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News from May 2015

5 scenarios for oil prices, including ‘meltdown’

5 scenarios for oil prices, including ‘meltdown’ thumbnail

The past year’s drop in crude oil prices will be fundamentally different from previous downturns. What started in June 2014 with a growing imbalance between soft demand in Asia and robust North American shale-oil production seemed typical: Brent crude prices started to fall from $105 per barrel, the market went in contango in October, and […]


The Era of Impact

The Era of Impact thumbnail

Of all the wistful superstitions that cluster around the concept of the future in contemporary popular culture, the most enduring has to be the notion that somehow, sooner or later, something will happen to shake the majority out of its complacency and get it to take seriously the crisis of our age. Week after week, […]


Fukushima reactor pressure venting system failure

Fukushima reactor pressure venting system failure thumbnail

The venting system designed to release pressure inside the containment vessel of the No. 2 reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant likely failed during the 2011 disaster, the operator of the facility said May 20. The discovery was made by a robot deployed last October by Tokyo Electric Power Co. to a […]


Islamic State seizes town of Palmyra in Syria

Islamic State seizes town of Palmyra in Syria thumbnail

Islamic State extremists captured the ancient Syrian town of Palmyra after government defense lines there collapsed Wednesday, a stunning triumph for the group only days after it captured the strategic city of Ramadi in Iraq. It was unclear by nightfall how close to Palmyra’s famed archaeological site the militants had advanced, activists said, adding that […]


The future of meat

The future of meat thumbnail

Meat — despite popular movements to decrease the amount humans consume — is still a central part of diets around the world. People who live in industrial countries (like the United States) eat roughly 210 pounds of it each year. And consumption in the developing world, where people eat closer to 66 pounds each year, is climbing fast. Growth is such that […]


Oregon to test pay-per-mile

Oregon to test pay-per-mile thumbnail

Oregon is about to embark on a first-in-the-nation program that aims to charge car owners not for the fuel they use, but for the miles they drive. The program is meant to help the state raise more revenue to pay for road and bridge projects at a time when money generated from gasoline taxes are […]


What’s in A Price? Less Than You Think

What’s in A Price? Less Than You Think thumbnail

Over the years, I have written a good deal about crude oil: crude oil prices, that is. I don’t presume to have any unique insights into the inner workings of OPEC or a comprehensive knowledge of hydraulic fracturing techniques. I do not have contacts at major energy producers. Nor do I have wildcatters checking in […]


Hijacking the Anthropocene

Hijacking the Anthropocene thumbnail

How the anti-green ‘Breakthrough Institute’ misrepresents science to advance a technocratic agenda and undermine grassroots environmentalism. “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.” —Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass— What can lobbyists do when science […]


Libya’s State Oil Company Reassures West of Its Independence

Libya’s State Oil Company Reassures West of Its Independence thumbnail

Libyan National Oil Co. officials have launched a charm offensive to reassure foreign companies that are increasingly nervous over the use of oil payments and security arrangements in the war-torn country. The state-run oil company has been caught in the middle of a conflict playing out since the ouster and death of dictator Moammar Gadhafi, […]


Global armed conflicts becoming more deadly

Global armed conflicts becoming more deadly thumbnail

International Institute for Strategic Studies says despite fewer wars number of deaths has trebled since 2008 due to an ‘inexorable intensification of violence’ Tens of thousands more people are dying in armed conflicts around the world, even as the number of conflicts falls, according to an authoritative study that attributes the rising death toll to […]


Robert Rapier: Where are the Unicorns?

Robert Rapier: Where are the Unicorns? thumbnail

Congress Mandates Cellulosic Ethanol and The EPA Tracks It The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is tasked with tracking compliance under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) that was set in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). Obligated parties under the RFS2 must demonstrate compliance with Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs), which the EPA […]


Heinberg: IMF Tells a Half-Truth

Heinberg: IMF Tells a Half-Truth thumbnail

On May 18 the International Monetary Fund (IMF) published a report titled “How Large are Global Energy Subsidies?” The question is a bit misleading: most readers, when they see the word subsidy, probably tend tothink of tax breaks or cash gifts to specific industries. The report, however, uses the term mostly to refer to environmental […]


Bakken, Eagle Ford Not Past Prime

Bakken, Eagle Ford Not Past Prime thumbnail

Bakken production will keep growing, albeit at a slower pace, and the Eagle Ford still has running room within high-return portions of the play, according to a recent analysis by Wood Mackenzie. The Bakken and Eagle Ford together produce just over 2.5 million barrels per day of oil, or nearly two-thirds of U.S. tight oil […]


In Iraq, ISIS Is Winning And The United States Is Losing

In Iraq, ISIS Is Winning And The United States Is Losing thumbnail

During the Iraq war more than 4,000 U.S. soldiers died, countless others were severely injured, and the total cost to U.S. taxpayers was more than 2 trillion dollars.  But now whatever the U.S. military accomplished during that war is being completely undone by ISIS.  On Monday, we learned that ISIS had fully taken control of […]


Oil Reserves Estimate in the Middle East by Bahrain Oil and Gas Minister

Oil Reserves Estimate in the Middle East by Bahrain Oil and Gas Minister thumbnail

Peak-Oil Theory: Oil Reserves Estimate in the Middle East by Bahrain Oil and Gas Minister


The ‘Shocking’ Cost of Letting Companies Pollute for Free

The ‘Shocking’ Cost of Letting Companies Pollute for Free thumbnail

“Energy subsidy,” as the phrase is tossed around Washington, typically refers to any financial help the government gives to producers of oil, wind, or other sectors of the energy industry. But there’s another way to consider energy subsidies that takes a bigger picture and conceives of all manner of help—financial or otherwise—as a subsidy. In that context, letting companies pollute […]


The Myth of Self Reliance

The Myth of Self Reliance thumbnail

A mass emailing went out a while back from a prominent permaculturist looking for “projects where people are fully self sufficient in providing for their own food, clothing, shelter, energy and community needs. . .” There it was, the myth of “fully self sufficient,” coming from one of the best-known permaculturists in the world. In […]


EIA Redesigns Web Portal

EIA Redesigns Web Portal thumbnail

In an effort to improve access to international energy data and trends in global energy markets, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Monday launched a redesigned version of its International Energy Portal. The expanded portal provides increased access to data, including historical information on country-level energy use dating back, in many cases, more than 30 […]


Peak Resource Constraints Threaten Product Supply

Peak Resource Constraints Threaten Product Supply thumbnail

We have for years been hearing about the potential for ‘peak oil’ and more recently about ‘peak metals’ but for the first time, several peer reviewed articles are warning us other peak resource constraints are threatening several key areas of product supply, including food. Peak oil has been discussed for a number of years, but […]


Russian Sanctions: Effect on Global Oil Market

Russian Sanctions: Effect on Global Oil Market thumbnail

Despite recent visits by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US Secretary of State John Kerry to Russia, the international community appears unlikely to soon lift sanctions imposed on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine. Effect on Russia Exports? Russia is one of the largest hydrocarbon producers in the world. Although cushioned by the relative decrease […]


World Progressing on Sustainable Energy Goals

World Progressing on Sustainable Energy Goals thumbnail

The world is heading in the right direction to achieve universal access to sustainable energy by 2030 but must move faster, says a new report that tracks the progress of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative. The report – “Progress Toward Sustainable Energy: Global Tracking Framework 2015” – finds that 1.1 billion people in the world still […]


Civilization Collapse 3.0

Civilization Collapse 3.0 thumbnail

What is Working? I started a kind of list. I had been tracking a number of institutions (like higher education) and organizations (like the US government) and casually chronicling their growing dysfunction. The list was getting long and the seriousness of the dysfunctionalities was getting extreme. It occurred to me that it would be easier […]


Kunstler: Dead Nation Walking

Kunstler: Dead Nation Walking thumbnail

Many people seem to think that America has lost its sense of purpose. They overlook the obvious: that we are striving to become the Bulgaria of the western hemisphere. At least we already have enough vampires to qualify. You don’t have to seek further than the USA’s sub-soviet-quality passenger railroad system, which produced the spectacular […]


Heinberg paints a bleak picture of an inevitable post-carbon future

Heinberg paints a bleak picture of an inevitable post-carbon future thumbnail

Very slowly, environmentalists have begun to convince the world we can have our cake and eat it too. They argue human civilization can transition away from fossil fuels without suffering a significant blow to the global economy. Capitalism, continual growth, and high standards of living can all continue, and continue without the onset of catastrophic […]


Turkish-Iranian Competition in the Middle East

Turkish-Iranian Competition in the Middle East thumbnail

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan paid a formal visit to Iran on April 7, 2015. The trip was designed to try to repair bilateral relations after their severe breakdown linked to the crisis in Yemen. Indeed, the conservative wing of the ruling establishment in Tehran, including the head of Iran’s Parliamentary National Security and Foreign […]


Shell’s Arctic voyage marks beginning of peak oil era

Shell’s Arctic voyage marks beginning of peak oil era thumbnail

In his critically acclaimed 2005 book ‘Twilight in the Desert’, the prominent oil economist Matthew R. Simmons predicted that Saudi Arabia’s oil wells would soon run dry. His argument was based on the age of the seven main fields, which the kingdom still to this day depends upon to pump the bulk of its 10m […]


The UN Launches A Major Sustainable Development Agenda For The Entire Planet

The UN Launches A Major Sustainable Development Agenda For The Entire Planet thumbnail

The UN plans to launch a brand new plan for managing the entire globe at the Sustainable Development Summit that it will be hosting from September 25th to September 27th.  Some of the biggest names on the planet, including Pope Francis, will be speaking at this summit.  This new sustainable agenda focuses on climate change […]


mankind’s destruction of the planet from forests turned to wasteland to garbage filled seas and slaughtered species

mankind’s destruction of the planet from forests turned to wasteland to garbage filled seas and slaughtered species thumbnail

Global warming isn’t the only thing to worry about. Overpopulation, pollution, poaching and mining are just a few of mankind’s other harms that are leaving the Earth scorched and ruined. However, the devastating effects of the digital age, demanding food production and melting glaciers are something most people don’t see every day. In order to […]


Islamic State head of oil operations killed in US raid in Syria

Islamic State head of oil operations killed in US raid in Syria thumbnail

In a rare ground attack deep into Syria, U.S. Army commandos killed a man described as the Islamic State’s head of oil operations, captured his wife and rescued a woman whom American officials said was enslaved. A team of Delta Force commandos slipped across the border from Iraq under cover of darkness Saturday aboard Black […]


Peak Oil and Green Energy: Both Fossils?

Peak Oil and Green Energy: Both Fossils? thumbnail

Peak Oil and Green Energy: Both Fossils?


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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…