Drumbeat: April 4, 2011
Posted by Leanan on April 4, 2011 - 10:10am
According to research by UC Davis's Jonathan Hughes, Christopher Knittel and Daniel Sperling, Americans are now less responsive to increases in gas prices. In the late 1970s, a ten percent rise in the cost of gas would lead to about a three percent decline in the amount of gas consumed. In the early 2000s, on the other hand, gas prices would have to rise about 60 percent to provoke a similar decline in gas consumption. The researchers theorized that this might be because spending on gas is now a smaller fraction of total monthly income or because cars get better mileage now, meaning that cutting back on driving saves less gas than it would have in the 1970s. But either way, their research suggests that even if gas prices go higher, we’re unlikely to see Americans buying substantially less gas.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Monday rejected media reports that BP was striking a deal to resume deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico a year after the worst oil spill in U.S. history.
British media on Sunday said BP was in talks with the U.S. government to restart drilling at existing wells less than a year after a blast on the Deepwater Horizon rig ruptured BP's underwater Macondo well, unleashing millions of barrels of oil.
MEXICO CITY — The head of a U.S. presidential commission investigating the Gulf of Mexico oil spill says the company whose rig exploded a year ago “just doesn’t get it.”
Former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator William Reilly says bonuses awarded to executives of Transocean Ltd. underscores the commission’s finding that lax standards caused the largest offshore spill in U.S. history.
“OPEC has also shown that it is taking the Libyan outage seriously,” according to a report from JBC Energy in Vienna. “Libyan production declined by just over 1 million barrels a day in March, but total OPEC production fell by only 500,000 barrels a day as other OPEC members — mainly Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait — picked up the slack.”
Some analysts say oil prices — which have jumped about 29 percent since Feb. 15 — will likely begin to fall unless the United States announces a major new program to provide cheap money or violent protests spread in the Middle East and North Africa.
Petroleos Mexicanos officially tendered in early March 2011 for the redevelopment of mature and abandoned fields in three onshore blocks in Tabasco State. The first round is a 2 year seismic option that follows a 2-year evaluation phase. Potential operators have the option to bow out. The hydrocarbon reserves identified by Pemex in each block may be of interest to niche-players. Pemex indicates there could be about 200 million recoverable barrels in 6 fields. Existing wells have many issues.
Oil production, which funds about one-third of government spending, has stabilized after slumping by nearly a quarter between 2004 and 2009. It hit an eight-month high in January but output fell slightly in February, and the government says it should hold steady at around 2.6 million barrels per day through 2012.
Count yourself lucky if you don’t give a rat’s posterior about how gas pump prices are derived. Because if you do, like some of us, you’re set up for years of frustration. But understanding is achievable. So let’s get started.
The oil and gas industry has already seen changes emerging from the woes that have descended upon Japan, with oil suppliers ready to fill in the gap created by the shutdown of nuclear power plants.
The energy crisis in Japan and the Libyan conflict led to a change on the natural gas market in Europe, RBK daily announced. The excess supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) has decreased significantly in March as large amounts from the fuel are shipped to Japan. Furthermore the spot market prices of natural gas are now higher than the contract prices of Gazprom, which gives the Russian company another argument in its negotiations with clients.
BREGA, Libya — As evening fell Monday, rebel fighters were engaging the main body of Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces in an intense battle for the oil town of Brega, trading fire at close quarters and sending volleys of rockets into the town.
(Reuters) - Libyan rebels may this week sell the first tankerful of crude since an uprising against leader Muammar Gaddafi fully halted exports from the North African country and sent oil prices higher.
SFAX, Tunisia (Reuters) – Gaddafi forces using tanks and snipers are carrying out a "massacre" in Misrata with corpses on the streets and hospitals full of the wounded, evacuees said, with one describing the besieged city as "hell."
TRIPOLI, Libya — At least two sons of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi are proposing a resolution to the Libyan conflict that would entail pushing their father aside to make way for a transition to a constitutional democracy under the direction of his son Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, a diplomat and a Libyan official briefed on the plan said Sunday.
Nigeria is about to become the crisis du jour, and there is good reason -- Goodluck Jonathan is running for re-election as president this month; so are candidates for Parliament. In the last elections -- in 2007 -- there was so much violence that 1 million barrels of oil a day -- half the country's total production -- was lost to export markets, the Wall Street Journal's Jerry Dicolo reports. If that recurs -- or if traders figure it will -- look for prices to go a lot higher than the $107.94 a barrel that they reached last week. Along with that will rise gasoline prices.
While the petro-states of the Middle East are roiled by the Arab Spring, the Islamic countries of the former Soviet Union are mostly quiescent. The richest of them is Kazakhstan, which today is holding the latest in a two-decade string of rigged presidential elections. President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who will be swept into a new five-year term, isn't talking publicly, but his prime minister, Karim Masimov, has weighed in on how the Kazakhs view Cairo, Tunis, Damascus and so on. "What is the biggest difference between them and us? People in Kazakhstan, the young generation in Kazakhstan, have hope and they have an opportunity to go forward," Masimov told Reuters.
Workers at Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE), which controls three of Greece’s four oil refineries, entered the second day of a planned 10-day strike on Monday amid fears that their action could lead to a fuel shortage.
The employees are protesting staffing levels, the failure of management to sign a collective contract and the reduction of their wages.
TOKYO – Workers used a milky bathwater dye Monday as they frantically tried to trace the path of radioactive water seeping into the ocean from Japan's tsunami-damaged nuclear plant.
The crack in a maintenance pit discovered over the weekend was the latest confirmation that radioactivity continues to spill into the environment. The leak is a symptom of the primary difficulty at the Fukushima Dai-ichi complex: Radioactive water is pooling around the plant and preventing workers from powering up cooling systems needed to stabilize dangerously vulnerable fuel rods.
Centrica Plc (CNA), the U.K.’s biggest energy supplier, started building a 725 million-pound ($1.2 billion) sea-based wind farm near Skegness in the northeast.
Belectric Solarkraftwerke GmbH, a German solar project developer, will build Saudi Arabia’s largest photovoltaic plant on a parking lot at a new Saudi Arabian Oil Co. office complex in Dhahran.
Canadians tend to think of power generation as a public utility — a crucial piece of infrastructure that governments are duty-bound to provide and oversee. But in Canada, the responsibility of managing the electricity grid is no longer a question of public trust; increasingly, it's a matter of private enterprise.
My feeling is that the green movement has torpedoed itself with numbers. Its single-minded obsession with climate change, and its insistence on seeing this as an engineering challenge which must be overcome with technological solutions guided by the neutral gaze of Science, has forced it into a ghetto from which it may never escape. Most greens in the mainstream now spend their time arguing about whether they prefer windfarms to wave machines or nuclear power to carbon sequestration. They offer up remarkably confident predictions of what will happen if we do or don’t do this or that, all based on mind-numbing numbers cherry-picked from this or that ’study’ as if the world were a giant spreadsheet which only needs to be balanced correctly.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- If you're already shocked by how much your favorite cut of beef costs at the supermarket, brace yourself because prices will keep going up.
Surging commodity prices already have consumers paying more for groceries such as eggs, milk, cereal and meat. The price of beef in particular has shot through the roof.
Fixating on meat as the malady is a good example of the tail wagging the dog. The root problem isn't that we cover our continent with grain to eat more red meat than we need.
The problem is that we grow so much grain we hardly know what to do with it. So we feed it to cattle, put it in soft drinks, and even force ourselves to burn it in our cars.
Four years ago I reviewed Radiant City, a sort of cross between documentary and drama by Gary Burns and journalist Jim Brown. Spacing describes how "together they demonstrate how urban sprawl is eating the planet. They look at the brutalizing aesthetic of strip malls and listen to fears about the soul-eating suburbs. Making heavy use of cultural references, they riff off sitcoms and reality TV and drop names from Jane Jacobs to The Sopranos while all the while using a wide range of cinematic devices to examine what happens when cities get sick and mutate."
Now it is free and online.
Want to impress your prospective employees? Whip out the balance sheet, but don’t forget the sustainability report.
A new survey finds that more than 6 in 10 full-time workers think an employer’s impact on the environment is vital when evaluating whether to work there. That’s about the same percentage of people who think looking at their profit margin is important.
Saudi Arabia, which holds one-fifth of global oil reserves, aims to pursue renewable energy and nuclear power to help reduce by half the crude and natural gas it burns now to generate electricity.
The country expects domestic power demand to triple over the next two decades and wants to develop a more sustainable mixture of energy sources, Khalid Al Sulaiman, vice president for renewable energy at King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, said at a conference in Riyadh today. King Abdullah City is the agency in charge of developing green energy.
“Saudi Arabia’s demand for petroleum products -- demand for energy -- is rising at a high and very alarming rate,” Al Sulaiman said in a speech at the Saudi Solar Forum. “Population growth and robust economic development and many reasons drive that demand.” The country currently gets almost all of its energy from fossil fuels, he said.
Oil climbed to the highest level in 30 months in New York on speculation that U.S. economic growth may support demand and a protracted conflict in Libya will curtail supply.
Futures advanced a third day after an April 1 report showed the U.S., the world’s largest crude consumer, added more jobs than economists forecast last month. Prices are too high and “worrying,” the chief executive officer of Kuwait Petroleum Corp. said today. Forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi bombed an oil field south of the city of Ajdabiya, Al Jazeera television reported, heightening concern output losses from Africa’s third-largest producer may continue.
Kuwait is ready to supply more crude to global markets if they are needed to help offset a shortfall in exports caused by the conflict in Libya, Kuwait Petroleum's top official said.
"We're ready to supply more. So far we haven't been asked," Chief Executive Officer Farouk Al-Zanki said at a conference in Kuwait City today. Kuwait is pumping "two and something" million barrels of crude a day, in line with its Opec production quota, he said.
OPEC crude oil output slipped lower in March, dropping over 1 percent as the halt in Libyan exports takes effect and it seems that OPEC’s star exporter, Saudi Arabia has missed the target on filling the oil supply gap.
Saudi Arabia holds the key to global energy security. It plays an extremely significant role in balancing the overall demand and supply.
With many in the Western world continuing to be skeptical of the Saudi potential and capacity, at least in the longer run, eyes continue to remain focused on Riyadh.
And any move by Riyadh is viewed critically.
A Reuters report, citing Simmons & Co. analyst Bill Herbert, raised eyebrows last week when it said that Saudi Arabia is planning to boost the number of oil rigs in operation by almost 30 percent to 118 from a current level around 92.
More importantly, the U.S. economy is today well-positioned to absorb an oil spike without experiencing it as an oil shock. First, we're nowhere near peak oil consumption, which we hit in August 2005 at 21.7 million barrels per day. We're now 9% below that, even though consumption has recovered substantially since its worst levels of the Great Recession in September 2008. The last three recessions—those that started in 1990, 2001 and 2008—began only after oil consumption reached new peak levels.
Economies in the early stages of recovery, like ours today, are less vulnerable to oil shocks than those in the late stages of expansion. As a business cycle matures, the economy experiences diminishing returns from any given factor of production—labor, credit, oil or anything else. When a recovery is still new, large gains can be levered from relatively modest increases in inputs, so the economy can afford to pay more for those inputs.
Whilst the mainstream press as ever looks in the rear view mirror to pick events as reasons for the rise in the oil price, such as the ongoing breakout of freedom in the middle east, however as stated in the January 2010 Inflation Mega-trend ebook and updated below, the consequences of peak oil ensures an escalator effect for the ramping up of oil prices into ever higher trading ranges that will one day make today's high oil prices look cheap, as oil prices continue a volatile mega-trend to north of $200 per barrel.
Daily Bell: What about oil? Give us your take on Peak Oil. Is it real? Does it exist?
Jim Rogers: I don't know if there is Peak Oil or not. I do know that known reserves of oil are in decline. That is a very simple statement. Is there a staggering amount of oil out there in the world? We don't seem to know where it is, though we hope we find it soon and that it is accessible. The price of oil and all energy is also going much higher.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (UPI) -- Islamist rebels in northwestern Pakistan cut the throats of three security guards in the latest fatal attack on a NATO truck convoy headed for Afghanistan.
The guards were killed at a NATO truck terminal in the town of Landi Kotal in the Khyber tribal district near the Afghan border.
Suspected Taliban and al-Qaida rebels also damaged 10 oil tankers carrying fuel to resupply international troops in Afghanistan, a local Pakistan government administrator said.
Italy rejected a reported cease-fire proposal by Muammar Qaddafi and said it is recognizing Libya’s opposition as the legitimate government as rebels fought loyalists at the oil port of Brega.
BRUSSELS (AP) — The U.S. military will pull its warplanes from front-line missions Monday and shift to a support role in the Libyan conflict, a NATO official said.
TRIPOLI (AFP) – Libya warned on Sunday that NATO-led air strikes could cause a "human and environmental disaster" if they damaged the country's massive Great Man-Made River (GMMR) project.
Built at a cost of 33 billion dollars, the GMMR extracts water from deep beneath the Sahara desert at a depth of between 500 and 800 metres (1,600 to 2,500 feet), purifies it and transports it to the coastal cities of the north where most of the population is concentrated.
SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Yemeni troops opened fire on crowds of protesters demanding the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, killing six and wounding more than 30 on Monday in the second straight day of clashes in a southern city, witnesses and medical officials said.
The head of one of the biggest trade unions in Bahrain has been dismissed for "encouraging" staff to strike during the protests that brought the declaration of martial law last month.
Abdul Ghaffar Abdul Hussain, the chairman of the trade union at Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco), was told to leave his job as a mechanical supervisor with immediate effect, his employers said. He was notified by a letter sent to his home on Thursday.
The fight for Abidjan, the commercial capital of Ivory Coast, enters its fifth day today with few people daring to go outdoors and food supplies in the city of four million beginning to run short.
Nigeria’s electoral commission is scrambling to prepare for rescheduled parliamentary elections on April 9 after two delays cast doubt on its ability to organize the vote in Africa’s top oil producer.
Ministers in Kuwait are today expected to unveil a plan to overhaul the nation's oil industry in a bid to bring its economic fortunes more into line with those of its neighbours.
Other Gulf oil exporters such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, are streaking ahead of Kuwait in terms of economic development. That is despite the nation's vast oil endowment, which has already transformed its living standards for its citizens who now enjoy an annual income averaging more than US$43,000 (Dh157,928) per head.
ConocoPhillips (COP) is looking at acquisitions of deep-water and shale assets, the Financial Times reported, citing Chief Executive Officer Jim Mulva.
The company will increase planned capital spending of $13.5 billion by $2.5 billion this year for favourable opportunities, Mulva told the newspaper, mentioning the Gulf of Mexico in particular.
CARACAS -(Dow Jones)- Petroleos de Venezuela, or PDVSA, has signed a term fuel oil and diesel supply contract with Argentina to begin shipping 12 million barrels a year of the oil products next month, an executive at the state oil company said Sunday.
The government has raised the subsidy for diesel by 30 satang a litre to 5.40 baht a litre, effective immediately, Energy Minister Wannarat Channukul said on Monday.
Mr Wannarat said after chairing the National Energy Policy Committee meeting that the subsidy has been increased to keep the retail diesel price from exceeding 30 baht a litre.
In a deal with U.S. regulators, BP this summer plans to restart deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico on 10 wells in exchange for tougher safety rules, British media reported Sunday.
The London-based oil giant promised to abide by rules that are stricter than guidelines set after the April 20, 2010, blast on the Deepwater Horizon rig that killed 11 workers, The Financial Times and The Sunday Times of London reported. The accident, which released almost 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, was the largest marine spill in U.S. history.
LONDON (AFP) – BP said on Monday that it has agreed to sell its ARCO Aluminum unit to a Japanese consortium for $680 million ($421 million) as it seeks to meet the costs of last year's disastrous Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
After months of forgotten offshore drilling ventures following the United States' worst oil spill disaster, Republicans are planning to push a bill that would allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern Alaska. Consisting of more than 19 million acres, it is the largest wildlife refuge in the country. In addition to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the bill would also require the Department of the Interior to begin selling offshore leases for drilling ventures.
BRUSSELS — The Canadian government has stepped up lobbying in Europe for its oil sands industry, repeating its threats of trade conflict, a leaked letter shows.
South African President Jacob Zuma has forecast a “great future” for relations with India as he pushes for a partnership with one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.
Side effects for his country may include higher inflation and a power crisis.
Norway is clearly a major producer basically on par with Nigeria, Venezuela and Kuwait. But simply looking at the amount of oil a country produces doesn’t fully capture the importance of its production to the world. How much oil a country is actually able to export after domestic consumption is a better measure of its importance to the rest of the world.
MONTPELIER -- Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin is strongly supporting a proposal to expand natural gas service from northwestern Vermont as far south as Middlebury.
But some are questioning whether expanding Vermont’s use of Canadian natural gas squares with the governor’s long-time support for getting Vermont to use smaller amounts of imported fossil fuels.
Here's the thing: Everyone agrees we will run out of oil someday. It's when we will run out that predictions vary. Now I'm going to throw in another factor. It's not just how much oil is left -- it's also how much oil can be extracted at a significant energy profit. The bottom line.
Howard Odum wrote in the early 1970s, “The true value of energy to society is net energy, which is that after the energy costs of getting and concentrating that energy are subtracted.”
These food and bottled water shortages, power cuts, fuel-rationing and breakdowns in just-in-time manufacturing have been anticipated by those who take peak oil seriously. It is almost as if eastern Japan is experiencing a peak oil rehearsal, although other regions of Japan are virtually unaffected. If proponents of peak oil are correct, then the rest of the world may experience something similar within the next 5 to 10 years, and hence it is important that we learn valuable lessons from Japan's response to the current circumstances.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. will dump radioactive water from its crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear station into the sea for the first time as it runs out of space to store fluids used to cool the plant’s six reactors.
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Japan's nuclear crisis is likely to lead to one of the country's largest and most complex ever set of claims for civil damages, handing a huge bill to the fiscally strained government and debt-laden plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co .
Lawyers say the size of the claims could be the biggest in Japanese legal history and the lack of precedent for dealing with these incidents means it is still not clear how the claims will be handled.
For the clearest picture of what is happening at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, talk to scientists thousands of miles away.
Thanks to the unfamiliar but sophisticated art of atomic forensics, experts around the world have been able to document the situation vividly. Over decades, they have become very good at illuminating the hidden workings of nuclear power plants from afar, turning scraps of information into detailed analyses.
The International Energy Agency’s Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka warned countries that cutting greenhouse gas emissions blamed for climate change would be more costly without nuclear energy.
(Reuters) - Germany's nuclear policy U-turn leaves it little choice other than to rely more heavily on coal power, and that could boost its annual carbon emissions by as much as 10 percent.
CHERNOBYL, Ukraine — Forbidding under a cold, gray sky, the dead atomic power plant here is a living enterprise.
The explosion that struck 25 years ago this month, in the world’s worst nuclear accident, set in motion a major undertaking that today bears on the life of the entire country. It is a model, or a warning, for what could await Japan. The crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant will at some point be contained — but then there begins a national project from which there is no exit strategy.
The crisis unfolding at the stricken Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant north of Tokyo is likely to hurt the nuclear power industry’s credibility more than the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, UBS AG said.
The accident in the former Soviet Union 25 years ago “affected one reactor in a totalitarian state with no safety culture,” UBS analysts including Per Lekander and Stephen Oldfield wrote in a report today. “At Fukushima, four reactors have been out of control for weeks -- casting doubt on whether even an advanced economy can master nuclear safety.”
VIENNA — The Japanese reactor crisis poses a major challenge with enormous implications for nuclear power, the head of the U.N.’s atomic watchdog said Monday.
Political support may be holding for nuclear power and offshore oil, despite the Fukushima and Macondo disasters, as decision-makers confront climate change and dwindling domestic energy reserves. A theory of "Peak Everything" suggests we are running short of vital assets such as clean water, carbon-free air, some minerals, fish stocks or the cheap fossil fuels which have powered the world economy and helped curb the price of food.
China is beating the U.S. in the race to supply clean-energy technologies to the world, helped by a government bank whose advisers include Henry Kissinger.
As the curtain rises today in Abu Dhabi on the meeting of the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena), members from around the world have a big decision to make: who is going to be its first permanent leader?
The UN agency tasked with promoting the adoption of alternative energy is in the capital for a three-day session, and delegates from more than 60 countries will choose today between the interim director general Adnan Amin and Pedro Marin, the former Spanish energy secretary.
Last week, as if to justify his Libyan crusade, President Obama echoed the prevailing “peak oil” myth, stating that “we must accept the new reality that from here on out, demand for oil will always exceed supply”. It was music to the ears of the Rockefeller/Rothschild energy cartel and tax-dodger oil traders in Zug, Switzerland alike. Both know full well that oil companies pay around $18/barrel to get crude out of the ground.
I can’t remember how I learned about Transition Towns, but I do remember that Aha!-feeling. Transition is basically a model for action on the middle ground between the individual or household level where actions seem trivial, and the national and global scene that is way beyond our control. On that human scale we can have a visible, meaningful and effective impact. In that local space we can build the kind of resilience and sustainability that can mitigate or at least adapt to all these crises barreling down on us. The Transition model and the enormous network of people experimenting with it offer a tool box for all aspects of this process.
It took me some time to gather the courage to try and make this happen in Wayland, but here we are, on the cusp of introducing the model to the community.
Deal's Garden Share scheme, which matches people with gardens to people who want to tend them, is blooming according to area co-ordinator Steve Wakeford.
The process is simple; residents choose from a list of vegetable seeds available in the Seed Library collection, borrow them, and plant their seeds. After they have harvested their crops, they save the seeds from the heartiest and healthiest of their harvest and return the seeds to the same branch. Over time, each SF Seed Library branch will include a wide selection of seeds that are best suited to each micro-climate since they have grown to full fruition, responding to the local soil, climate, and plant/animal diversity.
"Do you worry about whether you've buried the entrails deep enough?" was among the questions I heard at my first Transition meeting, in Albany, California. The meeting featured an informal discussion with Novella Carpenter, author of Farm City, who had converted an empty plot of land in the Oakland inner city into a viable vegetable and animal farm. Carpenter had just mentioned raising rabbits for food, and what she did with the remains. The woman asking the question was concerned that if they weren't buried far enough below, rabbit entrails would rot and contaminate the rest of the farm. "Two feet is enough," was the confident response from Carpenter, who then proceeded to talk about how the gall bladder could also be used for green ink.
Gall bladders for green ink? How did I get here?
A waste-heat recovery project won 79,960 metric tons of Certified Emission Reduction credits on April 1, according to data on the website of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn.
The association of European steel producers Eurofer said it will sue the European Union over the design of a method to allocate free carbon-dioxide permits in the 27-nation bloc’s emissions trading system after 2012.
When analysing the carbon footprint of a city, most research studies look at the emissions generated by the inhabitants of that city. Typically they come to the conclusion that denser cities produce less carbon emissions on a per capita basis.
But Jukka Heinonen and his colleague Seppo Junnila from Aalto University, Finland, have a different way of examining this issue. They believe that emissions should not be allocated to where they are produced, but to where they are consumed.
CHICHELEY, England (AP) — To the quiet green solitude of an English country estate they retreated, to think the unthinkable.
Scientists of earth, sea and sky, scholars of law, politics and philosophy: In three intense days cloistered behind Chicheley Hall's old brick walls, four dozen thinkers pondered the planet's fate as it grows warmer, weighed the idea of reflecting the sun to cool the atmosphere and debated the question of who would make the decision to interfere with nature to try to save the planet.
A study suggests that glacial melting in Patagonia has sped up by at least a factor of 10 in recent decades, dovetailing with temperature records suggesting that the Earth has been warming briskly since around 1980.
“We are now facing a societal debate about how much people want to pay — and who pays — for coastal defense,’’ said S. Jeffress Williams, a coastal marine geologist and scientist emeritus with the US Geological Survey Woods Hole Science Center.
Rick Murray, a professor of earth science at Boston University and a Scituate selectman, puts it more bluntly: “Not everything we love can be saved.’’
A team of UC Berkeley physicists and statisticians that set out to challenge the scientific consensus on global warming is finding that its data-crunching effort is producing results nearly identical to those underlying the prevailing view.
The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project was launched by physics professor Richard Muller, a longtime critic of government-led climate studies, to address what he called "the legitimate concerns" of skeptics who believe that global warming is exaggerated.
But Muller unexpectedly told a congressional hearing last week that the work of the three principal groups that have analyzed the temperature trends underlying climate science is "excellent.... We see a global warming trend that is very similar to that previously reported by the other groups."