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News from January 2015

I quit my job to set up a post-apocalyptic commune

I quit my job to set up a post-apocalyptic commune thumbnail

In early 2006 I was 39, living in Bristol and working at one of the best robotics labs in the world. I had become increasingly obsessed with what life would be like if civilisation collapsed, and thought that I could find out by setting up a community that acted as if it already had. I […]


97% of fracking now operating at a loss at current oil prices

97% of fracking now operating at a loss at current oil prices thumbnail

 If the Saudis wanted to crush America’s shale oil industry they are certainly doing a good job of it.  West Texas Intermediate reached a 2014 peak of $107.73 in June before dropping as low as $49.77 today on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The grade settled at $50.04 a barrel. That’s below the break-even price […]


“Paranoia” Driving Wealthy to Buy Homes in New Zealand

“Paranoia” Driving Wealthy to Buy Homes in New Zealand thumbnail

Rich American clients concerned about personal safety, global crises Paranoia” is one of the primary factors motivating the wealthy to purchase secret getaways in New Zealand, according to one realtor, with concerns about personal safety and global crises driving the search to acquire a safe haven in a remote location. During the Davos Economic Forum, […]


EU Extends Sanctions Against Russian Officials

EU Extends Sanctions Against Russian Officials thumbnail

EU foreign ministers have decided to extend targeted sanctions against Russian officials and the militias in eastern Ukraine until September, according to Federica Mogherini, the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs. The first batch of sanctions, which was adopted last year and targeted specific individuals accused of fostering conflict in eastern Ukraine, was set […]


US Senate approves Iran sanctions bill

US Senate approves Iran sanctions bill thumbnail

The US Senate Banking Committee has approved a controversial bill that would trigger additional sanctions against Iran if the ongoing nuclear negotiations between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 group of countries collapse. On Thursday, lawmakers in the Senate panel voted 18 to 4 to advance the bipartisan legislation sponsored by hawkish Senators Robert Menendez […]


ISIS launches attack on oil-rich northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk

ISIS launches attack on oil-rich northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk thumbnail

ISIS militants have attacked Kirkuk in northern Iraq, an effort that might be an earnest attempt to capture the key oil-rich city or perhaps to divert Kurdish troops fighting to capture the Islamist extremist group’s stronghold of Mosul. For months, ISIS has been facing off with the Peshmerga — armed fighters who protect Iraqi Kurdistan […]


Millions Of Gallons Of Oil Settled At The Bottom Of The Gulf After BP Oil Spill

Millions Of Gallons Of Oil Settled At The Bottom Of The Gulf After BP Oil Spill thumbnail

Millions of gallons of oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill didn’t get cleaned up, and instead settled in the sediment of the Gulf of Mexico’s floor, a new study has found. The study, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, found that 6 to 10 million gallons of oil from the spill are […]


Planetary Boundaries

Planetary Boundaries thumbnail

The Planetary Boundaries framework was first introduced in 2009, when a group of 28 internationally renowned scientists identified and quantified the first set of nine planetary boundaries within which humanity can continue to develop and thrive for generations to come. A Jan 2015 update by the researchers say a fourth of these boundaries – forests – have […]


Oil Cash Waning, Venezuelan Shelves Lie Bare

Oil Cash Waning, Venezuelan Shelves Lie Bare thumbnail

  CARACAS, Venezuela — Mary Noriega heard there would be chicken. She hated being herded “like cattle,” she said, standing for hours in a line of more than 1,500 people hoping to buy food, as soldiers with side arms checked identification cards to make sure no one tried to buy basic items more than once […]


Oil’s Next Casualty: Government Budgets

Oil’s Next Casualty: Government Budgets thumbnail

The 56 percent drop in oil prices in the last six months is fueling more than just jet engines and road trips. It’s also burning through the cushy budget surpluses enjoyed by some of the world’s biggest oil-producing nations. Saudi Arabia, the world’s top producer of crude, will see the budget surplus it has enjoyed in […]


2015: the Year A Lot of Chickens Come Home To Roost?

2015: the Year A Lot of Chickens Come Home To Roost? thumbnail

Assassinations, Hostage-Taking, Geopolitical Violence, Economic Crises, Financial Meltdowns are all part and parcel of ancient legacies that now have become everyday realities, world-wide. Welcome To The Future! As ancient tribalism, modern terrorism and the New World Order way of life become forever wed, through one calamitous-violent ritual after another, the whole world continues to be […]


Where Is All That Excess Oil Going?

Where Is All That Excess Oil Going? thumbnail

There’s a term traders use when the price of a commodity like oil has fallen because of oversupply but seems guaranteed to rise again. It’s a market that’s “in contango,” says Brenda Shaffer, an energy specialist at Georgetown University. “It almost sounds like a sort of great oil dance or something.” And Shaffer says that […]


Keystone passes in US Senate, faces Obama veto

Keystone passes in US Senate, faces Obama veto thumbnail

Republicans in the U.S. Senate made good on a pledge to pass the long-pending Keystone XL oil pipeline on Thursday, a measure the White House said President Barack Obama would veto. Senators voted 62-36 on the bill to bypass the Obama administration’s review of Keystone, five short of the number needed to overturn a potential […]


US Production and Imports

US Production and Imports thumbnail

Even before the shale revolution got underway, US net imports were falling. The data below is from the Weekly Petroleum Status Report and is in thousand barrels per day. This chart shows net crude oil and petroleum products imports. Net imports peaked in 2006 and started to fall in earnest in 2008. They continued to fall […]


Have we reached ‘peak food’? Shortages loom as global production rates slow

Have we reached ‘peak food’? Shortages loom as global production rates slow thumbnail

The world has entered an era of “peak food” production with an array of staples from corn and rice to wheat and chicken slowing in growth – with potentially disastrous consequences for feeding the planet. New research finds that the supply of 21 staples, such as eggs, meat, vegetables and soybeans is already beginning to […]


Shale oil production will level off and we will have a peak in the oil production in 2015

Shale oil production will level off and we will have a peak in the oil production in 2015 thumbnail

  (Photo: Oil pump east Eagle Frod, K Aleklett) The US Energy Information Administration, EIA, has now made a first forecast of the production of oil from the lower 48 states, the states with fracking. As the decline for individuate wells are very steep the rig count will be a very important factor for the […]


Where Do the Transition Environmental Movement and The Social Justice Movement Intersect?

Where Do the Transition Environmental Movement and The Social Justice Movement Intersect? thumbnail

Resource depletion and climate change effects various demographic groups in vastly different ways. Recovery within historically disenfranchised communities from hurricanes and Superstorms Katrina, Irene, Lee and Sandy looked radically different than that of communities which typify the overall Transition Town demographic. Transitioners tend to be predominantly white, educated, post materialist, middleclass, small community people. How does that Transitioner demographic reality impact the reach […]


Early signs of the Bakken oil slow-down

Early signs of the Bakken oil slow-down thumbnail

Overview The state of North Dakota—home of the Bakken shale oil boom—reported recently that oil production there had held steady, despite that the number of new producing wells had dropped drastically. But as I found from digging into the data, the drop-off in well completions was not nearly as steep as North Dakota had said—and […]


South Sudan Oil Production Rises To 169,000 Bpd

South Sudan Oil Production Rises To 169,000 Bpd thumbnail

South Sudan’s oil production has risen by about 9,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 169,000 bpd from December last year, petroleum minister Stephen Dhieu Dau said on Tuesday, despite sporadic fighting near oil-producing fields. Production has been slashed by about a third since fighting broke out in the world’s newest state in December 2013, with […]


China’s Coal Consumption Fell in 2014

China’s Coal Consumption Fell in 2014 thumbnail

For the first time this century China’s coal consumption has fallen, according to preliminary data from both the Chinese Coal Industry Association and the National Energy Administration. The amount by which coal use declined last year remains an open question, with the Coal Industry Association reporting a reduction of around 3.5% but NEA data showing a […]


Al Gore Wants to Spend $90 Trillion to Create World Without Cars

Al Gore Wants to Spend $90 Trillion to Create World Without Cars thumbnail

If you ever wanted to live in a giant slum with no way to get anywhere except by waiting on the poorly operated local public transit system in hock to municipal systems, you can have it for just $90 trillion. Come on. That’s pocket change. And just think, you’ll be able to live in a […]


They Really Do Want To Reduce The Population

They Really Do Want To Reduce The Population thumbnail

Most Americans have absolutely no idea, but a very dark philosophy is spreading like wildfire among the global elite.  This philosophy is an obsessive belief that humanity has become a cancer that is destroying the earth.  There are now large numbers of global leaders that are convinced that the exploding population of the world has become like a virus or a plague, […]


Planning for peak oil and Detroit’s future

Planning for peak oil and Detroit’s future thumbnail

  According to Time Magazine, in an interview with Thomas Hoenig, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas, “Global Food prices have risen 25% this last year and many nations are starting to hoard commodities” (corn, wheat, rice etc.). Whatever the reasons for this, and I don’t understand many of them, this trend is […]


Fanatics, Charlatans, and Economists

Fanatics, Charlatans, and Economists thumbnail

Throughout the world, it seems, crisis is gripping national politics. In election after election, voter turnout has hit historic lows. Politicians are universally reviled. Mainstream parties, desperate to remain relevant, are caught in a vice, forced to choose between pandering to extremism and the risk of being overwhelmed by populist, anti-establishment movements. Meanwhile, not since […]


Crazy Clerics Who Rule the Worlds Oil

Crazy Clerics Who Rule the Worlds Oil thumbnail

Yes, Saudi Arabia has banned snowmen and lashes women, but it also has a lot of internal debate. Despite the passing of King Abdullah, Saudia Arabia’s new King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud claims it’ll be business as usual in the controversial desert kingdom where a recent spate of public floggings and beheadings overshadowed the […]


Oil from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Uncompetitive and Insecure

Oil from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Uncompetitive and Insecure thumbnail

How odd. On 16 January I posted a blog here about the dubious economics of the tar-sands industry and hence of the Keystone XL pipeline. The blog began with an analogy to the economic implausibility and national-security risks of oil* from the vast Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (called ANWR by those […]


Who are Saudi Arabia’s new crown princes?

Who are Saudi Arabia’s new crown princes? thumbnail

The new king of Saudi Arabia moved quickly to announce his new crown princes, elevating Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz al-Saud to first in line and naming the country’s minister of interior to the deputy position. King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud appeared in a televised speech, before the late King Abdullah’s funeral proceedings took place on […]


The Time Machine in Australia

The Time Machine in Australia thumbnail

The massive brain rot that is observable in the US can perhaps be explained by the “fracking fluid in the drinking water” theory; but what about the rest of the English-speaking world? This is a guest post by Gary Flomenhoft that offers some clues. I’ve been in Australia (pronounced “Straya”) for four months now. I […]


Peak Oil Pulled a Fast One on Me

Peak Oil Pulled a Fast One on Me thumbnail

I’ll admit that I was completely caught off guard by the recent (and ongoing?) crash in oil prices. It’d be a stretch to say I’m embarrassed by my lack of foresight, although perhaps “dumb-ass” would be a bit deserving. I would say I’m well enough versed with the reality of peak oil: I’ve read perhaps […]


Tight Oil Production Will Fade Quickly: The Truth About Rig Counts

Tight Oil Production Will Fade Quickly: The Truth About Rig Counts thumbnail

U.S tight oil production from shale plays will fall more quickly than most assume. Why? High decline rates from shale reservoirs is given. The more interesting reasons are the compounding effects of pad drilling on rig count and poorer average well performance with time. Rig productivity has increased but average well productivity has decreased. Every rig used […]


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@PaulGambles2 @CNBCJou @JMJancovici To be clear, not asking for predictions, but a hedge vs #peakoil. Fair bet policy makers are behind & will be overwhelmed. #antifragile

@PaulGambles2 @CNBCJou Cruel irony is, #peakoil may kick in after it's too late to prevent #climatechange. double whammy/hysteresis. @JMJancovici

It's going to come crashing down when #PeakOil, starts hitting the fan. Life as we're living it is unsustainable, fool's paradise! twitter.com/KieranSuckling…