Archive for the tag “Rob Hopkins”

News update

The Fracking Bust Hits Home
Wolf Richter, Wolf Street
In the latest reporting week, drillers idled another 84 rigs, the second biggest weekly cut ever, after idling 83 and 94 rigs in the two prior weeks. Only 1056 rigs are still drilling for oil, down 443 for the seven reporting weeks so far this year and down 553 – or 34%! – from the peak in October. Never before has the rig count plunged this fast this far.

Part Of West Antarctic Ice Sheet Starting Slow, Unstoppable Collapse
The Huffington Post
The huge West Antarctic ice sheet is starting a glacially slow collapse in an unstoppable way, two new studies show. Alarmed scientists say that means even more sea level rise than they figured. The worrisome outcomes wont be seen soon. Scientists are talking hundreds of years, but over that time the melt that has started could eventually add 4 to 12 feet to current sea levels.

Cold Fusion Takes Another Step Towards Credibility
Oilprice.com
Professor Alexander Parkhomov of Lomonosov Moscow State University has published a paper describing his successful replication of Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat LENR or cold fusion device. It seems Parkhomov managed to acquire enough working data from Swedish and Italian academics to execute an experimental replication that offers data showing 2.74 more energy out than put in.

Why Cheap Oil Does Not Mean that Peak Oil is a Myth
Chris Rhodes, Energy Balance
Peak oil is a fundamental tenet of the Transition Towns concept, but the current return of “cheap oil” has muddied the waters about how to discuss it. Heres a response to the debate following the prevailing low oil price, set within the context of whether or not we can now dismiss peak oil, e.g. as is currently being contested.

Charts showing the long-term GDP-energy tie (Part 2 – A New Theory of Energy and the Economy)
Gail Tverberg, Our Finite World
In Part 1 of this series, I talked about why cheap fuels act to create economic growth. In this post, we will look at some supporting data showing how this connection works. The data is over a very long time period–some of it going back to the Year 1 C. E.

Who gets left with the unburnable carbon?
Rob Hopkins, Transition Culture
Christophe McGlade is a research associate in energy materials modelling at the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources. He recently co-authored, with Paul Ekins, a paper called “The geographical distribution of fossil fuels unused when limiting global warming to 2°C”, a paper whose stark call to leave the substantial majority of fossil fuels in the ground generated a lot of media coverage

Fossil Fuel Use is Limited by Climate, if Not by Resources
Chris Rhodes, Energy Balance
A study by researchers at University College London conclude that it will be necessary to leave some two thirds of the fossil fuels available to us unburned, to achieve just a 50% chance of keeping global warming within the 2 degree C limit. From their analysis, they deduce more specifically that it is necessary to leave one third of the oil, half of the gas and more than 80% of the worlds coal in the ground, up to 2050.

Why People Dont Believe in Climate Science
Global Warming Is Real
It’s a hoax, it’s the sun, it’s scientists after grant money, it’s a play for world domination. Then there’s Al Gore, the favorite straw man for many climate change deniers. One thing is clear, facts don’t matter. A climate change narrative based solely on facts hasn’t worked and won’t work. Why is this?

How One Neighborhood in Seoul Sparked a Movement of Urban Villages
Cat Johnson, Shareable
In 1994, when city officials threatened to remove trees from the top of Mt. Sungmi, in Mapo-gu, Seoul for the creation of a water facility, a group of neighbors joined forces to oppose the plan. By banding together, a community was created. After defeating the plan for the facility, the community continued to organize, eventually becoming the Sungmisan Village which encompasses a one-kilometer radius at the base of the mountain and now connects over 700 families.

News update

OPEC Chief Claims Oil Could Rebound to $200 a barrel
Oilprice.com
OPEC’s secretary-general says the 7-month-old plunge in oil prices finally may have bottomed out and may be ready to rise again. In fact, Abdullah al-Badri hypothesized that a decision by his cartel to cut production conceivably could lead to oil at $200 a barrel.

The most important thing about the coming oil production cutbacks
Kurt Cobb, Resource Insights
What the current oil price slump means for world oil supply is starting to emerge. Layoffs, cutbacks, delays, and cancellations are words one sees in headlines concerning the oil industry every day. But perhaps the most important thing you need to understand about the coming oil production cutbacks is where they are going to come from, namely Canada and the United States. Why is this important? For one very simple reason. Without growth in production from these two countries, world oil production from the first quarter of 2005 through the third quarter of 2014 would have declined 513,000 barrels per day. Thats right, declined.

A new theory of energy and the economy – Part 1
Gail Tverberg, Our Finite World
How does the economy really work? In my view, there are many erroneous theories in published literature. I have been investigating this topic and have come to the conclusion that both energy and debt play an extremely important role in an economic system. Once energy supply and other aspects of the economy start hitting diminishing returns, there is a serious chance that a debt implosion will bring the whole system down.

Forests Precede Us, Deserts Follow
X-Ray Mike, Collapse of Industrial Civilization
studies have confirmed that the Amazon appears to becoming more unstable in response to the large-scale environmental impact of rising CO2 and the cumulative effects of land degradation by humans Modern-day Brazil and the entire industrialized world are repeating the same mistake made by past civilizations such as the Mayans who cleared their forests for agriculture and development.

The Mariners Rule
John Michael Greer, The Archdruid Report
One of the things my readers ask me most often, in response to this blog’s exploration of the ongoing decline and impending fall of modern industrial civilization, is what I suggest people ought to do about it all. It’s a valid question, and it deserves a serious answer. (Also see the comments section at bottom of page).

Our Renewable Future (Or, What I’ve Learned in 12 Years Writing about Energy)
Richard Heinberg, Post Carbon Institute
Will our energy future be fueled by fossils (with or without carbon capture technology), or powered by abundant, renewable wind and sunlight? Or is our energy destiny located in a Terra Incognita that neither fossil fuel promoters nor renewable energy advocates talk much about? As maddening as it may be, the latter conclusion may be the one best supported by the facts. If that uncharted land had a motto, it might be, “How we use energy is as important as how we get it.”

How The Power to Convene can transform Transition
Rob Hopkins, Transition Network
Clearly there is ample evidence that working in partnership with other individuals and organisations can be highly effective as opposed to everyone feeling the need to always start from scratch and reinvent the wheel. But done well, Transition can bring something new, something different, to it. It can be a powerful thing to harness.

Reuse and Repair Centres – a Solution for a Circular economy
Sophie Unwin, REconomy project
“What if we could have a centre where we could reuse and repair different materials instead of sending them to landfill or burning them? Why don’t we have elderly immigrants teaching unemployed bankers something useful?”

Book: Just Enough lessons in living green from traditional Japan

Rob Hopkins, originally published by Transition Culture  

edo

One of the most extraordinary books I have read in recent years is Just Enough: lessons in living green from traditional Japan by Azby Brown. Brown is director of the Konazawa Institute of Technologies Future Design Institute and has lived in Japan for the last 30 years.  It is a beautiful analysis of the integrated, mindful and design-driven way in which one traditional society worked and embodied the principles of sustainability.

Here is a TEDxTokyo talk Brown gave about this:

Read Part 1 and Part 2 of Hopkins interview with Brown.
Visit http://www.indiabookstore.net/ to compare prices for Just Enough.

Peak Shit! How Oil Spilled the Economy – 3

Part 3 Economic Shock and Emotional Disorder

Stanley Ravi, POI Member

In the year 2007, just before the economic recession hit the world, the price of tea, ginger and pepper hit unexpected highs. I had in-laws in Gudalur, near Ooty, where these crops are widely cultivated. Once the prices hit the high watermark, common folk there went on a spending spree that was unimaginable before.

Farmers would travel in the back of trucks with their crop and come back driving brand new SUVs. Scorpios were like toys in those days. In no time, the face of Gudalur had changed completely. And then came the crash. Read more…

News update

Greenhouse Gas Pollution Sees Fastest Rise
From The Scientific American
Despite some recent regional reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and other industrial nations, the total concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere continues its upward march at an unprecedented rate, the World Meteorological Organization has announced.

Stand by for the ‘megadroughts’, scientists warn
From The Independent, UK
Climate change is set to unleash a series of decades-long “megadroughts” this century, according to new research. Experts warn the droughts could be even more severe than the prolonged water shortage currently afflicting California, where residents have resorted to stealing from fire hydrants amid mass crop failures and regular wildfires.

Low Oil Prices: Sign of a Debt Bubble Collapse, Leading to the End of Oil Supply?
By Gail Tverberg, Our Finite World
Oil and other commodity prices have recently been dropping. Is this good news, or bad? I would argue that falling commodity prices are bad news. It likely means that the debt bubble which has been holding up the world economy for a very long–since World War II, at least–is failing to expand sufficiently. If the debt bubble collapses, we will be in huge difficulty.

Saudi Arabia Aims For Nuclear Power Within 20 Years
From Oilprice.com
To help address its energy needs, last week Saudi Arabia announced plans to incentivize both private and public investments in energy sources other than oil. Within 20 years, the Saudi Royal Family aims to invest $80 billion and $240 billion so that nuclear and solar, respectively, will each provide 15 percent of the Kingdom’s power needs. The transition is intended to happen quickly, with the first nuclear reactor expected to come online in only eight years.

Fossil Fuel Development in the Arctic is a Bad Investment
By Emily E. Adams, Earth Policy Institute
The world has become blinded by oil and gas as the familiar ways to run the economy and so is proceeding to look for them in hard-to-reach places like the Arctic, even as the costs mount and the returns diminish. An example of the world being set in its ways was the announcement on August 28th that Royal Dutch Shell, despite many setbacks in recent years, submitted plans to the U.S. government to again drill for oil offshore of Alaska as early as summer 2015.

The Peak Oil Crisis: It‘s All Around Us
By Tom Whipple, Falls Church News-Press
If we step back and acknowledge that the shale oil phenomenon will be over in a couple of years and that oil production is dropping in the rest of the world, then we have to expect that the remainder of the peak oil story will play out shortly. The impact of shrinking global oil production, which is been on hold for nearly a decade, will appear.

Is Narendra Modi a climate sceptic?
From The Guardian
India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, reportedly will be a no-show at the United Nations climate summit this month. Could it be because he does not accept the science behind climate change? Modi used to be a supporter for climate action. But in public remarks on two occasions in the last week, the leader of one of the fastest growing – and biggest emitting – economies appeared to express doubt about whether climate change was even occurring.

World population to hit 11bn in 2100 – with 70% chance of continuous rise
From The Guardian
The world’s population is now odds-on to swell ever-higher for the rest of the century, posing grave challenges for food supplies, healthcare and social cohesion. A ground-breaking analysis released on Thursday shows there is a 70% chance that the number of people on the planet will rise continuously from 7bn today to 11bn in 2100.

Earth Overshoot Day
By Lyla Bavadam, The Frontline
August 19 was Earth Overshoot Day: an estimate of the moment in a 12-month period when humans have consumed more natural resources than the biosphere can replace and created more waste than it can absorb. To put it simply, in less than eight months of 2014, the annual supply of land, water and trees and the planet’s ability to deal with waste products, including carbon dioxide, have been used up. This means that humanity is already living off next year’s supplies, which in turn means that next year’s supplies will end even sooner than this year’s. No wonder Earth Overshoot Day is also called Ecological Debt Day.

Theres a lot more to Transition than community gardens
By Rob Hopkins, Resilience.org
Community gardens can give people a sense of “can do” that no amount of reading articles advocating “radical politics, confronting capitalism, fundamental structural change and “revolution”” can.   We need a new language to communicate this stuff.  That’s what Transition does.  We need to speak to peoples’ values, of community, of family, of the things they love, of place, of possibility, of things their children love and value.

News update

Trader Who Scored $100 Million Payday Bets Shale Is Dud
From Bloomberg News
Andy Hall, who was once awarded a $100 million trading bonus, has not seen his good fortune carry over to his bet on shale.

How Did Oil Make a Comeback?
Michael T. Klare, The Nation
Just five years ago, experts were predicting an imminent peak and decline in global oil production. Instead, we’re in the middle of a historic boom. What happened?

Oil rush in America
By Michael T. Klare, TomDipatch.com
Considering all the talk about global warming, peak oil, carbon divestment, and renewable energy, you’d think that oil consumption in the United States would be on a downward path. By now, we should certainly be witnessing real progress toward a post-petroleum economy. As it happens, the opposite is occurring. U.S. oil consumption is on an upward trajectory, climbing by 400,000 barrels per day in 2013 alone and, if current trends persist, it should rise again both this year and next.

Ozone layer shows signs of recovery after 1987 ban on damaging gases
From The Guardian
The ozone layer that shields life from the suns cancer-causing ultraviolet rays is showing its first sign of thickening after years of dangerous depletion, a UN study said on Wednesday. But continued rises in other greenhouse gases, as well as illicit usage of carbon tetrachloride, still has potential to undo gains.

India: The Deafening Silence On Climate Change
By Avinay Umesh-Saiyogita, Countercurrents.org
India is the third largest country in terms of carbon emission. India is the second largest country in terms of population. India is the the country to hold the biggest democratic elections in the world! To exclude the rest, these three factors are enough to highlight the rising importance of India globally. Still, why is there a deafening silence on climate change in India, not only by the media but also by the politicians, subsequently followed by the people as the two former agencies are responsible for prioritizing any agenda.

Three Limits To Growth
By Herman Daly, Steadystate.org
As production (real GDP) grows, its marginal utility declines, because we satisfy our most important needs first. Likewise, the marginal disutilitiy inflicted by growth increases, because as the economy expands into the ecosphere we sacrifice our least important ecological services first (to the extent we know them). A look at these rising costs and declining benefits of growth.

Can supermarkets ever be sustainable?
By Rob Hopkins, Transition Network
Walmart’s new boss is on a mission. Will his drive for renewable energy and waste reduction transform the supermarket model?

On becoming a Ecomodernist
From Peakoil.com
The last few years have seen the emergence of a new environmental movement — sometimes called ecomodernism, other times eco-pragmatism — that offers a positive vision of our environmental future, rejects Romantic ideas about nature as unscientific and reactionary, and embraces advanced technologies, including taboo ones, like nuclear power and genetically modified organisms, as necessary to reducing humankind’s ecological footprint.

News update

US Army colonel: world is sleepwalking into a global energy crisis
A conference sponsored by a US military official convened experts in Washington DC and London warning that continued dependence on fossil fuels puts the world at risk of an unprecedented energy crunch that could inflame financial crisis and exacerbate dangerous climate change.
From Guardian Earth Insight blog

Could Arctic summers be sea ice-free in three years’ time?
Climate change is causing a long-term decline in Arctic sea ice, and scientists expect the Arctic Ocean to be largely ice-free in summer at some point this century. But is that broad prediction too complacent? This week, the Guardian claimed scientists working for the US Navy believe summer sea ice could disappear as soon as 2016, based on the results of a sophisticated new computer model.
The Carbon Brief blog

Can cold fusion technology thwart the Peak Oil Crisis?
If BlackLight Power can really develop the technology to produce electric power at a claimed 10th of a cent a kilowatt in the next few years, our planet and our science will never be the same again. Even the peak oil crisis could even come to a rather abrupt end in a way that no one ever envisioned. For now all we can do is keep an open mind remember that every century or so a real scientific revolution comes along.
From fcnp.com

Former BP geologist: peak oil is here and it will break economies
A former British Petroleum (BP) geologist has warned that the age of cheap oil is long gone, bringing with it the danger of continuous recession and increased risk of conflict and hunger.
From Guardian Earth Insight blog

BP declares the death of peak oil
Energy major British Petroleum has claimed the concept of global energy supply peaking amid rapidly rising consumption is no longer valid as new fuels emerge and energy demand growth slows. The theory of peak oil has peaked, BP chief executive Bob Dudley said as he unveiled the companys new energy outlook to 2035.
From www.petroleum-economist.com

Michael T. Klare: Peak Oil Is Dead. Long Live Peak Oil!
Among the big energy stories of 2013, “peak oil” the once-popular notion that worldwide oil production would soon reach a maximum level and begin an irreversible decline was thoroughly discredited. The explosive development of shale oil and other unconventional fuels in the United States helped put it in its grave. Not so fast, though. The present round of eulogies brings to mind Mark Twain’s famous line: “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” Before obits for peak oil theory pile up too high, lets take a careful look at these assertions.
From www.tomdispatch.com

Government Scientists Created Crude Oil from Algae in Mere Minutes
Be excited, Earthlings, because science has a surprise for you. Engineers at the Department of Energys Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have devised a way to turn algae into crude oil in less than an hour. That oil can then be refined into gasoline that can run engines.
From Gizmodo.com

Note: The following documents  have been added to the Resources page:
The Transition Handbook by Rob Hopkins, pioneer of the Transition Town movement. We live in an oil-dependent world, and have got to this level of dependency in a very short space of time, using vast reserves of oil in the process – without planning for when the supply is not so plentiful. Most of us avoid thinking about what happens when oil runs out (or becomes prohibitively expensive), but The Transition Handbook shows how the inevitable and profound changes ahead can have a positive outcome. These changes can lead to the rebirth of local communities, which will grow more of their own food, generate their own power, and build their own houses using local materials.

Essence of Permaculture by permaculture co-originator David Holmgren. It provides a summary of the permaculture concept and principles. Permaculture, which originally referred to permanent agriculture, is a branch of ecological design that develops self-maintained agricultural systems modeled from natural ecosystems, inspired by Masanobu Fukuokas natural farming philosophy.

Also added a Report on the Peak Oil Workshop held in June 2013 at Deccan Trails, Manneguda, near Hyderabad, which led to the formation of the Peak Oil India group. The report includes details of workshop agenda, participants, lectures and practical exercises.

News update

Six Key Trends Shaping the Energy Future
The Paris-based International Energy Agency was established after the oil crisis of the early 1970s in a move by oil-consuming nations to keep better track of trends and improve energy security. Its annual World Energy Outlook, with hundreds of pages of analysis and charts, is considered the industry bible. Heres a rundown of key trends IEA identified as shaping the world outlook this year.
From National Geographic

Western Voters Say No to Fracking and Coal
Fossil fuels took a licking in local elections in Colorado and Washington on Tuesday, as voters resoundingly said no to oil and gas fracking and coal exports.
From Alternet.org

How America’s Energy Appetite Has Changed (Interactive Graph)
The energy industry has undergone seismic changes in technology and outlook over the past 40 years, but that turmoil is only just beginning to produce an impact on the sources of American energy consumption. The following interactive graph allows you to compare the source of energy consumed in the U.S. between any two years over the last four decades.
From Time.com

Energy Sustainability Dilemma A talk by J. David Hughes (Video & slides)
A fascinating talk by J. David Hughes, a research fellow at the Post Carbon Institute, given at Cornell-5-2-12, Energy Sustainability Dilemma : Powering the Future in a Finite World Most of the easy energy is gone. This was from oil which was plentiful, and easy to get, with a very high net Energy Return on Investment (EROI). Now we are pursuing Deep Ocean Drilling, Tar Sands, Fracked Shale Gas, etc. Are we heading for a dead end? What about Wind and Solar? Can they make up the difference? This talk is somewhat technical, but essential if we are to understand our energy options as our society pushes for more energy.
From Post Carbon Institute

Make no mistake, this is an energy civil war
Jeremy Leggetts new book The Energy of Nations: risk blindness and the road to renaissance is an inspirational, page-turning telling of the evolving tale of peak oil, climate change, and economic crisis, and how the three issues intertwine and interweave. Rob Hopkins, one of the founders of the Transition Towns movement, interviews the author.
From Transition Network

The Last of Eden
On one of the last islands of intact rain forest in Brazil’s eastern Amazon, the Awá Indians face the seemingly inexorable eradication of their home. Even the legal victory that deeded them the land hasn’t stopped the ruthless felling of trees by forces they can’t even comprehend. Photographer Sebastião Salgado captures the Awá’s world, while Alex Shoumatoff hits the forest trails with the most endangered tribe on earth.
From Vanity Fair magazine

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