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News from May 2014

A Gathering of Silverbacks: Age of Limits 2014

A Gathering of Silverbacks: Age of Limits 2014 thumbnail

“Whenever such large shifts in temperature occurred in Earth’s history, they were not gradual but came in lurches. Resilience is the capacity of a system to continue providing essential functions after receiving that kind of shock.” The first known use of the Infinite Improbability Drive was initiated by Zaphod Beeblebrox and Trillian on the starship Heart of Gold. Its major […]


Peak Oil: Is This Approach The Only Option?

Peak Oil: Is This Approach The Only Option? thumbnail

The roster of Fellows at the Post Carbon Institute hardly strikes any reasonable person as a collection of bug-eyed extremists out to strike fear into the hearts of mere mortals everywhere. Disagree if one must with the conclusions they draw, but this think tank has shared with the public a variety of thoroughly-research, fact-based reports […]


Peak Coal: Will the US Run Out of Coal in 20 Years or 200 Years?

Peak Coal: Will the US Run Out of Coal in 20 Years or 200 Years? thumbnail

“Most U.S. coal is buried too deeply to be mined at a profit.” U.S. coal production has peaked, and the miscalculations that have led to estimates of a 200-year supply could create a serious electricity deficit for the nation, according to a new report from advocacy group Clean Energy Action. “The belief that the U.S. […]


World Bank warns of food riots as rising food prices push world populations toward revolt

World Bank warns of food riots as rising food prices push world populations toward revolt thumbnail

A new report issued by the World Bank (1) warns that food prices are skyrocketing globally, with wheat up 18 percent and corn up 12 percent this quarter. Ukraine, one of the largest wheat exporters in the world, has suffered a 73 percent increase in domestic wheat costs. Argentina has seen wheat prices skyrocket 70 […]


The Path To Peak Water

The Path To Peak Water thumbnail

Water is the lifeblood of humanity; it turns out it is in short supply. Like any other commodity high in demand, you should keep an eye on it for investment purposes as we get closer and closer to “peak water.” The overwhelming majority of global fresh water is locked up as ice or permanent snow […]


$4 gas fuels shock and awful words

$4 gas fuels shock and awful words thumbnail

Four-dollar gasoline has made an unwelcome and unexpected return. Prices of regular, unleaded rose to within a penny or two of $4 per gallon yesterday across central Ohio, according to GasBuddy.com, with a few retailers hitting the $4 mark. Analysts say the increase is because of a national surge in demand that is hitting the […]


Tanker with piped Iraqi Kurdish oil U-turns away from US

Tanker with piped Iraqi Kurdish oil U-turns away from US thumbnail

A crude oil tanker at the center of a dispute between Iraqi Kurdistan and Baghdad has reversed course from its route towards the United States, ship-tracking data showed on Friday, indicating that the shipper may not have a buyer. The United Leadership oil tanker has become a symbol of a wider conflict between Baghdad and […]


U.S. Gasoline Consumption Plummets By Nearly 75%

U.S. Gasoline Consumption Plummets By Nearly 75% thumbnail

Regular readers are familiar with my narratives on the U.S. Greater Depression, and (in particular) some of the government’s own charts which depict this economic meltdown most vividly. The collapse in the “civilian participation rate” (the number of people working in the economy) and the “velocity of money” (the heartbeat of the economy) indicate an […]


The Danger of Natural Gas

The Danger of Natural Gas thumbnail

Natural gas continues to grow in popularity, but could be a lethal energy resource Natural gas is currently one of the most aggressively supported forms of fuel in the United States. The government has been investing heavily in support of natural gas over the past few years, claiming that this fuel can be used to […]


Mike Ruppert’s Story Part 36: Bellevue 2

Mike Ruppert’s Story Part 36: Bellevue 2 thumbnail

  This account is different from the previous post on Bellevue.  I remember some of the scenes in both but not when they took place.  I think there were two visits to Bellevue but it’s possible that my notes were simply written at two different times.   December 31 2006 10:30 PM Back from Bellevue, […]


Mike Ruppert’s Story Part 35 – Bonding

Mike Ruppert’s Story Part 35 – Bonding thumbnail

“When I was about ten and had just moved to a new school, we had rope-climbing in gym. I’d never climbed a rope and I sucked. I became a champion rope-climber after that. ‘Another time, also when I was ten, the kids were changing in the locker room at the pool, I was uncircumcised so I made […]


The transition to sustainable energy: how much will it cost?

The transition to sustainable energy: how much will it cost? thumbnail

Guiding the Energy Transition (Part 1): Principles and Implications   By Sgouris Sgouridis (*)   Abstract: Following on the sower’s metaphor, I present a quantified view of exactly how much energy we need to invest from our current bounty in order to be able to safely navigate a sustainable energy transition. This is in the […]


Converging Energy Crises – And How our Current Situation Differs from the Past

Converging Energy Crises – And How our Current Situation Differs from the Past thumbnail

At the Age of Limits Conference, I gave a talk called Converging Crises (PDF), talking about the crises facing us as we reach energy limits. In this post, I discuss some highlights from a fairly long talk. A related topic is how our current situation is different from past collapses. John Michael Greer talked about prior collapses, but […]


Human Population Growth, Consumption Has Increased Species Extinctions by More Than 1,000 Times Natural Rate

Human Population Growth, Consumption Has Increased Species Extinctions by More Than 1,000 Times Natural Rate thumbnail

A new study published in the internationally recognized journal Science has determined that the current rate of species extinctions is more than 1,000 times greater than the background rate calculated from the fossil record and genetic data, spanning millions of years. The primary cause of this dramatic rise in the loss of species is human […]


Canada’s high-cost oil and gas needs a competitive game plan

Canada’s high-cost oil and gas needs a competitive game plan thumbnail

Canadian oil and gas companies will be competing head to head with lower-cost energy producers in the near future, and the country needs a better strategy to remain competitive in a post peak-oil world. According to a PwC report released May 30, Canada has four options when it comes to the future of oil and […]


“Will continue exporting oil, not yielding to Baghdad”, Kurdish spokesman

“Will continue exporting oil, not yielding to Baghdad”, Kurdish spokesman thumbnail

Kurdish spokesman Sifin Muhsen Di’za’i announced today that the Kurdish region will continue exporting oil and will benefit from the revenues to provide the salaries of the Kurdish officials. He confirmed in a statement today, copy received by Aswat al-Iraq, that the Kurdish region will not yield to Baghdad. Di’za’i re-iterated that the Kurdish region […]


Three Necessary Strategies Mitigating Peak Oil

Three Necessary Strategies Mitigating Peak Oil thumbnail

Excerpted from John Michael Greer: “First is conservation. That’s the missing piece in most proposals for dealing with peak oil. The chasm into which so many well-intentioned projects have tumbled over the last decade is that nothing available to us can support the raw extravagance of energy and resource consumption we’re used to, once cheap […]


Energy Crunch: What’s the big picture?

Energy Crunch: What’s the big picture? thumbnail

Chart: Putting Weald shale oil in perspective – total recoverable reserves amount to less than half the UK’s annual demand: Source: The Carbon Brief Article: U.S. officials cut estimate of recoverable Monterey Shale oil by 96% – The Monterey Shale formation contains about two-thirds of the nation’s shale oil reserves. It had been seen as an enormous bonanza […]


Mexican Energy Reform Seeks to Reverse Decline in Oil Production

Mexican Energy Reform Seeks to Reverse Decline in Oil Production thumbnail

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration In late 2013, Mexico’s congress approved historic legislation that altered the 1938 ban on private sector participation in the Mexican energy sector. These reforms, that end the 75-year monopoly of Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) and allow for greater foreign investment, are the first to include constitutional change, and promise to address […]


Peak oil and a sustainable economic model

Peak oil and a sustainable economic model thumbnail

Peak oil can be specifically defined as a hypothetical point in time where the global production of oil reaches its maximum output, after which all reserves will eventually decline until depletion. In scientific and policy oriented communities, the global production of oil has already surpassed peak oil calculations in 2010, and the evidence does not […]


US Individual States Production, Bakken Area and GOM

US Individual States Production, Bakken Area and GOM thumbnail

The EIA’s Petroleum Supply Monthly has been published with production data for all individual states and offshore areas.  All data is Crude + Condensate and in thousand barrels per day with the last data point March 2014.   Since the Bakken occupies part of two states, North Dakota and Montana, I have combined their production in […]


Food Replacing Oil as China M&A Target of Choice

Food Replacing Oil as China M&A Target of Choice thumbnail

After spending the past decade and more than $200 billion acquiring mines and oilfields from Australia to Argentina, China’s attention is turning to food. The world’s most populous nation is confronting a harsh reality: For every additional bushel of wheat or pound of beef the world produces, China will need almost half of that to […]


Peak Oil Print Ads

Peak Oil Print Ads thumbnail

GQ Magazine decided to run a controversial article about “Peak Oil” which dealt with the increasing economic and environmental cost of supplying the world with oil. We were asked to create print ads to highlight the issue of Peak Oil to an apathetic public. We showed the ubiquity of oil and oil by-products in our […]


Yergin: Lifting Ban On Crude Oil Exports Would Boost US Economy

Yergin: Lifting Ban On Crude Oil Exports Would Boost US Economy thumbnail

Ending the four-decade ban on U.S. crude oil exports would lower gasoline prices, create jobs and boost government revenues, according to a study by the energy arm of IHS, a global consulting firm. STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: NPR’s Business News starts with something a little crude. A new study is recommending the United States end its […]


(Don’t) Drill, Baby, Drill: Economic, Environmental, and Military Conflicts Associated with Offshore Drilling

(Don’t) Drill, Baby, Drill: Economic, Environmental, and Military Conflicts Associated with Offshore Drilling thumbnail

In 2008, a 25-year congressional prohibition on offshore drilling off the Atlantic coast ended, opening it up to energy exploration and poising it to be the next energy frontier. The intersection of increased energy prices and rising demand made drilling in this area an appealing endeavor, and in 2010 the Obama administration announced their intent […]


An Overdue Reactor That Could Be the Key to Our Fusion Revolution

An Overdue Reactor That Could Be the Key to Our Fusion Revolution thumbnail

Expand Even with the recent advancements in renewable energy technologies, it’s going to be tough to satisfy the electrical needs of our booming human population in the coming years. However, if this international nuclear reactor can ever come online, we may see fusion-driven, utility-scale power grids within our lifetimes. The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) […]


Is Peak Car the metric for us too?

Is Peak Car the metric for us too? thumbnail

The theory of Peak Oil, advanced by geoscientist Marion King Hubbert, postulated that there would be a maximum level reached for global oil extraction. After the peak, he said, based on depletion of reserves, humankind will have to resign itself to reduction in availability of that natural resource and augment our energy feedstock with other […]


Doomsday can wait a little longer

Doomsday can wait a little longer thumbnail

When it comes to predictions nowadays, there are no shortages about our way of life meeting an ignominious end. Take Jim Leape, the director of the World Wide Fund for Nature International, for example, He recently said that “we are using 50 percent more resources than the Earth can sustainably produce and unless we change […]


Improving a New Breed of Solar Cells

Improving a New Breed of Solar Cells thumbnail

Quantum-dot photovoltaics set new record for efficiency in such devices, could unlock new uses. Solar-cell technology has advanced rapidly, as hundreds of groups around the world pursue more than two dozen approaches using different materials, technologies, and approaches to improve efficiency and reduce costs. Now a team at MIT has set a new record for […]


EU wants to avoid energy ‘blackmail’

EU wants to avoid energy ‘blackmail’ thumbnail

“Concrete actions” from members of the European Union to diversify the gas market is the only way forward, the energy commissioner said Wednesday. European Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said EU member states need to develop stronger partnerships in the energy sphere in order to avoid falling victim to “political and commercial blackmail.” Russia supplies about […]


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