In 2012, the UN said that Denmark was the happiest place on earth. This year, Denmark returned to the UN with some nice Danish pastries, and a territorial claim to the North Pole based on its relationship with Greenland, a Danish autonomous territory. [more inside]
There is another bubble. Before it's burned, Coal, Oil and Gas sit for years on the balance sheets of private (and national) resource companies, as "known reserve" assets. Assets that, someday, will become revenues. Or will they? And if they won't, what will the balance sheets of ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Petrochina, and Gazprom actually look like? [more inside]
World War I in Color is a documentary designed to make the Great War come alive for a 21st-century audience. The events of 1914-18 are authoritatively narrated by Kenneth Branagh, who presents the military and political overview, while interviews with historians add different perspectives in six 48 minute installments annotated within. [more inside]
Semi-submersible ships are the only vessels capable of loading, transporting and off-loading extremely heavy equipment. These mighty ships are used to carry entire gas refineries, huge oil drilling rigs, and even warships and submarines, on lengthy journeys across the globe.
A bit over a year ago, Warp Record's digital music shop, Bleep.com, presented their guide to recorded* electronic music, spanning from 1930 to 2010 (also as a Facebook timeline, which apparently kicked the whole thing off). The overview of recorded electronic music was presented as a selection of 55 tracks, almost five and a half hours in full. Part of this presentation was a (now expired) promotional deal to purchase the collection of songs as a lot, but you can still read about each piece of music on Bleep and hear 49 of the tracks in a playlist on Grooveshark. There's more to hear and read below the fold. [more inside]
Canada has lost its famous politeness. With oil and gas now accounting for approximately a quarter of its export revenue, over the last decade Canada has not so quietly become an international mining center and a rogue petrostate.
Operation Delirium. "The military’s secret Cold War experiment to fight enemies with clouds of psychochemicals. Decades after a risky Cold War experiment, a scientist lives with secrets." [Via]
A massive shortage of gas all over New York and New Jersey is fueling hours-long lines stretching blocks or even miles. A big part of the problem has been power shortages to gas stations and refineries. Nevertheless, some argue that laws preventing gas prices from spiking in response to the disaster ("price gouging") are making things much worse, discouraging businesses from staying open in tough conditions and preventing entrepreneurs from profiting from any clever ways of increasing supply. Others admit gouging has some advantages, but still consider it ethically dubious. Gouging seems to be happening informally regardless.
The artistic gas storage tanks of Japan. Some explanation Includes a NSFW image, strangely enough. [more inside]
Big oil companies make more than $300 million every day. "Why should Americans prop up these companies with tax dollars and have to pay ridiculous fuel prices?" Self-described 'Democratic socialist' Bernie Sanders (Vermont) introduces a bill to cut $113B of fossil fuel subsidies. [more inside]
He-Gassen - aka The Japanese Fart Scrolls. More at the Waseda University Library. (Alert: some ribald artsy nudity within)
Energy: the new thirty years' war; we are heading for a global succeed-or-perish contest among the energy big hitters – but who will be the winners and losers? Michael Klare; (via )
"The date of depletion of fossil fuels has been pushed back into the future by centuries -- or millennia."
"Everything you've heard about fossil fuels may be wrong: The future of energy is not what you think it is"
Unusually for a spring season, gasoline prices have been steadily climbing in the US since the beginning of 2011, and have surpassed $4/gallon in many US states, largely due to political instability in many oil-producing African and Middle-Eastern nations. "Not so fast," says the Department of Energy. Although the price of crude oil has climbed steadily throughout the year, the price of gasoline has climbed much faster -- a disparity known as the crack spread, which has remained at its highest level in 32 months, even in light of a sharp decline in the price of crude oil at the beginning of the month. The DoE speculates that although crude oil is cheap and plentiful enough, the 2011 Misssissippi River Floods are currently more to blame for $4 gas than the uprisings in the Middle East.
Get the Energy Sector off the Dole - Why ending all government subsidies for fuel production will lead to a cleaner energy future—and why Obama has a rare chance to make it happen.
Conflict-blogger Michael Yon with a fascinating piece about Nepal, Afghanistan, the Gurkhas and the incredible technology of "Gobar Gas". [more inside]
...the lyrics to that last song were basically taken from an encyclopedia written in the 50s, and since the 50s, some remarkable things have happened...In 1959, a number of songs about science were released on an album called Space Songs. One of these was later covered by the band They Might Be Giants: Why Does The Sun Shine? (The Sun Is A Mass of Incandescent Gas). Only one problem: it isn't--the song was based on an incorrect text from 1951. So they wrote an answer song to themselves: Why Does The Sun Really Shine? (The Sun Is a Miasma of Incandescent Plasma). Bonus link: see for yourself! (previously)
Peak Oil, 1925. In 2000, 20% of new buildings will be solar equipped. By the late 1990s, 90% of the world's energy will be nuclear-generated. These and other erroneous projections are being collected as part of the Forecast Project on the website Inventing Green: The Lost History of Alternative Energy in America.
Gazprom is the greatest corporation in the world/All other companies are run by little girls. This is the most moving corporate anthem I've ever heard (and I include Devo's "Corporate Anthem" in that assessment.)
Car companies were facing a variety of efficiency and emission standards throughout the United States, from the Department of Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, On May 19th, and then an even stricter emission standard from California and 13 other states (plus DC). On May 19th, President Obama announced nation-wide new vehicle fuel efficiency standards for new cars and trucks through 2016. The goal is to rapidly increase fuel efficiency,without compromising safety, by an average of 5, culminating in 39 MPG for cars and 30 MPG for light trucks. Currently, no auto makers are meet the final standards, though some are closer than others. [more inside]
Newsfilter: It's that time of the year again, though now it seems to be more serious. Russia stopped all gas supply to Europe via Ukraine on Wednesday, January 7, 2009. The EU depends on Russia for about a quarter of its total gas supplies, some 80% of which is pumped through Ukraine. At least seventeen countries are affected, many of them severely as Russia is their primary or only source of gas. [more inside]
In 2009, a remarkably gifted politician, confronting a remarkably difficult set of challenges, will have to learn to say "No we can't", Guantánamo will prove a moral minefield, economic recovery will be invisible to the naked eye, governments must prepare for the day they stop financial guarantees, we will judge our commitment to sustainability, scientists should research the causes of religion, we will all be potential online paparazzi, English will have more words than any other language (but it's meaningless), Afghanistan will see a surge of Western (read: American) troops, Iran will continue its nuclear quest while diplomacy lies in shambles, the sea floor is the new frontier, we should rethink aging, (non-)voters will continue to thwart the European project -- but cheap travel will continue to buoy it -- though it has some unfinished business to attend to, and a Nordic defence bond will blossom.
The Economist: The World in 2009. [more inside]
The Economist: The World in 2009. [more inside]
Gas Shortages Throughout the Southeast More than a week after Hurricane Ike, there's little or no gas around much
of the American Southeast. [more inside]
Fuelly tracks your gas mileage over time, helping you save fuel and expenses as you drive.
St. Louis group Pray at the Pump is trying to lower gas prices the old fashioned way - by praying for them.
From New York City to Seattle, Critical Mass cyclists are not having a good week. In Seattle, some question the motivations of Critical Mass, some report conflicting stories, while others suggest foul play.
According to TIME, there are at least 10 things good about high gas prices. Such as four-day work weeks, less pollution, and fewer traffic deaths.
"Your anger just earned you a car wash, ma'am." Gas prices in California are hovering around an upsetting $4.58 per gallon. One gas station in the Bay Area is offering stress relief: a chance to dunk a Shell employee and an Express Rant for an Express car wash. The owner, Bobak Bakhtiari, tells NPR: “Cashiers are trained to really encourage all forms of expression during the rant. Well, except for throwing a chair through the window.”
The Barnett Shale, the largest onshore natural gas formation in America, is transforming Fort Worth, TX and surrounding areas. [more inside]
Gasoline prices fixed. 11 Quebec companies and 13 individuals were charged today in a gas price fixing scheme. The Competition Bureau conducted a lengthy investigation into the allegations. [more inside]
Tank on empty -- how far can your car go on an empty tank? Basically a collection of statistics and stories from users on just how far they pushed their car on reserve fuel. (via) [more inside]
How far away from work do you live? How much of your pay gets used up to get you to and from work, get you around town, and pay for where you live? As gas and food prices continue to rise, "affordability" has become a more critical notion for everyday Americans. The Center for Neighborhood Technology developed their Housing + Transportation Affordability Index, which aims to help better inform renters and owners about the relationship of transportation options to where one lives.
The Tata Nano (pic) is a car that costs less new than the amount I've spent on gas during single car trips, recently announced to the auto market in India. The Chery QQ ^, successful , widely exported, and recognized as the Hostage Taker's Vehicle of Choice by China Car Times, is the runner-up for the world's cheapest car but is still approximately twice as expensive. Yes indeed, the price of gas is not going to come back down. So much for my coast-to-coast road trips. [more inside]
A two-ton 21-mpg 8-passenger V8 Chevy Tahoe? America, meet your 2008 Green Car of the Year!
As crude hit an all time high at $96.40US per barrel this week, prices increase at pumps across the US. Regular self-serve rose 9 cents to an average of $2.80 per gallon in 11 Texas cities this week, a price of €0.51 per litre. Even Arab nations are feeling the pinch; in Syria, subsidised fuel prices were increased by 20% to €0.74 per litre. This price is "still low compared to world prices", though. The Automobile Association has a handy reference chart for Europe: drivers in the UK are paying an average of €1.37, and Danes €1.40. Latvia, though, is a European bargain at just €1.00 per litre.
A bunch of natural gas canisters blew up near downtown Dallas today. Eyewitness video!
CitizenRe is a solar power rental company for the home. Free to install (!), a monthly rental fee is equal to what would normally be paid to the power company. Video.
A study released by CERA has some interesting tidbits: the average motorist in 2005 used 703 gallons of gas, and drove 40 percent more than 25 years ago; the US has 1,148 registered personal vehicles for every 1,000 licensed drivers; the percentage of vehicles that are SUVs (including minivans and light trucks) is slowly going down from 55% in 2005 to 53% in 2006; the average fuel consumption for all vehicles is 19.8 mpg in 2005, a drop from when it peaked at 20.2 in 2001; and the share of U.S. household budgets going to gasoline and oil has has been relatively stable for decades, at about 3.8 percent in 2006.
The First Law of Petropolitics, in short, argues that the price of oil and the pace of freedom operate in an inverse correlation. As the price of oil goes up in what I call petroauthoritarian states—like Iran, Sudan, Venezuela—the pace of freedom goes down. These regimes can afford to be less responsive to their people and outside pressure. And as the price of oil goes down, the pace of freedom goes up because these regimes have to open up to the world if they want to deliver for their people, and they have to empower their people more.But how to lower oil prices and help freedom on its proverbial march? Many, from Alan Greenspan to Andrew Sullivan to Ray Magliozzi from Car Talk think the answer may be to . . . raise the gas tax? The Pigou Club is an ever-updated list of economists, politicians and others who have advocated Pigouvian (or is it Pigovian?) taxes to not only lower oil prices, but reduce greenhouse gases, fix the federal deficit and strengthen our national security. Though some remain more than a little hesitant to jump on the bandwagon and others remain skeptical that the movement is anything more than "just talk," this could be an idea whose time has come, especially since the gas tax isn't as regressive one would think.
the new urban jungle. . . is a growing movement led by cities like San Francisco, New York, and Leiden to restore active and vibrant natural systems in urban areas. Far from the eden-like depictions of nature of yesteryear, i.e. the garden of earthly delights (nonetheless, still attracting some dynamic new christian converts), the movement has morphed into today's backyard and grassroots environmental movement which is more and more a picture of hybridity, compromise, mixed-use, and ultimately, taking nature out of the walled islands of zoos, aquaria, national parks and other thick-walled institutions and offering a different kind of everyday "unmediated" community experience with the new urban wilderness. VIDEO LINK
You may have known that Congressman Lynn Westmoreland (GA) has been a crusader for many great causes, such as HB 145, HB 180, HB 425, HB 500 and HB 637. However you may not have know that he has a second love. Which shines some light on why he has chosen to use his extensive knowledge and experience to co-sponsor H.Con.Res. 11 and H.Con.Res. 12. After listening to him explain why these two resolutions are so critical, I was almost swayed.
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