Archive for the tag “Unconventional fuels”

News update

Nasa-funded study: industrial civilisation headed for irreversible collapse?
A new study sponsored by Nasas Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution. Noting that warnings of collapse are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history. Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to precipitous collapse often lasting centuries have been quite common.

Download a copy (pdf file) of the study: A Minimal Model for Human and Nature Interaction, authored by Safa Motesharrei, Jorge Rivas and Eugenia Kalnay.
From The Guardian

 Global riot epidemic due to demise of cheap fossil fuels
If anyone had hoped that the Arab Spring and Occupy protests a few years back were one-off episodes that would soon give way to more stability, they have another thing coming. The hope was that ongoing economic recovery would return to pre-crash levels of growth, alleviating the grievances fueling the fires of civil unrest, stoked by years of recession. But this hasnt happened. And it wont. Instead the post-2008 crash era, including 2013 and early 2014, has seen a persistence and proliferation of civil unrest on a scale that has never been seen before in human history.
From The Guardian

Scientists Sound Alarm on Climate
The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society, has released a stark report on global warming. The report warns that the effects of human emissions of heat-trapping gases are already being felt, that the ultimate consequences could be dire, and that the window to do something about it is closing.
From the New York Times

Warm, too warm, and warmer still: The climate movement must face up to its colossal failure
There is no disputing the climate movement’s breadth, depth, diligence, passion or commitment. Crucially, it’s also right, fighting for nothing less than the future of our civilisation. But playing out in slow motion in front of our eyes, we are witnessing its complete collapse. Sustainability conferences hijacked by oil officials and sponsored by Big Oil are but symptoms of a deeper malaise.

Where Does the Flatness of Oil Production Come From?
For CONVENTIONAL oil, the peak annual global production was about 30 billion barrels (in 2010), but it is now down by about 10%. The TOTAL of global oil production, however, has been more or less flat since about 2002. The discrepancy is due to the fact that the grand total includes UNCONVENTIONAL oil (shale oil, tar-sands oil, natural-gas-liquids, etc.). Mysteriously, the decrease in conventional oil and the increase in unconventional oil balance each other out almost perfectly. But this doesnt make sense. How is it possible that the rise in unconventional oil and the decline in conventional oil and almost exactly cancel each other out, keeping the grand total of annual oil production continuing flat year after year?
By Peter Goodchild

The Crocodiles of Reality
Ive suggested in several previous posts that the peak oil debate may be approaching a turning point—one of those shifts in the collective conversation in which topics that have been shut out for years or decades finally succeed in crashing the party, and other topics that have gotten more than their quota of attention during that time get put out to pasture or sent to the glue factory. I’d like to talk for a moment about some of the reasons I think that’s about to happen, and in the process, give a name to one of the common but generally unmentionable features of contemporary economic life.
By John Michael Greer

Video: Agriculture in a Changing World
Agriculture is the oldest environmental problem, the Land Institutes Wes Jackson tells us early in this 27-minute video. Through interviews with 11 scientists, researchers and environmental experts, this short documentary considers that fate of agriculture and the environment in the age of agri-business and climate change. Noam Chomsky, Bill McKibben, Tad Patzek , Wendell Berry, Mark Shepard and the rest of the cast explain that big agricultures insatiable need for revenue not only afflicts the environment with toxic fertilizers, pesticides and carbon emissions, it degrades the state of agriculture itself by destroying the soil and subverting the natural evolution of animals, plants and insects. It is as unsustainable as it is unstoppable.

Peak Oil Review Mar 17
by Tom Whipple, originally published by ASPO-USA



News update

Indias Dangerous Food Bubble
Lester Brown, an expert on population and resources and a former consultant to the Government of India on its five year plans, writes on Indias looming food crisis. According to him, while the adoption of higher-yielding crop varieties and the spread of irrigation have led to a remarkable tripling of grain output in the country since the early 1960s, unfortunately, a growing share of the water that irrigates three-fifths of Indias grain harvest is coming from wells that are starting to go dry. Which means that the dietary foundation for about 190 million people could disappear with little warning.
From Los Angeles Times

Imminent peak oil could burst US, global economic bubble study
The Guardian (UK) columnist Nafeez Ahmed points to a new multi-disciplinary study led by the University of Maryland calls for immediate action by government, private and commercial sectors to reduce vulnerability to the imminent threat of global peak oil, which could put the entire US economy and other major industrial economies at risk. The peer-reviewed study contradicts the recent claims within the oil industry that peak oil has been indefinitely offset by shale gas and other unconventional oil and gas resources.
From The Guardian

A Rain Forest Advocate Taps the Energy of the Sugar Palm
Tropical forest scientist Willie Smits, ­­after 30 years studying fragile ecosystems in these Southeast Asian islands, wants to draw world attention to a powerhouse of a tree—the Arenga sugar palm. Smits says it can be tapped for energy and safeguard the environment while enhancing local food security. The article is part of The Great Energy Challengea National Geographic series that explores energy-related issues.
From National Geographic

Fracking The Kalahari
The Botswana government has been silently pushing ahead with plans to produce natural gas, keeping the country in the dark as it grants concessions over vast tracts of land, including half of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve – the ancestral home of the bushmen. A recent expose of this by the UKs Guardian newspaper has led to denials by the Botswana government. This may be a sign of things to come in India, where oil-industry spokespeople like former Shell India Chairman Vikram Mehta (speaking at the recent Tehelka Think Conference) are openly in favour of the government adopting controversial extraction technology.
From IC Magazine

Top 10 Readers Favorites Resilience and Energy Bulletin (formerly EnergyBulletin) is one of the most popular sources of information on Peak Oil and the Transition movement online.. They are celebrating their 10th Anniversary by sharing the favorite reads suggested by their most active and engaged community members. Out of more than 50 suggested articles, these 10 topped the list.
From Post Carbon Institute

Population and Petroleum: Chairman Goodchilds Little Black Book
Excerpts from TumblingTides: Population, Petroleum, and Systemic Collapse (Insomniac Press, 2013), a forthcoming title by Peter Goodchild, an insightful writer on Peak Oil and systemic collapse.
From Survive Peak Oil blog

Man, Conqueror of Nature, Dead at 408
A hard-hitting satirical piece on Peak Oil and its implications by blogger and writer John Michael Greer.
Man, the conqueror of Nature, died Monday night of a petroleum overdose, the medical examiner’s office confirmed this morning. The abstract representation of the human race was 408 years old. The official announcement has done nothing to quell the rumors of suicide and substance abuse that have swirled around the death scene since the first announcement yesterday morning, adding new legal wrinkles to the struggle already under way over Man’s inheritance.
From Arch Druid Report blog

Die, selfish gene, die
The selfish gene is one of the most successful science metaphors ever invented. Unfortunately, it’s wrong. David Dobbs draws on the latest but lesser known biological research to show how the selfish gene theory propounded most famously by scientist and author Richard Dawkins, but the roots of which can be traced back to the father of genetics Gregor Mendel, gets it all wrong. While not strictly topical to this blog, it makes for an excellent read for anyone interested in how individuals and groups relate and react to the environment, and the role genetics plays in this.

From Aeon Magazine

News update: 15 October, 2013

A collection of Peak Oil related news from around the world Read more…

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