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Peak Oil, Global Warming & Coal.

by ericy Tue Jun 6th, 2006 at 08:05:41 AM EST

I have been long interested in questions of sustainability and the environment, and the global warming problem is one that has concerned me for some time.  The scientists say that we don't have long to get our act together, or we will set changes in motion that we will be helpless to stop.

Sustainability and resource exhaustion is also an interesting topic - the question of oil depletion is one that comes up frequently under the heading "peak oil".   We have choices in terms of how we deal with this issue - some options will help with global warming, others will probably make it worse.

The question I have had for some time though is whether Peak Oil will force us to act before it is too late to begin action on global warming.   In theory, oil scarcity and the higher prices that seem inevitable may have the side effect of reducing carbon emissions, but will it be enough??

It was with these questions in mind that I attended the "Sustainable Energy Forum 2006" conference a few weeks ago.  There were a number of speakers that many of you have heard of.  Governor Brian Schweitzer spoke on energy issues and coal liquefaction.   James Hansen (NASA scientist who has studied global climate change) spoke on the very question of whether or not peak oil will help force us to solve global warming, and Lester Brown (World Watch Institute) spoke about the need to restructure the global economy.

Many of these talks are now available for MP3 download, as are PDF files that contain the powerpoint slides (for those speakers that used them).

More after the flip....

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CNN to air documentary on Peak Oil this weekend.

by ericy Thu Mar 16th, 2006 at 10:41:06 PM EST

There is a 1-hour documentary on the subject of Peak Oil that will be airing on CNN this weekend as a part of the "CNN Presents" series.  The program title is "We Were Warned", and is hosted by Frank Sesno.  Details for the program can be found here:

http://www.cnn.com/...

The program will air on CNN International, and the showtimes will be:

              Saturday Sunday
Buenos Aires    1900    2100
CET             2300    1800
New Delhi       1730    2230
Hong Kong       2000    2100

I believe that the program will air more than once each day.  Someone else came up with the following times, which are valid worldwide

Saturday: 12:00 GMT    22:00 GMT
Sunday:   13:00 GMT    17:00 GMT

For those of you in the U.S., it will air on regular CNN on March 18 and 19 at 8 p.m., 11 p.m. ET.

Read more... (2 comments, 430 words in story)

Russian caste system.

by ericy Mon Feb 13th, 2006 at 09:53:06 PM EST

This story is just so bizarre.  All I have is what was in the paper this morning.  Perhaps there are people here who have lived in or driven in Russia who might have a greater insight as to what the situation is.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/12/AR2006021201208.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/13/AR2006021301282.html

The day started out normally enough:

The crash occurred on a beautiful morning Aug. 7 in the Altai region of Siberia. Shcherbinsky, 36, his wife and 12-year-old daughter, along with a neighbor and her son, were heading to a lake for a picnic. Gov. Mikhail Yevdokimov, 48, was on his way to the birthday celebration for a Soviet cosmonaut who hailed from a nearby village. His wife sat beside him in the back seat. Up front were his official driver and a bodyguard.

but things quickly went horribly wrong:

Shcherbinsky, driving a Toyota, was about 300 yards farther down the two-lane road. He was slowing, turn signal on, and easing into the turn, according to court records and testimony.

Yevdokimov's driver began to brake about 80 yards from the point of impact, but it was too late. The Mercedes hit the left side of the Toyota and became airborne, then slammed into a birch tree.

Yevdokimov's car was estimated to be travelling between 150 and 200kph (depending upon who you ask, of course).  All but one occupant of Yevdokimov's car was killed in the accident.

Shcherbinsky was fortunate in the sense that he and the occupants of his car were not injured, but the Russian legal system had a nasty surprise in store for him.

More on the flip...

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Peak Oil hits the New York Times.

by ericy Sat Aug 20th, 2005 at 11:32:26 PM EST

There is a good article in the NYT this morning.  In the magazine section.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/21/magazine/21OIL.html

The author is Peter Maass, who is in the process of writing a book on the subject.  He gives good mention of Matt Simmons too.  He has the opportunity to ask Saudi officials about Peak Oil, and the Saudis seem to be somewhat sensitive about the issue.

Read more... (13 comments, 256 words in story)

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