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Yearly Archives: 2017

Norwegian oil and gas decline is bad news for Britain

Norway gas

Supposedly hydrocarbon-rich Norway is not about to run out of oil and gas; far from it.  And that is a major headache for UK energy policymakers, because most of Norway’s remaining oil and gas is in small pockets beneath difficult geology and in inhospitable locations (where much of it is …

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It’s time for climate scientists to shut the F*** up

Climate scientists

Let’s talk about “the politician’s fallacy.”  This is a line of thinking that assumes that the more you know about something, the easier it will be to do something about it.  For politicians, it works like this: the state is (among other things) a giant data gathering apparatus.  In addition …

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Brexit failure in sight

Brexit failure

In the final months of the Second World War, Winston Churchill’s desire to launch dangerous military adventures in the far-flung reaches of the Empire caused the head of the Military, Field Marshall Sir Alan Brooke to remark that “before you plant your right foot somewhere you ought first to know …

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Oil heads east – petrodollar goes south

China oil

It was supposed to be the competition of the year.  Who was going to get to oversee the issue of shares in Saudi Arabia’s state oil company Aramco? Early in the year, all eyes were on the City of London, with its centuries of experience.  Next, concerns about Brexit led …

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Why are greens so brown?

Green-brown deforestation

One reason for why so many people still do not believe climate change is real is that people who identify as “greens” behave as if they are also in denial. This manifests in two ways.  First, there is so-called “Al Gore syndrome” – the practice of flying around the world …

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UK energy vulnerability exposed

Forties outage

UK oil and gas prices spiked yesterday following the closure of the Forties Pipeline System, which delivers 40 percent of North Sea oil and gas to the mainland.  To add insult to injury, an explosion at a gas facility in Baumgarten an der March, east of Vienna has disrupted a …

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The greenwash is beginning to peel

Greenwash

The amount of electricity we will be able to generate from wind power is going to be a lot less than we bargained for; and ironically, climate change is to blame.  That’s the conclusion of new research published in Nature Geoscience. Wind strength in the northern hemisphere depends upon the …

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Brexit: where the art of politics breaks down

Brexit negotiations

Politics is the art of compromise.  Whatever the issue, for the greater good of society no side can be ignored entirely and the winner cannot take all.  Everyone gets some of what they need and nobody gets everything they want.  It is a messy and often dissatisfactory process, but it …

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Where are the robots?

Automation

Peak oil demand was the big story last year – at least until the oil price rose above $60 a barrel and we all woke up.  The idea was that a brave new world of automated technologies powered by renewable energy was just around the corner.  There was even concern …

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Taking a Russian approach to climate change

Fake News

The problem with Russian “fake news” is that it isn’t all that fake.  This is why Western politicians go out of their way to avoid giving examples, while media outlets attempt to conflate it with the output from Bulgarian clickbait factories. Outlets like Russia Today and Sputnik use a different …

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