Short Takes  

Posted by Big Gav

Time for a link dump.

Lots of peak oil in the mainstream press worldwide recently - The Guardian's article "$135 and rising ... has cheap oil gone for ever?" is a typical example.

More from the Dallas Morning News, in an editorial pondering The end of cheap oil?.

Phil Hart has a post at TOD on Saudi Arabian oil reserves - "Oil Reserves: Where Ghawar goes, the rest of OPEC follows".

Energy Bulletin has an article by Roger Blanchard of ASPO-USA on "The illusion of vast undeveloped U.S. oil resources".

The New York Times has a report on the revival of long abandoned coal mines in Japan, as high prices make them viable once again - As Oil Prices Rise, Nations Revive Coal Mining. The Globe And Mail has a report on the success of Japan's longtime efforts to be efficient in its energy use - "As oil soars, Japan's plan makes sense".

The Australian reports that the Burmese junta continues to refuse to allow foreign troops into the country as it is fearful of oil grab by the US. Maybe they read a whole lot of conspiracy theories about Aceh and became paranoid. Upstream Online reports that the Oil Search / Exxon LNG project in PNG has got the go ahead. China's post earthquake woes continue, with some power plants down to 3 days of coal.

Sify is reporting that Indian publicly owned oil companies are weeks away from bankruptcy as the cost of providing subsidised fuel drains their coffers - in the meantime some are starting to ration supplies. The FT also has a report on cuts to Asian fuel subsidies. As a result, Indonesian fuel prices will rise by a third.

European fisherman are proposing an indefinite strike in response to high diesel costs.

CNN reports that Americans are curtailing their driving at record rates, with March travelling dropping by 4.3% compared to the previous year's figure - "As gas goes up, driving goes down". So demand destruction is possible after all.

Triple Pundit has a post outlining some of the massive incentives and tax breaks enjoyed by the oil industry in the US - Oil Subsidies Need to Go.

The Washington Post has an article on peak oil and the "new survivalists" featuring

Aaron Wissner is organising an "International Conference on Peak Oil and Climate Change" in Michigan.

There are plenty of oil bubble / peak oil contrarian articles about lately. John Mauldin at Trading Gurus outlins his thoughts on "Whither the price of oil ?", wondering what all those tankers full of Iranian crude are doing. George Soros says that the rocketing oil price is in a bubble. Bloomberg notes that soaring oil futures prices have coincided with a decline in open interest - which often signals the end of a particular price trend. One time peak oil believer, now skeptic (and climate skeptic too boot, blaming an elite malthusian conspiracy for the hysteria) F William Engdahl has also jumped on the bubble bandwagon with "More on the real reason behind high oil prices". The Independent has a column saying the global oil price can be blamed squarely on the Iraq war.

Energy Tech Stocks has a 7 part series on "How Execs at 30 Top Cleantech Firms Expect to Make Lots of $$ " - the first installment is on electric vehicles - "Electric Cars = the Next Mass Market Technology".

Cryptogon has a pair of article on homemade electric vehicles - Salvage Economy: Texas Man Builds Electric Car for $4750 and Gav’s Electric Vehicle Conversion (no relation).

Joe Romm has a post on geothermal power in the US - "Hot rocks are a rockin’ hot climate solution".

Vinod Khosla and the WSJ are firing shots at one another over biofuel subsidies - Vinod explains his side of the story in Biofictions.

Jamais Cascio is wondering what a "people's history of the future" would look like, pointing out futurism could be considered history inverted.

The Waterloo Record has an article about a student who has managed to isolate a microbe that eats plastic. Don't let it into your tupperware cupboard - but it could be very useful in landfills.

Technology Review has a look at a Graphene-Polymer Composite which could be used to make lighter, more fuel-efficient aircraft and car parts, as well as stronger wind turbines. They are also good electrical conductors and could be used to make transparent conductive coatings for solar cells and displays.

Greenpeace has a review of a French film called "The world according to Monsanto".

Energy Bulletin has an article on North America's Amish community, speculating they are "least likely to be devastated by collapse".

Bick Turse has a review of this year's big war propaganda film "The Iron Man".

The Huffington Post has an article on efforts by US lawmakers to try and halt Pentagon propaganda being disseminanted in the US (what happens to Fox news in this scenario isn't clear, let alone military assisted Hollywood movies) - "House Votes to Ban Pentagon Propaganda: Networks Still Silent".

The SMH reports that Australian troops in Iraq are "ashamed to wear their uniforms" because they never get to participate in real combat due to their postings in safe areas. I hope they aren't walking around naked.

The Village Voice reports that US forces have bombed Sadr City in Baghdad to bits and that Bush (not to mention the NYT) is now celebrating Iraqi troops moving in to control the ruins.

The BBC reports that South American nations are forming an EU-like community called Unasur - " South America nations found union".

Bruce Sterling has a post on microbes found at a record depth below the earth's surface (one for the abiotic oil fans out there).


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