2018/09/26: The energy lessons here are many.
The industrial whale business tells us, for example, that human economies don’t respond to the depletion of any commodity with alacrity. Or reason.
The discovery and mining of petroleum could have prevented the slaughter of nearly three million whales in the 20th century, but it didn’t.
Just because a substitute exists — kerosene for whale oil or renewables for some fossil fuels — doesn’t mean the market will use them for conservation purposes.
The factory ship and its fleet could not exist without fossil fuels, which powered the whole operation and allowed for long-duration storage of whale products by running freezers (for meat) and processing whale oil so it would not become rancid.
The prospect of regulating whaling also provided whalers with an extra incentive to catch as many whales as they could before the regulations came into force.
Economists now call this perverse response to resource depletion the “green paradox.”
German economist Hans-Werner Sinn, for example, argues that society is playing out the same game with fossil fuels.
policies aimed at reducing future demand for fossil fuels could backfire by inducing resource owners to bring forward their extraction plans, thus accelerating global warming. In fact most oil-exporting nations such as Canada want to build more pipelines and export more carbon-heavy fuels as quickly as possible.
Technological innovations don’t retire resources or lead to conservation but increase production so as to increase revenue.
The widespread expectation that new technologies will help societies overcome environmental problems reflects the still common assumption that technologies will principally have the consequences intended by those who develop and/or deploy them.
Real change, he writes, “may require active suppression of fossil fuel use, such as by restricting the amount of fossil fuel that can be extracted.”
Druid perspectives on nature, culture, and the future of industrial society
New research suggests that the impact of fracking and shale gas in reducing US carbon emissions has been overstated.
Earthquakes within the Dallas area have dramatically increased this year. The U.S. Geological Survey says fracking is a likely culprit.
OPEC is already suggesting the US oil boom will end this year. Wishful thinking.
The 'death of peak oil' has been much exaggerated, writes Paul Mobbs. Take out high-cost 'unconventional' oil and production peaked ten years ago, and even North America's fracking and tar sands boom has failed to open up new resources both big enough to make good the shortfall, and cheap enough to reward investors. We really do need to be thinking 'beyond petroleum'.
Dopo anni di scetticismo e di negazionismo lo Stato dell'Oklahoma ha dovuto accettare la realtà: il consenso scientifico che i terremoti che continuano ad affliggere lo Stato siano indotti dalla reiniezione di materiale di scarto dalle operazioni petrolifere nel sottosuolo. Hanno fatto di più: il Dipartimento dell'Energia e dell'Ambiente dello Stato dell'Oklahoma ha aperto un
Young Johanna Romo of Kern County in California never made it to her first day in seventh grade. She has been hospitalized and has suffered three seizers,
The United States is banking on decades of abundant natural gas to power its economic resurgence. That may be wishful thinking.
Recent developments are beginning to undermine the supremacy of the world's long-running energy information duopoly and its perennially opti...
Cheaper gas means more gas guzzled and more carbon emitted, right? Reality is more nuanced.
Hooray, oil is suddenly much cheaper than it used to be. That's great news, right?Not so fast. For certain it's not good news for those counting on a continued rise in US oil production from the "shale miracle". Many drillers were challenged to operate profitably when oil was above $70 per barrel. Very few will remain solvent wit
African nation was formerly a major U.S. supplier, but faces a "rough decade" because of fracking's abundant yield.
OPEC has declared war on American oil production with the intention of making the country more dependent on imported oil and on oil in gene...
The price of a barrel of oil has been dropping steadily due to decreasing demand and a glut of oil on the market, thanks in large part to the fracking boom in the U.S. Last week, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), led by Saudi Arabia, announced it wasn't going to cut back ...
Oil prices are at five-year lows thanks to OPEC's hands-off attitude. But that alone probably won't be enough to strangle the surge in U.S. oil
The Republican energy agenda goes far beyond Keystone.
Suddenly in June, oil prices started dropping, reaching levels unseen since 2010. What is going on? Why does the price of oil matter to financial advisors? What might these fluctuations mean to the price and supply of oil for the rest of the decade? Isn't oil just another commodity?