Archive for the tag “China”

News update

NASA: World Locked Into at Least 3 Feet of Sea Level Rise
Common Dreams
New research underway indicates that at least three feet of global sea level rise is near certain, NASA scientists have warned. Thats the higher range of the 1 to 3 feet level of rise the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) gave in its 2013 assessment. Sea levels have already risen 3 inches on average since 1992, with some areas experiencing as much as a 9-inch rise.

Climate change will alter ocean bacteria crucial to food chain – study
The Guardian UK
Climate change will have irreversible and unprecedented impacts on crucial ocean microorganisms that could trigger dramatic effects further up the food chain, according to scientists. The bacteria trichodesmium is known for surviving in nutrient-poor parts of the ocean, where it converts nitrogen gas into a material that can be used by other forms of life – from plankton to whales – which all require it to grow.

Coal Ash Is More Radioactive than Nuclear Waste
Scientifc American
the waste produced by coal plants is actually more radioactive than that generated by their nuclear counterparts. In fact, the fly ash emitted by a power plant—a by-product from burning coal for electricity—carries into the surrounding environment 100 times more radiation than a nuclear power plant producing the same amount of energy.

India prone to vector-borne diseases, heatwaves due to climate change
Down to Earth
Indias extreme vulnerability to climate change will have a direct impact on the health of its population, experts said at a seminar on Friday. The World Health Organization has predicted in a report that between 2030-50, climate change will cause 250,000 additional deaths. The Himalayan region is prone to vector-borne diseases, especially malaria and dengue, Ramesh Dhiman of the National Institute of Malaria Research, said at a seminar on “Climate Change and Health Risks”.

Organic farming to get a big boost in Maharashtra
The Indian Express
The Maharashtra government is drawing up a comprehensive plan to promote organic farming in a phased manner as an alternative to chemical fertilisers. The Ministry of Agriculture is preparing the draft and special allocations will be made to meet the target. The stress on organic farming reflects the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s view that chemical fertilisers should be done away with and organic manure should replace it.

WTO rules against India in solar panels dispute with the US
Live Mint
A World Trade Organization (WTO) panel has ruled against India in a dispute raised by the US over the country’s solar power programme, requiring the government to offer a level playing field to both foreign and domestic manufacturers of solar panels. India is likely to appeal against the dispute settlement panel’s ruling, which could give it a two-year breather to implement the programme.

India to face power surplus, 300 million people may not be able to afford
The Economic Times
India may be heading for a huge surplus of generation capacity because the 300 million people who dont have access to electricity also dont have the means to buy power from new plants that are being set up to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modis vision of power for all, experts said.

The Guardian UK
Local governments in China have submitted plans to relocate or upgrade almost 1,000 chemical plants in the wake of the massive explosions in Tianjin earlier this month that killed 147 people. The blast at a warehouse storing toxic chemicals was China’s worst industrial accident in recent years. There has been criticism it was located too close to densely populated residential areas. China’s industry minister, Miao Wei, said local governments were finally moving ahead to implement plans to relocate and upgrade chemical plants.

Answering Resistance From All Sides, Germany Moves to Ban GMO Crops
Common Dreams
Germany became the latest country in the European Union to take a stand against genetically modified (GMO) crops in its food supply. German Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt told government officials that he will seek to implement the European Unions opt-out rule to stop GMO crop cultivation in the country, including those varieties which may be approved by the EU, according to documents seen by Reuters this week.

HBO documentary key driver of opposition to fracking, study finds
The Guardian UK
An Oscar-nominated HBO documentary that showed American homeowners near hydraulic fracturing sites setting fire to their tap water may have been the main trigger for a surge in public opposition to the oil and gas production technique, according to a study to be published next month. Gasland, produced by the film-maker Josh Fox in 2010, sparked a rise in online searches, social media chatter, news coverage, and environmental activism surrounding fracking that may have led to a series of local attempts to ban the industry in the years that followed, according to the paper which will be published in the American Sociology Review’s October edition.

News update

G7: End of fossil fuel era?
BBC News
The G7 has called for a transformation of electricity generation towards renewables and nuclear by 2050. And they said fossil fuel should not be burned in any sector of the economy by the end of the century. Their targets are not binding – but they send a clear message to investors that in the long term economies will have to be powered by clean energy. The world’s leaders have effectively signalled the end of the fossil fuel era that has driven economies since the Industrial Revolution.

The coal boom choking China
The Guardian UK
Chinese miners last year dug up 3.87bn tonnes of coal, more than enough to keep all four of the next largest users – the United States, India, the European Union and Russia – supplied for a year. The country is grappling with the direct costs of that coal, in miners lives, crippling air pollution, expanding deserts and “environmental refugees”. Desire for change contends with fears that cutting back on familiar technology could dent employment or slow growth, and efforts to cut consumption do not always mean a clampdown on mining.

Delayed gratification for OPEC, more pain for investors
Kurt Cobb
Delayed gratification is said to be a sign of maturity. By that standard OPEC at age 55 demonstrated its maturity this week as it left oil production quotas for its members unchanged. Why OPEC members chose to leave their oil output unchanged is no mystery. The explicit purpose for keeping oil prices depressed is to close down U.S. oil production from deep shale depositsproduction that soared when oil hovered around $100 a barrel, but which is largely uneconomic at current prices. That production was starting to threaten OPECs market share.

Over the barrel: For a low carbon path
Vikram S Mehta, The Financial Express
The government’s policy pronouncements over the past year have thrown into sharp relief the conflict between its energy policy and its green agenda. It should endeavour to settle this conflict over the coming year. The purpose of this article is to recommend the steps it should take to do so.

Forget peak oil. Is the worlds economy heading toward peak demand?
Nathanial Gronewold, E&E Publishing
Peak oil, meet peak demand. The hypothesis that oil production is about to peak is being swiftly replaced by the idea that the worlds thirst for crude oil is about to hit a ceiling, posing challenges for firms that face investor pressure to grow. One idea has it that even crude demand in emerging markets is on track to peak and then steadily decline, as is occurring in much of the developed world today.

Peak oil isn’t dead: An interview with Chris Nelder
Brad Plumer, Washington Post
Warnings about peak oil have been with us since the OPEC crisis in the 1970s.But after a worrisome series of price spikes starting in 2007, oil triumphalism is once again ascendant. Not everyones convinced, however, that oil is really on the verge of a new boom. Energy analyst Chris Nelder, for one, has spent a lot of time scrutinizing the claims of the oil triumphalists. Our newfound oil resources, he argues, arent nearly as promising as they first appear.

Why We Have an Oversupply of Almost Everything (Oil, labor, capital, etc.)
Gail Tverberg
The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article called, Glut of Capital and Labor Challenge Policy Makers: Global oversupply extends beyond commodities, elevating deflation risk. To me, this is a very serious issue, quite likely signaling that we are reaching what has been called Limits to Growth, a situation modeled in 1972 in a book by that name.

Where will nuclear power plants of the future be built?
Paul Dorfman, The Conversation
In terms of new build, 67 reactors are under construction worldwide with a total capacity of 64 GW. For the nuclear industry this at first sounds promising, but then “under construction” doesn’t necessarily mean it will be finished any time soon – work first began on one reactor opened in Argentina last year back in 1981. Of the 67 currently being built, eight reactors have been under construction for more than 20 years, another for 12 years; and at least 49 have significant delays.

News update

The heat and the death toll are rising in India. Is this a glimpse of Earth’s future?
The Guardian UK
India is struggling to cope with one of the deadliest heatwaves to hit the subcontinent. And its attempt to do so is raising a question for the whole planet – how can humans cope with the kinds of temperatures that scientists fear may become ever more common? (Related: Ahmedabads Heat Action Plan)

Indian government to review hydroelectric dams in two river basins
The Guardian UK
An 11-member expert committee recommended that 23 dams on the Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers, the two main tributaries of the Ganga, be scrapped. Builders of six dams in the upper Ganga basin asked the court to allow their projects to proceed. The six were among the 23 vetoed dams. Instead of accepting the expert committee’s advice, the court asked for a review committee to specifically examine the environmental clearances given to these six dams.

Indian leadership on climate change: Punching above its weight
Samir Saran and Vivan Sharan, Brookings Institution
In the global discourse on climate change, India often gets singled out for resisting mitigation action and for its reliance on fossil fuels such as coal. In this paper we argue that in addition to the efforts directed toward coping with and adapting to climate impacts (e.g., recent floods in Kashmir and monsoon failure in 2014), India is also “punching above its weight” on mitigation.

Direct Actions Across UK Disrupt Fossil Fuel Business-As-Usual
Common Dreams
Anti-drilling activists across England sent a powerful message on Monday with a series of direct actions protesting the Cameron governments promotion of false solutions, such as fracking, and the industries that are profiting in the face of runaway climate change. Among the 18 targets on Monday were public relations firms that represent fracking and nuclear power companies, a World Coal Association conference, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), and various corporations which activists say are complicit in the global rise of carbon emissions.

Global Apollo programme seeks to make clean energy cheaper than coal
The Guardian UK
The Global Apollo Programme aims to make the cost of clean electricity lower than that from coal-fired power stations across the world within 10 years. It calls for £15bn a year of spending on research, development and demonstration of green energy and energy storage, the same funding in today’s money that the US Apollo programme spent in putting astronauts on the moon.

Why Chinas CO2 emissions have been plummeting lately
Brad Plumer, Vox.com
Arguably the most important climate story in the world right now is the question of whats happening in China. A recent analysis by Greenpeace International found that Chinas carbon dioxide emissions have plunged nearly 5 percent, year over year, in the first four months of 2015.

Revolution? More like a crawl
Vaclav Smil
The reality of energy transitions is very different. Too many modern observers have become misled by the example of electronics, in which advances have followed Moore’s law — the now 50-year-old prediction that the number of components on a microchip will double every 18 months. This has allowed exceptionally rapid progress. But the fundamental physical realities that determine progress of energy systems do not behave that way: they are improving steadily, but far more slowly.  (Related: The energy revolution will not be televised)

The oil crash: something wicked this way comes
Ugo Bardi
With the ongoing collapse of the oil prices, we can say that it is game over for the oil and gas industry, in particular for the production of tight (or shale) oil and gas. Prices may still go back to reasonably high levels, in the future, but the industry will never be able to regain the momentum that had made its US supporters claim energy independence and centuries of abundance. The bubble may not burst all of a sudden, but it surely will deflate.

News update

Alice In Shale Gas Wonderland
Julian Darley
It is hard to know where to begin regarding Ambrose Evans-Pritchards article entitled Energy crisis is postponed as new gas rescues the world. But since the speculative world he invokes has more to do with Alice In Wonderland than the hard reality of engineering and science, let us begin at the end.

Peak Oil, Ten or So Years On
Brian Kaller
This blog began seven years and almost a thousand posts ago, and I thought it a good time to take stock. Since the blog itself was inspired by the “peak oil” movement, and since it’s been ten years, by some measures, since the peak, I wanted to assess the state of that community as well.

Is the Age of Renewable Energy Already Upon Us?
Michael Klare
Future historians may look back on 2015 as the year that the renewable energy ascendancy began, the moment when the world started to move decisively away from its reliance on fossil fuels. Those fuels oil, natural gas, and coal will, of course, continue to dominate the energy landscape for years to come, adding billions of tons of heat-trapping carbon to the atmosphere. For the first time, however, it appears that a shift to renewable energy sources is gaining momentum. If sustained, it will have momentous implications for the world economy as profound as the shift from wood to coal or coal to oil in previous centuries.

Coal is dying all by itself
Grist.org
Coal, the No. 1 cause of climate change, is dying. Last year saw a record number of coal plant retirements in the United States, and a study last week from Duke University found that Even China, which produces and consumes more coal than the rest of the world put together, is expected to hit peak coal use within a decade, in order to meet its promise to President Barack Obama to reduce its carbon emissions starting in 2030.

One Of The Most Worrying Trends In Energy
Kurt Cobb
It should seem obvious that it takes energy to get energy. And, when it takes more energy to get the energy we want, this usually spells higher prices since the energy inputs used cost more. It shouldnt be surprising then, that as fossil fuels, which provide more than 80 percent of the power modern society uses, become more energy intensive to extract and refine, there is a growing drag on economic activity as more and more of the economys resources are devoted simply to getting the energy we want.

Putting the Real Story of Energy and the Economy Together
Gail Tverberg
What is the real story of energy and the economy? We hear two predominant energy stories. One is the story economists tell: The economy can grow forever; energy shortages will have no impact on the economy. Another version of the energy and the economy story is the view of many who believe in the “Peak Oil” theory. In my view, the real story of energy and the economy is much less favorable than either of these views. It is a story of oil limits that will make themselves known as financial limits, quite possibly in the near term—perhaps in as little time as a few months or years.

Chinese energy figures suggest much slower growth than advertised
Kurt Cobb
Last year China reported the slowest economic growth in 24 years, about 7.4 percent. But the true figure may actually be much lower, and the evidence is buried in electricity figures which show just 3.8 percent growth in electricity consumption.

Climate change: can the Seneca effect save us?
Ugo Bardi
The Seneca Cliff (or Seneca Collapse). The ancient Roman philosopher said The path of increase is slow, but the road to ruin is rapid. A Seneca Collapse of the worlds economy would surely reduce the chances of a climate disaster, but it would be a major disaster in itself and it might not even be enough.

Subsidies to industries that cause deforestation worth 100 times more than aid to prevent it
The Guardian UK
Brazil and Indonesia spent over 100 times more in subsidies to industries that cause deforestation than they received in international conservation aid to prevent it, according to a report by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI). The two countries handed out over $40bn (£27bn) in subsidies to the palm oil, timber, soy, beef and biofuels sectors between 2009 and 2012 – 126 times more than the $346m they received to preserve their rainforests from the United Nations’ (UN) REDD+ scheme, mostly from Norway and Germany.

News update

California Drought Tests History of Endless Growth
The New York Times
For more than a century, California has been the state where people flocked for a better life — 164,000 square miles of mountains, farmland and coastline, shimmering with ambition and dreams, money and beauty. It was the cutting-edge symbol of possibility: Hollywood, Silicon Valley, aerospace, agriculture and vineyards. But now a punishing drought is forcing a reconsideration of whether the aspiration of untrammeled growth that has for so long been this state’s driving engine has run against the limits of nature.

Global Energy Trends and Implications for India: The Need to Consume Less Oil
Tobias Engelmeier, The Energy Collective
Oil consumption will rise in India as the economy and the population grows. This is a major headache for the government, since India imports almost all of this fuel. Currently oil prices are fairly low, but if they rise again, they will drive inflation and open up a large trade deficit.

China’s Fuel Demand to Peak Sooner Than Oil Giants Expect
Bloomberg Business
China’s biggest oil refiner is signaling the nation is headed to its peak in diesel and gasoline consumption far sooner than most Western energy companies and analysts are forecasting. If correct, the projections by China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., or Sinopec, a state-controlled enterprise with public shareholders in Hong Kong, pose a big challenge to the world’s largest oil companies. They’re counting on demand from China and other developing countries to keep their businesses growing as energy consumption falls in more advanced economies.

How changing driving habits are changing the oil and gas industry
Omar Mouallem, Alberta Oil Magazine
For 100 years, the automotive and energy sectors were like two wheels on the same axle, continually spinning forward. Young North Americans are delaying getting their licenses, driving fewer kilometers and buying fewer cars. Given that transportation makes up two-thirds of refined petroleum consumption, the trend has some wondering if the biggest threat facing the oil industry is peak car, not peak oil.

How the climate change debate got hijacked by the wrong standard of proof
Kurt Cobb
The deniers in the fossil fuel industry and elsewhere are attempting by sleight-of-hand to get both the public and policymakers to abandon the preponderance of evidence standard used primarily in civil trialsand which is similar to evidence-based public policymakingin favor of another judicial standard designed for criminal trials, namely, beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Problem of Human Population
Javier, Peak Oil Barrel
Since the growth rate is declining naturally, if not intervene any new factor human population on Earth would peak slightly above the 10 billion people by 2062 according to the United Nations. This is the problem size. Political campaigns to reduce the growth of the human population are decreasing, not increasing. The question therefore is not to analyze whether the Earth is able to support 10 billion people, as it most likely can, but if it can do it indefinitely. (Note: Translated from Spanish by computer and contains grammatical errors.)

Eco-Socialism or Barbarism 11 Theses
Bruno Kern, Eco-Socialist Blog
(Message from Saral Sarkar, Eco-Socialist Blog: For those who do not have enough time to read the books and texts written by myself and Bruno Kern (of the Initiative Eco-Socialism) texts that thoroughly expound our fundamental argumentation and perspective for/on eco-socialism we now offer a very short text written by Bruno. In it, Bruno has summarized the essential points of our argumentation and perspective in 11 theses.)

Socialism, Capitalism and Anarchism in a collapsing world economy
Peter Goodchild, Survive Peak Oil
The irony is that the present world of global capitalism cannot be considered governed in any democratic sense. If we stretch the definition of democracy to equate it with legitimacy i.e., the sanction of the governed, the social contract then one could almost say that it is global capitalism that should be regarded as anarchism. The world is governed, but it has no government (an-archia) in any legitimate form.

News update

Could Indias Coal Plans Derail the Global Climate?
Tobias Engelmeier, The Energy Collective
If India were to grow its electricity system based on coal (as China has done), would it derail the global climate? According to our calculations, under a “coal-heavy” scenario, India would need to increase is coal-fired power generation capacity from the 156 GW in early 2015 to 677 GW in 2035. What would be the CO2 implications of such a strategy?

Global water crisis causing failed harvests, hunger, war and terrorism
Nafeez Ahmed, The Ecologist
The world is already experiencing water scarcity driven by over-use, poor land management and climate change. Its one of the causes of wars and terrorism in the Middle East and beyond, and if we fail to respond to the warnings before us, major food and power shortages will soon afflict large parts of the globe fuelling hunger, insecurity and conflict.

The Global Water Crisis and Coal Fired Power Plants
Iris Cheng, Greenpeace
Despite the global water crisis being identified as the top risk to people across the globe, very few are taking a stand to protect dwindling water resources from the huge planned global growth of coal-fired power stations. The fact is that the planned coal expansion will contribute to water crises, as the energy sector usually wins against us when it comes to who gets access to this precious resource.

The Case for a Climate Goal Other Than Two Degrees Celsius
Diane Toomey, Yale Environment 360
Scientists and climate negotiators have largely agreed that limiting global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius is an important goal. But David Victor, political scientist and lead author with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), disagrees, arguing that the benchmark is too simplistic and should be abandoned in favor of other indicators. He maintains that not only is the 2-degree goal now unattainable, the focus on it has almost unwittingly played into the hands of the so-called climate denialists.

The puzzling flattening of carbon emissions and the problem of global growth
Kurt Cobb
Last week we learned that maybe, just maybe, global carbon emissions were flat in 2014 even though the global economy supposedly grew by 3 percent. Carbon emissions have moved up almost in lockstep with economic growth for the entire industrial age except during recessions and one year of growth 40 years ago. But there is another obvious and plausible explanation for the flat carbon emissions, namely, that the global economy did not grow by the stated percentage, that it may have grown only a fraction of that amount or not at all.

China plans to build huge space solar power station 
The Economic Times 
China plans to build a huge solar power station 36,000 kilometres above the ground in an attempt to battle smog, cut greenhouse gases and solve energy crisis, much on the lines of an idea first floated in 1941 by fiction writer Isaac Asimov, state media reported today. The power station would be a super spacecraft on a geosynchronous orbit equipped with huge solar panels. The electricity generated would be converted to microwaves or lasers and transmitted to a collector on Earth, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Chinese control of Rare Earths and the future of energy 
Llewellyn King, Oilprice.com
The 17 rare earth elements have energy supply by the throat. They are used in everything from oil refineries to solar and wind generators. Today, 90 percent of the rare earths the world uses come from China. All U.S. defense manufacturers – including giants Boeing, General Electric and Lockheed Martin are dependent on China. Now China is demanding that U.S. companies do more of their manufacturing there: China wants to control the whole chain.

Agroecology: An idea and practice coming of age
Rupert Dunn, Sustainable Food trust
Agroecology is a holistic approach to farming and food production that could shape how we feed the world in the 21st century. It offers, at last, a means through which sustainable food sovereignty can be achieved across the globe. In February, at the International Forum for Agroecology in Nyeleni, Mali, a turning point came in the dissemination of ideas and practices of what is called ‘agroecology’.

Video: Under the Dome – Investigating China’s Smog

Abby Zimet, Common Dreams

Giving new breadth to the term viral, last weekend up to 200 million people in China watched Under the Dome, a new, deeply personal, meticulously researched, self-funded for just $160,000 documentary about Chinas calamitous pollution problem, which on its worst airpocalypse days is said to resemble an airport smoking lounge. The film by former news anchor and environmental journalist Chai Jing has been called “one of the most important pieces of public awareness of all time for China, and in its potential impact has been compared to Rachel Carsons Silent Spring in this country and, later, Al Gores An Inconvenient Truth. It was released on the eve of Chinas annual meeting of the National Peoples Congress in Beijing, which will set government policies on a range of issues.

Jing, 39, began working on the film for personal reasons: She was pregnant with her first child, who was found to have a tumor. Though she had never before been afraid of the pollution around her in smog-blanketed Beijing or her native coal-choked region, she says, when you carry a life in you, you feel the fear.” She went on to do extensive research, assembling statistics on the estimated 600 million people suffering from asthma, heart disease, strokes and other ailments likely caused by environmental factors, travelling around the country to interview experts, workers, doctors filming, at one point, the removal of a cancerous lung and visiting particularly polluted sites like the northeastern city of Harbin, with pollutant levels many times those considered hazardous. Jing found, and hopes to capitalize on what she calls a basic social consensus that we all need air. This, she says hopefully, is how history will be made. To date, Chinas famously restrictive state media has been startlingly supportive of her message; experts say their openness may or may not last. You can watch the film in Mandarin with English sub-titles here, or watch its dramatic start and final call to action, with middle portions summarized, here.

Read the article      Watch the film

News update

2014 Warmest Year on Record
The New York Times
Last year was the hottest on earth since record-keeping began in 1880, scientists reported, underscoring warnings about the risks of runaway greenhouse gas emissions and undermining claims by climate change contrarians that global warming had somehow stopped.

Groundbreaking Study Confirms: We Must Leave Fossil Fuels In the Ground
Common Dreams
A groundbreaking new study is confirming what green campaigners have long argued: in order to stave off climate disaster, the majority of fossil fuel deposits around the world—including 92 percent of U.S. coal, all Arctic oil and gas, and a majority of Canadian tar sands—must stay in the ground. This new research is first of its kind to identify specific national reserves that must remain untapped.

IEA Provides First Sign That Tide May Be Turning For Oil Prices
Oilprice.com
Last week, energy investors got the first of several reports that should confirm for Wall Street analysts that the physical markets for crude oil are responding to the sharp drop in oil prices. I believe supply/demand will work back to a balance during the second half of this year.

Oil, Saudi Arabia, and the End of OPEC
Elias Hinckley, The Energy Collective
Saudi Arabia’s decision not to cut oil production, despite crashing prices, marks the beginning of an incredibly important change. There are near-term and obvious implications for oil markets and global economies. More important is the acknowledgement, demonstrated by the action of world’s most important oil producer, of the beginning of the end of the most prosperous period in human history – the age of oil.

Carbon Counterattack: How Big Oil Is Responding to the Anti-Carbon Moment 
Michael T. Klare, Tom Dispatch
Around the world, carbon-based fuels are under attack. Increasingly grim economic pressures, growing popular resistance, and the efforts of government regulators have all shocked the energy industry. But instead of retreating, the major oil companies have gone on the offensive, extolling their contributions to human progress and minimizing the potential for renewables to replace fossil fuels in just about any imaginable future.

At least one major oil company will turn its back on fossil fuels, says scientist
The Guardian, UK
The oil price crash coupled with growing concerns about global warming will encourage at least one of the major oil companies to turn its back on fossil fuels in the near future, predicts award-winning scientist and former industry adviser Jeremy Leggett. Now a solar energy entrepreneur and climate campaigner, Leggett points to Total of France as the kind of group that could abandon carbon fuels.

Obama visit: India-US to sign energy deal
Hindustan Times
India and the US are likely to sign an energy deal under which India could commit to generating 15-20% of its energy need from zero emission sources by 2030. The deal that would be signed during President Barack Obama’s visit this month will also have the US agreeing to support India’s efforts through the government’s flagship Make in India programme by investing in urban energy infrastructure and making energy-saving appliances as well as in research. The US has already committed to $1 billion for financing renewable projects in India.

China Buying Up Latin American Oil
Colin Chilcoat, Oilprice.com
China is pledging $250 billion in investment in Latin America over the next decade. The country’s oil-based financing is still an unproven gamble – and lower prices increase the default risk – but it’s shrewd move for what will soon be the world’s largest consumer of oil.

News update

Guess What Happened The Last Time The Price Of Oil Crashed Like This
Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse blog
There has only been one other time in history when the price of oil has crashed by more than 40 dollars in less than 6 months. The last time this happened was during the second half of 2008, and the beginning of that oil price crash preceded the great financial collapse that happened later that year by several months. Well, now it is happening again, but this time the stakes are even higher. (Snyders latest post: Anyone That Believes That Collapsing Oil Prices Are Good For The Economy Is Crazy)

Ten Reasons Why a Severe Drop in Oil Prices is a Problem
Gail Tverberg, Our Finite World
If high oil prices can be a problem, how can low oil prices also be a problem? In particular, how can the steep drop in oil prices we have recently been experiencing also be a problem? Here is an explanation. (Also see: Energy Matters blog post: Oil price wars – who blinks first? which says OPEC is bound to trump the U.S. shale oil producers in the ongoing price war)

Signs Of Peak Oil Starting To Emerge
Euan Mearns, Oilprice.com
What caused the recent crash in the oil price from $110 (Brent) in July to $70 today and what is going to happen next? With the world producing 94 Mbpd (IEA total liquids) $1.4 trillion has just been wiped off annualized global GDP and the incomes of producing and exporting nations. Energy will get cheaper again, for a while at least. The immediate impact is a reduction in global GDP and deflationary pressure.

India Says Pollution Levels Need to Rise Further to Boost Growth
Bloomberg Businessweek
India said its pollution levels will need to increase in the years ahead to support its economic development and it won’t discuss limiting greenhouse-gas emissions at United Nations climate talks that began this week. Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar also said the government is preparing to make a pledge on how India will develop cleaner forms of energy, though he stopped short of indicating when the country might take on the sorts of caps for emissions that the U.S., China and Europe are adopting. (Editors note: Heres another report based on Javadekars statement, which puts a completely different spin on it: India plans 5-fold increase in renewable energy. Also see: The Next Big Climate Question: Will India Follow China?)

A Dam Revival, Despite Risks
Erica Gies, The New York Times
While some dams in the United States and Europe are being decommissioned, a dam-building boom is underway in developing countries. World hydropower production will grow from 4,000 terawatt hours now — about the annual power output of the United States — to 4,670 terawatt hours in 2020, according to Maria van der Hoeven, executive director of the International Energy Agency, in Paris. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts that hydropower generation will double in China between 2008 and 2035, and triple in India and Africa.

Solar as Industrial Revolution
The New York Times
The Hanergy Holding Group, created in 1994 and based in Beijing, is a major renewable-energy company, notably in thin-film solar technology. Its founder and chairman, Li Hejun, has written a book, China’s New Energy Revolution, recently translated into English, in which he argues that solar energy will lead a third industrial revolution.

Energy Efficiency May Be the Key to Saving Trillions
Beth Gardiner, The New York Times
Compared with eye-catching renewable power technologies like wind turbines and solar panels, energy efficiency is nearly invisible. But advocates say doing more with less power may be an even more critical weapon in the fight against climate change and offers big economic benefits, too.

Permaculture, a Vision of the Post-Oil World
Yves Cochet, originally published by Holmgren Design
More than an agricultural technology, permaculture is a vision of the societies of tomorrow, ours, which will be confronted with the evolution of energy and climate systems. Permaculture is not only another way to garden: it is another way of thinking about and acting on the world, a global philosophical and concrete change, at the same time as a drawing together of strategies of resilience in the face of radical transformations, if not collapses, which are presenting themselves.

News update

India Struggling Between International Image & Equity at Lima Climate Talks
Dispatches from COP 20, Lima by Kabir, Whats With The Climate
Indian government delegation is warming up for a test match like scenario at COP 20 in Lima. It seems that India in coordination with other developing countries will push for Adaptation, Adaptation, and Adaptation at par with mitigation in Paris, 2015 climate deal. The equal parity between mitigation, and adaption in the mandate of Global Climate Fund was appreciated in the interaction.

Is India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, a climate leader?
Mat Hope, The Carbon Brief
In May, Narendra Modi was sworn in as the new prime minister of India. Many hoped he would prove a climate change champion. Six months later, those expectations have been tempered.

Can China Cut Coal?
David Biello, Scientific American blogs
Coal is cheap and getting cheaper in China. In fact, though the country may require more and more coal imports to satisfy its voracious demand, the cost of coal is cheaper now than in 2000, according to an analysis by WWF’s Hu. As a result, the owners of coal-fired power plants can still make money burning the polluting rock to generate electricity—and even more money if they keep pollution controls in the off position.

Watching the Watchdogs: 10 Years of the IEA World Energy Outlook
David MacLeod, Integral Permaculture
The International Energy Agency (IEA) is the energy watchdog of the industrial world. The IEA World Energy Outlook has gradually moved from rosy to pessimistic reports over the last ten years, or what Stuart Staniford called “increasingly reality-based.”

Down With Sustainable Development! Long Live Convivial Degrowth!
Justin Hyatt, Inter Press Service
For anyone who recently attended the Fourth International Conference on Degrowth in Leipzig, Germany, listening in on conference talk, surrounded by the ecologically savvy, one quickly noticed that no one was singing the praises of sustainable development. Nonetheless, development per se and all that this entails did take centre stage, as a crowd of three thousand participants and speakers debated ongoing trends in the fields of environment, politics, economics and social justice.

The Fragmentation of Technology
John Michael Greer, The Archdruid Report
As resource depletion and economic contraction tighten their grip on the industrial world, the stock of existing and proposed technologies face triage in a continuum defined by two axes—the utility of the technology, on the one hand, and its cost in real (i.e., nonfinancial) terms on the other. A chart may help show how this works.

Are Humans Going Extinct?
Dahr Jamail, Truthout
Without a major shift away from coal, average global temperatures could rise by 6 degrees Celsius by 2050, leading to devastating climate change. Some scientists, Guy McPherson included, fear that climate disruption is so serious, with so many self-reinforcing feedback loops already in play, that humans are in the process of causing our own extinction.

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