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Kurt Cobb

Which species are we sure we can survive without?

Kurt Cobb wrtites: According to scientists, we are amidst the Sixth Great Extinction, caused by human activity. If you consider that the broader world with which we interact has millions of species of which we’re not aware of, we could easily cause an organism essential to our survival to go extinct without even realizing it.

Oil price and economic growth get married

Kurt Cobb writes: It used to be that oil prices and economic growth were somewhat like distant cousins who disliked each other rather than a happily married couple always seen nuzzling together in public. Nowadays, as the oil price dips into the low $40 range again and global economic growth weakens simultaneously, we must re-evaluate.

Who was M. King Hubbert and what was his prediction about the future of oil?

Kurt Cobb writes: Hubbert is much maligned and much praised these days. But he is perhaps not well understood. Mason Inman’s compelling biography gives us all a chance finally to understand this scientific giant and the context within which he spawned insights on the future of energy that continue to be central to our lives.

Alert: Global financial crash ahead?

The Guardian reports: Investors face a “cataclysmic year” where stock markets could fall by up to 20% and oil could slump to $16 a barrel, the Royal Bank of Scotland have warned. In a note to clients, it said: “Sell everything except high quality bonds. This is about return of capital, not return on capital.”

Kurt Cobb: Syria, climate change and the horror in Paris

Kurt Cobb, Resource Insights As the world mourns those who died in Paris last week in a killing spree for which the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has claimed responsibility, reporters and commentators have been discussing the motivations behind the attacks. I’m not sure that any so far has considered whether one can

NEWS UPDATE #71

5 reasons why Tibet’s melting ice is a disaster for India, Europe and US Nihar Gokhale, Catch News Did you know that rivers originating in Tibet’s glaciers supply water to 1.3 billion people? That’s equivalent to the entire population of India. But these glaciers are fast disappearing due to global warming. Tibet’s sustainability is crucial

News update

Parliamentary Standing Committee rejects TSR Subramanian report on environmental laws Down to Earth A Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) rejected a high-level committee (HLC) report that reviewed various Acts administered by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC). The committee precisely noted that some of the essential recommendations made by the HLC “would result

News update

Continued destruction of Earth’s plant life places humans in jeopardy Science Daily Unless humans slow the destruction of Earth’s declining supply of plant life, civilization like it is now may become completely unsustainable, according to a paper published recently by University of Georgia researchers in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “You can think

News update

It’s Official: Global Carbon Levels Surpassed 400 ppm for Entire Month Common Dreams Marking yet another grim milestone for an ever-warming planet, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration revealed that, for the first time in recorded history, global levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere averaged over 400 parts per million (ppm) for an entire

News update

Alice In Shale Gas Wonderland Julian Darley It is hard to know where to begin regarding Ambrose Evans-Pritchard’s 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

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,

News update

Green energy: Unrealistic targets Pandurang Hegde, Deccan Herald Recently the Minister of Power, Coal and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal reassured the commitment of the Central government in achieving the target of 1,75,000 MW of green energy by 2022. The performance of green energy projects needs to be assessed in the light of ground level experiences

News update

Could India’s 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

News update

What is Saudi Arabia not telling us about its oil future? Kurt Cobb, Resource Insights What if the Saudis are acting now to undermine U.S. and Canadian oil production because they realize that Saudi production will soon reach a peak? What if the Saudis fear that energy efficiency, fuel substitution (say, toward natural gas), and

News update

Commodities crash: Bad news for the world economy, but is anyone listening? Kurt Cobb Reading the general run of financial headlines might lead one to believe that price declines in those commodities which are highly sensitive to economic conditions such as iron ore, copper, oil, natural gas, coal, and lumber are good on their face… Food

Special: 2015: The bad news

“He who laughs has not yet heard the bad news.” – Bertolt Brecht (Editor’s Note: As a necessary corrective to the unbridled optimism of the mainstream media, here’s a selection of forecasts for 2015 by some of the most insightful alternative voices on world politics, energy and the economy. For those in a hurry, here’s a one-line

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