Sunday, July 22, 2012

Summer break / links

I'm off to Argentina for the next few weeks, so there won't be much action here.

Individuals wanting substance, can head on over to Collide-a-scape where there is an interesting discussion going on About the New Energy Revolution.

Individuals interested in visuals should check out Palíndromo Mészáros photos documenting the effects of a massive toxic aluminum spill in Hungary. The photo below isn't photoshopped or a before/after photo. The red line represents the height of the toxic sludge. The photographer cleverly selected the camera height in order to create the effect. Details and other amazing images at American Photo.

1 comment:

  1. About the "New Energy Revolution." I concluded over a year ago that if Peak Oil was in fact real, it's not the problem--it's the solution. Peak Oil is an entirely predictable phenomenon; you can easily work out its causes and effects in terms of market phenomena: price, resource, flow-rate, new technology, exports, and so on. There are just no surprises there. The real problem—and the big surprise—is catastrophic climate change. The climate is warming at a faster rate and with more severe weather and climate consequences than even the most ardent climate scientists predicted. And it's the one issue that almost nobody is prepared to deal with, except Bill McKibbon and Dr. James Hansen. Forget about stopping or even mitigating climate change. No government is doing anything that even prepares people for how to survive catastrophic climate events, like triple digit heat waves, derechos and other severe and widespread storms, forest fires and droughts. In this last series of climate catastrophes that hit the US this summer, electric grids shut down in many areas. In places, there were no phones, no cell phones, no Internet, no 911, no way to contact police, fire or rescue, no air conditioning, no working sewers or public water, no working traffic signals—nothing that you might need to survive a crisis. It temporarily shut down what we've come to think of as 'civilization.' This is the kind of social paralysis that the Peak Oilers have been warning about for a decade, yet these conditions were caused by climate change, not peak oil.

    But I also don't believe the hype about this "New Energy Revolution," because if it were true, the US would be steamrolling out of the Great Recession like bullet train on rocket fuel in anticipation of this fabulous new energy wealth. But the outlook for growth in the US over the next three years is worsening every month. Unlike the New America Foundation, no one else in the oil industry is shrieking about this fabulous new revolution. And for sure, the Chinese would be over here in New York minute to buy all these resources. They want to convert their billions in US dollars to hard assets as fast as possible--before the Almighty Dollar goes bust. But no, they're buying Canadian Tar Sands companies, and energy companies everywhere else in the world. I haven't heard of any major Sinopec deals in the US. Peak oil is resetting the price at which the global economy runs and profits can be made. Climate change is resetting the terms for biological survival or extinction. Big difference.