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News from June 2014

More on the Energetics of Food Distribution

More on the Energetics of Food Distribution thumbnail

In The Energetics of Food Distribution I explored the energy demand associated with transporting food based on estimates of gallons of fuel burned per ton of food moved. This is a perfectly reasonable unit, but a departure from calories of input energy per calorie of edible food, the unit I use in The Energy Cost of Food, The Energy […]


It’s the oil, stupid! Insurgency and war on a sea of oil

It’s the oil, stupid! Insurgency and war on a sea of oil thumbnail

Events in Iraq are headline news everywhere, and once again, there is no mention of the issue that underlies much of the violence: control of Iraqi oil. Instead, the media is flooded with debate about, horror over, and extensive analysis of a not-exactly-brand-new terrorist threat, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). There are, in addition, elaborate […]


Michael Lynch: Peak Oil 2 The True Believers

Michael Lynch: Peak Oil 2 The True Believers thumbnail

One of the interesting facets about the peak oil debate is the nature of the many believers in peak oil.  The article that moved the debate into the public view appeared in Scientific American (1998) and included an old photo of M. King Hubbert at a blackboard.  Very scientific.  And the authors, Colin Campbell and […]


Mexico will not produce 3 million b/d until 2020

Mexico will not produce 3 million b/d until 2020 thumbnail

Delays in implementing Mexico’s sweeping energy sector reforms will prevent the country from producing over 3 million b/d until at least 2020, an executive with the country’s state oil company Pemex said Tuesday. “We can increase, of course, but not enough to arrive at 3 million [b/d],” Fluvio Ruiz Alarcon, a professional and independent board […]


Iraq asks US for air strikes on ISIL rebels

Iraq asks US for air strikes on ISIL rebels thumbnail

Iraqi FM asks Obama administration to launch attacks as his country’s armed forces struggle to stop fighters’ advance. Iraq’s foreign minister has asked the US to launch air attacks on Sunni rebels to put down a week-long rebellion by fighters led by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Hoshyar Zebari told a news […]


Robert Rapier: Where The US Got Its Oil From in 2013

Robert Rapier: Where The US Got Its Oil From in 2013 thumbnail

As events in Iraq continue to unfold, we have been getting quite a few queries on just how much oil the US imports from Iraq. In my previous post – The Top 10 Oil Producers in 2013 — I showed that even though the US is a major oil producer, we are an even greater oil […]


Graphene could relieve world water shortage

Graphene could relieve world water shortage thumbnail

The rise of the world’s human population has long been a controversial topic. One of the main concerns is the availability of fresh drinking water. While water is certainly an abundant resource, desalination is expensive and consumes high levels of energy. The accompanying infographic shows how new technology using graphene could make the process more […]


Richard Heinberg: Peak Oil And How To See The Bigger Picture

Richard Heinberg: Peak Oil And How To See The Bigger Picture thumbnail

Richard Heinberg explaining everything that you need to know about Peak Oil and how to prepare for it, because we are already deep in Peak Oil time!


Peak Oil – It’s Just a Rumour

Peak Oil – It’s Just a Rumour thumbnail

Whenever I present a course, someone will inevitably ask: “When, exactly, do you think we will run out of oil?” “Never!” is always my response. The world will never run out of oil. “But”, they protest, “I saw a report about it on TV”. “I saw a YouTube video about it”. “My science teacher showed […]


World Energy 2014-2050 (Part 1)

World Energy 2014-2050 (Part 1) thumbnail

World Energy 2014-2050: An Informal Annual Report  “Political Economist” June 2014 The purpose of this informal report is to provide an analytical framework to track the development of world energy supply and demand as well as their impacts on the global economy. The report projects world supply of oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear, hydro, wind, […]


Repsol Makes Russia’s Biggest Discovery in 2 Years

Repsol Makes Russia’s Biggest Discovery in 2 Years thumbnail

Repsol makes two new hydrocarbon discoveries in western Siberia that, combined, make for Russia’s largest hydrocarbon find for two years. Spain’s Repsol reported Monday that it has made two new hydrocarbon discoveries in the Karabashsky 1 and 2 blocks in western Siberia, Russia. Repsol said that the finds could add 240 million barrels of oil […]


Russia Says Ukraine Took Gas Despite Cutoff; Sends More Tanks/Troops To Border

Russia Says Ukraine Took Gas Despite Cutoff; Sends More Tanks/Troops To Border thumbnail

The deadline passed on June 16th for Ukraine’s payment for gas already provided and upfront ‘pre-payments’ for ongoing deliveries. So what the Russian Energy Minister wants to know is how Ukraine took 3.8mcm on June 19th, 4.5mcm on June 20th, and 1mcm on June 21st. It appears Ukraine is claiming the gas supplies are reverse […]


Non Renewable Resources Depletion Effects Non Renewable Resources Depletion Effects

Non Renewable Resources Depletion Effects Non Renewable Resources Depletion Effects thumbnail

Resources Depletion Statistics By rs.resalliance.org Resolution: 400 x 578 · 37 kB · jpeg Size: 400 x 578 · 37 kB · jpeg Non Renewable Resources Depletion Effects: Windhoek — Namibia’s fragile environment provides the economy with renewable and non-renewable resources, which have to be harvested However, the Government warned, the adverse effects of HIV/Aids […]


Ugo Bardi: Photovoltaic Water

Ugo Bardi: Photovoltaic Water thumbnail

Water produced by condensing humidity from the air using solar energy. Starring Francesco El Asmar. Photo by Ugo Bardi     When we started working on producing water from atmospheric humidity, myself and my friend and colleague Toufic El Asmar thought it was a mad idea. Energy is expensive and water condensation requires a lot […]


How A Country Dies

How A Country Dies thumbnail

A country dies slowly. Those living during the decline of Rome were likely unaware that anything was happening. The decline took over a couple of hundred years. Anyone living during the decline only saw a small part of what was happening and likely never noticed it as anything other than ordinary. Countries don’t have genetically determined life spans. […]


Is China Hitting Peak Coal?

Is China Hitting Peak Coal? thumbnail

After a decade in which coal has been grabbing an ever-larger share of the world’s energy supply, could coal’s boom be about to turn to bust? Both the United States and China are planning to curb coal, and analysts say the repercussions for the global industry could be dramatic. The world may soon breathe a […]


Tech Talk – More on Iraq

Tech Talk – More on Iraq thumbnail

A single picture is sufficient to tell the story of the fate of the Baiji Refinery in Iraq. Recently reached by the ISIS forces, it has been the largest refinery in Iraq, with a capacity of 310 kbd, and has been used to provide products for domestic use. Since it would provide fuel for both […]


Peak Oil: This One Is On Us # 2

Peak Oil: This One Is On Us # 2 thumbnail

Mason Inman recently posted an excellent 2012 interview he conducted with James Schlesinger, our nation’s first Secretary of Energy, who passed away shortly before that posting. This is the second part [first here] of my observations on what Mr. Schlesinger had to say about peak oil and related energy-supply considerations. [Quotes here are from that […]


Telling Piketty the real reason why economies can’t keep growing

Telling Piketty the real reason why economies can’t keep growing thumbnail

Thomas Piketty’s “Capital” is an extremely important contribution to the study of economics and inequality over the last few centuries. But because it fails to address the real limits on growth—namely our ecological crisis—it can’t be a roadmap for the next. (Photo: Dai Luo / Flickr) By now, it’s no secret that French economist Thomas […]


The Energetics of Food Distribution

The Energetics of Food Distribution thumbnail

On June 11 Vermont Public Radio aired a brief piece called Running the Numbers on Local Vs. Long Distance Food wherein Jane Lindholm interviewed me about the work I do studying the energetics of food systems. The segment focused on the efficiencies typically associated with long distance food transport that can make national or even global food distribution […]


Fukushima Accident Still Ongoing After Three Years

Fukushima Accident Still Ongoing After Three Years thumbnail

It has been three years since the nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan. But the consequences are still ongoing due to continuous leaks of radioactivity into the environment, says independent nuclear energy consultant Mycle Schneider. In 1997 Schneider won the Right Livelihood Award, considered the Alternative Nobel Prize, for alerting the world about the risks posed […]


‘Population Bomb’ Author Still Says Government Should Control Human Reproduction

‘Population Bomb’ Author Still Says Government Should Control Human Reproduction thumbnail

Stanford Professor Paul Ehrlich, whose 1968 book, The Population Bomb, wrongly predicted that overpopulation would lead to the starvation deaths of hundreds of millions of people worldwide during the 1970s and 80s, is still claiming that the government should control human reproduction. Despite the fact that his predictions of widespread famine due to overpopulation never came […]


Iraq Government Condemns Kurds for ‘Illegal’ Oil Sale to Israel

Iraq Government Condemns Kurds for ‘Illegal’ Oil Sale to Israel thumbnail

Iraq’s government condemned the country’s semi-autonomous Kurdish authorities for “illegally” selling crude oil to Israel for the fourth time. The SCF Altai tanker carrying crude oil from the Kurdish region docked in Ashkelon, Israel, June 20, according to an e-mailed statement from the Iraqi Oil Ministry. The Kurdistan Regional Government also continues to smuggle crude […]


The Next 20 Years Will Not Be Like the Last 20 Years

The Next 20 Years Will Not Be Like the Last 20 Years thumbnail

The Status Quo is not sustainable. Here are some resources on the many reasons why. Coming to the understanding that the Status Quo is not sustainable is often a crooked path of overcoming programming, propaganda, denial and fear. My colleagues at peakprosperity.com (where I am a contributing writer) have summarized why the Status Quo is not sustainable in […]


North Dakota pumping a million barrels per day

North Dakota pumping a million barrels per day thumbnail

North Dakota has joined the ranks of the few places in the world that produce more than a million barrels of oil per day, largely due to the rich Bakken shale formation in the western part of the state. The April figures released last week by the state showed the record tally. North Dakota had […]


Iraqi insurgents capture fourth town since Friday

Iraqi insurgents capture fourth town since Friday thumbnail

Sunni Muslim insurgents in Iraq captured their fourth town in a little more than 24 hours late Saturday, hours before U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in the Middle East to try to shore up Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s faltering government. Iraqi officials told the Associated Press that the Islamic State in Iraq and […]


This City is Our Future

This City is Our Future thumbnail

If you wish to understand the future you need to understand the city, for the human future is an overwhelmingly urban future. The city may have always been synonymous with civilization, but the rise of urban humanity has been something that has almost all occurred after the onset of the industrial revolution. In 1800 a […]


LNG: The Long, Strategic Play for Europe: Interview with Robert Bensh

LNG: The Long, Strategic Play for Europe: Interview with Robert Bensh thumbnail

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe isn’t a get-rich-quick scenario for the impatient investor: It’s a long, strategic play for the sophisticated investor who can handle no small amount of politics and geopolitics along the way. When it comes to Europe, Russia’s strategy to divide and conquer has worked so far, but Gazprom is a […]


Only 53 years’ worth of oil left

Only 53 years’ worth of oil left thumbnail

BP analysts predict that global reserves of oil and gas have only a few more decades to last. According to the experts, who aired their prognosis at the recent World Petroleum Conference in Moscow, shale oil offers a viable alternative to the country, predicting that by 2035 Russia will be producing 800,000 barrels daily. Global […]


Will OPEC’s Geo-Political Crackup Put Russo/Iranian Alliance into Global Oil Driver’s Seat?

Will OPEC’s Geo-Political Crackup Put Russo/Iranian Alliance into Global Oil Driver’s Seat? thumbnail

The lightning-fast econo/political changes impacting the world’s oil alliances have critically undermined the solidarity of OPEC, while strengthening the new Russo/Chinese/Iranian block against the U.S./Canada/Mexico (NAFTA Alliance) and a weakening Saudi Arabia. While the Saudis and Russia still represent the world’s only potential exporters of near 10 million barrels of oil per day, most OPEC […]


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