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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, […]

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.

What’s Wrong With the Global Economy?


Global markets were seized by fear last week that trade wars were slowing growth in Germany, China and the United States. But the story here is bigger than President Trump and his tariffs. The postwar miracle is over. Since the financial crisis of 2008, the world economy has been struggling against four headwinds: deglobalization of […]

World Futures Institute: Energy – Part One


Many columns ago a list of 18 areas was identified affecting the future of humanity and the earth. Among the sublevels identified were energy storage (especially long term), energy conversion, energy system efficiency and energy distribution. As human beings we use energy. At the simplest of levels we use the energy contained in food to […]

Overpopulation threatens the world’s food supply

Overpopulation threatens the world’s food supply thumbnail

That was the front-page headline in the New York Times last Thursday, August 8th, announcing a new report from the IPCC, “Climate Change and Land.” I’m kidding, of course. The actual headline read “Climate Change Threatens the World’s Food Supply, United Nations Warns,” and the article did not mention population once. A young girl stands […]

Get Ready for $2 Gas


The summer of 2019 is starting to look like the summer of 2016. That year, gasoline prices started below $2 a gallon in winter. They rallied slightly into the summer but hugged the $2 line for most of the next nine months. U.S. gas prices dropped 13 cents this month, compared to July, and the […]

Oil Markets Face Nightmare Scenario


Oil prices rose sharply on Tuesday after President Trump decided to delay tariffs, recognizing the negative impact tariffs would have on the U.S. economy. But by Wednesday, oil prices crashed again, as financial markets see the risk of economic recession rising in spite of the tariff delay. The closely-watched spread between two-year and 10-year treasury […]

How will we travel the world in 2050?

How will we travel the world in 2050? thumbnail

If the aviation industry was a country, it would rank among the world’s top ten emitters of carbon dioxide (CO₂). Aviation emissions have risen by 70% since 2005 and as demand increases in rich and poorer countries, they’re forecast to increase by between 300% and 700% by 2050. Arresting this incline will be the first […]

Declining Quantities Of Consumers Vs. Increasing Energy Consumption?!?


Summary I compare the UN World Population Prospects 2019 report (split by the World Bank Gross National Income data) vs. the EIA International Energy Outlook 2017. I show the observed data sets from 1980 through 2018 and projected data sets from 2019 through 2050. Imminent declines in the wealthier nations consumer populations are sure to […]

IEA Says Oil Outlook is Fragile


The outlook for global oil demand is “fragile” amid growing signs of an economic slowdown, which squeezed consumption growth during the first five months of this year to the weakest in a decade, the International Energy Agency said. The IEA, which advises major economies, trimmed forecasts for oil-demand growth this year and next, and warned […]

Saudi Arabia Is Steering Ever More Oil to China, Draining the U.S.


Signals from oil tankers last month suggest that Saudi Arabia is sending an ever-larger portion of its crude to China — with the U.S. losing out. Saudi Arabia’s observed exports to China soared to 1.74 million barrels a day in July, the highest since Bloomberg began tracking the tanker shipments in January 2017. At the […]

The Twilight of the Monofuture


I’m pleased to say that my post here two weeks ago, on the way that belief in progress depends on a certain kind of historical amnesia, got a lively and mostly thoughtful response. Oh, I fielded and deleted some saliva-flecked denunciations, to be sure, but that always happens when I try to pose hard questions […]

Vance Packard’s The Waste Makers: A late review

Vance Packard’s The Waste Makers: A late review thumbnail

Where did the Convenience Industrial Complex start? A 1960 classic tells all. The Convenience Industrial Complex is the term we came up with to define the economy based on us buying more and more stuff we don’t need in ever larger sizes to consume more resources which we just throw away when we are bored […]

The World Is Not Enough

The World Is Not Enough thumbnail

Earth Overshoot Day came on July 29 this year. As Statista’s Katharina Buchholz notes, this is only the second time the day, which marks the time at which humanity has used up its allotment of natural planetary resources for the year, occurred in the month of July. It had occurred in August between 2010 and 2017. The […]

Never-ending Growth?

Never-ending Growth? thumbnail

Remaining at the present level would imply a continued carnage at the “commodity extraction frontier” until so little is left that eternal warfare and collapse are inevitable. (Remko de Waal/Getty-AFP) The most ambitious internationally agreed plan to make this world a better place are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But during their annual review, […]

Was the Automotive Era a Terrible Mistake?

Was the Automotive Era a Terrible Mistake? thumbnail

The summer I was eighteen, I visited a parking lot forty-five minutes north of town and got behind the wheel for what I hoped would be the first real rite of my adulthood. I was tall, gangly, excitable. Less than a week earlier, following a brief stretch of test-taking at the Department of Motor Vehicles […]

After Oil

After Oil thumbnail

Peak oil is the day when the world’s supply of oil reaches its peak and then begins to decline… and it could be right around the corner. Hear what the academics and experts are saying about what we an and should do to prepare for a world After Oil. Join Barbara Bogaev and hear from […]

The world faces a dwindling supply of this crucial resource needed to grow food

The world faces a dwindling supply of this crucial resource needed to grow food thumbnail

By 2030, the world’s population is projected to be about 8.5 billion people. Global food security is a major concern for governments – zero hunger is the second most important of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. However, there is a severe conflict between sustainable food production and the use of nonrenewable resources in agricultural […]

Half the battle in global oil market dominance


In the last one week it was the usual interplay of the forces of bulls and bears in the global oil market. Tensions in the Middle East continued to weigh on oil futures. The United States benchmark, West Texas Intermediate, WTI traded down by US$1.70 (-2.85 percent) at US$57.88 last Tuesday after reports that the […]

Air conditioning is making the world a hotter place


With two-thirds of the US experiencing a heat wave, it seems like a good time to talk about air conditioning. According to the annual Characteristics of New Housing data released by the Census Bureau early this month, 94% of the new housing units completed in the US in 2018 came with it built in, up […]

So You Think We’re Reducing Fossil Fuel? — Think Again


If you think we’ve been doing a reasonable job of curbing fossil fuel use, you are sadly mistaken. Global energy demand grew yet again in 2018, by 2.3%, its fastest pace in ten years. 70% of that was provided by fossil fuel, and only 30% by renewables and nuclear. America is awash in new oil, […]

The War on Coal and Plastic


We’re winning the war on coal as more and more coal-fired electrical generating plants close or switch to natural gas. At last count, since President Trump took office, a coal-fired electrical generating plant has closed roughly every 15 days. Of course, the President is very coal friendly, but basic economics have prevailed in spite of […]

Oil Supply Exceeds Demand in 1H


Oil supply exceeded demand by 0.9 million barrels per day (MMbpd) in the first half of 2019, according to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) latest oil market report. In a statement posted on the organization’s website on Friday, the IEA said its latest data shows a global surplus of 0.5MMbpd in the second quarter (2Q). […]

Why stimulus can’t fix our energy problems

Why stimulus can’t fix our energy problems thumbnail

Economists tell us that within the economy there is a lot of substitutability, and they are correct. However, there are a couple of not-so-minor details that they overlook: There is no substitute for energy. It is possible to harness energy from another source, or to make a particular object run more efficiently, but the laws […]

Peak Oil Demand Is Coming, Will Transform Exploration Sector


The global trend toward alternative energy sources and shifting stakeholder sentiments could mark the demise of the oil and gas exploration sector. It may also represent an opportunity to transform. This is according to a new report published by Wood Mackenzie, a global research firm that has been analyzing the oil and gas industry since […]

Chris Martenson: Extreme Frugality

Chris Martenson: Extreme Frugality thumbnail

We didn’t have a lot growing up, as my mom had to single-parent three kids. Most anything I wanted required disciplined frugality. I bought my first fly rod from Orvis at the age of 13, which took the better part of a year to save up for. I hand-tied the first flies drifted from its […]

Oil demand won’t peak until 2035


“At some point in the next 20 years, it’s likely we’re going to see oil demand peak. Our own view at Wood Mackenzie, is around 2035, 2036,” Wood Mackenzie chairman Simon Flowers said in an interview with CNN Business. The International Energy Agency, which monitors energy supply for the world’s richest countries, said earlier this […]

U.S. Oil Demand Was Scorching Hot Last Year


The U.S. economy burned through an average of 20.46 million barrels of crude oil and related liquids each day last year, according to BP‘s (NYSE:BP) latest annual Statistical Review of World Energy. That was about 500,000 barrels per day (BPD), or 2.5%, more than 2017’s total, and the largest demand increase in more than a […]

Some Snapshots of the Global Energy Situation


“Global primary energy grew by 2.9% in 2018 – the fastest growth seen since 2010. This occurred despite a backdrop of modest GDP growth and strengthening energy prices. At the same time, carbon emissions from energy use grew by 2.0%, again the fastest expansion for many years, with emissions increasing by around 0.6 gigatonnes. That’s roughly equivalent to […]

Why there is no ‘Peak Car’

Why there is no ‘Peak Car’ thumbnail

Auto sales, particularly in the US, have been booming for years. Automakers have been positing healthy profits, but now concern has developed about “Peak Car,” the idea that worldwide auto sales growth has topped out. The auto industry isn’t meaningfully threatened by ride-hailing or new companies making electric vehicles. And although sales could decline in […]

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@larry79115 @pmagn Before many were worried about oil running out, now it's unfortunate that there is more than enough to cook civilization. Most Saudi oil is not located in shales, which is required for fracking to become an option. #peakoil

These #FossilFools: @exxonmobil @Shell @Chevron @BP_plc @OPECnews scared my generation with #PeakOil; plunging civilisation into dark ages. Cars being pulled by horses, etc. It was a water cooler talking point for a while. #Propaganda and dirty #lobbying lures Government

Will the Fracking Bubble Peak Before Ever Making Money? #PeakOil… via @postcarbon