Showing posts with label energy independence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label energy independence. Show all posts

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.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Freudenburg on the Gulf Oil Spill and more

Noted environmental sociologist William Freudenburg is, unfortunately, in ill health. This hasn't affected his productivity, however, as he completed his most recent book about the Deep Water Horizon drilling accident, Blowout in the Gulf, in a mere 60 days. Despite the rapidity with which the book was written, it doesn't suffer in depth as the work is informed by Freudenburg and Gramling's combined 60 years of research on the oil industry and energy issues. As Charles Perrow noted in his review of the book:
Freudenburg and Gramling put the spill into the perspective of energy dependence, take us gracefully through technical details blurred by the popular press, grasp the local and national politics (offering some political detergents of their own along the way), and give the spill what will likely be its most masterful handling. The authors' years of work on oil drilling and the carbon economy get a dramatic payoff in this very timely book.

Freudenburg presented a lecture based on the book, Learning Lessons from Disaster? The BP Oil Spill and the Future of Energy in America on November 15 and the webpage has a link to a video of the lecture. Unfortunately, the 'rtsp' based link didn't work for me, but the folks at Santa Barabara were nice enough to provide this alternative http based link that did. The talk has four significant sections: 1)a brief discussion of the recently released findings from the Presidential Commission looking into the accident, 2) some basic background on oil, its formation, and the drilling process, 3) a discussion of risk and risk management and, in particular, an analysis of the extent to which BP's behaviours differ from those of other industry players, and ends with 4) a detailed history of US energy policy aimed at illuminating the question of why the US is in the position of drilling for oil in water more than a mile deep. While the effects of his health are evident (Freudenburg delivers the lecture sitting down), he remains the energetic and engaging speaker he always has been. There are reasons his undergraduate lectures frequently end with applause, and those reasons are clearly exemplified in this talk.

Finally, Freudenburg was honoured at Freudenfest 2010: a day long collaborative discussion and celebration of his contributions to sociology, environmental studies, and society held November 6, 2010, at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

The Freudenfest webpage includes a program of the events, powerpoint slides from the following presentations, and a gallery of images taken at the event.

*The Said and Unsaid: Disproportionality and How it is Supported through Discourse, Debra Davidson, Dept. of Rural Economy, University of Alberta

*Working with Bill, Robert Gramling

*Social Change in Natural Resource-Based Rural Communities: The Evolution of Sociological Research and Knowledge As Influenced by the Contributions of William E. Freudenburg, Richard S. Krannich, Dept. of Sociology, Social Work and Anthropology, Utah State University

*Transcending Human Exemptionalism: Freudenburg's Sociology in Which Nature Matters, Raymond Murphy, University of Ottawa, Canada, and Riley Dunlap, Oklahoma State University, USA

*Resource Dependency and Diversity: From Findings to Metaphors (and Back Again?), Richard C. Stedman, Dept. of Natural Resources, Cornell University

*Political Science: The Intricacies of Activism Among Coastal Restoration Scientists, Lee Clarke, Rutgers University

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Whistleblower Says IEA Inflated Oil Estimates

An unnamed whistleblower at the International Energy Agency claims that the IEA's previous and current "World Energy Outlook" ('08 and '09) inflated the estimated amount of oil reserves in the world. The Guardian UK has the story, which includes a 3-minute audio segment by journalist Terry Macalister, a nice quick summary of the situation. The whistleblower inside the IEA says that the United States pressured the agency to make oil reserves look better than they really are to avoid panic in the markets and worsening of the financial crisis.

The current WEO states that world oil supplies can reach 105 mbd by 2030.

The whistleblower told The Guardian, "Many inside the organization believe that maintaining oil supplies at even 90 million to 95 million barrels a day would be impossible, but there are fears that panic could spread on the financial markets if the figures were brought down further.”

Currently, the world output is 83 mbd.

"A second senior IEA source, who has now left but was also unwilling to give his name, said a key rule at the organisation was that it was "imperative not to anger the Americans" but the fact was that there was not as much oil in the world as had been admitted. "We have [already] entered the 'peak oil' zone. I think that the situation is really bad," he added." (Guardian UK)

An October report by the UK Energy Research Council says that world oil production will go into permanent decline before 2020, in less than ten years. UKERC is a consortium of academic partners from 15 different UK institutions. Its headquarters are based at Imperial College Londonand at the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford.

The World Energy Outlook '09 was just released today.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

US Senator Bernie Sanders: The Environment, the Economy, and Energy Independence

Bernie Sanders is the Independent Senator from Vermont, and the only declared socialist in the US Senate.

This presentation by him sums up a lot of issues well. Though I've also noticed how, in the United States, "energy independence" is a real buzzword in the drive to alternative energy sources - ie. America should not be beholden to dictators from Venezuela and Saudi Arabia (rather only be beholden to creditors in China, okay I added that one, but it is the truth).

Energy independence in principle is a good thing to strive for, but we also live in a globalized inter-dependent World.