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News from February 2017

Will the US fight for oil in the South China Sea?

Will the US fight for oil in the South China Sea? thumbnail

US Secretary of State Tillerson’s former role as ExxonMobil CEO has fueled speculation that US assertiveness in the South China Sea is connected with oil interests – but experts remain skeptical of these claims. During his confirmation hearings in the US Senate, Tillerson made statements indicating the new administration in Washington would prevent China from accessing […]


Donald Trump, Saudi Arabia, And The Petrodollar

Donald Trump, Saudi Arabia, And The Petrodollar thumbnail

Obama pulled out his veto pen 12 times during his presidency. Congress only overrode him once… In late 2016, Obama vetoed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA). The bill would allow 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia in US courts. With only months left in office, Obama wasn’t worried about the political price […]


A Muddle of Mind and Matter

A Muddle of Mind and Matter thumbnail

The philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer, which we’ve been discussing for the last two weeks, has a feature that reliably irritates most people when they encounter it for the first time: it doesn’t divide up the world the way people in modern western societies habitually do. To say, as Schopenhauer does, that the world we experience […]


How the “Peak Oil” Story Crashed with its Price

How the “Peak Oil” Story Crashed with its Price thumbnail

In mid-2000, the world feared it was running out of oil. Speculators, in turn, became feverishly bullish on oil’s price. A 78% crash soon followed. Today, almost no one talks about “Peak Oil.”


Energy and Environmental Regulation in the Age of Trump

Energy and Environmental Regulation in the Age of Trump thumbnail

Scott Pruitt has now been sworn in as the new Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Agency. It is likely the dismantling of the Clean Power Plan (CPP), and ultimately much of the Agency itself, will begin in short order. Pruitt’s public record suggests he is the embodiment of President Trump and coal-state Republicans and Democrats […]


Peak Oil? A Chaotic Transition is in Process

Peak Oil? A Chaotic Transition is in Process thumbnail

As the graphic shows, US gasoline inventories are at a 27-year record high. And yet, gas prices and oil prices continue to rise – having increased by about 30-40% (depending on the grade and source) in 2016. And as the second graphic shows, US gasoline consumption in the first part of 2017 is down 8% […]


Is It Oil? The Issue Revisited

Is It Oil? The Issue Revisited thumbnail

Around the time that the United States invaded Iraq, 14 years ago, I was in an auditorium at the University of Massachusetts Boston to hear then-Senator John Kerry try to justify the action. As he got into his speech, a loud, slow, calm voice came from the back of the room: “O – I – […]


The Whole System Costs of Renewables

The Whole System Costs of Renewables thumbnail

Dramatic cost reductions mean wind and solar can now compete on price with conventional sources of energy in many parts of the world, including the UK. This turns the spotlight onto the so-called “whole system costs” of integrating renewables into the electricity system, which include backing up intermittent generation and strengthening grids. In a report […]


Saudi Arabian Production Was Supposed to Peak in 2006

Saudi Arabian Production Was Supposed to Peak in 2006 thumbnail

The world was running out of oil and the global economy was about to collapse as a consequence ten years ago. Imminent peak oil doom was everywhere and one of its leading proponents was banker Matthew Simmons. Among other things, Simmons based his prognostications on the claim that oil production in Saudi Arabia was about […]


UN Report Says Small-Scale Organic Farming Only Way to Feed the World

UN Report Says Small-Scale Organic Farming Only Way to Feed the World thumbnail

Even as the United States government continues to push for the use of more chemically-intensive and corporate-dominated farming methods such as GMOs and monoculture-based crops, the United Nations is once against sounding the alarm about the urgent need to return to (and develop) a more sustainable, natural and organic system. That was the key point […]


The Age of the Giant Battery Is Almost Upon Us

The Age of the Giant Battery Is Almost Upon Us thumbnail

Bloomberg has an article on the great strides being made by the missing link in the transition to 100% renewable energy – cost effective energy storage – The Age of the Giant Battery Is Almost Upon Us. Battery costs have declined 40 percent since 2014 and regulators are mandating storage technology be added to the […]


The route to commercial fusion electricity by 2030

The route to commercial fusion electricity by 2030 thumbnail

Tokamak Energy’s contribution to putting fusion power into the grid by 2030: the ST40 prototype of a compact fusion reactor The world is facing a deep decarbonisation challenge, and major organisations such as the Breakthrough Energy Coalition and the newly-announced Breakthrough Energy Ventures are seeking bold new technologies, like fusion, as the solution. Decarbonising all […]


Should we mine the deep ocean?

Should we mine the deep ocean? thumbnail

You’ve probably heard of peak oil—the point at which oil production reaches its maximum and begins to decline—but what about peak copper? Copper helps send the electrical signals that make modern electronics like cellphones and tablets work. But there’s growing concern that the prevalence of key minerals like copper is on the decline. In 2016 […]


Iran to sign oil contract to sell Russia 100,000 bpd

Iran to sign oil contract to sell Russia 100,000 bpd thumbnail

Iran announced on Tuesday it will begin selling 100,000 barrels of oil a day to Russia within the next 15 days and receive payment half in cash and half in goods and services, the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA) reported. Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh provided details about the deal after meeting Russian energy […]


System Change will not be Negotiated

System Change will not be Negotiated thumbnail

We frequently hear calls for system change, at public mobilisations, in conference halls and even in negotiation halls. The calls come as slogans, they come in anger and they come as a strong rebuke to the systemic scaffold on which our pains, our exploitation and the denial of our voices and rights are hung. The […]


Heinberg: Awaiting Our Own Reichstag Fire

Heinberg: Awaiting Our Own Reichstag Fire thumbnail

Millions of Americans now share the profoundly disturbing experience of watching and waiting as their nation lurches toward authoritarianism. In a previous essay, I described the Trump administration as a “presidency in search of an emergency”—i.e., a crisis that could be used as a pretext for seizing unchecked power. I opined that the emergency could […]


Shell shakes up oil trading world with brash buying sprees

Shell shakes up oil trading world with brash buying sprees thumbnail

The giant tankers anchored along the Scottish coast in the Firth of Forth weren’t going anywhere. They were just providing floating storage because there was no demand for their cargo, North Sea crude oil. But the flickering computer screens in the world’s trading rooms told a different story. Prices through the month of April were jumping, […]


Norway Doubles Down On Arctic Oil

Norway Doubles Down On Arctic Oil thumbnail

While Canada and the U.S. ban Arctic drilling for oil and gas motivated by environmental concerns, and majors such as Shell pull out of their Arctic projects due to financial pressures, Norwegian energy companies are planning to increase drilling in the country’s Arctic shelf in the Barents Sea. It seems that the limited oil price […]


Saudi Aramco Favors New York for IPO

Saudi Aramco Favors New York for IPO thumbnail

Saudi Arabia is leaning toward listing its giant, state-run oil company in New York, having soured on the idea of floating its shares on an Asian stock exchange, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday citing people familiar with the matter. The world’s largest oil company is also considering listing its stock in London or Toronto, according […]


The Cities of the Future Are Smart, Green, Connected Innovation Hubs

The Cities of the Future Are Smart, Green, Connected Innovation Hubs thumbnail

Humanity has come a long way since the very first cities began to emerge about ten thousand years ago. Today, places like New York, Tokyo and Dubai are centers of innovation and human progress. Urban projects globally are pushing the limits of engineering, design and architecture. Exponential technologies are being integrated into the very skeleton […]


America’s Crumbling Infrastructure

America’s Crumbling Infrastructure thumbnail

No matter what your particular political perspective is, if there is one thing that virtually everyone in the United States can agree upon it is the fact that America’s infrastructure is crumbling.  Previous generations of Americans conquered an entire continent and erected the greatest system of infrastructure that the world had ever seen, but now […]


Mexico turns to the Jurassic era for shale oil

Mexico turns to the Jurassic era for shale oil thumbnail

Mexico’s plans to develop its shale oil resources have finally taken a step forward following years of largely fruitless efforts by the state owned company Pemex. Canada’s Renaissance Oil and Russia’s Lukoil are joining forces to develop the Amatitlan block of the Chicontepec region. They aren’t interested in the shallower tight oil, but in the […]


Oops! The economy is like a self-driving car

Oops! The economy is like a self-driving car thumbnail

Back in 1776, Adam Smith talked about the “invisible hand” of the economy. Investopedia explains how the invisible hand works as, “In a free market economy, self-interested individuals operate through a system of mutual interdependence to promote the general benefit of society at large.” We talk and act today as if governments and economic policy […]


Kunstler: Fumbling Towards Collapse

Kunstler: Fumbling Towards Collapse thumbnail

In all the smoke and fog emitted by Trump and his adversaries, it must be hard to make out the actual issues dogging this society, and even when you can, to find a coherent position on them. This was nicely illustrated in Paul Krugman’s fatuous column in Monday’s New York Times, “On Economic Arrogance” — […]


Mattis: No plan to seize Iraqi oil

Mattis: No plan to seize Iraqi oil thumbnail

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Monday the United States does not intend to seize Iraqi oil, shifting away from an idea proposed by President Donald Trump that has rattled Iraq’s leaders. Mattis’ arrived on an unannounced visit in Iraq as the battle to oust Islamic State militants from western Mosul moved into its second […]


Concerns Grow About A Nuclear “Incident” In Europe After Spike In Radioactive Iodine Levels

Concerns Grow About A Nuclear “Incident” In Europe After Spike In Radioactive Iodine Levels thumbnail

Concerns about a potential, and so far unsubstantiated, nuclear “incident”, reportedly in the vicinity of the Arctic circle, spread in the past week after trace amounts of radioactive Iodine-131 of unknown origin were detected in January over large areas in Europe according to a report by the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety, the […]


Peak oil demand and why it’s basically impossible to predict

Peak oil demand and why it’s basically impossible to predict thumbnail

In the past, forecasters had a relatively simple method of estimating whether demand for oil would increase or decrease and by how much. For the most part, they simply looked at the economy. If people were making more money, it was safe to assume they would spend more, travel more and head to the car dealership more often. […]


Iraq’s Oil Reserves Increase To 153 Bln Barrels, Oil Minister Says

Iraq’s Oil Reserves Increase To 153 Bln Barrels, Oil Minister Says thumbnail

Iraq’s oil reserves have increased to 153 billion barrels, from a previous estimate of 143 billion barrels, Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi said on Sunday. Iraq will ask the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to adopt the new figure as the official estimate for its reserves, he said in a statement. The increased estimate is the result of appraisals […]


Trump Left Saudi Arabia Off His Immigration Ban… Here’s Why

Trump Left Saudi Arabia Off His Immigration Ban… Here’s Why thumbnail

On August 15, 1971, President Nixon killed the last remnants of the gold standard. It was one of the most significant events in US history—on par with the 1929 stock market crash, JFK’s assassination, or the 9/11 attacks. Yet most people know nothing about it. Here’s what happened… After World War 2, the US had […]


Driverless Cars: Their Time Will Never Come

Driverless Cars: Their Time Will Never Come thumbnail

Can we just get real here for a minute? Our streets and highways are never going to be populated by a significant number of driverless cars. Any more than our lives are going to be enriched by attentive robots exhibiting artificial intelligence. We are no closer to deploying fleets of driverless cars now than we […]


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@SebGorka @GradyHughes4 We have reached "Peak Liberalism" The Selfishness & Anti-Americanism probably can't get worse #PeakLiberalism #PeakOil #CorruptDemocrats

@LeahR77 @vhfancc We have reached "Peak Liberalism" The Selfishness & Anti-Americanism can't get worse #PeakLiberalism #PeakOil #CorruptDemocrats RT ALL

@GeorgiaDirtRoad @hrenee80 We have reached "Peak Liberalism" The Selfishness & Anti-Americanism probably can't get worse #PeakLiberalism #PeakOil #CorruptDemocrats

Could we be on the right shoulder? #PeakOil Good time to IPO w/ shit oil reserve transparency. #NetEnergy #EROEI twitter.com/ShortTreasurie…

When ur wells are running dry so injecting water is the only way to extract it you get this... #peakoil #KSAnext zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-1…