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News from May 2015

New Overshoot Index

New Overshoot Index thumbnail

The Overshoot Index assesses the extent to which a country can support itself from its own renewable resources, by measuring current per capita consumption against per capita biocapacity. The ecological footprint measures the area of biologically productive land and water required to produce the renewable resources/ecological services for, and absorb the waste of, a given […]


Peak Oil Dress Rehearsal?

Peak Oil Dress Rehearsal? thumbnail

This is extraordinary. Remember all those dire things that were supposed to happen when Peak Oil hit? All the stuff in The Long Emrgency? Cars queuing up for miles to buy petrol, public transportation jacking up rates, cell phones not working, banks closing their doors, planes grounded for lack of fuel, supermarkets stripped bare, scalpers […]


Iraq About to Flood Oil Market

Iraq About to Flood Oil Market thumbnail

Iraq is taking OPEC’s strategy to defend its share of the global oil market to a new level. The nation plans to boost crude exports by about 26 percent to a record 3.75 million barrels a day next month, according to shipping programs, signaling an escalation of OPEC strategy to undercut U.S. shale drillers in […]


Peak Oil: Gas Prices, Supply Depletion & Energy Crisis

Peak Oil: Gas Prices, Supply Depletion & Energy Crisis thumbnail

Peak Oil: Gas Prices, Supply Depletion & Energy Crisis


Prosperous Descent: Crisis as Opportunity in an Age of Limits

Prosperous Descent: Crisis as Opportunity in an Age of Limits thumbnail

I sometimes tell my students that I am an ‘apocaloptimist’. While, in truth, I am neither apocalyptic nor optimistic, this neologism serves as a fruitful conversation starter. It allows me to begin stating the case for why we, the human species, are facing overlapping crises of unprecedented magnitude – crises that are threatening the very […]


Stabilization of Human Population

Stabilization of Human Population thumbnail

The world population is growing because the birth rate exceeds the death rate, so to stabilize the world population either the birth rate needs to drop, or the death rate needs to increase. The most cited reference for population studies is the projections of future population (PDF) made by the Population Division of the United […]


Oil prices rise as demand surges

Oil prices rise as demand surges thumbnail

Crude oil futures rose on Monday as firm global demand offset a strong dollar, although a holiday in the United States and much of Europe kept trading muted. Front-month Brent crude <LCOc1> gained 53 cents to $65.90 a barrel by 1750 GMT (01:50 p.m. EDT), after touching an intraday low of $64.72. U.S. crude <CLc1> was up 8 cents […]


Cuba: Figuring Out Pieces of the Puzzle

Cuba: Figuring Out Pieces of the Puzzle thumbnail

Cuba is an unusual country for quite a few reasons: The United States has had an embargo against Cuba since 1960, but there has recently been an announcement that the US will begin to normalize diplomatic relations. The leader of Cuba between 1959 and 2008 was Fidel Castro. Fidel Castro is a controversial figure, with some […]


Oil prices hit struggling oil companies

Oil prices hit struggling oil companies thumbnail

Low oil prices are endangering an increasing number of exploration and production companies. According to a new report from Moody’s Investors Service, the oil and gas industry could see the rate of defaults rise over the next year. The companies in danger of going belly up, not surprisingly, are the ones that already have low […]


What if Putin is Telling the Truth?

What if Putin is Telling the Truth? thumbnail

On April 26 Russia’s main national TV station, Rossiya 1, featured President Vladimir Putin in a documentary to the Russian people on the events of the recent period including the annexation of Crimea, the US coup d’etat in Ukraine, and the general state of relations with the United States and the EU. His words were […]


Only Iran is confronting Islamic State

Only Iran is confronting Islamic State thumbnail

The general in charge of Iran’s paramilitary activities in the Middle East said the United States and other powers were failing to confront Islamic State, and only Iran was committed to the task, a news agency on Monday reported. Major General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the elite Quds Force responsible for protecting the Islamic Republic’s […]


The world is drowning in debt

The world is drowning in debt thumbnail

The world is sinking under too much debt and an ageing global population means countries’ debt piles are in danger of growing out of control, the European chief executive of Goldman Sachs Asset Management has warned. Andrew Wilson, head of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), said growing debt piles around the world posed one […]


Saudi Arabia rewrites its oil game with refining might

Saudi Arabia rewrites its oil game with refining might thumbnail

Saudi Arabia’s rapid transition into one of the world’s largest oil refiners adds an extra dimension to the oil exporter’s role as the driver of OPEC policy. When it attends OPEC’s next meeting in two weeks, it does so with major new state-of-the-art oil refineries that can profit from cheaper crude and reviving world fuel […]


OPEC according to the EIA

OPEC according to the EIA thumbnail

OPEC publishes monthly production data for all OPEC nations in their Monthly Oil Market Report. The data crude oil production only and does not include condensate. I have found the data to be highly accurate and any errors are corrected in the next month’s report or the month following that. The OPEC data is from […]


Kunstler: Yesterday’s Tomorrowland

Kunstler: Yesterday’s Tomorrowland thumbnail

America takes pause on a big holiday weekend requiring little in the way of real devotions beyond the barbeque deck with two profoundly stupid movie entertainments that epitomize our estrangement from the troubles of the present day. First there’s Mad Max: Fury Road, which depicts the collapse of civilization as a monster car rally. They […]


Why economists were totally wrong about cheap oil

Why economists were totally wrong about cheap oil thumbnail

If there was one thing most economists agreed on at the start of the year, it was this: Plunging oil prices would boost the U.S. economy. It hasn’t worked out that way. The economy is thought to have shrunk in the January-March quarter and may barely grow for the first half of 2015 — thanks […]


40 Percent Honeybee Die Off In One Year

40 Percent Honeybee Die Off In One Year thumbnail

Dropping bee population spells famine for humanity “Commercial beehives pollinate over a third of America’s crops and that web of nourishment encompasses everything from fruits like peaches, apples, cherries, strawberries and more, to nuts like California almonds, 90 percent of which are helped along by the honeybees. Without this pollination, you could kiss those crops […]


Is the slowdown in productivity growth a result of energy costs?

Is the slowdown in productivity growth a result of energy costs? thumbnail

Slowing productivity growth in the United States has been in the news in recent months. It has become a concern to policymakers because they believe it is one of the primary contributors to a middle-class economic squeeze according to the annual report of the White House Council of Economic Advisors. Simply put, productivity growth refers […]


Unprecedented ‘Mass Die Offs’ As Pacific Ocean “Turning Into a Desert” Off California Coast

Unprecedented ‘Mass Die Offs’ As Pacific Ocean “Turning Into a Desert” Off California Coast thumbnail

“Ocean’s dying, plankton’s dying… it’s people. Soylent Green is made out of people. They’re making our food out of people. Next thing they’ll be breeding us like cattle for food. You’ve gotta tell them. You’ve gotta tell them!” It was the dying cry of Charlton Heston in the creepy 1973 film Soylent Green… and it […]


Iran to pump natural gas to Iraq next month

Iran to pump natural gas to Iraq next month thumbnail

Baghdad – The director of National Iranian Gas Company Hameed Reza announced that his country will start exporting natural gas to Iraq by next month. The newspaper “Iran Daily” quoted Reza as saying, “The natural gas pumping process will begin next month after the end of final exams procedures on the pipeline,” noting that “export […]


Gardens Combat Hunger in Argentina

Gardens Combat Hunger in Argentina thumbnail

BUENOS AIRES, May 23 2015 (IPS) – In Argentina, where millions of families have unmet dietary needs despite the country’s vast expanse of fertile land, the Huerta Niño project promotes organic gardens in rural primary schools, to teach children healthy eating habits and show them that they can grow their own food to fight hunger. […]


Iran enters Iraqi fight for key oil refinery

Iran enters Iraqi fight for key oil refinery thumbnail

Iran has entered the fight to retake a major Iraqi oil refinery from Islamic State militants, contributing small numbers of troops — including some operating artillery and other heavy weapons — in support of advancing Iraqi ground forces, U.S. defense officials said Friday. Two U.S. defense officials said Iranian forces have taken a significant offensive […]


Saudi Oil Minister Says World Can’t Abandon Fossil Fuels

Saudi Oil Minister Says World Can’t Abandon Fossil Fuels thumbnail

Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said on Thursday that he sees a great future for solar power but that the world can’t abandon fossil fuels in the short term Mr. Naimi, speaking on a panel in Paris, addressed questions about whether the world’s oil-and-gas companies should move on to other forms of energy in […]


The future of humankind after the great crash: extinction or the human hive?

The future of humankind after the great crash: extinction or the human hive? thumbnail

  “Hellstrom’s Hive,” written by Frank Herbert in 1973, is one of the few sound explorations of how an “eusocial” human society could be patterned on the lifestyle of social insects, such as bees and ants. Could this be what the remote future has in store for humankind? It is impossible to say but I, […]


World Exports versus Consumption, The ELM

World Exports versus Consumption, The ELM thumbnail

The EIA has updated their International Energy Statistics with annual production numbers through 2014 and export data through 2012. Sometimes these stats can be confusing as they include several types of production and exports. But for production I use only “Crude plus Condensate” and for exports I used “Crude Oil Exports” which I assume includes condensate […]


The Peak Oil Crisis: Energy from Buoyancy – A new Disruptive Technology?

The Peak Oil Crisis: Energy from Buoyancy – A new Disruptive Technology? thumbnail

In the past year yet another technology that seems to produce cheap, pollution-free energy has emerged. If this technology proves viable, it could join with cold fusion and hydrinos as an alternative to the combustion of fossil fuels. For several years now, I have been reporting on the progress in the development of cold fusion, […]


OPEC may condemn the world to an oil glut for years

OPEC may condemn the world to an oil glut for years thumbnail

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries could flood the market with oil for years if it opts to do nothing to alter its output ceiling at a highly-anticipated meeting in June. “If they don’t do something and find a way to get on the same page, we will all be floating on a glut […]


Troubled ITER nuclear fusion project seeks new path

Troubled ITER nuclear fusion project seeks new path thumbnail

In 1985, then Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and US president Ronald Reagan launched one of the unlikeliest ideas of the Cold War. Under it, the Soviet Union would team up with United States and other rivals of the day to develop nuclear fusion: the same limitless energy source that powers the Sun. Today, 30 years […]


We are on the Threshold of a Third World War

We are on the Threshold of a Third World War thumbnail

Billionaire investor George Soros told the World Bank this week that the planet is on the verge of a third world war that could arise out of an economic collapse in China. “If there is conflict between China and a military ally of the United States, like Japan, then it is not an exaggeration to […]


Santa Barbara Oil Spill Worsens Dramatically

Santa Barbara Oil Spill Worsens Dramatically thumbnail

What was originally thought to be around 21,000 barrels is now over 105,000 barrels of oil spilled on to the pristine beaches of Santa Barbara County. On Wednesday, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for Santa Barbara County to free up resources to respond to the spill, which as the following horrible images […]


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@g_kallis Dr. @BrankoMilan seems to believe that spreading ideas against the established ones and against the interests of the establishment is a fast way to mass a big fortune. By this standard Karl Marx preached to get rich. But being selfish or not #Peakoil is here. #Degrowth

@paulcurrion @RodZeidan @giancarlotorpi @BrankoMilan Touché ! This is one of the problems with some economists: they have invested so much time preaching the goodness of growth that they cannot stop without risking their intellectual prestige. #Peakoil