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Consumption

The Silver Lining Of An Oil Price Crash

It has been a dismal week for oil prices despite a slight recovery on Friday morning, but there may be a silver lining to the most recent price crash. (Click to enlarge) (Click to enlarge) (Click to enlarge) (Click to enlarge) (Click to enlarge) (Click to enlarge) (Click to enlarge) (Click to enlarge) Oil rebounded on Friday but it was not enough to erase the roughly 7 percent meltdown seen on Thursday. The trade war is starting to become a top concern for global equity and commodity markets. As of mid-day, WTI was trading above $58 per barrel and Brent moved above $67, somewhat mitigating what has otherwise been a dismal week. On the upside, the plunge in prices and the renewed bearishness undercuts the rationale for OPEC+ to increase production. “It is reasonable to doubt whether Saudi Arabia will be willing to step up its output given the ...

Fusion: A safer nuclear option thumbnail

Fusion: A safer nuclear option

It is obvious that global efforts to combat climate change—that were agreed upon at the 21st Conference of Parties in Paris—have already gone off the rails. Subsequent conferences produced nothing but a long laundry list of unenforceable rules to cope with the rapidly changing climate that is forcing millions of people to lead cramped lives with other climate refugees in the slums of sweltering, shrinking continents. Arguably, renewable energy is one of the most effective tools we have in the fight against climate change, and there is every reason to believe it will succeed, albeit partially only if we stop, or at least, cap fossil fuel emissions. Otherwise, we cannot simply bet on renewables to combat global warming. Notwithstanding the remarkable growth due to technological advancements and huge cost improvements over the past decade, renewables, such as solar, wind, geothermal and tides, to ...

Pitching Seaweed Straws thumbnail

Pitching Seaweed Straws

"Kelp-based straws will beat the price of paper straw competitors later this year and could under-price plastic straws by the end of 2020."     The young woman strode past the three judges and spoke directly to the Standing Room Only audience of more than 1000. “I am Chelsea Briganti, my company is LOLIWARE, and we are part of a plastics-free movement. We believe that single-use plastics should never be designed to last forever. They should be designed to disappear.” This was the long-awaited final pitch-off between what had begun as a large flock of eager entrepreneurs two days earlier. I was at the Collision Conference, held towards the end of each May, this year for the first time in Toronto. I had already listened to Chelsea’s pitch twice before, each time with 3 new judges, as she advanced through the competition, and it ...

Sustainability is a balancing act thumbnail

Sustainability is a balancing act

EVERYONE now wants to champion sustainability. This is good, and we need to get everyone on board to contribute to sustainability. Schools and universities provide an excellent platform to garner support for the sustainability agenda. In fact, the government should allocate a special budget to raise awareness about sustainability. This would be a worthwhile investment for the future of the nation. It is encouraging to see that many universities in Malaysia have declared their commitment to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They now feature prominently in the academic and research programmes of the UCSI University. Concern over sustainability has gathered momentum on a global scale as scientists continue to generate convincing evidence about climate change, environmental pollution and resource depletion. All the evidence suggests humans are mostly to blame. In the rush to develop, we have upset nature’s fragile balance. This imbalance ...

Enviroment

Overpopulation – The Deadly Myth behind the Other Modern Myths

Who says the world is overpopulated? And what does that mean anyway? Hunger?  Crowding? Environmental harm?  For over 200 years we’ve been told that the world is overpopulated. But is it? Check this out. In 1798, Thomas Malthus thought the world was overpopulated when world population was under one billion. In his book, An Essay on the Principles of Population, he advocated not supporting the poor and controlling the population. He was wrong. When world population was about 1.3 billion, Charles Darwin, who’s Theory of Evolution was based on Malthus’ book, thought the struggle for survival would cause the extinction of underdeveloped cultures by developed peoples. He was wrong. Francis Galton, creator of Eugenics, the so-called science of improving the human race, thought the African races were so inferior genetically that Chinese should be settled in Africa to drive the Negro races to ...

Consumption

Rural America Is On The Verge Of Collapse

The Economic Innovation Group's (EIG) Distressed Communities Index (DCI) shows a significant economic transformation (from two distinct periods: 2007-2011 and 2012-2016) that occurred since the financial crisis. The shift of human capital, job creation, and business formation to metropolitan areas reveals that rural America is teetering on the edge of collapse. Since the crisis, the number of people living in prosperous zip codes expanded by 10.2 million, to a total of 86.5 million, an increase that was much greater than any other social class. Meanwhile, the number of Americans living in distressed zip codes decreased to 3.4 million, to a total of 50 million, the smallest shift of any other social class. This indicates that the geography of economic pain is in rural America. "While the overall population in distressed zip codes declined, the number of rural Americans in that category increased ...

Why it (sort of) makes sense for the US to impose tariffs thumbnail

Why it (sort of) makes sense for the US to impose tariffs

Nearly everyone wonders, “Why is Donald Trump crazy enough to impose tariffs on imports from other countries? How could this possibly make sense?” As long as the world economy is growing rapidly, it makes sense for countries to cooperate with each other. With the use of cooperation, scarce resources can become part of supply lines that allow the production of complex goods, such as computers, requiring materials from around the world. The downsides of cooperation include: (a) The use of more oil to transport goods around the world; (b) The more rapid exhaustion of resources of all kinds around the world; and (c) Growing wage disparity as workers from high-wage countries compete more directly with workers from low-wages countries. These issues can be tolerated as long as the world economy is growing fast enough. As the saying goes, “A rising tide raises all boats.” In this ...

Consumption

IEA cuts oil-demand forecast, but sees market tightening on Iran

Global oil demand will grow more slowly than previously thought following an economic lull in Asia, the International Energy Agency said, while warning that supplies stand to tighten due to U.S. sanctions on Iran. Disappointing fuel consumption in China, Japan and Brazil meant 2019 started with a “tough quarter,” the agency said, lowering its global demand estimate for the first time since October. As a result, world oil inventories surprisingly swelled during the first three months of the year. Nonetheless, stockpiles are set to plunge sharply this quarter as demand picks up and as U.S. sanctions squeeze production in Iran, which could fall this month to the lowest since the country’s war with Iraq in the 1980s, the IEA said. “There is a modest offset to supply worries from the demand side,” the Paris-based agency, which advises major economies on energy policy, said ...

Enviroment

Global sea levels could rise far more than predicted

Global sea levels could rise by two metres and displace tens of millions of people by the end of the century if greenhouse emissions remain unchecked, according to a new study. The authors of the report, released on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, said this outcome is the worst-case scenario, in which global temperatures would warm more than five degrees Celsius by 2100. The new projections, which double benchmark estimates by the United Nations, suggest the melting of the vast ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica will contribute to accelerating the rise of seas levels, adding that they contain enough frozen water to lift the world's oceans dozens of metres. The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said its 2013 Fifth Assessment Report suggested that in a "business-as-usual" scenario, sea levels would likely to rise by up ...

Consumption

Saudi Arabia wants to buy tons of American natural gas

Saudi Arabia has placed a huge bet on American natural gas. In a sign of shifting energy fortunes, Saudi Aramco announced a mega preliminary agreement on Wednesday to buy 5 million tons of liquefied natural gas per year from a Port Arthur, Texas export project that's under development. If completed, the purchase from San Diego-based Sempra Energy (SRE) would be one of the largest LNG deals ever signed, according to consulting firm Wood Mackenzie. Aramco, Saudi Arabia's crown jewel, would also inject a cash infusion into the Port Arthur development in exchange for a 25% stake. "This is a major statement about the Saudis entering the LNG market and about how price competitive the outlook is for US gas," said Ira Joseph, head of gas and power at S&P Global Platts. Although the agreement calls for Saudi Arabia to purchase LNG from the United States, ...

Enviroment Nature On The Eve Of Destruction — The UN Extinction Report
One million species are close to extinction, thanks to Homo sapiens. Thus warns a landmark ...
Production North Sea Oil Production Struggling
North Sea oil production is struggling, according to independent energy research and intelligence business ...
9/11 connection remains cloaked in government secrecy, breeding suspicion of Saudi role in terror attacks thumbnail 9/11 connection remains cloaked in government secrecy, breeding suspicion of Saudi role in terror attacks
The facts and the treatment of former Sarasota, Fla., residents Abdulaziz and Anoud al-Hijji ...
Helium is a finite resource—who knew? thumbnail Helium is a finite resource—who knew?
Almost precisely 10 years ago I wrote about the likelihood of a shortage of ...

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Try digesting this #peakoil story and implications for 1.5'C climate change policy and mitigation. We can't even agree on carbon budgets at the moment... theguardian.com/environment/ea…