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Uber, Moore’s Law and the limits of the technofix


Uber remains a darling of the tech world. It is regarded as a disruptive upstart that recognized the unused capacity of privately-owned automobiles and their owners. It unleashed that capacity on cities worldwide using cellphone technology to provide discount rides to customers, ones who might otherwise have taken traditional taxis or public transportation. It’s a […]

Beef-eating ‘must fall drastically’ as world population grows

Beef-eating ‘must fall drastically’ as world population grows thumbnail

People in rich nations will have to make big cuts to the amount of beef and lamb they eat if the world is to be able to feed 10 billion people, according to a new report. These cuts and a series of other measures are also needed to prevent catastrophic climate change, it says. More […]

Resources Are Almost 5 Times as Abundant as They Were in 1980

Resources Are Almost 5 Times as Abundant as They Were in 1980 thumbnail

Humanity is enjoying a world of increasingly cheap and ever more abundant mineral, argicultural, forestry and energy resources reports a brilliant new study, the Simon Abundance Index. This analysis by Marian Tupy,* editor of Human Progress at the Cato Institute, and Professor Gale Pooley from Brigham Young University – Hawaii uses data on 50 different […]

Have we reached Peak Car?

Have we reached Peak Car? thumbnail

General Motors has announced it’s shuttering five production facilities and killing six vehicle platforms by the end of 2019 as it reallocates resources towards self-driving technologies and electric vehicles. The announcements should come as a surprise to no one, as they echo a similar announcement made by Ford earlier this year that it will exit […]

Low Oil Prices: An Indication of Major Problems Ahead?

Low Oil Prices: An Indication of Major Problems Ahead? thumbnail

Many people, including most Peak Oilers, expect that oil prices will rise endlessly. They expect rising oil prices because, over time, companies find it necessary to access more difficult-to-extract oil. Accessing such oil tends to be increasingly expensive because it tends to require the use of greater quantities of resources and more advanced technology. This […]

A Rising Money Supply Doesn’t Necessarily Lead to Rising Prices


According to many mainstream economists, a lack of good correlation between the monetary growth and the growth rate of various price indexes casts doubt on the commonly held view that the key source of inflation is increases in money supply. It is also argued that before the 1990, the relationship between money supply and inflation […]

Does The US Really Need Saudi Oil?

Does The US Really Need Saudi Oil? thumbnail

“Saudi Arabia — if we broke with them, I think your oil prices would go through the roof. I’ve kept them down,” President Trump told reporters on Tuesday. “They’ve helped me keep them down. Right now we have low oil prices, or relatively. I’d like to see it go down even lower — lower.” Oil […]

For Whom is Peak Oil Coming? If you own a Diesel Car, it is Coming for you!

For Whom is Peak Oil Coming? If you own a Diesel Car, it is Coming for you! thumbnail

At the beginning, the idea of “peak oil” seemed to be relatively uncomplicated: we would climb from one side and then go down the other side. But no, the story turned out to be devilishly complex. For one thing, there is no such a thing as “oil” intended as a combustible liquid — there are […]

The Arithmetic of Plastic


“Isn’t it time we asked why we design a material to last forever and then put that into objects intended to be discarded after a single use?” The late University of Colorado mathematics professor Albert Bartlett is said to have given his classic lecture on the exponential function more than 1000 times. I show the […]

Oil prices hit a 2018 low


Global oil supply has surged this year, with the top-three producers — the United States, Russia and Saudi Arabia — pumping more than a third of global consumption. Saudi Arabia is pushing OPEC to cut oil supply by as much as 1.4 million bpd to prevent a supply glut. Shanghai stocks fell the most in […]

The World, Built by China

The World, Built by China thumbnail

How China became a superpower Seven dams generate almost half of Cambodia’s electricity. China built and paid for all of them. This one, near Cambodia’s southern coast, is about 360 feet tall. It is the fourth-largest by power output in the country. Dam Kamchay Dam, Cambodia Sri Lanka borrowed more than $1 billion from China […]

Oil Demand for Cars Is Already Falling


The International Energy Agency published its World Energy Outlook this week, its annual effort at revising assessments of future demand for and supply of fuels and electricity. 1 There’s a familiar theme within it: The IEA expects more renewable-energy use in the future than it did in last year’s outlook, which was more than it […]

Global Coal Use May have Peaked in 2014

Global Coal Use May have Peaked in 2014 thumbnail

The world may never again use as much coal as during a peak in 2014, according to the latest World Energy Outlook from the International Energy Agency (IEA). The weighty annual outlook is one of the most widely respected and eagerly anticipated publications among energy analysts and policymakers. The 2018 edition runs to 662 pages and contains […]

We’re Close to a Level Where Oil Will Bottom Out


Chris Ralph, chief investment officer at St. James’s Place Wealth Management, discusses the state of global demand for oil and where he sees prices heading. He speaks on “Bloomberg Daybreak: Europe.” (Source: Bloomberg)

How Circular is the Circular Economy?

How Circular is the Circular Economy? thumbnail

The circular economy – the newest magical word in the sustainable development vocabulary – promises economic growth without destruction or waste. However, the concept only focuses on a small part of total resource use and does not take into account the laws of thermodynamics. Illustration: Diego Marmolejo. Introducing the Circular Economy The circular economy has become, […]

China Is Expected to Become World’s Biggest Natural Gas Buyer by 2040


China, the driver of global demand, is forecast to become the world’s largest gas-buying country with net imports approaching the level of the European Union by 2040, according to the International Energy Agency’s the World Energy Outlook. China already overtook South Korea as second-largest LNG importer last year and is on track to surpass Japan. […]

There will be an oil shortage in the 2020s, Goldman Sachs says


An oil shortage is coming says Goldman Sachs, because firms cannot fully invest in future production. Global oil majors are increasingly looking to invest in lower-carbon areas of the energy sector, as they react to pressure for cleaner energy, both from government policy and investors. “In the 2020’s we are going to have a clear […]

WTI Drops Below $60

WTI Drops Below $60 thumbnail

Crude oil futures declined again Friday, but the key natural gas benchmark got a late-week boost from a Canadian cold blast. The December futures price for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil spent part of Friday below $60 a barrel but managed to settle above that threshold. After peaking at $60.79 and bottoming out at […]

Oil Trades Near $62


Oil was steady after eight days of losses as investors weighed the potential outcome of an OPEC meeting this weekend against a bigger-than-expected gain in American crude stockpiles. Futures in New York were little changed, after an 8.8 percent drop since Oct. 26. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies may discuss the […]

Why we get bad diagnoses for the world’s energy-economy problems

Why we get bad diagnoses for the world’s energy-economy problems thumbnail

The world economy seems to be seriously ill. The problem is not overly high oil prices, but that does not rule out energy as being a major underlying problem. Two of the symptoms of the economy’s malaise are slow wage growth and increasing wage disparity. Tariffs are being added as solutions to these issues. Radical […]

So Much for King Hubbard’s “Peak Oil” Theory


When M. King Hubbard concluded in 1956 that the world would shortly run out of oil, his theory was adopted by environmentalists and government meddlers as the basis for interference in the energy business. Hubbard’s theory initially predicted that U.S. crude oil production would peak at around 1970. Revisions to the theory pushed the peak […]

Hope from Havana


Where I am staying in Havana there is no internet. There is an international hotel within walking distance where you can buy minutes for a few CUCs. Internet access, like travel for USAnians, was looking promising not too long ago as Cuba and the US embarked upon a slow reconciliation process. Hotel and restaurant developers […]

Venezuelans Face Gasoline Shortages


Cars, motorcycles and buses wrapped around Caracas’ gas stations earlier this week as oil production and refining becomes increasingly erratic in the former petro giant. The fuel shortages have expanded across the country as Petroleos de Venezuela SA’s refineries run at the lowest rates seen this year amid a lack of crude oil and as […]

Dr. Mike Joy on Peak Oil


Energy makes the economy go round Dr Mike Joy tackles some disturbing truths about our reliance on oil, suggesting how we might transition to a ‘de-carbonised world’   Newsroom,, 30 Octoer, 2018 How many barrels of oil does it take to power the economy? Far from the punchline of a joke, the answer outlined by […]

US Far From Zero Iran Oil Exports Target


While a fresh wave of US sanctions with the purpose of driving Iranian oil exports down to zero is looming, the White House is still far from that target, as Tehran was still selling up to 1.9 million barrels per day of crude in September, a leading business website reported. In a report on Tuesday, […]

Heinberg: Our Bonus Decade

Heinberg: Our Bonus Decade thumbnail

“The sense of security more frequently springs from habit than from conviction, and for this reason it often subsists after such a change in the conditions as might have been expected to suggest alarm. The lapse of time during which a given event has not happened, is, in this logic of habit, constantly alleged as […]

Fear and Loathing in the Global Middle Class

Fear and Loathing in the Global Middle Class thumbnail

The lifting of billions of humans out of poverty is one of the great achievements of our age and should be celebrated. However, this shift at times increases the chances of civil strife and other serious problems. My Brookings and Georgetown colleague (a two-fer!), Raj Desai, assesses the rise of a global middle class and […]

We are Entering a New Era for Oil


The oil market has been in an interesting period since at least 2014. In the years prior, many had been worried about the concept of peak oil, or the idea that the world was past its peak output of oil and that supply would grow ever tighter. Then the shale boom happened and the world […]

The World Has Reached Peak Chicken, Peak Rice, And Peak Milk

The World Has Reached Peak Chicken, Peak Rice, And Peak Milk thumbnail

We still haven’t reached peak oil. But peak milk happened in 2004, peak soybeans in 2009, and peak chicken in 2006. Rice peaked in 1988. A new study published in Ecology and Society explains that 21 key resources that humans rely on–mostly food–have already passed their peak rate of production. “Peak,” in this case, doesn’t […]

Peak Oil or Peak Demand?

Peak Oil or Peak Demand? thumbnail

Following the dawn of the oil industry in the 1800s, demand for oil steadily grew. Initially driven by demand for kerosene as an illuminant, the world’s thirst for oil accelerated with the mass adoption of the internal combustion engine. But the demise of the oil industry has been predicted throughout its history. A 1909 newspaper […]

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