Talks about a sobering scenario, called Oil Shock Wave played out at the National Summit on Energy Security that simulated a cabinet level crisis meeting following an oil supply disruption that illustrated the profound dependence of our society to imported crude oil and all the vulnerabilities that result from that unhealthy dependence.
To shift the global economy from fossil fuels to renewable energy will require the construction of wind, solar, nuclear, and other installations on a vast scale, significantly altering the face of the planet. Can these new forms of energy approach the scale needed to meet the world’s energy demands?
The recent swings in the spot price for crude oil — especially in light of the currently rapid rising spot prices are cause for alarm. Noting that the current run up of prices looks a lot like period leading up to the sudden price spike that occurred in the summer of 2008. It goes on to argues that the global economy needs a better market regulating mechanism that can help manage these swings and reduce their amplitude so they become less damaging to the world’s economies. The energy business — whether it is alternative energy or oil, gas or coal exploration and development — has huge up front capital needs. This needed capital is much harder to raise in a climate of such extreme near term price uncertainty.
Algae Biofuels – Not Sustainable (Another Response to “Could Algae be the New Corn?” by Julia Verdi)
Last week, Frank Ciampa, posted Algal Biodiesel: Pros and Cons, his response to Could Algae be the New Corn?, written by Julia Verdi. This week, Eamon Keane, responds to Julia’s post, explaining why he does not feel that algae biofuels is a good alternative to oil.
The six keys to driving change in a conservative corporate culture include: top-level support; management-level and administrative support; minimal risk; a clear path; bottom-line value; and political awareness.
Ceres has released the ﬁrst comprehensive assessment and ranking of water disclosure practices of 100 publicly-traded companies in eight key sectors exposed to water-related risks: beverage, chemicals, electric power, food, homebuilding, mining, oil and gas, and semiconductors. The report highlights best practices, key gaps and trends in water reporting and lays out a set of recommendations for companies and investors.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a $5 million grant to fund US as well as international organizations for reducing global climate pollution.
On August 11, the Financial Times reported on the promise of “synthetic biology,” including the development of algae that generates biofuels. In July, ExxonMobil entered into a $600 million venture with Synthetic Genomics, a firm founded by biotech pioneer Dr. Craig Venter. “Synthetic Genomics has already engineered strains of algae that secrete oil from their cells,” writes the FT’s Clive Cookson. Will oil companies transform themselves into algae companies? Or, a few years from now, could the makers of “Who Killed the Electric Car?” film a sequel about algae?
The great American car culture is literally running out of gas. Many leading petroleum geologists are warning us that the era of easy cheap oil is over and that we are facing a much steeper rate of depletion than commonly believed. There is nothing that can replace these vast stores of liquid fossil energy that is being pumped out of the ground and drives our car culture. Without cheap plentiful oil the American car culture will rapidly crumble. The impending demise of the car culture and the types of spread out low density living that it has fostered is perhaps the most profound socio-economic earthquake we will have faced in many decades. Will we wisely prepare and build out alternatives to this doomed way of life or we wake up one day unprepared and find that the pumps really have run dry? Talking about giving up on the car culture in America is quite the third rail — no one wants to give up their car — and discussion often veers off into irrational sound bite, talking point filled shouting matches. But the facts are the facts. Cars run on gas and the era of cheap easy oil is over… the world now stands at the top of the oil production curve… at the peak of production. It is like we are all sitting in some great roller coaster ever so slowly rolling perched right at the very top of the precipice. We do not have much time at all to begin re-inventing America and building a green economy that can carry us into the future; if we dilly dally and do nothing events will soon race ahead of us and force drastic sudden change upon us all.