DrumBeat: November 28, 2006
Posted by threadbot on November 28, 2006 - 9:30am
Scary weather patterns appear to be on the rise. And if a new report is right, we could be in for a lot more. In a study called “Going to the Extremes,” coming out in the December issue of the journal Climatic Change, researchers from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and Texas Tech University found strong evidence that by the end of this century, there will be significant increases in what the authors call “extreme weather events”—deadly heat waves, heavy rainfall and prolonged droughts.
“Most everybody’s in favour of energy security,” said Daniel Yergin, an energy expert at the Cambridge Energy Research Associates. “There’s just a wide difference on what does energy security mean.”
To US politicians, including President George W Bush, it means cutting US import dependence by promoting home-grown fuels like ethanol, and reducing the risk of price shocks by relying on a variety of sources and suppliers.
To Beijing, it means locking up secure supplies in multibillion dollar deals, such as the ones cut in recent years in Venezuela and Canada, US officials say.
This post is a slightly annotated summary of a poster presentation (Army Energy Strategy for the End of Cheap Oil) at the 25th Army Science Conference, Orlando, Florida, November 27-30, 2006, by three scholars of the US Military Academy at West Point.
The rise in humanity's emissions of carbon dioxide has accelerated sharply, according to a new analysis.
Though Democrats will soon control Congress, giving them much greater power over economic policy, they will refrain from influencing America's foreign policy. Rather, Democrats will be content to let the administration of President George W Bush continue to strangle popular support for the Republican Party in pursuit of its conflict-ridden agenda. The resulting intensification of global geopolitical instability will underpin oil prices.
Leaders of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) are discussing the future of a post-Soviet grouping torn by disputes and stung by energy ultimatums from Russia.
“What we’ve been seeing is the current generation drawing the benefit and not leaving anything for the next generation,” says Casey Vander Ploeg, senior policy analyst at the Canada West Foundation, a think-tank based in Calgary, Alberta’s biggest city.
With Europe increasingly concerned about its dependence on Russia for its natural gas, NATO plans to discuss the issue at its summit in Riga, Latvia, starting Tuesday. A look at some of the cards held by Moscow:
James Kunstler: The American Fiasco - a Moment of Clarity
...This is really a tight spot. Wider war in the Middle East is hardly out of the question, with Iran and a broad array of jihadistas emboldened by America's flounderings in Iraq. A year from now, perhaps, or less, we will lose our access to a substantial portion of the imported oil that we run all our stuff on. The sodium vapor lamps will flicker out. The last taco will be served. The US public will have to start paying attention and making other arrangements. I believe what Garrison Keilor says about the people in Minnesota. Scratch below the surface, you'll find a thoughtful, practical mentality. I believe that when they can't do anymore of what they're doing now, they'll turn around and do something else.
The first draft of China's first energy law, which will shape the country's future energy policies, will be outlined before the end of the year, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
Just over a year ago I wrote about the New Energy Mercantilism, the set of geopolitical phenomena emerging as nations realize that, in the future, there will not be enough energy to go around to sustain projected demand. A market-economy solves this problem by increasing the price of energy until demand inelasticity is overcome and the energy is allocated to where the market says it is most valuable. Mercantilism, rather than trying to distribute shares of the pie more efficiently, aims to lock down as large a share of the pie as possible for your own needs.
A year later, it is clear that mercantilism is on the march.
The Chinese demining mission in Lebanon is a small sign of Beijing's rapidly expanding engagement in the Middle East, where its voracious quest for secure energy supplies in the 21st century has sharpened its interest in regional stability.
Russia's economic boom and the burgeoning power of its energy sector will become increasingly hard to sustain unless it takes dramatic steps, an OECD report forecasts. It could mean bad news for the energy-hungry EU.
Malaysia: Asia Must Commit To A Proper Sustainable Energy Management Strategy: "We hope to see visionary aspirations such as the planned Trans-Asean Gas Pipeline and The Asean Power Grid becoming a reality in the near future"
Venezuela’s Oil-Based Economy. Everything you wanted to know about Venezuelan oil but were afraid to ask.
Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens told Little Rock business leaders Monday that the world has reached peak oil production and the United States, in particular, needs to find alternative sources of fuel.
Pickens said the United States uses 20 percent of the oil in the world, but has less than 5 percent of the oil supply. He said the world's supply of oil is diminishing quickly and could likely run out in the next 30 to 40 years if people don't make adjustments in their oil consumption.
The Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO) is to hold its sixth International Conference in UCC in Cork in September 2007. The conference will be sponsored by NTR.
Peak oil - the South will rise again: But will the best or the worst of Dixie win out?
This is the Executive Summary of an ground-breaking new policy paper released by a coalition of Bay Area organizations promoting localization as a response to energy, climate, and social justice challenges.
Various explanations have been put forward to explain the current contango in crude oil markets. Advocates of the peak oil hypothesis consider that the current transition from backwardation to contango is due to a greater acceptance by market participants of peak oil. Simplifying greatly, peak oil theory predicts that oil production will reach a peak some time in the very new future after which production would start to decline. In face of an expected growth in global demand, this implies that oil prices for future delivery should rise faster than prompt prices. This would imply a contango structure with the contango widening at the later segments of the forward curve as impending shortages become more acute ahead in the future. However, this implication is not supported by the data: the term structure of futures contracts for long term maturities is in backwardation and the volume of outstanding contracts is relatively low which indicates that investors place little weight on peak oil predictions. After all, if market participants adhere to the view of peak oil, then they would have the opportunity to make large profits by buying the longest maturity crude oil futures contract that the market allows.
JUNEAU, Alaska - Exxon Mobil Corp. is reviewing its legal options in the wake of Alaska's decision to strip it and other oil companies of their leases in the North Slope's Point Thomson oil and gas field.
The state said Monday it was revoking the leases after finding Exxon Mobil failed to come up with a viable plan for developing the field's vast reserves.
Just the gift for the peak oiler on your list. From Hammacher Schlemmer, of course: The World's Smallest Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car
It comes with its own solar-powered fueling station.