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News from March 2015

Revisiting the Shale Oil Hype: Technology versus Geology

Revisiting the Shale Oil Hype: Technology versus Geology thumbnail

The press has been all abuzz the past few weeks speculating on what the drop in oil prices will mean for U.S. shale oil (tight oil) production. Pundits have been falling over themselves quoting various estimates of the breakeven cost of production in this play or that, and rushing to be the first to declare […]


Transitioning from Transition US

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It is with mixed feelings that I share the news that I will be moving on from my role at Transition US. I will be shifting to focus on another area of community resilience, working at the local Department of Health Services.  My last two years as Co-Director of Transition US have been full of […]


15 ways the world will be terrifying in 2050

15 ways the world will be terrifying in 2050 thumbnail

By mid-century, we’ll likely have self-driving cars, more widespread internet access, and semi-smart robots. But despite our technological advances, humanity has failed to solve many of its problems. The world hasn’t weaned itself off fossil fuels or antibiotics, protected the rain forest, or reduced the stigma surrounding mental illness. We haven’t flood-proofed our cities or […]


Cost no barrier to Saudi Arabia’s Yemen intervention

Cost no barrier to Saudi Arabia’s Yemen intervention thumbnail

Despite a record budget deficit caused by low oil prices, Saudi Arabia can easily afford its military intervention in Yemen and cost is unlikely to limit the duration or scale of its operations, military analysts believe. The world’s biggest oil exporter is acting while it faces the heaviest pressure on its state finances for more […]


The global oil price drop may last for the next couple decades

The global oil price drop may last for the next couple decades thumbnail

Stanford economist Frank Wolak says the drop in oil prices and demand reflects heightened energy production in North America, better technologies and the declining market power of the OPEC countries. Global oil prices may stay low for the next 10 or 20 years, according to Stanford economist Frank Wolak. The most likely medium-term outcome is […]


Love In The Age of Ecological Apocalypse

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Love In The Age of Ecological Apocalypse: Cultivating The Relationships We Need To Thrive, North Atlantic Books, 2015. Order here The book in your hands poses and responds to a deceptively simple question: How are we to love in an apocalyptic time? The public tends to associate “apocalypse” with right-wing End of Times zealotry, but […]


The battle for the Middle East’s future begins

The battle for the Middle East’s future begins thumbnail

Saudi Arabia has jumped into the abyss. Its air attacks on Yemen are a historic and potentially fatal blow to the Kingdom and to the Middle East. Who decided that this extraordinary battle should take shape in the poorest of Arab nations? The Saudis, whose King is widely rumoured in the Arab world to be […]


Why This Tea Party Leader Is Seeing Green on Solar Energy

Why This Tea Party Leader Is Seeing Green on Solar Energy thumbnail

As a founder of the Tea Party movement, Debbie Dooley may be an unlikely advocate for renewable energy. But in an e360 interview, she explains why she is breaking ranks with fellow conservatives and promoting a Florida ballot initiative that would allow homeowners to sell power produced by rooftop solar. by diane toomey Debbie Dooley’s […]


Ready for the Revolution

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Once aggrandizers are given an inch of leeway under favorable resource conditions, they quickly stretch that inch into a mile and keep on going. — Brian Hayden Once upon a time, there lived the ancestral apes that gave rise to humans, chimpanzees and bonobos. In all likelihood, they lived in bands dominated by the strongest, […]


Geopolitics and Oil Prices: Between A Rock and a Hard Place

Geopolitics and Oil Prices: Between A Rock and a Hard Place thumbnail

Oil traders appear to be hedging themselves against a possible deal between the West and Iran on the nuclear question but doing so misses the increasingly complex forces at play today in oil geopolitics. A Saudi analyst with close ties to the Saudi government issued a clear and effective description of the new Saudi government’s […]


Iran nuclear deal to see $20 oil if Tehran floods crude market

Iran nuclear deal to see $20 oil if Tehran floods crude market thumbnail

Flights to Tehran from Dubai have been crammed in recent months with Western executives flooding into the Iranian capital ahead of a potential lifting of economic sanctions. Potentially one of the Middle East’s biggest economies, Iran has been frozen out by the West over its refusal to give up its aspirations to become a nuclear […]


Apple’s Electric Car

Apple’s Electric Car thumbnail

Recent rumours that suggest Apple may be working on an electric car have inspired the website carwow to produce some concept images of what the vehicle may look like. Speculation that Apple may be in talks to purchase electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Motors inspired the illustrations to have a similar resemblance. Apple obviously has the […]


Arab Leaders Agree to Form Unified Military Force

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Arab chiefs of staff will work out the details of the joint force, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said in announcing the decision at an Arab League meeting in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. League Secretary General Nabil El-Arabi said the military chiefs will be invited to meet within a month, and a specific timetable will be […]


The Biochar Moment

The Biochar Moment thumbnail

“”You want to be a billionaire? Solve a billion-person problem.”  — Peter Diamandis”   photo by Doug Clayton We are meeting with government officials of X country. X has a serious dilemma, one which is not uncommon in this era, and which will become the norm for most countries very soon. X is throwing vast […]


Kurdistan has world’s 8th oil and gas reserves

Kurdistan has world’s 8th oil and gas reserves thumbnail

DOR Organization for Kurdistan Oil and Gas Information has recently published a report about Kurdistan Region’s oil and gas sector and announced that Kurdistan Region is the world’s 8th in terms of its oil and gas reserves, and that it will be last place in the world to run out of oil DOR Organization for […]


Saudi Arabia wants nuclear weapons

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Saudi Arabia will not rule out building or acquiring nuclear weapons, the country’s ambassador to the United States has indicated. Asked whether Saudi Arabia would ever build nuclear weapons in an interview with US news channel CNN, Adel Al-Jubeir said the subject was “not something we would discuss publicly”. Pressed later on the issue he […]


Fukushima — A litany of failures costing hundreds of millions

Fukushima — A litany of failures costing hundreds of millions thumbnail

Four years after the earthquake and resulting tsunami that killed 18,000 people and destroyed the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plan in Japan, the tragedy is far from being over. Despite the litany of failures in cleaning up the mess, Japan carries on. The daunting task of cleanup at the Fukushima nuclear power plant site, where […]


Assessing our rapidly changing world of energy

Assessing our rapidly changing world of energy thumbnail

Stanford University’s Sally Benson long ago became involved with research about carbon capture and storage. The technology, still unperfected, is crucial if America’s vast coal reserves are to continue to be used without producing atmospheric greenhouse gases. Benson, right, now director of Stanford’s Precourt Institute for Energy — a hub for many of Stanford’s 200 […]


What If the Oil Runs Out?

What If the Oil Runs Out? thumbnail

Peak oil, an event based on M. King Hubbert’s theory, is the point in time when the maximum rate of extraction of petroleum is reached, after which the rate of production is expected to enter terminal decline. Peak oil theory is based on the observed rise, peak, (sometimes rapid) fall, and depletion of aggregate production […]


California’s Water Crisis – Get Out While You Can

California’s Water Crisis – Get Out While You Can thumbnail

Groundwater records should not be kept confidential in drought-stricken California “Imagine having two bank accounts with money for your everyday needs, only one of them – the one you draw from when the primary account runs low – is a virtual black box. You really have no idea what the balance is, and there is […]


U.S. and Iran Fighting Islamic State in Iraq

U.S. and Iran Fighting Islamic State in Iraq thumbnail

Michael Weiss discusses the U.S. and Iran fighting Islamic State in Iraq and the funding of Islamic State. He speaks with Alix Steel on “Street Smart.”


Peak oil also means peak renewables

Peak oil also means peak renewables thumbnail

Mainstream experts on energy promote some incredible beliefs. Today I was reminded just how fantastical are their beliefs by a conversation on Twitter with oil analyst Thina Saltvedt. She claims that thanks to technological progress, renewables can be scaled up at the same time as fossil fuels are scaled down. She doesn’t dispute that peak oil […]


Conservation of Living Resources in a Post-Peak Oil World

Conservation of Living Resources in a Post-Peak Oil World thumbnail

Several years ago I was working as a biological consultant to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, helping this federal agency prepare a long-term management plan for Innoko National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Alaska. This Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) would provide overall management guidance for the refuge’s wildlife, habitat, and public use. The huge, sprawling […]


UN Agency Lobbies African and Asian Nations to Have Fewer Children

UN Agency Lobbies African and Asian Nations to Have Fewer Children thumbnail

Even while many countries are grappling with fertility decline, aging populations, and even loss of population, population control advocates intend to use an upcoming UN conference to make fertility reduction a UN priority for the foreseeable future. A UN commission will meet in April to discuss the implications of “population dynamics” for the new global […]


Why Oil Could Be Facing A 20-Year Bear Market

Why Oil Could Be Facing A 20-Year Bear Market thumbnail

In the past, the usual “oil crisis” was caused by self-serving news items of an oil shortage, causing soaring prices. Just 2-3 years ago, the fear mongers said that the world had “seen peak oil,” meaning that oil production would be on a long term decline and there would be big shortages. Instead, oil production […]


New Kind of “Tandem” Solar Cell

New Kind of “Tandem” Solar Cell thumbnail

Researchers at MIT and Stanford University have developed a new kind of solar cell that combines two different layers of sunlight-absorbing material in order to harvest a broader range of the sun’s energy. The development could lead to photovoltaic cells that are more efficient than those currently used in solar-power installations, the researchers say. Schematic […]


Supply or Demand? Peak Oil with Richard Heinberg and James Hamilton

Supply or Demand? Peak Oil with Richard Heinberg and James Hamilton thumbnail

This week Stanford said that it would divest all of its investments in coal-mining companies, becoming the wealthiest US university to pledge divestment from sectors of the. Recorded February 25th, 2014 in Vancouver, BC Richard Heinberg speaks on his newest book, covering the short-term nature of the recent North American oil boom and the financial […]


The Problem of the Human Population

The Problem of the Human Population thumbnail

Javier holds a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and has been a scientist for 30 years in molecular genetics and neurobiology. He wrote a blog on macroeconomy and investments from a cyclic point of view for over two years and currently writes a blog in Spanish about the economic crisis, energy crisis and climate change […]


Oil Drilling: another Seneca Cliff

Oil Drilling: another Seneca Cliff thumbnail

The concept of an impending “Seneca cliff” seems to be making inroads in the debate, even though it may not be given that name. For example, watch the animation above on “Bloomberg.com” The crash in oil prices kicked off intense debate over when, and how, American producers would react. So far they’re still cranking out […]


Pentagon drops 60,000 leaflets on Islamic State

Pentagon drops 60,000 leaflets on Islamic State thumbnail

The Pentagon has dropped 60,000 leaflets over the Syrian town of Ar-Raqqa in an effort to dissuade residents from joining the Islamic State terror group. On March 16, an Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle fighter dropped a specialized leaflet-dispenser bomb over the town of Raqqa for the first time ever in Syria, according to Col. […]


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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…