Drumbeat: November 10, 2012
Posted by Leanan on November 10, 2012 - 10:55am
WASHINGTON — Climate change is accelerating, and it will place unparalleled strains on American military and intelligence agencies in coming years by causing ever more disruptive events around the globe, the nation’s top scientific research group said in a report issued Friday.
The group, the National Research Council, says in a study commissioned by the C.I.A. and other intelligence agencies that clusters of apparently unrelated events exacerbated by a warming climate will create more frequent but unpredictable crises in water supplies, food markets, energy supply chains and public health systems.
When people think about climate change and energy, they naturally are drawn to thinking about clean technology, carbon capture, or emissions. We're thinking about mitigation, in other words.
However, as Sandy showed, our energy infrastructure is at high risk to the effects of climate change as well. There is a need to adapt to the effects of a changed climate.
(Reuters) - The U.S. Energy Department on Friday said it would release an additional 100,000 barrels of diesel from the nation's emergency heating oil reserves to help ease fuel shortages in Connecticut due to Hurricane Sandy.
The release from the emergency stockpile comes as the U.S. Northeast continues to grapple with severe fuel supply disruptions after a massive storm swept through the region last week.
NEW YORK (AP) — A return to 1970s-era gas rationing seemed to help with hourslong gas station lines that formed after Superstorm Sandy, but it didn't end a fuel-gauge fixation that suddenly has become a way of life for drivers in the nation's largest city.
Gasoline rationing came to New York City and Long Island, reducing lines at filling stations, and commuting options expanded as the region worked to recover from the damage caused by superstorm Sandy and a snowy nor’easter.
New York (CNN) -- After his state's coastline took the brunt of Superstorm Sandy, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Friday that he expects power to be almost fully restored statewide by Saturday night.
"Life will be back -- for most of New Jersey -- to normal come Sunday," he told reporters.
OCEANSIDE, N.Y. A rally was scheduled on Long Island Saturday for fed-up utility customers to voice their frustration about still being without power nearly two weeks after superstorm Sandy struck, CBS Station WCBS reports.
Oil advanced as data showing U.S. consumer confidence climbed to a five-year high, helping ease concern that a political stalemate in Washington will lead to a fiscal crisis.
Futures rose 1.2 percent after the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment for November increased to 84.9 from 82.6 the prior month. Prices fell earlier on concern U.S. lawmakers will be unable to compromise and avoid automatic spending cuts and tax increases at the start of 2013.
BEIJING - China will likely cut gasoline and diesel retail prices next week, as crude oil prices have dropped close to the price adjustment threshold, analysts said Saturday.
The price cuts could be between 300 yuan ($47.62) and 350 yuan per tonne, analysts said. It would mark the fourth cut in fuel prices this year.
In its annual World Oil Outlook, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries also projects that a barrel of benchmark crude will cost $ 155 by 2035, compared with under $ 100 now.
So hurricane Sandy was a wakeup call for many people and their attitudes toward global warming. But I have been trying to make the point for many years that global warming or climate change or whatever euphemism you decide on, is really just one side of the coin. The other side is the availability of fossil fuels to begin with.
In simple terms, the earth is a finite hunk of water, rock and living matter and the term finite is well chosen. Resources like fossil fuels maybe quite large but they are not infinite and that has to mean that at some point the resource can be depleted. Peak oil is all about depletion. It’s the point beyond which production will not increase and all that is left is limited supply and increasing demand. When that happens prices rise.
EDDAH -- Saudi Arabia will remain self-sufficient in natural gas, with production and consumption rising to 131 billion cubic meters (bcm) by 2021 from an estimated 94.8 bcm in 2011, BMI said in "Saudi Arabia Oil and Gas Report Q4 2012".
However, the report noted that though refinery expansion is proceeding broadly to schedule, Saudi Arabia cannot claim the same about its gas exploration and development program. "Drilling has again been delayed in the Empty Quarter, which is a further sign of a frustrating process that may leave the Kingdom short of gas as demand continues to rise. There has been little apparent progress on plans to boost productive capacity from the current 12 million barrels per day (b/d) to 14-15 million b/d."
Egypt will increase the natural gas supply to Jordan to 60 million cubic feet (MCF) daily, the Kingdom's Energy Minister Alaa Al-Batayna stated, according to Egypt's MENA news agency .
Egypt supplies natural gas to Jordan through the Arab Gas Pipeline, which runs from Egypt to Syria, passing through Israel, Jordan, and Lebanon.
Greece plans to hold a licensing round for the exploration of oil and natural gas in the Ionian Sea and south of the island of Crete in the first half of 2014, the energy ministry said.
The Country Chair and Managing Director of oil giant Royal Dutch Shell, Jeroen Regtien, talks to the Daily News Egypt, highlighting the company’s vision in post-revolution Egypt, the impediments curbing the organic growth of the sector and voices his suggestions on how the government can resolve structural hindrances.
BEIRUT (AP) — Two large explosions shook Syria's southern city of Daraa on Saturday, causing multiple casualties and heavy material damage, the country's state-run news agency and activists said.
TEHRAN, Iran (Agencies): Iran’s sanctions-fighting “resistance economy” suddenly got a lot leaner, less flashy and perhaps a bit more uncomfortable. The Islamic Republic announced Thursday a ban on imports of 75 so-called luxury products — ranging from high-end cars to coffee to toilet paper — part of efforts to promote domestic products and stem the outflow of dollars and other foreign currency as Western economic pressures increasingly choke off Iran’s commerce and critical oil revenue. It’s the most sweeping measure so far to batten down the Iranian economy, although the move is not likely to leave showrooms and store shelves empty.
The accident occurred Friday morning when a train traveling from Mandalay overturned near the Chet-gyi rail station in the Kanbalu township, near the Myanmar-India border, the Ministry of Information said. The train was hauling seven cars containing gasoline and two cars containing diesel.
When the cars overturned, several began to leak. The 25 people killed were "fetching petrol" from the derailed train cars when three of them caught fire, state-run New Light of Myanmar reported.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- A coal company headed by a prominent Mitt Romney donor has laid off more than 160 workers in response to President Obama's election victory.
Murray Energy said Friday that it had been "forced" to make the layoffs in response to the bleak prospects for the coal industry during Obama's second term. In a prayer circulated by the company, CEO Robert Murray said Americans had voted "in favor of redistribution, national weakness and reduced standard of living and lower and lower levels of personal freedom."
U.S. ethanol production is headed for the first decline in 16 years, jeopardizing the nation’s drive to boost alternative fuels, as higher costs and lower demand close plants.
Shrinking distilling margins have resulted in a 14 percent drop in output this year to 827,000 barrels a day, or 12.7 billion gallons annually, Energy Department data show, 500 million gallons short of the amount refiners are mandated to use under a 2007 law that calls for escalating consumption of the biofuel. That would be the first yearly decrease since 1996.
There need not, however, be a trade-off between palm oil, forests and communities. It is possible to grow more crops, including oil palm, while keeping forests, and also cutting rural poverty.
In order to do so, companies and investors must lead by supporting sustainable production on land that has already been cleared, while also ensuring that local people benefit and consent to new plantations. Global markets and the governments of major producer countries should give stronger support to such efforts.
One of the challenges of owning an electric car is the wait time you have to endure for a vehicle to recharge if you run out of power in the batteries during your day, or if you are looking to just “top off” while you run into the grocery store to get some items. Volvo seems to think it has an answer to that time issue, unveiling a new fast charger it claims cuts recharging time to just 1.5 hours. That’s still a bit to have to wait, but it is claimed to be up to six times faster than other on-board devices, so one could say that’s an improvement at least.
Home automation — the ability to control every aspect of your home's daily operation, from the dishwasher that turns itself on after you've left for work to a heater that warms up the house before you wake up — hasn't caught on. Too many competing standards. Too much fiddling with settings. But the new Philips Hue LED light bulbs could finally flip the switch for American homeowners by tying them to something they already love: their smartphones.
World's first web-based environmental science textbook (Robert K. Kaufmann, Cutler J. Cleveland)
Environmental Science is the world's first introductory textbook that is entirely online. Environmental Science provides thorough coverage of the key topics in environmental science, and integrates ecology, economics and policy using energy and material flows and a systems perspective. The science underlying sustainability is simply told through examples of cutting-edge content and real-world applications.
Both the spiritual home of the hamburger and a haven for the health-obsessed, Los Angeles became the largest city in the nation to support the Meatless Monday campaign. The nonprofit initiative, started in 2003, is associated with Johns Hopkins University's public health school.
The killer storm that hit the East Coast last month and left the nation's largest city with a crippled transit system, widespread power outages and severe flooding has resurfaced the debate about how best to protect a city like New York against rising storm surges.
The glaring gap between the yields of basic crops in poor and rich countries offers huge low-cost opportunities to improve people’s lives and cut environmental impacts from farming. The U.S. Agency for International Development is already busy in this area, but I’m sure some shifts in priorities could have a big impact.
Most of the coal that B.C. produces and exports is metallurgical, or coking, coal used for steel making – rather than thermal coal used to generate electricity.
Environmentalists say Pres. Obama has more reasons than ever to deny the pipeline, including his renewed focus on tackling climate change.
California carbon is trading at a record low as legal threats, political opposition and rule changes plague the days leading up to the first auction of permits under the state’s greenhouse-gas program.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday that one of the main lessons from Superstorm Sandy is the need for global action to deal with future climate shocks.
For years, energy executives have funded a massive campaign to deny the reality of climate change.