...the reality of ISIS and what this group seeks is opaque to the public, and to policymakers not clued into the private salons where the details of secrets can be discussed. Even among those policymakers, the compartmentalized national security establishment means that no one really grasps the whole picture. The attempt to get the US into a war in Syria a year ago was similarly opaque. The public cannot make well-informed decisions about national security choices because information critical to such choices is withheld from them. It is withheld from them at the source, through the classification-censorship process, then by obfuscations in the salons and think tanks of DC and New York, and then finally through the bottleneck of the mass media itself.
The Solution to ISIS Is the First Amendment
by Matt Stoler [more inside]
posted by ennui.bz
on Sep 17, 2014 -
Norway seems to be particularly good at making interesting museums. If you're touring, the museum of magic
is spell-binding. The museum of knitting
is a real purl. The petroleum
museum is a gas. The Lofoten Stockfish
museum is off the hook. And the Norsk Hermetickk
-museum is about the history of sealing things in cans. [more inside]
posted by Joeruckus
on Jul 25, 2014 -
Extra Virgin Suicides
is an interactive graphic from the New York Times about the global business of counterfeit olive oil. The NYT graphic is pretty slick, too.
posted by Mad_Carew
on Jan 27, 2014 -
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]
posted by anthill
on Dec 19, 2013 -
For several months
, bitumen from the Athabasca oil sands has been leaching out of the ground
near Cold Lake, Alberta
, so far amounting to roughly half of the oil leaked in the Enbridge-caused disaster
in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Nearby sites of high-pressure steam injection used to extract the bitumen (and which is already associated with violent seismic activity in natural gas fracking operations) are suspected to have caused fractures that push bitumen "sideways" and out to the surface. As Vice
reporter Sarah Berman notes, "The oozing leaks will continue until the underground pressure subsides. How long that will take is anybody’s guess.
" While tons of contaminated vegetation and dead animals have been removed from the sites, access to the region and to government data by First Nation representatives has been repeatedly denied
posted by Blazecock Pileon
on Sep 20, 2013 -
Charles C. Mann writes for The Atlantic
This perspective has a corollary: natural resources cannot be used up. If one deposit gets too expensive to drill, social scientists (most of them economists) say, people will either find cheaper deposits or shift to a different energy source altogether. Because the costliest stuff is left in the ground, there will always be petroleum to mine later. “When will the world’s supply of oil be exhausted?” asked the MIT economist Morris Adelman, perhaps the most important exponent of this view. “The best one-word answer: never.” Effectively, energy supplies are infinite. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Apr 29, 2013 -
Daily Telegraph: Why the world isn't running out of oil
"Moreover, as well as bountiful oilfields in North America, Russia, Saudi Arabia and other producers in the Middle East, there are massive, barely tapped reserves in South America, Africa and the Arctic: not billions of barrels’ worth, but trillions. So the planet is not about to run out of oil. On the contrary, according to a Harvard University report published last year, we are heading for a glut.
The 75-page study, by oil executive Leonardo Maugeri, was based on a field-by-field analysis of most of the major oil exploration and development projects in the world, and it predicted a 20 per cent increase in global oil production by 2020." [more inside]
posted by Wordshore
on Feb 21, 2013 -
Today it is an economic and even geopolitical necessity for oil companies, in order to maintain pipelines and offshore rigs, to send divers routinely to depths of a thousand feet, and keep them at that level of compression for as long as a month at a time. The divers who do this work are almost entirely male, and tend to be between the ages of twenty-five and forty. Were they any younger, they would not have enough experience or seniority to perform such demanding tasks. Any older, and their bodies could not be trusted to withstand the trauma. The term for these extended-length descents is “saturation diving,” which refers to the fact that the diver’s tissues have absorbed the maximum amount of inert gas possible.
posted by jason's_planet
on Jan 19, 2013 -
"I am currently hiking the 1,700 mile proposed Keystone XL route. I started in Denver, hitchhiked across the Canadian border, took a flight over the Tar Sands of Alberta, and commenced my walk in Hardisty, AB, the northern terminus of the soon-to-be pipeline." Heading southward, Ken Ilgunas is currently in Nebraska. This is his blog chronicling the landscapes, weather, people, animals and everything else he encounters
. [more inside]
posted by resurrexit
on Jan 9, 2013 -
"In 1925, California supplied [much] of the world’s oil
(Google quickview, original PDF
) and much of it came from pumps in the Southland
). To date, around 9 billion barrels of oil have been produced in the Los Angeles area. There are still over 30,000 active wells here pumping around 230 million barrels of oil a year, making Los Angeles County the second most productive oil county in California (although the quality of the oil here is somewhat low by today’s standards). There are 55 known oil fields in the Los Angeles area and 11 of them are located in a very urban context. This setting makes the oil extraction process in Los Angeles unique." Things to do in LA: Urban Oil Wells In Los Angeles, Part I
and Part II
. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Nov 19, 2012 -
In light of today's news
that one of two Shell ships slated to drill exploratory oil wells in the Arctic waters of Alaska's Chukchi and Beaufort Seas had slipped its moorings and was headed towards Dutch Harbor, in Alaska's Aleutian Islands... check out a collaboration between the Yes Men and Greenpeace that's been online since June: arcticready.com
) -- an elaborate site spoofing
Royal Dutch Shell Plc, who have uh... promised not to sue
posted by zarq
on Jul 16, 2012 -
A potentially dangerous situation
is developing off the coast of Scotland. An off-shore drilling platform is leaking substantial quantities of gas contaminated with hydrogen sulphide. Much as here, the comments thread is as interesting as the post at The Oil Drum
posted by indices
on Mar 28, 2012 -
A Tough Oil World
Why High Gas Prices Are Here to Stay by Michael Klare (via
It was the easy oil—that’s what fueled our prosperity. Back in the fall The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health highlighted The five key areas
that illustrate the potential health fallout of petroleum scarcity.
posted by adamvasco
on Mar 14, 2012 -
END:CIV [full 75 minute movie] "If your homeland was invaded by aliens who cut down the forests, poisoned the water and air, and contaminated the food supply, would you resist?" [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan
on Mar 9, 2012 -
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.
posted by schmod
on May 19, 2011 -