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News from March 2013

Peak Oil conference in Doha, Qatar, April 3-4

Peak Oil conference in Doha, Qatar, April 3-4 thumbnail

The next very important Peak Oil event will be the Peak Oil conference in Doha, Qatar 3-4 April 2013: Peak Oil: Challenges and Opportunities for the GCC Countries. Read about the conference and if you are interested you can participate. Hompage: http://fairforum.org/oil/ Homepage in English: http://fairforum.org/oil/en/ ASPO


The Reward for Being Right About Peak Oil: Scorn Heaped With Derision

The Reward for Being Right About Peak Oil: Scorn Heaped With Derision thumbnail

Right before the end of the millennium, the clues started piling up. The world had been scoured many times over in the quest for the ultimate bounty, gushers of light sweet crude. Discoveries of new oil had peaked in the decade of the 1960s and had been falling ever since. Supergiants, the oilman’s term for […]


Have We Ever Gotten to the Bottom of Exactly ‘Why’ Bush and the Neocons Disastrously Invaded Iraq?

Have We Ever Gotten to the Bottom of Exactly ‘Why’ Bush and the Neocons Disastrously Invaded Iraq? thumbnail

The true purpose of the Iraq invasion remains opaque. Here’s a theory why. A decade after President George W. Bush ordered the unprovoked invasion of Iraq, one of the enduring mysteries has been why. There was the rationale sold to a frightened American people in 2002-2003 – that Saddam Hussein was plotting to attack them […]


Do high natural gas prices mean the shale boom is ending?

Do high natural gas prices mean the shale boom is ending? thumbnail

As U.S. natural gas prices flirt with the $4 mark, some skeptics of the so-called shale gas revolution think prices are headed much higher. Such a move would, not surprisingly, seriously undermine the official story that the United States has a century of cheap natural gas waiting for the drillbit. Several years ago when natural […]


Iran’s Nuclear Activities Go On Despite Sanctions

Iran’s Nuclear Activities Go On Despite Sanctions thumbnail

While the U.S.-led sanctions regime on Iran has produced substantial economic hardship, analysts here are increasingly pointing out that Tehran’s controversial nuclear activities have continued unabated. According to a study released Tuesday by the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), “there is a clear disconnect between the stated goals of the sanctions policy (a change in […]


Protesting Keystone XL While Rome Burns

Protesting Keystone XL While Rome Burns thumbnail

I started to go with “Fiddling While Rome Burns” in the title, but I know many people who would take great exception to the notion the Keystone XL protesters are fiddling. Indeed, they do not believe they are fiddling. They believe they are standing up for the most important cause of our generation. Yet, as […]


The Truth About Solar Energy

The Truth About Solar Energy thumbnail

There’s a lot of debate these days about the future of solar power. Certain news media outlets who must not be named have brought renewed attention to the issue, likely confusing the public further. I’m here to tell you that solar IS our future. Why? In addition to being an important part of fighting climate […]


Three glimmers of hope for an economic transformation

Three glimmers of hope for an economic transformation thumbnail

Ecological economists, top scientists, and even a few financiers have put forth powerful arguments for moving to a steady state economy. Sometimes described as a true-cost economy, a sustainable economy, or a spaceship economy, the steady state offers a positive alternative to the delusion of endless growth. Viewed from an environmental perspective, the need to […]


IEA expects global natural gas revolution

IEA expects global natural gas revolution thumbnail

Natural gas is positioned to make a sustained impact on the global energy market but only if it’s developed responsibly, the IEA executive director said. The International Energy Agency hosted its inaugural unconventional natural gas forum in Paris. IEA Executive Director Maria Van der Hoeven said unconventional natural gas development needs a sustainable and responsible […]


The Mechanical Transmission of Power: Endless Rope Drives

The Mechanical Transmission of Power: Endless Rope Drives thumbnail

This is a guest post by Kris De Decker, founder and writer at Low-tech Magazine, an internet publication highlighting the need for elegant yet simple sustainable energy technologies. Read the article at Low Tech Magazine.   Picture: Wire rope transmission in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, 1896. Source: Stadtarchiv Schaffhausen.You don’t need electricity to send or receive power […]


Global food security in 2050

Global food security in 2050 thumbnail

The book, “Who Will Feed China?: Wake-up Call for a Small Planet,” authored by Lester Brown in 1995, was a surprising wake-up call about world food security. Brown claimed that food production was not growing fast enough to feed China’s increasing population, which could result in rising food prices in China and the rest of […]


Farming, Foraging and Fracking: Our Fight Against the Machine

Farming, Foraging and Fracking: Our Fight Against the Machine thumbnail

Three years ago, my wife and I decided to redirect our farming efforts to create a CSA. Our farm is located in some of the most spectacularly beautiful scenery in the whole of this country. When folks think about Iowa, the first picture that comes to mind is one of immense fields of corn broken […]


Orlov: Bangs and Whimpers

Orlov: Bangs and Whimpers thumbnail

Quite a few people wrote to me over the past week asking about all the noise coming out of Cyprus. If you haven’t heard, there is a financial collapse that is unfolding there: banks are closed and people can’t get at their money. The Cypriot banks are insolvent. This is no surprise: all banks everywhere […]


Tug-of-War Over Nuclear Future

Tug-of-War Over Nuclear Future thumbnail

Pushed and pulled in opposite directions, the future of Japan’s energy plans in the wake of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant two years ago is emerging as a fight between national economic advancement and what anti-nuke activists call “the lives of the people”. “The tug-of-war between the government and opponents of […]


Has ‘peak oil’ gone the way of the Flat Earth Society?

Has ‘peak oil’ gone the way of the Flat Earth Society? thumbnail

Below are some excerpts from the Energy Wire article by Colin Sullivan titled “Has ‘peak oil’ gone the way of the Flat Earth Society?” As the headline suggests and as the graph above helps to illustrate, I think the answer is “Yes,” read below to see why. The theory was straightforward and seemed to hold […]


Kuwait Minister: US Shale Oil Bonanza is No Threat

Kuwait Minister: US Shale Oil Bonanza is No Threat thumbnail

Growing production from U.S. shale deposits is not a threat to Kuwait due to its higher costs, the country’s oil minister Hani Hussein said in remarks published late Monday. “There is no effect on Gulf crudes from shale oil in the United States as it will take a long time for this crude to have […]


Renewable Energy’s Hidden Costs?

Renewable Energy’s Hidden Costs? thumbnail

A recent Bloomberg press release got wide coverage with its claim that wind power is now cheaper than coal. But a new report from the OECD shows that when you cover the full cost to the grid, variable renewables like wind don’t add up as favourably. It is often claimed that introducing variable renewable energy resources such as […]


Chevron Announces Oil Discovery in Deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico

Chevron Announces Oil Discovery in Deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico thumbnail

hevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) has announced an oil discovery at the Coronado prospect in the deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The Walker Ridge Block 98 Well No. 1 encountered more than 400 feet (122 m) of net pay. The well is located approximately 190 miles (308 km) off the Louisiana coast in 6,127 feet (1,868 […]


Iraqi Oil Production to Rise to 4.5M Barrels per Day by 2015

Iraqi Oil Production to Rise to 4.5M Barrels per Day by 2015 thumbnail

Iraq’s crude oil production is expected to rise to 4.5 million barrels a day by the end of next year, a senior Iraqi oil official said Monday. Thamir Ghadhban, the Iraqi prime minister’s top energy advisor, said in a conference in Dubai that Iraq is considering three scenarios for increasing crude oil production that will […]


Why Did Saudi Arabia Reduce Oil Production?

Why Did Saudi Arabia Reduce Oil Production? thumbnail

I’m a bit slow in getting to this, but there now seems to be a bit of a mystery about Saudi oil production (latest data shown above).  In mid 2011 through mid 2012, Saudi production was hovering a little below 10mbd (averaging all data sources).  It started to drop a little bit last fall, but […]


Kunstler: Money Worries

Kunstler: Money Worries thumbnail

Of course, everybody should have been worried a lot sooner than last week because the basic operating system of global banking is accounting fraud, and has become that stealthily, insidiously, for about fifteen years now. Nothing is what it appears to be anymore. Compound interest has not really been working since 2008 because the world […]


Next Up For Cyprus: Depression

Next Up For Cyprus: Depression thumbnail

From SocGen: Depression for Cyprus: Our Cypriot GDP forecast entails a drop of just over 20% in real GDP by 2017. This forecast had already factored in much what was agreed, but did not account for the additional uncertainty shock generated by the past week’s appalling political mess. Risks are clearly on the downside and […]


Peak Oil: Another Ride On The Denial Train (Pt 1)

Peak Oil: Another Ride On The Denial Train (Pt 1) thumbnail

Curious how things work out sometimes…. Last Sunday, the always-insightful Kurt Cobb posted at his Resource Insights blog [on my Blogroll and one which should be on yours as well], a collection of observations whose title said it all: “Depletion: The one word oil optimists refuse to utter.” Several weeks ago, I wrote a post […]


Could UK face gas rationing? British gas reserves could run dry in 36 HOURS

Could UK face gas rationing? British gas reserves could run dry in 36 HOURS thumbnail

Plunging temperatures forced millions to turn up their heating Shortfall could add more than £200 to family bills, analysts warn Gas stores at their lowest level for three years with snow forecast Government insists gas needs are ‘continuing to be met’ Britain relying on pipelines from Norway and shipments of liquefied gas Energy giant SSE […]


“Gas supplies are not running out”, says UK government

“Gas supplies are not running out”, says UK government thumbnail

The long cold winter that shows no sign of ending as we head towards the end of March means that the UK is very close to running out of its own gas supplies and could be forced to buy more expensive imports from Norway and Russia. However, the government has strongly denied that the UK […]


Awash in Misinformation: America’s Domestic Tight Oil ‘Bump’

Awash in Misinformation: America’s Domestic Tight Oil ‘Bump’ thumbnail

On March 4, David Frum, a former special assistant to President George W. Bush, published an article on CNN.com titled “Peak Oil doomsayers proved wrong” in which he not only claimed there was no danger of a shortage of oil, but also that “our oil problem is that we’re producing so much of the stuff […]


Water Crisis Hitting Food, Energy – And Everything Else

Water Crisis Hitting Food, Energy – And Everything Else thumbnail

How much water does it take to turn on a light? It took 10,000 litres to make your jeans. Another three big bathtubs of water was needed for your two-eggs-toast-coffee breakfast this morning. Piped water has made life easier for this Laotian boy, who no longer has to help his parents fetch water from afar. […]


Hubbert ‘s Peak, The Economy, and War for Oil

Hubbert ‘s Peak, The Economy, and War for Oil thumbnail

I came across an historic and seminal document on a website called Energy & Capital (click here), that had a link to Marion King Hubbert’s 1956 speech about Peak Oil (http://www.hubbertpeak.com/hubbert/1956/1956.pdf). Hubbert asserted that global oil production would follow a bell-shaped curve with a peak followed by an irrevocable decline. Marion King Hubbert was an […]


What Is The Lawson Criteria, Or How to Make Fusion Power Viable

What Is The Lawson Criteria, Or How to Make Fusion Power Viable thumbnail

There is a magic but very simple formula that defines the criteria required to achieve energy producing fusion power. It was first formulated by a young engineer working on nuclear fusion, who in 1955 decided to work out exactly how enormous the task of achieving fusion is. Although his colleagues were optimistic about their prospects, […]


The Best Places To Find Oil Are The Oldest Places

The Best Places To Find Oil Are The Oldest Places thumbnail

It’s an old oilfield maxim: The best places to find oil are in spots where it’s already been found. It’s proving true time and again in the North America oil business as small and large operators strike renewed bonanzas in West Texas, Oklahoma and other parts once perceived as past their prime. Of course, an oilfield’s […]


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