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News from February 2014

More radiation detected near New Mexico nuke site

More radiation detected near New Mexico nuke site thumbnail

More airborne radiation has been detected in southeastern New Mexico from a leak at the nation’s first underground nuclear waste dump. The U.S. Department of Energy said Monday the results are from samples collected last week at numerous air monitoring stations at and around the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad. Last week, DOE officials […]


Beginning of the End? Oil Companies Cut Back on Spending

Beginning of the End? Oil Companies Cut Back on Spending thumbnail

Steve Kopits recently gave a presentation explaining our current predicament: the cost of oil extraction has been rising rapidly (10.9% per year) but oil prices have been flat. Major oil companies are finding their profits squeezed, and have recently announced plans to sell off part of their assets in order to have funds to pay their dividends. […]


Water Rationing Begins Outside Malaysia Capital Amid Drought

Water Rationing Begins Outside Malaysia Capital Amid Drought thumbnail

Water rationing began in areas surrounding Malaysia’s capital after a prolonged drought, as Selangor state officials sought to wrap up talks to nationalize the local industry. “The supply of raw water in Selangor state is in a critical condition,” Khalid Ibrahim, the state’s chief minister, said in a faxed statement late yesterday. “The water levels […]


Fusion Power, China, and Political Will

Fusion Power, China, and Political Will thumbnail

At The New Yorker, Raffi Khatchadourian mounts a long exploration of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor and the quagmire of bureaucratic, political and technical difficulties surrounding it. China’s need for and work towards fusion power appears on the fringes of his story. Sitting at his computer, [Guenter] Janeschitz [a senior adviser in the ITER director-general’s […]


Alan Weisman presents issues of overpopulation, sustainability

Alan Weisman presents issues of overpopulation, sustainability thumbnail

After traveling to more than 20 countries, Alan Weisman found insight on how to achieve a more stable population and solve the problems of overpopulation how to ensure prosperity in the future. Weisman’s new book, “Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?” addresses the issues of overpopulation and sustainability in our world. […]


Arctic Oil Still Seen Decades Away as Producers Balk at Costs

Arctic Oil Still Seen Decades Away as Producers Balk at Costs thumbnail

Lundin Petroleum AB (LUPE), the Swedish explorer focused on Norway, said there won’t be any new oil output in the ice-filled waters of the Arctic for at least 15 years because of technical and logistical challenges. “I don’t think we’ll see any oil production in the Arctic any time soon — probably not this decade […]


US War Machine Downsizing?

US War Machine Downsizing? thumbnail

Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel has unveiled plans to shrink the US Army to its smallest size since before the US entered World War Two. Outlining his budget plan, the Pentagon chief proposed trimming the active-duty Army to 440,000-450,000 personnel, down from 520,000 currently. Cold War-era Air Force fleets – the U-2 spy plane and the […]


North Sea oil: Facts and figures

North Sea oil: Facts and figures thumbnail

  40bn barrels extracted 24bn could remain 30-40 years of production remaining £57bn tax revenue predicted by Scottish Government by 2018 38% fall in oil revenue predicted by Office for Budget Responsibility by 2017-18 The future of North Sea oil is one of the key campaign battlegrounds ahead of the Scottish independence referendum. Since the […]


The austerity of the commons: a struggle for the essential

The austerity of the commons: a struggle for the essential thumbnail

In a precarious context induced by a struggle for the essential, one term has re-emerged as indispensable, providing many of us with a new sense of direction, creation and sharing, and ultimately, like a boomerang, assuming the ‘austere’ dignity of that which cannot be renounced: the commons.   When in Spring 2010 ‘austerity’ began to […]


Oil Spill Shuts New Orleans Port & Mississippi River

Oil Spill Shuts New Orleans Port & Mississippi River thumbnail

A 25-mile stretch of the Mississippi near New Orleans remained closed Monday after two vessels collided and caused an oil spill on Saturday, the U.S. Coast Guard said. The Lindsay Ann Erickson crashed with the Hannah C. Settoon, which was pushing two barges carrying barrels of light crude oil that spilled into the river, U.S. […]


Dying Starfish may be due to Fukushima Radiation

Dying Starfish may be due to Fukushima Radiation thumbnail

Incredibly, a San Luis Obispo, California “mainstream” newspaper – The Tribune – published a 408-word article Tuesday about the widespread epidemic of dying starfish in coastal tidepools and not one of those words was “Fukushima,” or “radiation.” “The cause of the disease is an unidentified pathogen that causes the animals to look deflated or have […]


Local Alternatives to Globalized Development: A View from India

Local Alternatives to Globalized Development: A View from India thumbnail

In this extended episode, Local Bites interviews scholar/activist, Ashish Kothari about his book, Churning the Earth: The Making of Global India, co-authored by Aseem Shrivastava. During the first half of the interview, Kothari provides a sobering account of the social and environmental impacts of globalized development in India, arguing persuasively that the costs outweigh the benefits, and calling […]


In the face of collapse, neither polyanna nor doomer

In the face of collapse, neither polyanna nor doomer thumbnail

Carolyn Baker writes with passion, insight and courage about a topic that most people turn away from – the emotional, psychological and spiritual aspect of what she and many others call “collapse.” Collapse is the convergence in our times of economic unraveling, resource depletion and human created climate instability that could bring the destruction of […]


Wells That Fizzle Are a ‘Potential Show Stopper’ for the Shale Boom

Wells That Fizzle Are a ‘Potential Show Stopper’ for the Shale Boom thumbnail

The oil patch needs more brain for its brawn. The reason is enough to give pause to anyone enjoying the benefits of cheap, abundant energy produced in the U.S. New wells are fizzling out in their first year, threatening the 3-year-old oil boom. The challenge is forging alliances between two groups who previously rarely needed […]


Global Citizenship Key to World Peace

Global Citizenship Key to World Peace thumbnail

Nobel Laureate Betty Williams started her speech to a peace forum at the U.N. headquarters Friday with perhaps the last thing the audience would expect her to say. From left: H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations; Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, Former Under-Secretary-General and High Representative; and Ms. […]


Britain creates new oil and gas regulator to tackle falling output

Britain creates new oil and gas regulator to tackle falling output thumbnail

Britain said it would create a new oil and gas regulator which will help UK explorers speed up their search for hard-to-access fossil fuel resources in a bid to counter plunging North Sea production rates. A government-commissioned report published on Monday said Britain could lose out on a potential 200 billion pounds worth of oil […]


New Frontiers: Eagle Ford vs. Permian, the great Texas oil showdown

New Frontiers: Eagle Ford vs. Permian, the great Texas oil showdown thumbnail

Production in West Texas’ Permian Basin has grown at a moderate clip over the last few years, but how does it stack up to its faster-growing peer resource plays? Two prominent operators in the biggest US unconventional oil plays traded thoughts recently on how it measures up to the giant Eagle Ford field, which has […]


Bakken Shale Oil Carries High Combustion Risk

Bakken Shale Oil Carries High Combustion Risk thumbnail

Crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken Shale formation contains several times the combustible gases as oil from elsewhere, a Wall Street Journal analysis found, raising new questions about the safety of shipping such crude by rail across the U.S. Federal investigators are trying to determine whether such vapors are responsible for recent extraordinary explosions of […]


Daniel Yergin: Looking Back and Forward at Big Trends in Energy

Daniel Yergin: Looking Back and Forward at Big Trends in Energy thumbnail

Pulitzer prize-winning author and energy analyst Daniel Yergin kicked off the 2014 MIT Energy Conference Friday by looking back at big changes in the energy landscape since the conference launched in 2006—and ahead at three visions for the future of energy. Dr. Yergin, Vice President of IHS and author of two bestselling books on the […]


Woes of Megacity Driving Signal Dawn of ‘Peak Car’ Era

Woes of Megacity Driving Signal Dawn of ‘Peak Car’ Era thumbnail

The world that Henry Ford put on wheels is poised for a stall. In the globe’s growing megacities, pollution and gridlock are putting a damper on driving. In India, some commuters are leaving their cars at home to avoid traffic snarls and long prowls for parking. More young Americans are forgoing the dream of auto […]


Tackling food security with a growing population, climate change and peak oil

Tackling food security with a growing population, climate change and peak oil thumbnail

With a growing population and improving diets there is a need to double our food supply by 2050. Identify three measures you would take to meet this demand. Identify one of your measures from your list and post your solution into the discussion – be prepared to defend your choice! That is a big question […]


Thirst for water and energy: Challenge for regional cooperation

Thirst for water and energy: Challenge for regional cooperation thumbnail

AS the world’s population continues to grow, so does its thirst for water and energy. Unfortunately, not every nation is able to get an equitable share of the precious water and energy resources. If we look into the history of the prolonged Middle Eastern conflicts, we will see that many of them are related to […]


Is ammonia the holy grail for renewable energy storage?

Is ammonia the holy grail for renewable energy storage? thumbnail

New Orleans, 1871: “Ammoniacal Gas Engine” propelled streetcar, sketch by A. R. Waud, with subsidiary figures of woman holding baby, woman with parasol, and man wearing a hat. (Wikimedia Commons) “If you want to beat carbon, it’s the only way to do it unless you change the chemical charts.” So says Jack Robertson about the […]


The Great Australian Electricity Rip-Off

The Great Australian Electricity Rip-Off thumbnail

Right, now I’m getting really &*%$ed off. Although I’ve spent more than two decades in the solar and energy field, in the last two years as solar has grown and we have become an intrinsic and material part of  Australia’s energy mix I have come to realize something fundamental. The Australian public is being duped […]


Will the world population peak?

Will the world population peak? thumbnail

Hans Rosling had a question: Do some religions have a higher birth rate than others — and how does this affect global population growth?


G-20 Agrees To Grow Global Economy By $2 Trillion

G-20 Agrees To Grow Global Economy By $2 Trillion thumbnail

Apparently all it takes to kick the world out of a secular recession and back into growth mode, is for several dozen finance ministers and central bankers to sit down and sign on the dotted line, agreeing it has to be done. That is the take home message from the just concluded latest G-20 meeting […]


Innovation, Not Regulation, Will Increase Global Prosperity

Innovation, Not Regulation, Will Increase Global Prosperity thumbnail

Everyone seems to have an opinion about the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and whether the conference demonizes those who are successful, or as Pope Francis said, promotes business practices that lead to “widespread social exclusion.” But bringing together powerful global interests to address social injustices is among the most effective ways to encourage the kind of […]


Libya oil output dives after key field shut

Libya oil output dives after key field shut thumbnail

Oil output drops to 230,000 barrels a day as the el-Sharara field is forced to close down due to security conditions. Libya’s oil production has fallen to 230,000 barrels a day from 570,000 bpd due to the closure of the el-Sharara field following protests, state-owned National Oil Corp (NOC) said. “The country’s oil production has […]


Iran Plans Higher Pay for New Oil Contracts

Iran Plans Higher Pay for New Oil Contracts thumbnail

Iran will offer foreign partners incentives to find and pump more crude and natural gas and will pay some fees in barrels as it seeks to boost income once international sanctions are lifted. New contracts Iran is developing will offer higher fees for riskier exploration and production projects, oil-ministry officials said at a conference in […]


Poverty Rises Amidst Gold

Poverty Rises Amidst Gold thumbnail

Natural reserves such as gold, copper, nickel, gas and timber are being extracted in the western Pacific island states of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands to feed the soaring economies of East and South East Asia. But despite these Pacific nations recording economic growth rates of 6-11 percent over the past seven years, opportunities […]


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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