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News from January 2014

The Coming Economic Collapse Will Be Far Worse Than Most Realize

The Coming Economic Collapse Will Be Far Worse Than Most Realize thumbnail

Citizens of the U.S. and world are heading into a future that few have prepared.  It will also turn out to be much worse than most realize as it will be unlike anything we have witnessed in the past. Part of the reason we are in such a bad fix has to do with the […]


Italy’s slow collapse: how declining energy consumption affects GdP

Italy’s slow collapse: how declining energy consumption affects GdP thumbnail

This article is an addendum to an earlier post The other side of the peak: Italy’s collapse of oil and gas consumption. This graph compares the historical consumption of oil and gas in Italy (summed together in energy units, Terajoules) and the decline in GdP (in constant 2000 US$). The data for Italy’s GdP are […]


Nuclear Restarts Spell Trouble for LNG

Nuclear Restarts Spell Trouble for LNG thumbnail

There are two major factors that have emerged in the last five years that have sparked a surge in LNG investments. First is the shale gas “revolution” in the United States, which allowed the U.S. to vault to the top spot in the world for natural gas production. This caused prices to crater to below […]


Why Shale Oil Boosters Are Charlatans In Disguise

Why Shale Oil Boosters Are Charlatans In Disguise thumbnail

Something has bothered me of late: why is the price of crude oil still elevated? Other commodities have taken a battering since 2011. Gold, copper and iron ore – all are way down off their peaks. But oil has seemingly defied gravity. And that’s despite increased supply from shale oil in the U.S., still soft […]


Peak oil won’t save us

Peak oil won’t save us thumbnail

George W Bush, March 5, 2008: “We gotta get off oil, America has got to change its habits…It should be obvious to all, demand has outstripped supply, which makes prices go up.” Hubbert peak oil theory: Peak oil is the point in time when the maximum rate of petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate […]


Mondragón and the System Problem

Mondragón and the System Problem thumbnail

As America moves more deeply into its growing systemic crisis, it is becoming increasingly important for activists and theorists to distinguish clearly between important projects and “institutional elements,” on the one hand, and systemic change and systemic design, on the other. The recent economic failure of one of the most important units of the Mondragón […]


Peak Oil Denial: Nonsense Keeps Rolling Along # 6

Peak Oil Denial: Nonsense Keeps Rolling Along # 6 thumbnail

At the risk of starting a cat fight where truth may too quickly become a casualty, why don’t we more forcefully challenge those who deny peak oil (and global warming) and who do so for reasons that generally ignore reality in favor of narrowly-defined interests? Those motivations will ultimately do nothing but promote more eventual […]


EU Readies for Shale Gas Breakthrough

EU Readies for Shale Gas Breakthrough thumbnail

Ukraine in May hosts a summit to explore the potential for shale oil and natural gas in Europe. Ukraine and its Eastern European neighbors may host some of the more promising shale basins in the region. Now Spain and Germany are looking to explore their potential. With the European Union outlining recommendations for shale exploration, […]


TransCanada natural gas pipeline explodes near Winnipeg

TransCanada natural gas pipeline explodes near Winnipeg thumbnail

A natural gas pipeline operated by TransCanada exploded and caught fire in a rural part of western Canadan early on Saturday, putting fresh focus on the firm’s safety record ahead of a crucial White House decision over a controversial cross-border project. The explosion happened near Otterburne, Manitoba, about 15 miles south of the provincial capital, […]


Kurds’ oil deal with Turkey ‘endangers Iraq’s budget’

Kurds’ oil deal with Turkey ‘endangers Iraq’s budget’ thumbnail

The feud between Iraq’s central government and the minority Kurds’ semiautonomous enclave over oil is reaching critical mass, the head of parliament’s treasury committee says. Haidar Al Abadi, a senior legislator, has warned the government’s projected 2014 budget will fall apart if Kurdistan does not hand over revenue from independent oil exports to northern neighbor […]


Oil peak in North Dakota & Montana

Oil peak in North Dakota & Montana thumbnail

This is a guest post from Jean Laherrere. There are 12 graphs in this post. I have added a “continue reading” break in this post after the first three. I will do this for all long posts.   peak oil barrel


America’s Relative Decline: Should We Panic?

America’s Relative Decline: Should We Panic? thumbnail

Over at the Washington Post, Charles Kenny has a provocative op-ed arguing that China’s GDP will almost certainly soon surpass America’s in absolute terms, and this is to the United States’ benefit (the op-ed is based on Kenny’s new book, which can be purchased here). Kenny’s first argument in support of this claim is that […]


Peak Oil Is Here Despite Industry Claims

Peak Oil Is Here Despite Industry Claims thumbnail

The oil industry wants us to believe that North America is sitting on an endless supply of natural gas and oil – and they want access to all of it.  But the truth is that there is barely enough fossil fuel in the ground to sustain the US. Ring of Fire’s Mike Papantonio speaks with […]


Has Petroleum Production Peaked, Ending the Era of Easy Oil?

Has Petroleum Production Peaked, Ending the Era of Easy Oil? thumbnail

A new analysis concludes that easily extracted oil peaked in 2005, suggesting that dirtier fossil fuels will be burned and energy prices will rise Despite major oil finds off Brazil’s coast, new fields in North Dakota and ongoing increases in the conversion of tar sands to oil in Canada, fresh supplies of petroleum are only […]


Can Geoengineering Save the Planet?

Can Geoengineering Save the Planet? thumbnail

Two Climate Scientists Debate Pros and Cons of Climate Engineering The concept of geoengineering, whereby humans artificially moderate the Earth’s climate, is not the sexiest sounding topic, but a small group of scientists say it might be able to prevent catastrophic global warming. In a fast-flowing and sometimes heated head-to-head climate professors David Keith and […]


Bill Gates Asks Fellow Billionaires to Help Reduce World’s Population

Bill Gates Asks Fellow Billionaires to Help Reduce World’s Population thumbnail

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) have invested several billions of dollars into vaccine initiatives to fight the polio virus. Bill Gates is encouraging fellow billionaires to do the same. Gates is concerned about Nigeria and Pakistan because “local conspiracy theories have undermined inoculation drives.” Gates said: “The truth is the vaccine is to […]


World buyers line up to buy US natural gas

World buyers line up to buy US natural gas thumbnail

Countries across the world have been quietly signing deals in recent months to import natural gas from the US, revealing a growing appetite for the fuel overseas as domestic output soars. Up to a dozen long-term deals, each worth billions of dollars, have been penned behind closed doors with companies in China, Japan, Taiwan, Spain, […]


Davos delegates warned of imminent oil crisis

Davos delegates warned of imminent oil crisis thumbnail

Some of the planet’s richest nations are to hear a warning that a global oil crisis could happen as early as next year (Pic: Shell) By Alex Kirby A British businessman will tell world leaders meeting in Switzerland today that it is dangerous to argue that fracking for shale oil and gas can help to […]


Technology Is Key To Unlock Unconventional Resources

Technology Is Key To Unlock Unconventional Resources thumbnail

Technology is a key for unlocking future resources, and oil and gas companies need to invest more on research and development in order to meet the increasing challenges, said speakers at panel discussion during the 7th edition of the International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC), which concluded Wednesday in Doha, Qatar. “From the dawn of the […]


Natural Gas and Albacore: What Tuna Says About the Future of Mozambique

Natural Gas and Albacore: What Tuna Says About the Future of Mozambique thumbnail

Fishermen in Mozambique. Image: Flickr. A 20-year peace accord between Mozambique’s two major political parties was brought to an abrupt end last fall. A series of violent skirmishes between FRELIMO and RENAMO resulted in at least 10 deaths, dozens injured, and fears that the country might relapse into the kind of political violence seen during […]


‘Charge rage’: Too many electric cars, not enough workplace chargers

‘Charge rage’: Too many electric cars, not enough workplace chargers thumbnail

Eager to reduce energy use, German software company SAP installed 16 electric vehicle charging ports in 2010 at its Palo Alto campus for the handful of employees who owned electric vehicles. Just three years later, SAP faces a problem that is increasingly common at Silicon Valley companies — far more electric cars than chargers. Sixty-one […]


UN report sounds alarm on farming land-use crisis

UN report sounds alarm on farming land-use crisis thumbnail

To feed the world’s burgeoning population while saving it from exhausting natural land resources, the United Nations today issued a report for policymakers, “Assessing Global Land Use: Balancing Consumption With Sustainable Supply,” published Jan. 24 by the International Resource Panel of the United Nations Environment Programme. “Over the past 30 years, we’ve been increasing production […]


Iran’s Rouhani Invites Oil Companies to Invest as Sanctions End

Iran’s Rouhani Invites Oil Companies to Invest as Sanctions End thumbnail

Hassan Rouhani, the first Iranian leader in a decade to visit Davos for the World Economic Forum, invited oil companies to invest in his country as a nuclear accord with world powers triggers the lifting of some sanctions. Rouhani told a meeting of about 30 executives, mostly from the oil industry, that Iran has a […]


Peak Oil: Investment Issues

Peak Oil: Investment Issues thumbnail

Several months ago, I discussed the issue of “Capex compression.” When decreasing oil industry revenues cannot keep up with the increasing exploration and production costs of unconventional resources such as deep-water and shale fields, investments decline. Not exactly rocket science….   GETTING LESS = HAVING LESS   As I noted in that post, and as […]


The other side of the peak: Italy’s collapse of oil and gas consumption

The other side of the peak: Italy’s collapse of oil and gas consumption thumbnail

Italy peak oil consumption. We are back to 1967.   All the data in this post are from BP statistical review up to 2012, updated to 2013 from various sources. Sometimes, peak oil looks like an intellectual game that people keep playing by arguing whether it has arrived or not. But the point with oil is […]


China’s Coal to Gas Plans: Old Wine in New Bottles

China’s Coal to Gas Plans: Old Wine in New Bottles thumbnail

The Chinese coal industry has a plan to solve the nations air pollution crisis — consume more coal. Last week the Chinese chief energy planning agency, the National Energy Administration (NEA) concluded its annual work session with a plan for for a whopping 50 billion m³ coal-to-gas (CTG) output target for 2020. According to the […]


John Michael Greer: Return of the Space Bats

John Michael Greer: Return of the Space Bats thumbnail

“Some seventeen notable empires rose in the Middle Period of Earth. These were the Afternoon Cultures. All but one are unimportant to this narrative, and there is little need to speak of them save to say that none of them lasted for less than a millennium, none for more than ten; that each extracted such […]


“Endless Growth” Is the Plan & There Is No Plan B

“Endless Growth” Is the Plan & There Is No Plan B thumbnail

After five years of aggressive Federal Reserve and government intervention in our monetary and financial systems, it’s time to ask: Where are we?  The “plan,” such as it has been, is to let future growth sweep everything under the rug. To print some money, close their eyes, cross their fingers, and hope for the best. On […]


Saudi’s SABIC Expects To Enter US Shale Market This Year

Saudi’s SABIC Expects To Enter US Shale Market This Year thumbnail

Saudi Basic Industries (SABIC) is in talks with several U.S. firms to invest in the U.S. shale gas industry, and expects to enter that market this year, chief executive Mohamed al-Mady said on Wednesday. “We’re currently in talks with a few big names in the U.S. for investment in shale gas. We expect to enter […]


UK Cold-home casualties

UK Cold-home casualties thumbnail

The current ‘energy debate’ is in danger of descending into little more than an unsavoury slanging match. Ed Miliband’s price freeze proposal was a brilliant opening ploy. But in the vacuum that followed, it looked more like a policy space the Labour Party didn’t know how to fill. The moment called out for a radically […]


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