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News from September 2016

Fresh water, a rare commodity

Fresh water, a rare commodity thumbnail

Water has become India’s scarcest resource, which isn’t just hurting its economy, but its people too. With 18% of the world’s population and 4% of its water resources, India is clearly a water-stressed nation. Constitutionally, water is a state subject. But after two consecutive deficient monsoons, the need for a natural framework policy on water […]


China may be stockpiling more oil than anyone realized

China may be stockpiling more oil than anyone realized thumbnail

One of the mysteries of the oil market is the question of how much crude oil China has squirreled away in commercial and strategic stockpiles. Now a satellite-imaging firm called Orbital Insight claims to have an answer. It says Chinese inventories in May stood at 600 million barrels, substantially more than commonly thought and nearly […]


How Can Fossil Fuel Supplies Be Constrained?

How Can Fossil Fuel Supplies Be Constrained? thumbnail

Academics gathered in Oxford this week to discuss how to constrain fossil fuel supply as part of efforts to tackle climate change. Carbon Brief attended the two days of talks at the “Fossil Fuel Supply and Climate Policy” conference, organised by the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), to speak to delegates about what kind of future […]


What Ever Happened to Peak Oil?

What Ever Happened to Peak Oil? thumbnail

In 1957, Tulsa celebrated Oklahoma’s golden anniversary of statehood by placing in a concrete vault under the county courthouse a host of mid-20th century artifacts, including a 16mm movie, a six-pack of Schlitz better, and a woman’s purse with bobby pins, lipstick, and a pack of cigarettes that retailed for 50 cents a pack. The […]


Peak salt: is the desalination dream over for the Gulf states?

Peak salt: is the desalination dream over for the Gulf states? thumbnail

Gulf states are among the most water-scarce in the world. With few freshwater resources and low rainfall, many countries have turned to desalination (where salt is removed from seawater) for their clean water needs. But Gulf states are heading for “peak salt”: the more they desalinate, the more concentrated wastewater, brine, is pumped back into […]


Peak Oil Consensus 1998: Lesson for ‘Settled’ Climate Science

Peak Oil Consensus 1998: Lesson for ‘Settled’ Climate Science thumbnail

In “World Oil Crunch Looming?” Kerr surveys the experts to, find, indeed, that a major crunch might be looming, if not imminent. Consensus science it appeared to me with each person interviewed in lockstep agreement. “Even those who believe there’s plenty of oil left in the ground to meet rising demand are warning that the […]


Accelerationism… and Degrowth? The Left’s Strange Bedfellows

Accelerationism… and Degrowth? The Left’s Strange Bedfellows thumbnail

Over a year ago I lived in Barcelona, where I was lucky enough to witness a social movement—in large part fuelled by cooperatives, squats, and other autonomous spaces—win the mayoral elections. I had spent the year being involved with a group that studies and advocates ‘degrowth’—the idea that we must downscale production and consumption to […]


ISIS is facing a ‘state of collapse’ in its largest city

ISIS is facing a ‘state of collapse’ in its largest city thumbnail

As the great powers jam the door of Mosul for the last big battle, many of the Islamic State terrorists themselves cannot wait to get out of town. “Mosul on Thursday looked empty and the terrorists demoralized, as hundreds of terrorists fled from Shirqat after its liberation on Thursday,” according to the Iraqi Christian news […]


Exploring the Gap Between Business-as-Usual and Utter Doom

Exploring the Gap Between Business-as-Usual and Utter Doom thumbnail

Predicting the future is a fool’s errand, but everybody does it. As long as we’ve had language—for tens of thousands of years, at last estimate—we’ve been able to formulate the question, “What will tomorrow bring?” The answers have ranged from idyllic to hellish, though the reality has been, more often than not, “a lot like […]


Saudis See Oil-Freeze Deal Possible in November, Not This Week

Saudis See Oil-Freeze Deal Possible in November, Not This Week thumbnail

A deal by major oil exporters to freeze output may have to wait another couple of months. As producing countries gather in Algiers for talks on Wednesday, Saudi Arabia signaled for the first time it may accept the idea that Iran keep output at maximum levels but doesn’t expect an accord to be reached this […]


Oil Exporters Focus On Supply, But What Of China Demand?

Oil Exporters Focus On Supply, But What Of China Demand? thumbnail

Major oil exporters clearly would like higher crude prices and may even be getting closer to some sort of coordinated action, but they should be careful what they wish for as they may choke off demand growth in top importer China. On the surface, China’s appetite for imported crude has seen robust gains this year, […]


Could small nuclear fusion reactors provide the clean energy safety net the world needs?

Could small nuclear fusion reactors provide the clean energy safety net the world needs? thumbnail

The old joke suggests nuclear fusion is always 30 years away, but undeterred a British firm is now working to connect a nuclear fusion reactor to the grid by 2030 The idea of nuclear fusion someday providing a cheap and abundant source of clean energy has been around for decades, but has long considered by […]


Peak Oil: Are We Ready To Act?

Peak Oil: Are We Ready To Act? thumbnail

U.S. crude oil production is falling because investments into shale oil production dried up as the price of crude oil fell below $60/bbl. Companies aren’t interested in putting new capital to work, and because these oil fields deplete, that means crude production is falling. Why is that significant? Because most of the world’s new oil […]


Whatever happened to peak oil?

Whatever happened to peak oil? thumbnail

About 10 years ago, discussions of peak oil were everywhere.  Peak oil was a cover story in Newsweek and National Geographic.  When would the production of oil from the Earth’s crust begin to drop and fail to keep up with rising demand, particularly from the developing world?  What would be the impact of peak oil on the price […]


US Shale Firms Are Ready to Pump More

US Shale Firms Are Ready to Pump More thumbnail

When oil prices began to plunge two years ago due to a global glut of crude, experts predicted U.S. shale producers would be the losers of the resulting shakeout. But the American companies that revolutionized the oil and gas business with hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling are surviving the carnage largely unbowed. Though the collapse in […]


Only a new system can bring real democracy

Only a new system can bring real democracy thumbnail

Bernie Sanders was right that the system is rigged. But he did not go far enough. The problem is not simply that pro-establishment politicians are stealing the vote or organizing the elections in a way that gives them an advantage. Capitalist democracy is paper thin. The unemployed have a right to vote every two or […]


No, Capitalism Isn’t Making Us All Richer and Richer

No, Capitalism Isn’t Making Us All Richer and Richer thumbnail

If you frequent mainstream right-libertarian publications on anything like a regular basis, you’ve probably seen more than one of those breathless articles about how capitalism is making the ordinary poor person richer than a medieval king. For example Calvin Beisner: “No matter how rich you might have been” 150 years ago, “You could not have […]


The Seneca Effect: Soon to Become a Book!

The Seneca Effect: Soon to Become a Book! thumbnail

“It would be some consolation for the feebleness of our selves and our works if all things should perish as slowly as they come into being; but as it is, increases are of sluggish growth, but the way to ruin is rapid.” Lucius Anneaus Seneca, Letters to Lucilius, n. 91 This is very early as […]


Tax Troubles Threaten Russia’s Arctic Megaproject

Tax Troubles Threaten Russia’s Arctic Megaproject thumbnail

Russia has launched the first commercial production at the country’s northernmost onshore Arctic Vostochno-Messoyakhskoy oilfield. The oilfield’s recoverable oil and gas condensate reserves are estimated to exceed 340 million tons of oil and 113 billion cubic meters of gas, according to the information shared by the project’s stakeholders Rosneft and Gazpromneft. In 2016, production is […]


OPEC Production Deal May Be On Hold

OPEC Production Deal May Be On Hold thumbnail

Given recent chatter about expectations and what individual countries are willing to do, analysts are looking to a formal meeting Nov. 30 for a decision announcement. As chatter from member countries and non-OPEC nations alike has grown increasingly incompatible, analysts are considering whether the meeting in Algiers, ostensibly to discuss a crude production freeze, will […]


Poli­tics Doesn’t Trump Physics, Nor the Economics of Collapse

Poli­tics Doesn’t Trump Physics, Nor the Economics of Collapse thumbnail

Much as it came as a surprise to me, it’s probably not very well known that Naomi Klein comes from a rather politically active family, and that she ended up marrying into a very politically active family. While Klein had a “very public feminist mother” who was notable for her anti-pornography work, her husband Avi […]


Farmed fish could solve pending population crisis

Farmed fish could solve pending population crisis thumbnail

  (Photo: World Fish Center) MONTEREY, Calif. — Farmed fish has gotten a bad rap, but it’s the only way the world is going to feed the additional 2.4  billion people expected to be added to the Earth’s population in the next 34 years, experts told a sustainable food conference. With the world’s arable land maxed out and wild seafood […]


Saudi Arms Deal Backed By US Senators Who Got Cash From Weapons Contractor That Will Benefit

Saudi Arms Deal Backed By US Senators Who Got Cash From Weapons Contractor That Will Benefit thumbnail

President Barack Obama looks on as King Salman bin Abd alAziz of Saudi Arabia speaks during a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office of the White House September 4, 2015 in Washington, D.C. The President and the King were expected to discuss various issues including joint security and counter-terrorism efforts. Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images The […]


Farmland: An Increasingly Popular Alternative Investment

Farmland: An Increasingly Popular Alternative Investment thumbnail

A new report from Prequin found that more investors are buying agricultural/farmland assets to diversfy portfolios and profit from the growing global demand for food “Buy land, they’re not making it anymore.” Mark Twain’s advice isn’t lost on the growing number of institutional investors scouring the earth for new opportunities.  According to a new study […]


Peak Oil; Climate Change; & System Justification

Peak Oil; Climate Change; & System Justification thumbnail

    According to system justification theory, our evaluations of social systems and institutions are influenced by epistemic needs to maintain a sense of certainty and stability, existential needs to feel safety and reassurance, and relational needs to affiliate with others who are part of the same social systems (_). These needs give rise to […]


Kunstler: Trauma Programming

Kunstler: Trauma Programming thumbnail

As the nation awaits the gruesome spectacle of the so-called debate between Trump and Clinton in an election campaign beneath the dignity of a third-world shit-hole, we are once again up to our eyeballs in manufactured racial strife led by the deliberately prevaricating New York Times. Read today’s front-page story: What We Know About the […]


The Economics Of Population

The Economics Of Population thumbnail

Nigeria’s population has become an embarrassment that cannot be hidden anymore. A population time bomb is dangling on the country waiting to detonate unless urgent preventive measures are taken. A similar fear was equally expressed by the Director of Monetary Policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Moses Tule, at the 40th Annual Conference […]


Forging Alternatives to the Growth Economy — Examples from the Real World (315)

Forging Alternatives to the Growth Economy — Examples from the Real World (315) thumbnail

The growth economy is historically relatively recent, and is now consuming 1.5 Earths and growing. Compound interest is sucking the lifeblood out of the real economy, from households to countries. Mike Lewis, co-author of The Resilience Imperative, tells the story of the successful JAK Cooperative Bank in Sweden, which is based on saving on behalf […]


Addicted to oil: US gasoline consumption is higher than ever

Addicted to oil: US gasoline consumption is higher than ever thumbnail

August was the biggest month ever for U.S. gasoline consumption. Americans used a staggering 9.7 million barrels per day. That’s more than a gallon per day for every U.S. man, woman and child. The new peak comes as a surprise to many. In 2012, energy expert Daniel Yergin said, “The U.S. has already reached what […]


After long delays, Kashagan oil to slowly come on stream

After long delays, Kashagan oil to slowly come on stream thumbnail

In about one month, the long-awaited production at the largest oil field of Kazakhstan – Kashagan – will finally be resumed. Earlier, the Minister of Energy of Kazakhstan Kanat Bozumbaev had announced October 23 of this year as the official start date of the Kashagan project. Kazakhstan’s largest oil field has proven to be quite […]


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