial collapse going to be inflationary or deflationary?  Are we headed for rampant inflation or crippling deflation?  This is a subject that is hotly debated by economists all over the country.  Some insist that the wild money printing that the Federal Reserve is doing combined with out of control government spending will […]


The Colorado River, The High Plains Aquifer And The Entire Western Half Of The U.S. Are Rapidly Drying Up

The Colorado River, The High Plains Aquifer And The Entire Western Half Of The U.S. Are Rapidly Drying Up thumbnail

What is life going to look like as our precious water resources become increasingly strained and the western half of the United States becomes bone dry?  Scientists tell us that the 20th century was the wettest century in the western half of the country in 1000 years, and now things appear to be reverting to […]


All hail Gazpromia: UK gas supply six hours from running out in March

All hail Gazpromia: UK gas supply six hours from running out in March thumbnail

Britain came within six hours of running out of natural gas in March, according to a senior energy official, highlighting the risk of supply shortages amid declining domestic production and a growing reliance on imports. “We really only had six hours’ worth of gas left in storage as a buffer,” said Rob Hastings, director of […]


Supply Shock: Ecological Economics Comes of Age

Supply Shock: Ecological Economics Comes of Age thumbnail

The ideas which are here expressed so laboriously are extremely simple and should be obvious. The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones, which ramify, for those brought up as most of us have been, into every corner of our minds. John Maynard Keynes Of all the critiques […]


Oil Limits and Climate Change

Oil Limits and Climate Change thumbnail

They say that every cloud has a silver lining. If future energy consumption (which is mostly fossil fuel) drops because of a financial collapse brought on by high oil prices and other limits, then, at least in theory, climate change should be less of a problem.  One of the important variables in climate change models is […]


The Natural Gas Games Begin

The Natural Gas Games Begin thumbnail

Washington this week has been engulfed in the natural gas export conundrum, with a Senate energy committee’s first in a series of natural gas forums starting off on 14 May. They’re just testing the waters here, but next week we’ll get down and dirty on this one: the entire meeting will be devoted solely to […]


Sharing as a Solution to Global Crisis

Sharing as a Solution to Global Crisis thumbnail

The social, environmental and economic crises that continue to reap havoc across the globe provide a critical opportunity for ordinary people to demand economic reform and political transformation says STWR’s director, Rajesh Makwana, in an interview with John Habets & Henk Gloudemans. 13th May 2013 – Published in the Dutch magazine of the WereldDelen Foundation […]


Raising the Bar on Extractive Resources Transparency and Accountability

Raising the Bar on Extractive Resources Transparency and Accountability thumbnail

Over 3.5 billion people—or half of the world’s population—live in countries that are rich in extractive resources such as oil, gas, and minerals. Yet, too often, the benefits from this wealth do not go to support the development of the country and thus do not work to the advantage of the  average citizen. Extractive resources […]


Iran Pushes Ahead With New Nuke Plant

Iran Pushes Ahead With New Nuke Plant thumbnail

Iran is pressing ahead with the construction of a research reactor that Western experts say could offer it a second way of producing material for a nuclear bomb if it decides to make one, a U.N. report showed on Wednesday. Iran has transported the reactor vessel to the heavy water plant near the central town […]


Study: Fukushima Radiation Has Already Killed 14,000 Americans

Study: Fukushima Radiation Has Already Killed 14,000 Americans thumbnail

Already 14,000 U.S. Deaths From Fukushima ? A new study published in the peer-reviewed journal International Journal of Health Services alleges that 14,000 people have already died in the United States due to Fukushima. Specifically, the authors of the study claim: An estimated 14,000 excess deaths in the United States are linked to the radioactive […]


Hyperinflation – 10 Worst Cases

Hyperinflation – 10 Worst Cases thumbnail

I have a neat little app on my smartphone that I like to look at when I’m feeling bored. It won’t change anything in my life, but it makes me think as I see the numbers clocking up, and then suddenly stopping for a few seconds. It’s the app that tells me the how much […]


US Oil Surge Could Impact Mideast Geopolitics

US Oil Surge Could Impact Mideast Geopolitics thumbnail

The United States will account for a third of new oil supplies over the next five years, and will become energy self-sufficient in 20 years, according to a new report by the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA). Although U.S. oil imports from Arab Gulf countries increased last year, analysts predict the U.S. will lose its […]


Thinking of starting a Transition Initiative?

Thinking of starting a Transition Initiative? thumbnail

Are you thinking about starting a new Transition initiative in your town, village or city? I was among those who initiated Transition Dartmouth Park, in North London, around a year and a half ago. We recently held a core group away day, and after a shared, home-made and home grown lunch, we sat down to […]


Peak Oil: Ignoring Evidence

Peak Oil: Ignoring Evidence thumbnail

An observation worth noting … and pondering, from Al Gore: Have we gone completely nuts? We haven’t gone nuts — but the ‘conversation of democracy’ has become so deeply dysfunctional that our ability to make intelligent collective decisions has been seriously impaired. Throughout American history, we relied on the vibrancy of our public square — […]


Difficult Truths about ‘Difficult Oil’

Difficult Truths about ‘Difficult Oil’ thumbnail

As the global economy switches to heavier, messier and costlier hydrocarbons, Robert Skinner is getting a bit worried about the future of his three grandchildren. It’s all about the story of “difficult oil,” a term the highly respected energy expert and geologist first coined nearly a decade ago. Now, Skinner, a 67-year energy veteran, has […]


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@terrymorse @gianlucatdc @BrankoMilan @ClubOfRome Probably because they know they are running out of coal. Let's cross our fingers for their success... #PeakCoal #PeakOil

test Twitter Media - @terrymorse @gianlucatdc @BrankoMilan @ClubOfRome Probably because they know they are running out of coal. Let's cross our fingers for their success...  #PeakCoal  #PeakOil https://t.co/91qHT3vAbJ

@terrymorse @gianlucatdc @BrankoMilan @ClubOfRome What evidence ? The only way we've found to reduce fossile fuels consumption has been #Degrowth periods usually called recessions. In Greece for example they are experiencing the harshest chaotic degrowth. And its costs are not fairly shared. #Peakoil

test Twitter Media - @terrymorse @gianlucatdc @BrankoMilan @ClubOfRome What evidence ? The only way we've found to reduce fossile fuels consumption has been #Degrowth periods usually called recessions. In Greece for example they are experiencing the harshest chaotic degrowth. And its costs are not fairly shared.  #Peakoil https://t.co/WGluUZULlo

@terrymorse @gianlucatdc @BrankoMilan @ClubOfRome Still we need countries to take #Peakoil seriously and implement a Marshall Plan for renewables. Better to have a planned #Degrowth than a massive struggle for the last oil and gas fields. Imperialist wars in the Middle East could doom humanity. LEAVE OIL BEFORE IT LEAVES US

test Twitter Media - @terrymorse @gianlucatdc @BrankoMilan @ClubOfRome Still we need countries to take #Peakoil seriously and implement a Marshall Plan for renewables. Better to have a planned #Degrowth than a massive struggle for the last oil and gas fields. Imperialist wars in the Middle East could doom humanity.
LEAVE OIL BEFORE IT LEAVES US https://t.co/B3uf5n3dV5

@terrymorse @gianlucatdc @BrankoMilan @ClubOfRome The only renewable to have a good EROI is hydropower but it's difficult to find enough rivers to dam and climate change may affect the rain patterns. Solar power for example has a low EROI when we transform it into electricity. Solar power for heating is much better. #Peakoil

@terrymorse @gianlucatdc @BrankoMilan @ClubOfRome Well, renewables are the future but their EROIs are usually inferior to the fossile fuels ones. So a society based on renewables is going to have a much lower level of consumption and many transports like planes or helicopters are not going to be possible. #PeakOil