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Oil and Gas is Here to Stay

Consumption

OPEC’s research shows that oil and gas, and this industry as a whole, is here to stay. That’s what OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo revealed in a speech at the 12th Kazenergy Eurasian Forum on September 26. “The fact is, all forms of energy will be required to meet future demand,” Barkindo said in the speech. “It […]


How Many Humans Could the Moon Support?

How Many Humans Could the Moon Support? thumbnail

It’s the year 3000. Having used up all of Earth’s natural resources, humans have become a spacefaring race and established colonies on the moon. Vast, sealed domes cluster across its surface, housing cities populated by hundreds of thousands of people. This cold, gray rock has somehow become humanity’s new home. Of course, this is pure […]


The Paradox of Growth

Consumption

Credit: Princeton University Press Fifty years ago, shortly after we arrived in Pennsylvania from Europe, I came across D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson’s classic On Growth and Form (originally published in 1917, with a revised edition published in 1942), which looks at the role of mathematics in biology. I almost immediately thought about writing a similarly systematic […]


Food Security Becoming One Of Our Biggest Challenges For Humankind’s Survival

Food Security Becoming One Of Our Biggest Challenges For Humankind’s Survival thumbnail

Biotechnology woman engineer with a clipboard and pen examining a plant for disease! Getty Food security is one of the biggest challenges we’re facing as we move further into this century. Changing climate, pests, stress on water and land are all limiting our ability to produce sufficient amounts of food. making food production an issue. […]


We just learned how easy it is to upend the oil market — and we’re going to pay for it

We just learned how easy it is to upend the oil market — and we’re going to pay for it thumbnail

The attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities have done more than knock out some 5 per cent of global crude supplies, they have provided a myriad of lessons for all involved. There is still a high level of uncertainty as to who, what and how exactly Saturday’s attacks were carried out on Saudi Aramco’s facilities, […]


Our Energy and Debt Predicament in 2019

Our Energy and Debt Predicament in 2019 thumbnail

Many people are concerned that we have an oil problem. Or they are concerned about recession and the need to lower interest rates. As I see the situation, we have a problem of a networked economy that is not functioning well. A big part of this problem is energy-related. Strange as it may seem, energy […]


Debunking ‘Lower Oil Supply Will Raise Prices’

Consumption

We often hear the statement, “When oil supply is lower, oil prices will rise because of scarcity.” Now, we are getting to see firsthand whether oil prices really do rise, as oil supplies become more scarce. Figure 1. Figure from the OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report for August 2019 showing world and OPEC oil production by […]


Attacks in Saudi Arabia Are a Test of How Much the World Still Needs Its Oil

Consumption

How dependent is the world on Saudi Arabian oil? That’s one of the many questions global oil markets are asking on Monday, after Saturday’s attacks on the Abqaiq oil refinery and the Khurais oilfield, the heart of the Kingdom’s crude production. The attacks highlight not just the rising tensions in the region, but serve as […]


Peak Oil Uncertainty: Crude’s Record-Setting Jump Roils Global Markets—and the Worst May Be Yet to Come

Consumption

Crude oil prices soared and markets fell on Monday, and now there’s talk of what seemed impossible just last week—oil prices topping $75 a barrel. Nobody knows for sure how bad the prospect of suddenly expensive crude could get for a global economy that was already sputtering. That’s the upshot from this weekend’s drone attack […]


Yergin: Expect Extreme Volatility In Oil Markets

Consumption

Rising pipeline takeaway capacity in the Permian and global oil demand growth at its weakest in a decade are set to lead to more volatility in oil prices in the near term, a prominent energy expert said, joining a growing number of analysts who see prices further depressed by slowing economies and crude demand. “The […]


Gas to Become Primary Energy Source in 2026

Consumption

DNV GL sees global gas demand overtaking demand for oil in 2026 to become the world’s primary energy source. That’s according to the company’s latest Energy Transition Outlook report, which predicts that global oil demand will peak in the mid-2020s and gas demand will keep rising to 2033. Gas demand is then anticipated to plateau […]


OPEC Cuts 2020 Oil Demand Forecast

Consumption

OPEC on Wednesday cut its forecast for growth in world oil demand in 2020 due to an economic slowdown, an outlook the producer group said highlighted the need for ongoing efforts to prevent a new glut of crude. In a monthly report, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said oil demand worldwide would expand […]


Review: Growth by Vaclav Smil

Review: Growth by Vaclav Smil thumbnail

Vaclav Smil’s latest book explores growth in nature and society. It examines the rules and patterns of growth in four key domains, those of the living world; human energy consumption; human artifacts; and human populations, societies and economies. The author is a passionate advocate of quantitative analysis, and thus Growth is filled with numbers, graphs […]


Oil plummets as Trump signals thaw in Iranian sanctions deadlock

Consumption

Oil dropped to a one-week low as U.S. President Donald Trump considered easing sanctions on Iran that severely restricted the OPEC member’s ability to export crude. Futures declined more than 2% in New York and London on Wednesday. Trump is preparing to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani later this month, according to people familiar […]


Chris Nelder interviews Colin Campbell: A Return to Regionalism

Consumption

SPOTIFY ITUNES Is “peak oil” still something to be concerned about, and if so, what does depletion of conventional oil supply suggest about our future? Our guest in this episode certainly thinks peak oil will be a key factor in the decades ahead, and he foresees a future in which humanity must downsize significantly, both […]


Why a Hipster, Vegan, Green Start-up Service Economy Lifestyle cannot be Sustainable

Why a Hipster, Vegan, Green Start-up Service Economy Lifestyle cannot be Sustainable thumbnail

On the borderlands of Montreal’s well-to-do Outremont district and the ultra-hipsterized Mile End district lies an expanse of land near the Canadian-Pacific Railroad line. This space separates these two districts from Parc-Extension (Parc-Ex for short). One of Canada’s poorest and most densely populated neighbourhoods, Parc-Ex is a port of call for many newly arrived immigrants. […]


Dow Wants to Turn Piles of Plastic Trash Into Oil

Dow Wants to Turn Piles of Plastic Trash Into Oil thumbnail

Dow Inc. is partnering with the Dutch developer of a method for turning plastic trash back into oil as the global chemical powerhouse seeks to expand recycling amid rising alarm over pollution. Fuenix Ecogy Group has created a method for breaking down plastic into a form that can be used in a fresh round of […]


Why Humans are Unfit to Live on This Planet

Consumption

Cassandra’s legacy Let it be known that you are lofty as the heavens! Let it be known that you are broad as the earth! Let it be known that you destroy the rebel lands! Let it be known that you roar at the foreign lands! Let it be known that you crush heads! Let it […]


Heinberg: Two Arguments for Localism

Heinberg: Two Arguments for Localism thumbnail

Dear faithful readers, My essay this month was written in response to a piece by Brian Tokar on the subject of local-versus-global action. Great Transition Network, which invited these essays, also published contributions from Helena Norberg Hodge, David Bollier and others. You can read the whole discussion here. Meanwhile, my book project is advancing by […]


Trying to get a grip on actual oil demand

Trying to get a grip on actual oil demand thumbnail

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 […]


China’s Very Ambitious Transportation Revolution

Consumption

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

Consumption

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?

Consumption

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

Consumption

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

Consumption

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

Consumption

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?!?

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

Consumption

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 […]


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