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A math equation that predicts the end of humanity

The most mind-boggling controversy in the contemporary philosophy of science is the “doomsday argument,” a claim that a mathematical formula can predict how long the human race will survive. It gives us even odds that our species will meet its end within the next 760 years. The doomsday argument doesn’t tell what’s going to kill us — it just gives the date (very, very approximately). When I first came across this idea, I thought it was absurd. A prediction must be founded on data, not math! That is by no means an uncommon reaction. One critic, physicist Eric J. Lerner, branded doomsday “pseudo-science, a mere manipulation of numbers.” Yet I now believe the doomsday prediction merits serious attention — I’ve written my latest book about it. Start with J. Richard Gott III. He’s a Princeton astrophysicist, one of several scholars who independently formulated ...

Public Policy

Kunstler: Lost at Sea

In these horse latitudes of late summer, with the seas becalmed and the riggings a’creak, the Resistance’s ship-of-the-line (a.k.a. the Democratic Party) drifts ever further out of sight of land. Even so, a few of its crew members have jumped ship: New York’s mayor, stowaway Bill de Blasio, may have been shoved overboard. Former Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper walked the plank clutching the lifebuoy of a sure-thing senate seat. Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee went mad drinking seawater and dove in after hallucinating a school of beckoning mermaids. Months from now, the accursed vessel may be discovered mysteriously deserted, prompting tales of mutiny and cannibalism, like the brigantine Mary Celeste of legend. That’s how lost and far out the Party looks more than a year from the general election. Back on dry land, the resourceful Golden Golem of Greatness made another flanking ...

Public Policy

Half of Venezuela’s Oil Rigs May Shut Down If US Waivers Lapse

A looming U.S. sanctions deadline is threatening to clobber Venezuela’s dwindling oil-rig fleet and hamper energy production in the nation with the world’s largest crude reserves. Almost half the rigs operating in Venezuela will shut down by Oct. 25 if the Trump administration doesn’t extend a 90-day waiver from its sanctions, according to data compiled from consultancy Caracas Capital Markets. That could further cripple the OPEC member’s production because the structures are needed to drill new wells crucial for even maintaining output, which is already near the lowest level since the 1940s. A shutdown in the rigs will also put pressure on Nicolas Maduro’s administration, which counts oil revenues as its main lifeline. The U.S. is betting on increased economic pressure to oust the regime and bring fresh elections to the crisis-torn nation, a founding member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting ...

Trying to get a grip on actual oil demand thumbnail

Trying to get a grip on actual oil demand

The current quarter will be key in shaping the oil supply-demand balances for 2019, according to the latest outlooks from the world’s three major oil-forecasting agencies. If the big inventory draws they expect fail to materialise, Opec’s goal of pulling down excess stockpiles will be delayed again. The International Energy Agency, the US Energy Information Administration and the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries all see the biggest oil inventory draws for the year happening now, during the period of peak demand and before non-Opec supply surges seasonally, as the summer maintenance season at fields in the Northern Hemisphere comes to an end. There are big differences between the ways the three agencies see the global oil supply/demand balance evolving this year. Opec is much more bullish than either of the others about the size of the stockdraw. The group now sees global ...

Consumption

China’s Very Ambitious Transportation Revolution

The proverb goes that when China coughs, the world catches the flu. The unprecedented economic development of the world's most populous country has led to a steep increase in national and personal wealth. An obvious beneficiary of economic growth is the automotive industry. Car ownership has grown to almost 58 per 1000 citizens and, currently, approximately 340 million vehicles are on Chinese roads, including 250 million cars. China's policies regarding its domestic automotive industry will have a profound effect on national and international suppliers. Beijing intends to replace its internal combustion powered car fleet by 2050. The gradual shift will significantly impact two industries: the automotive and energy sectors. Beijing's motivations The historical economic development of China has led to industrialization and a severe pollution problem. The Chinese population is becoming increasingly vocal in its displeasure vis-á-vis the Communist party regarding the state ...

Prophets of doom: Is the end of the world near? thumbnail

Prophets of doom: Is the end of the world near?

Armageddon didn’t happen in 1982 as predicted by American evangelist Pat Robertson (born in 1930). Then, he prophesied again and again, and flopped again and again. Even in predicting the end of the world, Americans and Russians were rivals. Grigori Rasputin (1869-1916), a Russian mystic who was assassinated in 1916, prophesied that fire would extinguish all human lives in 2013. Jeane Dixon (1904-1997), an American self-proclaimed psychic, predicted that the planetary cataclysm would take place in 1962. Flopped. Thereafter, she prophesied the collapse of human civilization in 2020. Science-based prophecies included NASA’s prediction of Earth’s destruction by the asteroid Nibiru. Early this year, the Australian climate experts calculated that the world would end somewhere in the vicinity of 2050, which is about 30 years from now, due to the “destabilizing societal and environmental factors caused by global warming.” Global warming, according to them, will ...

Production

US To “Drown The World” In Oil

The U.S. could “drown the world in oil” over the next decade, which, according to Global Witness, would “spell disaster” for the world’s attempts to address climate change. The U.S. is set to account for 61 percent of all new oil and gas production over the next decade. A recent report from this organization says that to avoid the worst effects of climate change, “we can’t afford to drill up any oil and gas from new fields anywhere in the world.” This, of course, would quickly cause a global deficit, as the world continues to consume around 100 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil. Global Witness notes that the industry is not slowing down in the United States, notwithstanding recent spending cuts by independent and financially-strapped oil and gas firms. If anything, the consolidation in the Permian and other shale basins, ...

Consumption

Jeff Rubin on Peak Oil

Jeff Rubin waxes philosophical on the need for a major paradigm shift in our attitudes, and suggests that we can have the world we want if we are willing to let go of the world we have.

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Public Policy

Kunstler: There Is No Normal

The wheel of time rolls forward, never retracing its path, but because it is a wheel, and we are riding in it, a persistent illusion persuades us that the landscape is recognizably the same, and that our doings within the regular turning of the seasons seem comfortably normal. There is no normal. There is for us, at this moment in history, an especially harsh turning (so Strauss and Howe would say) as our journey takes the exit ramp out of the high energy era into the next reality of a long emergency. The human hive-mind senses that something is different, but at the same moment we’re unable to imagine changing all our exquisitely tuned arrangements — especially the thinking class in charge of all that, self-enchanted with pixeled fantasies. The dissonance over this is driving America crazy. The wheel hit a deep ...

Public Policy

Iran Warns US Against Seizing Oil Tanker

Iran warned the U.S. against apprehending a supertanker carrying the Middle East country’s oil, leaving the fate of the vessel uncertain as it sailed east into the Mediterranean Sea from Gibraltar, where it been detained since last month. The tanker, formerly called the Grace 1 and now known as the Adrian Darya 1, was signaling -- at least for now -- Kalamata, Greece, with an arrival date of Aug. 25, tanker-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg at 11:30 a.m. London time show. It left Gibraltar Sunday night after being detained there since early July, when British forces seized it on suspicion of carrying oil to Syria in violation of European sanctions. The U.S., which has sanctions against Iran, is seeking to prevent anyone from doing business with the ship. “The U.S. surely can’t seize the Iranian tanker and, if it does, it would pose ...

Public Policy PetroChina Suspends Venezuelan Oil Imports In Huge Blow To Maduro
Even if China continues to thwart US sanctions on Iran, in the case of ...
Consumption What’s Wrong With the Global Economy?
Global markets were seized by fear last week that trade wars were slowing growth ...
World Futures Institute: Energy – Part One thumbnail World Futures Institute: Energy – Part One
Many columns ago a list of 18 areas was identified affecting the future of ...
Yemen Rebel Drone Attack Targets Remote Saudi Oil Field thumbnail Yemen Rebel Drone Attack Targets Remote Saudi Oil Field
Drones launched by Yemen's Houthi rebels attacked a massive oil and gas field deep ...

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U.S. refiners limit crude processing amid slack fuel demand bit.ly/31YfM2L #yycbiz #PeakOil

test Twitter Media - U.S. refiners limit crude processing amid slack fuel demand https://t.co/WTkXfcN4sq #yycbiz #PeakOil https://t.co/TRm6KwthoH

@ziroth @BernieSanders We survived the Cuban Missile Crisis, the cold war, #PeakOil, Y2K and the Mayan apocalypse. Thus, I’m not overly concerned with CO2.

Move over #PeakOil Hello #PeakStupid twitter.com/berniesanders/…