oil shale / tar sands

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pages: 501 words: 134,867

A Line in the Tar Sands: Struggles for Environmental Justice by Tony Weis, Joshua Kahn Russell

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Bakken shale, bilateral investment treaty, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial exploitation, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, decarbonisation, Deep Water Horizon, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, Exxon Valdez, failed state, global village, guest worker program, happiness index / gross national happiness, hydraulic fracturing, immigration reform, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, liberal capitalism, LNG terminal, market fundamentalism, means of production, Naomi Klein, new economy, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, profit maximization, race to the bottom, smart grid, special economic zone, working poor

(The company has previously constructed the same facilities for tar sands extraction in Canada.) ATP mining in Jordan would be the first large commercial application of tar sands extraction technologies to the mining of oil shale, though smaller plants do already exist in China and Australia. Perhaps even more ominous is the projected oil shale-fired electrical power plant, designed by Estonia-based Eesti Energia, which is slated to be built near Attarat Um Ghudran, southeast of Amman. Estonia is home to the oldest successful oil shale industry, the largest oil shale electricity-generating power plant, and the largest oil shale mine on the planet. The proposed power plant near Attarat Um Ghudran would be the second-largest oil shale-fuelled power plant.21 There is also a proposal for an open pit mine to extract kerogen-based oil at this same location, using Petrobras’s kerogen extraction technology (known as “Petrosix,” which is currently used in the south of Brazil) in concert with mining techniques used by TOTAL in the tar sands of Alberta.22 Foreign investment and technologies are crucial to the materialization of these various projects in Jordan, as Brazil, Estonia, and China are the only countries operating commercial plants converting kerogen to oil, gas, and jet fuel.

The movement in Quebec has the chance to achieve more than just blocking tar sands pipeline projects in the province. It could set an inspiring international precedent by winning a moratorium on the exploitation and shipment of all extreme fossil fuels, extending the existing moratorium on shale gas by adding to it both tar sands and oil shale, which companies are exploring on Anticosti Island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It is a positive sign that the Regroupement interrégional gaz de schiste de la vallée du St-Laurent—the anti-shale gas coalition that includes more than a hundred citizen groups—has changed its mandate to actively oppose all extreme energy sources, including the tar sands pipelines. For now, the anti–tar sands movement in the province awaits the kind of proactive strategy that was provided for the anti-shale gas movement by the grassroots group Moratoire d’une génération (One-Generation Moratorium).

Such extreme extraction has also come with considerable confusion, as there is a fundamental difference between fracking for “tight” oil and mining for oil shale, or kerogen. Fracking is a procedure that releases normal liquid crude and natural gas from formations of shale that were impossible to recover prior to new fracking technologies. In the case of fracked oil, the crude oil itself is not from shale, which is why “tight oil” is more accurate than shale oil, as it is sometimes referred to (“tight” oil should be read as code for fracking). Oil shale, on the other hand, describes rocks that are fused with kerogen and set in geological formations similar to tar sands bitumen. Much like bitumen, kerogen is a proto-crude oil, in that it is essentially a building block that can be processed into crude oil after being mined or extracted in situ using vast quantities of energy (for heating) and often tremendous amounts of water to separate the proto-oil from the bearing rock.

The Power Surge: Energy, Opportunity, and the Battle for America's Future by Michael Levi

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American energy revolution, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Carmen Reinhart, crony capitalism, deglobalization, energy security, Exxon Valdez, fixed income, full employment, global supply chain, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, Induced demand, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Kenneth Rogoff, manufacturing employment, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea

They were joined by conservative Nebraska landowners, afraid of risks posed by a pipeline that would run through their backyards. The disparate group had tapped into something much deeper than concern about a single pipeline. “We’ve got to get off oil,” McKibben emphasized the day after his release. “We don’t need one more huge source of oil pouring in.”6 The sentiment made instinctive sense, and not only when it came to the tar sands. Americans were rapidly tapping into ever bigger pools of petroleum. The outer continental shelf, Alaska, tight oil, oil shale; each source of oil raised alarms when juxtaposed with increasing concerns “GAME OVER” • 83 about climate change, which scientists were confident was being accelerated by the carbon dioxide produced from burning fossil fuels. Massive deposits of shale gas, recently unlocked, had struck many similarly: there was nearly ten times more much carbon in the world’s gas fields than in the Alberta oil sands.7 The Sierra Club, which had campaigned to move “Beyond Coal” since 2002, added “Beyond Oil” after the BP spill in 2010 and then launched “Beyond Natural Gas” in 2012.

But the resultant price crash would be short-lived or would wipe out the financial viability of massive American oil production. Either way the climate impact would be limited. All of this, many scientists and advocates argue, misses something important: carbon emissions from new sources of oil are unusually high. The Canadian oil sands have come in for acute criticism on this front, and many fear U.S. oil shale could have similar problems too. Former Vice President Al Gore claimed for several years that “gasoline made “GAME OVER” • 97 from the tar sands gives a Toyota Prius the same impact on climate as a Hummer using gasoline made from oil.”28 His assertion rested on the fact that some oil sands operations produce three times the emissions of extracting conventional oil. But most emissions from oil come when it’s burned in your tank, not when it’s removed from the ground.

., corn, soy) A unit of measure for oil that is equivalent to fortytwo U.S. gallons Liquid fuels made from biological materials; substitute for gasoline, diesel, or jet fuel Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard, mandating average fuel economy of vehicles sold by each company A policy that imposes a limit on greenhouse gas emissions, distributes permits accordingly, and then allows entities to trade those permits among themselves A technology that captures carbon dioxide emissions from industrial facilities (particularly coaland gas-fired power plants) and deposits them permanently underground A policy that levies a fee to entities that emit carbon dioxide, proportional to the amount emitted A gasoline substitute produces from parts of plants that cannot be eaten A policy that mandates a minimum fraction of electricity be generated from clean sources according to a set schedule; “clean” may be defined to include only zero-carbon sources, or may include natural gas (usually with half credit) and/or efficiency An approach to oil production that injects carbon dioxide into oil wells to increase their productivity 214 • GLOSSARY Corporate Average Fuel Economy Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) Ethanol Fossil fuels Fracking Fuel economy standards Gas-to-liquids (GTL) GDP Gigawatt (GW) Green jobs Greenhouse gases Horizontal drilling Hybrid Hydraulic fracturing Intermittent sources Keystone XL kilowatt-hour (kWh) Levelized cost of electricity mpg The average fuel economy of all the cars and trucks sold by a given company; usually computed as a harmonic average Any method that increases the amount of oil that can be produced from a given resource; CO2-EOR is one variation A gasoline substitute produced from biological materials Oil, natural gas, and coal Colloquial term used to describe either hydraulic fracturing or the entire process of extracting natural gas from shale See CAFE standard Technology that converts natural gas into gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, or methanol Gross Domestic Product; standard measure of national economic output A unit of capacity to produce electricity; a typical nuclear plant has a capacity of one gigawatt Often ill defined, but generally refers to jobs associated with environmental products and services, including clean energy Gaseous compounds that block outbound infrared radiation (heat) when they accumulate in the atmosphere A technology wherein operators drill down before turning their drill bits and then drilling sideways A type of vehicle that combines a gasoline engine and an electric engine A technology wherein operators inject high-velocity fluids into a well in order to fracture surrounding rock and stimulate the flow of oil or gas Sources of electricity that cannot deliver consistent power, most notably wind and solar A proposed pipeline connecting the Canadian oil sands to markets in the United States A measure of electricity use The cost of generating electricity divided by the amount of electricity generated miles per gallon; a measure of the efficiency of a vehicle GLOSSARY • 215 Natural gas liquids (NGLs) Oil sands Oil shale OPEC Peak oil Rare earth metals Renewable energy Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) Shale Shale gas Shale oil Shock Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) Tight oil Zero carbon energy Liquids that are produced concurrently with natural gas, most prominently ethane, butane, and propane Oil-bearing sands found primarily in the Canadian province of Alberta; also referred to as tar sands Rock that can in part be converted to oil through heating Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries; cartel that attempts to restrain collective oil output and raise prices The idea that world oil production will soon hit a peak, and then decline, as a result of scarce resources A class of elements in the periodic table, many of which have applications in clean energy technologies Energy whose production does not require depletable resources; wind, solar, and geothermal are examples A policy that mandates a minimum fraction of electricity be generated from renewable sources according to a set schedule Dense rock that often bears oil or gas Natural gas extracted from shale rock See tight oil In economics, a sudden change; in this book, most often a change in energy prices U.S. government-controlled reserves of already produced oil that can be released in the event of a supply emergency Oil produced from formations in which oil cannot flow under normal conditions; produced using hydraulic fracturing to enhance mobility Energy whose production leads to few or no carbon dioxide emissions This page intentionally left blank NOTES CH AP TER 1 1.


pages: 217 words: 61,407

Twilight of Abundance: Why the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish, and Short by David Archibald

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Bakken shale, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, deindustrialization, energy security, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), means of production, mutually assured destruction, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, out of africa, peak oil, price discovery process, rising living standards, sceptred isle, South China Sea, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, Yom Kippur War

In the interim, nuclear power could significantly enhance the production of fossil fuels. In the case of the Canadian tar sands, production of a barrel of bitumen requires the energy from burning natural gas that is the energy equivalent of one-fifth of a barrel of oil. At that rate, production of the 180 billion barrels of the Canadian tar sands reserves will use the energy equivalent of 36 billion barrels of oil. Nuclear power could provide steam and hydrogen for that process and save the natural gas for other purposes. So applying nuclear power to the Canadian tar sands industry would effectively create 36 billion barrels of fossil fuels. Similarly, processing of crude oil from the oil shales of the Green River Formation will require hydrogen best produced by electrolysis using power from nuclear reactors.

The rate of rise, which has been 15 percent per annum for the last decade, will accelerate as countries become desperate to buy their irreducible minimum requirement—what they need to grow and gather their food crops. We will have to sustain our civilization on what is left over. The oil price rise has resulted in some mitigating responses. Oil consumption in the United States is now down from its peak in 2005, which was also the year that world oil production peaked. Road deaths have also declined as people have driven more slowly. The oil price rise has allowed the development of oil and gas production from shales, and that shale production is making a useful contribution. But the decline in conventional U.S. oil production continues all the while. America is currently on a path to a wrenching transition to a very high oil price, and a widening trade deficit from that higher price. But it need not be on that path. America could choose to have a future in which diesel and gasoline are not much more expensive than they are now and the economy does not contract.

A more recent study by the National Petroleum Council includes an estimate of 2,500 TCF for the likely amount of shale gas that could be recovered at a cost of less than $10 per thousand cubic feet.5 The EIA shale gas resource estimate ranges from the energy-content equivalent of 70 billion barrels of oil at the low end to 182 billion at the high end, ten years’ and twenty-six years’ worth of oil consumption, respectively. Meanwhile, non-conventional oil production from shales has risen to 2.3 million barrels per day, on its way to perhaps 2.8 million barrels in 2016, about one-third of projected U.S. production in that year. But output from shale oil wells declines very rapidly. In the Bakken Formation of North Dakota’s Williston Basin, well-production rates decline to 15 percent of the initial flow rate by the third year of operation. Keeping the production rate up is a constant treadmill of drilling new wells.


pages: 262 words: 83,548

The End of Growth by Jeff Rubin

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Ayatollah Khomeini, Bakken shale, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, decarbonisation, deglobalization, energy security, eurozone crisis, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, flex fuel, full employment, ghettoisation, global supply chain, Hans Island, happiness index / gross national happiness, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, illegal immigration, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, labour mobility, McMansion, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, new economy, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, women in the workforce, working poor, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

And these oil prices won’t fall until they trigger another global recession—one that will last much longer than just a few quarters. Of course, there is at least one group that’s content to see triple-digit prices, and that’s Big Oil. High prices are inspiring oilmen to scour the earth like never before. They’re drilling miles beneath the ocean floor, leveling boreal forests to dig up tar sands, and learning how to get at oil that’s trapped in shale rock. Meanwhile, Western governments are swarming around the Middle East, even launching a couple of military invasions, in a bid to get their hands on every last drop of the region’s treasure trove of oil before it too is sucked dry. The cost of tapping the extra energy we need to fuel our economies is mounting for both our wallets and the environment. Catastrophic environmental events, such as BP’s Macondo well leak in the Gulf of Mexico or the nuclear accident at Fukushima, are happening with alarming frequency.

That’s entirely understandable, but there’s an unavoidable obstacle that puts such ambitions out of reach: today’s oil isn’t flowing from the same places it did yesterday. More importantly, it’s not flowing at the same cost. That doesn’t mean there won’t be any more oil. New reserves are being found all the time in brand-new places. What the decline in conventional production does mean, though, is that future economic growth will be fueled by expensive oil from nonconventional sources such as the tar sands, offshore wells in the deep waters of the world’s oceans, and even oil shales, which come with a long list of environmental costs that range from carbon dioxide emissions to potential groundwater contamination. The arrival of these new sources of oil points to the same thing: oil will be getting more expensive. Where will that leave the global economy? Well, we know that when oil prices rise, economies eventually contract and roll over into a recession.

Triple-digit prices make it profitable to tap ever more expensive sources of oil, but the prices needed to pull this crude out of the ground will throw our economies right back into recession. What geologists don’t get is that peak oil isn’t about supply: higher prices will always fetch more oil supply. It may not be exactly what purists think of as oil, but hey, if it burns, it’ll do. Peak oil is really a demand phenomenon rooted in economics, not geology. It doesn’t matter if billions of barrels are waiting to be tapped in unconventional plays such as the tar sands or oil shales if the cost of extraction is beyond our capacity to pay. In other words, the only peak that matters is the one determined by what we can afford, not by how much we can drill. Potential oil resources are only meaningful if we have the money to actually pay for the fuel. Otherwise, who really cares if we can pump it out of the ground? The energy industry’s task is not simply to find oil, but to find stuff we can afford to burn.


pages: 311 words: 17,232

Living in a Material World: The Commodity Connection by Kevin Morrison

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barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, clean water, commoditize, commodity trading advisor, computerized trading, diversified portfolio, Doha Development Round, Elon Musk, energy security, European colonialism, flex fuel, food miles, Hernando de Soto, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, hydrogen economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Long Term Capital Management, new economy, North Sea oil, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, price mechanism, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transaction costs, uranium enrichment, young professional

Even now, the commercialization of this resource is decades away according to the National Petroleum Council, headed by former ExxonMobil chairman Lee Raymond. Oil prices around $100 a barrel, it is still hard for shale oil to be economic. One of the factors inhibiting the exploitation of shale oil is the amount of water required to extract it – an estimated 1.2 barrels of water for each barrel of shale oil. The US shale deposits are in dry areas where rainfall is minimal. ENERGY | 51 Developers of oil shale projects would therefore need to buy water rights – a complicated affair in Colorado, and the demand for water is becoming even more competitive with the expanding population in the Rocky Mountain region. US energy researchers have also experimented with the live form of algae. The US department of energy spent 20 years researching the prospect of turning algae into biodiesel, but found that it cost twice as much as making gasoline from crude oil (National Renewable Energy Laboratary, 1998).

Coal, for instance, has fewer joules per kilogram than the same weight in oil, making oil the favourite in terms of what you’re going to get out of the effort of finding and producing it. In fact, oil is superior to all other fossil fuels, which is why it is the most strategic of all energy. The weight of oil is 43 MJ per kilogram compared with 25.5 MJ for ethanol from grain, 24 MJ for coal, 18 MJ for wood and 4.4 MJ for oil shale (the small content of energy power contained in oil shale is one of the factors that have limited its commercial viability). 52 | LIVING IN A MATERIAL WORLD In terms of volume, a cubic metre of oil contains 35 000 MJ of energy, a cubic metre of coal around 27 500 MJ, ethanol about 20 000 MJ, and a cubic metre of gas only 35 MJ. Another point in oil’s favour is that it is a liquid, so it’s easier to transport and store.

Today’s equivalent of the North Sea oil fields – that is, oil supply from a politically stable region – is the Canadian tar sands, also known as oil sands. These are a combination of clay, sand, water and bitumen in a rock formation. Unlike conventional oil, which is drilled, tar sands near the surface are mined using open pit techniques, a common method normally used for large metal deposits. Once the rock is removed from the ground, the oil content, which is bitumen, has to be separated, from the clay, water and sand. The bitumen, a rather thick, gooey substance, is processed to make it more viscous so that it can be refined and turned into a liquid for use in our cars. The extra processes required to extract and refine tar sand compared with conventional oil add significantly to its cost. Only in recent years has it been economic to commercially exploit the deposits of tar and oil sands, found mainly in Canada and Venezuela.


pages: 692 words: 167,950

The Ripple Effect: The Fate of Fresh Water in the Twenty-First Century by Alex Prud'Homme

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, big-box store, bilateral investment treaty, carbon footprint, Chance favours the prepared mind, clean water, commoditize, corporate raider, Deep Water Horizon, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, hydraulic fracturing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, John Snow's cholera map, Louis Pasteur, mass immigration, megacity, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, renewable energy credits, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, urban sprawl, William Langewiesche

“It could mean an end to agriculture and to the historic economic base of these rural communities.” A few hundred miles north of the Colorado oil shale fields, tension between oil and water has been growing since the discovery of vast deposits of tar sands, another source of synthetic crude oil, in Ontario and Alberta, Canada. Tar sand consists of quartzite, clay, water, and the “tar,” which is the heavy hydrocarbon bitumen (similar to what is found in shale oil). The first commercial operation to exploit it to produce oil was established in Alberta, in 1930. Today, Fort McMurray, a small town set among rippling hills on the Athabasca River, in northern Alberta, is a tar sands boomtown. Since the mid-1990s, residents have taken to calling it Fort McMoney because companies such as Royal Dutch Shell, Conoco-Phillips, Chevron, Imperial Oil (mostly owned by ExxonMobil), British Petroleum, Total, StatoilHydro of Norway, and Suncor have poured $150 billion into processing oil from the tar sands in a fifty-seven-thousand-square-mile area—a region almost the size of Florida.

org/pdf/9_24_10CWCWCcommentstEPA.pdf. 287 shale oil: Clifford Krauss, “New Way to Tap Gas May Expand Global Supplies,” New York Times, October 9, 2009. 288 shale formation under Colorado: Mike Soraghan, “BLM’s OK of oil-shale leases digs up concerns,” Denver Post, November 15, 2006. 288 retort 1.55 million barrels of shale oil per day: David O. Williams, “Oil giants have ‘cornered the market’ on Western Slope water rights, study says,” Colorado Independent, March 20, 2009. 288 In 2007 and 2008, Shell went on a buying spree: Ibid. 289 acquired 7.5 million acre-feet of water rights: Mark Jaffe, “Oil companies ‘corner’ Western Slope water rights,” Denver Post, March 18, 2009. 289 Karin Sheldon: David O. Williams, “Shell official confirms thirsty nature of oil shale, denies push to ‘corner water market,’ ” Colorado Independent, March 23, 2009. 289 deposits of tar sands: Elizabeth Kolbert, “Unconventional Crude,” New Yorker, November 12, 2007. 289 tar sands is the world’s largest energy project: John Loring, “Q&A: Energy Independence, Obama and Canada’s Oil Sands,” New York Times green blog, February 9, 2009. 290 Tree-ring studies show: Laura Nichol, “Tree Rings Tell Story of Ancient Droughts,” Natural Resources Canada, February 2009. 290 three to four barrels of freshwater: “Canada’s oil sands: Water”: http://www.canadasoilsands.ca/en/what-were-doing/water.aspx. 290 76 percent of the water taken from the Athabasca: “Water Depletion,” TarSandsWatch, Polaris Institute.org. 290 4.2 billion barrels a year: “Liquid Asset,” Polaris Institute. 290 Athabasca Chipewyan and Mikisew Cree Indians: “Pollution Flows Downstream,” ForestEthics: http://www.forestethics.org/downstream-from-the-tar-sands.

Since the mid-1990s, residents have taken to calling it Fort McMoney because companies such as Royal Dutch Shell, Conoco-Phillips, Chevron, Imperial Oil (mostly owned by ExxonMobil), British Petroleum, Total, StatoilHydro of Norway, and Suncor have poured $150 billion into processing oil from the tar sands in a fifty-seven-thousand-square-mile area—a region almost the size of Florida. These companies plan to invest an additional $75 billion in the region by 2012. The extraction of oil from Alberta’s tar sands is the world’s largest energy project and is expected to contribute nearly $1 trillion to Canada’s gross domestic product by 2020. The tar sands contain more oil than the fields of Kuwait, Norway, and Russia combined. If only 10 percent of Alberta’s deposits are actually tapped, they still represent the world’s second-largest oil reserve, after Saudi Arabia’s. By 2007, output from Alberta’s fields was topping a million barrels a day, making Canada the United States’s number one source of imported oil. By 2015, oil recovery from the tar sands is predicted to triple.


pages: 363 words: 101,082

Earth Wars: The Battle for Global Resources by Geoff Hiscock

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Admiral Zheng, Asian financial crisis, Bakken shale, Bernie Madoff, BRICs, butterfly effect, clean water, cleantech, corporate governance, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, energy security, energy transition, eurozone crisis, Exxon Valdez, flex fuel, global rebalancing, global supply chain, hydraulic fracturing, Long Term Capital Management, Malacca Straits, Masdar, mass immigration, megacity, Menlo Park, Mohammed Bouazizi, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Panamax, Pearl River Delta, purchasing power parity, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, trade route, uranium enrichment, urban decay, working-age population, Yom Kippur War

Index AAR (Alfa-Access-Renova) Abengoa Abidjan, Ivory Coast Abramov, Alexander Abramovich, Roman Abu Dhabi Access Industries Adani, Gautam Adani Group Adaro Energy Addax & Oryx Group (AOG) Addax Petroleum Aden Aditya Birla Group Adriana Resources Afghanistan Africa general coal copper iron ore oil and gas uranium African Minerals African Rainbow Minerals Agarwal, Anil Ahearn, Michael Aircraft carriers Akpo field, Nigeria Aksai Chin Aksumite kingdom Al-Assad, Bashar Al-Falih, Khalid Al Thani, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Alasaka North Slope offshore reserves Albanese, Tom Alekperov, Vagit Alexandria, Egypt Alfa Group Alfa-Access-Renova (AAR) Algeria Aluminum, aluminium Aluminium Corp of China (Chinalco) Amazon River Ambani, Mukesh Amu Darya Amur and Ussuri Rivers Amyris Anadarko Basin Anadarko Petroleum Anben Iron & Steel Group Andersson, Martin Andes Aneka Tambang Anshan Iron & Steel Anglo American Angola Antarctic Antofagasta Minerals Apache Corp Apple Inc Applied Clean Tech Aquila Resources Arabian Sea Aral Sea ArcelorMittal Arch Coal Archer Daniels Midland Arctic, Arctic Circle, Arctic Ocean Areva Argentina Armenia Arrow Energy Arunachal Pradesh, India Asarco Asian Development Bank Aswan High Dam Ataturk Dam Athabasca Oil Sands Corp Athabasca oil/tar sands Athabaskan people Atlas Energy Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd (AECL) Atomredmetzoloto (ARMZ) Atyrau, Kazakhstan Australia Chinese investment in coal copper gas, LNG gold Indian investment in iron ore Japanese investment in rare earths uranium Australia Pacific LNG Azadegan oil field, Iran Azerbaijan Baffin Island, Baffinland Bakken shale field Baku Bakrie, Aburizal Baltic Sea Banco Bradesco Banco do Brasil Bangladesh Bashneft Baoshan Iron & Steel Baotou Barlow, Maude Barnett shale field Barrick Gold Batista, Eike Batista da Silva, Eliezer Bayan Obo Beas River Beihai Beijing Belgium Belo Monte Dam Belorusneft Ben Ali, Zine El-Abedine Bengal, Bay of Berau Coal Energy Berezovsky, Boris (also known as Platon Elenin) BG Group Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL) Bharuch, India BHP Billiton coal iron ore oil and gas Olympic Dam Pilbara shale uranium Biofuel ethanol Birla, Kumar M. Black Sea Blavatnik, Leonard Bogdanov, Vladimir Bohai Sea Bolivia Bontang, Indonesia Borneo Botswana Bouazizi, Mohammed BP Gulf of Mexico in Russia Brahmaputra River Brazil ethanol iron ore nuclear power, uranium oil and gas presalt Bridas Corp BrightSource Energy Brookings Institution Brunei Bryant, Robert BSG Group, BSG Resources Buenos Aires Buffett, Warren Bulgheroni, Carlos Bumi Resources Bunge Burma (Myanmar) Burundi BYD Co Cairo Caithness Energy Calderon, Felipe Calicut, India Cambodia Cameco Canada tar sands LNG shale nuclear power, uranium Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers Canadian Natural Resources Canadian Solar Inc Cantarell oil field, Mexico Carabobo, Venezuela Cargill Caribbean Sea Carrizo Oil & Gas Carroll, Cynthia Caspian Sea Cecil, Ronnie Central Asia Centre for Global Energy Studies Century Aluminium Cerrejon Ceyhan, Turkey Chad Chalco Changlang district, India Chatterji, Zohra Chavez, Hugo Chenab River Cheniere Energy Chesapeake Energy Chevron Chile copper lithium China 12th Five-Year Plan coal Communist Party copper iron ore investment abroad nuclear power oil and gas rare metals solar power water wind power China Coal Energy China Development Bank China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group (CGNPG) China Investment Corp (CIC) China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) China Metallurgical Group Corp China Metallurgical Mines Association China Minmetals China Mobile China National Coal Group China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) China Nonferrous Metal Mining Group Co (CNMC) China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec) China Railway Construction Corp China Railway Engineering Corp China Shenhua Coal China State Shipbuilding Corp Chinalco Chodiev, Patokh Chromium Chubu Electric Power Co Chung Joon-yang Chunxiao gas field CITIC Clinton, Bill Clinton, Hillary CNOOC Coal production clean technology metallurgical thermal Coal India Ltd Codelco Codexis COFCO Colombia Common Economic Space Comtec Solar Conde, Alpha Conga, Peru Congo, Democratic Republic (DRC) ConocoPhillips Cosmo Oil Consolidated Thompson Iron Ore Mines Conte, Lansana Copper Cosan Critical Materials Strategy report Cuba Cubapetroleo Currie, Jeffrey Curtis, Nicholas Cyprus Dadis Camara, Moussa Dalian (Port Arthur) D’Amato, Richard Danube River Daqing, China Datong Coal Dauphin, Claude Davis, Mick Daye Non-ferrous Metals Co (DNMC) De Beers DeKastri oil terminal De Margerie, Christophe De Turckheim, Eric Deng Xiaoping Denmark Deripaska, Oleg Diaoyutai (Senkaku islands) Disi-Saq aquifer Domen Kazunari DONG Energy Dongfang Turbine DP Clean Tech Drummond Co Du Plessis, Jan Dubai Dudley, Robert (Bob) Dunand, Marco Dutch East India Company (VOC) Eagle Ford shale field East China Sea East Prinovozemelsky field East Timor (Timor-Leste) EBX Ecuador EDF Elenin, Platon (Boris Berezovsky) Empresas Frisco Enbridge Encana Enercon Enex EngelInvest Group England Eni E.ON Equinox Minerals Erdenes-Tavan Tolgoi Eritrea Escondida mine, Chile Essar Oil Essar Steel Estonia Ethanol Ethiopia Eurasian Energy Corp Eurasian National Resources Corp Europe nuclear power solar power shale wind power European Union (EU) European Wind Energy Association Eurozone Evraz Group Exxon Neftegas ExxonMobil Falklands (Malvinas) Fan Shenggen Fayetteville shale Fedun, Leonid Ferghana Valley, Central Asia Ferreira, Murilo First Quantum First Solar Ford Motor Forrest, Andrew Fortescue Metals Group Foster, Maria das Gracas Silva Fosun International Fox, Josh Fracturing, “fracking” France nuclear power Freeport McMoRan Fresnillo Friedland, Robert Fridman, Mikhail Frolov, Alexander Fu Chengyu Fukushima Gabon Gaddafi, Muammar Galp Energia Gamesa Gandhi, Rahul Gandur, Jean Claude Ganges River Gangotri Glacier Gao Jifan Garnaut, Ross Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) Gazprom Gazprom Neft GCL Poly Energy Gecamines General Electric (GE) GE Wind Energy General Motors (GM) Germany nuclear power solar power wind power Gevo Ghawar oil field, Saudi Arabia Gidropress Gindalbie Metals Gladstone LNG Glasenberg, Ivan Glencore International Glencore Xstrata International Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) Gold Goldman, Arnold Goldman Sachs Google Gorgon LNG project Grasberg mine, Indonesia Great Artesian Basin Great Lakes Great Man-made River (GMR), Libya Greece Green Energy Technology Greenland Greenland Minerals and Energy Grupo Carso Grupo Mexico Guangzhou Guarani aquifer Guinea Gunvor Group Guodian United Power Technology Gutseriev, Mikhai Hainan island Hancock Coal, Hancock Prospecting Hansen Transmissions Hanwha Solarone Hasankeyf Haynesville shale field Hayward, Tony Hebei Iron & Steel Heilongjiang-Amur aquifer Himalayas Hindalco Hindustan Copper Hitachi Hokkaido Holland Hong Kong Hormuz, Strait of Houser, Trevor HRT Participacoes em Petroleo HSBC Hu, Stern Hunan Valin Hunt, Simon Hydro power Ibragimov, Alijan Idemitsu Kosan Ilisu Dam, Turkey Impeccable, USNS Imperial Oil India coal copper hydropower iron ore nuclear power oil and gas solar power wind power Indian Ocean Indian Oil Corp Ltd (IOCL) Indonesia coal oil and gas Indus River Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Industrias Nucleares do Brazil (INB) Industrias Penoles Inmet Inner Mongolia Yitai Coal Inpex International Atomic Energy Agency International Copper Study Group International Energy Agency International Finance Corp International Food Policy Research Institute International Monetary Fund Interros Inuit Iran South Pars Iraq Iraq National Oil Co (INOC) Ireland Iron ore Israel Istanbul Itaipu Dam Italy ITOCHU Ivanhoe Mines Ivory Coast JA Solar Jaeggi, Daniel Jakarta Jamnagar Japan earthquake and tsunami nuclear power and Fukushima disaster solar power steel industry trading houses Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp (JOGMEC) Japan Petroleum Exploration Co (Japex) Japan Renewable Energy Foundation Jazan JFE Jhelum River Jiang Jiemin Jiang Zemin Jiangsu Shagang Jiangxi Copper Corp Jin Baofang Jinchuan Group Jindal Steel Jordan, Jordan River JSW Steel Jubail JX Holdings Kaltim Prima Coal, Indonesia Kamchatka peninsula Kan Naoto Kansai Electric Power Co Karachaganak field, Kazakhstan Karachi, Pakistan Karakoram Pass Kashagan field, Kazakhstan Kashgar, China Kashmir Katanga Mining Kazmunaigas Khan, German Khartoum, Sudan Kazakhmys Kazakhstan coal copper nuclear test site, uranium oil and gas Kazzinc Kazatomprom Kenya Keystone pipeline Khabarovsk, Russia Khodorkovsky, Mikhail Khudainatov, Eduard Khunjerab Pass Khuzestan province, Iran Kim, Vladimir Kloppers, Marius Koc Holding Koizumi Junichiro Kolkata (Calcutta) Kolomoisky, Igor Korea Electric Power Corp (Kepco) Korea Gas (KoGas) Krishna-Godavari (KG) Basin, India Kuantan, Malaysia Kudankulam, India Kulibayev, Timur Kuwait Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration (Kufpec) Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) Kuzbassrazrezugol Kyrgyzstan Kyushu Electric Power Co Kvanefjeld, Greenland Lagos Lanco Infratech Laos Las Bambas, Peru Lavrov, Sergey LDK Solar Lead Lebanon Legacy Iron Ore Li Keqiang Li Xianshou Li Yihuang Liang Guanglie Liberia Libya Lifton, Jack Liquefied natural gas (LNG) Lisin, Vladimir Lithium Lithuania Lombok Strait Lomonosov ridge Lorenz, Edward Los Bronces, Chile Louis Dreyfus Lu Tingxiu Lu Xiangyang LUKOIL Lumwana, Zambia Lundin Mining Lynas Corp Ma Zhaoxu Maanshan Iron & Steel Macarthur Coal McArthur River McClendon, Aubrey McMahon Line MacMines AustAsia Madagascar Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel (MMK) Makhmudov, Iskander Malacca, Strait of Malaysia Malawi Malvinas (Falklands) Manila Mao Zedong Marcellus shale field Marubeni Corp Mary River Masdar Mashkevich, Alexander Mechel Medcalf, Rory Mediterranean Sea Medvedev, Dmitry MEG Energy Mehta, Sureesh Mekong River Mekong River Commission Melnichenko, Andrey MEMC Mercuria Group Merkel, Angela Metalloinvest Metorex Mexico Mexico City Mexico, Gulf of Miao Liansheng MidAmerican Energy Middle East Mikhelson, Leonid Miller, Alexei Mineralogy/Resourcehouse Mittal, Lakshmi Minmetals Resources Mitsubishi Chemical Mitsubishi Corp Mitsubishi Electric Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Mitsui & Co Modi, Narendra Molycorp Mongolia coal copper uranium Mongolia, Inner Montana Resources Morocco Mordashov, Alexei Mount Weld, Australia Mountain Pass, California Mozambique Mulva, Jim Mumbai (Bombay) Muziris, India Myanmar (Burma) Nabucco project Namcha Barwa, Tibet Namibia Nansha (Spratlys) National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) National Oil Co of Libya National Mineral Development Corp (NMDC), India National Thermal Power Corp (NTPC), India Natuna field Natural gas Nazarbayev, Nursultan Neelum river Neira, Dr Maria Netherlands New Delhi New Hope Coal Newcastle, Australia Newmont Mining NewZim Steel Niger Nigeria Nigerian National Petroleum Corp Nile River Ningbo Niobrara shale field Niobium Nippon Mining Nippon Oil Nippon Steel Noble Group Noda Yoshihiko Nomura China Non-Proliferation Treaty Norilsk Nickel North Atlantic Gyre North Caspian Operating Co North Korea North Pacific Gyre North Pars field, Iran North Pole North Slope, Alaska North West Shelf, Australia Northern Sea Route, Russia Northwest Passage, Canada Norway Novatek Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK) NRG Energy Nubian Sandstone aquifer Nuclear power Nuclear Power Corp of India Ltd (NPCIL) NUKEM Nunavut Obama, Barack Occidental Petroleum Corp Ogallala aquifer OGX Petroleo & Gas Ohmae Kenichi Oil & Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) Oil India Ltd (OIL) Olam International Olympic Dam Oman Ombai Strait ONEXIM Group ONGC Videsh Opium Wars Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Origin Energy Oryx Petroleum Osaka Gas Osborne, Milton Oyu Tolgoi, Mongolia Palmer, Clive Pan American Energy Papua New Guinea Paracels Pakistan Paraguay Paraná River Pars Oil & Gas Co Pasha Bulker Patna Peabody Energy Pearl River Pemakochung monastery, Tibet Pemex Peng Xiaofeng Penn West Energy Persian Gulf Pertamina Peru Petrobras PetroChina PetroHawk Energy Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) Petronas Petronet LNG PetroVietnam Philippines Pioneer Natural Resources Pilbara iron ore region, Australia Poland Polo, Marco Popov, Sergey Port Arthur (Dalian) Portugal POSCO Potanin, Vladimir Potash supplies Poussenkova, Dr Nina Praj Industries Pratas islands (Dongsha) Prelude LNG project, Australia Premier Oil Prigorodnoye, Russia PrivatGroup Probo Koala Prodeco Prokhorov, Mikhail Prokopyevskugol PTT Exploration & Production Puducherry (Pondicherry), India Punjab province, Pakistan Putin, Vladimir Qatar QatarGas Qatar General Petroleum Corp (QGPC) Qatar Investment Authority Qatar Petroleum Qteros Quadra FNX Mining Queensland coal basins (Bowen, Galilee, Surat) Rabigh, Saudi Arabia RAIPON Raizen Rare earths Rare metals and materials (indium, gallium, tellurium) Ras Tanura RasGas Rashtriya Ispat Nagam (Vizag Steel) Raspadskaya Rashnikov, Viktor Rave, Dr Klaus Ravi River Red Sea Refineries Reliance Industries ReneSola Renewable Energy Policy Network (REN21) REpower Repsol Repsol Brazil Repsol-YPF Rich, Marc Rio de Janeiro Rio Tinto Plc/Ltd coal copper iron ore uranium Rinehart, Gina Riversdale Mining Roeslani, Rosan Rosatom Rosneft Ross Sea Rothschild, Nathaniel Rousseff, Dilma Royal Dutch Shell Royal Society of Canada Ruia, Shashi and Ravi Rusal RusHydro Russia coal iron ore oil and gas nuclear/uranium Russian Far East Russky Ugol (Russian Coal) Russneft Rwanda RWE Power Saami Sabic Salar de Atacama Salar de Cauchari Salar de Olaroz Salar de Uyuni Sakhalin Sakhalin Oil & Gas Development Saleh, Ali Abdullah Salween River Samruk Energo Samruk Kazyna Samsung Electronics Samsung Heavy Industries Sanaa basin, Yemen Santos basin Santos Ltd Sao Paulo Sargasso Sea Saudi Arabia Saudi Aramco Sawyer, Steve Sechin, Igor Senkaku islands Serageldin, Ismail Sesa Goa Severstal Shanghai Shandong Iron & Steel Group Shanxi Meijin Energy Sharp Corp Shatt al-Arab waterway Shell Australia LNG Shen Wenrong Shenzhen Shi Zhengrong Shougang Beijing Group Shvidler, Eugene Siachen Glacier Siberia Siberian Coal Energy Co (SUEK) Sibneft Siemens Sierra Gorda, Chile Sierra Leone Silver Simandou, Guinea Sindh province, Pakistan Singapore Singh, Manmohan Sino American Silicon SinoHydro Sinopec (China Petroleum & Chemical Corp) Sinosteel Midwest Corp Sinovel Wind Sistema Slavneft Slovakia Soeryadjaya, Edwin SoftBank Sogo Shosha Sojitz Solar power Solar Reserve Son Masayoshi Sonangol Sonatrach South Africa South America South China Sea South Kara Sea South Korea South Kuzbass Coal South Pars field, Iran South Sudan South Yolotan, Turkmenistan Southeast Anatolia Development (GAP) Southeast Asia Southern California Edison Soya Strait Spain Spratlys State Grid, China State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) Statoil Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) Steinmetz, Beny Sterlite Industries Strait of Malacca Strait of Hormuz Strothotte, Willy SUAL Sudan Sumatra Sumitomo Chemicals Sumitomo Corp Sumitomo Metal Suncor Energy Sunda Strait Sundance Resources SunPower Suntech Surgutneftegas Sutlej River Suzlon Energy Swaminathan, M.S.

The single biggest supplier of crude is Canada, with a 21 percent share, followed by Mexico (12 percent), Saudi Arabia (12 percent), Nigeria (11 percent), and Venezuela (10 percent). The United States itself produces about 5.5 million barrels a day of crude and about 2 million barrels of natural gas liquids. The United States also has the world’s largest reserves of oil shale deposits, estimated at between 1.5 and 2 trillion barrels. But extraction is complex and costly, and the economic viability of oil shale is haphazard. Estonia, China, and Brazil are the only current producers of any size. Russia has oil shale reserves of 250 billion barrels, and Israel may have about the same. Against this backdrop, oil executives from around the world gathered in the ballroom of London’s Waldorf Hilton Hotel in May 2011 for an important update on the latest market information. Russia, Brazil, China, Africa, and the North Sea were all on the agenda, but it was the recent cataclysmic events in North Africa and the Middle East—and the likely response from the oil cartel known as OPEC (the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries)—that figured high in their calculations of where oil demand and oil prices were headed.

It also has agreed to jointly develop a deepwater pipeline from Oman to India, to give it access to cheaper gas. Oil India has a mainly domestic focus, with most production coming from Assam state in India’s northeast, plus Rajasthan in the west. Its overseas exploration blocks, usually in partnership with IOCL and/or OVL, are in Iran, Gabon, Libya, Egypt, Nigeria, Venezuela, and East Timor. GAIL bought its first U.S. shale gas asset, a stake in Houston-based Carrizo Oil & Gas’s Eagle Ford shale tenement in late 2011. It will spend about $300 million with Carrizo over five years, and said it was prepared to spend another $1 billion for more such assets in North America. Reliance Industries, controlled by India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, has its primary oil-sector focus on exploration and production off the coast of India, mainly in the Krishna Godavari Basin in the Bay of Bengal where it began producing oil and gas in 2009.


pages: 257 words: 94,168

Oil Panic and the Global Crisis: Predictions and Myths by Steven M. Gorelick

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California gold rush, carbon footprint, energy security, energy transition, flex fuel, income per capita, invention of the telephone, meta analysis, meta-analysis, North Sea oil, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, price stability, profit motive, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, statistical model, Thomas Malthus

With the onset of the 2008 economic crisis and the rapid decline in oil prices, it was estimated that about $75 billion of new project investment would be halted, and the 2010 peak workforce needs would be cut in half from 44,000 to 22,000.158 US oil shale Much lower on the US oil resource pyramid is the third type of unconventional oil that comes from oil shale. Oil shale is a hard rock, generally derived from calcium-rich clay and mud, that is loaded with kerogen. If this rock were buried under the right conditions (within what is called the oil window), it might produce oil naturally, over geologic time. Now tied up as a solid, the organic matter, kerogen, in oil shales needs to be artificially “cooked” over a human time scale to generate oil. Today, oil shale is not being produced in the US, although Unocal did produce about 1 million barrels between 1957 and 1989. Like oil sands, oil from oil shale is obtained by two methods: surface “retorting” and in-situ recovery. In surface retorting, the mined oil shale is heated to 842 °F (450 °C) to yield gas and synthetic oil, mimicking in a compressed period the long geologic baking process that forms oil in Earth’s crust.

Earlier Rand studies suggested that after 0.5 billion barrels were produced, the technology would improve, production costs would drop by 50 percent, and the oil shale resource would be profitable at $35 to $48 per barrel (2005$). The expectation is that such production efficiency would occur within 12 years of initial commercial operation. An analysis conducted in 2008 claims that US oil shale can be profitably produced at an oil price of $38 to $62 (2007$) per barrel.162 Global oil shale With potential recovery of about 3 trillion barrels globally, there is about as much oil in oil shale as the total global endowment estimated in the USGS 2000 Assessment. However, within the oil industry, the standing joke is that, “Oil shale is the energy source of the future and always will be.” Oil shale was mined from 1815 through the 1850s in both the US and Canada, until it was rendered uneconomic by the production of conventional oil in 1859.

Even so, the process is purportedly competitive with oil at $17 (2006$) per barrel.163 Counter-Arguments to Imminent Global Oil Depletion 173 If such new technology were to take hold throughout the world, oil shale could become a critical source of oil. Oil shale is so far down on the global oil resource pyramid that there are no tight estimates of the total resource. There are documented reserves in China, Brazil, and Estonia, where oil shale has been mined and used, and other countries contain substantial oil shale deposits (e.g., Australia, Russia, Italy, Morocco, and Zaire). Worldwide, a credible published estimate by the USGS is 2.9 trillion barrels of recoverable oil, based on analysis of oil shale in 33 countries that contain a total of 411 billion tons of oil shale, which “should be considered a minimum figure because numerous deposits are still largely unexplored or were not included in [their] study.”164 The average of published, but uncertain, estimates of all global oil shale resources suggests that the quantity of oil shale containing at least 10 gallons of oil per ton is staggering: about 330 trillion barrels, which, even at 1 percent recovery, would roughly equal the current estimate of the global endowment of conventional oil (approximately 3 trillion barrels).165 Fossil Fuel Conversion: The Role of Gas and Coal If the supply of conventional oil were to fall short, and the technology to economically extract unconventional oil from as yet untapped resources like oil shale did not materialize, what could possibly replace common gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel fuel, the most precious products derived from 60 percent of each barrel of oil?


pages: 235 words: 65,885

Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Declines by Richard Heinberg, James Howard (frw) Kunstler

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anti-communist, Asilomar, back-to-the-land, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, demographic transition, ending welfare as we know it, energy transition, Fractional reserve banking, greed is good, Haber-Bosch Process, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), land reform, means of production, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-oil, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, the built environment, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, urban planning

And what would be the next energy source? Other low-grade fossil fuels, such as tar sands, oil shale, and heavy oil are also problematic from both the depletion and emissions perspectives. Some depletion analysts recommend full-speed development of these resources. However, the energetic extraction costs for them are usually quite high compared to the energy payoff from the resource extracted. Their already-low energy profit ratio (also known as the energy returned on energy invested, or EROEI) would be compromised still further by efforts to capture and sequester carbon, since, as with coal, these low-grade fuels have a high carbon content as compared to natural gas or conventional oil. Currently, natural gas is used in the processing of tar sands and heavy oil; from both an energy and an emissions point of view, this is rather like turning gold into lead.

The exception and limit to the exception address the common argument of free-market economists that resources are infinitely substitutable, and that therefore modern market-driven societies need never face a depletion-led collapse, even if their consumption rates continue to escalate.9 In some instances, substitutes for resources do become readily available and are even superior, as was the case in the mid-19th century when kerosene from petroleum was substituted for whale oil as a fuel for lamps. In other cases, substitutes are inferior, as is the case with tar sands as a substitute for conventional petroleum, given that tar sands are less energy-dense, require more energy input for processing, and produce more carbon emissions. As time goes on, societies will tend first to exhaust substitutes that are superior and easy to get at, then those that are equivalent, and increasingly will have to rely on ever more inferior substitutes to replace depleting resources — unless rates of consumption are held in check (see Axioms 2-4). 2.

Klare, Michael Kübler-Ross, Elisabeth L labor Lahontan, Baron de The Land Institute land use language: and belief in symbols; development; and economics; and environmental damage; and politics; and reason; and religion; role in civilization; and societal change leisure time Lerro, Bruce lifestyle choices The Limits to Growth (Club of Rome) local economies logic Looking Backward: 2000-1887 (Bellamy) love M MacKenzie-Mohr, Doug Macy, Joanna magical thinking Malthus, Thomas Mandil, Claude marketing. see also advertising McLuckie, Benjamin media Mexico Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Mollison, Bill money trading morality Morris, William Moyers, Bill Müller, Max Mumford, Lewis The Myth of the Machine (Mumford) mythology N natural gas The Natural Step nature Nelson, Gaylord Nixon, Richard non-renewable resources. see also fossil fuels nuclear power O oil (see also Peak Oil): as bulwark of US economy; level of dependency on; production levels; substitutes for; sustainability; and wars Oil Depletion Protocol oil shale Oman Ornstein, Robert P parrots Pauli, Wolfgang Peak Oil (see also psychology of peak oil/climate change; techno-collapse): benefits of cooperation with Climate Change; concerted campaign for; conflict with Climate Change; definition; depletionists’ and their views; effects of; experts in; possible strategies for; predictions of when it will happen; psychological theories on; strategies for psychologically coping with; in US Pepperberg, Irene permaculture petrochemicals politics (see also government): after techno-collapse; beginnings of political organization; in a de-industrialized society; and greenhouse gas emissions; and the industrial revolution; and population explosion; and quasi-religious ideologies; role in changing society; and success of technology; and sustainability measures; in US pollution Poon, Wing-Chi population: and A.

Nuclear War and Environmental Catastrophe by Noam Chomksy

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American Legislative Exchange Council, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, energy security, Howard Zinn, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Malacca Straits, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks

Of course, that requires the contributions of the information and political systems, largely willing to line up in the same parade with only occasional hesitation. During the Tar Sands Action in Washington, a spokesperson for the American Petroleum Institute told the press, “the protesters are really protesting jobs.” What do you make of API’s statement?103 The translation of the API statement to English is easy: “The Tar Sands Action is protesting an initiative that will severely harm local environments and accelerate the global rush to disaster—while putting plenty of bucks in our pockets for us to hoard or spend while we watch the ship sinking.” From what I know of the Tar Sands Action, it consists of people whose priorities are virtually the opposite of the API’s. They want to maintain an environment in which people can live decent lives, to protect their grandchildren from disaster, and to create far more good jobs by using the ample resources available to develop a sustainable energy future while also rebuilding a decaying society and turning it to different and far more healthy directions.104 But, admittedly, they have inadequate concern for the bulging profits of the super-rich and their desperate need to run the world to the ground.

On the influence of Koch-funded groups on the election process, see note 3, chap. 6. 103 Shelby Lin Erdman, “Battle over Controversial International Oil Pipeline Growing,” CNN, September 5, 2011. The API spokesperson quoted in the article was contacted to verify accuracy; she responded, “If they [Tar Sands Action participants] are protesting the pipeline they are protesting a shovel-ready job that will put thousands of Americans to work. This industry is focused on creating jobs, producing energy responsibly and strengthening America’s energy security.” Sabrina Fang, API Media Relations, e-mail correspondence, November 16, 2011. On how Saudi interests infuse money into US elections through trade associations, namely, API, see Lee Fang, “How Big Business Is Buying the Election,” The Nation, September 17, 2012. 104 The Tar Sands Action is part of an ongoing campaign to protest the proposed 1,661-mile pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast.

The unconventional product to be conveyed, chemical-laden bitumen derived from the Canadian tar sands, has been described as “the dirtiest oil on the planet.” The largest action to date took place in front of the White House between late August and early September 2011. During the two-week sit-in, more than twelve hundred participants committed acts of civil disobedience, resulting in arrest. The event involved a consortium of groups and individuals: Bold Nebraska, Indigenous Environmental Network, 350.org, activists, ’08 Obama campaigners, farmers, scientists, and writers. 105 Clifford Krauss, “U.S. Reliance on Oil from Saudi Arabia Is Growing Again,” New York Times, August 16, 2012. On Saudi plans to refine Canadian tar sands in Texas, see Lee Fang, note 7, this chapter. On history of OPEC, see note 8, chap. 1. 106 Lawrence M.


pages: 372 words: 107,587

The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality by Richard Heinberg

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3D printing, agricultural Revolution, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, banks create money, Bretton Woods, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, computerized trading, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Elliott wave, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, Gini coefficient, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Kenneth Rogoff, late fees, liberal capitalism, mega-rich, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, naked short selling, Naomi Klein, Negawatt, new economy, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, price stability, private military company, quantitative easing, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, short selling, special drawing rights, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade liberalization, tulip mania, working poor, zero-sum game

Meanwhile, international competition for dwindling oil supplies might lead to wars between petroleum importing nations, between importers and exporters, and between rival factions within exporting nations. In the years following the turn of the millennium, many pundits claimed that new technologies for crude oil extraction would increase the amount of oil that can be obtained from each well drilled, and that enormous reserves of alternative hydrocarbon resources (principally tar sands and oil shale) would be developed to seamlessly replace conventional oil, thus delaying the inevitable peak for decades. There were also those who said that Peak Oil wouldn’t be much of a problem even if it happened soon, because the market would find other energy sources or transport options as quickly as needed — whether electric cars, hydrogen, or liquid fuel made from coal. In succeeding years, events appeared to be supporting the Peak Oil thesis and undercutting the views of the oil optimists.

More oil-producing countries were seeing their extraction rates peaking and beginning to decline despite efforts to maintain production growth using high-tech, expensive extraction methods like injecting water, nitrogen, or carbon dioxide to force more oil out of the ground. Production decline rates in the world’s old, super-giant oilfields, which are responsible for the lion’s share of the global petroleum supply, were accelerating. Production of liquid fuels from tar sands was expanding only slowly, while the development of oil shale remained a hollow promise for the distant future.15 From Scary Theory to Scarier Reality Then in 2008, the Peak Oil scenario became all too real. Global oil production had been stagnant since 2005 and petroleum prices had been soaring upward. In July 2008, the per-barrel price shot up to nearly $150 — half again higher (in inflation-adjusted terms) than the price spikes of the 1970s that had triggered the worst recession since World War II.

In 2010, the International Energy Agency settled the matter. In its authoritative 2010 World Energy Outlook, the IEA announced that total annual global crude oil production will probably never surpass its 2006 level.2 However, the agency fudged the question a bit by declaring that the peak was not due to geological constraints, and that total volumes of liquid fuels (including crude oil, biofuels, synthetic oil from tar sands and coal, and natural gas liquids like butane and propane) will continue to grow — just a bit — until 2035. In discussing the IEA report, a few analysts declared that these latter claims were essentially just efforts to avoid panicking the markets.3 BOX 3.1 Oil Shock 2011? In the early months of 2011 street demonstrations erupted in Iraq, Iran, Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, and Algeria.


pages: 415 words: 103,231

Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of Energy Independence by Robert Bryce

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Berlin Wall, Colonization of Mars, decarbonisation, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, financial independence, flex fuel, hydrogen economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), John Markoff, Just-in-time delivery, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, price stability, Project for a New American Century, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stewart Brand, Thomas L Friedman, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize, Yom Kippur War

But even as all of these factors are restraining new production, advances in technology and rising commodity prices are spurring the Why We Think We Want Energy Independence 39 development of oil deposits that just a few years ago were viewed as mere fantasy. And that reflects a truism about natural resource development: As prices for a given commodity rise, more people will work to figure out how to find and produce more of it. That means that “difficult” oil like that located in oil shale and tar sands, which is virtually worthless when oil sells for less than about $40 per barrel, becomes more viable when the price of oil is, say, $60 or $80 a barrel. The innovations in the oil exploration business were clearly illustrated in September 2006 when Chevron, Devon Energy, and Norway’s Statoil ASA announced a major discovery with a well called the Jack No. 2. The three companies found a huge oil field in the deepwater of the Gulf of Mexico, about 270 miles southwest of New Orleans.74 The Jack well, drilled in 7,000 feet of water, found a major field in a geological area called the lower tertiary trend.

Dave Russum, a technical specialist with AJM Petroleum Consultants in Calgary, expects gas production in Alberta, which produces about 80 percent of Canada’s gas, to drop from 14 billion cubic feet per day in 2000 to just 6 billion cubic feet per day by 2024. Even if Canada is able to forestall a major decrease in its natural gas production, the booming tar sands operations in Alberta and Saskatchewan have a huge hunger for gas, which they use to heat the sands to leach out the oil. Some forecasts have even projected that all of the gas that would be carried by the proposed Mackenzie Delta pipeline, which could bring Canadian gas southward from the Beaufort Sea, may be diverted into the tar sands operations.5 The crimps in the Canadian gas market have left the U.S. with few options. New LNG-receiving terminals are being built in Texas and on the West Coast to handle the incoming gas. Those terminals will complement the LNG-receiving facilities that are already in place in Maryland, Massachusetts, Georgia, and Louisiana.

And like Ford, he threatened to impose gasoline rationing.26 Carter even had some 5 billion gasoline rationing coupons printed up, at a cost of $12 million, in case rationing became necessary.27 Perhaps the most expensive element of Carter’s push for energy independence was the federally funded Synthetic Fuels Corporation. Launched in 1980, the agency provided money and loan guarantees to entrepreneurs who wanted to produce motor fuel from coal and oil 102 GUSHER OF LIES shale. Congress supported the program, wrote energy analyst Vito Stagliano in his 2001 book, A Policy of Discontent, “even as one uneconomic project followed another, justified by the ever-elusive standard of energy security.”28 By 1992, the new federal agency was supposed to be producing 1.5 million barrels of synthetic fuel per day.29 It never got close to that target. Instead, wrote Stagliano, it never produced “a single cost-effective barrel of fuel but managed to rack up federal debt obligations of over $2 billion.”30 (The agency was abolished in 1985.)


pages: 483 words: 143,123

The Frackers: The Outrageous Inside Story of the New Billionaire Wildcatters by Gregory Zuckerman

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activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, American energy revolution, Asian financial crisis, Bakken shale, Bernie Sanders, Buckminster Fuller, corporate governance, corporate raider, credit crunch, energy security, Exxon Valdez, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, LNG terminal, margin call, Maui Hawaii, North Sea oil, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Peter Thiel, reshoring, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, urban decay

But energy companies quickly moved away from this rock. It just didn’t seem possible to easily extract oil or gas from shale. Sure, shale had a lot of pores, allowing it to store oil and gas. But the rock was too tight and compressed. In other words, there weren’t enough connections between those pores. Trapped oil and gas didn’t seem to have necessary pathways for it to flow to a “wellbore,” or a hole drilled into the ground to create a well. Much of the oil and gas in shale eventually makes its way to shallower rock formations near the surface through natural fractures in the rock. But because shale is so compressed, this process can take millions of years. Geologists knew oil and gas remained in shale formations around the country and around the world, but it seemed much too expensive to try to go get it.

Since the early 1900s, for example, interest has waxed and waned in areas of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming jam-packed with so-called oil shale, an organic-rich rock that’s a distant cousin of shale oil, despite the similar name. Oil shale holds high concentrations of kerogen, a precursor to oil that some liken to teenage crude because it hasn’t experienced the millions of years of pressure needed to become oil.2 Rock in those U.S. states holds the energy equivalent of the world’s entire proven oil reserves, government reports have said. Plus, it’s close to the surface, making it easy to find. During World War I, National Geographic predicted that “no man who owns a motor-car will fail to rejoice” because oil shale surely would provide the “supplies of gasoline which can meet any demand.”3 But fervor for this rock has petered out time and time again in the United States due to the imposing cost of heating it to get the kerogen out, as well as the environmental damage that usually results from this extraction.

Geologists knew oil and gas remained in shale formations around the country and around the world, but it seemed much too expensive to try to go get it. The rock had such low permeability that it just didn’t seem worth the time, cost, and effort. Whatever oil or gas shale held, it sure didn’t seem to want to give it up. “In the field the stance was that it wasn’t economical, the formation wasn’t viable and couldn’t make enough gas,” says Jay Ewing, an engineer who worked for a rival of Mitchell Energy in the early 1980s.9 Complicating matters, shale layers were just too far down—as much as two miles below the surface—adding to the difficulty and cost. Besides, it also wasn’t clear how much oil and gas remained in shale, since so much of it had already flowed up to the surface. Most experts were dubious that there was enough pore space in shale to contain very much oil and gas. “It was foreign to everyone’s thinking that there could be that much gas in this rock,” says Dan Steward, a Mitchell geologist.


pages: 327 words: 90,542

The Age of Stagnation by Satyajit Das

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9 dash line, accounting loophole / creative accounting, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Anton Chekhov, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collaborative economy, colonial exploitation, computer age, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, disintermediation, Downton Abbey, Emanuel Derman, energy security, energy transition, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, financial repression, forward guidance, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, happiness index / gross national happiness, Honoré de Balzac, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, informal economy, Innovator's Dilemma, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, margin call, market design, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, open economy, passive income, peak oil, peer-to-peer lending, pension reform, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, precariat, price stability, profit maximization, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Rana Plaza, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, rising living standards, risk/return, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, savings glut, secular stagnation, seigniorage, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, the market place, the payments system, The Spirit Level, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade route, transaction costs, unpaid internship, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

BP has paid more than US$40 billion in criminal and civil settlements to date. Accessing Arctic fields, believed to contain 13 percent of the world's undiscovered oil and 30 percent of its natural gas, creates the risk of catastrophic spills. Fracking and tar sand oils require large quantities of water for extraction, transport, and refining. There is a risk of groundwater and aquifer contamination, and storing and treating waste water is difficult. There are suspected connections between fracking and earthquakes. Unconventional fuels, especially heavy oils and tar sands, have a higher proportion of carbon to hydrogen, resulting in higher carbon dioxide emissions when used. Fracking also increases potential emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Concern about future energy shortages and the long-term effects of climate change are driving interest in renewable energies.

Basic household water consumption is around 50 liters per person per day, ranging from a minimum requirement of 20 liters to the 100 liters or more used routinely in developed countries. Industrial use accounts for 22 percent of demand. Water is used to generate electricity, either directly using hydroelectric power plants, or indirectly through heat exchange in coal, nuclear, or geothermal power processes. Energy production accounts for around two-thirds of industrial consumption, with water required for coal mining; hydraulic fracturing (fracking), to extract gas and oil from shale formations; and the cooling of gas, coal, and nuclear power plants. Water is used in the production of foodstuffs, fuels, and chemicals. Textiles, paper production, and mining are especially water-intensive. Agriculture accounts for 70 percent of demand. Professor John Anthony Allan from King's College, London, introduced the concept of virtual or embedded water, the volume of freshwater used to produce a product.

This fall reflects weaker than expected demand due to slower economic growth and increased supply, in part from new sources such as shale gas and liquids, but also due to the refusal of OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries), led by Saudi Arabia, to cut output for strategic and geopolitical reasons. The strategy was to allow prices to fall below the production costs of high-cost producers and non-traditional oil sources, especially shale, forcing them out of business and thus protecting Saudi's and OPEC's market share. Some argued that oil prices had entered a new, permanent long-term range of US$20–60 per barrel. Others saw the fall as temporary. The consensus was that lower oil prices would assist the global economy. Quantitative greasing would augment quantitative easing, supporting economic activity. A US$40 fall in oil price equates to an income transfer of around US$1.3 trillion (around 2 percent of global GDP) from oil producers to oil consumers.

Blindside: How to Anticipate Forcing Events and Wild Cards in Global Politics by Francis Fukuyama

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Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, cognitive bias, cuban missile crisis, energy security, flex fuel, income per capita, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, John von Neumann, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, Norbert Wiener, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, packet switching, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, The Wisdom of Crowds, trade route, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Yom Kippur War

Therefore, even if every new vehicle produced runs on some alternative fuel, uninterrupted supplies of conventional fuels will still be needed for the next fifteen to twenty years. 2990-7 ch07 luft 7/23/07 12:11 PM Page 77 in search of energy security 77 The petroleum industry will doubtless do its part: With high oil prices expected for the foreseeable future, Americans are likely to see expanded domestic production using enhanced recovery technologies; the government relaxing some restrictions on domestic drilling; and, increasingly, nonconventional sources of petroleum such as tar sands, extra-heavy oil, and oil shale coming online. An estimated 180 billion barrels of oil can potentially be generated from tar sands in Canada, and technology is being developed to tap an additional 800 billion barrels of oil from shale in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming—more than triple the proven oil reserves of Saudi Arabia. America’s vast coal reserves can also be tapped to produce synthetic petroleum. A process called Fischer-Tropsch, which was used extensively by Nazi Germany and by South Africa, allows the conversion of coal to clean diesel.

See Special Report on Emissions Scenarios SRI International, 95 Standardization, of automobiles, 24–25 State governments, political barriers to preparation by, 11 STEEP framework, 100–01 Stern, Fritz, 131 Stimson, Henry, 60, 61 Stock markets, in East Asia, before crisis, 42–43 Stockpiling, of antiviral drugs, 85–86 Storage, computer, 124 Strategic surprises, 93–108; believability of, 93–94, 98, 103–05; definition of, 94; denial and, 103; filters approach to, 99–100; imagination applied to, 93–94, 97–99; information-processing frameworks for, 100–01; insideout perspective on, 101–03; myths regarding, 94–95; outside-in perspective on, 101–02; predictions of, 97, 106–08; preparedness for, 105–08; Soviet collapse as, 95–97; systematic approach to, 97–99; ways of anticipating, 97–105 Sudan, infectious disease in, 86 Sugar cane, ethanol from, 78–79, 171 Suharto, 42, 106 2990-7 ch17 index 7/23/07 12:33 PM Page 197 index Sukarno, 106 Sumatra, 106, 144 Supercomputers, 122 Supernova, 141 Superpowers: European–Russian alliance as, 107; U.S. as, end of, 107, 157–59 Surowiecki, James, 100 Surprises: collective cognitive architecture of, 29–30, 36; expectation in, 110; inevitable, 93, 94; psychology of, 3, 23, 110; slow, 23–28; socio-surprises, 3; strategic, 93–108; time frames of, 23–24 Surveillance, of infectious disease, 86–87, 88 Switching circuits, in digital computers, 124 Syria, past surprises in, 145–46 Taiwan, 158 Tar sands, 77 Technological forecasting, limits of, 5 Technological innovation: adaptation to, 162–63; in automobile industry, 24–28; cycles of, 58; dangers of, 155, 163; in electricity, 27–28; in energy sector, 59–60, 67–70; in geo-engineering of climate change, 151–52; optimism vs. pessimism about, 138; organization of, 59–70; in petroleum industry, 26–28; precursors of DARPA in, 60–63; slow surprises in, 23–28; social change and, 163–64; in war, 57–58.


pages: 422 words: 113,830

Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism by Kevin Phillips

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algorithmic trading, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, collateralized debt obligation, computer age, corporate raider, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, currency peg, diversification, Doha Development Round, energy security, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Gilder, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, imperial preference, income inequality, index arbitrage, index fund, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, large denomination, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, Martin Wolf, Menlo Park, mobile money, money market fund, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old-boy network, peak oil, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, Renaissance Technologies, reserve currency, risk tolerance, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, shareholder value, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, The Chicago School, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trade route

Professor Michael Klare summarizes it this way: In May, the Energy Department “stopped talking about ‘oil’ in its projections of future petroleum availability and began speaking of ‘liquids.’ The global output of ‘liquids,’ the department indicated, would rise from 84 million barrels of oil equivalent (mboe) per day in 2005 to a projected 117.7 mboe in 2030—barely enough to satisfy anticipated world demand of 117.6 mboe.”74 Peak-oil stalwarts like Simmons have made the same point: crude-oil production is what has peaked, and the liquids—from tar sands, oil shale, biofuels, coal-to-liquids, and gas-to-liquids—must now be included to keep things on track. Perhaps they can do so; certainly they can for several years. But that is not the only issue. If crude production has peaked, with its many ramifications, that in itself conveys an enormously significant message. It is not a happy message. The economics are precarious, the geopolitics is dangerous, but the domestic U.S. politics stand to be awful.

After a while, he said, “they’ll be in liquidation.” 29 State oil companies have most remaining global reserves so locked up, according to the Oil & Gas Journal, that the Canadian oil sands region now represents 50 to 70 percent of the reserves not barred to international oil companies because of government restrictions.30 However, a substantial percentage of environmentalists seem as opposed to developing the Canadian oil sands as they are to developing coal in southern Illinois or oil shale in the Rocky Mountains. Some hold all three positions alongside determined support for the idea of U.S. energy independence. Facilitated as these assumptions are by strong public preference for Democratic environmental positions and general dismissal of the Republicans, the net result may be less a green breakthrough than a green illusion. Many of the presumptions about alternative energy supply involved do not add up.

At the National Restaurant Association, chief economist Hudson Riehle told the Times that “our operators are being forced to raise menu prices at the highest rate since 1990.” In the agricultural sector, though, the plus side of record food prices is that they have a history of encouraging innovation, be it in farm equipment, technology, seeds, or fertilizer. The same has been true in energy, where 2006-2008 prices spurred development of previously uneconomic resources—heavy oil, shale oil, and the Canadian oil sands region. This is why the idea of an Asia-centered Price Revolution II is so compelling. Price upheavals and progress may require each other. One prospect that troubled the National Intelligence Council was the apparent resurgence of state capitalism, resource nationalism, and forms of mercantilism. I see similar trends, which are developed at greater length in pages 54-58 and 180.


pages: 554 words: 168,114

Oil: Money, Politics, and Power in the 21st Century by Tom Bower

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Ayatollah Khomeini, banking crisis, bonus culture, corporate governance, credit crunch, energy security, Exxon Valdez, falling living standards, fear of failure, forensic accounting, index fund, interest rate swap, kremlinology, LNG terminal, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, new economy, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, passive investing, peak oil, Piper Alpha, price mechanism, price stability, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, transaction costs, transfer pricing, zero-sum game, éminence grise

The fundamentals of supply and demand could not permanently support record high prices, and if the price increases were remorseless, the cost of processing “unconventional” tar sands into gasoline became realistic, undermining the peak oil case. High crude prices, however, were hitting profits. Refineries were earning less from their products, the cost of rigs and personnel was rising, and the taxes demanded by the producer nations soared. Rex Tillerson tried to talk prices down. “One trillion barrels of oil have been produced,” he said, “and over 15 trillion barrels of energy remains.” More conservatively, the energy consulting group CERA estimated that four trillion barrels of proven reserves existed; by including oil shale, tar sands and bitumen, that figure was increased to at least seven trillion barrels. A new CERA study by Peter Jackson of 811 oilfields, producing 19 billion barrels a year out of the world’s total of 32 billion, showed that the 4.5 percent depletion was just half the rate previously assumed by the industry.

Hubbert’s original forecast of production in America was based upon data compiled over decades, but new technology and prices challenged its accuracy. While America’s “proven” reserves in 1991 were 24.7 billion barrels, the total reserves, including tar oil, oil shale and other condensates, were estimated in 2003 to be 204 billion barrels, and some experts calculated that new technology could increase the ultimate recovery to between 263 billion and 368 billion barrels; and that figure did not include an estimated 180 billion barrels of oil in the Canadian tar sands. Price and technology would determine the amounts: producing a barrel of oil from bitumen cost about $35. “Let me know when we reach peak technology, then we can talk about peak oil,” Paul Siegele, Chevron’s vice president in charge of strategic planning, would say.

The corporation crafted public statements promoting its intention to be more open, to acknowledge human rights and to protect the environment by including renewable energy projects in its core business plan. In the future, said Herkströter, Shell would engage with Greenpeace to discuss the reduction of greenhouse gases in coal gasification and biofuels. Satisfied that he had fulfilled the public relations requirements, Herkströter approved the purchase of one fifth of Canada’s Athabasca tar sands for C$27 million, a relative pittance. The total estimated reserves were 1,701 billion barrels of oil. Shell anticipated extracting 179 billion barrels. Exploitation of the tar sands was uneconomic while oil was at $15 a barrel, but would be profitable once the price hit $40, although the process offended Shell’s newfound commitment to protect the environment. The tar’s extraction would require the felling of 54,000 square miles of forest, an area the size of New York State, and as a consequence wildlife would be killed and water polluted.


pages: 421 words: 120,332

The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization's Northern Future by Laurence C. Smith

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Bretton Woods, BRICs, clean water, Climategate, colonial rule, deglobalization, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, energy security, flex fuel, global supply chain, Google Earth, guest worker program, Hans Island, hydrogen economy, ice-free Arctic, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invisible hand, land tenure, Martin Wolf, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, purchasing power parity, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, side project, Silicon Valley, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, trade route, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, urban planning, Washington Consensus, Y2K

Legarth, “Sustainable Metal Resource Management—the Need for Industrial Development: Efficiency Improvement Demands on Metal Resource Management to Enable a Sustainable Supply until 2050,” Journal of Cleaner Production 4, no. 2 (1996): 97-104; see also C. M. Backman, “Global Supply and Demand of Metals in the Future,” Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A, 71 (2008): 1244-1254. 104 Unconventional oil is much more difficult to extract and includes materials that are often excavated, like oil shales and tar sands, and high-viscosity oils. 105 Based on their analysis of eight hundred oil fields, including all fifty-four “supergiants” containing five billion or more barrels, the International Energy Agency estimates the world average production-weighted decline rate is currently about 6.7% for fields that have passed their production peak, rising to 8.6% decline by 2030. World Energy Outlook 2008, OECD/IEA, 578 pp. 106 U.S.

The cost to produce it has dropped from thirty-five dollars per barrel in 1980 to twenty dollars per barrel in recent years, making even fifty-dollars-per-barrel oil prices very profitable.421 Huge new supplies of natural gas, needed for energy and hydrogen, will come online with construction of the Mackenzie Gas Project, a long-anticipated 1,220-kilometer pipeline that will carry Arctic gas from the Mackenzie Delta area to the tar sands and other North American markets. 422 History tells us that Canada’s adherence to international climate-change treaties crumbles before market forces like these: The tar sands are the biggest reason why Canada not only failed to meet her pledged reduction in carbon dioxide emissions under the Kyoto Protocol (to -6% below 1990 levels), but actually grew them +27% instead.423 So far, about 530 square kilometers have been strip-mined, an area not much greater than the city of Edmonton. But tar sands underlie a staggering 140,000 square kilometers of Alberta, nearly one-fourth of the province and about the size of Bangladesh. Of this large area, about 20%—sixty more Edmontons—are shallow enough for strip mining.

It was northern Alberta, not Noril’sk. Beneath me sprawled the open sores of the Athabasca Tar Sands, economic engine of Fort McMurray and almost one-half of the Canadian oil industry. Though they are more commonly called “oil sands,” what they hold is nothing like conventional oil. The pure, light, sweet crude pumped with ease from Saudi oil fields is a dream compared to this stuff. It is tarlike bitumen, a low-grade, sulfur-rich, hydrogen-poor hydrocarbon that has soaked into vast expanses of Alberta sandstone. Extracting liquid oils from this mess is an extraordinarily invasive, consumptive, and environmentally damaging process. At present, the most common way to do it is strip mining, with about two tons of tar sand needed to obtain a single barrel of oil. Gigantic trucks and shovels scrape the stuff off the surface.


pages: 829 words: 229,566

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein

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1960s counterculture, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bilateral investment treaty, British Empire, business climate, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, Climategate, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, crony capitalism, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, energy security, energy transition, equal pay for equal work, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, financial deregulation, food miles, Food sovereignty, global supply chain, hydraulic fracturing, ice-free Arctic, immigration reform, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, light touch regulation, market fundamentalism, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, new economy, Nixon shock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, patent troll, Pearl River Delta, planetary scale, post-oil, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rana Plaza, Ronald Reagan, smart grid, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, structural adjustment programs, Ted Kaczynski, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, wages for housework, walkable city, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

It took a while, however, before that became clear. For more than a week Enbridge did not share with the public the very pertinent fact that the substance that had leaked was not conventional crude; it was diluted bitumen, piped from the Alberta tar sands through Michigan. In fact in the early days, Enbridge’s then CEO, Patrick Daniel, flatly denied that the oil came from the tar sands and was later forced to backtrack. “What I indicated is that it was not what we have traditionally referred to as tar sands oil,” Daniel claimed of bitumen that certainly had come from the tar sands. “If it is part of the same geological formation, then I bow to that expert opinion.”82 In the fall of 2010, with many of these disasters still under way, Marty Cobenais of the Indigenous Environmental Network told me that the summer of spills was having a huge impact on communities in the path of new infrastructure projects, whether big rigs, pipelines, or tankers.

There was something else worth noting about Branson’s decision to allow his Earth Challenge to cobrand with the Alberta oil sector. The Calgary event took place at a moment when the San Francisco–based Forest Ethics had been upping the pressure on large corporations to boycott oil derived from the Alberta tar sands because of its high-carbon footprint. A fierce debate was also unfolding over whether new European fuel standards would effectively ban the sale of tar sands oil in Europe. And as early as 2008, the NRDC had sent open letters to fifteen U.S. and Canadian airlines asking them “to adopt their own corporate ‘Low Carbon Fuel Standard’ and to publicly oppose the expansion” of fuel from the tar sands and other unconventional sources, and to avoid these fuels in their own fleets. The group made a special appeal to Branson, citing his leadership in “combating global warming and developing alternative fuels.”54 It seemed like a fair enough demand: the Virgin chief had enjoyed enormous publicity for his very public climate-change promises.

Yet, the safety and spill response standards used by the United States to regulate pipeline transport of bitumen are designed for conventional oil.”67 Meanwhile, there are huge gaps in our knowledge about how spilled tar sands oil behaves in water. Over the last decade, there have been few studies published on the subject, and almost all were commissioned by the oil industry. However, a recent investigation by Environment Canada contained several disturbing findings, including that diluted tar sands oil sinks in saltwater “when battered by waves and mixed with sediments” (rather than floating on the ocean surface where it can be partially recovered) and that dispersants like those used during BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster have only “a limited effect,” according to a report in The Globe and Mail. And there has been virtually no formal research at all on the particular risks of transporting tar sands oil via truck or rail.68 Similarly, large knowledge gaps exist in our understanding of the ecological and human health impact of the Alberta tar sands themselves, with their enormous open-pit mines, dump trucks that can reach up to five stories high, and roaring upgraders.


pages: 219 words: 63,495

50 Future Ideas You Really Need to Know by Richard Watson

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23andMe, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, digital Maoism, digital map, Elon Musk, energy security, failed state, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, germ theory of disease, happiness index / gross national happiness, hive mind, hydrogen economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, life extension, Mark Shuttleworth, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peak oil, personalized medicine, phenotype, precision agriculture, profit maximization, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Florida, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, semantic web, Skype, smart cities, smart meter, smart transportation, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, Stuxnet, supervolcano, telepresence, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Turing test, urban decay, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, women in the workforce, working-age population, young professional

Oil is running out, alongside other key resources, but the amount that’s left is probably much more than we think and largely depends on what price people are willing to pay for it. With oil, in particular, technology will rapidly develop alongside demand, as it has done historically. This means that deeper deposits will be accessed alongside new reserves. Furthermore, “peak oil” generally refers to conventional oil, but there are huge reserves of unconventional oils such as tar sands, ultraheavy oils, oil shale and bituminous schist. Over the next few decades we’ll have problems matching rising demand to supply, but the main issues will be price volatility, transport and refining capacity—not a lack of oil. And let’s not forget that higher prices are an incentive for people to use resources more wisely and to develop highly cost-efficient alternatives. Nevertheless, in 2030, we will still rely on oil for around 29 percent of our energy needs and the world is still likely to get at least 75 percent of its energy from oil, coal and gas.

Yet simply turning things off, or not using devices or appliances at certain times of day, could make an enormous difference. According to the US Department of Energy, global electricity demand will rise by 77 percent by 2030. Yet simply designing fuel-efficient devices, factories and cars (relatively simple technology) could reduce demand by 20–33 percent. But changing how we use energy is not that straightforward: our infrastructure is largely designed for oil, not alternatives such as shale gas. The argument that we need a radical technology revolution to save the planet, however, is not necessarily true. Resource nationalism Ten of the largest oil companies in the world are “nationals”—state-controlled oil companies. Moreover, many of the owners of the world’s largest remaining oil fields are moving to the far left politically and could potentially nationalize all energy and resource production within their borders.


pages: 105 words: 18,832

The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View From the Future by Naomi Oreskes, Erik M. Conway

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anti-communist, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, means of production, oil shale / tar sands, Pierre-Simon Laplace, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, stochastic process, the built environment, the market place

In the late twentieth century, Canada was considered an advanced nation with a high level of environmental sensitivity, but this changed around the year 2000 20 T h e F r e n z y o F F o s s i l F u e l s when Canada’s government began to push for development of huge tar sand deposits in the province of Alberta, as well as shale gas in various parts of the country. The Canada was considered an tar sand deposits (which the advanced nation with a high government preferred to call level of environmental sensitiv- ity, but this changed around oil sands, because liquid oil the year 2000 when Canada’s had a better popular image government began to push for than sticky tar) had been development of huge tar sand mined intermittently since deposits in the province of the 1960s, but the rising Alberta, as well as shale gas in cost of conventional oil now various parts of the country.


pages: 436 words: 114,278

Crude Volatility: The History and the Future of Boom-Bust Oil Prices by Robert McNally

American energy revolution, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, collective bargaining, credit crunch, energy security, energy transition, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, index fund, Induced demand, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, joint-stock company, market clearing, market fundamentalism, moral hazard, North Sea oil, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, price discrimination, price stability, sovereign wealth fund, transfer pricing

A 55-mile-per-hour speed limit was introduced.77 (Many of these policies, such as fuel economy regulations and renewable subsidies, remain in effect today, although in changed form.) Carter also famously launched the federal Synthetic Fuels Corporation (SFC)—synfuels—to use chemical engineering to produce liquid fuels, mainly from coal—coming full circle, as 110 years before, petroleum was first commercialized to replace oil refined from coal. The SFC also intended to develop liquid fuels from oil shale (not today’s famous “shale oil” but instead kerogen-laden rocks), oil sands, and heavy oils. (The SFC failed to commercialize alternatives to oil, and was terminated in 1986.78) None of Carter’s measures brought immediate relief and the country spiraled deeper into crisis. During the first weekend of summer—June 23 and 24, 1979—58 percent of the nation’s gasoline stations were closed on Saturday and 70 percent were closed on Sunday.79 To address the immediate problem of soaring oil prices, President Carter also quietly implored Saudi Arabia to increase production.

ENTER THE SHALE REVOLUTION Since the TRC and Seven Sisters lost control in the early 1970s, it seemed that every five years or so something dramatic and unexpected came along to transform the oil market. Between 2010 and 2015, small and independent U.S. oil producers—whose forebearers ignited the modern oil market and subsequently discovered giant gushers like Spindletop and the Black Giant—once again sprang a surprise on the world oil market: U.S. shale. If the shale boom has a father, it is veteran oilman George Mitchell, —one of Houston’s largest oil and gas producers. In the 1980s, geologists employed by Mitchell noticed that when sinking deep wells through shale rock, geological instruments registered large amounts of natural gas. Shale—“a fine-grained sedimentary rock formed by the compaction of silt and clay-size mineral particles”35—was long known to hold oil and gas, but no one knew how to get it out.

“It is hard to overstate the degree to which the North American supply boom has, since its onset, consistently defied expectations,” the IEA exclaimed in 2014.46 While OPEC officials tended to publicly express skepticism, as time went on their views ranged from extreme anxiety on the part of OPEC members that competed directly with lighter shale oil like Algeria and Nigeria, to a more nuanced view by Saudi Arabia, who saw the upside of another potential swing producer. HOW SAUDI ARABIA’S REFUSAL TO SWING WRONG-FOOTED OIL PRICE PREDICTIONS By 2014, the shale oil boom was a major factor in the predictions of future oil supply and prices. Leading oil forecasts that year assumed crude oil prices would fall gently by 2019, from about $111 in 2013 to $95,47 while OPEC forecasters expected prices would remain around $110 per barrel through the end of the decade. Forecasters saw oversupply building in coming years, mainly because of new production from outside OPEC—not just the U.S. shale oil boom but also new Canadian Oil Sands projects.


pages: 313 words: 92,907

Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less Are Thekeys to Sustainability by David Owen

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

A Pattern Language, active transport: walking or cycling, big-box store, Buckminster Fuller, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, delayed gratification, distributed generation, drive until you qualify, East Village, food miles, garden city movement, hydrogen economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, linear programming, McMansion, Murano, Venice glass, Negawatt, New Urbanism, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, placebo effect, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thomas L Friedman, unemployed young men, urban planning, urban sprawl, walkable city, zero-sum game

David Goodstein writes, “As we progress down the fossil fuel list from light crude oil (the stuff we mostly use now) to heavy oil, oil sands, tar sands, and finally shale oil, the cost in energy progressively increases, as do other costs.”24 All such calculations are subject to angry, irresolvable debate. (The EROEI of Middle Eastern oil looks worse if you include the cost of American military expenditures, in Iraq and elsewhere, that were intended at least partly to preserve U.S. access to those supplies,d or if you try to include some reckoning of the environmental costs of producing and using various fuels, and it looks better if you factor in the increasing energy efficiency of modern machines.) In addition, fossil fuels are by no means interchangeable; some aren’t even fuels. “Shale oil” is a misnomer, since shale oil—of which the United States has vast deposits—isn’t oil at all but is, rather, a dirty, difficult-to-extract oil precursor, which can be turned into a burnable fuel only with massive environmental disruption and a huge input of energy, giving it an EROEI that is probably much less than 1.


pages: 378 words: 111,369

Gateway by Frederik Pohl

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blood diamonds, gravity well, Magellanic Cloud, oil shale / tar sands

All day and all night there’s the roar of the extractor furnaces, heating and grinding the marlstone to get the kerogen out of it, and the rumble of the long-line conveyors, dragging the spent shale away to pile it somewhere. See, you have to heat the rock to extract the oil. When you heat it it expands, like popcorn. So there’s no place to put it. You can’t squeeze it back into the shaft you’ve taken it out of; there’s too much of it. If you dig out a mountain of shale and extract the oil, the popped shale that’s left is enough to make two mountains. So that’s what you do. You build new mountains. And the runoff heat from the extractors warms the culture sheds, and the oil grows its slime as it trickles through the shed, and the slime-skimmers scoop it off and dry it and press it…and we eat it, or some of it, for breakfast the next morning. Funny. In the old days oil used to bubble right out of the ground!

On those days I worked myself up almost to the point of quitting Gateway completely. Most days we simply spent deferring decision. It wasn’t all that hard. It was a pretty pleasant way to live, exploring Gateway and each other. Klara took on a maid, a stocky, fair young woman from the food mines of Carmarthen named Hywa. Except that the feedstock for the Welsh single-cell protein factories was coal instead of oil shale, her world had been almost exactly like mine. Her way out of it had not been a lottery ticket but two years as crew on a commercial spaceship. She couldn’t even go back home. She had jumped ship on Gateway, forfeiting her bond of money she couldn’t pay. And she couldn’t prospect, either, because her one launch had left her with a heart arrhythmia that sometimes looked like it was getting better and sometimes put her in Terminal Hospital for a week at a time.

If we didn’t do what we do there would be hunger in Texas and kwashiorkor among the babies in Oregon. We all know that. We contribute five trillion calories a day to the world’s diet, half the protein ration for about a fifth of the global population. It all comes out of the yeasts and bacteria we grow off the Wyoming shale oil, along with parts of Utah and Colorado. The world needs that food. But so far it has cost us most of Wyoming, half of Appalachia, a big chunk of the Athabasca tar sands region…and what are we going to do with all those people when the last drop of hydrocarbon is converted to yeast? It’s not my problem, but I still think of it. It stopped being my problem when I won the lottery, the day after Christmas, the year I turned twenty-six. The prize was two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Enough to live like a king for a year. Enough to marry and keep a family on, provided we both worked and didn’t live too high.


pages: 386 words: 91,913

The Elements of Power: Gadgets, Guns, and the Struggle for a Sustainable Future in the Rare Metal Age by David S. Abraham

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, Airbus A320, carbon footprint, clean water, cleantech, commoditize, Deng Xiaoping, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, glass ceiling, global supply chain, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, reshoring, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, Tesla Model S, thinkpad, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, Y2K

Trapped within the soft-brown sedimentary rock is oil shale, which the Estonians have been mining for nearly a century. A cheap but dirty fuel, oil shale is still the source of 70 percent of the country’s energy. Aboveground, the brisk, frigid morning air turns warm plumes of smoke, coming from an oil shale energy plant in the distance, into faint billowing clouds. Beyond these clouds, I soon see a promise of a cleaner future—several wind turbines, their blades turning in unison in the Arctic breeze.1 These new wind turbines provide about 10 percent of the country’s total generation capacity. Ambitious plans being discussed in Tallinn promise an increase from some 300 mega-watts (MW) of wind power to 1,800 MW in the near future. Like the power plants running on oil shale, these factories are making use of local resources: wind and neodymium, the metal produced at Estonia’s rare earth element processing plant in Sillamäe.

John Smith, interview by David Abraham, Fairfield, CT, January 8, 2013. 42. Kirchain, interview, February 22, 2013. 43. Kevin Moore, telephone interview by David Abraham, May 6, 2014. 44. Duclos, “Energy-Critical Materials.” 7 Environmental Needs 1. Isa Soares, “Estonia’s Dirty Energy Drive for Self-Sufficiency,” CNN, December 5, 2013, edition.cnn.com/2013/12/05/business/estonia-oil-shale-industry/. 2. International Energy Agency, “Estonia Is Cleansing Oil Shale,” January 2014, www.iea.org/newsroomandevents/news/2014/january/estoniaiscleansingoilshale.html; Linas Jegelevicius, “Baltics’ Estonia Ramps Up Wind Power Generation,” Renewable Energy World, February 2014, http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2014/02/baltics-estonia-ramps-up-wind-power-generation. “Elering: Electricity Consumption and Production in Estonia,” accessed December 4, 2014, elering.ee/electricity-consumption-and-production-in-estonia-2/. 3.

Stalin chose to build the processing facility in Sillamäe because geologists had reported that the town was rich in uranium; some of it was used to make the country’s first atomic bomb. But, despite the Soviets’ meticulous planning, Factory Number 7, now known as Silmet, was built in the wrong spot. Sillamäe ran out of uranium not long after the mining started. Rumor in town had it that scientists had overestimated the resource buried in the region’s vast oil shale reserves. One wonders whether some unlucky souls spent years in Siberia contemplating this misjudgment.3 After the town’s ore ran out, Silmet started importing it. This imported uranium ore contained contaminants, other metals that complicated the refining process. Instead of discarding these impurities, notably niobium and tantalum, the Soviets set up two more processing lines to extract them.


pages: 386 words: 91,913

The Elements of Power: Gadgets, Guns, and the Struggle for a Sustainable Future in the Rare Metal Age by David S. Abraham

3D printing, Airbus A320, carbon footprint, clean water, cleantech, commoditize, Deng Xiaoping, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, glass ceiling, global supply chain, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, reshoring, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, Tesla Model S, thinkpad, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, Y2K

Trapped within the soft-brown sedimentary rock is oil shale, which the Estonians have been mining for nearly a century. A cheap but dirty fuel, oil shale is still the source of 70 percent of the country’s energy. Aboveground, the brisk, frigid morning air turns warm plumes of smoke, coming from an oil shale energy plant in the distance, into faint billowing clouds. Beyond these clouds, I soon see a promise of a cleaner future—several wind turbines, their blades turning in unison in the Arctic breeze.1 These new wind turbines provide about 10 percent of the country’s total generation capacity. Ambitious plans being discussed in Tallinn promise an increase from some 300 mega-watts (MW) of wind power to 1,800 MW in the near future. Like the power plants running on oil shale, these factories are making use of local resources: wind and neodymium, the metal produced at Estonia’s rare earth element processing plant in Sillamäe.

John Smith, interview by David Abraham, Fairfield, CT, January 8, 2013. 42. Kirchain, interview, February 22, 2013. 43. Kevin Moore, telephone interview by David Abraham, May 6, 2014. 44. Duclos, “Energy-Critical Materials.” 7 Environmental Needs 1. Isa Soares, “Estonia’s Dirty Energy Drive for Self-Sufficiency,” CNN, December 5, 2013, edition.cnn.com/2013/12/05/business/estonia-oil-shale-industry/. 2. International Energy Agency, “Estonia Is Cleansing Oil Shale,” January 2014, www.iea.org/newsroomandevents/news/2014/january/estoniaiscleansingoilshale.html; Linas Jegelevicius, “Baltics’ Estonia Ramps Up Wind Power Generation,” Renewable Energy World, February 2014, http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2014/02/baltics-estonia-ramps-up-wind-power-generation. “Elering: Electricity Consumption and Production in Estonia,” accessed December 4, 2014, elering.ee/electricity-consumption-and-production-in-estonia-2/. 3.

Stalin chose to build the processing facility in Sillamäe because geologists had reported that the town was rich in uranium; some of it was used to make the country’s first atomic bomb. But, despite the Soviets’ meticulous planning, Factory Number 7, now known as Silmet, was built in the wrong spot. Sillamäe ran out of uranium not long after the mining started. Rumor in town had it that scientists had overestimated the resource buried in the region’s vast oil shale reserves. One wonders whether some unlucky souls spent years in Siberia contemplating this misjudgment.3 After the town’s ore ran out, Silmet started importing it. This imported uranium ore contained contaminants, other metals that complicated the refining process. Instead of discarding these impurities, notably niobium and tantalum, the Soviets set up two more processing lines to extract them.


pages: 397 words: 112,034

What's Next?: Unconventional Wisdom on the Future of the World Economy by David Hale, Lyric Hughes Hale

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affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, diversification, energy security, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, full employment, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global village, high net worth, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, index fund, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Just-in-time delivery, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage tax deduction, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, passive investing, payday loans, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, price stability, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, technology bubble, The Great Moderation, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Tobin tax, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, Washington Consensus, Westphalian system, women in the workforce, yield curve

The Ghanaian government was concerned that Kosmos and the private equity groups backing it (Blackstone and Warburg Pincus) were going to profit handsomely from the sale.11 Such decisions are worrisome because they jeopardize a whole set of business models whereby smaller companies focus on the initial risk-taking in the investment value chain, and deep-pocketed companies take over when successful discoveries call for the type of large-scale developments they are better equipped to handle. In this case, the Ghanaian government designated the Chinese company CNOOC as the preferred buyer. Kosmos could not accept this decision, which left the Blackstone Group in the uncomfortable position of having to run an oil company rather than take the fruits of their successful risk-taking to another part of the world. The Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Its Implications for Deepwater Oil and Shale Gas Restrictions on investors’ freedom of operation do not result only from what tends to be summarily labeled “resource nationalism,” as can be seen from the reassessment of regulations regarding hydrocarbon exploration and development in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon platform (operated by Transocean for BP) on April 20, 2010, resulted in the death of eleven crewmen and a spill of 4.9 million barrels of oil before the well could be sealed.

The fact that Canada will be cutting taxes as the Obama administration is planning tax increases will enhance Canada’s competitive position. Canada needs more corporate investment because its productivity performance has lagged during recent years. Canada is better positioned than the United States to cope with the climate change challenge because it obtains only 15 percent of its electric power from coal compared to 50 percent in the United States. Canada’s concerns center on its rapidly growing tar sands industry in Alberta. Some members of the US Congress want to restrict imports of oil from Alberta on the grounds that it is dirty. Therefore, Canada intends to closely coordinate its environmental policies with the new policies that are emerging from the Obama administration. Canada’s problem in the short term is that the Obama administration cannot get support in the US Senate for its own cap-and-trade policy.

Thanks to a planned $10 billion investment, Saudi production capacity is set to have risen to 1 mb/d in 2010 to 12.8 mb/d, which will provide the country with enough spare capacity to keep prices from rising to levels that would threaten oil market stability—and excessively facilitate the international ambitions of Iran, Venezuela, and Russia. Yet these decreases in actual and planned investment levels will not impact the oil and gas industry in proportions similar to what the aggregate nominal decreases would suggest. First, the bulk of deferred capacity is in the power sector—in line with the fact that electricity demand has decreased for the first time—and in Canadian tar sands, for which a pause in an overheated sector in search of its ecological balance has a clear silver lining. Indeed, in Edward Morse’s words, “strategy,” rather than reduced cash flow, is the “most significant [factor] that [is] delaying projects today,” as companies “believe that they can negotiate better terms with contractors the longer they wait.”28 Costs had risen to incredibly high levels,29 and the ability to build capacity (for example, increasing the number of drilling vessels) needed to be expanded to tame this source of inflation.


pages: 423 words: 118,002

The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World by Russell Gold

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

accounting loophole / creative accounting, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, American energy revolution, Bakken shale, Bernie Sanders, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, corporate governance, corporate raider, energy security, energy transition, hydraulic fracturing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), margin call, market fundamentalism, Mason jar, North Sea oil, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Project Plowshare, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Upton Sinclair

This is the source rock for Siberia’s giant oil fields—and the source of much of modern Russia’s wealth and political strength. The trillions of tons of dead organisms baked in the heat of the earth and transformed, slowly, into oil droplets. Oil was expelled from the shale and traveled upward until impassable rock canopies trapped it. This process formed large oil reservoirs, not in underground pools but inside permeable rocks riddled with tiny holes that allowed billions of barrels’ worth of the sought-after liquid to collect. In any given year, Russia is either the world’s largest, or second largest, oil producer. This is due primarily to oil that escaped the Bazhenov. This narrative is a quintessential story of fossil fuel: organic material is converted into oil and gas inside the shale, and then the hydrocarbons escape and travel upward. If something blocks the molecules’ path, they will fill up porous rocks like water in a sponge and create a petroleum reservoir.

With fracks at closer intervals, more of the Bakken’s oil drained out. Other companies followed Brigham’s lead. In 2011, three years after tiny Brigham flirted with financial end days, Norwegian oil giant Statoil bought it for $4.4 billion. (Bud Brigham owned about 2 percent of the outstanding shares.) By then, other oil shales had been discovered, including the giant Eagle Ford oil field in South Texas. And if fracking could unlock the oil in these areas, it could do the same around the world. Argentina, Russia, and the Middle East are all believed to have vast oil deposits in shales. In the mid-2000s, fears of “peak oil” were rife. The Olson 10-15 helped change the narrative. Crude remains a complex and constrained global market. Even if a dozen new Bakkens are discovered on the Great Plains, global oil prices are unlikely to budge much. But Brigham in the Bakken reinforced the notion that the industry could sink its drill bits into more oil than even the most dewy-eyed wildcatters had dreamed possible.

Its annual budget topped $20 billion in 2012, and it spent a chunk of that on a sophisticated advertising campaign that preaches the gospel of domestic energy production and attempts to calm fears about hydraulic fracturing. Chesapeake drills more than a thousand wells every year and fracks each one. Once the bit churns through the dense rock, the company pumps in millions of gallons of water and chemicals to create a network of sinewy fractures, each one an escape route for trapped hydrocarbons. Gas and oil freed from the shale flows out of the cracks and up the well. The recipe that Chesapeake said it was following was quite simple: just add water. The reality, however, was more complex. My parents’ property was valuable to Chesapeake because it sits atop one of the largest shale formations in the world. The Marcellus Shale was once so obscure that it appeared in only the most detailed geologic maps of the area.


pages: 565 words: 151,129

The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism by Jeremy Rifkin

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3D printing, active measures, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, big-box store, bioinformatics, bitcoin, business process, Chris Urmson, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, crowdsourcing, demographic transition, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, global supply chain, global village, Hacker Ethic, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labour mobility, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, mass immigration, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, new economy, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, Occupy movement, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, phenotype, planetary scale, price discrimination, profit motive, QR code, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Stallman, risk/return, Ronald Coase, search inside the book, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social web, software as a service, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the built environment, The Nature of the Firm, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks, working poor, zero-sum game, Zipcar

The quick exhaustion of existing shale gas reservoirs requires producers to continuously find new shale gas deposits and dig new wells, which jack up the cost of production. The result, says Hall, is that it is “impossible to maintain production . . . without constant new wells being drilled [which would] require high oil prices.” Hall believes that shale gas euphoria will be a short-lived phenomenon.67 The International Energy Agency (IEA) agrees. In its annual 2013 World Energy Outlook report, the IEA forecast that “light tight oil,” a popular term for shale gas, will peak around 2020 and then plateau, with production falling by the mid-2020s. The U.S. shale gas outlook is even more bearish. The U.S. Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration expects higher shale gas levels to continue only to the late teens (another five years or so) and then slow.68 What hasn’t yet sunk in is that fossil fuel energies are never going to approach zero marginal cost, or even come close.

Internet communication is already being generated and shared at near zero marginal cost and so too is solar and wind power for millions of early adopters. The stalwart supporters of fossil fuels argue that tar sands and shale gas are readily available, making it unnecessary to scale up renewable energies, at least in the short term. But it’s only because crude oil reserves are dwindling, forcing a rise in price on global markets, that these other more costly fossil fuels are even being introduced. Extracting oil from sand and rock is an expensive undertaking when compared to the cost of drilling a hole and letting crude oil gush up from under the ground. Tar sands are not even commercially viable when crude oil prices dip below $80-per barrel, and recall that just a few years ago, $80-per-barrel oil was considered prohibitively expensive.

Malcolm Ritter, “Study: Digital Information can be Stored in DNA,” Huffington Post, January 23, 2013, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20130123/us-sci-dna-data/# (accessed November 6, 2013). 66. Derik Andreoli, “The Bakken Boom—A Modern-Day Gold Rush,” Oil Drum, December 12, 2011, http://www.theoildrum.com/node/8697 (October 30, 2013); A. E. Berman, “After the Gold Rush: A Perspective on Future U.S. Natural Gas Supply and Price,” Oil Drum, February 8, 2012, http://www.theoildrum.com/node/8914 (accessed October 30, 2013). 67. Ajay Makan and Javier Blas, “Oil Guru Says US Shale Revolution is ‘Temporary,’” Financial Times, May 29, 2013, www.ft.com/cms/s/0/281b118e-c870-11e2-acc6-00144feab7de .html#axzz2UbJC9Zz1 (accessed October 17, 2013). 68. Matthew L. Wald, “Shale’s Effect on Oil Supply Is Forecast to Be Brief,” The New York Times, November 12, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/13/business/energy-environment/shales -effect-on-oil-supply-is-not-expected-to-last.html?


pages: 462 words: 150,129

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

23andMe, agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, Corn Laws, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial innovation, Flynn Effect, food miles, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, packet switching, patent troll, Pax Mongolica, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Productivity paradox, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Silicon Valley, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supervolcano, technological singularity, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Vernor Vinge, Vilfredo Pareto, wage slave, working poor, working-age population, Y2K, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

President Jimmy Carter announced in the 1970s that: ‘We could use up all of the proven reserves of oil in the entire world by the end of the next decade.’ In 1970, there were 550 billion barrels of oil reserves in the world and between 1970 and 1990 the world used 600 billion barrels of oil. So reserves should have been overdrawn by fifty billion barrels by 1990. In fact, by 1990 unexploited reserves amounted to 900 billion barrels – not counting the Athabasca tar sands of Alberta, the Orinoco tar shales of Venezuela and the oil shale of the Rocky Mountains, which between them contain about six trillion barrels of heavy oil, or twenty times the proven oil reserves in Saudi Arabia. These heavy oil reserves are costly to exploit, but it is possible that bacterial refining will soon make them competitive with conventional oil even at ‘normal’ prices. The same false predictions of the imminent exhaustion of the natural gas supply have recurred throughout recent decades.

Abbasids 161, 178 Abelard, Peter 358 aborigines (Australian): division of labour 62, 63, 76; farming 127; technological regress 78–84; trade 90–91, 92 abortion, compulsory 203 Abu Hureyra 127 Acapulco 184 accounting systems 160, 168, 196 Accra 189 Acemoglu, Daron 321 Ache people 61 Acheulean tools 48–9, 50, 275, 373 Achuar people 87 acid rain 280, 281, 304–6, 329, 339 acidification of oceans 280, 340–41 Adams, Henry 289 Aden 177 Adenauer, Konrad 289 Aegean sea 168, 170–71 Afghanistan 14, 208–9, 315, 353 Africa: agriculture 145, 148, 154–5, 326; AIDS epidemic 14, 307–8, 316, 319, 320, 322; colonialism 319–20, 321–2; demographic transition 210, 316, 328; economic growth 315, 326–8, 332, 347; international aid 317–19, 322, 328; lawlessness 293, 320; life expectancy 14, 316, 422; per capita income 14, 315, 317, 320; poverty 314–17, 319–20, 322, 325–6, 327–8; prehistoric 52–5, 65–6, 83, 123, 350; property rights 320, 321, 323–5; trade 187–8, 320, 322–3, 325, 326, 327–8; see also individual countries African-Americans 108 agricultural employment: decline in 42–3; hardships of 13, 219–20, 285–6 agriculture: early development of 122–30, 135–9, 352, 387, 388; fertilisers, development of 135, 139–41, 142, 146, 147, 337; genetically modified (GM) crops 28, 32, 148, 151–6, 283, 358; hybrids, development of 141–2, 146, 153; and trade 123, 126, 127–33, 159, 163–4; and urbanisation 128, 158–9, 163–4, 215; see also farming; food supply Agta people 61–2 aid, international 28, 141, 154, 203, 317–19, 328 AIDS 8, 14, 307–8, 310, 316, 319, 320, 322, 331, 353 AIG (insurance corporation) 115 air conditioning 17 air pollution 304–5 air travel: costs of 24, 37, 252, 253; speed of 253 aircraft 257, 261, 264, 266 Akkadian empire 161, 164–5 Al-Ghazali 357 Al-Khwarizmi, Muhammad ibn Musa 115 Al-Qaeda 296 Albania 187 Alcoa (corporation) 24 Alexander the Great 169, 171 Alexander, Gary 295 Alexandria 171, 175, 270 Algeria 53, 246, 345 alphabet, invention of 166, 396 Alps 122, 178 altruism 93–4, 97 aluminium 24, 213, 237, 303 Alyawarre aborigines 63 Amalfi 178 Amazon (corporation) 21, 259, 261 Amazonia 76, 138, 145, 250–51 amber 71, 92 ambition 45–6, 351 Ames, Bruce 298–9 Amish people 211 ammonia 140, 146 Amsterdam 115–16, 169, 259, 368 Amsterdam Exchange Bank 251 Anabaptists 211 Anatolia 127, 128, 164, 165, 166, 167 Ancoats, Manchester 214 Andaman islands 66–7, 78 Andes 123, 140, 163 Andrew, Deroi Kwesi 189 Angkor Wat 330 Angola 316 animal welfare 104, 145–6 animals: conservation 324, 339; extinctions 17, 43, 64, 68, 69–70, 243, 293, 302, 338–9; humans’ differences from other 1, 2–4, 6, 56, 58, 64 Annan, Kofi 337 Antarctica 334 anti-corporatism 110–111, 114 anti-slavery 104, 105–6, 214 antibiotics 6, 258, 271, 307 antimony 213 ants 75–6, 87–8, 192 apartheid 108 apes 56–7, 59–60, 62, 65, 88; see also chimpanzees; orang-utans ‘apocaholics’ 295, 301 Appalachia 239 Apple (corporation) 260, 261, 268 Aquinas, St Thomas 102 Arabia 66, 159, 176, 179 Arabian Sea 174 Arabs 89, 175, 176–7, 180, 209, 357 Aral Sea 240 Arcadia Biosciences (company) 31–2 Archimedes 256 Arctic Ocean 125, 130, 185, 334, 338–9 Argentina 15, 186, 187 Arikamedu 174 Aristotle 115, 250 Arizona 152, 246, 345 Arkwright, Sir Richard 227 Armenians 89 Arnolfini, Giovanni 179 art: cave paintings 2, 68, 73, 76–7; and commerce 115–16; symbolism in 136; as unique human trait 4 Ashur, Assyria 165 Asimov, Isaac 354 Asoka the Great 172–3 aspirin 258 asset price inflation 24, 30 Assyrian empire 161, 165–6, 167 asteroid impacts, risk of 280, 333 astronomy 221, 270, 357 Athabasca tar sands, Canada 238 Athens 115, 170, 171 Atlantic Monthly 293 Atlantic Ocean 125, 170 Attica 171 Augustus, Roman emperor 174 Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony 184–5 Australia: climate 127, 241, 300, 334; prehistoric 66, 67, 69–70, 127; trade 187; see also aborigines (Australian); Tasmania Austria 132 Ausubel, Jesse 239, 346, 409 automobiles see cars axes: copper 123, 131, 132, 136, 271; stone 2, 5, 48–9, 50, 51, 71, 81, 90–91, 92, 118–19, 271 Babylon 21, 161, 166, 240, 254, 289 Bacon, Francis 255 bacteria: cross fertilisation 271; and pest control 151; resistance to antibiotics 6, 258, 271, 307; symbiosis 75 Baghdad 115, 177, 178, 357 Baines, Edward 227 Baird, John Logie 38 baking 124, 130 ‘balance of nature’, belief in 250–51 Balazs, Etienne 183 bald eagles 17, 299 Bali 66 Baltic Sea 71, 128–9, 180, 185 Bamako 326 bananas 92, 126, 149, 154, 392 Bangladesh 204, 210, 426 Banks, Sir Joseph 221 Barigaza (Bharuch) 174 barley 32, 124, 151 barrels 176 bartering vii, 56–60, 65, 84, 91–2, 163, 356 Basalla, George 272 Basra 177 battery farming 104, 145–6 BBC 295 beads 53, 70, 71, 73, 81, 93, 162 beef 186, 224, 308; see also cattle bees, killer 280 Beijing 17 Beinhocker, Eric 112 Bell, Alexander Graham 38 Bengal famine (1943) 141 benzene 257 Berlin 299 Berlin, Sir Isaiah 288 Bernard of Clairvaux, St 358 Berners-Lee, Sir Tim 38, 273 Berra, Yogi 354 Besant, Annie 208 Bhutan 25–6 Bible 138, 168, 396 bicycles 248–9, 263, 269–70 bin Laden, Osama 110 biofuels 149, 236, 238, 239, 240–43, 246, 300, 339, 343, 344, 346, 393 Bird, Isabella 197–8 birds: effects of pollution on 17, 299; killed by wind turbines 239, 409; nests 51; sexual differences 64; songbirds 55; see also individual species bireme galleys 167 Birmingham 223 birth control see contraception birth rates: declining 204–212; and food supply 192, 208–9; and industrialisation 202; measurement of 205, 403; population control policies 202–4, 208; pre-industrial societies 135, 137; and television 234; and wealth 200–201, 204, 205–6, 209, 211, 212; see also population growth Black Death 181, 195–6, 197, 380 Black Sea 71, 128, 129, 170, 176, 180 blogging 257 Blombos Cave, South Africa 53, 83 blood circulation, discovery of 258 Blunt, John 29 boat-building 167, 168, 177; see also canoes; ship-building Boers 321, 322 Bohemia 222 Bolivia 315, 324 Bolsheviks 324 Borlaug, Norman 142–3, 146 Borneo 339 Bosch, Carl 140, 412 Botswana 15, 316, 320–22, 326 Bottger, Johann Friedrich 184–5 Boudreaux, Don 21, 214 Boulton, Matthew 221, 256, 413–14 bows and arrows 43, 62, 70, 82, 137, 251, 274 Boxgrove hominids 48, 50 Boyer, Stanley 222, 405 Boyle, Robert 256 Bradlaugh, Charles 208 brain size 3–4, 48–9, 51, 55 Bramah, Joseph 221 Branc, Slovakia 136 Brand, Stewart 154, 189, 205 Brando, Marlon 110 brass 223 Brazil 38, 87, 123, 190, 240, 242, 315, 358 bread 38, 124, 140, 158, 224, 286, 392 bridges, suspension 283 Brin, Sergey 221, 405 Britain: affluence 12, 16, 224–5, 236, 296–7; birth rates 195, 200–201, 206, 208, 227; British exceptionalism 200–202, 221–2; climate change policy 330–31; consumer prices 24, 224–5, 227, 228; copyright system 267; enclosure acts 226, 323, 406; energy use 22, 231–2, 232–3, 342–3, 368, 430; ‘glorious revolution’ (1688) 223; income equality 18–19, 218; industrial revolution 201–2, 216–17, 220–32, 255–6, 258–9; life expectancy 15, 17–18; National Food Service 268; National Health Service 111, 261; parliamentary reform 107; per capita income 16, 218, 227, 285, 404–5; productivity 112; property rights 223, 226, 323–4; state benefits 16; tariffs 185–6, 186–7, 223; see also England; Scotland; Wales British Empire 161, 322 bronze 164, 168, 177 Brosnan, Sarah 59 Brown, Lester 147–8, 281–2, 300–301 Brown, Louise 306 Bruges 179 Brunel, Sir Marc 221 Buddhism 2, 172, 357 Buddle, John 412 Buffett, Warren 106, 268 Bulgaria 320 Burkina Faso 154 Burma 66, 67, 209, 335 Bush, George W. 161 Butler, Eamonn 105, 249 Byblos 167 Byzantium 176, 177, 179 cabbages 298 ‘Caesarism’ 289 Cairo 323 Calcutta 190, 315 Calico Act (1722) 226 Califano, Joseph 202–3 California: agriculture 150; Chumash people 62, 92–3; development of credit card 251, 254; Mojave Desert 69; Silicon Valley 221–2, 224, 257, 258, 259, 268 Cambodia 14, 315 camels 135, 176–7 camera pills 270–71 Cameroon 57 Campania 174, 175 Canaanites 166, 396 Canada 141, 169, 202, 238, 304, 305 Canal du Midi 251 cancer 14, 18, 293, 297–9, 302, 308, 329 Cannae, battle of 170 canning 186, 258 canoes 66, 67, 79, 82 capitalism 23–4, 101–4, 110, 115, 133, 214, 258–62, 291–2, 311; see also corporations; markets ‘Captain Swing’ 283 capuchin monkeys 96–7, 375 Caral, Peru 162–3 carbon dioxide emissions 340–47; absorption of 217; and agriculture 130, 337–8; and biofuels 242; costs of 331; and economic growth 315, 332; and fossil fuels 237, 315; and local sourcing of goods 41–2; taxes 346, 356 Cardwell’s Law 411 Caribbean see West Indies Carnegie, Andrew 23 Carney, Thomas 173 carnivorism 51, 60, 62, 68–9, 147, 156, 241, 376 carrots 153, 156 cars: biofuel for 240, 241; costs of 24, 252; efficiency of 252; future production 282, 355; hybrid 245; invention of 189, 270, 271; pollution from 17, 242; sport-utility vehicles 45 The Rational Optimist 424 Carson, Rachel 152, 297–8 Carter, Jimmy 238 Carthage 169, 170, 173 Cartwright, Edmund 221, 263 Castro, Fidel 187 Catalhoyuk 127 catallaxy 56, 355–9 Catholicism 105, 208, 306 cattle 122, 132, 145, 147, 148, 150, 197, 321, 336; see also beef Caucasus 237 cave paintings 2, 68, 73, 76–7 Cavendish, Henry 221 cement 283 central heating 16, 37 cereals 124–5, 125–6, 130–31, 143–4, 146–7, 158, 163; global harvests 121 Champlain, Samuel 138–9 charcoal 131, 216, 229, 230, 346 charitable giving 92, 105, 106, 295, 318–19, 356 Charles V: king of Spain 30–31; Holy Roman Emperor 184 Charles, Prince of Wales 291, 332 Chauvet Cave, France 2, 68, 73, 76–7 Chernobyl 283, 308, 345, 421 Chicago World Fair (1893) 346 chickens 122–3, 145–6, 147, 148, 408 chickpeas 125 Childe, Gordon 162 children: child labour 104, 188, 218, 220, 292; child molestation 104; childcare 2, 62–3; childhood diseases 310; mortality rates 14, 15, 16, 208–9, 284 Chile 187 chimpanzees 2, 3, 4, 6, 29, 59–60, 87, 88, 97 China: agriculture 123, 126, 148, 152, 220; birth rate 15, 200–201; coal supplies 229–30; Cultural Revolution 14, 201; diet 241; economic growth and industrialisation 17, 109, 180–81, 187, 201, 219, 220, 281–2, 300, 322, 324–5, 328, 358; economic and technological regression 180, 181–2, 193, 229–30, 255, 321, 357–8; energy use 245; income equality 19; innovations 181, 251; life expectancy 15; Longshan culture 397; Maoism 16, 187, 296, 311; Ming empire 117, 181–4, 260, 311; per capita income 15, 180; prehistoric 68, 123, 126; serfdom 181–2; Shang dynasty 166; Song dynasty 180–81; trade 172, 174–5, 177, 179, 183–4, 187, 225, 228 chlorine 296 cholera 40, 310 Chomsky, Noam 291 Christianity 172, 357, 358, 396; see also Catholicism; Church of England; monasteries Christmas 134 Chumash people 62, 92–3 Church of England 194 Churchill, Sir Winston 288 Cicero 173 Cilicia 173 Cisco Systems (corporation) 268 Cistercians 215 civil rights movement 108, 109 Clairvaux Abbey 215 Clark, Colin 146, 227 Clark, Gregory 193, 201, 401, 404 Clarke, Arthur C. 354 climate change 328–47, 426–30; costs of mitigation measures 330–32, 333, 338, 342–4; death rates associated with 335–7; and ecological dynamism 250, 329–30, 335, 339; and economic growth 315, 331–3, 341–3, 347; effects on ecosystems 338–41; and food supply 337–8; and fossil fuels 243, 314, 342, 346, 426; historic 194, 195, 329, 334, 426–7; pessimism about 280, 281, 314–15, 328–9; prehistoric 54, 65, 125, 127, 130, 160, 329, 334, 339, 340, 352; scepticism about 111, 329–30, 426; solutions to 8, 315, 345–7 Clinton, Bill 341 Clippinger, John 99 cloth trade 75, 159, 160, 165, 172, 177, 180, 194, 196, 225, 225–9, 232 clothes: Britain 224, 225, 227; early homo sapiens 71, 73; Inuits 64; metal age 122; Tasmanian natives 78 clothing prices 20, 34, 37, 40, 227, 228 ‘Club of Rome’ 302–3 coal: and economic take-off 201, 202, 213, 214, 216–17; and generation of electricity 233, 237, 239, 240, 304, 344; and industrialisation 229–33, 236, 407; prices 230, 232, 237; supplies 302–3 coal mining 132, 230–31, 237, 239, 257, 343 Coalbrookdale 407 Cobb, Kelly 35 Coca-Cola (corporation) 111, 263 coffee 298–9, 392 Cohen, Mark 135 Cold War 299 collective intelligence 5, 38–9, 46, 56, 83, 350–52, 355–6 Collier, Paul 315, 316–17 colonialism 160, 161, 187, 321–2; see also imperialism Colorado 324 Columbus, Christopher 91, 184 combine harvesters 158, 392 combined-cycle turbines 244, 410 commerce see trade Commoner, Barry 402 communism 106, 336 Compaq (corporation) 259 computer games 273, 292 computers 2, 3, 5, 211, 252, 260, 261, 263–4, 268, 282; computing power costs 24; information storage capacities 276; silicon chips 245, 263, 267–8; software 99, 257, 272–3, 304, 356; Y2K bug 280, 290, 341; see also internet Confucius 2, 181 Congo 14–15, 28, 307, 316 Congreve, Sir William 221 Connelly, Matthew 204 conservation, nature 324, 339; see also wilderness land, expansion of conservatism 109 Constantinople 175, 177 consumer spending, average 39–40 containerisation 113, 253, 386 continental drift 274 contraception 208, 210; coerced 203–4 Cook, Captain James 91 cooking 4, 29, 38, 50, 51, 52, 55, 60–61, 64, 163, 337 copper 122, 123, 131–2, 160, 162, 164, 165, 168, 213, 223, 302, 303 copyright 264, 266–7, 326 coral reefs 250, 339–40, 429–30 Cordoba 177 corn laws 185–6 Cornwall 132 corporations 110–116, 355; research and development budgets 260, 262, 269 Cosmides, Leda 57 Costa Rica 338 cotton 37, 108, 149, 151–2, 162, 163, 171, 172, 202, 225–9, 230, 407; calico 225–6, 232; spinning and weaving 184, 214, 217, 219–20, 227–8, 232, 256, 258, 263, 283 Coughlin, Father Charles 109 Craigslist (website) 273, 356 Crapper, Thomas 38 Crathis river 171 creationists 358 creative destruction 114, 356 credit cards 251, 254 credit crunch (2008) 8–10, 28–9, 31, 100, 102, 316, 355, 399, 411 Cree Indians 62 Crete 167, 169 Crichton, Michael 254 Crick, Francis 412 crime: cyber-crime 99–100, 357; falling rates 106, 201; false convictions 19–20; homicide 14, 20, 85, 88, 106, 118, 201; illegal drugs 106, 186; pessimism about 288, 293 Crimea 171 crocodiles, deaths by 40 Crompton, Samuel 227 Crookes, Sir William 140, 141 cruelty 104, 106, 138–9, 146 crusades 358 Cuba 187, 299 ‘curse of resources’ 31, 320 cyber-crime 99–100, 357 Cyprus 132, 148, 167, 168 Cyrus the Great 169 Dalkon Shield (contraceptive device) 203 Dalton, John 221 Damascus 127 Damerham, Wiltshire 194 Danube, River 128, 132 Darby, Abraham 407 Darfur 302, 353 Dark Ages 164, 175–6, 215 Darwin, Charles 77, 81, 91–2, 105, 116, 350, 415 Darwin, Erasmus 256 Darwinism 5 Davy, Sir Humphry 221, 412 Dawkins, Richard 5, 51 DDT (pesticide) 297–8, 299 de Geer, Louis 184 de Soto, Hernando 323, 324, 325 de Waal, Frans 88 Dean, James 110 decimal system 173, 178 deer 32–3, 122 deflation 24 Defoe, Daniel 224 deforestation, predictions of 304–5, 339 Delhi 189 Dell (corporation) 268 Dell, Michael 264 demographic transition 206–212, 316, 328, 402 Denmark 200, 344, 366; National Academy of Sciences 280 Dennett, Dan 350 dentistry 45 depression (psychological) 8, 156 depressions (economic) 3, 31, 32, 186–7, 192, 289; see also economic crashes deserts, expanding 28, 280 Detroit 315, 355 Dhaka 189 diabetes 156, 274, 306 Diamond, Jared 293–4, 380 diamonds 320, 322 Dickens, Charles 220 Diesel, Rudolf 146 Digital Equipment Corporation 260, 282 digital photography 114, 386 Dimawe, battle of (1852) 321 Diocletian, Roman emperor 175, 184 Diodorus 169 diprotodons 69 discount merchandising 112–14 division of labour: Adam Smith on vii, 80; and catallaxy 56; and fragmented government 172; in insects 75–6, 87–8; and population growth 211; by sex 61–5, 136, 376; and specialisation 7, 33, 38, 46, 61, 76–7, 175; among strangers and enemies 87–9; and trust 100; and urbanisation 164 DNA: forensic use 20; gene transfer 153 dogs 43, 56, 61, 84, 125 Doll, Richard 298 Dolphin, HMS 169 dolphins 3, 87 Domesday Book 215 Doriot, Georges 261 ‘dot-communism’ 356 Dover Castle 197 droughts: modern 241, 300, 334; prehistoric 54, 65, 334 drug crime 106, 186 DuPont (corporation) 31 dyes 167, 225, 257, 263 dynamos 217, 233–4, 271–2, 289 dysentery 157, 353 eagles 17, 239, 299, 409 East India Company 225, 226 Easter Island 380 Easterbrook, Greg 294, 300, 370 Easterlin, Richard 26 Easterly, William 318, 411 eBay (corporation) 21, 99, 100, 114, 115 Ebla, Syria 164 Ebola virus 307 economic booms 9, 29, 216 economic crashes 7–8, 9, 193; credit crunch (2008) 8–10, 28–9, 31, 100, 102, 316, 355, 399, 411; see also depressions (economic) ecosystems, dynamism of 250–51, 303, 410 Ecuador 87 Edinburgh Review 285 Edison, Thomas 234, 246, 272, 412 education: Africa 320; Japan 16; measuring value of 117; and population control 209, 210; universal access 106, 235; women and 209, 210 Edwards, Robert 306 Eemian interglacial period 52–3 Egypt: ancient 161, 166, 167, 170, 171, 192, 193, 197, 270, 334; Mamluk 182; modern 142, 154, 192, 301, 323; prehistoric 44, 45, 125, 126; Roman 174, 175, 178 Ehrenreich, Barbara 291 Ehrlich, Anne 203, 301–2 Ehrlich, Paul 143, 190, 203, 207, 301–2, 303 electric motors 271–2, 283 electricity 233–5, 236, 237, 245–6, 337, 343–4; costs 23; dynamos 217, 233–4, 271–2, 289 elephants 51, 54, 69, 303, 321 Eliot, T.S. 289 email 292 emigration 199–200, 202; see also migrations empathy 94–8 empires, trading 160–61; see also imperialism enclosure acts 226, 323, 406 endocrine disruptors 293 Engels, Friedrich 107–8, 136 England: agriculture 194–6, 215; infant mortality 284; law 118; life expectancy 13, 284; medieval population 194–7; per capita income 196; scientific revolution 255–7; trade 75, 89, 104, 106, 118, 169, 194; see also Britain Enron (corporation) 29, 111, 385 Erie, Lake 17 Erie Canal 139, 283 ethanol 240–42, 300 Ethiopia 14, 316, 319; prehistoric 52, 53, 129 eugenics 288, 329 Euphrates river 127, 158, 161, 167, 177 evolution, biological 5, 6, 7, 49–50, 55–6, 75, 271, 350 Ewald, Paul 309 exchange: etiquette and ritual of 133–4; and innovation 71–2, 76, 119, 167–8, 251, 269–74; and pre-industrial economies 133–4; and property rights 324–5; and rule of law 116, 117–18; and sexual division of labour 65; and specialisation 7, 10, 33, 35, 37–8, 46, 56, 58, 75, 90, 132–3, 350–52, 355, 358–9; and trust 98–100, 103, 104; as unique human trait 56–60; and virtue 100–104; see also bartering; markets; trade executions 104 extinctions 17, 43, 64, 68, 69–70, 243, 293, 302, 338–9 Exxon (corporation) 111, 115 eye colour 129 Ezekiel 167, 168 Facebook (website) 262, 268, 356 factories 160, 214, 218, 219–20, 221, 223, 256, 258–9, 284–5 falcons 299 family formation 195, 209–210, 211, 227 famines: modern 141, 143, 154, 199, 203, 302; pessimism about 280, 281, 284, 290, 300–302, 314; pre-industrial 45, 139, 195, 197 Faraday, Michael 271–2 Fargione, Joseph 242 farming: battery 104, 145–6; free-range 146, 308; intensive 143–9; organic 147, 149–52, 393; slash-and-burn 87, 129, 130; subsidies 188, 328; subsistence 87, 138, 175–6, 189, 192, 199–200; see also agriculture; food supply fascism 289 Fauchart, Emmanuelle 264 fax machines 252 Feering, Essex 195 Fehr, Ernst 94–6 female emancipation 107, 108–9, 209 feminism 109 Ferguson, Adam 1 Ferguson, Niall 85 Fermat’s Last Theorem 275 fermenting 130, 241 Ferranti, Sebastian de 234 Fertile Crescent 126, 251 fertilisation, in-vitro 306 fertilisers 32, 129, 135, 139–41, 142, 143, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149–50, 152, 155, 200, 337 Fibonacci 178 figs 125, 129 filariasis 310 Finland 15, 35, 261 fire, invention of 4, 50, 51, 52, 60, 274 First World War 289, 309 fish, sex-change 280, 293 fish farming 148, 155 fishing 62, 63–4, 71, 78–9, 81–2, 125, 127, 129, 136, 159, 162, 163, 327 Fishman, Charles 113 Flanders 179, 181, 194 flight, powered 257, 261, 264, 266 Flinders Island 81, 84 floods 128, 250, 329, 331, 334, 335, 426 Florence 89, 103, 115, 178 flowers, cut 42, 327, 328 flu, pandemic 28, 145–6, 308–310 Flynn, James 19 Fontaine, Hippolyte 233–4 food aid 28, 141, 154, 203 food miles 41–2, 353, 392; see also local sourcing food preservation 139, 145, 258 food prices 20, 22, 23, 34, 39, 40, 42, 240, 241, 300 food processing 29–30, 60–61, 145; see also baking; cooking food retailing 36, 112, 148, 268; see also supermarkets food sharing 56, 59–60, 64 food supply: and biofuels 240–41, 243, 300; and climate change 337–8; and industrialisation 139, 201–2; pessimism about 280, 281, 284, 290, 300–302; and population growth 139, 141, 143–4, 146–7, 192, 206, 208–9, 300–302 Ford, Ford Maddox 188 Ford, Henry 24, 114, 189, 271 Forester, Jay 303 forests, fears of depletion 304–5, 339 fossil fuels: and ecology 237, 240, 304, 315, 342–3, 345–6; fertilisers 143, 150, 155, 237; and industrialisation 214, 216–17, 229–33, 352; and labour saving 236–7; and productivity 244–5; supplies 216–17, 229–30, 237–8, 245, 302–3; see also charcoal; coal; gas, natural; oil; peat Fourier analysis 283 FOXP2 (gene) 55, 375 fragmentation, political 170–73, 180–81, 184, 185 France: capital markets 259; famine 197; infant mortality 16; population growth 206, 208; revolution 324; trade 184, 186, 222 Franco, Francisco 186 Frank, Robert 95–6 Franken, Al 291 Franklin, Benjamin 107, 256 Franks 176 Fray Bentos 186 free choice 27–8, 107–110, 291–2 free-range farming 146, 308 French Revolution 324 Friedel, Robert 224 Friedman, Milton 111 Friend, Sir Richard 257 Friends of the Earth 154, 155 Fry, Art 261 Fuji (corporation) 114, 386 Fujian, China 89, 183 fur trade 169, 180 futurology 354–5 Gadir (Cadiz) 168–9, 170 Gaelic language 129 Galbraith, J.K. 16 Galdikas, Birute 60 Galilee, Sea of 124 Galileo 115 Gandhi, Indira 203, 204 Gandhi, Sanjay 203–4 Ganges, River 147, 172 gas, natural 235, 236, 237, 240, 302, 303, 337 Gates, Bill 106, 264, 268 GDP per capita (world), increases in 11, 349 Genentech (corporation) 259, 405 General Electric Company 261, 264 General Motors (corporation) 115 generosity 86–7, 94–5 genetic research 54, 151, 265, 306–7, 310, 356, 358 genetically modified (GM) crops 28, 32, 148, 151–6, 283, 358 Genghis Khan 182 Genoa 89, 169, 178, 180 genome sequencing 265 geothermal power 246, 344 Germany: Great Depression (1930s) 31; industrialisation 202; infant mortality 16; Nazism 109, 289; population growth 202; predicted deforestation 304, 305; prehistoric 70, 138; trade 179–80, 187; see also West Germany Ghana 187, 189, 316, 326 Gibraltar, Strait of 180 gift giving 87, 92, 133, 134 Gilbert, Daniel 4 Gilgamesh, King 159 Ginsberg, Allen 110 Gintis, Herb 86 Gladstone, William 237 Glaeser, Edward 190 Glasgow 315 glass 166, 174–5, 177, 259 glass fibre 303 Global Humanitarian Forum 337 global warming see climate change globalisation 290, 358 ‘glorious revolution’ (1688) 223 GM (genetically modified) crops 28, 148, 151–6, 283, 358 goats 122, 126, 144, 145, 197, 320 Goethe, Johann von 104 Goklany, Indur 143–4, 341, 426 gold 165, 177, 303 golden eagles 239, 409 golden toads 338 Goldsmith, Edward 291 Google (corporation) 21, 100, 114, 259, 260, 268, 355 Gore, Al 233, 291 Goths 175 Gott, Richard 294 Gramme, Zénobe Théophile 233–4 Grantham, George 401 gravity, discovery of 258 Gray, John 285, 291 Great Barrier Reef 250 Greece: ancient 115, 128, 161, 170–71, 173–4; modern 186 greenhouse gases 152, 155, 242, 329; see also carbon dioxide emissions Greenland: ice cap 125, 130, 313, 334, 339, 426; Inuits 61; Norse 380 Greenpeace 154, 155, 281, 385 Grottes des Pigeons, Morocco 53 Groves, Leslie 412 Growth is Good for the Poor (World Bank study) 317 guano 139–40, 302 Guatemala 209 Gujarat 162, 174 Gujaratis 89 Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden 184 Gutenberg, Johann 184, 253 Guth, Werner 86 habeas corpus 358 Haber, Fritz 140, 412 Hadza people 61, 63, 87 Haiti 14, 301, 315 Halaf people 130 Hall, Charles Martin 24 Halley, Edmond 256 HANPP (human appropriation of net primary productivity) number 144–5 Hanseatic merchants 89, 179–80, 196 Hansen, James 426 hanta virus 307 happiness 25–8, 191 Harappa, Indus valley 161–2 Hardin, Garrett 203 harems 136 Hargreaves, James 227, 256 Harlem, Holland 215–16 Harper’s Weekly 23 Harvey, William 256 hay 214–15, 216, 239, 408–9 Hayek, Friedrich 5, 19, 38, 56, 250, 280, 355 heart disease 18, 156, 295 ‘hedonic treadmill’ 27 height, average human 16, 18 Heller, Michael 265–6 Hellespont 128, 170 Henrich, Joe 77, 377 Henry II, King of England 118 Henry, Joseph 271, 272 Henry, William 221 Heraclitus 251 herbicides 145, 152, 153–4 herding 130–31 Hero of Alexandria 270 Herschel, Sir William 221 Hesiod 292 Hippel, Eric von 273 hippies 26, 110, 175 Hiroshima 283 Hitler, Adolf 16, 184, 296 Hittites 166, 167 HIV/AIDS 8, 14, 307–8, 310, 316, 319, 320, 322, 331, 353 Hiwi people 61 Hobbes, Thomas 96 Hock, Dee 254 Hohle Fels, Germany 70 Holdren, John 203, 207, 311 Holland: agriculture 153; golden age 185, 201, 215–16, 223; horticulture 42; industrialisation 215–16, 226; innovations 264; trade 31, 89, 104, 106, 185, 223, 328 Holy Roman Empire 178, 265–6 Homer 2, 102, 168 Homestead Act (1862) 323 homicide 14, 20, 85, 88, 106, 118, 201 Homo erectus 49, 68, 71, 373 Homo heidelbergensis 49, 50–52, 373 Homo sapiens, emergence of 52–3 Hong Kong 31, 83, 158, 169, 187, 219, 328 Hongwu, Chinese emperor 183 Hood, Leroy 222, 405 Hooke, Robert 256 horses 48, 68, 69, 129, 140, 197, 215, 282, 408–9; shoes and harnesses 176, 215 housing costs 20, 25, 34, 39–40, 234, 368 Hoxha, Enver 187 Hrdy, Sarah 88 Huber, Peter 244, 344 Hueper, Wilhelm 297 Huguenots 184 Huia (birds) 64 human sacrifice 104 Hume, David 96, 103, 104, 170 humour 2 Hunan 177 Hungary 222 Huns 175 hunter-gatherers: consumption and production patterns 29–30, 123; division of labour 61–5, 76, 136; famines 45, 139; limitations of band size 77; modern societies 66–7, 76, 77–8, 80, 87, 135–6, 136–7; nomadism 130; nostalgia for life of 43–5, 135, 137; permanent settlements 128; processing of food 29, 38, 61; technological regress 78–84; trade 72, 77–8, 81, 92–3, 123, 136–7; violence and warfare 27, 44–5, 136, 137 hunting 61–4, 68–70, 125–6, 130, 339 Huron Indians 138–9 hurricanes 329, 335, 337 Hurst, Blake 152 Hutterites 211 Huxley, Aldous 289, 354 hydroelectric power 236, 239, 343, 344, 409 hyenas 43, 50, 54 IBM (corporation) 260, 261, 282 Ibn Khaldun 182 ice ages 52, 127, 329, 335, 340, 388 ice caps 125, 130, 313, 314, 334, 338–9, 426 Iceland 324 Ichaboe island 140 ‘idea-agora’ 262 imitation 4, 5, 6, 50, 77, 80 imperialism 104, 162, 164, 166, 172, 182, 319–20, 357; see also colonialism in-vitro fertilisation 306 income, per capita: and economic freedom 117; equality 18–19, 218–19; increases in 14, 15, 16–17, 218–19, 285, 331–2 India: agriculture 126, 129, 141, 142–3, 147, 151–2, 156, 301; British rule 160; caste system 173; economic growth 187, 358; energy use 245; income equality 19; infant mortality 16; innovations 172–3, 251; Mauryan empire 172–3, 201, 357; mobile phone use 327; population growth 202, 203–4; prehistoric 66, 126, 129; trade 174–5, 175, 179, 186–7, 225, 228, 232; urbanisation 189 Indian Ocean 174, 175 Indonesia 66, 87, 89, 177 Indus river 167 Indus valley civilisation 161–2, 164 industrialisation: and capital investment 258–9; and end of slavery 197, 214; and food production 139, 201–2; and fossil fuels 214, 216–17, 229–33, 352; and innovation 38, 220–24, 227–8; and living standards 217–20, 226–7, 258; pessimistic views of 42, 102–3, 217–18, 284–5; and productivity 227–8, 230–31, 232, 235–6, 244–5; and science 255–8; and trade 224–6; and urbanisation 188, 226–7 infant mortality 14, 15, 16, 208–9, 284 inflation 24, 30, 169, 289 influenza see flu, pandemic Ingleheart, Ronald 27 innovation: and capital investment 258–62, 269; and exchange 71–2, 76, 119, 167–8, 251, 269–74; and government spending programmes 267–9; increasing returns of 248–55, 274–7, 346, 354, 358–9; and industrialisation 38, 220–24, 227–8; and intellectual property 262–7, 269; limitlessness 374–7; and population growth 252; and productivity 227–8; and science 255–8, 412; and specialisation 56, 71–2, 73–4, 76–7, 119, 251; and trade 168, 171 insect-resistant crops 154–5 insecticides 151–2 insects 75–6, 87–8 insulin 156, 274 Intel (corporation) 263, 268 intellectual property 262–7; see also copyright; patents intensive farming 143–9 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 330, 331, 332, 333–4, 338, 342, 347, 425, 426, 427, 428 internal combustion engine 140, 146, 244 International Planned Parenthood Foundation 203 internet: access to 253, 268; blogging 257; and charitable giving 318–19, 356; cyber-crime 99–100, 357; development of 263, 268, 270, 356; email 292; free exchange 105, 272–3, 356; packet switching 263; problem-solving applications 261–2; search engines 245, 256, 267; shopping 37, 99, 107, 261; social networking websites 262, 268, 356; speed of 252, 253; trust among users 99–100, 356; World Wide Web 273, 356 Inuits 44, 61, 64, 126 IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) 330, 331, 332, 333–4, 338, 342, 347, 349, 425, 426, 427, 428 IQ levels 19 Iran 162 Iraq 31, 158, 161 Ireland 24, 129, 199, 227 iron 166, 167, 169, 181, 184, 223, 229, 230, 302, 407 irradiated food 150–51 irrigation 136, 147–8, 159, 161, 163, 198, 242, 281 Isaac, Glyn 64 Isaiah 102, 168 Islam 176, 357, 358 Israel 53, 69, 124, 148 Israelites 168 Italy: birth rate 208; city states 178–9, 181, 196; fascism 289; Greek settlements 170–71, 173–4; infant mortality 15; innovations 196, 251; mercantilism 89, 103, 178–9, 180, 196; prehistoric 69 ivory 70, 71, 73, 167 Jacob, François 7 Jacobs, Jane 128 Jamaica 149 James II, King 223 Japan: agriculture 197–8; birth rates 212; dictatorship 109; economic development 103, 322, 332; economic and technological regression 193, 197–9, 202; education 16; happiness 27; industrialisation 219; life expectancy 17, 31; trade 31, 183, 184, 187, 197 Jarawa tribe 67 Java 187 jealousy 2, 351 Jebel Sahaba cemeteries, Egypt 44, 45 Jefferson, Thomas 247, 249, 269 Jenner, Edward 221 Jensen, Robert 327 Jericho 127, 138 Jevons, Stanley 213, 237, 245 Jews 89, 108, 177–8, 184 Jigme Singye Wangchuck, King of Bhutan 25–6 Jobs, Steve 221, 264, 405 John, King of England 118 Johnson, Lyndon 202–3 Jones, Rhys 79 Jordan 148, 167 Jordan river 127 Joyce, James 289 justice 19–20, 116, 320, 358 Kalahari desert 44, 61, 76 Kalkadoon aborigines 91 Kanesh, Anatolia 165 Kangaroo Island 81 kangaroos 62, 63, 69–70, 84, 127 Kant, Immanuel 96 Kaplan, Robert 293 Kay, John 184, 227 Kazakhstan 206 Kealey, Terence 172, 255, 411 Kelly, Kevin 356 Kelvin, William Thomson, 1st Baron 412 Kenya 42, 87, 155, 209, 316, 326, 336, 353 Kerala 327 Kerouac, Jack 110 Khoisan people 54, 61, 62, 67, 116, 321 Kim Il Sung 187 King, Gregory 218 Kingdon, Jonathan 67 Kinneret, Lake 124 Klasies River 83 Klein, Naomi 291 Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (venture capitalists) 259 knowledge, increasing returns of 248–50, 274–7 Kodak (corporation) 114, 386 Kohler, Hans-Peter 212 Korea 184, 197, 300; see also North Korea; South Korea Kuhn, Steven 64, 69 kula (exchange system) 134 !


pages: 898 words: 253,177

Cadillac Desert by Marc Reisner

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affirmative action, Albert Einstein, California gold rush, clean water, Golden Gate Park, hacker house, jitney, Maui Hawaii, oil shale / tar sands, old-boy network, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, trade route, transcontinental railway, uranium enrichment, Works Progress Administration, yellow journalism

In the early 1970s, Colorado became the first western state that actually wanted to keep an industry out, or at least keep it from overwhelming its economy and way of life. The industry was energy—especially oil shale. And the means of holding back its growth was to try to put the remaining water in agriculture’s hands and let the energy companies worry about wresting it away—or let them import water from somewhere else, as Exxon was proposing to run an aqueduct from Oahe Reservoir in South Dakota. C. J. Kuiper, on the other hand, was charged with putting water to beneficial use, and it seemed silly to him to waste tens of thousands of acre-feet on crops with a low economic return—crops which were subsidized by the Reclamation program and, in the case of some, federal price supports—when half of America’s oil was now coming out of the Middle East. Privately, Kuiper believed oil shale development was necessary: philosophically, he believed in the doctrine of highest use.

Wayne Aspinall, the chairman of the House Interior Committee, was growing old and politically vulnerable, and Narrows, it seemed, was to be his swan song. The imperious old schoolteacher began pushing it so relentlessly that he even refused to let the project’s opponents testify before his House Interior Committee. At the same time, the first OPEC oil crisis hit, and everyone began eyeing Colorado’s huge reserves of oil shale. Some Coloradans seemed to want to turn the state into an energy colony and grow rich off it; others wanted to lock up as much water as possible so the oil, coal, and uranium industies would be forced to remain relatively small and the state’s rural character, what was left of it, would remain fairly intact. One of the main adherents of the latter view was the new governor, Richard D. Lamm; an even stronger adherent was his commissioner of natural resources, Harris Sherman.

Meanwhile, as his salinity-management approach is almost universally ignored and the Bureau’s expensive solutions receive several hundred times more money than his laboratory does, salinity levels at Imperial Dam could reach 1,150 parts per million as early as the year 2000 and keep rising even if its desalination plant operates effectively—a prospect open to considerable doubt. New projects in the upper basin, oil shale development, the continued leaching of saline soil—all will contribute to salinity’s inexorable march. This is bad news for the Mexicans, but it is bad news for Los Angeles, too. Each additional part per million of salts in the city’s Colorado River supply is estimated to cause $300,000 worth of damage, basin-wide, to the things the water comes in contact with: pipes, fixtures, machinery, cars.

A Sea in Flames: The Deepwater Horizon Oil Blowout by Carl Safina

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big-box store, clean water, cognitive dissonance, energy security, Exxon Valdez, hydraulic fracturing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), North Sea oil, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Piper Alpha, Ronald Reagan

The depth of 2009’s global recession sent global energy consumption down for the first time in twenty-seven years, but only by 1 percent. In the same year, China’s carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels rose by 9 percent. Global wind and solar generation rose by about 30 percent and 45 percent, respectively, enormous gains. Who says? A BP energy report says. The world’s oil reserves (including yet-to-be-developed Canadian “tar sands”) appear sufficient to last—at 2009 production rates—for forty-five years; gas will last about sixty-five years, and coal will last 120 years. After that, what? Do you or does someone you love plan to be alive forty-five years from now? This is our wake-up call. Don’t touch that snooze button. By mid-June the cap is ferrying about 10,000 barrels of oil a day up to a tanker on the surface. The well is leaking much more than that.

Without them, we might have overheated the planet and acidified the ocean. But I’m getting way ahead of the story; we’re not there yet. Not even close. As the whalers were stuck in their remorseless havoc, so we have stuck ourselves, with oil. As we burn the easy oil and tap the deep oil to the limits of technology, sources that hadn’t been worth it are getting attention. Enter: “oil-sands,” “tar sands,” “shale oil,” and other relatively meager sources that are now worth money. Of Canada’s northern Alberta—a province I remember as beautiful when it was younger—I read that as the Athabasca River and several of its tributaries flow past facilities gouging at oilsands (one ugly word), heavy metal neurotoxins like lead and mercury are entering the water at levels hazardous to fish. Add to them cadmium, copper, nickel, silver, and seven other metals considered priority pollutants by the U.S.


pages: 497 words: 144,283

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna

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1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, digital map, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, LNG terminal, low cost carrier, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, mass immigration, megacity, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Parag Khanna, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

Indeed, recent years have exposed both the fragility of America’s global status and the efficacy of its governance model. Both will continue to be severely tested in the decades ahead as America becomes even more dependent on foreign investment from and exports to the same rising powers, financial centers, and corporate hubs that compete with it in global markets. Imagine this rosy scenario of 2020: America’s military is mostly anchored at home after two decades of foreign policy disasters, more oil and gas is captured from shale deposits than is produced by Russia and Iran, and California’s tech titans produce breakthrough applications that propel the world’s first trillion-dollar company. The economy cruises at a steady 3 percent growth rate, and more inclusive mortgage standards allow a record 70 percent of Americans to own their own homes. Does restored growth mean that American citizens and corporations return home with their cash and loyalty?

It is no longer just investment bankers, exchange students, journalists, and Peace Corps volunteers but members of a wide cross section of American society who have become economic migrants, especially since the financial crisis. Where supply chains don’t come to people, people move to supply chains. From San Francisco to Johannesburg, nineteenth-century discoveries of gold deposits turned villages of homesteads into bustling cities. In the past decade, fifty thousand Canadians have moved to Fort McMurray, a new oil boomtown in Alberta, to work in the rugged tar sands. In Africa’s extractive industry, hundreds of thousands of miners flock to jobs extracting tungsten, coltan, and other minerals essential for mobile phones, even if they have to work like slaves. The supply chain is a potential escape from state failure in Africa’s largest country of Congo and the smaller nations surrounding it. Decades from now, we will all still live within the nominal borders of states, but more important, almost the entire world population will also live along infrastructure corridors and supply chains, physical and virtual


pages: 258 words: 77,601

Everything Under the Sun: Toward a Brighter Future on a Small Blue Planet by Ian Hanington

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agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Bretton Woods, carbon footprint, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, energy security, Enrique Peñalosa, Exxon Valdez, Google Earth, happiness index / gross national happiness, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, hydraulic fracturing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), oil shale / tar sands, stem cell, sustainable-tourism, the scientific method, University of East Anglia, urban planning, urban sprawl

Those who argue the case for “ethical oil” should work to ensure that our energy needs are met in a truly ethical way, now and into the future. In the end, the only truly ethical solution is to phase out oil. The black eye that tar sands oil is sporting can’t be remedied with meaningless phrases such as “ethical oil.” To be seen as truly ethical when it comes to energy policy, Canada must slow down tar sands development, clean up the environmental problems, implement a national carbon tax, improve the regulatory and monitoring regime, and make sure that Canadians are reaping their fair share of the revenues. The U.S. must also look for ways to conserve energy and use cleaner sources so that it doesn’t have to rely on dirty oil from the tar sands. We must start taking clean energy seriously. Rather than subsidizing the tar sands and all the fossil-fuel industry through massive tax breaks, we should be investing in energy technologies that will benefit our health, economy, and climate.

If we ensure that care is taken to use technologies with minimal environmental impact and to locate turbines in areas where effects on humans and animals are also minimal, there is no good reason to oppose wind power. The trouble with tar sands IF YOU WANT to be scared, you don’t need to watch a horror movie or read the latest Stephen King bestseller. Real terror can be found by simply firing up Google Earth, the computer program that allows users to look at satellite pictures of any place on the planet. By mousing over and zooming in, you can see what Alberta’s tar sands look like from space. It is not a pretty sight. In fact, it’s scary—and for good reason. A book by celebrated journalist Andrew Nikiforuk, Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent, explores what these grey spots on Google Earth mean to Canada’s environment and economy. It’s an important book, one that every Canadian should read to find out how the world’s largest energy project will affect us.

Maybe the bogeyman is simply a man in a suit trying to satisfy his shareholders, make a profit, and cozy up to federal politicians so that he can continue doing his work without having to answer for his environmental crimes. Or maybe there’s something more frightening to consider. Perhaps we’re the bogeyman—when we put the short-term economic value of the tar sands above the priceless value of our environment and our health. Rebranding won’t make tar sands oil “ethical” RIPPING A PAGE—or the cover—from fellow Conservative and former tobacco industry lobbyist Ezra Levant’s book Ethical Oil, Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper and his environment minister, Peter Kent, have been referring to the product of the Alberta tar sands as “ethical oil.” The prime minister and Levant go back a long way. It was Levant who reluctantly stepped aside as the Alliance candidate in Calgary Southwest so that Harper could run in a by-election there in 2002.


pages: 421 words: 125,417

Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet by Jeffrey Sachs

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agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, British Empire, business process, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, demographic transition, Diane Coyle, Edward Glaeser, energy security, failed state, Gini coefficient, Haber-Bosch Process, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, labour mobility, low skilled workers, mass immigration, microcredit, oil shale / tar sands, old age dependency ratio, peak oil, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, Skype, statistical model, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transaction costs, unemployed young men, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working-age population

There has been much consternation about “peak” oil, the idea that the world may be nearing the peak of total oil production and, therefore, faces a decline of oil reserves and oil production in future decades because we have discovered and already developed most or all of the world’s great oil fields. The common assumption is that peak oil, if true, is a disaster: the world hitting a brick wall of oil supply just as the developing world is ramping up its demand for it. Yet the consequences would not be nearly as dire as some have suggested. We might run out of conventional petroleum in a few decades, but we have centuries left of coal and other nonconventional fossil fuels, such as tar sands and oil shale. This may seem like slight consolation, since it is hard to put coal into the gas tank. Yet chemists know precisely how to do that, using an industrial process known as Fischer-Tropsch liquefaction, which converts coal into liquid hydrocarbons such as gasoline at relatively low cost. In the long run, we need to be more concerned about the total supply of fossil fuels than with the supply of oil alone, since the fossil fuels are reasonably changeable from one to the other through known industrial processes.


pages: 1,445 words: 469,426

The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power by Daniel Yergin

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anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial exploitation, Columbine, continuation of politics by other means, cuban missile crisis, energy security, European colonialism, Exxon Valdez, financial independence, fudge factor, informal economy, joint-stock company, land reform, liberal capitalism, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, North Sea oil, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old-boy network, postnationalism / post nation state, price stability, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Thomas Malthus, Yom Kippur War

Farben found a much more important potential partner—Standard Oil of New Jersey.[3] At that time, Standard was midway in its strategic transformation from refiner to integrated oil company, well-supplied with its own crude, both in the United States and abroad. It had also been exploring alternatives to crude oil as a source of liquid fuels; as early as 1921, it had purchased twenty-two thousand acres in Colorado with the hope of finding a commercially successful method for extracting oil from shale. But Standard had been dissatisfied with the results; the production of one barrel of synthetic oil from shale required a ton of rock, and the economics were extremely unattractive. Frank Howard, the head of research at Standard, visited I. G.'s Leuna works in 1926. He was so impressed that he immediately fired off a telegram to Standard's president, Walter Teagle, then visiting in Paris. "Based upon observations and discussions today, I think that this matter is the most important which has ever faced the company since the dissolution," wired Howard.

That is the reason why prices have gone up, and not because evilly- disposed gentlemen of the Hebraic persuasion—I mean cosmopolitan gentlemen—have put their heads together in order to try and force prices up." Churchill's proposal for government ownership of a private company was indeed unprecedented, save for Disraeli's purchase of shares in the Suez Canal a half century earlier—a step also taken on strategic grounds. Some M.P.s, representing their local interests, argued for the development of oil from Scottish shale and liquids from Welsh coal (many years later known as synthetic fuels). Both, they said, would provide more reliable supplies. Yet, despite the strong criticism inside Parliament and out, the oil bill passed by an overwhelming vote—254 to 18. The margin was so large that it surprised even Greenway. After the vote, he asked Churchill, "How did you manage to carry the House with you so successfully?"

A new Federal agency, the National Security Resources Board, made a similar argument in a major policy review in 1948; importing large amounts of Middle Eastern oil would allow a million barrels per day of Western Hemisphere production to be shut in, in effect creating a military stockpile in the ground—"the ideal storage place for petroleum." Many advocated that the United States do what Germany had done during the war—build a synthetic fuels industry, extracting liquids not only from coal, but also from the oil shale in the mountains of Colorado and from abundant natural gas. Some were confident that synthetic fuels could soon be a major source of energy. "The United States is on the threshold of a profound chemical revolution," said the New York Times in 1948. "The next ten years will see the rise of a massive new industry which will free us from dependence on foreign sources of oil. Gasoline will be produced from coal, air, and water."


pages: 357 words: 94,852

No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need by Naomi Klein

Airbnb, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Brewster Kahle, Celebration, Florida, clean water, collective bargaining, Corrections Corporation of America, desegregation, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy transition, financial deregulation, greed is good, high net worth, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, income inequality, Internet Archive, late capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, new economy, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, private military company, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, sexual politics, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, urban decay, women in the workforce, working poor

Rex Tillerson’s ExxonMobil went wild buying up high-cost heavy-oil reserves; it reached the point where fully one-third of the company’s reserves were located in the Alberta tar sands. When the price of oil collapsed, it came as a major shock. Oil prices began to crash in 2014, with Brent crude—the global benchmark for oil—plummeting from $100 a barrel to $50 in just six months, and the price has hovered at around $55 a barrel ever since. As a result, we’ve seen a lot of companies pulling back from extreme energy projects. Fracking for oil and gas in the United States has cooled off, with devastating human costs: an estimated 170,000 oil and gas workers have lost their jobs after the 2014 price collapse. Investment in the Alberta tar sands dropped by an estimated 37 percent in the year following, and continues to fall. Shell pulled back from the Arctic and has sold most of its tar sands reserves. The French oil company Total has retreated from the tar sands as well.

It costs a lot of money to drill in the Arctic, or in very deep water, or to dig up and refine the semisolid oil found in Canada’s Alberta tar sands. When the price of oil was soaring, as it was as recently as 2014, fossil fuel companies were making multi-billion dollar investments in order to go after those expensive fuel sources. With oil at $100 a barrel, they could still turn a hefty profit even with the high costs for extraction. And the development in this sector did spur economic growth, and it did create a lot of jobs. But the environmental costs were enormous: the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico was intimately connected to the fact that these companies are drilling deeper than they ever have before. The reason the tar sands in Alberta are so controversial is that Indigenous lands and waterways have been badly contaminated by the invasive and carbon-intensive process of mining for that heavy crude.

The French oil company Total has retreated from the tar sands as well. Even ExxonMobil has been forced to write off nearly 3.5 million barrels of tar sands oil because the market considered these reserves to be no longer worth extracting at current oil prices. Deepwater drilling is also in a lull. For the big oil companies—particularly those that gambled on the price of oil staying high—all of this has been a disaster. And no oil major has suffered more than ExxonMobil. When prices were high, with Tillerson at the helm, the company broke the record for the highest corporate profits ever reported in the United States, earning $45 billion in 2012. Compare that to 2016, when Exxon’s profits fell well shy of $8 billion. That’s a more than 80 percent drop in profits in a span of just four years. What does all this mean?


pages: 270 words: 73,485

Hubris: Why Economists Failed to Predict the Crisis and How to Avoid the Next One by Meghnad Desai

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3D printing, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, floating exchange rates, full employment, German hyperinflation, Gunnar Myrdal, Home mortgage interest deduction, imperial preference, income inequality, inflation targeting, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, laissez-faire capitalism, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market clearing, means of production, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, negative equity, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, Paul Samuelson, price stability, purchasing power parity, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, reserve currency, rising living standards, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, secular stagnation, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tobin tax, too big to fail, women in the workforce

As I explained earlier, Kondratieff cycles are not as regular as clockwork and cannot be dated precisely. They rely on a combination of longer run forces such as demographic trends and cycles, or bursts of innovation, such as the discovery of gold and silver (relevant for the Gold Standard during the nineteenth century) or innovations in credit creation, as happened in the late twentieth century, or oil/shale discoveries, and also political events which may change the geography of the markets, as the fall of the Berlin Wall did. Kondratieff did, however, cover data going back to the Industrial Revolution. The first Kondratieff cycle has an upswing from the 1780s to 1810/17 and a downward phase from 1810/17 to 1844/51.The next long cycle peaked somewhere between 1870 and 1875 and then entered a downward phase which ended in the 1890s.

The rate of interest was around 5 percent, way below the rate of inflation. Despite this negative real rate of interest there was no demand for bank loans in developed economies as they were going through a period of stagflation. The banks began to aggressively lend to developing economies, especially to the governments on the benign assumption that there was no such thing as sovereign default. The recipients of this largesse invested it in oil exploration, especially shale oil, ambitious real estate schemes or just gross corruption. In a way the market rate of interest was so low that almost any investment would have a higher natural rate. This duality of a Wicksellian boom in developing countries and stagflation in developed economies prevailed through the 1970s. Toward the end of that decade, monetarists had moved into pivotal policy positions. There was to be no monetizing of public debt.


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The Oil Factor: Protect Yourself-and Profit-from the Coming Energy Crisis by Stephen Leeb, Donna Leeb

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Buckminster Fuller, diversified portfolio, fixed income, hydrogen economy, income per capita, index fund, mortgage debt, North Sea oil, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, profit motive, reserve currency, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Vanguard fund, Yom Kippur War, zero-coupon bond

But the reason we’ve put them in this chapter is because of their stake in Canada’s enormous tar sands reserves, which by some estimates contain as much oil as Saudi Arabia. We haven’t mentioned tar sands up to now because we really don’t expect them to play a significant role in solving our energy problems. Converting tar sands into usable oil causes a lot of pollution and requires tremendous amounts of water. Further, production costs are sensitive to the underlying costs of energy; they rise as energy prices rise. Even under the most optimistic assumptions, Canada’s tar sands will be producing less than 2 million barrels of oil a day by the end of the decade. And that projection doesn’t factor in any possible restraints that might arise from Canada’s adherence to the Kyoto agreement’s environmental standards. But if tar sands will be only a niche alternative to oil and gas, they nonetheless have the potential to make a big contribution to the bottom lines of the few companies that can produce and market them.

Moreover, it’s possible that despite the huge cost of building new nuclear plants—stemming in large part from the need to address environmental and safety concerns—at some point as fossil fuel prices rise it may start to make economic sense to construct new nuclear facilities. Exelon would be the most likely manager of any new nuclear plants. This would clearly boost profits even more. We consider Exelon an attractive choice for all investors. Two Canadian energy producers are double plays: they qualify both as energy stocks and, because of their position in tar sands, as alternatives to current fossil fuels. EnCana, based in Calgary, is the largest independent natural gas producer in North America, while Petro-Canada is an integrated Canadian oil company. In terms of their primary energy businesses alone, both are very attractive companies. Each is growing reserves and production much faster than its competitors, and each can reasonably expect to increase production by 10 percent a year over the next three to five years.

But if tar sands will be only a niche alternative to oil and gas, they nonetheless have the potential to make a big contribution to the bottom lines of the few companies that can produce and market them. For EnCana and Petro-Canada, their stake in tar sands is likely to be the added kicker that will make them standouts among energy producers. Earlier, noting that alternative energies and conservation are generally thought of as two facets of the same solution, we argued that they really are quite different and that efforts to mandate conservation could prove counterproductive. But naturally occurring conservation efforts are a different matter. More than 90 percent of all the oil consumed in the U.S. goes for transportation, with cars gobbling up the lion’s share. Thus, by definition, significant conservation will have to start with cars.

Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire by Noam Chomsky, David Barsamian

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Chelsea Manning, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate personhood, David Brooks, discovery of DNA, double helix, drone strike, failed state, Howard Zinn, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, inflation targeting, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Julian Assange, land reform, Martin Wolf, Mohammed Bouazizi, Naomi Klein, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, Powell Memorandum, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, single-payer health, sovereign wealth fund, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Tobin tax, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks

It’s increasingly embedded within the U.S.-run system as a kind of client state. The energy system is a key part of this integration. The tar sands in Canada are a huge source of potential energy—and of environmental destruction. There’s a controversy going on about who is going to exploit the tar sands. The United States wants to, but Canada occasionally warns that it will partner with China, which is eager to develop these fields if the United States won’t.9 This is a major issue now. In his 2012 State of the Union address, Obama was very enthusiastic about the idea that we could have a century of energy independence by making use of fossil fuels in North America—natural gas in the United States and fuel from tar sands.10 He didn’t talk about what kind of a world it would be in one hundred years if we use these fossil fuels.

A little to my surprise, this has even affected the more serious and responsible parts of the business press, like the Financial Times, maybe the best newspaper in the world. Just at the time that these emissions reports were coming out, the Financial Times euphorically suggested that the United States was entering a new age of plenty and might have a century of energy independence, even global hegemony, ahead of it thanks to the new techniques of extracting fossil fuels from shale rock and tar sands.32 Leaving aside the debates about whether these predictions are right or wrong, celebrating this prospect is like saying, “Fine, let’s commit suicide.” I’m sure the people who write such articles have read the same climate change reports I have and take them seriously. But their institutional role makes such positions a social or cultural necessity. They could make different decisions, but that would require real rethinking of the nature of our institutions.

In his 2012 State of the Union address, Obama was very enthusiastic about the idea that we could have a century of energy independence by making use of fossil fuels in North America—natural gas in the United States and fuel from tar sands.10 He didn’t talk about what kind of a world it would be in one hundred years if we use these fossil fuels. There’s some discussion of the local environmental effects of developing the Canadian tar sands, but there’s a much broader question about the general effect on the global environment. These are very serious issues. Canada is also one of the major centers of mining operations around the world. Conflicts over mining of natural resources are leading to wars and violence globally, from Latin America to India. Internally, India is practically at war over natural resources.11 The same is true of Colombia and other countries. What can you say about the process of hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas, known as fracking? Fracking has local environmental ramifications that are pretty severe. It uses huge amounts of water. The process itself is destructive of the local environment in many respects, and there is considerable public opposition to it on that basis.12 But I think that we shouldn’t overlook the deeper problem.


pages: 537 words: 99,778

Dreaming in Public: Building the Occupy Movement by Amy Lang, Daniel Lang/levitsky

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Bay Area Rapid Transit, bonus culture, British Empire, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate personhood, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, deindustrialization, facts on the ground, glass ceiling, housing crisis, Kibera, late capitalism, mass incarceration, Naomi Klein, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Port of Oakland, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Slavoj Žižek, structural adjustment programs, the medium is the message, too big to fail, trade liberalization, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, We are the 99%, white flight, working poor

This includes surface and subsurface rights, inland and coastal waters, renewable and non-renewable resources, and the economies based on these resources. In advancement of this position, to stand in solidarity with the Cree nations, whose territories are located in occupied northern Alberta, Canada, in their opposition to the Tar Sands development, the largest industrial project on earth. Further, to demand that President Barack Obama deny the permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline, proposed to run from the Tar Sands in Canada into the United States, and that the United States prohibit the use or transportation of Tar Sands oil in the United States. 7. To assert that Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions. They have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their intellectual property over such cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions.

People who got rich looting the public wealth and exhausting natural resources around the world. The point is, today everyone can see that the system is deeply unjust and careening out of control. Unfettered greed has trashed the global economy. And it is trashing the natural world as well. We are overfishing our oceans, polluting our water with fracking and deepwater drilling, turning to the dirtiest forms of energy on the planet, like the Alberta tar sands. And the atmosphere cannot absorb the amount of carbon we are putting into it, creating dangerous warming. The new normal is serial disasters: economic and ecological. These are the facts on the ground. They are so blatant, so obvious, that it is a lot easier to connect with the public than it was in 1999, and to build the movement quickly. We all know, or at least sense, that the world is upside down: we act as if there is no end to what is actually finite – fossil fuels and the atmospheric space to absorb their emissions.

The Hudson’s Bay Company in Canada and the East India Trading Company in India, for example, were some of the first corporate entities established on the stock market. Both these companies were granted trading monopolies by the British Crown, and were able to extract resources and amass massive profits as a direct result of the subjugation of local communities through the use of the British Empire’s military and police forces. The attendant processes of corporate expansion and colonization continue today, most evident in this country with the Alberta tar sands. In the midst of an economic crisis, corporations’ ability to accumulate wealth is dependent on discovering new frontiers from which to extract resources. This disproportionately impacts Indigenous peoples and destroys the land base required to sustain their communities, while creating an ecological crisis for the planet as a whole. Systemic oppression connected to economic inequality They want me to remember Their memories And I keep on remembering mine – Lucille Clifton In creating a unified space of opposition to the 1%, we must also simultaneously foster critical education to learn about the range of systemic injustices that many of us in the 99% have faced historically and continue to face daily.


pages: 651 words: 161,270

Global Spin: The Corporate Assault on Environmentalism by Sharon Beder

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American Legislative Exchange Council, battle of ideas, business climate, centre right, clean water, corporate governance, Exxon Valdez, Gary Taubes, global village, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, oil shale / tar sands, old-boy network, price mechanism, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, urban planning

Palese is comfortable with the fact that Ecos clients are often Greenpeace targets, denying that she has any conflicts of interest.34 One example of the conflict between Ecos Corporation and Greenpeace was the development of an oil-shale deposit in Queensland, which was opposed by Greenpeace Australia because of the fossil fuel emissions associated with it and the damage it could do to the Barrier Reef. The developers, Canadian company Suncor and Australian company Southern Pacific Petroleum (SPP) were clients of Ecos. Greenpeace Australia press releases accused Suncor and SPP of “misleading the public and their own shareholders over the amount of greenhouse pollution” from the planned development, and argued that “oil shale is the most polluting source of energy currently being developed,” with much higher carbon dioxide emissions than conventional oil sources.35 Ecos literature, on the other hand, named Suncor as “one of the leading fossil fuel focussed energy companies in the world on climate change”.36 According to its literature, “Ecos Corporation provides strategic support and advice to corporate clients and partners seeking commercial advantage through a focus on sustainability . . .


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The Oil Age Is Over: What to Expect as the World Runs Out of Cheap Oil, 2005-2050 by Matt Savinar

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Albert Einstein, clean water, energy security, hydrogen economy, illegal immigration, invisible hand, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, post-oil, Ralph Nader, reserve currency, Rosa Parks, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Y2K

In a recent interview with ABC news, Dr. Goodstein had this to say about Peak Oil: Best case? The worldwide disruptions that follow the peak serve as a global wake-up call. A methane-based economy is successful in bridging the gap temporarily while nuclear power plants are built and the infrastructure for other alternative fuels is put in place. The world watches anxiously as each new Hubbert's peak estimate for uranium and oil shale makes front-page news. Worst case? After the peak, all efforts to produce, distribute, and consume alternative fuels fast enough to fill the gap between falling supplies and rising demand fail. Runaway inflation and worldwide depression leave many billions of people with no alternative but to burn coal in vast quantities for warmth, cooking, and primitive industry. The change in the greenhouse effect that results eventually tips Earth's climate into a new state hostile to life.


pages: 219 words: 61,720

American Made: Why Making Things Will Return Us to Greatness by Dan Dimicco

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American energy revolution, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, carbon footprint, clean water, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, fear of failure, full employment, Google Glasses, hydraulic fracturing, invisible hand, job automation, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, Loma Prieta earthquake, manufacturing employment, oil shale / tar sands, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, smart meter, sovereign wealth fund, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, Works Progress Administration

recordId=6. The new American gas and oil boom reminds us all that energy is the cornerstone of all economic development. Everyone depends on it. In terms of cost and availability, natural gas has never been cheaper or more readily available domestically than it is right now. With each passing year, we find more of the stuff. Energy companies are getting better at using technology to extract oil and gas from the vast shale formations under much of the central and eastern United States. Horizontal drilling and new wells leave a much smaller footprint on the landscape than traditional methods. When energy costs are low, not only do you stimulate economic growth, you also stimulate the innovation you need to create high-paying jobs and strengthen the middle class. Nucor is a living example. Our growth into the largest U.S. steel maker hinged largely on the availability of low-cost energy.


pages: 258 words: 83,303

Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller: Oil and the End of Globalization by Jeff Rubin

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air freight, banking crisis, big-box store, BRICs, carbon footprint, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, energy security, food miles, hydrogen economy, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Just-in-time delivery, market clearing, megacity, North Sea oil, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, profit maximization, reserve currency, South Sea Bubble, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, zero-sum game

Of course, oil shot well past $100, and the advent of triple-digit oil prices transformed the Canadian oil sands from a marginal resource propped up by huge royalty subsidies to one of the most important hydrocarbon deposits anywhere in the world. In the process, Calgary’s Petroleum Club has been suddenly thrust from relative obscurity into the limelight of the world energy industry, triggering an enormous boom in Alberta, where for a while the people serving coffee in doughnut shops were making $40 an hour. That was the good news I had tried to tell them five years earlier: high oil prices would suddenly make expensive tar-sands oil a hot commodity. But what is good news for Alberta is not necessarily good news for the rest of the world. Every time the price of a barrel of oil dips by a few dollars, someone tells me I’m out to lunch. And when prices went from $147 to briefly below $40, not a few people figured I had been proven wrong pretty decisively. That’s fine. I’ve had this debate on CNN, on ABC, in the pages of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Thinking about an energy rate of return is like thinking about the difference between the gross and net on your paycheck. What matters on payday is not your gross salary, but what is left after taxes and other deductions have been taken off. You don’t get to spend your gross salary—you have to make do with your take-home pay. It is the same with oil, or any other energy resource. There may be 165 billion barrels of oil in the Canadian tar sands, but that is not the same thing as finding 165 billion barrels of light sweet crude in the desert in the Middle East. The “take-home” energy from the oil-sand reserves would be a fraction of what you get from conventional reserves. There are a lot of deductions when it comes time to calculate the take-home energy of a barrel of synthetic crude from the oil sands: the huge energy costs of a sprawling open-pit mine, the additional energy it takes to refine bitumen as opposed to crude oil (one of the main differences between the two is that bitumen contains less hydrogen than crude and the process in which hydrogen is added is itself very energy intensive, as is the process of producing the hydrogen in the first place).

There are a lot of deductions when it comes time to calculate the take-home energy of a barrel of synthetic crude from the oil sands: the huge energy costs of a sprawling open-pit mine, the additional energy it takes to refine bitumen as opposed to crude oil (one of the main differences between the two is that bitumen contains less hydrogen than crude and the process in which hydrogen is added is itself very energy intensive, as is the process of producing the hydrogen in the first place). But the biggest energy deduction really stings: if you want to produce a single barrel of synthetic oil from a load of tar sand, you are going to have to burn 1,400 cubic feet of natural gas first. And there is not an inexhaustible supply of cheap natural gas in North America. So while soaring oil prices can temporarily manufacture attractive financial returns from nonconventional sources like oil sands, they mask the sharp decline in the energy rate of return. Resources that are subject to steadily declining rates of energy return are ultimately unsustainable sources of energy supply.


pages: 566 words: 163,322

The Rise and Fall of Nations: Forces of Change in the Post-Crisis World by Ruchir Sharma

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3D printing, Asian financial crisis, backtesting, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, business climate, business process, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, colonial rule, Commodity Super-Cycle, corporate governance, creative destruction, crony capitalism, currency peg, dark matter, debt deflation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Freestyle chess, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflation targeting, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, liberal capitalism, Malacca Straits, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, mittelstand, moral hazard, New Economic Geography, North Sea oil, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, pets.com, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, secular stagnation, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, smart cities, Snapchat, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, The Future of Employment, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, trade route, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, unorthodox policies, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, working-age population

Overall, U.S. prospects still look good relative to other developed countries, but they have shifted to being a bit more mixed in recent months. The factories first rule says that a strong flow of investment is a big plus, particularly if it is going to productive industries like technology and, above all, manufacturing. In this respect, the billions of dollars that have been pouring into tech-driven U.S. businesses has been a very good investment binge, fueling the rise of new methods for extracting oil and gas from shale rock and of the country’s world-leading software and Internet companies. By 2015 the top ten companies in the world, in terms of stock market value, were all based in the United States—the first time this has happened since 2002. This dominant American group is led by Apple and includes Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google, which has spawned trend-stamping acronyms like the unfortunate “FANG.”


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The Story of Stuff: The Impact of Overconsumption on the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health-And How We Can Make It Better by Annie Leonard

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air freight, banking crisis, big-box store, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, California gold rush, carbon footprint, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, dematerialisation, employer provided health coverage, energy security, European colonialism, Firefox, Food sovereignty, Ford paid five dollars a day, full employment, global supply chain, income inequality, Indoor air pollution, intermodal, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, liberation theology, McMansion, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, Ralph Nader, renewable energy credits, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, supply-chain management, the built environment, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, union organizing, Wall-E, Whole Earth Review, Zipcar

To see what this looks like and to get involved, visit www.ilovemountains.org. Ceasing development of Canada’s tar sands. Tar sands consist of heavy crude oil mixed with sand, clay, and bitumen. Extracting the oil entails burning natural gas to generate enough heat and steam to melt it out of the sand and uses up to five barrels of water for each barrel of oil produced. Rainforest Action Network (RAN) says that tar sands oil is the worst type for the climate, producing three times the greenhouse gas emissions of conventionally produced oil because of the energy required to extract and process it. RAN is organizing to redirect the $70 to $100 billion the United States plans to invest in tar sands infrastructure into research and development of sustainable energy alternatives such as electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and solar and wind energy.

., 140–141 Madagascar, 2, 3, 35 Makeup, 76–77 Makower, Joel, 185, 186 Malaysia, 8 Mandela, Nelson, 222 Maniates, Michael, 112, 159, 239, 240 Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (Ocean Dumping Act), 98 Markey, Ed, 195 Marshall, James, 24 Mascara, 75 Massachusetts, toxics use reduction in, 218–219 Mazzochi, Tony, 85–86 McDonough, Bill, 52, 103 McKibben, Bill, 141 McRae, Glenn, 201 Mechanical pulping, 53 Medical waste, 185, 201–202 Mercury, 24, 25, 30, 34–35, 42, 54–55, 59, 61, 62, 69, 73, 74–75, 77, 79, 86, 91, 95, 203, 221–223, 257 Methane, 36, 209 Methyl-3-methoxyproprionate, 60 Methyl alcohol, 60 Methyl ethyl ketone, 60 Methyl isocyanate (MIC), 90, 91, 93 Mexico, 72, 135 Mickey Mouse Goes to Haiti (National Labor Committee), 49, 50 Microchips, 59–61 Microsoft, 71, 203 Minerals, 20–29 Minerals Policy Institute, 253 Mines, Minerals and People, 253 Mining, 20–25, 35, 36, 59, 64, 75 Mirex, 79 Mitchell, Stacy, 121, 125 Mobil Chemical Company, 230–231 Mobile phone chargers, 103–104 Monitors, 61 Monocropping, 47 Montague, Peter, 211–212 Moosewood Cookbook (Katzen), 158 Morris, David, 34 MOSOP (Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People), 31–33 Mountaintop removal mining, 36, 254 Mozambique, 66 Mudslides, 4, 7 Muir, John, 7 Municipal solid waste (MSW), 185, 190–199 Municipal supply of discards (MSD), 190 Myers, John Peterson, 45 NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), 126, 136, 255 Nair, Shibu, 236 National Environmental Justice Advisory Council, 88 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, 95 National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service, 96 National Foreign Trade Council, 258 National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH), 85, 96, 205 National Labor Committee, 49 National Marine Fisheries Service, 96 National Memorial for the Mountains, 36 National Ocean Service, 96 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 96 National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit (1991), 88 National Priorities Project (NPP), 243, 244 National Recycling Coalition (NRC), 196 National Weather Service, 96 Native Americans, 24, 196 New Economics Foundation, 152 New Leaf Paper, 56 Newsom, Gavin, 235–236 Newsweek, 234 Nickel, 59 Nigeria, 30–33, 35 Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, 33 Nike, 71, 108, 109, 165, 188 9/11 terrorist attacks, 147 Nitrates, 61 Nitric acid, 60, 61 Nitrogen dioxide, 65 Njehu, Njoki Njoroge, 39 No Dirty Gold campaign, 25 t-Nonachlor, 79 North Cascades National Park, 6–7, 10, 11 Obesity, 150 Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, 96 Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 96, 123 Office Depot, 9 Office of Environmental Quality, 95 Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, 96 Ogoni 9, 33 Ogoniland, Nigeria, 31–33 Oil, 29–35, 246, 254 Oil Pollution Act of 1990, 98 One Planet Living program, 40 Online shopping, 118–119 Only the Paranoid Survive (Grove), 58 Open-pit mining, 20–22 Oreskes, Michael, 173 Organic cotton, 51 Organic matter, in water, 11 O’Rourke, Dara, 62, 108–112, 117, 140 Orris, Peter, 84 Our Stolen Future (Colborn, Myers and Dumanoski), 45 Overproduction, 102 Overspent American, The (Schor), 167, 168 Overworked American, The (Schor), 156 Oxfam America, 21 Oxychlordane, 79 Pacific Institute, 17 Packaging, 194–198 Packard, Vance, 163, 194 Paglia, Todd, 10 Paolino & Sons, 224 Paper, 1, 8–9, 14, 51–56, 52–55 Papyrus, 52 Parchment, 52 Patagonia, 50–51 PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers), 60, 73, 261 Peak oil, 29 Peek, Bobby, 223 PepsiCo, 196 Perceived obsolescence, 162–163 Perot, Ross, 126 Personal care products, 76–77, 264 Personal consumption expenditures, 146–147, 177–178 Pesticide Action Network Organic Cotton Briefing Kit, 47 Pesticides, 5, 46, 47, 79, 231, 262 Petroleum, 20, 29–34, 55, 230 PFCs (perfluorocarbons), 65, 79 PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid), 73 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 224–227 Phosphoric acid, 60 Phosphorus, 59 Phthalates, 69, 71–72, 76, 124 Planned obsolescence, 160, 161–163 Plant-derived pharmaceuticals, 2–3 Plastics, 44, 194–195, 230–232 PVC (polyvinyl chloride), 42, 51, 61–63, 68–72, 124, 170–172, 184, 188, 257, 261, 265–267 Pollution Prevention Act of 1990, 98 Polyester, 44 Polymers, 44 POPs (persistent organic pollutants), 73 Poverty, 178–179 Prescription drugs, 2–3 Print-on-demand technology, 119 Printers, 203, 204 Privatization of water systems, 16 Processed chlorine free (PCF) process, 54, 56 Procter & Gamble, 112 Product Policy Institute (PPI), 198–199 Production, 44–105, 255–256 Progress, redefining, 242–243 Project Return to Sender, 225–226 Project Underground, 31 Puckett, Jim, 205, 210 Puget Sound, 11 Pulping, 53 Putnam, Robert, 149, 238–239 PVC (polyvinyl chloride), 42, 51, 61–63, 68–72, 124, 170–172, 184, 188, 257, 261, 265–267 Quante, Heidi, 226 Quinine, 2 Rainforest Action Network (RAN), 5, 254–255 Rainforests, 2–4, 30–31 REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals) Act, 82, 83 ReBuilders Source, 200–201 Reciprocity, culture of, 238–239 Recycle-Bank, 229 Recycling, 9, 42, 52, 55, 56, 64, 66–67, 69–70, 190, 196, 197–199, 204–207, 216, 228–234, 266–267 Rendell, Edward, 225–226 Repairs, 192–194 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) of 1976 and 1986, 98 Hazardous and Solid Wastes Amendments of 1984, 98 Resource curse, 37 Responsible Care program, 93 Revolutionary United Front (RUF), Sierra Leone, 26 Rivers, 10–11, 24, 25 Roane County, Tennessee, 35 Rocks, 20–29 Rogers, Heather, 228, 232 Rosario, Juan, 65 Rosy periwinkle, 2–3, 35 Rwanda, 27, 28 Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974, 97 Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families Campaign, 84 Salt water, 15 San Francisco, California, 235–236 Sarangi, Satinath, 91 Saro-Wiwa, Ken, 31–33 Schettler, Ted, 74, 78, 79 Schor, Juliet, 156, 167, 168, 246, 247 Scorecard, 94 Scott, Lee, 122 Sea levels, 13 Seattle, Washington, 133–134 Seinfeld, Jerry, 182 Seldman, Neil, 228 Sequestration, 2 Sewage systems, 12 Shaman Pharmaceuticals, 3 Sharing and borrowing, 43, 237–238 Shell Oil, 31–33 Shoe repairs, 194 Shopping, 147–148 Shopping malls, 124–125 Shower curtains, 69 Shukla, Champa Devi, 91 Sierra Leone, 26, 35 Silent Spring (Carson), 98 Silicon, 59 Silicon Valley, 57–58 Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, 63 Silicosis, 59 Silver, 59 SmartWay Transport program, 115 Smith, Alisa, 140–141 Smith, Kari, 165 Smith, Ted, 58 Sodium hydroxide, 60 Soesterberg Principles, 63 Soil, 7, 12 Solar power, 34, 36 South Africa, 23–24, 26, 221–223, 258 South Korea, 135 Soy inks, 55 Spain, 31, 71 Species extinction, 4 Speth, Gus, 167 Stainless steel, 44 Staples, 9 Steam engine, invention of, 101 Stevens, Brooks, 161, 163 Stewart, Howard, 225 Stoller Chemical, 219 Story of Stuff, The (film), 56, 147, 162 Suicide, teen, 150 Sulfonamides, 48 Sulfur dioxide, 65 Sulfuric acid, 48, 60 Superfund sites, 57, 97, 208 Supply chains, 107–113, 117, 256 Sustainable Biomaterials Collaborative, 34, 231 Sustainable Forestry Initiative, 10 Sweatshops, 49–50, 51 Switkes, Glenn, 66 Synthetic materials, 44–45, 75, 78, 80 Take-back programs, 29, 206 Talberth, John, 242 Tantalum (coltan), 27–29, 35, 246 Tar sands, 254 Target, 118 Television, 167–168, 262 Tetramethylammonium, 60 Texaco, 30 Text messages, 57 Thor Chemicals, 221–223 Thoreau, Henry David, 147 Thornton, Thomas, 245 Timber plantations, 5 Tin, 59 Toluene, 55 Total economic value framework, 18 Totally chlorine free (TCF) process, 54, 56 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976, 82, 97 Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty, 1987–2007 (United Church of Christ), 89 Toxic Wastes and Race in the United States (United Church of Christ), 88 Toxics Release Inventory, 93–94 Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA), 218 Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI), 218–219 Toyota, 71, 108, 111 Toys, 74, 111 Trade Reform, Accountability, Development and Employment (TRADE) Act, 136, 255 Trans-Atlantic Network for Clean Production, 63 Transition Towns, 141–142 Trees, 2–10, 21 Triclosan, 79 Trucks, 113–115, 123 Ts’ai Lun, 52 Tucker, Cora, 88 Turkey, 50, 157–158 Tweeting, 57 Uganda, 27 Underground (subsurface) mining, 20 Unhappiness/happiness, 149–155 UNICOR, 205 Union Carbide Corporation, 90–93 United Church of Christ (UCC), 88, 89 United Nations, 38, 146 Center for Trade and Development, 228 Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 16 Environment Programme (UNEP), 75 Food and Agriculture Organization, 47 Human Development Index, 242 Human Poverty Index, 151 U.S.


pages: 376 words: 118,542

Free to Choose: A Personal Statement by Milton Friedman, Rose D. Friedman

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affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, bank run, banking crisis, Corn Laws, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, German hyperinflation, invisible hand, labour mobility, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, price stability, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, rent control, road to serfdom, school vouchers, Simon Kuznets, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, Works Progress Administration

In mid-1979, President Carter proposed a massive government program stretching over a decade and costing $88 billion to produce synthetic fuel. Does it really make sense to commit the taxpayers to spending, directly or indirectly, $40 or more for a barrel of oil from shale while prohibiting the owners of domestic wells from receiving more than $5.94 for some categories of oil? Or, as Edward J. Mitchell put it in a Wall Street Journal article (August 27, 1979), "We may well question ... how spending $88 billion to obtain a modest amount of $40 per barrel synthetic oil in 1990 'protects' us from $20 per barrel OPEC oil either today or in 1990." Fuel from shale, tar sands, and so on, makes sense if and only if that way to produce energy is cheaper than alternatives—account being taken of all costs. The most effective mechanism to determine whether it is cheaper is the market.


pages: 306 words: 85,836

When to Rob a Bank: ...And 131 More Warped Suggestions and Well-Intended Rants by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbus A320, airport security, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, feminist movement, food miles, George Akerlof, information asymmetry, invisible hand, loss aversion, mental accounting, Netflix Prize, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, Pareto efficiency, peak oil, pre–internet, price anchoring, price discrimination, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, Richard Thaler, security theater, Ted Kaczynski, the built environment, The Chicago School, the High Line, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, US Airways Flight 1549

Without realizing it, the author just invoked basic economics to invalidate the entire premise of the article! Just for good measure, he goes on to write: High prices can have another unfortunate effect for producers. When crude costs $10 a barrel or even $30 a barrel, alternative fuels are prohibitively expensive. For example, Canada has vast amounts of tar sands that can be rendered into heavy oil, but the cost of doing so is quite high. Yet those tar sands and other alternatives, like bioethanol, hydrogen fuel cells and liquid fuel from natural gas or coal, become economically viable as the going rate for a barrel rises past, say, $40 or more, especially if consuming governments choose to offer their own incentives or subsidies. So even if high prices don’t cause a recession, the Saudis risk losing market share to rivals into whose nonfundamentalist hands Americans would much prefer to channel their energy dollars.

The fact that McKibben recently traveled to the White House to oppose the construction of a natural gas pipeline (and got arrested in the process), provides a hint of an answer. I imagine that getting slammed in the clinker after protesting a massive pipeline project is a lot better for 350.org’s profile than staying at home, munching kale, and advising others to explore veganism. In this respect, the comparative beneficial impact of global veganism versus eliminating natural gas from Canadian tar sands matters none. What matters is grabbing a headline or two. Hence the “problem” with veganism and environmentalism. Ever since Silent Spring, Rachel Carson’s exposé of dangerous insecticides, modern environmentalism has depended on high-profile media moments to shore up the activist base. Veganism, however, hardly lends itself to this role. Although quietly empowering in its own way, going vegan is an act poorly suited to sensational publicity.


pages: 403 words: 111,119

Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist by Kate Raworth

3D printing, Asian financial crisis, bank run, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, clean water, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, complexity theory, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, full employment, global supply chain, global village, Henri Poincaré, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, land reform, land value tax, Landlord’s Game, loss aversion, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, megacity, mobile money, Mont Pelerin Society, Myron Scholes, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, Occupy movement, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, price mechanism, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, smart cities, smart meter, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the map is not the territory, the market place, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Torches of Freedom, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, wikimedia commons

Many in the prepare-for-landing crowd believe it cannot be installed fast enough to match the economy’s demand for energy, especially if fossil fuels are phased out at the speed required. What’s more, in comparison to the easy-to-access oil, coal and gas reserves of the twentieth century, a far larger proportion of renewable energy that is generated must be used by the energy industry itself simply to generate more – as is the case for energy from sources such as shale gas and tar sands. Some analysts believe the economic implications are stark. ‘It is time to re-examine the pursuit of economic growth at all costs,’ concludes US energy economist David Murphy; ‘we should expect the economic growth rates of the next 100 years to look nothing like those of the last 100 years.’39 Furthermore, some in the prepare-for-landing crowd doubt that the weightless economy can be as dematerialised as its name implies, given the material- and energy-intensive infrastructure that underpins the coming digital revolution.40 Others, meanwhile, doubt that the weightless economy will contribute as much to GDP growth as the growth optimists expect.

They promise business that they will ‘cut red tape’, but end up dismantling legislation that was put in place to protect workers’ rights, community resources and the living world. They privatise public services – from hospitals to railways – turning public wealth into private revenue streams. They add the living world into the national accounts as ‘ecosystem services’ and ‘natural capital’, assigning it a value that looks dangerously like a price. And, despite committing to keep global warming ‘well below 2°C’, many such governments chase after the ‘cheap’ energy of tar sands and shale gas, while neglecting the transformational public investments needed for a clean-energy revolution. These policy choices are akin to throwing precious cargo off a plane that is running out of fuel, rather than admitting that it may soon be time to touch down. Learning how to land What would it mean to prepare high-income economies for landing so that they could touch down safely and become thriving, growth-agnostic economies when the time was right?

., 6 micro-businesses, 9, 173, 178 microeconomics, 132–4 microgrids, 187–8 Micronesia, 153 Microsoft, 231 middle class, 6, 46, 58 middle-income countries, 90, 164, 168, 173, 180, 226, 254 migration, 82, 89–90, 166, 195, 199, 236, 266, 286 Milanovic, Branko, 171 Mill, John Stuart, 33–4, 73, 97, 250, 251, 283, 284, 288 Millo, Yuval, 101 minimum wage, 82, 88, 176 Minsky, Hyman, 87, 146 Mises, Ludwig von, 66 mission zero, 217 mobile banking, 199–200 mobile phones, 222 Model T revolution, 277–8 Moldova, 199 Mombasa, Kenya, 185–6 Mona Lisa (da Vinci), 94 money creation, 87, 164, 177, 182–8, 205 MONIAC (Monetary National Income Analogue Computer), 64–5, 75, 142, 262 Monoculture (Michaels), 6 Monopoly, 149 Mont Pelerin Society, 67, 93 Moral Consequences of Economic Growth, The (Friedman), 258 moral vacancy, 41 Morgan, Mary, 99 Morogoro, Tanzania, 121 Moyo, Dambisa, 258 Muirhead, Sam, 230, 231 MultiCapital Scorecard, 241 Murphy, David, 264 Murphy, Richard, 185 musical tastes, 110 Myriad Genetics, 196 N national basic income, 177 Native Americans, 115, 116, 282 natural capital, 7, 116, 269 Natural Economic Order, The (Gessel), 274 Nedbank, 216 negative externalities, 213 negative interest rates, 275–6 neoclassical economics, 134, 135 neoliberalism, 7, 62–3, 67–70, 81, 83, 84, 88, 93, 143, 170, 176 Nepal, 181, 199 Nestlé, 217 Netherlands, 211, 235, 224, 226, 238, 277 networks, 110–11, 117, 118, 123, 124–6, 174–6 neuroscience, 12–13 New Deal, 37 New Economics Foundation, 278, 283 New Year’s Day, 124 New York, United States, 9, 41, 55 Newlight Technologies, 224, 226, 293 Newton, Isaac, 13, 15–17, 32–3, 95, 97, 129, 131, 135–7, 142, 145, 162 Nicaragua, 196 Nigeria, 164 nitrogen, 49, 52, 212–13, 216, 218, 221, 226, 298 ‘no pain, no gain’, 163, 167, 173, 204, 209 Nobel Prize, 6–7, 43, 83, 101, 167 Norway, 281 nudging, 112, 113, 114, 123–6 O Obama, Barack, 41, 92 Oberlin, Ohio, 239, 240–41 Occupy movement, 40, 91 ocean acidification, 45, 46, 52, 155, 242, 298 Ohio, United States, 190, 239 Okun, Arthur, 37 onwards and upwards, 53 Open Building Institute, 196 Open Source Circular Economy (OSCE), 229–32 open systems, 74 open-source design, 158, 196–8, 265 open-source licensing, 204 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 38, 210, 255–6, 258 Origin of Species, The (Darwin), 14 Ormerod, Paul, 110, 111 Orr, David, 239 Ostrom, Elinor, 83, 84, 158, 160, 181–2 Ostry, Jonathan, 173 OSVehicle, 231 overseas development assistance (ODA), 198–200 ownership of wealth, 177–82 Oxfam, 9, 44 Oxford University, 1, 36 ozone layer, 9, 50, 115 P Pachamama, 54, 55 Pakistan, 124 Pareto, Vilfredo, 165–6, 175 Paris, France, 290 Park 20|20, Netherlands, 224, 226 Parker Brothers, 149 Patagonia, 56 patents, 195–6, 197, 204 patient capital, 235 Paypal, 192 Pearce, Joshua, 197, 203–4 peer-to-peer networks, 187, 192, 198, 203, 292 People’s QE, 184–5 Perseus, 244 Persia, 13 Peru, 2, 105–6 Phillips, Adam, 283 Phillips, William ‘Bill’, 64–6, 75, 142, 262 phosphorus, 49, 52, 212–13, 218, 298 Physiocrats, 73 Pickett, Kate, 171 pictures, 12–25 Piketty, Thomas, 169 Playfair, William, 16 Poincaré, Henri, 109, 127–8 Polanyi, Karl, 82, 272 political economy, 33–4, 42 political funding, 91–2, 171–2 political voice, 43, 45, 51–2, 77, 117 pollution, 29, 45, 52, 85, 143, 155, 206–17, 226, 238, 242, 254, 298 population, 5, 46, 57, 155, 199, 250, 252, 254 Portugal, 211 post-growth society, 250 poverty, 5, 9, 37, 41, 50, 88, 118, 148, 151 emotional, 283 and inequality, 164–5, 168–9, 178 and overseas development assistance (ODA), 198–200 and taxation, 277 power, 91–92 pre-analytic vision, 21–2 prescription medicines, 123 price-takers, 132 prices, 81, 118–23, 131, 160 Principles of Economics (Mankiw), 34 Principles of Economics (Marshall), 17, 98 Principles of Political Economy (Mill), 288 ProComposto, 226 Propaganda (Bernays), 107 public relations, 107, 281 public spending v. investment, 276 public–private patents, 195 Putnam, Robert, 76–7 Q quantitative easing (QE), 184–5 Quebec, 281 Quesnay, François, 16, 73 R Rabot, Ghent, 236 Rancière, Romain, 172 rating and review systems, 105 rational economic man, 94–103, 109, 111, 112, 126, 282 Reagan, Ronald, 67 reciprocity, 103–6, 117, 118, 123 reflexivity of markets, 144 reinforcing feedback loops, 138–41, 148, 250, 271 relative decoupling, 259 renewable energy biomass energy, 118, 221 and circular economy, 221, 224, 226, 235, 238–9, 274 and commons, 83, 85, 185, 187–8, 192, 203, 264 geothermal energy, 221 and green growth, 257, 260, 263, 264, 267 hydropower, 118, 260, 263 pricing, 118 solar energy, see solar energy wave energy, 221 wind energy, 75, 118, 196, 202–3, 221, 233, 239, 260, 263 rentier sector, 180, 183, 184 reregulation, 82, 87, 269 resource flows, 175 resource-intensive lifestyles, 46 Rethinking Economics, 289 Reynebeau, Guy, 237 Ricardo, David, 67, 68, 73, 89, 250 Richardson, Katherine, 53 Rifkin, Jeremy, 83, 264–5 Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, The (Kennedy), 279 risk, 112, 113–14 Robbins, Lionel, 34 Robinson, James, 86 Robinson, Joan, 142 robots, 191–5, 237, 258, 278 Rockefeller Foundation, 135 Rockford, Illinois, 179–80 Rockström, Johan, 48, 55 Roddick, Anita, 232–4 Rogoff, Kenneth, 271, 280 Roman Catholic Church, 15, 19 Rombo, Tanzania, 190 Rome, Ancient, 13, 48, 154 Romney, Mitt, 92 Roosevelt, Franklin Delano, 37 rooted membership, 190 Rostow, Walt, 248–50, 254, 257, 267–70, 284 Ruddick, Will, 185 rule of thumb, 113–14 Ruskin, John, 42, 223 Russia, 200 rust belt, 90, 239 S S curve, 251–6 Sainsbury’s, 56 Samuelson, Paul, 17–21, 24–5, 38, 62–7, 70, 74, 84, 91, 92, 93, 262, 290–91 Sandel, Michael, 41, 120–21 Sanergy, 226 sanitation, 5, 51, 59 Santa Fe, California, 213 Santinagar, West Bengal, 178 São Paolo, Brazil, 281 Sarkozy, Nicolas, 43 Saumweder, Philipp, 226 Scharmer, Otto, 115 Scholes, Myron, 100–101 Schumacher, Ernst Friedrich, 42, 142 Schumpeter, Joseph, 21 Schwartz, Shalom, 107–9 Schwarzenegger, Arnold, 163, 167, 204 ‘Science and Complexity’ (Weaver), 136 Scotland, 57 Seaman, David, 187 Seattle, Washington, 217 second machine age, 258 Second World War (1939–45), 18, 37, 70, 170 secular stagnation, 256 self-interest, 28, 68, 96–7, 99–100, 102–3 Selfish Society, The (Gerhardt), 283 Sen, Amartya, 43 Shakespeare, William, 61–3, 67, 93 shale gas, 264, 269 Shang Dynasty, 48 shareholders, 82, 88, 189, 191, 227, 234, 273, 292 sharing economy, 264 Sheraton Hotel, Boston, 3 Siegen, Germany, 290 Silicon Valley, 231 Simon, Julian, 70 Sinclair, Upton, 255 Sismondi, Jean, 42 slavery, 33, 77, 161 Slovenia, 177 Small Is Beautiful (Schumacher), 42 smart phones, 85 Smith, Adam, 33, 57, 67, 68, 73, 78–9, 81, 96–7, 103–4, 128, 133, 160, 181, 250 social capital, 76–7, 122, 125, 172 social contract, 120, 125 social foundation, 10, 11, 44, 45, 49, 51, 58, 77, 174, 200, 254, 295–6 social media, 83, 281 Social Progress Index, 280 social pyramid, 166 society, 76–7 solar energy, 59, 75, 111, 118, 187–8, 190 circular economy, 221, 222, 223, 224, 226–7, 239 commons, 203 zero-energy buildings, 217 zero-marginal-cost revolution, 84 Solow, Robert, 135, 150, 262–3 Soros, George, 144 South Africa, 56, 177, 214, 216 South Korea, 90, 168 South Sea Bubble (1720), 145 Soviet Union (1922–91), 37, 67, 161, 279 Spain, 211, 238, 256 Spirit Level, The (Wilkinson & Pickett), 171 Sraffa, Piero, 148 St Gallen, Switzerland, 186 Stages of Economic Growth, The (Rostow), 248–50, 254 stakeholder finance, 190 Standish, Russell, 147 state, 28, 33, 69–70, 78, 82, 160, 176, 180, 182–4, 188 and commons, 85, 93, 197, 237 and market, 84–6, 200, 281 partner state, 197, 237–9 and robots, 195 stationary state, 250 Steffen, Will, 46, 48 Sterman, John, 66, 143, 152–4 Steuart, James, 33 Stiglitz, Joseph, 43, 111, 196 stocks and flows, 138–41, 143, 144, 152 sub-prime mortgages, 141 Success to the Successful, 148, 149, 151, 166 Sugarscape, 150–51 Summers, Larry, 256 Sumner, Andy, 165 Sundrop Farms, 224–6 Sunstein, Cass, 112 supply and demand, 28, 132–6, 143, 253 supply chains, 10 Sweden, 6, 255, 275, 281 swishing, 264 Switzerland, 42, 66, 80, 131, 186–7, 275 T Tableau économique (Quesnay), 16 tabula rasa, 20, 25, 63, 291 takarangi, 54 Tanzania, 121, 190, 202 tar sands, 264, 269 taxation, 78, 111, 165, 170, 176, 177, 237–8, 276–9 annual wealth tax, 200 environment, 213–14, 215 global carbon tax, 201 global financial transactions tax, 201, 235 land-value tax, 73, 149, 180 non-renewable resources, 193, 237–8, 278–9 People’s QE, 185 tax relief v. tax justice, 23, 276–7 TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), 202, 258 Tempest, The (Shakespeare), 61, 63, 93 Texas, United States, 120 Thailand, 90, 200 Thaler, Richard, 112 Thatcher, Margaret, 67, 69, 76 Theory of Moral Sentiments (Smith), 96 Thompson, Edward Palmer, 180 3D printing, 83–4, 192, 198, 231, 264 thriving-in-balance, 54–7, 62 tiered pricing, 213–14 Tigray, Ethiopia, 226 time banking, 186 Titmuss, Richard, 118–19 Toffler, Alvin, 12, 80 Togo, 231, 292 Torekes, 236–7 Torras, Mariano, 209 Torvalds, Linus, 231 trade, 62, 68–9, 70, 89–90 trade unions, 82, 176, 189 trademarks, 195, 204 Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), 92 transport, 59 trickle-down economics, 111, 170 Triodos, 235 Turkey, 200 Tversky, Amos, 111 Twain, Mark, 178–9 U Uganda, 118, 125 Ulanowicz, Robert, 175 Ultimatum Game, 105, 117 unemployment, 36, 37, 276, 277–9 United Kingdom Big Bang (1986), 87 blood donation, 118 carbon dioxide emissions, 260 free trade, 90 global material footprints, 211 money creation, 182 MONIAC (Monetary National Income Analogue Computer), 64–5, 75, 142, 262 New Economics Foundation, 278, 283 poverty, 165, 166 prescription medicines, 123 wages, 188 United Nations, 55, 198, 204, 255, 258, 279 G77 bloc, 55 Human Development Index, 9, 279 Sustainable Development Goals, 24, 45 United States American Economic Association meeting (2015), 3 blood donation, 118 carbon dioxide emissions, 260 Congress, 36 Council of Economic Advisers, 6, 37 Earning by Learning, 120 Econ 101 course, 8, 77 Exxon Valdez oil spill (1989), 9 Federal Reserve, 87, 145, 146, 271, 282 free trade, 90 Glass–Steagall Act (1933), 87 greenhouse gas emissions, 153 global material footprint, 211 gross national product (GNP), 36–40 inequality, 170, 171 land-value tax, 73, 149, 180 political funding, 91–2, 171 poverty, 165, 166 productivity and employment, 193 rust belt, 90, 239 Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), 92 wages, 188 universal basic income, 200 University of Berkeley, 116 University of Denver, 160 urbanisation, 58–9 utility, 35, 98, 133 V values, 6, 23, 34, 35, 42, 117, 118, 121, 123–6 altruism, 100, 104 anthropocentric, 115 extrinsic, 115 fluid, 28, 102, 106–9 and networks, 110–11, 117, 118, 123, 124–6 and nudging, 112, 113, 114, 123–6 and pricing, 81, 120–23 Veblen, Thorstein, 82, 109, 111, 142 Venice, 195 verbal framing, 23 Verhulst, Pierre, 252 Victor, Peter, 270 Viner, Jacob, 34 virtuous cycles, 138, 148 visual framing, 23 Vitruvian Man, 13–14 Volkswagen, 215–16 W Wacharia, John, 186 Wall Street, 149, 234, 273 Wallich, Henry, 282 Walras, Léon, 131, 132, 133–4, 137 Ward, Barbara, 53 Warr, Benjamin, 263 water, 5, 9, 45, 46, 51, 54, 59, 79, 213–14 wave energy, 221 Ways of Seeing (Berger), 12, 281 Wealth of Nations, The (Smith), 74, 78, 96, 104 wealth ownership, 177–82 Weaver, Warren, 135–6 weightless economy, 261–2 WEIRD (Western, educated, industrialised, rich, democratic), 103–5, 110, 112, 115, 117, 282 West Bengal, India, 124, 178 West, Darrell, 171–2 wetlands, 7 whale hunting, 106 Wiedmann, Tommy, 210 Wikipedia, 82, 223 Wilkinson, Richard, 171 win–win trade, 62, 68, 89 wind energy, 75, 118, 196, 202–3, 221, 233, 239, 260, 263 Wizard of Oz, The, 241 Woelab, 231, 293 Wolf, Martin, 183, 266 women’s rights, 33, 57, 107, 160, 201 and core economy, 69, 79–81 education, 57, 124, 178, 198 and land ownership, 178 see also gender equality workers’ rights, 88, 91, 269 World 3 model, 154–5 World Bank, 6, 41, 119, 164, 168, 171, 206, 255, 258 World No Tobacco Day, 124 World Trade Organization, 6, 89 worldview, 22, 54, 115 X xenophobia, 266, 277, 286 Xenophon, 4, 32, 56–7, 160 Y Yandle, Bruce, 208 Yang, Yuan, 1–3, 289–90 yin yang, 54 Yousafzai, Malala, 124 YouTube, 192 Yunnan, China, 56 Z Zambia, 10 Zanzibar, 9 Zara, 276 Zeitvorsoge, 186–7 zero environmental impact, 217–18, 238, 241 zero-hour contracts, 88 zero-humans-required production, 192 zero-interest loans, 183 zero-marginal-cost revolution, 84, 191, 264 zero-waste manufacturing, 227 Zinn, Howard, 77 PICTURE ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Illustrations are reproduced by kind permission of: archive.org


pages: 391 words: 97,018

Better, Stronger, Faster: The Myth of American Decline . . . And the Rise of a New Economy by Daniel Gross

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, asset-backed security, Bakken shale, banking crisis, BRICs, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Carmen Reinhart, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, creative destruction, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, demand response, Donald Trump, Frederick Winslow Taylor, high net worth, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop - Herbert Stein's Law, illegal immigration, index fund, intangible asset, intermodal, inventory management, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, LNG terminal, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, money market fund, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, reserve currency, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, risk tolerance, risk/return, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, superstar cities, the High Line, transit-oriented development, Wall-E, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game, Zipcar

And Europe-based suppliers such as Bach Composite, a Danish manufacturer of wind turbine components, have followed Vestas to Colorado. Foreign companies also deploy capital in the United States to get access to technology and expertise. As we’ve seen, America still has much to show the world about how to tap into existing internal resources. It has led the world in developing new techniques for liberating natural gas and oil from shale. Foreign energy companies, eager to get a piece of the U.S. action and, more important, to learn how to bring hydraulic fracking to their own substrata, have invested in U.S. companies. In October 2010 CNOOC, the Chinese state oil company, agreed to invest more than $2 billion in a Texas oil and natural gas project with the natural gas titan Chesapeake. Reliance Energy, a unit of one of India’s largest conglomerates, has plowed more than $3 billion into North American natural gas companies.


pages: 452 words: 135,790

Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder From the World of Plants by Jane Goodall

Alfred Russel Wallace, British Empire, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, European colonialism, Google Earth, illegal immigration, language of flowers, Mahatma Gandhi, microcredit, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, phenotype, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade

“Yakusugi Land [pamphlet],” Conservation & Stewardship Council for Yakushima Recreation Forest, accessed August 21, 2013, http://yakushima.injapan.org/docs/Yakusugi.pdf. 50. “known as Wilson’s Stump” “Wilson’s Stump,” Japan Ministry of the Environment, accessed September 10, 2013, http://www.env.go.jp/nature/isan/worldheritage/en/yakushima/area/a04.html. 51. “exploitation of the tar sands” “Pipeline Project Could Turn Maine into ‘Dirty Tar Sands Oil’ Capital of the Eastern U.S. [press release],” Natural Resources Council of Maine, August 31, 2011, http://www.nrcm.org/news_detail.asp?news=4362. 52. “persuading African governments” “Growing Africa: Unlocking the Potential of Agribusiness,” The World Bank, January 2013, http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTAFRICA/Resources/africa-agribusiness-report-2013.pdf.

And because of the migration of rural populations seeking new livelihoods in urban areas—said to be the greatest migration in human history (four hundred new cities need to be built!)—China is buying timber (and mineral) concessions in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Canada, wherever forests have been left standing. Western countries did exactly the same thing—but China is very much larger. Of course, China is not alone. The Canadian government is allowing the exploitation of the tar sands in Alberta that is leading to the desecration of thousands of square miles of pristine forests. American agribusiness is persuading African governments, with false promises of the wealth it will bring, to lease (or sell) hundreds of square miles of their precious rain forests for the growing of monocrops or biofuel. And on and on. Let me give just a few examples of the massive scale of some of the operations that are destroying our forests and that must be tackled—and somehow stopped.


pages: 273 words: 93,419

Let them eat junk: how capitalism creates hunger and obesity by Robert Albritton

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Bretton Woods, California gold rush, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, corporate personhood, creative destruction, deindustrialization, Food sovereignty, Haber-Bosch Process, illegal immigration, immigration reform, invisible hand, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, land reform, late capitalism, means of production, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, South Sea Bubble, the built environment, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, upwardly mobile

In the 1940s for every barrel of oil spent searching for oil, 100 barrels of oil were produced, and now for every barrel of oil spent, we get only 10 barrels.7 As we reach the point of “peak oil”, it takes almost as much oil to expand the supply as is gained by the new supply. For example, the ecological damage involved in retrieving oil from the Alberta oil sands, and the amount of energy it takes to produce a single barrel of oil from the tar sands, raise serious doubts about the desirability and viability of the entire project.8 The Canadian oil sands are enriching many people at immense long-term environmental costs. It now takes one barrel of oil to produce three barrels of oil from oil sands, and as a result, three times the quantity of greenhouse gases are produced per barrel of oil from oil sands than for conventional oil.9 Further, because it takes up to 4.5 barrels of water to produce one barrel of oil from oil sands, aquifers are being drained and huge toxic tailing ponds are created.10 While there has been awareness of the problem of peak oil along with the problem of global warming for years, the lobbying and propaganda power of the oil, chemical and auto industries have delayed for at least two decades most efforts to wean the US economy and especially agriculture off petroleum.

Index A abstract theory 10–12, 18–50 see also deep structure, inner logic, pure capitalism accountability 205–10 see also democracy addiction 43, 45, 95–6, 177, 179, 222 advertising 70, 167–8, 172–4, 177 Africa 153, 156, 158 agriculture 7, 11, 18, 32, 40, 125, 127, 128, 132, 134, 141, 158, 185, 202, 205 American 8, 135, 148–9 non-food crops 7, 142, 157 (see also cotton, tobacco) see also aid to agriculture, exportoriented agriculture, family farms, industrial farms aid 134 see also aid to agriculture, food aid, foreign aid AIDS 153, 178 Alberta tar sands 148, 206 see also peak oil algae blooms 156, 159 see also chemical fertilizer allergies 118, 161–2 American hegemony 52, 76, 91, 125 see also US hegemony American Council on Science and Health 195 American Sugar Association 188 anaemia 107 anti-depressants 178 antibiotics 103 anxiety 173 Archer Daniels Midland 186, 189 asthma 149 atomism 72–3 see also individualism, islandization, possessive individualism Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) 63, 114, 173 austerity policies 135 see also structural adjustment policies automobile 57, 59–60, 72–3 see also car-dependent development B Baby Milk Action Group 96 balance of payments 58, 68, 220 balance of trade 136, 220 banana workers 136–8, 143 Bangladesh 142 Bernay, Edward 168 biodiesel 142 see also biofuel, ethanol biofuel 151–2 blacklisting 127 Borneo 155 bottom trawling 160 bovine growth hormone 116, 236 boycotts 206 brand loyalty 166, 169, 173, 176 see also advertising, marketing Brandt, Allan 8, 168, 170 Brazil 139, 140, 151, 155 [ 251 ] 252 INDEX Bretton Woods monetary system 68 Buffet, Warren 84 bulimia 176 Bush, President George W. 149, 152 Butz, Earl (US Secretary of Agriculture) 59, 68–9, 75 C Califano, Joseph 170 California 127, 159 cancer 63 see also carcinogen capitalism x, 8–11, 50–1, 61, 82–3, 93, 122, 124, 126, 178, 183, 184, 190, 197, 201–2, 204, 210, 213 capitalist farms 130–1, 214 capitalist ideology 73–4, 165, 168, 183, 196–7 car-dependent development 60, 64 see also automobile carbon dioxide (CO2) 149, 151, 154 carbon tax 209 carcinogens 111–12, 114, 137, 178, 191, 194 Carson, Rachel 61, 77, 111 causality 169–70 causes ix, 90, 180 Center for Consumer Freedom 188, 196 Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) 93, 174 Channel One 176 chemical fertilizers 58, 129, 149, 151, 159–60, 217 chemicalization 83, 158–9, 202 see also chemical fertilizers, nemagon, pesticides Chicago Board of Trade 153 child labour 138–9 see also slavery China 122, 142, 155, 175 choice 165–81, 187 see also consumer sovereignty, freedom chronic illnesses 94 class 99, 168, 213 class struggle 12 Clinton, President Bill 100 coal 151 cocoa 135, 138, 202 codex alimentarius 97, 188 coffee 135, 140–3, 202 cold war 58–9, 61–2, 74–6 collective bargaining 127 colonialism 18, 25, 44–5, 71, 124, 153 see also developing countries command economy 202 commodification 12, 21, 37–8, 39, 214–15 commodities 12, 20 commodity futures 89, 108, 142, 145, 153 see also Chicago Board of Trade concentration/centralization 25, 45, 114, 120, 131–2, 137, 187, 216 competition 11, 26, 43, 127–8, 135 confined animal feeding operation (CAFO) 101–2, 150, 153, 155, 159, 163 consumer sovereignty 165, 178–80 see also choice, freedom, rights consumerism xii, 42, 68–9, 72, 125, 173, 176, 180 consumers 28, 144, 166, 178 consumption 9, 165 contradiction x, 25 see also irrationality, rationality cooking skills 121–2 cooperation 144, 200–11 see also movements coral 159 corn 108, 111, 136, 151–3 see also ethanol, subsidies corporate lobbies 186 corporations xi, 8, 14–15, 45, 60–1, 70, 87, 123, 130, 132, 136, 138, 141–2, 145, 147–8, 162, 165, 168–9, 172, 183,–4, 186, 193–5, 197, 203, 206–7, 218–19 Costa Rica 138 INDEX cotton 111, 129, 143 see also non-food crops, pesticides, subsidies crises 12, 25, 38, 39, 42, 216 ecological crisis 146–7 see also food crisis D Dalley, George 187 death rate 127, 130 debt 42–3 64, 66, 68, 70, 122, 129, 134, 141, 205, 208 ecological debt 43, 147 health debt 43 decline of civilization 7 deep cause/deep structure ix, 12, 16, 18–50, 52, 106 see also abstract theory, inner logic, levels of analysis, pure capitalism deforestation 35, 86, 102, 140 142–3, 151, 155, 157 democracy x, 9, 19, 52, 85, 162, 166, 181, 197, 206 see also accountability, equality, freedom, inequality, liberaldemocracy, rights democratization of corporations xii, 14, 15, 205–8 of markets xii, 15, 208–10 Department of Agriculture (US) 171 deportation 126–7 depression 94, 222 desertification 157 see also deforestation developing countries 45, 58–9, 69, 76, 78, 85–6, 104, 106, 111, 129, 134–37, 140–3, 162, 193, 203, 205 diabetes 94, 96, 99, 100 diet 174, 191 distributive justice 8, 10, 16, 91, 142, 194, 209–10 division of labour 6 Doll, Sir Richard 194–5 Dominican Republic 128 253 drought 158 see also water dumping 59, 129, 135, 205 see also developing countries, food prices, subsidies E E.


pages: 323 words: 89,795

Food and Fuel: Solutions for the Future by Andrew Heintzman, Evan Solomon, Eric Schlosser

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agricultural Revolution, Berlin Wall, big-box store, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate social responsibility, David Brooks, deindustrialization, distributed generation, energy security, Exxon Valdez, flex fuel, full employment, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, hydrogen economy, land reform, microcredit, Negawatt, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment

The 1970s saw an ever-growing number of proposals for new energy megaprojects coming under consideration, and many people — mostly environmentalists, but others as well — in Canada, the United States, and around the world began turning their attention to issues raised by such unprecedentedly large projects. These issues were as diverse as the projects, which ranged from hydro dams in wilderness areas to oil and gas production in the Arctic and the offshore, to tar-sands plants, to oil tanker and liquefied natural gas terminals, to nuclear generating stations and the new uranium mines and refineries that supply them. Given the potentially huge impacts of these projects, social and economic as well as biophysical, environmentalists began to raise questions about the actual need for so much energy. Could there really be a demand for some thirty nuclear reactor units in the Canadian Maritime provinces by 2000, as some Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. projections suggested?

Oil-producing countries outside of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are already nearing their peak production, leaving most of the remaining reserves in the politically charged Middle East. Increasing tensions between the Islamic world and the West are likely to compound the threat to our access to affordable oil. Rising oil prices will assuredly plunge developing countries even further into debt, ensuring that much of the Third World remains in the throes of poverty for years to come. In desperation, many nations may turn to dirtier fossil fuels — coal, oil from tar sands, and heavy oil — which will only worsen global warming and imperil the Earth’s already beleaguered ecosystems. Looming oil shortages will make industrial life vulnerable to massive disruptions and possibly even collapse. Hydrogen has the potential to end the world’s reliance on oil from the Persian Gulf, the most politically volatile region on the planet. Indeed, making the transition to hydrogen is the best insurance against the prospects of future oil wars in the Middle East.


pages: 364 words: 102,528

An Economist Gets Lunch: New Rules for Everyday Foodies by Tyler Cowen

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agricultural Revolution, big-box store, business climate, carbon footprint, cognitive bias, creative destruction, cross-subsidies, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, food miles, guest worker program, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, informal economy, iterative process, mass immigration, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, price discrimination, refrigerator car, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce

The good news, if I can call it that, is that carbon taxes are likely to prove more effective over time at limiting carbon production. For instance, as the global economy pumps and uses more fossil fuels, the most profitable supply sources—which get used first—tend to dry up. In other words, we used readily available, “suck it up with a straw” Texas oil and Saudi oil quite early on, and we will use oil from tar sands—a far more expensive technology—later in time, and indeed we are already making that switch to the tougher processes. That means we have a world of only marginally profitable fossil fuel producers, and it is easier to induce everyone to switch to new technologies. In contrast, we’re not going to get the Saudis out of their oil-pumping game until they run out of the easy stuff, no matter what kind of tax we enact.

See also shipping and transportation infrastructure and the Aztecs, 143 and barbecue, 89 and chili peppers, 207 and cities, 143–44 and cross-subsidies, 65 and French food, 226–27, 229 and Genetically Modified Organisms, 165 historical influences on, 36 and home cooking, 245–46 and immigrants, 28–29 impact on quality of American food, 17–19 and Mexican food, 196, 210 and Nicaraguan food, 5 and poverty, 155–56 and Singaporean foods, 221–22 sushi, 58, 118, 122–23, 216, 218, 258 Susur: A Culinary Life (Lee), 249 Swanson, 35 sweets shops, 224, 240 Switzerland, 222, 235–37 Syngenta, 162 Syria, 157 tacit knowledge, 251 Taco Bell, 188 tacos, 190 Tad’s, 17 Taino culture, 89–90 Taiwanese restaurants, 136 tamales, 7 Tanzania, 129–30 tapas, 20, 239–40 taquerías, 188 Tarahumaras, 251 tariffs, 192 tar sands, 181 Tastee Chinese Food, 52 tastes of consumers, 183–84 taxi drivers, 3–4, 216–17 tax policy, 149, 158, 178–80 teas, 49 technological progress and agricultural revolutions, 146 changing pace of, 13 and home cooking, 258–59 and hunger and malnutrition, 151–52 and kitchen appliances, 35 mechanization of food production, 96, 100–107, 143–44, 154, 203, 205–6 and Mexican food, 209 and modern food market, 154 telegraph, 144 television, 18, 33–37 Teochew food, 221 teosinte, 143 Texas and barbecue, 12, 88, 105–7, 109, 111, 259 and food trucks, 76 and immigration restrictions, 31 and liquor laws, 25–26 and Mexican food, 189, 190, 192, 195, 199, 203, 206 and oil, 181 and perceptions of American food, 19 Texas de Brazil, 111 Texas Monthly, 88 Tex-Mex food, 31, 188 Thai Food (Thompson), 118–19 Thailand and Thai food and agricultural revolutions, 146 described, 116–22 and ethnic supermarkets, 50 and influential cookbooks, 251 in London, 232 and low-rent areas, 75 and seafood, 59 Thai Street Food (Thompson), 119 Thai X-ing, 119–20 Thermomix, 255–56 Thompson, David, 118–19 Ticciati, Laura, 164 Ticciati, Robin, 164 Tijuana, Mexico, 195 Time Out, 237 Tim Hortons, 94 Tlaxcala, Mexico, 98 tofu, 217 Tokyo, Japan, 214–19 tomatoes, 90, 206, 208–10, 246 Tony Roma’s, 96 torta sandwich, 202 tortillas, 141–42, 201–6, 246 tort law, 197 tourism and foods of Istanbul, 241 and foods of London, 231 and French food, 226, 229, 231 and Italian food, 237 and rules for finding good food, 70, 73, 74 traffic patterns, 74 trains, 193 transportation.


pages: 369 words: 98,776

The God Species: Saving the Planet in the Age of Humans by Mark Lynas

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Airbus A320, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic transition, Haber-Bosch Process, ice-free Arctic, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Negawatt, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, peak oil, planetary scale, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, special drawing rights, Stewart Brand, University of East Anglia

Industry carries much of the blame for entrenching itself in a position that for too long opposed political action. With the all-important political tipping point not crossed, companies that had begun to reposition for the post-carbon age instead began to fall back into their old roles. For example BP, which for a few years rebranded itself as “Beyond Petroleum” and flirted with solar power, moved strongly back into fossil fuels, even investing heavily in oil extraction in the dirty Canadian tar sands. Of course, it is also important to recognize that moving out of fossil fuels was always going to be orders of magnitude harder than disavowing CFCs—oil, coal, and gas provide most of the energy powering modern industrial civilization, rather than being important for just a small number of specific uses and processes. The companies invested in fossil fuel production are commensurately vastly more politically and economically powerful.

Again, this is to misunderstand the physical and ecological nature of the proposed boundaries: It makes no difference to the biosphere if humans run out of iron, for example. Nor does it make any difference if we use up all the cheaply extractable oil—as has recently become the concern of the “peak oil” crowd—except to the extent that humanity’s response to declining oil supplies, like burning more coal or extracting more tar sands, will negatively affect real planetary boundaries like climate change. But peak oil might also be a good thing if it adds to rising prices of fossil fuels sufficiently to encourage the faster uptake of low-and zero-carbon alternatives. Either way, the planetary boundaries are the metric by which humanity’s response to resource crunches should be judged—they are not concerned with resource shortages in and of themselves.


pages: 369 words: 94,588

The Enigma of Capital: And the Crises of Capitalism by David Harvey

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, call centre, capital controls, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, failed state, financial innovation, Frank Gehry, full employment, global reserve currency, Google Earth, Guggenheim Bilbao, Gunnar Myrdal, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, interest rate swap, invention of the steam engine, Jane Jacobs, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, land reform, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, means of production, megacity, microcredit, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, new economy, New Urbanism, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, place-making, Ponzi scheme, precariat, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, special drawing rights, special economic zone, statistical arbitrage, structural adjustment programs, the built environment, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, women in the workforce

Oil rents and oil futures therefore get capitalised as a form of fictitious capital and claims also circulate in such a way that all operators in these markets hedge their bets, create all manner of derivatives and then seek to manipulate the market in ways that match their bets. As oil prices rise, of course, all sorts of marginal fields get exploited (or in some cases re-opened) simply because the definition of the margin fluctuates with singular volatility. Canada’s Athabaska tar sands are expensive to exploit but become highly profitable when oil goes to $150 a barrel. But the problem is that it takes considerable time to bring new fields into production and so the response time to a surge in demand is slow unless there is existing capacity, such as that controlled by OPEC, which can more easily be brought into play. But here, too, the whole operation including that of refining is capital-intensive and very sensitive both to conditions in capital markets, to profit margins and to what is happening in the oil futures market, which is one of the great markets for hedging and betting and so heavily influenced by the availability of surplus capital.

Index Numbers in italics indicate Figures; those in bold indicate a Table. 11 September 2001 attacks 38, 41–2 subject to perpetual renewal and transformation 128 A Abu Dhabi 222 Académie Française 91 accumulation by dispossession 48–9, 244 acid deposition 75, 187 activity spheres 121–4, 128, 130 deindustrialised working-class area 151 and ‘green revolution’ 185–6 institutional and administrative arrangements 123 ‘mental conceptions of the world’ 123 patterns of relations between 196 production and labour processes 123 relations to nature 123 the reproduction of daily life and of the species 123 slums 152 social relations 123 subject to perpetual renewal and transformation 128 suburbs 150 technologies and organisational forms 123 uneven development between and among them 128–9 Adelphia 100 advertising industry 106 affective bonds 194 Afghanistan: US interventionism 210 Africa civil wars 148 land bought up in 220 neocolonialism 208 population growth 146 agribusiness 50 agriculture collectivisation of 250 diminishing returns in 72 ‘green revolution’ 185–6 ‘high farming’ 82 itinerant labourers 147 subsidies 79 AIG 5 alcoholism 151 Allen, Paul 98 Allende, Salvador 203 Amazonia 161, 188 American Bankers Association 8 American Revolution 61 anarchists 253, 254 anti-capitalist revolutionary movement 228 anti-racism 258 anti-Semitism 62 après moi le déluge 64, 71 Argentina Debt Crisis (2000–2002) 6, 243, 246, 261 Arizona, foreclosure wave in 1 Arrighi, Giovanni: The Long Twentieth Century 35, 204 asbestos 74 Asia Asian Currency Crisis (1997–98) 141, 261 collapse of export markets 141 growth 218 population growth 146 asset stripping 49, 50, 245 asset traders 40 asset values 1, 6, 21, 23, 26, 29, 46, 223, 261 Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) 200 Athabaska tar sands, Canada 83 austerity programmes 246, 251 automobile industry 14, 15, 23, 56, 67, 68, 77, 121, 160–61 Detroit 5, 15, 16, 91, 108, 195, 216 autonomista movement 233, 234, 254 B Baader-Meinhof Gang 254 Bakunin, Michael 225 Balzac, Honoré 156 Bangalore, software development in 195 Bangkok 243 Bank of England 53, 54 massive liquidity injections in stock markets 261 Bank of International Settlements, Basel 51, 55, 200 Bank of New England 261 Bankers Trust 25 banking bail-outs 5, 218 bank shares become almost worthless 5 bankers’ pay and bonuses 12, 56, 218 ‘boutique investment banks’ 12 de-leveraging 30 debt-deposit ratio 30 deposit banks 20 French banks nationalised 198 international networks of finance houses 163 investment banks 2, 19, 20, 28, 219 irresponsible behaviour 10–11 lending 51 liquidity injections by central banks vii, 261 mysterious workings of central banks 54 ‘national bail-out’ 30–31 property market-led Nordic and Japanese bank crises 261 regional European banks 4 regular banks stash away cash 12, 220 rising tide of ‘moral hazard’ in international bank lending practices 19 ‘shadow banking’ system 8, 21, 24 sympathy with ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ bank robbers 56 Baran, Paul and Sweezey, Paul: Monopoly Capital 52, 113 Barings Bank 37, 100, 190 Baucus, Max 220 Bavaria, automotive engineering in 195 Beijing declaration (1995) 258 Berlin: cross-border leasing 14 Bernanke, Ben 236 ‘Big Bang’ (1986) 20, 37 Big Bang unification of global stock, options and currency trading markets 262 billionaire class 29, 110, 223 biodiversity 74, 251 biomass 78 biomedical engineering 98 biopiracy 245, 251 Birmingham 27 Bismarck, Prince Otto von 168 Black, Fischer 100 Blackstone 50 Blair, Tony 255 Blair government 197 blockbusting neighbourhoods 248 Bloomberg, Mayor Michael 20, 98, 174 Bolivarian movement 226, 256 bonuses, Wall Street 2, 12 Borlaug, Norman 186 bourgeoisie 48, 89, 95, 167, 176 ‘boutique investment banks’ 12 Brazil automobile industry 16 capital flight crisis (1999) 261 containerisation 16 an export-dominated economy 6 follows Japanese model 92 landless movement 257 lending to 19 the right to the city movement 257 workers’ party 256 Bretton Woods Agreement (1944) 31, 32, 51, 55, 171 British Academy 235 British empire 14 Brown, Gordon 27, 45 Budd, Alan 15 Buenos Aires 243 Buffett, Warren 173 building booms 173–4 Bush, George W. 5, 42, 45 business associations 195 C California, foreclosure wave in 1, 2 Canada, tightly regulated banks in 141 ‘cap and trade’ markets in pollution rights 221 capital bank 30 centralisation of 95, 110, 113 circulation of 90, 93, 108, 114, 116, 122, 124, 128, 158, 159, 182, 183, 191 cultural 21 devalued 46 embedded in the land 191 expansion of 58, 67, 68 exploitations of 102 export 19, 158 fixed 191, 213 industrial 40–41, 56 insufficient initial money capital 47 investment 93, 203 and labour 56, 88, 169–70 liquid money 20 mobility 59, 63, 64, 161–2, 191, 213 and nature 88 as a process 40 reproduction of 58 scarcity 50 surplus 16, 28, 29, 50–51, 84, 88, 100, 158, 166, 167, 172, 173, 174, 206, 215, 216, 217 capital accumulation 107, 108, 123, 182, 183, 191, 211 and the activity spheres 128 barriers to 12, 16, 47, 65–6, 69–70, 159 compound rate 28, 74, 75, 97, 126, 135, 215 continuity of endless 74 at the core of human evolutionary dynamics 121 dynamics of 188, 197 geographic landscape of 185 geographical dynamics of 67, 143 and governance 201 lagging 130 laws of 113, 154, 160 main centres of 192 market-based 180 Mumbai redevelopment 178 ‘nature’ affected by 122 and population growth 144–7 and social struggles 105 start of 159 capital circulation barriers to 45 continuity of 68 industrial/production capital 40–41 inherently risky 52 interruption in the process 41–2, 50 spatial movement 42 speculative 52, 53 capital controls 198 capital flow continuity 41, 47, 67, 117 defined vi global 20 importance of understanding vi, vii-viii interrupted, slowed down or suspended vi systematic misallocation of 70 taxation of vi wealth creation vi capital gains 112 capital strike 60 capital surplus absorption 31–2, 94, 97, 98, 101, 163 capital-labour relation 77 capitalism and communism 224–5 corporate 1691 ‘creative-destructive’ tendencies in 46 crisis of vi, 40, 42, 117, 130 end of 72 evolution of 117, 118, 120 expansion at a compound rate 45 first contradiction of 77 geographical development of 143 geographical mobility 161 global 36, 110 historical geography of 76, 117, 118, 121, 174, 180, 200, 202, 204 industrial 58, 109, 242 internal contradictions 115 irrationality of 11, 215, 246 market-led 203 positive and negative aspects 120 and poverty 72 relies on the beneficence of nature 71 removal of 260 rise of 135, 192, 194, 204, 228, 248–9, 258 ‘second contradiction of’ 77, 78 social relations in 101 and socialism 224 speculative 160 survival of 46, 57, 66, 86, 107, 112, 113, 116, 130, 144, 229, 246 uneven geographical development of 211, 213 volatile 145 Capitalism, Nature, Socialism journal 77 capitalist creed 103 capitalist development considered over time 121–4 ‘eras’ of 97 capitalist exploitation 104 capitalist logic 205 capitalist reinvestment 110–11 capitalists, types of 40 Carnegie, Andrew 98 Carnegie foundation 44 Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 195 Carson, Rachel: Silent Spring 187 Case Shiller Composite Indices SA 3 Catholic Church 194, 254 cell phones 131, 150, 152 Central American Free Trade Association (CAFTA) 200 centralisation 10, 11, 165, 201 Certificates of Deposit 262 chambers of commerce 195, 203 Channel Tunnel 50 Chiapas, Mexico 207, 226 Chicago Board Options Exchange 262 Chicago Currency Futures Market 262 ‘Chicago School’ 246 Chile, lending to 19 China ‘barefoot doctors’ 137 bilateral trade with Latin America 173 capital accumulation issue 70 cheap retail goods 64 collapse of communism 16 collapse of export markets 141 Cultural Revolution 137 Deng’s announcement 159 falling exports 6 follows Japanese model 92 ‘Great Leap Forward’ 137, 138 growth 35, 59, 137, 144–5, 213, 218, 222 health care 137 huge foreign exchange reserves 141, 206 infant mortality 59 infrastructural investment 222 labour income and household consumption (1980–2005) 14 market closed after communists took power (1949) 108 market forcibly opened 108 and oil market 83 one child per family policy 137, 146 one-party rule 199 opening-up of 58 plundering of wealth from 109, 113 proletarianisation 60 protests in 38 and rare earth metals 188 recession (1997) 172 ‘silk road’ 163 trading networks 163 unemployment 6 unrest in 66 urbanisation 172–3 and US consumerism 109 Chinese Central Bank 4, 173 Chinese Communist Party 180, 200, 256 chlorofluoral carbons (CFCs) 74, 76, 187 chronometer 91, 156 Church, the 249 CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) 169 circular and cumulative causation 196 Citibank 19 City Bank 261 city centres, Disneyfication of 131 City of London 20, 35, 45, 162, 219 class consciousness 232, 242, 244 class inequalities 240–41 class organisation 62 class politics 62 class power 10, 11, 12, 61, 130, 180 class relations, radical reconstitution of 98 class struggle 56, 63, 65, 96, 102, 127, 134, 193, 242, 258 Clausewitz, Carl von 213 Cleveland, foreclosure crisis in 2 Cleveland, foreclosures on housing in 1 Clinton, Bill 11, 12, 17, 44, 45 co-evolution 132, 136, 138, 168, 185, 186, 195, 197, 228, 232 in three cases 149–53 coal reserves 79, 188 coercive laws of competition see under competition Cold War 31, 34, 92 Collateralised Bond Obligations (CBOs) 262 Collateralised Debt Obligations (CDOs) 36, 142, 261, 262 Collateralised Mortgage Obligations (CMOs) 262 colonialism 212 communications, innovations in 42, 93 communism 228, 233, 242, 249 collapse of 16, 58, 63 compared with socialism 224 as a loaded term 259–60 orthodox communists 253 revolutionary 136 traditional institutionalised 259 companies joint stock 49 limited 49 comparative advantage 92 competition 15, 26, 43, 70 between financial centres 20 coercive laws of 43, 71, 90, 95, 158, 159, 161 and expansion of production 113 and falling prices 29, 116 fostering 52 global economic 92, 131 and innovation 90, 91 inter-capitalist 31 inter-state 209, 256 internalised 210 interterritorial 202 spatial 164 and the workforce 61 competitive advantage 109 computerised trading 262 computers 41, 99, 158–9 consortia 50, 220 consumerism 95, 109, 168, 175, 240 consumerist excess 176 credit-fuelled 118 niche 131 suburban 171 containerisation 16 Continental Illinois Bank 261 cooperatives 234, 242 corporate fraud 245 corruption 43, 69 cotton industry 67, 144, 162 credit cards fees vii, 245 rise of the industry 17 credit crunch 140 Credit Default swaps 262 Crédit Immobilièr 54 Crédit Mobilier 54 Crédit Mobilier and Immobilier 168 credit swaps 21 credit system and austerity programmes 246 crisis within 52 and the current crisis 118 and effective demand problem 112 an inadequate configuration of 52 predatory practices 245 role of 115 social and economic power in 115 crises crises of disproportionality 70 crisis of underconsumption 107, 111 east Asia (1997–8) 6, 8, 35, 49, 246 financial crisis of 1997–8 198, 206 financial crisis of 2008 34, 108, 114, 115 general 45–6 inevitable 71 language of crisis 27 legitimation 217 necessary 71 property market 8 role of 246–7 savings and loan crisis (US, 1984–92) 8 short sharp 8, 10 south-east Asia (1997–8) 6, 8, 35, 49, 246 cross-border leasing 142–3 cultural choice 238 ‘cultural industries’ 21 cultural preferences 73–4 Cultural Revolution 137 currency currency swaps 262 futures market 24, 32 global 32–3, 34 options markets on 262 customs barriers 42, 43 cyberspace 190 D Darwin, Charles 120 DDT 74, 187 de-leveraging 30 debt-financing 17, 131, 141, 169 decentralisation 165, 201 decolonisation 31, 208, 212 deficit financing 35, 111 deforestation 74, 143 deindustrialisation 33, 43, 88, 131, 150, 157, 243 Deleuze, Gilles 128 demand consumer 107, 109 effective 107, 110–14, 116, 118, 221, 222 lack of 47 worker 108 Democratic Party (US) 11 Deng Xiaoping 159 deregulation 11, 16, 54, 131 derivatives 8 currency 21 heavy losses in (US) 261 derivatives markets creation of 29, 85 unregulated 99, 100, 219 Descartes, René 156 desertification 74 Detroit auto industry 5, 15, 16, 91, 108, 195, 216 foreclosures on housing in 1 Deutsches Bank 20 devaluation 32, 47, 116 of bank capital 30 of prior investments 93 developing countries: transformation of daily lives 94–5 Developing Countries Debt Crisis 19, 261 development path building alliances 230 common objectives 230–31 development not the same as growth 229–30 impacts and feedbacks from other spaces in the global economy 230 Diamond, Jared: Guns, Germs and Steel 132–3, 154 diasporas 147, 155, 163 Dickens, Charles: Bleak House 90 disease 75, 85 dispossession anti-communist insurgent movements against 250–51 of arbitrary feudal institutions 249 of the capital class 260 China 179–80 first category 242–4 India 178–9, 180 movements against 247–52 second category 242, 244–5 Seoul 179 types of 247 under socialism and communism 250 Domar, Evsey 71 Dongguan, China 36 dot-com bubble 29, 261 Dow 35,000 prediction 21 drug trade 45, 49 Dubai: over-investment 10 Dubai World 174, 222 Durban conference on anti-racism (2009) 258 E ‘earth days’ 72, 171 east Asia crash of 1997–8 6, 8, 35, 49, 246 labour reserves 64 movement of production to 43 proletarianisation 62 state-centric economies 226 wage rates 62 eastern European countries 37 eBay 190 economic crisis (1848) 167 economists, and the current financial crisis 235–6 ecosystems 74, 75, 76 Ecuador, and remittances 38 education 59, 63, 127, 128, 221, 224, 257 electronics industry 68 Elizabeth II, Queen vi-vii, 235, 236, 238–9 employment casual part-time low-paid female 150 chronic job insecurity 93 culture of the workplace 104 deskilling 93 reskilling 93 services 149 Engels, Friedrich 89, 98, 115, 157, 237 The Housing Question 176–7, 178 Enron 8, 24, 52, 53, 100, 261 entertainment industries 41 environment: modified by human action 84–5 environmental movement 78 environmental sciences 186–7 equipment 58, 66–7 equity futures 262 equity index swaps 262 equity values 262 ethanol plants 80 ethnic cleansings 247 ethnicity issues 104 Eurodollars 262 Europe negative population growth in western Europe 146 reconstruction of economy after Second World War 202 rsouevolutions of 1848 243 European Union 200, 226 eastern European countries 37 elections (June 2009) 143 unemployment 140 evolution punctuated equilibrium theory of natural evolution 130 social 133 theory of 120, 129 exchange rates 24, 32, 198 exports, falling 141 external economies 162 F Factory Act (1848) 127 factory inspectors 127 ‘failed states’ 69 Fannie Mae (US government-chartered mortgage institution) 4, 17, 173, 223 fascism 169, 203, 233 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) 8 rescue of Continental Illinois Bank 261 Federal Reserve System (the Fed) 2, 17, 54, 116, 219, 236, 248 and asset values 6 cuts interest rates 5, 261 massive liquidity injections in stock markets 261 rescue of Continental Illinois Bank 261 feminists, and colonisation of urban neighbourhoods 248 fertilisers 186 feudalism 135, 138, 228 finance capitalists 40 financial institutions awash with credit 17 bankruptcies 261 control of supply and demand for housing 17 nationalisations 261 financial services 99 Financial Times 12 financialisation 30, 35, 98, 245 Finland: Nordic cris (1992) 8 Flint strike, Michigan (1936–7) 243 Florida, foreclosure wave in 1, 2 Forbes magazine 29, 223 Ford, Henry 64, 98, 160, 161, 188, 189 Ford foundation 44, 186 Fordism 136 Fordlandia 188, 189 foreclosed businesses 245 foreclosed properties 220 fossil fuels 78 Foucault, Michel 134 Fourierists 168 France acceptance of state interventions 200 financial crisis (1868) 168 French banks nationalised 198 immigration 14 Paris Commune 168 pro-natal policies 59 strikes in 38 train network 28 Franco-Prussian War (1870) 168 fraud 43, 49 Freddie Mac (US government-chartered mortgage institution) 4, 17, 173, 223 free trade 10, 33, 90, 131 agreements 42 French Communist Party 52 French Revolution 61 Friedman, Thomas L.: The World is Flat 132 futures, energy 24 futures markets 21 Certificates of Deposit 262 currency 24 Eurodollars 262 Treasury instruments 262 G G7/G8/G20 51, 200 Galileo Galilei 89 Gates, Bill 98, 173, 221 Gates foundation 44 gays, and colonisation of urban neighbourhoods 247, 248 GDP growth (1950–2030) 27 Gehry, Frank 203 Geithner, Tim 11 gender issues 104, 151 General Motors 5 General Motors Acceptance Corporation 23 genetic engineering 84, 98 genetic modification 186 genetically modified organisms (GMOs) 186 gentrification 131, 256, 257 geographical determinism 210 geopolitics 209, 210, 213, 256 Germany acceptance of state interventions 199–200 cross-border leasing 142–3 an export-dominated economy 6 falling exports 141 invasion of US auto market 15 Nazi expansionism 209 neoliberal orthodoxies 141 Turkish immigrants 14 Weimar inflation 141 Glass-Steagall act (1933) 20 Global Crossing 100 global warming 73, 77, 121, 122, 187 globalisation 157 Glyn, Andrew et al: ‘British Capitalism, Workers and the Profits Squeeze’ 65 Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von 156 gold reserves 108, 112, 116 Goldman Sachs 5, 11, 20, 163, 173, 219 Google Earth 156 Gould, Stephen Jay 98, 130 governance 151, 197, 198, 199, 201, 208, 220 governmentality 134 GPS systems 156 Gramsci, Antonio 257 Grandin, Greg: Fordlandia 188, 189 grassroots organisations (GROS) 254 Great Depression (1920s) 46, 170 ‘Great Leap Forward’ 137, 138, 250 ‘Great Society’ anti-poverty programmes 32 Greater London Council 197 Greece sovereign debt 222 student unrest in 38 ‘green communes’ 130 Green Party (Germany) 256 ‘green revolution’ 185–6 Greenspan, Alan 44 Greider, William: Secrets of the Temple 54 growth balanced 71 compound 27, 28, 48, 50, 54, 70, 75, 78, 86 economic 70–71, 83, 138 negative 6 stop in 45 Guggenheim Museu, Bilbao 203 Gulf States collapse of oil-revenue based building boom 38 oil production 6 surplus petrodollars 19, 28 Gulf wars 210 gun trade 44 H habitat loss 74, 251 Haiti, and remittances 38 Hanseatic League 163 Harrison, John 91 Harrod, Roy 70–71 Harvey, David: A Brief History of Neoliberalism 130 Harvey, William vii Haushofer, Karl 209 Haussmann, Baron 49, 167–8, 169, 171, 176 Hawken, Paul: Blessed Unrest 133 Hayek, Friedrich 233 health care 28–9, 59, 63, 220, 221, 224 reneging on obligations 49 Health Care Bill 220 hedge funds 8, 21, 49, 261 managers 44 hedging 24, 36 Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich 133 hegemony 35–6, 212, 213, 216 Heidegger, Martin 234 Helú, Carlos Slim 29 heterogeneity 214 Hitler, Adolf 141 HIV/AIDS pandemic 1 Holloway, John: Change the World without Taking Power 133 homogeneity 214 Hong Kong excessive urban development 8 rise of (1970s) 35 sweatshops 16 horizontal networking 254 household debt 17 housing 146–7, 149, 150, 221, 224 asset value crisis 1, 174 foreclosure crises 1–2, 166 mortgage finance 170 values 1–2 HSBC 20, 163 Hubbert, M.


pages: 376 words: 109,092

Paper Promises by Philip Coggan

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, debt deflation, delayed gratification, diversified portfolio, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, fear of failure, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, floating exchange rates, full employment, German hyperinflation, global reserve currency, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, Isaac Newton, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market bubble, market clearing, Martin Wolf, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, negative equity, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, paradox of thrift, peak oil, pension reform, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, principal–agent problem, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, short selling, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, time value of money, too big to fail, trade route, tulip mania, value at risk, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

At the time of writing, oil trades in a range of $90 – $100 a barrel; a decade earlier $20 – $30 would have been the typical price. In terms of our earlier equation, we have to put in a lot more units of energy to extract the same amount of utility. The profit margins of the global ‘company’ have declined. Some numbers may help. The oil deposits found in the 1930s produced about 100 times as much energy as they took to exploit; in the 1970s, the ratio was around 30 to 1.14 But Canadian tar sands require a lot of heat and energy to refine; one estimate suggests they only produce 70 per cent more energy than it costs to extract them, or a ratio of 1.7 to 1.15 16 Biofuels may be even worse. Why does this matter? We are accustomed to improvements in productivity; creating more output with fewer inputs. Think of Moore’s Law, where the capacity of a microprocessor doubles every eighteen months.

Index AAA Status of US Adams, Douglas Adams, John Addison, Lord Adenauer, Konrad adjustable rate mortgages adulterating coins affluent society Afghanistan ageing populations agrarian revolution Ahamed, Liaquat AIG air miles Alaska Amazon.com Angell, Norman Anglo Irish Bank annuities Argentina Aristophanes Arkansas Asian crisis of 1997 – 8 asset prices assignats Athens Austen, Jane austerity Austria Austrian school Austro-Hungarian empire Aztecs B&Q baby boomers Babylon Bagehot, Walter bailouts balanced budget Baldwin II, King of Jerusalem Balfour, Arthur Bancor Bank for International Settlements bank notes Bank of England bank reserves bank runs bankruptcy codes Banque Generale Barclays Capital Baring, Peter Baring Brothers Barnes & Noble barter Basle Accords Bastiat, Frederic BCA Research BCCI bear markets Bear Stearns Beaverbrook, Lord Belgium Belloc, Hillaire Benn, Tony Benn, William Wedgwood Bernanke, Ben Bernholz, Peter bezant Big Bang Big Mac index bills of exchange bimetallism biofuels Bismarck, Otto von Black Death Black Monday black swan Blackstone Blair, Tony Blum, Léon BMW Bodencreditanstalt Bohemia Bolsheviks Bonnet, Georges Bootle, Roger Brady, Nicholas Brady bonds Brazil Bretton Woods system Brodsky, Paul Brooke, Rupert Brown, Gordon Bruning, Heinrich Brutus Bryan, William Jennings bubbles budget deficits budget surplus building societies Buiter, Willem Bundesbank Burns, Arthur Bush, George W. Business Week Butler, Eamonn Calder, Lendol California Callaghan, Jim Calvin, John Canada Canadian Tar Sands capital controls capital economics capital flows capital ratios carried interest carry trade Carville, James Cassano, Joseph Cato Institute Cayne, Jimmy CDU Party ‘Celtic tiger’ central bank reserves Cesarino, Filippo ‘Chapter’ Charlemagne Charles I, King of England cheques/checks chief executive pay Chile China Churchill, Winston civil war (English) civil war (US) Citigroup clearing union Clientilism Clinton, Bill CNBC collateralized debt obligations commerical banks commercial property commodity prices Compagnie D’Occident comparative advantage conduits confederacy Congdon, Tim Congress, US Connally, John Conservative Party Consols Constantine, Emperor of Rome consumer price inflation continental bonds convergence trade convertibility of gold suspended Coolidge, Calvin copper Cottarelli, Carlo Council of Nicea Cowen, Brian cowrie shells Credit Anstalt credit cards credit crisis of 2007 – 8 credit crunch credit default swaps ‘cross of gold’ speech Cunliffe committee Currency Board currency wars Dante Alighieri David Copperfield Davies, Glyn debasing the currency debit cards debt ceiling debt clock debt deflation spiral debt trap debtors vs creditors, battle defaults defined contribution pension deflation Defoe, Daniel Delors, Jacques Democratic convention of 1896 Democratic Party Democratic Republic of Congo demographics denarii Denmark deposit insurance depreciation of currencies derivatives Deutsche Bank Deutschmark devaluation Dickens, Charles Dionysius of Syracuse Dodd – Frank bill dollar, US Dow Jones Industrial Average drachma Duke, Elizabeth Dumas, Charles Duncan, Richard Durst, Seymour Dutch Republic East Germany East Indies companies Economist Edward III, King of England Edwards, Albert efficient-market theory Egypt Eichengreen, Barry electronic money embedded energy energy efficiency estate agents Estates General Ethelred the Unready euro eurobonds eurodollar market European Central Bank European Commission European Financial Stability Facility European Monetary System European Union eurozone Exchange Rate Mechanism, European exorbitant privilege farmers Federal Reserve Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Federalist party fertility rate ‘fiat money’ Fiji final salary pension Financial Services Authority Financial Times Finland First Bank of the United States First World War fiscal policy fiscal union Fisher, Irving fixed exchange rates floating currencies florin Florio, Jim Ford, Gerald Ford, Henry Ford Motor Company Foreign & Colonial Trust foreign direct investment foreign exchange reserves Forni, Lorenzo Forsyte Saga France Francis I, King of France Franco-Prussian War Franklin, Benjamin French Revolution Friedman, Milton Fuld, Dick futures markets Galbraith, John Kenneth Galsworthy, John GATT Gaulle, Charles de Geithner, Tim General Electric General Motors general strike of 1926 Genghis Khan Genoa conference George V, King of England Germany gilts Gladstone, William Glass – Steagall Act Gleneagles summit Glorious Revolution GMO Gokhale, Jagadeesh gold gold exchange standard gold pool gold standard Goldman Sachs goldsmiths Goodhart, Charles Goodhart’s Law Goschen, George Gottschalk, Jan government bonds government debt Graham, Frank Granada Grantham, Jeremy Great Compression Great Depression Great Moderation Great Society Greece Greenspan, Alan Gresham, Sir Thomas Gresham’s Law Gross, Bill G7 nations G20 meeting Guinea Habsburgs Haiti Haldane, Andrew Hamilton, Alexander Hammurabi of Babylon Havenstein, Rudolf von Hayek, Friedrich Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative hedge funds Henderson, Arthur Henry VIII, King of England Hien Tsung, Chinese emperor Hitler, Adolf Hoar, George Frisbie Hohenzollern monarchy Holy Roman Empire Homer, Sydney Hoover, Herbert House of Representatives houses Hume, David Hussein, Saddam Hutchinson, Thomas Hyde, H.


pages: 339 words: 95,988

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

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airport security, Broken windows theory, crack epidemic, desegregation, Exxon Valdez, feminist movement, George Akerlof, information asymmetry, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, mental accounting, moral hazard, More Guns, Less Crime, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, pets.com, profit maximization, Richard Thaler, school choice, sensible shoes, Steven Pinker, Ted Kaczynski, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, Thorstein Veblen, War on Poverty

Without realizing it, the author just invoked basic economics to invalidate the entire premise of the article! Just for good measure, he goes on to write: High prices can have another unfortunate effect for producers. When crude costs $10 a barrel or even $30 a barrel, alternative fuels are prohibitively expensive. For example, Canada has vast amounts of tar sands that can be rendered into heavy oil, but the cost of doing so is quite high. Yet those tar sands and other alternatives, like bioethanol, hydrogen fuel cells and liquid fuel from natural gas or coal, become economically viable as the going rate for a barrel rises past, say, $40 or more, especially if consuming governments choose to offer their own incentives or subsidies. So even if high prices don’t cause a recession, the Saudis risk losing market share to rivals into whose nonfundamentalist hands Americans would much prefer to channel their energy dollars.


pages: 151 words: 38,153

With Liberty and Dividends for All: How to Save Our Middle Class When Jobs Don't Pay Enough by Peter Barnes

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Alfred Russel Wallace, banks create money, basic income, Buckminster Fuller, collective bargaining, computerized trading, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, diversified portfolio, en.wikipedia.org, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Jaron Lanier, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, Mark Zuckerberg, Network effects, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Samuelson, profit maximization, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, the map is not the territory, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, wealth creators, winner-take-all economy

“It has concentrated on the inside game, at the expense of broad-based organizing.”22 As Bill McKibben has said, the environmental movement needs to become a movement again. McKibben’s new organization, 350.org, is trying to make it that, using the Internet to connect self-organizing chapters. So far, its focus has been on stopping things, like the Keystone pipeline, which would bring Canadian tar sand oil to Gulf Coast refineries. But its larger goal—getting the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide concentration below 350 parts per million—is indelibly engraved in its name, and its preferred mechanism—charging polluters and paying dividends to all—has the potential to rally broad support. IN THE PAST, EACH GENERATION of Americans believed it would live better than the one that came before it. That’s what we meant by “progress.”


pages: 329 words: 85,471

The Locavore's Dilemma by Pierre Desrochers, Hiroko Shimizu

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air freight, back-to-the-land, British Empire, Columbian Exchange, Community Supported Agriculture, creative destruction, edge city, Edward Glaeser, food miles, Food sovereignty, global supply chain, intermodal, invention of agriculture, inventory management, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, labour mobility, land tenure, megacity, moral hazard, mortgage debt, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, planetary scale, profit motive, refrigerator car, Steven Pinker, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, Upton Sinclair, urban sprawl

Despite the obvious finiteness of their surroundings, humans have long been able to develop profitable new technologies to achieve the same or better results while using less resources; to extract valuable materials from more remote locations (for example, offshore drilling) or from less interesting materials (such as less concentrated ores); and to create substitutes out of previously worthless raw materials and industrial residuals that proved their advantage over previous alternatives, such as being more powerful and/or abundant; stronger and/or lighter; and/or easier to produce, handle, transport, and/or store. For instance, because they did not burn cleanly without modern technologies, coal and petroleum were not very valuable for most of human history. In recent years, in North America alone, the advent of shale gas, increased onshore oil production from shale rock, new recovery techniques that make it economical to extract oil left in old wells, new oil field discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico, and advances that have drastically reduced production costs in the Canadian oil sands, have all ensured an abundant supply of affordable transportation fuels for at least several decades, if not for a few centuries.73 Sure, one day humanity will move beyond fossil fuels, but it will not be because we have run out of them, but rather because better alternatives have come along.


pages: 1,309 words: 300,991

Vanished Kingdoms: The Rise and Fall of States and Nations by Norman Davies

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anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Celtic Tiger, Corn Laws, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, labour mobility, land tenure, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, Red Clydeside, Ronald Reagan, Skype, special economic zone, trade route, urban renewal

An encyclopedia of Russia published in London in 1961, for example, was not so much factually inaccurate as incapable of distinguishing the wood from the trees: Estonia (Estonian Eesti or Eestimaa), Union Republic of the U.S.S.R, bordering on the Gulf of Finland, Latvia, the Baltic Sea and Lake Chudskoye in the east; it is mainly lowland plain, partially forested, with many lakes and marshes and a soft, almost maritime climate; Area 17,800 sq. m.; population (1959) 1,197,000 (56 per cent urban), mostly Estonians (73 per cent), also Russians (22 per cent), before the war also Germans. There are oil-shale extraction and processing, electrical engineering, textile, wood-processing and food (bacon and butter) industries; dairy farming and pig raising are carried on, and grain, potatoes, vegetables and flax cultivated. Principal towns: Tallinn (capital), Tartu, Pärnu, Narva, Kohtla-Järve… During the period of Estonian independence (1919–40) the country’s industry declined, being cut off from the Russian market, but agriculture flourished with the export of butter and bacon to Britain and Germany.

The large-scale presence of the Soviet military had the same effect. Several Estonian garrison towns, like Paldiski, were closed to civilians for decades. In the socio-economic sphere, it is true that Soviet planning promoted industrialization and urbanization, yet one can hardly refer to the subject without discussing the harsh, exploitative methods and their baleful consequences. The unrestrained exploitation of Estonia’s oil-shale beds for the benefit of Leningrad, for example, has ruined the town of Kohtla-Järve, which is now overshadowed by towering slag heaps. The nearby town of Ailamae was blessed with a Soviet nuclear processing plant, and has been left with a hopelessly polluted man-made lake that was used as a dump for dangerous waste. In Tallinn, the suburb of Lasnamäe, once touted as a workers’ paradise, is stranded as a museum for the maltreatment of the proletariat.


pages: 443 words: 112,800

The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World by Jeremy Rifkin

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, borderless world, carbon footprint, centre right, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate governance, decarbonisation, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, global supply chain, hydrogen economy, income inequality, industrial cluster, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, knowledge economy, manufacturing employment, marginal employment, Martin Wolf, Masdar, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open borders, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, purchasing power parity, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, supply-chain management, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, urban planning, urban renewal, Yom Kippur War, Zipcar

This doesn’t mean that the oil spigot will suddenly run dry tomorrow. Oil will continue to flow but at dwindling rates and higher costs. And because oil is aggregated and priced in a single world market, there is no magic formula by which any particular country can isolate itself under the banner of “energy independence.” As for conventional natural gas, the global production curve roughly shadows that of oil. What about coal in China, tar sands in Canada, heavy oil in Venezuela, and shale gas in the United States? While still relatively abundant, these energy sources are costly to extract and emit far more carbon dioxide than either crude oil or conventional natural gas. Were we to make a significant shift into these more polluting fuels to stave off the closure of the fossil fuel era, the dramatic rise in global temperatures might inevitably be the final arbiter of our fate.


pages: 497 words: 143,175

Pivotal Decade: How the United States Traded Factories for Finance in the Seventies by Judith Stein

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1960s counterculture, affirmative action, airline deregulation, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, capital controls, centre right, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, desegregation, energy security, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial deregulation, floating exchange rates, full employment, Gunnar Myrdal, income inequality, income per capita, intermodal, invisible hand, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, liberal capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market bubble, Martin Wolf, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, post-industrial society, post-oil, price mechanism, price stability, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, strikebreaker, trade liberalization, union organizing, urban planning, urban renewal, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, working poor, Yom Kippur War

Not only did the energy story take a backseat to the political story, which was a lot more appealing and comprehensible to reporters, but the public could wonder about the soundness of an energy plan which was put together by men who were then fired.40 Nevertheless, the Congress embraced the energy program, approving the Energy Security Corporation in June 1980. Containing something for everyone—incentives for oil shale, alcohol fuels, geothermal energy, solar, etc.—the corporation would guarantee loans, support prices, buy fuel, and even own production facilities. Funded up to $88 billion by a windfall profits tax, it seemed both self-financing and guaranteed to provide an elusive energy security. By 1985, the United States was 25 percent more energy efficient and 32 percent more oil efficient than it had been in 1973.


pages: 306 words: 79,537

Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World by Tim Marshall

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9 dash line, Admiral Zheng, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, California gold rush, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, drone strike, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Hans Island, LNG terminal, market fragmentation, megacity, Mercator projection distort size, especially Greenland and Africa, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, oil shale / tar sands, Scramble for Africa, South China Sea, trade route, transcontinental railway, Transnistria, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, zero-sum game

The Dead Cow, or Vaca Muerta, is a shale formation that, combined with the country’s other shale areas, could provide Argentina’s energy needs for the next 150 years with excess to export. It is situated halfway down Argentina, in Patagonia, and abuts the western border with Chile. It is the size of Belgium—which might be relatively small for a country but is large for a shale formation. So far so good, unless you are against shale-produced energy—but there is a catch. To get the gas and oil out of the shale will require massive foreign investment, and Argentina is not considered a foreign-investment-friendly country. There’s more oil and gas farther south—in fact, so far south it’s offshore in and around islands that are British and have been since 1833. And therein lies a problem, and a news story that never goes away. What Britain calls the Falkland Islands are known as Las Malvinas by Argentina, and woe betide any Argentine who uses the F word.

Culture and Prosperity: The Truth About Markets - Why Some Nations Are Rich but Most Remain Poor by John Kay

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Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, California gold rush, complexity theory, computer age, constrained optimization, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, equity premium, Ernest Rutherford, European colonialism, experimental economics, Exxon Valdez, failed state, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, George Gilder, greed is good, Gunnar Myrdal, haute couture, illegal immigration, income inequality, industrial cluster, information asymmetry, intangible asset, invention of the telephone, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, John Meriwether, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, late capitalism, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, market bubble, market clearing, market fundamentalism, means of production, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, Nash equilibrium, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, pets.com, popular electronics, price discrimination, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, rent-seeking, Right to Buy, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, second-price auction, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, the new new thing, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, transaction costs, tulip mania, urban decay, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, yield curve, yield management

There is oil beneath the major oceans, beyond the reach of existing drilling capabilities; at great cost, these capabilities could be extended to make exploitation possible. In the tar sands in Venezuela and at Athabasca in Canada, there is enough oil to satisfy the demands of motorists, airlines, and power stations for decades, even centuries; but the cost of extraction is well above current oil prices. 2 The availability of oil is a commercial rather than a technological question. The reserves of oil that are available at $100 a barrel are many times the reserves available at $10 a barrel. And the more oil is needed, the more of these different sources of supply are required. If the demand for oil were lower, it would be met entirely from the Middle East. As things are, we draw on Alaska and the North Sea, but not the ocean beds or the Athabascan tar sands. 3 Culture and Prosperity { 139} (b) Milk New Zealand has a wet, temperate climate and more than enough land for 4 million people.


pages: 258 words: 63,367

Making the Future: The Unipolar Imperial Moment by Noam Chomsky

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Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate personhood, creative destruction, deindustrialization, energy security, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Frank Gehry, full employment, Howard Zinn, Joseph Schumpeter, kremlinology, liberation theology, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, Mikhail Gorbachev, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, precariat, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, structural adjustment programs, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, working poor

Furthermore, it may be that the military occupation has taken the initiative in restoring the hated Iraq Petroleum Company, which, as Seamus Milne writes in the London Guardian, was imposed under British rule to “dine off Iraq’s wealth in a famously exploitative deal.” Later reports speak of delays in the bidding. Much is happening in secrecy, and it would be no surprise if new scandals emerge. Concern over control of Iraqi oil is not hard to understand. Iraq contains perhaps the second-largest oil reserves in the world, which are, furthermore, very cheap to extract: no permafrost or shale or tar sands or deep-sea drilling. For U.S. planners, it is a priority that Iraq remain under U.S. control, to the extent possible, as an obedient client state that will also house major U.S. military bases, right at the heart of the world’s major energy reserves. That these were the primary goals of the invasion was always clear enough through the haze of successive pretexts: weapons of mass destruction, Saddam’s links with al-Qaida, democracy promotion and the war against terrorism, which, as predicted, sharply increased as a result of the invasion.

What We Say Goes: Conversations on U.S. Power in a Changing World by Noam Chomsky, David Barsamian

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banking crisis, British Empire, Doomsday Clock, failed state, feminist movement, Howard Zinn, informal economy, liberation theology, mass immigration, microcredit, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Thomas L Friedman, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus

People talk about it as a catastrophe, but what they’re failing to notice is that continued use of oil could cause a worse catastrophe, maybe only one generation from now. Oil is finite. So at some point it will no longer be economical to use oil. When that will be, nobody really knows. There are many ambiguities, including whether it’s not going to be economically possible to refine oil from tar sands or to exploit other oil that’s currently hard to access. It may turn out that Venezuela has the largest reserves in the world, by some measures.42 It’s just very hard to get to. But peak oil will come. If this situation leads to sensible steps toward reconstructing our society and we accommodate to the fact that we cannot keep polluting the atmosphere, we cannot keep destroying the environment or else we’ll all die; if that happens sooner, fine.

Masters of Mankind by Noam Chomsky

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affirmative action, American Legislative Exchange Council, Berlin Wall, failed state, God and Mammon, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), land reform, Martin Wolf, means of production, nuremberg principles, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Samuelson, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit maximization, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Silicon Valley, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, union organizing, urban renewal, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Westphalian system

The countries that have driven indigenous populations to extinction or extreme marginalization are racing forward enthusiastically toward destruction. Thus Ecuador, with a large indigenous population, is seeking aid from the rich countries to allow it to keep its substantial oil reserves underground, where they should be. Meanwhile, the US and Canada enthusiastically seek to burn fossil fuels, including the extremely dangerous Canadian tar sands, and to do so as quickly and fully as possible while they hail the wonders of a century of (largely meaningless) energy independence without a side glance at what the world might look like after this extravagant commitment to self-destruction. The observation generalizes. Throughout the world, indigenous societies are struggling to protect what they sometimes call “the rights of nature,” while the civilized and sophisticated scoff at this silliness.

Because We Say So by Noam Chomsky

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, Chelsea Manning, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Julian Assange, Malacca Straits, Martin Wolf, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, Powell Memorandum, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Slavoj Žižek, Stanislav Petrov, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks

The countries that have driven indigenous populations to extinction or extreme marginalization are racing toward destruction. Thus Ecuador, with its large indigenous population, is seeking aid from the rich countries to allow it to keep its substantial oil reserves underground, where they should be. Meanwhile the U.S. and Canada are seeking to burn fossil fuels, including the extremely dangerous Canadian tar sands, and to do so as quickly and fully as possible, while they hail the wonders of a century of (largely meaningless) energy independence without a side glance at what the world might look like after this extravagant commitment to self-destruction. This observation generalizes: Throughout the world, indigenous societies are struggling to protect what they sometimes call “the rights of nature,” while the civilized and sophisticated scoff at this silliness.


pages: 417 words: 109,367

pages: 239 words: 68,598

The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning by James E. Lovelock

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Ada Lovelace, butterfly effect, carbon footprint, Clapham omnibus, cognitive dissonance, continuous integration, David Attenborough, decarbonisation, discovery of DNA, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Henri Poincaré, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), mandelbrot fractal, mass immigration, megacity, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, planetary scale, short selling, Stewart Brand, University of East Anglia

FOSSIL FUELS This book is not the place to list comprehensive statistics of fuel reserves and production. With modest effort and discernment they are available on the internet, but I will include some comments on the fuels now in use and on our food prospects for the coming century. There are huge reserves of coal, oil and natural gas still left, and in addition there are even larger reserves of less efficient fuels such as tar sands, shale and peat. The catch is this natural fuel is renewed very slowly, at one‐hundredth the pace we burn it. It is not the amount that we have burnt but the rapidity with which we are doing it that matters. However, if in your car you used petrol or diesel fuel made from atmospheric carbon dioxide using nuclear energy or solar thermal energy you would be doing something good for the planet. It is not the fuel that is damaging but the balance sheet of its production and use.


pages: 294 words: 80,084

Tomorrowland: Our Journey From Science Fiction to Science Fact by Steven Kotler

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Albert Einstein, Alexander Shulgin, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Burning Man, carbon footprint, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, Dean Kamen, epigenetics, gravity well, haute couture, interchangeable parts, Kevin Kelly, life extension, Louis Pasteur, North Sea oil, Oculus Rift, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, personalized medicine, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, theory of mind, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

A number of familiar faces (like Toshiba and Lawrence Livermore Laboratories) and several nuclear newcomers (like New Mexico–based Hyperion Power Generation and Oregon-based NuScale Power) have gone into this area because SMRs are believed to fill a niche. In places where water shortages are a problem, SMRs could be used to run desalination plants; in places too remote for other options, SMRs could be the best alternative to trucking in barrels of diesel. Much interest is centered around providing power for remote mining operations (like extracting oil from tar sands, which currently uses more oil than it produces), backing up intermittently plagued solar or wind facilities, or even — in the very long term — serving as hydrogen generators. All that said, as a pilot project of sorts, Toshiba has spent five years trying to give their SMR — known as the 4S for “super safe, small, and simple” — to the remote town of Galena, Alaska. But, as Greenpeace’s Jim Riccio points out: “How good do you think the technology really is if they can’t even give it away?”


pages: 221 words: 68,880

Bikenomics: How Bicycling Can Save the Economy (Bicycle) by Elly Blue

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, active transport: walking or cycling, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, big-box store, car-free, hydraulic fracturing, if you build it, they will come, Induced demand, Jane Jacobs, job automation, Loma Prieta earthquake, medical residency, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, ride hailing / ride sharing, science of happiness, the built environment, urban renewal, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional

The cause of the collapse was a truck that struck the bridge’s overhead structure several times. The truck was too large for the bridge, taller than the maximum height indicated for crossing and larger than the bridge’s designers, half a century earlier, had likely ever imagined a truck could be. At the time of the collapse, the truck was in service delivering heavy oil-drilling equipment from the Port of Vancouver, Washington to the Alberta Tar Sands oil fields. The equipment was housed in large containers for the trip, and it is one of these empty containers that struck the bridge struts on the southbound trip.201 Such equipment is not normally carried on freeways. In fact, the route that the trucking company had originally planned to use was through the Montana wilderness. Communities along this route had protested the use of their rural highways, complaining of the ecological devastation and the damage to a tourism and hunting-based economy that would result.


pages: 684 words: 188,584

The Age of Radiance: The Epic Rise and Dramatic Fall of the Atomic Era by Craig Nelson

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Albert Einstein, Brownian motion, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, Doomsday Clock, El Camino Real, Ernest Rutherford, failed state, Henri Poincaré, hive mind, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Louis Pasteur, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, music of the spheres, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, Project Plowshare, Ralph Nader, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Skype, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, V2 rocket, William Langewiesche, éminence grise

Greenpeace cofounder Patrick Moore, Gaia theorist James Lovelock, NASA climate scientist James Hansen, and Earth Institute director Jeffrey Sachs, among many others in the environmental movement, are convinced that we need nuclear power to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, a greenhouse gas. Like most of the world, “Americans have never met a hydrocarbon they didn’t like,” journalist Elizabeth Kolbert said. “Oil, natural gas, liquefied natural gas, tar-sands oil, coal-bed methane, and coal, which is, mostly, carbon—the country loves them all, not wisely, but too well. To the extent that the United States has an energy policy, it is perhaps best summed up as: if you’ve got it, burn it.” For of all the ways we have right now of producing electricity, nuclear is in many ways the least of our worries, so much so that perhaps antinuclear activists should refocus on the far greater menace of coal.


pages: 520 words: 129,887

Power Hungry: The Myths of "Green" Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future by Robert Bryce

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Bernie Madoff, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, cleantech, collateralized debt obligation, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, flex fuel, greed is good, Hernando de Soto, hydraulic fracturing, hydrogen economy, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Menlo Park, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, Stewart Brand, Thomas L Friedman, uranium enrichment, Whole Earth Catalog

During the summer of 2008, the Barnett was producing about 8 percent of all the gas produced in the country. 24 And that gas was being fed into a booming global economy that was reaching the tail-end of a long bull market. On July 3, 2008, near-month natural-gas futures prices hit a near-record $13.58 per thousand cubic feet.25 By April 2009, gas futures had fallen to about $3.50,26 and numerous forecasters were estimating the U.S. natural gas prices would stay under $4 for months, perhaps even years to come. Just as the East Texas Field changed the American oil business, the Barnett Shale has fundamentally changed the U.S. gas business—and that change is just getting started. CHAPTER 24 America’s Secret Google J. PAUL GETTY, one of the world’s first billionaires, once declared that “the meek shall inherit the Earth, but not its mineral rights.”1 Getty—who made his first million dollars in the Oklahoma oil fields—was on to something. Although dozens of economists have written about the critical role that private-property rights play in building wealth in developing countries (among the more notable: Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto), few, if any, have considered the importance of private ownership of mineral rights.2 And fewer still have written about America’s anomalous status as the only country on the planet that allows individuals, rather than the state or the crown, to own the minerals beneath their feet.


pages: 558 words: 168,179

Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Bakken shale, bank run, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, centre right, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, collective bargaining, corporate raider, crony capitalism, David Brooks, desegregation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, energy security, estate planning, Fall of the Berlin Wall, George Gilder, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, job automation, low skilled workers, mandatory minimum, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, Mont Pelerin Society, More Guns, Less Crime, Nate Silver, New Journalism, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Powell Memorandum, Ralph Nader, Renaissance Technologies, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, school choice, school vouchers, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Chicago School, the scientific method, University of East Anglia, Unsafe at Any Speed, War on Poverty, working poor

By 2015, Pine Bend was processing some 350,000 barrels of Canadian crude a day, and according to David Sassoon of the Reuters-affiliated InsideClimate News, Koch Industries was the world’s largest exporter of oil out of Canada. In 2012, he wrote, “This single Koch refinery is now responsible for an estimated 25 percent of the 1.2 million barrels of oil the U.S. imports each day from Canada’s tar sands territories.” The Kochs’ good fortune, however, was the globe’s misfortune, because crude oil derived from Canada’s dirty tar sands requires far greater amounts of energy to produce and so is especially harmful to the environment. In 1970, a year after Koch Industries completed the Pine Bend deal, the twins joined their elder brother at Koch Industries, with David working out of New York and Bill near Boston. Charles characteristically assumed control, and it was not long before the long-standing sibling rivalries flared anew.


pages: 355 words: 106,952

Visit Sunny Chernobyl: And Other Adventures in the World's Most Polluted Places by Andrew Blackwell

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carbon footprint, clean water, Google Earth, gravity well, liberation theology, nuclear paranoia, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, place-making, ride hailing / ride sharing, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, the scientific method, young professional

One sunny autumn day, not long after my visit, Hudema and several of his colleagues had gone for a walk through Albian Sands, an oil sands mine owned by Shell. Of course, no group of Greenpeace activists can go strolling through a mine without chaining themselves to something. In this case, they attached themselves to an excavator and a pair of sand haulers and rolled out a large banner reading TAR SANDS—CLIMATE CRIME. The entire mine was shut down for the better part of a shift, and Hudema and company spent thirty-some hours camping out on the machinery before agreeing to leave. (Later Greenpeace oil sands protesters met with arrests and prosecution.) The protesters’ purpose—what other could there be—was to make the news, to raise awareness, to convince the world that there was something at stake worth getting arrested for.


pages: 364 words: 101,193

Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet by Mark Lynas

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, Climatic Research Unit, Deng Xiaoping, failed state, ice-free Arctic, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Live Aid, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, price stability, South China Sea, supervolcano

Coal can also be turned into synthetic fuels-a technique pioneered by the Nazis and later continued by the apartheid regime in South Africa. ‘Synfuels’ still supply half of South Africa's petrol and diesel, and with high world oil prices, coal ‘synfuels’ are becoming competitive elsewhere too. The liquidation of coal produces much more CO2 than conventional refining-so peak oil in this case would worsen global warming. Other ‘unconventional oil’ sources are similarly polluting-the extraction of oil from the tar sand deposits in the Canadian province of Alberta uses vast quantities of steam and natural gas, meaning that the ‘energy returned on energy invested’ ratio is dangerously low and emissions dangerously high. Global gas supplies will last longer than oil, but not indefinitely-estimates of the date for ‘peak gas’ vary from one to eight decades away from now. But by the time conventional gas declines globally, it is very likely that the energy companies will have begun exploiting methane hydrates on ocean shelves-already a potential source of considerable interest to the likes of Exxon-Mobil and Texaco.


pages: 378 words: 110,518

Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future by Paul Mason

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Alfred Russel Wallace, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, basic income, Bernie Madoff, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, capital controls, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Claude Shannon: information theory, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Graeber, deglobalization, deindustrialization, deskilling, discovery of the americas, Downton Abbey, drone strike, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, eurozone crisis, factory automation, financial repression, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, future of work, game design, income inequality, inflation targeting, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, low skilled workers, market clearing, means of production, Metcalfe's law, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, Pearl River Delta, post-industrial society, precariat, price mechanism, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, secular stagnation, sharing economy, Stewart Brand, structural adjustment programs, supply-chain management, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Transnistria, union organizing, universal basic income, urban decay, urban planning, Vilfredo Pareto, wages for housework, women in the workforce

As the Carbon Tracker Initiative warned investors: ‘they need to understand that 60–80% of coal, oil and gas reserves of listed firms are unburnable’5 – that is, if we burn them, the atmosphere will warm to a catastrophic degree. Yet rising energy prices are a market signal. They tell energy firms that it’s a good idea to invest in new and more expensive ways of finding carbon. In 2011, they invested $674 billion on exploration and development of fossil fuels: tar sands, fracking and deep-sea oil deposits. Then, as global tensions increased, Saudi Arabia decided to collapse the price of oil, with the aim of destroying America’s new hydrocarbon industries, and in the process bankrupting Putin’s Russia. This, too, acted as a market signal to American drivers: buy more cars and do more miles. Clearly, somewhere, the market as a signalling mechanism has gone wrong.


pages: 324 words: 92,805

The Impulse Society: America in the Age of Instant Gratification by Paul Roberts

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, accounting loophole / creative accounting, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, asset allocation, business process, Cass Sunstein, centre right, choice architecture, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Brooks, delayed gratification, double helix, factory automation, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, full employment, game design, greed is good, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop - Herbert Stein's Law, impulse control, income inequality, inflation targeting, invisible hand, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, late fees, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, low skilled workers, mass immigration, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, performance metric, postindustrial economy, profit maximization, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, reshoring, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Predators' Ball, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Walter Mischel, winner-take-all economy

And to speed that evolution, a burgeoning national community of local activists, heavily made up by Millennials, is using new “occupation” tactics to ramp up the political pressure nationally in ways that more established green groups no longer do. Case in point: more than 75,000 activists stand ready to block the development of Keystone XL, a pipeline project that would carry carbon-heavy oil from the Canadian tar sands—a threat that may help explain why the Obama administration has stalled the project’s approval. Perhaps the greatest opportunity for this top-down, bottom-up dynamic is in education. The sector has suffered under the Impulse Society. Our dismal academic performance, compared to “lesser” industrial nations, is already undercutting our capacity to revive our economy or even think about long-term prosperity.


pages: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr

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Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Airbus A320, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, digital map, Donald Trump, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, factory automation, failed state, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, game design, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Snapchat, social graph, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

It may surpass Simon & Garfunkel’s great herbal palette: Parsley Sage Rosemary Thyme That’s a little too green-centric for a product line, anyway. It does worry me just a bit, though, that the Glass palette eschews green altogether. Is that a political statement? In fact, now that I think about it, the Glass palette places a disconcerting emphasis on fossil fuels. Charcoal? Shale? One can almost smell the carbon emissions rising into Sky, almost see Cotton and Tangerine wilting in the heat. Maybe they should have included Tar Sands as a color option. No, that would have been a downer. “Charcoal” has a much nicer lilt. Its emotional connotations diverge from its real-world denotations, in a way that nicely underscores both the semiotic and the marketing possibilities of reality augmentation. What would be really cool is if the color of your Glass also determined the way the device augmented your reality. So if you wore Charcoal, you’d get this dark, goth view of the world, but if you sported Tangerine, it would be like seeing existence through the eyes of a high school cheerleader on game day.

Who Rules the World? by Noam Chomsky

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Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, corporate governance, corporate personhood, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, liberation theology, Malacca Straits, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, nuclear winter, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, one-state solution, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, precariat, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, Stanislav Petrov, structural adjustment programs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade route, union organizing, uranium enrichment, wage slave, WikiLeaks, working-age population

Not part of the debate are a very large number of experts, including those in the climate change program at MIT, among others, who criticize the scientific consensus because it is too conservative and cautious, arguing that the truth when it comes to climate change is far more dire. Not surprisingly, the public is confused. In his 2012 State of the Union speech, President Obama hailed the bright prospects of a century of energy self-sufficiency, thanks to new technologies that permit extraction of hydrocarbons from Canadian tar sands, shale, and other previously inaccessible sources.40 Others agree; the Financial Times forecasts a century of energy independence for the US.41 Unasked in these optimistic forecasts is the question of what kind of a world will survive the rapacious onslaught. In the lead in confronting the crisis throughout the world are indigenous communities, those who have always upheld the Charter of the Forests.

When Cultures Collide: Leading Across Cultures by Richard D. Lewis

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Ayatollah Khomeini, British Empire, business climate, business process, colonial exploitation, corporate governance, global village, haute cuisine, hiring and firing, invention of writing, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, old-boy network, open borders, profit maximization, profit motive, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, trade route, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, women in the workforce

Undeterred, the factory improved the quality of the product and quickly secured markets in Finland and other Western countries for 250,000 pairs of skis per annum. It then went further and started producing Rossignol skis for the U.S. market. Unfortunately, this business has not proven viable in the long run. The versatility of Estonian businesspeople is a quality born of necessity. Although Estonia has several advantages over neighboring Latvia and Lithuania—it has enormous oil-shale deposits and is a net exporter of electricity— its small economy makes it difficult for Estonians to compete in mass markets. Niche products are the solution. In this respect, high-quality Estonian handicrafts are among the most original in the world. At meetings Estonians present their products and policies confidently and with frankness. They are well aware that low labor costs give them useful leverage when dealing with Scandinavians.


pages: 443 words: 98,113

The Corruption of Capitalism: Why Rentiers Thrive and Work Does Not Pay by Guy Standing

3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bilateral investment treaty, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, cashless society, central bank independence, centre right, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, ending welfare as we know it, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Firefox, first-past-the-post, future of work, gig economy, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Growth in a Time of Debt, housing crisis, income inequality, information retrieval, intangible asset, invention of the steam engine, investor state dispute settlement, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, mini-job, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, Neil Kinnock, non-tariff barriers, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, nudge unit, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, openstreetmap, patent troll, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, precariat, quantitative easing, remote working, rent control, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Right to Buy, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, structural adjustment programs, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, the payments system, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, Y Combinator, zero-sum game, Zipcar

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, had the UK used tax receipts from its oil and gas fields to build up a wealth fund, it could now have a fund with £450 billion of assets, bigger than those of Kuwait, Qatar and Russia combined.11 The ultimate irony is that privatisation has enabled Chinese state enterprises to own a significant stake in UK oil fields, channelling profits to a nominally communist superpower. One doubts that is what Thatcher and Nigel Lawson, her Chancellor, intended. But the outcome stemmed from their ideological decision. That error should not be repeated with fracking – the extraction of gas and oil from shale rock. These resources belong to the people. If fracking is permitted to continue, part of those profits should go into a sovereign wealth fund. Contributions from exploitation of a country’s natural resources should be supplemented by a levy on all other forms of rental income, including royalties and fees from intellectual property and the rental income gained by online labour brokers and other platforms.


pages: 541 words: 146,445

Spin by Robert Charles Wilson

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airport security, Colonization of Mars, invention of writing, invisible hand, John von Neumann, Mahatma Gandhi, megacity, oil shale / tar sands, rolodex, Stephen Hawking

" * * * * * Molly, on the other hand, had no use for what she called "all this God crap." Every woman for herself, that was Moll's philosophy. Especially, she said, if the world was coming unglued and none of us was going to live past fifty. "I don't intend to spend that time kneeling." She was tough by nature. Molly's folks were dairy farmers. They had spent ten years in legal arguments over a tar-sands oil-extraction project that bordered their property and was slowly poisoning it. In the end they traded their ranch for an out-of-court settlement large enough to buy a comfortable retirement for themselves and a decent education for their daughter. But it was the kind of experience, Molly said, that would grow calluses on an angel's ass. Very little about the evolving social landscape surprised her.


pages: 523 words: 148,929

Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100 by Michio Kaku

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agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Albert Einstein, Asilomar, augmented reality, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, blue-collar work, British Empire, Brownian motion, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, DARPA: Urban Challenge, delayed gratification, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, friendly AI, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hydrogen economy, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of movable type, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, John von Neumann, life extension, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mars Rover, mass immigration, megacity, Murray Gell-Mann, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, telepresence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, Turing machine, uranium enrichment, Vernor Vinge, Wall-E, Walter Mischel, Whole Earth Review, X Prize

Speaking to the experts in energy, I could see that a rough consensus is emerging: we are either at the top of Hubbert’s peak for world oil production, or are perhaps a decade away from that fateful point. This means that in the near future, we may be entering a period of irreversible decline. Of course, we will never totally run out of oil. New pockets are being found all the time. But the cost of extracting and refining these will gradually skyrocket. For example, Canada has huge tar sands deposits, enough to supply the world’s oil for decades to come, but it is not cost-effective to extract and refine it. The United States probably has enough coal reserves to last 300 years, but there are legal restrictions, and the cost of extracting all the particulate and gaseous pollutants is onerous. Furthermore, oil continues to be found in politically volatile regions of the world, contributing to foreign instability.


pages: 448 words: 142,946

Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition by Charles Eisenstein

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Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, bank run, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Bretton Woods, capital controls, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, corporate raider, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, disintermediation, diversification, fiat currency, financial independence, financial intermediation, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, global supply chain, God and Mammon, happiness index / gross national happiness, hydraulic fracturing, informal economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, land tenure, land value tax, Lao Tzu, liquidity trap, lump of labour, McMansion, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, phenotype, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Scramble for Africa, special drawing rights, spinning jenny, technoutopianism, the built environment, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail

When we are in harmony with our life purpose, these gateways to the life force open wide and give us a constant supply of energy. But when we lose this alignment, we must use increasingly violent methods (coffee, motivational techniques, threats) to jerk the life force through the adrenals. Similarly, the technologies we use to access fossil fuels have become more and more violent—hydraulic fracturing (or fracking), mountaintop removal, tar sand exploitation, and so on—and we are using these fuels for frivolous or destructive purposes that are evidently out of alignment with the purpose of the human species on earth. The personal and planetary mirror each other. The connection is more than mere analogy: the kind of work that we use coffee and external motivation (e.g., money) to force ourselves to do is precisely the kind of work that contributes to the despoliation of the planet.


pages: 412 words: 113,782

Business Lessons From a Radical Industrialist by Ray C. Anderson

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Albert Einstein, banking crisis, carbon footprint, centralized clearinghouse, clean water, cleantech, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, dematerialisation, distributed generation, energy security, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, invisible hand, late fees, Mahatma Gandhi, market bubble, music of the spheres, Negawatt, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old-boy network, peak oil, renewable energy credits, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, supply-chain management, urban renewal, Y2K

Now, given the recent increase in the price of a barrel of light sweet crude, Economics 101 assures us there will be a resulting spike in oil prospecting. Though efficiencies can produce a lot more energy—faster, cheaper, and with greater social and environmental benefits—that is Economics 201, and most folks haven’t signed up for that course yet. So, it naturally follows that oil companies will—if Congress allows—go after those restricted coastal blocs—difficult, expensive deposits found in the deep ocean, the high Arctic, or locked up in tar sands and western shales. And this won’t happen just in the United States, either. It reminds me of how a drug addict, having used up all the easy veins in his arm, switches to the ones between his toes to inject his daily fix. It is only a temporary solution for that poor addict. He will either die from his addiction or overcome it. And it is the same for humankind. If we’re foolish enough to burn all that oil, all that natural gas, all that so-called clean coal, we will release thousands of gigatons of CO2.


pages: 504 words: 143,303

Why We Can't Afford the Rich by Andrew Sayer

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, asset-backed security, banking crisis, banks create money, basic income, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, collective bargaining, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, decarbonisation, declining real wages, deglobalization, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, demand response, don't be evil, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, en.wikipedia.org, Etonian, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, G4S, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, high net worth, income inequality, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), investor state dispute settlement, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, job automation, Julian Assange, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, land value tax, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, moral hazard, mortgage debt, negative equity, neoliberal agenda, new economy, New Urbanism, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, patent troll, payday loans, Philip Mirowski, Plutocrats, plutocrats, popular capitalism, predatory finance, price stability, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent, working poor, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

On its website BP offers visitors an energy (carbon footprint) calculator.57 It thereby encourages them to think that reducing carbon emissions is just an issue for us as individuals, rather than for the likes of BP, as if it just passively responded to whatever consumers demanded. James Marriot calculates that the carbon footprint of BP’s production and distribution processes and its products is twice that of the UK.58 BP is massively investing in the extraction of oil from bitumen (‘tar sands’) in Canada, an extraordinarily energy-intensive and polluting technology. The cartoon by Robert Mankoff in Figure 21.2, originally published in The New Yorker, hits the nail on the head. Figure 21.2: ‘Unprecedented opportunities for profit’ Whatever they may say, the last thing energy companies want to see is declining demand for energy. Of course, strictly speaking it’s not fossil fuels that they are ultimately most committed to, but profit; if they could make more money out of low-carbon energy production, then they would switch to that – not because it’s greener but in order to increase profits.


pages: 691 words: 126,970

Code of the Lifemaker by James P. Hogan

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oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition

Thirg had never seen the city looking quite so beautiful, with the fading light of bright's-end softening the hues of the trees along the avenue and painting a delicate blue haze over the rolling forests outside the city and the mountains rising distantly behind. Ahead, he could see the tall, clean lines of the new buildings of the central city rising proudly above the intervening suburbs as if in anticipation of the new era about to be born. A gentle breeze was blowing from the east, carrying the fragrant scents of distilled tar-sands and fumace-gas ventings, and a family of dome-backed concrete-pourers was laying out filter beds on the far bank of the bend where the river flanked the avenue, downstream from the ingot-soaking pits. From somewhere off in the distance he could hear the muted strains of a power hammer thudding contentedly while nearer to the road a flock of raucous coilspring winders was playing counterpoint with the warbling of a high-pressure relief valve, and on all sides the undergrowth chirped happily with piezoelectric whines and whistles.


pages: 519 words: 136,708

Vertical: The City From Satellites to Bunkers by Stephen Graham

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1960s counterculture, Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, Buy land – they’re not making it any more, Chelsea Manning, Commodity Super-Cycle, creative destruction, deindustrialization, digital map, drone strike, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, energy security, Frank Gehry, ghettoisation, Google Earth, Gunnar Myrdal, high net worth, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, late capitalism, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, megastructure, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-industrial society, Project Plowshare, rent control, Richard Florida, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, Skype, South China Sea, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, trickle-down economics, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, WikiLeaks, William Langewiesche

., Architecture in the Anthropocene: Encounters among Design, Deep Time, Science and Philosophy, New York: Anexact, 2013, p. 40. 7Price, ‘Humans as Geomorphic Agents’. 8Matt Edgeworth, ‘The Relationship between Archaeological Stratigraphy and Artificial Ground and Its Significance in the Anthropocene’, Geological Society, London, Special Publications 395:1, 2014, pp. 91–108. 9Eric Sanderson, Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City, New York: Abrams, 2013. 10See Christian Neal MilNeil, ‘Inner-City Glaciers’, in Elizabeth Ellsworth, Jamie Kruse and Reg Beatty, eds, Making the Geologic Now: Responses to Material Conditions of Contemporary Life, New York: Punctum Books, 2013, pp. 79–81. 11Jamie Kruse and Elizabeth Ellsworth, Geologic City: A Field Guide to the Geoarchitecture of New York, New York: Smudge Studio, 2011. 12See Björn Wallsten, The Urk World: Hibernating Infrastructures and the Quest for Urban Mining, Linköping: Linköping University, 2015. 13Björn Wallsten, ‘Urks and the Urban Underworld as Geosocial Formation’, Science, Technology and Human Values, forthcoming. 14James McCarthy and Kate Driscoll Derickson, ‘Manufacturing Consent for Engineering Earth: Social Dynamics in Boston’s Big Dig’, in Stan Brunn, ed., Engineering Earth, Rotterdam: Springer, 2011, pp. 697–713. 15Cited in Pete Brook, ‘The Toxic Landscape of Johannesburg’s Gold Mines’, Wired, 18 June 2014. 16See Martin J. Murray, City of Extremes: The Spatial Politics of Johannesburg, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2011. 17See Andrew Nikiforuk, Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent, Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2010. 18See Julia Fox, ‘Mountaintop Removal in West Virginia: An Environmental Sacrifice Zone’, Organization and Environment 12:2, 1999, pp. 163–83. 19‘E-Waste up a Third by 2017: UN’, Melbourne Age, 17 December 2013. 20Edgeworth, ‘Archaeological Stratigraphy’. 21Ibid. 22Max Page, The Creative Destruction of Manhattan, 1900–1940, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001. 23Peter Del Tredici, ‘The Flora of the Future’, Places Journal, April 2014, available at placesjournal.org. 24Anne-Marie Cantwell and Diana diZerega Wall, Unearthing Gotham: The Archaeology of New York City, New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2003, p. 234. 25Quoted in Alex Marshall, Beneath the Metropolis: The Secret Lives of Cities, New York: Carroll & Graf, 2006, p. 56. 26Maja Gori, ‘The Stones of Contention: The Role of Archaeological Heritage in the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict’, Archaeologies 9:1, 2013, p. 223. 27Eyal Weizman, ‘The Politics of Verticality: Excavating Sacredness’, Open Democracy, 28 April 2002, available at opendemocracy.net. 28Cited in Gori, ‘Stones of Contention’, p. 226. 29Weizman, ‘Politics of Verticality’. 30See Chiara De Cesari, ‘Hebron, or Heritage as Technology of Life’, Jerusalem Quarterly 41, 2010, pp. 6–28. 31Scott Kirsch, Proving Grounds: Project Plowshare and the Unrealized Dream of Nuclear Earthmoving, New York: Rutgers University Press, 2005. 32See Brian Hudson, Cities on the Shore: The Urban Littoral Frontier, London: Pinter, 1996. 33Réné Kolman, ‘New Land in the Water: Economically and Socially, Land Reclamation Pays’, Terra et Aqua 128, September 2012. 34Lizette Alvarez, ‘Where Sand Is Gold, the Reserves Are Running Dry’, New York Times, 24 August 2013. 35Sand is also necessary to produce glass, the concrete used in vertical construction, and in high-tech industries. 36Joshua Comaroff, ‘Built on Sand: Singapore and the New State of Risk’, Harvard Design Magazine 39, 2014, p. 138. 37Peduzzi, ‘Sand, Rarer Than One Thinks’. 38Maria Franke, ‘When One Country’s Land Gain Is Another Country’s Land Loss’, Working Paper No. 36, Institute for International Political Economy, Berlin, 2014, available at ideas.repec.org. 39Comaroff, ‘Built on Sand’. 40See Denis Deletrac’s 2012 documentary at sand-wars.com. 41See Fazlin Abdullah and Goh Ann Tat, ‘The Dirty Business of Sand: Sand Dredging in Cambodia’, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, 2012, available at http://lkyspp.nus.edu.sg. 42The $60 billion debt the project created for the developer, Dubai World, was a major reason that forced Dubai to go to its rich Emirati neighbour, Abu Dhabi, for a $10 billion bailout in 2008. 43Adam Luck, ‘How Dubai’s $14bn Dream to Build The World Is Falling Apart’, Daily Mail, 11 April 2010. 44Mark Jackson and Veronica Della Dora, ‘“Dreams So Big Only the Sea Can Hold Them”: Man-Made Islands as Cultural Icons, Travelling Visions, and Anxious Spaces’, Environment and Planning A 41:9, 2009, p. 2092. 45Jacks and della Dora ‘“Dreams so big only the sea can hold them” ‘, p. 2088. 46Dia Saleh, ‘Bahrain: An Island without Sea’, Arteast, Fall 2013, available at arteeast.org. 47Martin Lukacs, ‘New, Privatized African City Heralds Climate Apartheid’, Guardian, 21 January 2014. 48Asian Maritime Transparency Initiative, Mischief Reef, January 2015, at amti.csis.org/mischief-reef/. 49See John Burt, ‘The Environmental Costs of Coastal Urbanization in the Arabian Gulf’, City 18:6, 2014, pp. 760–70; Paul Erftemeijer et al., ‘Environmental Impacts of Dredging and Other Sediment Disturbances on Corals: A Review’, Marine Pollution Bulletin 64:9, 2012, pp. 1737–65. 50‘No Place to Land: Loss of Natural Habitats Threatens Migratory Birds Globally’, New York: United Nations Environment Programme, 2011. 51Susan Strasser, Waste and Want: A Social History of Trash, New York: Macmillan, 1999, p. 15. 52Cinzia Scarpino, ‘Ground Zero/Fresh Kills: Cataloguing Ruins, Garbage, and Memory’, Altre Modernità, 2011, pp. 237–53. 53Daniel Hoornweg and Perinaz Bhada-Tata, ‘What a Waste: A Global Review’, Urban Development Series 2012, no. 15, Washington, DC: World Bank, March 2012. 54Thelma Gutierrez and George Webster, ‘Trash City: Inside America’s Largest Landfill Site’, CNN, Atlanta, 2012. 55See Rodney Harrison and John Schofield, After Modernity: Archaeological Approaches to the Contemporary Past, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. 56Quoted in Thelma Gutierrez ‘Trash City: Inside America’s Largest Landfill Site’, available at cnn.com, 28 April 2012. 57‘Street Children, India’, 2006, available at gvnet.com. 58Dave Petley, ‘Garbage Dump Landslides’, American Geophysical Union Blog, 22 June 2008, available at blogs.agu.org. 59Quoted in Petley, ‘Garbage Dump Landslides’. 60Karl Mathiesen, ‘Is the Shenzhen Landslide the First of Many More?’


pages: 537 words: 158,544

Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order by Parag Khanna

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Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, Bartolomé de las Casas, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, energy security, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, flex fuel, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, haute couture, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Islamic Golden Age, Khyber Pass, knowledge economy, land reform, low skilled workers, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, Monroe Doctrine, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open borders, open economy, Parag Khanna, Pax Mongolica, Pearl River Delta, pirate software, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, Potemkin village, price stability, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, reserve currency, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, special economic zone, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Thomas L Friedman, trade route, trickle-down economics, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce

China has also renovated other Central American ports and factories to expedite the delivery of its goods to the United States. And just as China has expanded its influence to its north across Russian Siberia, it is also reaching east toward another Arctic country—Canada—quietly becoming its second-largest trading partner and jointly building a $2 billion pipeline to transport oil extracted from Alberta’s oil-rich tar sands to the Pacific coast of British Columbia. America always seeks an external enemy. Ronald Reagan’s myth-making about the Soviet Union included claims that it planned to organize Asia’s hordes and even the people of Latin America—after which America’s fall would be all but automatic.13 Some now see China as this nefarious force, exploiting Latin America’s mineral resources and promoting high-level ties among defense officials.14 They further worry that just as the United States has ceased to support Latin military dictatorships, China’s presence could undermine America’s human rights and democratization agenda, while contributing to another round of volatile natural-resource dependency.15 For Latin Americans, China represents a new way of doing business outside of America’s thicket of codes and regulations, one that imposes no political conditionality whatsoever other than lobbying Latin American countries to rescind their recognition of Taiwan, which for years had purchased diplomatic loyalty across the region, particularly in Central America, and received market economy status in their trade relations.


pages: 464 words: 139,088

The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking and the Future of the Global Economy by Mervyn King

Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, distributed generation, Doha Development Round, Edmond Halley, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, forward guidance, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, German hyperinflation, Hyman Minsky, inflation targeting, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, large denomination, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market clearing, Martin Wolf, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Nick Leeson, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, price stability, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Satoshi Nakamoto, savings glut, secular stagnation, seigniorage, stem cell, Steve Jobs, The Great Moderation, the payments system, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, yield curve, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

Although there is some trading in oil futures in London and New York, contracts are for delivery on dates no more than five or six years ahead, whereas an oilfield might take thirty years or more to develop and exploit.7 There is one very good economic reason why a liquid futures market for oil to be delivered at dates many years into the future has not developed. It would be attractive to many potential oil producers, such as those developing the Canadian tar sands, to be able to sell oil today for delivery in the future. That would remove the uncertainty about price and make the investment decision a matter of mere calculation rather than entrepreneurial judgement. Equally, those considering investing in alternative sources of energy would have more confidence about the future because they would know the price they would have to match. But a futures market cannot develop unless there is demand as well as supply.


pages: 318 words: 77,223

pages: 497 words: 150,205

European Spring: Why Our Economies and Politics Are in a Mess - and How to Put Them Right by Philippe Legrain

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3D printing, Airbnb, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business process, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, cleantech, collaborative consumption, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, debt deflation, Diane Coyle, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, eurozone crisis, fear of failure, financial deregulation, first-past-the-post, forward guidance, full employment, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, Hyperloop, immigration reform, income inequality, interest rate derivative, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Irish property bubble, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, liquidity trap, margin call, Martin Wolf, mittelstand, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, peer-to-peer rental, price stability, private sector deleveraging, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, Richard Florida, rising living standards, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, savings glut, school vouchers, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, working-age population, Zipcar


pages: 392 words: 122,282

Generation Kill by Evan Wright

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Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Columbine, friendly fire, oil shale / tar sands, working poor

After returning from the battalion headquarters, he sits him down beside the Humvee and says, “Trombley, no matter what you might think, or what anybody else might say, you did your job. You were following my orders.” Colbert then strips down to his T-shirt—the first time he’s removed his MOPP in more than a week. He crawls under the Humvee and spends several hours chipping away at the three-inch layer of tar and sand clinging to it from the sabka field. Late in the afternoon, Fick comes by, gathers the team for a morale talk and tells them, “We made a mistake today, collectively and individually. We must get past this. We can’t sit around and call it quits now.” Gunny Wynn is harsher. “We’re Americans,” he lectures the men. “We must be sure when we take a shot that we are threatened. You have got to see that these people are just like you.


pages: 339 words: 88,732

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, British Empire, business intelligence, business process, call centre, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, clean water, combinatorial explosion, computer age, computer vision, congestion charging, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, digital map, employer provided health coverage, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, falling living standards, Filter Bubble, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, full employment, game design, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, intangible asset, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, law of one price, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, mass immigration, means of production, Narrative Science, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, price stability, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, six sigma, Skype, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telepresence, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, Y2K


pages: 357 words: 95,986

Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work by Nick Srnicek, Alex Williams

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, air freight, algorithmic trading, anti-work, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, basic income, battle of ideas, blockchain, Bretton Woods, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centre right, collective bargaining, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, deskilling, Doha Development Round, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ferguson, Missouri, financial independence, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, housing crisis, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, intermodal, Internet Archive, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, late capitalism, liberation theology, Live Aid, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market design, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, mass incarceration, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, neoliberal agenda, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, patent troll, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, post scarcity, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Slavoj Žižek, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, surplus humans, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, wages for housework, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population

When the Money Runs Out: The End of Western Affluence by Stephen D. King

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Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, capital controls, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, congestion charging, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, Diane Coyle, endowment effect, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Akerlof, German hyperinflation, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, income per capita, inflation targeting, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, joint-stock company, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, loss aversion, market clearing, mass immigration, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, New Urbanism, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, price mechanism, price stability, quantitative easing, railway mania, rent-seeking, reserve currency, rising living standards, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, technology bubble, The Market for Lemons, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Tobin tax, too big to fail, trade route, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, working-age population

Toast by Stross, Charles

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anthropic principle, Buckminster Fuller, cosmological principle, dark matter, double helix, Ernest Rutherford, Extropian, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, glass ceiling, gravity well, Khyber Pass, Mars Rover, Mikhail Gorbachev, NP-complete, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, performance metric, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, slashdot, speech recognition, strong AI, traveling salesman, Turing test, urban renewal, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Review, Y2K

The EU is extending eastward towards the Ukraine and south towards Turkey, and rather than growing at gun-point, it’s growing because the neigh- bours are hammering on the doors. They’re building a fusion reactor in France and a space shuttle in Russia. We’ve got fullerene tape that promises to be strong enough to support a space elevator with another ten years of development. The price of oil is at an all-time high, but it looks likely to make the extrac- tion of oil from coal and shale viable—we’re not going to run out in the short term. My mobile phone today is more powerful than the UNIX workstation I was using when I prepared the original manuscript of Toast. Multi-user virtual reality environments (initially marketed as games, but rapidly finding other uses) have passed the million-user mark—Gibson’s cyberspace turned out to be so appealing that, although it bore no resemblance to the way real computer networking worked back in the 80s, we’re getting the real thing.


pages: 1,335 words: 336,772

The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance by Ron Chernow

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always be closing, bank run, banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bolshevik threat, Boycotts of Israel, Bretton Woods, British Empire, California gold rush, capital controls, collective bargaining, corporate raider, Etonian, financial deregulation, fixed income, German hyperinflation, index arbitrage, interest rate swap, margin call, money market fund, Monroe Doctrine, North Sea oil, oil shale / tar sands, old-boy network, paper trading, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, short selling, strikebreaker, the market place, the payments system, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, Yom Kippur War, young professional

Morgan Stanley had always been a service outfit, never compromising its objectivity by acting as an investor as well. Bob Baldwin had said in 1980, “We’re so client-oriented and so busy that most of us have done very poor jobs of investing our money. That would not be the case with some firms, which have had all kinds of entrepreneurial investments.”36 That year, the firm conquered its prudery. It took a share in an Exxon oil-shale project in Australia, scouted timber investments, expanded its real-estate portfolio, and started to invest in high-tech start-ups. For the first time, Morgan Stanley was acting as a principal (investing its own money) and not just as an agent (advising clients on investing their money.) These investments foreshadowed a Wall Street fad that would entail a retrogression to some of the worst excesses of the robber baron era.


pages: 603 words: 182,781

Aerotropolis by John D. Kasarda, Greg Lindsay

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3D printing, air freight, airline deregulation, airport security, Akira Okazaki, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blood diamonds, borderless world, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, digital map, edge city, Edward Glaeser, failed state, food miles, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, fudge factor, full employment, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, global supply chain, global village, gravity well, Haber-Bosch Process, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, inflight wifi, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, invention of the telephone, inventory management, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Kangaroo Route, knowledge worker, kremlinology, labour mobility, Marchetti’s constant, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, Menlo Park, microcredit, Network effects, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pink-collar, pre–internet, RFID, Richard Florida, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, savings glut, Seaside, Florida, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, telepresence, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Tony Hsieh, trade route, transcontinental railway, transit-oriented development, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, white picket fence, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

He saw oil production following a bell curve, rising quickly in the beginning as easy gushers are tapped, then leveling off as the obvious fields are discovered and drilled, and finally falling when all that’s left are the pockets that are more difficult to recover. In the fifties, he predicted that America’s own oil production would peak by 1970, and nailed it. For an encore, he predicted a global peak by 2000. That day of reckoning has been postponed by new discoveries, higher efficiency, alternative energy, and un-conventional sources (such as the Canadian tar sands), but in any case where the resource in question is finite and nonrenewable, a peak is inevitable. Especially when global demand is projected to reach 125 million barrels a day by 2030. And then there is peak oil, the reckoning. Once we tip, rising demand will forever outstrip supply, and the widening gap between the two will place unparalleled stress on the global economy. In 1998, a barrel of crude fetched $8.50 on the futures market; a year into the Iraq War, it was $30 a barrel.


pages: 903 words: 235,753

The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty by Benjamin H. Bratton

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1960s counterculture, 3D printing, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Graeber, deglobalization, dematerialisation, disintermediation, distributed generation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Georg Cantor, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, High speed trading, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, liberal capitalism, lifelogging, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, means of production, megacity, megastructure, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Monroe Doctrine, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, peak oil, peer-to-peer, performance metric, personalized medicine, Peter Eisenman, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Philip Mirowski, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, planetary scale, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Robert Bork, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, software studies, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Startup school, statistical arbitrage, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Superbowl ad, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, urban planning, Vernor Vinge, Washington Consensus, web application, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, working poor, Y Combinator

The overleveraged early 2000s “Bilbao effect” architectural projects were supposed to give way to massive public spending on large built systems that actually did things, but the new New Deal didn't happen.50 For some bets, attention turned toward compressed natural gas development at the expense of more difficult-to-solve renewable energy sources and systems, and for others to actively preventing infrastructural development of, for example, airport expansion or the Keystone tar sands pipeline from Canada into the United States. For the most part, the new infrastructuralism sought less to mitigate against the risks of algorithmic capital and anthropocenic growth than to update their armatures: think Sir Norman Foster's Beijing Airport (built) versus the North Sea wind farms proposed by OMA (not built). Around the time of Obama's second inauguration, we also received word that Foster had received a most extraordinary commission.


pages: 407 words: 121,458

Confessions of an Eco-Sinner: Tracking Down the Sources of My Stuff by Fred Pearce

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additive manufacturing, air freight, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, demographic transition, Fall of the Berlin Wall, food miles, ghettoisation, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Kibera, mass immigration, megacity, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, profit motive, race to the bottom, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, the built environment, urban planning, urban sprawl, women in the workforce

No vessels have yet hit the reef, which is a World Heritage Site. There would be an outcry if they did. Gladstone wallows in another ecological mess, created as the town annexed once extensive mangrove swamps across a river delta. It has a nice harbour, where you can take boat trips out to the southern end of the reef. But it also has a cement works, a nickel refinery, a nitrate factory, and a mothballed operation for extracting oil from local shales. And it vies with Newcastle, down the coast in New South Wales, and Richards Bay in South Africa for the title of the world’s largest coal port. Some 68 million tonnes a year come here by rail from mines in the Queensland interior. Burning that coal ultimately puts into the air about 200 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. Most of Gladstone’s coal goes to fuel steel works in the booming economies of east Asia.


pages: 466 words: 127,728

The Death of Money: The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System by James Rickards

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, banking crisis, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business climate, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, complexity theory, computer age, credit crunch, currency peg, David Graeber, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, diversification, Edward Snowden, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial repression, fixed income, Flash crash, floating exchange rates, forward guidance, G4S, George Akerlof, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, invisible hand, jitney, John Meriwether, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, labour mobility, Lao Tzu, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, market clearing, market design, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mutually assured destruction, obamacare, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, reserve currency, risk-adjusted returns, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, Stuxnet, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade route, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, working-age population, yield curve


pages: 509 words: 132,327

Rise of the Machines: A Cybernetic History by Thomas Rid

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1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alistair Cooke, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, business intelligence, Claude Shannon: information theory, conceptual framework, connected car, domain-specific language, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, dumpster diving, Extropian, full employment, game design, global village, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telepresence, V2 rocket, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, Zimmermann PGP

Wiener’s Palomilla; the ubiquitous expectations of ever-more-intelligent machines; the stories of the sorcerer’s apprentice and of the monkey’s paw—all this carried a powerful subtext: the machines were autonomous, they were getting more like us, they were unpredictable, and they were increasingly competing with their creators. One of the most remarkable articulations of this myth comes from Herman Kahn, one of America’s most celebrated strategic minds. In a notable book published in 1967, The Year 2000, Kahn made a number of bold, yet stunningly accurate, predictions about the end of the millennium. He foresaw the widespread use of nuclear reactors for power, new techniques for birth control, commercial oil extraction from shale, “pocket phones,” and the use of home computers. Nineteen sixty-seven was one year before Intel was founded and two years before ARPANET was launched, the famous predecessor to the internet initially funded by the Pentagon’s Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, later called DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). Yet Kahn saw the writing on the wall: the computer revolution—as this man, the Rand Corporation’s foremost nuclear thinker saw it—was the most important, most salient, and most exciting aspect of modern technology.80 Remarkably, Kahn even suspected that “each user” might have a private file space in a central computer, for such uses as consulting the Library of Congress.


pages: 304 words: 88,495

The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology by Ray Kurzweil

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additive manufacturing, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, brain emulation, Brewster Kahle, Brownian motion, business intelligence, c2.com, call centre, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, David Brooks, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, factory automation, friendly AI, George Gilder, Gödel, Escher, Bach, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the telephone, invention of the telescope, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, lifelogging, linked data, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, Mikhail Gorbachev, mouse model, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, oil shale / tar sands, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, phenotype, premature optimization, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, remote working, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Rodney Brooks, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, selection bias, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Coming Technological Singularity, Thomas Bayes, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Y2K, Yogi Berra


pages: 900 words: 241,741

pages: 302 words: 83,116

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Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles by Ruchir Sharma

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3D printing, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, American energy revolution, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, business climate, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, cloud computing, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate governance, creative destruction, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, eurozone crisis, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, housing crisis, income inequality, indoor plumbing, inflation targeting, informal economy, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, labour market flexibility, land reform, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, mass immigration, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, quantitative easing, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, The Great Moderation, Thomas L Friedman, trade liberalization, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, working-age population, zero-sum game

Over the last decade several major emerging-market currencies have risen against the dollar—none more than the Brazilian real—which is the main reason why the long-term decline in the U.S. share of global exports bottomed out in 2008 at 8 percent and has since been inching higher. U.S. dependence on foreign energy has steadily fallen from 30 percent a decade ago to 22 percent today, owing to new discoveries of oil and gas trapped in shale rock and the development of new technologies to extract it. The United States has now overtaken Russia as the number one producer of natural gas, and could reemerge as a major energy exporter in the next five years. Basic American strengths—including rapid innovation in a highly competitive market—are producing the revival of its energy industry and extending its lead in technology; all the hot new things from social networking to cloud computing seem to be emerging once again from Silicon Valley or from rising tech hotspots like Austin, Texas.


pages: 1,104 words: 302,176

The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World) by Robert J. Gordon

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3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, airport security, Apple II, barriers to entry, big-box store, blue-collar work, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, creative destruction, deindustrialization, Detroit bankruptcy, discovery of penicillin, Donner party, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, feminist movement, financial innovation, full employment, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, glass ceiling, high net worth, housing crisis, immigration reform, impulse control, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflight wifi, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of air conditioning, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labor-force participation, Loma Prieta earthquake, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, Mason jar, mass immigration, mass incarceration, McMansion, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, occupational segregation, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, payday loans, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, rent control, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Coase, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, washing machines reduced drudgery, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration, yellow journalism, yield management


pages: 1,117 words: 270,127

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Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

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double helix, gravity well, means of production, oil shale / tar sands, phenotype, skunkworks, the scientific method

Indeed he had the somewhat clumsy and shambling appearance of a bear, also its surprising quickness and power. He had been a fullback at the University of Washington, a fullback slow of foot but decisive in direction, and very difficult to bring down. Bear Man, they had called him. Tackle him at your peril. He had studied engineering, and afterward worked in the oil fields of Iran and Georgia, devising a number of innovations for extracting oil from extremely marginal shale. He had gotten a master’s degree from Tehran University while doing this work, and then had moved to California and joined a friend who was forming a company that made deep-sea diving equipment used in offshore oil drilling, an enterprise that was moving out into ever-deeper water as more accessible supplies were exhausted. Once again Art had invented a number of improvements in both diving gear and underwater drills, but a couple of years spent in compression chambers and on the continental shelf had been enough for him, and he had sold his shares to his partner and moved on again.


pages: 514 words: 152,903

The Best Business Writing 2013 by Dean Starkman

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Asperger Syndrome, bank run, Basel III, call centre, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, Columbine, computer vision, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crowdsourcing, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, Exxon Valdez, factory automation, fixed income, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, jimmy wales, job automation, John Markoff, late fees, London Whale, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, market clearing, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, Parag Khanna, Pareto efficiency, price stability, Ray Kurzweil, Silicon Valley, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, the payments system, too big to fail, Vanguard fund, wage slave, Y2K, zero-sum game

Anything else out there encouraging to talk about?” McClendon wrote in an e-mail to Wojahn on October 17. “We haven’t arrived at a strategy yet but as we approach the sale we will be happy to have a fulsome technical discussion,” Wojahn replied on October 18. A day later, Chesapeake drew up a particularly detailed map. It projected how the county split could allow each firm to end up with almost exactly 134,000 “oil acres” after the auction. Oilrich shale is much more valuable, since crude trades at a massive premium to natural gas. On October 20, Wojahn sent McClendon an update: “From what I understand (Encana’s) John Schopp has been leading the charge on working with your team on arranging a bidding strategy. I have a meeting with John planned on Friday and a review with Randy Monday.” Randy is Randy Eresman, Encana’s CEO. McClendon appears to have decided to back away from the auction plan proposed by Froistad.


pages: 270 words: 132,960

Use of Weapons by Iain M Banks

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centre right, double helix, gravity well, job satisfaction, oil shale / tar sands, trade route

Adults leaned out of windows or stood one-legged on running boards; children ran alongside, or clung to the ladders and straps that covered their sides, or sat squealing and shouting on the roof. They came to see the strange man who lived in a funny wooden shack in the dunes. They were fascinated, if also slightly repelled, by the strangeness of living in something that was dug into the ground, something that did not - could not - move. They would stare at the line where the wood and tar-paper met the sand, and shake their heads, walking right round the small, skewed hut, as if looking for the wheels. They talked amongst themselves, trying to imagine what it must be like to have the same view and the same sort of weather all the time. They opened the rickety door and sniffed the dark, smoky, man-scented air inside the hut, and shut the door quickly, declaring that it must be unhealthy to live in the same place, joined to the earth.


pages: 1,106 words: 335,322

Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow

California gold rush, collective bargaining, death of newspapers, delayed gratification, double entry bookkeeping, endowment effect, family office, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Santayana, God and Mammon, income inequality, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Menlo Park, New Journalism, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, passive investing, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price discrimination, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, The Chicago School, Thorstein Veblen, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, white picket fence, yellow journalism

One wonders whether Doc Rockefeller flogged Kier’s Rock Oil from the back of his buggy. In the 1850s, the whale fisheries had failed to keep pace with the mounting need for illuminating oil, forcing up the price of whale oil and making illumination costly for ordinary Americans. Only the affluent could afford to light their parlors every evening. There were many other lighting options—including lard oil, tallow oil, cottonseed oil, coal oil refined from shale, and wicks dipped in fat—but no cheap illuminant that burned in a bright, clean, safe manner. Both urbanization and industrialization sped the search for an illuminant that would extend day into night, breaking the timeless rhythm of rural hours that still governed the lives of farmers and city folk alike. The petroleum industry was hatched in a very modern symbiosis of business acumen and scientific ingenuity.


pages: 385 words: 128,358