hydraulic fracturing

26 results back to index


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, American energy revolution, Bakken shale, Bernie Sanders, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, corporate governance, energy security, energy transition, hydraulic fracturing, 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

Paper presented at SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Florence, Italy, September 19–22, 2010. ———. “Hydraulic Fracturing 101: What Every Representative, Environmentalist, Regulator, Reporter, Investor, University Researcher, Neighbor and Engineer Should Know About Estimating Frac Risk and Improving Frac Performance in Unconventional Gas and Oil Wells.” Paper presented at SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference, the Woodlands, Texas, February 6–8, 2012. Landrum, Jeff. Reflections of a Boomtown: A Photographic Essay of the Burkburnett Oil Boom. Burkburnett, TX: Self-published, 1982. Osborn, Stephen G., Avner Vengosh, Nathaniel R. Warner, and Robert B. Jackson. “Methane Contamination of Drinking Water Accompanying Gas-Well Drilling and Hydraulic Fracturing.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 108, no. 20 (May 17, 2011): 8172–76.

His argument was that the amount of oil in the world is finite and that as production increases, it will reach a peak and then begin to decline. Drawn on a graph, his forecast resembled a bell curve. In the late 1940s, he became interested in the question of how many years of oil supply could be pumped out of the earth and set out to figure it out. At the same time, he studied hydraulic fracturing and wrote a seminal paper on the new technology. The two interests were connected. If hydraulic fracturing could significantly increase the availability of oil and gas, it would make more oil available and push back the date of “Hubbert’s Peak.” But he was not impressed with Stanolind’s hydrafracs. In his famous 1956 paper outlining his ideas on peak oil, he noted that only about one-third of the oil in a reservoir was being recovered. The rest was out of reach.

“Conventional resources were drying up domestically, and there was a need to start looking at harder-to-get gas,” he said. “We were interested in self-sufficiency, reducing our imports, and producing our domestic resources.” Over the course of a decade, Yost helped pioneer many new technologies that would set the stage for the rise of hydraulic fracturing. He and his fellow engineers placed tiny cameras in the wells to figure out what was happening and shot sound waves underground to map the fractures being created, borrowing a technology developed by federal scientists. They tried the first massive hydraulic fractures of shales—twenty years before Mitchell Energy deployed a similar approach. “Most of the industry was ignoring us or saying we don’t care about these shales, we’re off in a foreign country developing larger, high rate of return resources,” said Yost. One of the few in the industry who paid attention was George Mitchell.

 

pages: 483 words: 143,123

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

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

American energy revolution, Asian financial crisis, Bakken shale, Bernie Sanders, Buckminster Fuller, corporate governance, 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 George Mitchell was willing to try a relatively new drilling technique he had read about in petroleum-engineering literature that held the possibility of loosening up this compact rock and getting the gas to flow. The technique, a way of “completing” oil and gas wells, or preparing them to produce energy, was called hydraulic fracturing, or “fraccing.” It entailed fracturing the rocks, or breaking them up, by pummeling them with various liquids to free up the gas trapped in those rocks. (Years later, hydraulic fracturing became known in the popular media as “fracking,” with a “k” replacing the “c.” From the beginning, industry members detested the word because of its closeness to the common expletive, not to mention a similarity to “fragging,” the act of attacking fellow soldiers. “Fracking” also rhymes with “hacking,” yet another word with a negative connotation.

At the time it hadn’t really occurred to Mitchell or many others that this activity might have any kind of environmental risks. Companies avoided fracking because it was expensive and added time to a drilling project. They preferred the traditional method of looking for hydrocarbons: Drill a well, like a straw into the ground, and try to hit pools of trapped oil or gas capable of flowing to the surface without the “artificial stimulation” of hydraulic fracturing. After decades of low gas prices, companies were struggling to keep costs down, not increase spending on hydraulic fracturing. But Mitchell didn’t have much to lose, so he gave fracking a try, hoping to make the Texas fields yield oil or natural gas. Mitchell saw that fracking seemed to do a good job stimulating reservoirs that needed a little help to get going, a bit like giving the back of an old television a little bang. His company’s efforts worked, and by the late 1950s the Wise County field had become their most important source of natural gas.

Meanwhile, natural gas prices had climbed above four dollars per thousand cubic feet, making the added expense of combining horizontal drilling with hydraulic fracturing more palatable. What came next was another giant leap for American drillers, who were getting more comfortable working with shale even as the rest of the world barely experimented with such challenging rock. Devon mixed the two methods—horizontal drilling and fracking—and began to see a surge of gas production in its Barnett acreage. A company called Hallwood Energy was also seeing success with the same integrated approach. News about both companies’ activities spread throughout the industry. Drilling horizontally, and then completing the wells with hydraulic fracturing, seemed a fresh breakthrough, one that turned the Barnett into a truly world-class reservoir that was a model for shale formations around the country.

 

pages: 520 words: 129,887

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

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

Bernie Madoff, carbon footprint, cleantech, collateralized debt obligation, 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, 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

., http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/46288.html. 3 David O. Williams, “DeGette, Polis Introduce FRAC Act Aimed at Closing Hydraulic Fracturing ‘Loophole,’” The Colorado Independent, June 9, 2009, http://coloradoindependent.com/30784/degette-polis-introduce-frac-act-aimed-at-closing-hydraulic-fracturing-loophole. 4 Oil & Gas Journal, “API Opposes Efforts to Federally Regulate Hydraulic Fracturing,” June 9, 2009, http://www.laserfocusworld.com/display_article/364231/7/none/none/Gener/API-opposes-efforts-to-federally-regulate-hydraulic-fracturin. 5 Jeremy Miller, “Of Hydraulic Fracturing and Drinking Water,” Green Inc., June 30, 2009, http://greeninc.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/30/of-hydraulic-fracturing-and-drinking-water/?pagemode=print. 6 Abrahm Lustgarten, “Buried Secrets: Is Natural Gas Drilling Endangering US Water Supplies?”

Regardless of what happens in Wyoming, some industry opponents want more federal oversight on the oil and gas industry in general and the hydraulic fracturing process in particular. Calls for more regulation will almost certainly grow as drilling ramps up in the Marcellus Shale, which underlies large swaths of New York, Pennsylvania, and other eastern states. Gas producers have begun responding to the pressure. In late October 2009, Chesapeake Energy announced that it would not do any drilling in the upstate New York watershed, a region that provides drinking water for 8.2 million people in New York City and surrounding areas. The CEO of Chesapeake, Aubrey McClendon, has called on the industry to reveal all of the chemicals that are used during the hydraulic fracturing process.9 While environmentalists lauded Chesapeake’s announcement that it wouldn’t drill in the upstate New York watershed, the U.S. gas industry will still need lots of new wells in order to keep gas production in line with gas demand.

And you can’t manage that sand without a sand chief, or, better yet, a couple of sand chiefs. That was one of the first lessons I learned during a visit to a frac spread located a few miles west of Hillsboro, Texas, on a soggy day in March 2009. The term “frac spread” is oil-field lingo for the collection of trucks, trailers, pumps, hoses, pipes, personnel, sand chiefs, and tanks that are needed for the hydraulic fracturing (“frac” or “frac job”) of a particular subsurface geologic zone. On this particular day, a crew of about two dozen men backed by dozens of trucks and more than 10,000 dieselfueled horsepower were working on two wells, the Padgett #1-H and the Greenhill #1-H. The wells were operated by Houston-based EOG Resources, one of the most aggressive drillers in the Barnett Shale. Randy Hulme, an affable EOG petroleum engineer, explained the layout.

 

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

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

American energy revolution, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Carmen Reinhart, crony capitalism, deglobalization, energy security, Exxon Valdez, full employment, global supply chain, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, Kenneth Rogoff, manufacturing employment, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea

., 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.

That was particularly valuable for getting at shale gas, which is found deep underground in thin layers; by drilling horizontally, a well could be placed through a big slice of gas. Horizontal 24 • THE POWER SURGE drilling had been around since 1929 but didn’t really take off until the 1980s, when the French firm Elf Aquitaine demonstrated its commercial promise in southwest France and off the Mediterranean shores of Italy.6 The second technology, hydraulic fracturing, was introduced into commercial practice by Stanolind Oil and Gas in 1947 at the Hugoton field in Grant County, Kansas.7 Similar techniques were used in the early days of oil—back in the 1860s, drillers used liquid nitroglycerin to coax oil out of rock from New York to Kentucky—but that approach was dangerous and never became particularly widespread. By 1949, Stanolind had a patent (and Halliburton secured an exclusive license) on the new process that shot water, chemicals, and other materials deep underground to break apart rock and help oil and gas flow.8 Geologists had long known that there was a massive amount of natural gas trapped in shale rock formations.

By 1949, Stanolind had a patent (and Halliburton secured an exclusive license) on the new process that shot water, chemicals, and other materials deep underground to break apart rock and help oil and gas flow.8 Geologists had long known that there was a massive amount of natural gas trapped in shale rock formations. It took a stroke of innovative genius, though, to tap into it. In the 1980s, George Mitchell, a Texas entrepreneur, began to experiment with combinations of horizontal drilling to span the deep shale with hydraulic fracturing to release natural gas within it; by the late 1990s, his engineers had made the essential commercial breakthroughs. Yet as recently as 2009, you couldn’t even find the words “shale gas” in the annual U.S. government energy outlook.9 By 2012, the document was reporting that nearly a quarter of U.S. natural gas production had come from shale in 2010, a number it projected would jump to half of U.S. production by 2035.10 Prices would rise moderately over that period— government forecasters figured five or six dollars for a thousand cubic feet of natural gas by 2020 seemed reasonable, and most Wall Street analysts pretty much agreed—but natural gas appeared destined to be abundant and relatively cheap.

 

pages: 829 words: 229,566

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

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

1960s counterculture, 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, Internet Archive, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, market fundamentalism, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, new economy, Nixon shock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, patent troll, 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

Shonkoff, “Public Health Dimensions of Horizontal Hydraulic Fracturing: Knowledge, Obstacles, Tactics, and Opportunities,” 11th Hour Project, Schmidt Family Foundation, April 18, 2012, http://www.psr.org; 280 BILLION: Elizabeth Ridlington and John Rumpler, “Fracking by the Numbers: Key Impacts of Dirty Drilling at the State and National Level,” Environment America, October 2013, p. 4. http://www.environmentamerica.org; “ENOUGH TO FLOOD”: Suzanne Goldenberg, “Fracking Produces Annual Toxic Water Enough to Flood Washington DC,” Guardian, October 4, 2013. 21. Monika Freyman, “Hydraulic Fracturing and Water Stress: Water Demand by the Numbers,” Ceres, February 2014, pp. 49–50, 59–63; David Smith, “Proposed Fracking in South Africa Beauty Spot Blasted,” Guardian, August 23, 2013; “Hydraulic Fracturing and the Karoo,” Shell South Africa, July 2012, http://www.shell.com/zaf.html; “Tampering with the Earth’s Breath” (video), Green Renaissance, Vimeo, May 11, 2011. 22.

FOOTNOTE: Abha Parajulee and Frank Wania, “Evaluating Officially Reported Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Emissions in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region with a Multimedia Fate Model,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111 (2014): 3348; “Oil Sands Pollution Two to Three Times Higher than Thought,” Agence France-Presse, February 3, 2014. 75. “Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing Under the Safe Drinking Water Act,” Environmental Protection Agency, http://water.epa.gov; Mary Tiemann and Adam Vann, “Hydraulic Fracturing and Safe Drinking Water Act Regulatory Issues,” Congressional Research Service, Report R41760, January 10, 2013; Lisa Song, “Secrecy Loophole Could Still Weaken BLM’s Tougher Fracking Regs,” InsideClimate News, February 15, 2012. 76. Robert B. Jackson et al., “Increased Stray Gas Abundance in a Subset of Drinking Water Wells Near Marcellus Shale Gas Extraction,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110 (2013): 11250-11255; Mark Drajem, “Duke Fracking Tests Reveal Dangers Driller’s Data Missed,” Bloomberg, January 9, 2014. 77.

Faced with a crisis that threatens our survival as a species, our entire culture is continuing to do the very thing that caused the crisis, only with an extra dose of elbow grease behind it. Like the airline bringing in a truck with a more powerful engine to tow that plane, the global economy is upping the ante from conventional sources of fossil fuels to even dirtier and more dangerous versions—bitumen from the Alberta tar sands, oil from deepwater drilling, gas from hydraulic fracturing (fracking), coal from detonated mountains, and so on. Meanwhile, each supercharged natural disaster produces new irony-laden snapshots of a climate increasingly inhospitable to the very industries most responsible for its warming. Like the 2013 historic floods in Calgary that forced the head offices of the oil companies mining the Alberta tar sands to go dark and send their employees home, while a train carrying flammable petroleum products teetered on the edge of a disintegrating rail bridge.

 

pages: 503 words: 131,064

Liars and Outliers: How Security Holds Society Together by Bruce Schneier

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

airport security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Brian Krebs, Broken windows theory, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, corporate governance, crack epidemic, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, desegregation, don't be evil, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Douglas Hofstadter, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, George Akerlof, hydraulic fracturing, impulse control, income inequality, invention of agriculture, invention of gunpowder, iterative process, Jean Tirole, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock company, Julian Assange, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Nate Silver, Network effects, Nick Leeson, offshore financial centre, patent troll, phenotype, pre–internet, principal–agent problem, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, RFID, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, security theater, shareholder value, slashdot, statistical model, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, technological singularity, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, too big to fail, traffic fines, transaction costs, ultimatum game, UNCLOS, union organizing, Vernor Vinge, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, Y2K

The political decision not to regulate the derivatives markets is a good example: not only did it involve lobbyists and campaign contributions to get laws changed, but also public relations to convince journalists and the public that keeping the markets unregulated was a good idea. Here's another example. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a means of extracting oil and gas from subterranean reservoirs by forcing pressurized fluid into underground rock formations. The process was originally commercialized in 1949 and in its first few decades of use was primarily used to boost production of old wells. Recent advances in horizontal drilling technology, combined with hydraulic fracturing, have enabled the tapping of heretofore inaccessible reserves, and the recent rise in oil prices has made it economically viable. However, the procedure also poses environmental risks, most notably the risk that chemicals used in the process—including methanol, benzene, and diesel fuel—might contaminate ground water, degrade air quality, and migrate to the earth's surface; and that the resultant toxic wastewater might be impossible to decontaminate.13 This societal dilemma sounds a lot like the monk parakeet example from Chapter 9, and you'd expect society to figure out whether this procedure is worth it.

(12) The company, Innovative Marketing, and its CEO James M. Reno, were eventually able to bargain down their $1.8 million judgment to a measly $17,000 in back taxes and $100,000 in forfeitures. Given that their scam was alleged to be in the vicinity of $100 million, they definitely came out ahead. (13) In April 2011, a Congressional committee report revealed that between 2005 and 2009, the 14 leading hydraulic fracturing companies in the United States used over 2,500 hydraulic fracturing products containing 750 compounds, more than 650 of which were known or possible human carcinogens, substances regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act, or hazardous air pollutants. (14) The company's arguments were basically 1) we think it's safe, and 2) those chemicals are trade secrets. (15) The same dynamic explains why many large projects fail when management adds more people to them

Joseph Farrell and Paul Klemperer (2007), “Coordination and Lock-In: Competition with Switching Costs and Network Effects,” in Mark Armstrong and Robert Porter, eds., Handbook of Industrial Organization, Volume 3, North-Holland, 1967–2072. able to bargain down Tricia Bishop (13 Dec 2008), “Court Orders ‘Scareware’ Shut Down,” Baltimore Sun. Lucian Constantin (16 Jun 2009), “ByteHosting Settles with the FTC in Scareware Advertising Lawsuit,” Softpedia. hydraulic fracturing U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce Minority Staff (2011), “Chemicals Used in Hydraulic Fracturing.” company's arguments New York Times (3 Nov 2009), “The Halliburton Loophole (Editorial),” New York Times. The same dynamic Frederick P. Brooks, Jr. (1975), The Mythical Man-Month, Addison-Wesley. Senator Bernie Sanders Bernard Sanders (6 Nov 2009), “Too Big To Fail—Too Big To Exist,” Huffington Post. Chapter 14 ineffective tactic Max Abrams (2006), “Why Terrorism Does Not Work,” International Security, 31:42–78.

 

pages: 501 words: 134,867

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

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

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, investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, 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 geopolitical dimension of this push is plainly apparent in the Harper government’s attempts to promote Canada as a world “energy superpower,” which is capable of enhancing the “energy security” for its friends, most notably the US. It is clear that the race to expand the production of unconventional reserves like bitumen is tied to the decline of conventional oil and gas reserves. In addition to tar sands, this general pressure is also central to the rise of hydraulic fracturing (more commonly known as “fracking”) for “tight” oil and natural gas and the mining of kerogen shale (a bitumen-like substance), as well as increasing offshore drilling in deeper water and higher latitudes for conventional reserves. This overall shift is increasingly being described in terms of a turn towards “extreme fossil energy,” because of the heightened difficulty, costs, risks, and pollution burden it entails.12 The Athabasca tar sands are the world’s largest “extreme energy” frontier, both because of the size of the area and the scale of its bitumen deposits, and because the growth and technological development of the industry there is now helping to stoke the expansion of extraction in similar—though smaller—reserves around the world, in countries such as Venezuela and the United States.

Most of the industry’s plans for the Athabasca River Basin involve a second method, which is known as “in situ extraction.” This technique is used where bitumen is deeper and impossible to strip mine. In situ extraction works by injecting heated, high-pressure water to melt the earth so that the bitumen can be pushed to the surface. This also requires a tremendous amount of energy, which has been drawn mainly from natural gas (which ties the industry to the expansion of hydraulic fracturing). In the future, nuclear power plants may be constructed in the area to satisfy these immense energy demands.15 Tar sands companies also have a voracious thirst for water. Great volumes are used in the process of separating oil from the clay and sand, and the magnitude of these withdrawals is dramatically altering the water cycle of the vast Athabasca River Basin. Making matters much worse is the water pollution that results from extraction—including the release of steamed bitumen from in situ extraction into surrounding water tables.16 Because of the chemical additives that are used, the wastewater from the processes of mining and refining contains a stew of pollutants, including corrosive naphthenic acid and cancer-causing alkyl-substituted polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, along with clay and sand.

Since capitalism needs infinite economic growth and ever-expanding consumption, its logic essentially compels increasing CO2 emissions that threaten the global ecological system—and indeed life itself.8 The growth imperative drives the continual global search for new (though ultimately finite) oil supplies in ways that often have high energy and resource demands (as in the tar sands, and in hydraulic fracturing for shale oil and gas) and carry a large ecological burden. In sum, the conceptual framework of petro-capitalism centres oil as the lifeblood of global capitalism, with the power to fundamentally reshape political institutions from global to national to provincial levels. Yet it is also a system in permanent crisis due to its intractable role in climate change and environmental degradation, alongside inevitable challenges to oil supplies.

 

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

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

Alfred Russel Wallace, banks create money, Buckminster Fuller, collective bargaining, 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, 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, winner-take-all economy

The fundamental problem with a carbon tax or fee, even if accompanied by dividends, is that it can’t guarantee that deep cuts in carbon use will occur. A fee is, after all, merely a signal, not a physical limit, and for highly addictive substances like alcohol, tobacco, and fossil fuels, signals aren’t enough. Moreover, a carbon tax is only one factor in the price of fossil fuels; it can easily be lost in the fluctuations of other factors. Think of the recent plunge in natural gas prices due to hydraulic fracturing. And imagine what might happen if similar breakthroughs in oil recovery or discovery occur. Further, even if a carbon tax pushes the total price of fossil fuels upward, no one knows how high the tax needs to be to reduce emissions to a safe level. That means the only way to proceed is by trial and error. Congress would have to take a first stab, and if that didn’t do the job, as is likely, it would have to take another.

See also Social insurance nonlabor income and, 42 price-setting and, 63–64 recycled rent and, 66 sustainable purchasing by, 37 Green jobs, recommendations for, 21 Guaranteed minimum income, 80–81 H Hacker, Jacob, 125 Hammond, Jay, 69–77, 121–122 Hannity, Sean, 75 Hansen, James, 115 Health care. See also Medicare legislation on, 110, 111–112 rent and, 53–54 Heintz, James, 143 Hewlett-Packard, 25–26 HFC-23, 105 Hoover Vacuum Cleaner company, 26 Hussein, Saddam, 130 Hydraulic fracturing, 115 I IBM, jobs at, 23 Immigration, 16 Income. See also Nonlabor income even flow of, 35–36 guaranteed minimum income, 80–81 pipes for delivering, 36 privileges, rent and income from, 52–53 Income taxation. See Taxation Incremental possible, 121 India and HFC-23, 105 Industrialization, 16 Inequality, spiral of, 32–33 Inflation and debt-free money distribution, 91 Innovation, 25–26 Insourcing, 26–27 Intel, 25–26 Intellectual property rights dividends from, 144 protection of, 94 Internalizing externalities, 63 Internet, 128–129, 145–146 Investment banks, 54–55 Iraq, 130 J Japan and money distribution, 92 Jevons, William Stanley, 116 Jevons Paradox, 116 Jobs, 22–24.

 

pages: 258 words: 77,601

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

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

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, oil shale / tar sands, stem cell, sustainable-tourism, the scientific method, University of East Anglia, urban planning, urban sprawl

And both governments only reluctantly admitted that the tar sands are having a negative impact on the Athabasca River. Even in the face of scientific studies showing otherwise, politicians and industrialists were insisting that the tar sands were not affecting the Athabasca and that any contamination found was “naturally occurring.” Our insatiable appetite for fossil fuels has also led to concerns over hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” whereby great amounts of water, sand, and chemicals are blasted into wells to fracture the underground shale and release natural gas. Leaks, blow-outs, water contamination, increased ozone in the atmosphere, and emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, are just some of the possible consequences of this procedure. What this tells us, along with facts about pollution and climate change, is that we need to take a hard look at our energy use and sources.

To begin, climate change is altering precipitation patterns, increasing drought in some areas and flooding in others, and it’s reducing the amount of water stored in glaciers, snow packs, lakes, wetlands, and groundwater. At the same time, demand for water and threats to clean supplies are increasing as our populations grow and as industry, especially in the energy sector, continues to require greater amounts. Despite technological improvements, the tar sands use considerable amounts of water and pollute rivers and groundwater. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, requires massive amounts of water to extract natural gas from shale deposits, and the process is known to contaminate water supplies. Nuclear power plants also require vast amounts of water. The consequences of water shortages and contamination are severe and numerous. Many of us remember the tragedy in Walkerton, Ontario, in 2000, when 7 people died and as many as 2,300 became ill after drinking from wells containing high levels of E. coli bacteria.

(Chappell and Lavalle), 180 food webs, 10, 38 forestry, 23 forests. see also logging: caribou habitat loss and, 23; global warming and, 137–39; habitat loss, 15, 23; management, 183, 215–18; preservation, 109–11; protection, 139–41 fossil-fuel industry, 71–73, 74–76, 131, 153 fossil fuels, 57–58, 116, 160 fracking, 73, 213 fragrances, 206, 207–10 frequency hopping, 98 frogs, 11–14 fruits, 177–79 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, 57, 59 fungus spread, 12–13 The Future Eaters (Flannery), 245 garbage, 41–43 gas pipelines, 74–77 genetically engineered (GE) organisms, 85 genetically modified (GM) foods, 178, 185–87 genetically modified organisms (GMOs), 186–87 genetics, 92, 210–12 genome studies, 210–12 German, energy grid, 61–64 Gisborne, Brian, 174 global cooling, 136 globalization, 26–27, 188, 201, 222 global warming, 13, 116–17, 117–21, 135–40, 141–44, 149–51, 155, 185 Google, 66, 166–68 Gore, Al, 64 government: banking regulations, 81; bluefin tuna fishery, 201; ecosystem-based management, 165–66; public property sale, 74–77; water conservation, 215 Great Bear Rainforest, 16, 28 green, being, 248–51 greenbelts, 113 greenhouse gases, 41–44, 55, 60, 69, 70, 121, 140–41 Greenwood, Charles, 54 Grist.org, 114–15, 180–81 Gulf of Mexico, 57, 70, 72, 76, 172 Gunny (grandson), 225–26 Guujaaw (Haida leader), 28 habitat, 18, 33, 34, 110 habitat loss and degradation, 7, 13, 17–18, 34, 139 Haida Gwaii, 16, 217 Hanke, John, 167 Hansen, James, 120 Harper, Stephen, 58–59, 69, 83–84, 145, 236, 257 harvesting, 7, 182–84 health: cycling and, 47; environment and, 203–5; exercise, 227; genetic diseases, 211; impact from wind power, 65; outdoor activity, 221–23; personal care products, 205–7, 209; staying active, 218–20; tar sands, 70 hemp fibre, 54 Henderson, Hazel, 106 herbicides, 184 Hollywood, 98–100 human activity, 251–53 human-caused, climate change, 130–33, 152 human-caused, global warming, 116, 117, 135–36, 185 human movement, 26–27 hunting, 28–29, 30–32 hydraulic fracturing (fracking), 73, 213 ice melt, 160 In Defense of Food (Pollan), 178 Inhofe, James, 97 Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, 21, 160–61, 217 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 11, 38–39, 128–30, 131, 134, 142 International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development, 185–86 International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO), 155 International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), 7, 13, 200 invasive alien species, 7, 25–27 Jackson, Lisa P., 152 Japan, 57–58, 199–200 Kakfwi, Stephen, 24–25 Keever, Marcie, 170 Kent, Peter, 69 Kingsnorth, Paul, 122–24 Klein, Ross, 168 Koch-Exxon-Scaife, 131 Kyoto Protocol, 61, 117, 131, 246 Lamarr, Hedy, 98 Latham, Jonathan, 212 Lavalle, Liliana, 180 Legacy Lecture, 259 LePage, Paul, 96 Levant, Ezra, 69, 70 Lewis, Marlon, 152–53 Lewis, Simon, 134 light, 261–63 local food production, 187–89 “locavorism,” 187–89 logging, 15, 34, 109–10, 138, 141, 184, 247, 257 Loorz, Alec, 229 Louv, Richard, 221 Lubicon Lake Indian Nation, 81–82 macaw, 14–16 Maddow, Rachel, 80 Managing Without Growth: Slower by Design, Not Disaster (Victor), 105, 236 manduvi trees, 14–16 Mann, Michael, 132, 134 Mansbridge, Peter, 257 Massey Energy, 74–75 McClintock, Barbara, 92 McKellar, Danica, 99 McKibben, Bill, 142 Merchants of Doubt (Oreskes and Conway), 150 methane emissions, 41–42 Métis peoples, 23, 182 Michaux, Ernest, 46 microbes, 203–5 milkweed, 20–21 Mills, Dora Anne, 65 mining, 23, 34, 59–61, 115 Monbiot, George, 53, 122–24 Monsanto, 177–78, 184, 185 Moola, Faisal, 184 Müller, Paul, 85 nanotechnology, 85 natural disasters, 251–53 nature: bats last, 244–46; goods and services, 112–14; at home with, 237–39; limits of, 124–26; value of, 103–4, 106 “nature deficit disorder,” 222 Nature of Things, The, 247, 256 New Zealand, 10, 255 Nikiforuk, Andrew, 66–67, 115–16 nitrogen cycle, 244 Northwest Territories, 23, 24, 111 nuclear fuels, 57–58 nuclear power, 58–61, 213, 253 Obama, Barack, 74, 83–84 ocean ecosystem: acidification, 155–57, 162–93; basking sharks, 173–75; beluga whales, 171–73; carbon, 160; caring for, 161–63; “dead zones,” 180; Google, 166–68; humans and, 157–59; marine life extinction, 155–57; plastic waste, 158–59, 162, 172 oil and gas development, 23, 140, 216 oil and gas industry, 74, 76–78 oil drilling, 76–78 oil industry, 11, 62, 67–73 oil spill, Gulf of Mexico, 57, 70, 72, 76, 78–79, 172 oil spills, 76, 78–80 Onstott, Tullis, 85 Ontario, 23–24, 52, 64, 189 Oreskes, Naomi, 131, 150 Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), 62–63 outdoor activity, 221–23 ozone agreement, 149–51 Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area (PNCIMA), 16, 164 packaging, 42 Pauly, Daniel, 197 Peñalosa, Enrique, 48 perceptions, world, 246–48 personal-care products, 205–7 pesticides, 13, 17–18 phosphates, 248–49 phthalates, 206–7 phytoplankton, 151–53 pipelines, 74–77 Pizo, Marco, 14 plants, invasive alien species, 25–27 plastic waste, 41, 42, 158–59, 162, 172 poaching, 35 political change, 173 political discourse, 116–17 Political Economy Research Institute, 50 politicians, rejecting science, 95–98 Pollan, Michael, 178–79 pollinators, 17, 112 pollution, 7, 40–42, 55, 65, 155, 169, 205, 248–49 population growth, 232–34, 238, 244 Portman, Natalie, 98–99, 100 predation, 15, 30 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (journal), 30, 145, 195 Quebec, 23–24 Queen of Green, 260 Queen of the North, 77 reduce, reuse, recycle, 41–42 red-winged blackbirds, 37 regulatory failures, 81–83 Relman, David A., 203 renewable energy, 61–64, 141–44 research, 130–33 resource exploitation, 115–16 River Thames, 25–26 Rogers, Alex, 156 role models, 226–27 Rowland, F.

 

pages: 363 words: 101,082

Earth Wars: The Battle for Global Resources by Geoff Hiscock

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

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, megacity, Menlo Park, Mohammed Bouazizi, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Panamax, 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

CNOOC came back for more a few months later, agreeing to pay $570 million in March 2011 for a one-third interest in Chesapeake’s leasehold acreage in the Denver-Julesburg (DJ) and Powder River Basins in northeast Colorado and southeast Wyoming, in what is known as the Niobrara shale formation. CNOOC also agreed to fund drilling and completion costs up to $697 million, which Chesapeake expected to occur by the end of 2014. The deals give CNOOC both a toehold in the United States and access to the complex technology of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling that is the hallmark of U.S. shale gas and oil extraction. Swing to Unconventional Resources CNOOC’s partner Chesapeake Energy is at the forefront of what is potentially the biggest trend in the U.S. energy market—the swing to unconventional resources such as shale gas and oil, and the associated higher-margin gas-to-liquids conversion technology. Chesapeake’s co-founder and executive chairman, Aubrey McClendon, is the industry’s most tireless promoter, pointing out that thanks to shale gas, the United States passed Russia in 2009 as the world’s largest natural gas producer.

Chesapeake’s co-founder and executive chairman, Aubrey McClendon, is the industry’s most tireless promoter, pointing out that thanks to shale gas, the United States passed Russia in 2009 as the world’s largest natural gas producer. He portrays the emergence of shale gas as an energy revolution so enormous that U.S. industry enjoys the lowest natural gas costs in the world. McClendon also tackles head-on the objections by environmental groups and some affected landowners that the hydraulic fracturing—or fracking—technique used to extract gas from shale deposits buried deep below the ground in a string of American states is bad for people’s health and contaminates water supplies. In a speech in Philadelphia in September 2011, McClendon said that pulling the plug on natural gas because of antifracking protests would have a very bad economic effect. “The reality is that wind and solar can never be more than about 15 percent of our power requirements.

Pluto, Gorgon, Prelude, and Wheatstone are all based on Australia’s west coast, but there is also activity on the east coast, near the industrial city of Gladstone in Queensland, where at least four large LNG plants are proposed using coal-seam gas from the southern and central Queensland gas fields. Coal-seam gas (CSG), also known as coal-bed methane (CBM), is methane trapped underground, and is one of several sources of unconventional natural gas, along with shale gas and “tight” gas (usually found in sandstone reservoirs) that require hydraulic fracturing, or fracking (see Chapter 11 for a description of fracking). As in the United States, there is opposition in Australia to the fracking process. The technology for converting CSG to LNG for export is at an early stage, but the various groups planning to ship from Gladstone are pushing ahead with their plants. The two most advanced projects are known as Queensland Curtis (led by BG Group) and Gladstone LNG (led by Santos).

 

pages: 262 words: 83,548

The End of Growth by Jeff Rubin

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

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, 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

Canada’s tar sands are a case in point, as are the oil industry’s expensive forays into the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, offshore from west Africa and into the High Arctic. The higher crude prices go, the more oil the industry will extract from the bowels of the earth. Oil is a big-money game. As long as there are profits to be made, the energy industry will keep finding ways to pull more oil out of the ground. But make no mistake—technological breakthroughs you may have read about, like hydraulic fracturing, which are helping the industry increase production, aren’t a magic bullet that will solve the world’s energy needs. Fracking, for example, involves injecting an oil and gas formation with a high-pressure mixture of water, chemicals and sand to help increase the porosity of the subsurface rocks that hold the resource. The more space that can be created between the rocks, the more oil or gas is able to flow up through the wellbore.

Backed by an expectation that production from these and other tight oil plays will continue to increase by leaps and bounds, the IEA is now forecasting the US will pass Saudi Arabia to become the world’s largest oil producer by 2017. It’s a remarkable turnaround for the energy fortunes of the world’s biggest energy consumer. But it must also be noted that the advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing behind this energy renaissance don’t come cheap. Environmental advocates, for one, are sounding loud alarm bells about the harm being caused by such a swift ramp up in industrial activity. Indeed, the oil boom in North Dakota is now so big it can be seen from space. A decade ago, nighttime pictures taken from the International Space Station show the US Midwest as a black void of rural darkness.

The first plant is expected to produce a mere 30,000 cubic meters of water, compared with the mammoth oil-fired Shoaiba plant (Stage 3) that produces 880,000 cubic meters of desalinated water every day. CHAPTER 4: HITTING THE ENERGY CEILING this page: Production of shale gas has more than its share of critics, many from the environmental movement. A 2010 documentary, Gasland, by filmmaker Josh Fox chronicled some of the environmental mishaps that have occurred as a result of drilling in the Marcellus formation in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and West Virginia. Hydraulic fracturing, the key process used to extract shale gas, was exempted in 2005 from the Safe Drinking Water Act (1974), a step that paved the way for a wave of drilling across the country and put a spark to much of the current controversy over fracking. this page: The data on China’s coal consumption is measured in short tons, a unit of weight equal to 2,000 pounds. The EIA calculates coal usage in short tons as opposed to long tons (2,240 pounds), the standard unit for measuring coal in the United Kingdom.

 

pages: 326 words: 97,089

Five Billion Years of Solitude: The Search for Life Among the Stars by Lee Billings

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

Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, California gold rush, Colonization of Mars, cosmological principle, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, Dava Sobel, double helix, Edmond Halley, full employment, hydraulic fracturing, index card, Isaac Newton, Kuiper Belt, Magellanic Cloud, music of the spheres, out of africa, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, planetary scale, profit motive, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, random walk, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Searching for Interstellar Communications, Silicon Valley, Solar eclipse in 1919, technological singularity, the scientific method, transcontinental railway

By the 1950s, Pennsylvania’s Allegheny rocks still contained abundant coal and gas, but in a world increasingly addicted to oil, market forces dictated that those less-profitable fuels simply be left in the ground. Pennsylvania’s energy fortunes sharply rebounded in the first decade of the new millennium. As oil production from conventional, easily accessible reservoirs peaked, energy companies devised new methods to wring more oil and gas from harder-to-reach, “unconventional” source rocks. The most successful new method was hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which squeezed previously inaccessible natural gas from deeply buried shales. When a gas-bearing shale lies beneath miles of rock, as it does throughout the Allegheny, the resulting pressure can lock gas within the formation. Pumping millions of gallons of high-pressure, chemical-laced water down a borehole, however, splinters the shale rock, and granules of sand or ceramic added to the slurry prop open the fractures.

., 196, 198, 215, 221–23 Butler, Paul, 55, 58–70, 96, 114 Caldeira, Ken, 181 California, 105–7, 112–13 gold rush in, 105–6, 111, 112–13 Calvin, Melvin, 15, 19–20, 25 Cambrian Period, 138–39, 143–45, 182 Cameron, James, 258 Campbell, Joseph, 261 Canada, 244–48 Canadian Shield, 246 Capella, 239 carbon, 123, 131, 132, 134, 135, 140, 141, 175, 179, 182 carbonate-silicate cycle, 175–81, 184 carbon cycle, organic, 175 carbon dioxide (CO2), 124, 132, 134–37, 140, 141, 157, 159–62, 168, 170, 172, 173, 175–82, 184 Carboniferous Period, 131, 132 Carina Nebula, 238 Carnegie Institution, 251 Carpenter, Scott, 100 Carter, Jimmy, 240 Cash, Webster, 219–20 Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, 96 Challenger, 3, 188–89 Chandra X-Ray Observatory, 192, 209 Chaotian Eon, 139 Charbonneau, David, 228–30, 232 charged-coupled devices (CCDs), 51–53 China, 21–22 chlorofluorocarbons, 134, 142 chlorophyll, 141, 143 Christmas Tree Cluster, 238 Clinton, Bill, 196, 215 clouds, 161–62, 164, 206 coal, 125, 131, 134, 136, 137, 144, 160, 184 Columbia, 189, 196 comets, 2, 3, 19, 76–77, 140 Halley’s, 3 Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, 192, 209 computers, 43–44 Constellation program, 196, 198, 203, 204, 215, 221, 223 convergent evolution, 21 Cook, James, 85–86 Copernican Principle (principle of mediocrity), 83, 89, 91 Copernicus, Nicolaus, 81–83, 86, 87, 89, 91, 200 Cornell University, 39, 42 coronagraphic TPF, 217–22, 224, 231, 249 coronagraphs, 217 cosmology, 77–82 Copernican Principle (principle of mediocrity) in, 83, 89, 91 inflationary theory in, 89–92 modern, 86–87, 91 see also astronomy Cosmos, 240 Costanza, Robert, 74–75 Crab Nebula, 30 Crabtree, William, 84 Crutzen, Paul, 134–35 Cuban missile crisis, 23–24 cyanobacteria, 140–44, 175, 183 Daily Mail, 74 dark energy, 88, 90 dark matter, 206 Darwin, Charles, 200 Davidson, George, 113 deep time, 145–46 Democritus, 79, 80, 92, 238 Demory, Brice, 259 De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things) (Lucretius), 80–81 De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (On the Revolutions of Heavenly Orbs) (Copernicus), 82 Devonian Period, 128, 130–32 Diamandis, Peter, 258 dinosaurs, 30, 136, 144 Discovery, 189 DNA, 40, 141, 143, 170 dolphins, 16, 20–21 Drake, Frank, 9–17, 27–45, 101, 167–68, 240 Arecibo transmission of, 39–41 orchids of, 37–38 Drake equation, 16–25, 28–29, 38–39, 41, 42, 183 longevity of technological civilizations (L term) in, 22–25, 38–39, 41, 42 Draper Laboratory, 256 Dyson, Freeman, 104 Dyson spheres, 104, 105 Earth, 109 asteroid strike on, 30 atmosphere of, 3, 132, 134–35, 139, 140, 144, 157–60, 168–69, 174–77, 206, 238 “Blue Marble” images of, 212, 239–41 carbonate-silicate cycle on, 175–81, 184 climate of, 123–24, 128, 132–37, 142, 144, 156–57, 160–62, 173–75, 184 in early cosmology, 77–82 energy consumption on, 103–4 extinctions on, 43, 135, 184 faint young Sun problem and, 173–75 formation of, 2, 7, 20, 139, 173 geologic time periods of, 128–45 glaciation on, 132–34, 142, 174, 176, 178, 179, 183 human population of, 43, 100, 134, 136 ice caps of, 128, 132–33, 135, 136, 184 Laughlin’s idea for moving orbit of, 76–77 Laughlin’s valuation of, 73–76 oxygen on, 139–44, 159, 171, 180–82, 200, 238 Snowball Earth events, 142, 174, 179 Sun’s distance from, 83, 86 tectonic plates of, 30, 105, 111, 128, 140, 144, 176, 229 union of organisms with geophysical systems on (Gaia hypothesis), 175, 176, 178, 183 water on, 3, 30, 158–61, 174, 177–80, 182 Earth, life on, 31, 154 diversification and explosion of, 138–39, 143, 144, 182 emergence of, 4, 7, 19–20, 238 end of, 7–8, 31–32, 75–77, 159, 180–83 essential facts of, 29–30 humanity’s ascent, 144–46 intelligent, 20–21, 182–83 jump from single-celled to multicellular, 28 redox reactions and, 168 Earth-like planets, 29, 32–34, 71–72, 99, 227–28 Earth-size or Earth-mass planets, 6, 53–54, 56, 200, 227, 251 ecology and economics, 74 economic growth, 102, 103 Eddington, Arthur, 35 Edison, Thomas, 106 Einstein, Albert, 35, 87 Elachi, Charles, 211–12, 214, 221 electricity, 103, 136 Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 254 Endeavour, 190 endosymbiosis, 143 energy, 103–4, 136–38 from fossil fuels, 103, 124–27, 137, 154, 160, 184 Engelder, Terry, 126 Epicurus, 80 Epsilon Eridani, 10–11 Eshleman, Von, 35 ethanol, 137 eukaryotes, 143, 144 European Southern Observatory (ESO), 60, 64, 66 European Space Agency, 222 evolution, 183 convergent, 21 of universe, 88–89 exoplanetology, 13, 14, 34, 51, 193 exoplanets, 5, 27–28, 87, 222–23, 263 51 Pegasi b, 50, 53, 54, 58–59 Alpha Centauri Bb, 98–99 biosignatures and, 167–72, 261–62 Blue Marble images of, 212–15 distinguishing between various compositions of, 251 Earth-like, 29, 32–34, 71–72, 99, 227–28 Earth-size or Earth-mass, 6, 53–54, 56, 200, 227, 251 formation of, 109 GJ 667Cc, 65–69, 72 Gliese 581c, 163 Gliese 581d, 163 Gliese 581g (Zarmina’s World), 63–64, 68, 69, 72, 163 Gliese 876b, 60 habitability of, 154–83 HD 85512b, 163–64 Jupiter-like, 13, 28, 50, 56, 59, 60, 108, 109, 226, 228, 248–49 Laughlin’s valuation of, 71–77 migration theory and, 108 Neptune-like, 56, 108–9, 251 “Next 40 Years” conference on, 225–35, 263 observation of stars of, 33 snow line idea and, 110 super-Earths, 228–29, 251, 262 transits of, 53 TrES-4, 228 exoplanet searches, 5–7, 13–14, 32–33, 69–70 and false-alarm discoveries, 52–53 press releases on progress in, 163–65 SETI and, see SETI spectroscopy in, see spectroscopy, spectrometers see also telescopes Ferguson, Chris, 185–86 financial markets, 111–12 Fischer, Debra, 59, 61, 62, 69, 96 Ford, Eric, 249–50 Ford, Henry, 125 fossil fuels, 103, 124–27, 137, 154, 160, 184 fracking (hydraulic fracturing), 126–27 Gaia hypothesis, 175, 176, 178, 183 galactic planetary census, 54 galaxies, 87, 88, 99, 238 Andromeda, 31, 191, 238 Hubble Telescope and, 191 Local Group of, 88 Milky Way, see Milky Way Galileo, 241–42 Galileo Galilei, 81–83, 210 Galliher, Scot, 257 Garrels, Robert, 178 gas, natural, 125–27, 137, 184 Gemini telescopes, 199–200, 203 General Dynamics Astronautics time capsule, 100–103 geologic time periods, 128–45 geology, 110–11, 123 glaciers, 132–34, 142, 174, 176, 178, 179, 183 Glenn, John, 100 Goldin, Dan, 194, 211, 215, 242 governments, Urey on, 102 gravitational lenses, 35–37 Great Observatories, 192, 197, 209 Greece, ancient, 77, 92, 238 Green Bank conference, 15–25, 27–28, 101, 167–68, 240 greenhouse gases, 124, 134, 137, 157, 160, 174, 175 carbon dioxide, see carbon dioxide methane, 140, 142, 168–71, 174, 200 Grunsfeld, John, 197–99, 225–26, 235 Guedes, Javiera, 96 Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, 74–75 “Habitable Zones around Main Sequence Stars” (Kasting), 155–56, 159 Hadean Eon, 139–40, 156 Halley, Edmond, 84 Halley’s comet, 3 Hart, Michael, 174, 178 Hays, Paul, 176–79 heliocentrism, 79–82 Hiroshima, 23 Holmes, Dyer Brainerd, 100–101 Holocene Epoch, 133–35, 145 Horrocks, Jeremiah, 84 Howard, Andrew, 62 How to Find a Habitable Planet (Kasting), 167 Hu, Renyu, 259 Huang, Su-Shu, 15, 19 Hubble, Edwin, 86–87 Hubble Space Telescope, 189–93, 195, 197–99, 205–7, 209, 218–19, 226 human genome project, 234 hydraulic fracturing (fracking), 126–27 hydrogen, 159, 170–72 Icarus, 155 ice ages, 132, 133, 142–43 Industrial Revolution, 22, 134 inflationary theory, 89–92 Ingersoll, Andrew, 159 intelligence, 20–21, 23, 32, 182–83 interferometry, 213–14, 216, 231 International Space Station (ISS), 187, 189, 197, 202, 207–8, 210 interstellar travel, 44–45, 100–101 iron, 141 James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), 193–99, 202–4, 209, 215, 216, 218, 220, 225, 262 Jensen-Clem, Becky, 259 Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), 211–12, 216, 219, 221–25, 231 Johnson, Lyndon B., 101 Journal of Geophysical Research, 178 Jupiter, 76, 109, 191, 239 Galileo’s study of, 81 Kepler’s laws and, 83 moons of, 28, 110 Jupiter-like planets, 13, 28, 50, 56, 59, 60, 108, 109, 226, 228, 248–49 Kasdin, Jeremy, 219–20 Kasting, Jerry, 150–52 Kasting, Jim, 150–67, 169–84 children of, 153 Kasting, Sandy, 150 Kasting, Sharon, 153 Keck Observatory, 59, 60, 62, 66, 118 Kennedy, John F., 224 Kennedy Space Center, 185 Kepler, Johannes, 82, 83 planetary motion laws of, 82–84 Kepler field stars, 41 Kepler Space Telescope, 13–14, 53–54, 56, 62, 71–73, 98, 108–9, 166, 201, 225, 229–30, 263 Kirschvink, Joseph, 142 Knapp, Mary, 259 Korolev, Sergei, 186 Kuchner, Marc, 217–18 Kuiper Belt, 76 Large Magellanic Cloud, 238 Lasaga, Antonio, 178 Late Heavy Bombardment, 3, 140 Laughlin, Greg, 5–6, 48–50, 53–57, 69–70, 93–100, 107–12, 114–15, 117–20 Alpha Centauri planet search and, 94–98 idea to move Earth, 76–77 magnetic toy of, 93–94 SETI as viewed by, 99 valuation equation of, 71–77 laws of nature, 155–56 Lederberg, Joshua, 15, 16, 167–68 Le Gentil, Guillaume, 85, 117 Leinbach, Mike, 185–86 Lick, James, 112–14 Lick Observatory, 58, 61, 62, 70, 113–19 life, 32 on Earth, see Earth, life on intelligent, 23, 32 single-celled, 20 technological, see technological civilizations light: photons of, 72, 89, 115–16, 156, 191, 193–94, 201, 202, 213, 216, 237–38 polarization of, 115–16 waves of, 213–14, 216 Lilly, John, 15–16, 20–21 Local Group, 88 Lovelock, James, 168, 170, 174–76, 178, 181–83 Lucretius, 80–81 Lyot, Bernard, 217 Madwoman of Chaillot, The, 36 Manhattan Project, 23 Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research, 127, 149 Marcellus formation, 126–30, 137, 138, 141, 144, 160 Marconi, Guglielmo, 48 Marconi Conference Center, 48–50, 53–57 Marcy, Geoff, 57–63, 69, 70, 114, 194, 230–32, 235 Margulis, Lynn, 175 Mars, 19, 50, 87, 100, 107, 109, 155, 167, 179, 191, 192, 239 Kepler’s study of, 82, 83 missions to, 187, 188, 196, 207, 221 water on, 28, 179 Marshall, James, 105–6, 112 Martian Chronicles, The (Bradbury), 98–99 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 251–52, 259 ExoplanetSat project, 256–57 “Next 40 Years of Exoplanets” conference at, 225–35, 263 Mayor, Michel, 58 McPhee, John, 145 mEarth Project, 228–29 mediocrity, principle of (Copernican Principle), 83, 89, 91 Mercury, 82, 109, 239 meteorites, 20 methane, 140, 142, 168–71, 174, 200 methanogens, 140, 142, 169 microbes, 28 Miletus, 77 Milky Way, 16–17, 25, 31, 39, 41, 79, 86–87, 191, 237, 238 Sun’s orbit in, 95 Miller, George P., 101 Miller, Stanley, 19 Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science, 48, 74 mitochondria, 143 Moon, 3, 76, 100, 229, 242 in early cosmology, 78, 83 formation of, 30, 139 Moon, missions to, 188, 196, 221, 224 Apollo, 1, 50, 151, 187, 202, 212, 239 Morrison, Philip, 15, 18–19, 21, 23–24 Mosely, T.

., 196, 198, 215, 221–23 Butler, Paul, 55, 58–70, 96, 114 Caldeira, Ken, 181 California, 105–7, 112–13 gold rush in, 105–6, 111, 112–13 Calvin, Melvin, 15, 19–20, 25 Cambrian Period, 138–39, 143–45, 182 Cameron, James, 258 Campbell, Joseph, 261 Canada, 244–48 Canadian Shield, 246 Capella, 239 carbon, 123, 131, 132, 134, 135, 140, 141, 175, 179, 182 carbonate-silicate cycle, 175–81, 184 carbon cycle, organic, 175 carbon dioxide (CO2), 124, 132, 134–37, 140, 141, 157, 159–62, 168, 170, 172, 173, 175–82, 184 Carboniferous Period, 131, 132 Carina Nebula, 238 Carnegie Institution, 251 Carpenter, Scott, 100 Carter, Jimmy, 240 Cash, Webster, 219–20 Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, 96 Challenger, 3, 188–89 Chandra X-Ray Observatory, 192, 209 Chaotian Eon, 139 Charbonneau, David, 228–30, 232 charged-coupled devices (CCDs), 51–53 China, 21–22 chlorofluorocarbons, 134, 142 chlorophyll, 141, 143 Christmas Tree Cluster, 238 Clinton, Bill, 196, 215 clouds, 161–62, 164, 206 coal, 125, 131, 134, 136, 137, 144, 160, 184 Columbia, 189, 196 comets, 2, 3, 19, 76–77, 140 Halley’s, 3 Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, 192, 209 computers, 43–44 Constellation program, 196, 198, 203, 204, 215, 221, 223 convergent evolution, 21 Cook, James, 85–86 Copernican Principle (principle of mediocrity), 83, 89, 91 Copernicus, Nicolaus, 81–83, 86, 87, 89, 91, 200 Cornell University, 39, 42 coronagraphic TPF, 217–22, 224, 231, 249 coronagraphs, 217 cosmology, 77–82 Copernican Principle (principle of mediocrity) in, 83, 89, 91 inflationary theory in, 89–92 modern, 86–87, 91 see also astronomy Cosmos, 240 Costanza, Robert, 74–75 Crab Nebula, 30 Crabtree, William, 84 Crutzen, Paul, 134–35 Cuban missile crisis, 23–24 cyanobacteria, 140–44, 175, 183 Daily Mail, 74 dark energy, 88, 90 dark matter, 206 Darwin, Charles, 200 Davidson, George, 113 deep time, 145–46 Democritus, 79, 80, 92, 238 Demory, Brice, 259 De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things) (Lucretius), 80–81 De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (On the Revolutions of Heavenly Orbs) (Copernicus), 82 Devonian Period, 128, 130–32 Diamandis, Peter, 258 dinosaurs, 30, 136, 144 Discovery, 189 DNA, 40, 141, 143, 170 dolphins, 16, 20–21 Drake, Frank, 9–17, 27–45, 101, 167–68, 240 Arecibo transmission of, 39–41 orchids of, 37–38 Drake equation, 16–25, 28–29, 38–39, 41, 42, 183 longevity of technological civilizations (L term) in, 22–25, 38–39, 41, 42 Draper Laboratory, 256 Dyson, Freeman, 104 Dyson spheres, 104, 105 Earth, 109 asteroid strike on, 30 atmosphere of, 3, 132, 134–35, 139, 140, 144, 157–60, 168–69, 174–77, 206, 238 “Blue Marble” images of, 212, 239–41 carbonate-silicate cycle on, 175–81, 184 climate of, 123–24, 128, 132–37, 142, 144, 156–57, 160–62, 173–75, 184 in early cosmology, 77–82 energy consumption on, 103–4 extinctions on, 43, 135, 184 faint young Sun problem and, 173–75 formation of, 2, 7, 20, 139, 173 geologic time periods of, 128–45 glaciation on, 132–34, 142, 174, 176, 178, 179, 183 human population of, 43, 100, 134, 136 ice caps of, 128, 132–33, 135, 136, 184 Laughlin’s idea for moving orbit of, 76–77 Laughlin’s valuation of, 73–76 oxygen on, 139–44, 159, 171, 180–82, 200, 238 Snowball Earth events, 142, 174, 179 Sun’s distance from, 83, 86 tectonic plates of, 30, 105, 111, 128, 140, 144, 176, 229 union of organisms with geophysical systems on (Gaia hypothesis), 175, 176, 178, 183 water on, 3, 30, 158–61, 174, 177–80, 182 Earth, life on, 31, 154 diversification and explosion of, 138–39, 143, 144, 182 emergence of, 4, 7, 19–20, 238 end of, 7–8, 31–32, 75–77, 159, 180–83 essential facts of, 29–30 humanity’s ascent, 144–46 intelligent, 20–21, 182–83 jump from single-celled to multicellular, 28 redox reactions and, 168 Earth-like planets, 29, 32–34, 71–72, 99, 227–28 Earth-size or Earth-mass planets, 6, 53–54, 56, 200, 227, 251 ecology and economics, 74 economic growth, 102, 103 Eddington, Arthur, 35 Edison, Thomas, 106 Einstein, Albert, 35, 87 Elachi, Charles, 211–12, 214, 221 electricity, 103, 136 Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 254 Endeavour, 190 endosymbiosis, 143 energy, 103–4, 136–38 from fossil fuels, 103, 124–27, 137, 154, 160, 184 Engelder, Terry, 126 Epicurus, 80 Epsilon Eridani, 10–11 Eshleman, Von, 35 ethanol, 137 eukaryotes, 143, 144 European Southern Observatory (ESO), 60, 64, 66 European Space Agency, 222 evolution, 183 convergent, 21 of universe, 88–89 exoplanetology, 13, 14, 34, 51, 193 exoplanets, 5, 27–28, 87, 222–23, 263 51 Pegasi b, 50, 53, 54, 58–59 Alpha Centauri Bb, 98–99 biosignatures and, 167–72, 261–62 Blue Marble images of, 212–15 distinguishing between various compositions of, 251 Earth-like, 29, 32–34, 71–72, 99, 227–28 Earth-size or Earth-mass, 6, 53–54, 56, 200, 227, 251 formation of, 109 GJ 667Cc, 65–69, 72 Gliese 581c, 163 Gliese 581d, 163 Gliese 581g (Zarmina’s World), 63–64, 68, 69, 72, 163 Gliese 876b, 60 habitability of, 154–83 HD 85512b, 163–64 Jupiter-like, 13, 28, 50, 56, 59, 60, 108, 109, 226, 228, 248–49 Laughlin’s valuation of, 71–77 migration theory and, 108 Neptune-like, 56, 108–9, 251 “Next 40 Years” conference on, 225–35, 263 observation of stars of, 33 snow line idea and, 110 super-Earths, 228–29, 251, 262 transits of, 53 TrES-4, 228 exoplanet searches, 5–7, 13–14, 32–33, 69–70 and false-alarm discoveries, 52–53 press releases on progress in, 163–65 SETI and, see SETI spectroscopy in, see spectroscopy, spectrometers see also telescopes Ferguson, Chris, 185–86 financial markets, 111–12 Fischer, Debra, 59, 61, 62, 69, 96 Ford, Eric, 249–50 Ford, Henry, 125 fossil fuels, 103, 124–27, 137, 154, 160, 184 fracking (hydraulic fracturing), 126–27 Gaia hypothesis, 175, 176, 178, 183 galactic planetary census, 54 galaxies, 87, 88, 99, 238 Andromeda, 31, 191, 238 Hubble Telescope and, 191 Local Group of, 88 Milky Way, see Milky Way Galileo, 241–42 Galileo Galilei, 81–83, 210 Galliher, Scot, 257 Garrels, Robert, 178 gas, natural, 125–27, 137, 184 Gemini telescopes, 199–200, 203 General Dynamics Astronautics time capsule, 100–103 geologic time periods, 128–45 geology, 110–11, 123 glaciers, 132–34, 142, 174, 176, 178, 179, 183 Glenn, John, 100 Goldin, Dan, 194, 211, 215, 242 governments, Urey on, 102 gravitational lenses, 35–37 Great Observatories, 192, 197, 209 Greece, ancient, 77, 92, 238 Green Bank conference, 15–25, 27–28, 101, 167–68, 240 greenhouse gases, 124, 134, 137, 157, 160, 174, 175 carbon dioxide, see carbon dioxide methane, 140, 142, 168–71, 174, 200 Grunsfeld, John, 197–99, 225–26, 235 Guedes, Javiera, 96 Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, 74–75 “Habitable Zones around Main Sequence Stars” (Kasting), 155–56, 159 Hadean Eon, 139–40, 156 Halley, Edmond, 84 Halley’s comet, 3 Hart, Michael, 174, 178 Hays, Paul, 176–79 heliocentrism, 79–82 Hiroshima, 23 Holmes, Dyer Brainerd, 100–101 Holocene Epoch, 133–35, 145 Horrocks, Jeremiah, 84 Howard, Andrew, 62 How to Find a Habitable Planet (Kasting), 167 Hu, Renyu, 259 Huang, Su-Shu, 15, 19 Hubble, Edwin, 86–87 Hubble Space Telescope, 189–93, 195, 197–99, 205–7, 209, 218–19, 226 human genome project, 234 hydraulic fracturing (fracking), 126–27 hydrogen, 159, 170–72 Icarus, 155 ice ages, 132, 133, 142–43 Industrial Revolution, 22, 134 inflationary theory, 89–92 Ingersoll, Andrew, 159 intelligence, 20–21, 23, 32, 182–83 interferometry, 213–14, 216, 231 International Space Station (ISS), 187, 189, 197, 202, 207–8, 210 interstellar travel, 44–45, 100–101 iron, 141 James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), 193–99, 202–4, 209, 215, 216, 218, 220, 225, 262 Jensen-Clem, Becky, 259 Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), 211–12, 216, 219, 221–25, 231 Johnson, Lyndon B., 101 Journal of Geophysical Research, 178 Jupiter, 76, 109, 191, 239 Galileo’s study of, 81 Kepler’s laws and, 83 moons of, 28, 110 Jupiter-like planets, 13, 28, 50, 56, 59, 60, 108, 109, 226, 228, 248–49 Kasdin, Jeremy, 219–20 Kasting, Jerry, 150–52 Kasting, Jim, 150–67, 169–84 children of, 153 Kasting, Sandy, 150 Kasting, Sharon, 153 Keck Observatory, 59, 60, 62, 66, 118 Kennedy, John F., 224 Kennedy Space Center, 185 Kepler, Johannes, 82, 83 planetary motion laws of, 82–84 Kepler field stars, 41 Kepler Space Telescope, 13–14, 53–54, 56, 62, 71–73, 98, 108–9, 166, 201, 225, 229–30, 263 Kirschvink, Joseph, 142 Knapp, Mary, 259 Korolev, Sergei, 186 Kuchner, Marc, 217–18 Kuiper Belt, 76 Large Magellanic Cloud, 238 Lasaga, Antonio, 178 Late Heavy Bombardment, 3, 140 Laughlin, Greg, 5–6, 48–50, 53–57, 69–70, 93–100, 107–12, 114–15, 117–20 Alpha Centauri planet search and, 94–98 idea to move Earth, 76–77 magnetic toy of, 93–94 SETI as viewed by, 99 valuation equation of, 71–77 laws of nature, 155–56 Lederberg, Joshua, 15, 16, 167–68 Le Gentil, Guillaume, 85, 117 Leinbach, Mike, 185–86 Lick, James, 112–14 Lick Observatory, 58, 61, 62, 70, 113–19 life, 32 on Earth, see Earth, life on intelligent, 23, 32 single-celled, 20 technological, see technological civilizations light: photons of, 72, 89, 115–16, 156, 191, 193–94, 201, 202, 213, 216, 237–38 polarization of, 115–16 waves of, 213–14, 216 Lilly, John, 15–16, 20–21 Local Group, 88 Lovelock, James, 168, 170, 174–76, 178, 181–83 Lucretius, 80–81 Lyot, Bernard, 217 Madwoman of Chaillot, The, 36 Manhattan Project, 23 Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research, 127, 149 Marcellus formation, 126–30, 137, 138, 141, 144, 160 Marconi, Guglielmo, 48 Marconi Conference Center, 48–50, 53–57 Marcy, Geoff, 57–63, 69, 70, 114, 194, 230–32, 235 Margulis, Lynn, 175 Mars, 19, 50, 87, 100, 107, 109, 155, 167, 179, 191, 192, 239 Kepler’s study of, 82, 83 missions to, 187, 188, 196, 207, 221 water on, 28, 179 Marshall, James, 105–6, 112 Martian Chronicles, The (Bradbury), 98–99 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 251–52, 259 ExoplanetSat project, 256–57 “Next 40 Years of Exoplanets” conference at, 225–35, 263 Mayor, Michel, 58 McPhee, John, 145 mEarth Project, 228–29 mediocrity, principle of (Copernican Principle), 83, 89, 91 Mercury, 82, 109, 239 meteorites, 20 methane, 140, 142, 168–71, 174, 200 methanogens, 140, 142, 169 microbes, 28 Miletus, 77 Milky Way, 16–17, 25, 31, 39, 41, 79, 86–87, 191, 237, 238 Sun’s orbit in, 95 Miller, George P., 101 Miller, Stanley, 19 Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science, 48, 74 mitochondria, 143 Moon, 3, 76, 100, 229, 242 in early cosmology, 78, 83 formation of, 30, 139 Moon, missions to, 188, 196, 221, 224 Apollo, 1, 50, 151, 187, 202, 212, 239 Morrison, Philip, 15, 18–19, 21, 23–24 Mosely, T.

 

pages: 219 words: 61,720

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

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

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

Environmentalists who flirted with the idea of natural gas as an alternative to coal have turned against it. They’re using all sorts of scare tactics. A recent documentary called Gasland shows fire coming out of people’s kitchen faucets in towns near gas wells, and argues that fracking pollutes groundwater and allegedly causes other harms. Meantime, government regulators are devising ways to make natural gas more difficult to extract. And now opportunistic politicians are lining up against hydraulic fracturing—aka fracking—which has been around for decades and is perfectly safe. If you want to revive U.S. manufacturing and slash the trade deficit, at a time when people are becoming disenchanted with doing business in China, and at a time when Europe is wrestling with a major economic meltdown, then you really can’t go wrong with stepping up natural gas production and using it to reinvigorate our manufacturing sector.

Shut down the coal-fired power plants, stop natural gas power from expanding, and force everyone to find alternative energy whether it’s feasible and affordable or not. There is no rational basis for this way of thinking. None. The campaign to kill natural gas is anti-business, anti–free enterprise, and anti–common sense. At the heart of the opposition to new sources of natural gas is the way the gas is extracted. The process is called hydraulic fracturing, but it’s better known as fracking. It involves injecting water, sand, and other chemicals into shale under extremely high pressure to release the gas trapped inside. Fracking is a nonissue, or it should be, anyway. People have been fracking forever—since the late 1940s at least. Now that it has become more widespread and gained a higher profile, activists are trying to make an issue out of it.

 

pages: 391 words: 97,018

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

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

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, 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, illegal immigration, index fund, intermodal, inventory management, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, LNG terminal, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, 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, Zipcar

The boom in the state, whose economy grew a BRIC-esque 7 percent in 2010, is being led by oil.3 First discovered in the 1950s, the oil fields in western North Dakota declined in the 1980s and 1990s. Oil production peaked at about 150,000 barrels per day in the late 1970s, and in 2001 it fell to a relative trickle of 85,000 barrels per day. But starting in the middle of the 2000s, new techniques were brought to bear in the Bakken Shale, the stratum of rock that lies under about 15,000 square miles of scrubland in the western part of the state. It turned out that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking—the technique first developed in the Barnett Shale in Texas, in which massive water pressure is applied to liberate natural gas from rock—can also be used to liberate liquid oil. In recent years drillers have also perfected horizontal drilling techniques, delving up to two miles deep and then two miles across—an efficient means of exploring vast stretches of territory. Once the two techniques were married in the Bakken Shale in 2007, oil rigs and workers came rushing in.

.: BMW in, 87, 97 GE in, 109–10, 174, 228 gross domestic product (GDP), 9, 17, 29, 31, 75, 198, 227 of BRIC nations, 19–20 and costs of bailouts, 38, 43 exports and, 98–99 in history, 13–14 Groupon, 203 Grupo Phoenix, 88–92 Gyourko, Joseph, 212 Hagerty, James, 108 Hamilton, Alexander, 218 Hanjour, Hani Hasan, 120 Hassett, Kevin, 18 Hawaii, 117–18, 123–25, 211 Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, 207 health care, 70, 91, 145–46, 172, 216–17, 225 exports and, 116, 125–26 inports and, 136, 145 North Dakota and, 157, 160, 162 Obama on, 5–6, 222 Healy, Tim, 72–74 hedge funds, 16, 19, 82, 85, 94, 156 timely policy decisions and, 36, 38 Helliker, Kevin, 161–62 higher education, 142, 175, 204, 215, 226 efficient consumers and, 192–95 export of, 115–21, 126, 131, 161–62, 164 inports and, 145–46 North Dakota and, 153, 160–62 tuition charges in, 118–20, 126, 146, 161 High Line, 121, 213, 225 Hildestad, Terry, 153 Hill Holliday, 50 Hoffman, Reid, 203–4 Holmes, Elizabeth, 125 HomeAway, 203 home equity lines of credit, 51, 54–56 Hong Kong, 7, 22, 92, 120, 138 Hoover Dam, 206 Hot Properties, 171 houses, housing, 12, 56, 74, 116, 180, 225 booms in, 9, 21, 54, 156, 171, 194 bubbles in, 15, 51, 54–55, 190, 219 in China, 7, 20 crises in, 4, 81, 190–91, 212, 219–20 efficiency economy and, 61, 224 efficient consumers and, 185–91, 194–96 exports and, 111–13 FDI and, 83–85 forecasts and, 16–18 infrastructure and, 211–13 in North Dakota, 150–52, 155–56, 158 prices of, 3, 9, 16–17, 24, 29, 54, 84, 150, 155–56, 211–12, 219 renting rooms in, 194–95 restructuring and, 53–55 strengthening recovery and, 215–17, 220–21 timely policy decisions and, 29, 32, 34–35, 42–43, 54–55 see also mortgages Howard, Tim, 126 “How the Great Recession Was Brought to an End” (Zandi and Blinder), 31 Huawei, 96 Hudson River, 206, 211, 225–26 hydraulic fracturing, 79, 86, 105, 151 Hy-Lite, 169 Hyman, Jennifer, 194 Hyundais, 77–78 IBM, 82, 133, 143, 199 Immelt, Jeff, 146 exports and, 109–10 and reshoring and insourcing, 172–73 immigrants, immigration, 21, 89, 91, 165, 182, 215 Erie Canal and, 205–6 exports and, 117, 121, 123 and reshoring and insourcing, 176–77 InBev, 95 incomes, 9, 16, 37, 72, 98, 111, 156, 168, 222 in China, 20, 164–67 efficient consumers and, 180–84 exports and, 101, 116, 118, 126, 164 FDI and, 83, 91 infrastructure and, 205–7, 209–10 inports and, 139–40 North Dakota and, 152, 160 and reshoring and insourcing, 169–70, 172, 178 restructuring and, 54, 56–57 supersizing and, 200–201 India, 19, 26, 100–101, 112, 125, 161, 164, 171–72 exports and, 106, 108–9, 117–18, 120–22, 127, 169 FDI and, 86–87, 94 inports and, 131–32, 138, 227 Indian Point nuclear power plant, 74 IndiGo, 108 Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), 92–93 inflation, 9, 15, 20, 24, 165, 170 infrastructure, 13, 101, 137, 169, 207, 217, 224–25, 228 efficiency economy and, 79, 224 exports and, 103–4, 106, 113, 123, 208 North Dakota and, 150, 152–53, 157, 162 supersizing and, 202–14 initial public offerings (IPOs), 7, 35, 42, 68, 133, 201, 204 inports, 131–47 in auto industry, 133–37, 227 China and, 134–36, 138–43, 146, 164, 227 Disney and, 132, 137–38, 144 employment and, 132, 134–36, 140, 142, 146–47 health care and, 136, 145 higher education and, 145–46 Mary Kay and, 132, 141–43 Starbucks and, 139–41 supersizing and, 202–3 insourcing, see reshoring and insourcing Institute of International Education, 118–19 interest, interest rates, 10, 85, 217, 221 of Japan, 29–30 restructuring and, 48, 57, 136 timely policy decisions and, 34, 37–38, 42 International Trade Administration, 226 Internet, 10, 18, 26, 46, 84, 168, 180, 225 efficient consumers and, 183, 193–95 stocks and, 15, 21–22, 82 supersizing and, 200–201, 203, 208–10, 214 interstate highway system, 207 inventories, 9, 18, 155, 167, 170, 177, 194, 220 inports and, 135, 142 investors, investing, 1, 13, 16, 24, 32, 107, 133, 163, 199, 217, 219, 222, 226 automaker bailouts and, 41–42 economic declines and, 4, 17 efficiency economy and, 62, 65, 71–73, 76, 78–79, 224 efficient consumers and, 181, 184–85, 195–96 infrastructure and, 205, 207–8, 210–13 inports and, 131, 136–38 North Dakota and, 150–51, 157, 160–62 and reshoring and insourcing, 170, 173–74, 179 restructuring and, 44–45, 49–51, 78 strengthening recovery and, 215, 220 supersizing and, 200, 213 timely policy decisions and, 30, 36–38, 41–42 see also foreign direct investment iPads, 140, 193, 200 iPhones, 64, 140, 189, 198, 200, 204, 227 Iran, 227 Iraq, 110 Ireland, 38 Isaacson, Walter, 128, 200–201 Israel, 84, 123, 197, 211, 231 Italy, 14, 19, 29, 46–47, 71, 87, 106, 123, 133, 203 ITU, 209 iTunes, 184, 200, 210 Japan, 47, 140, 165, 168 automakers and, 14, 26, 41, 79, 87, 134–35, 173 comparisons between U.S. and, 8–9, 19, 21, 29, 202 demographics of, 8–9, 21, 29, 162 efficiency economy and, 60–61, 67 exports and, 101, 106, 109, 124–25, 128 FDI of, 82, 92–93, 95–96 in history, 13–14, 20, 61 inports and, 138, 144 timely decisions and, 29–30, 37 tsunami in, 21, 41, 124, 167 Jarden, 169–71 JBS, 95 Jobs, Steve, 128, 199–202 John F.

 

pages: 417 words: 109,367

The End of Doom: Environmental Renewal in the Twenty-First Century by Ronald Bailey

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

3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, Cass Sunstein, Climatic Research Unit, Commodity Super-Cycle, conceptual framework, corporate governance, credit crunch, David Attenborough, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic transition, diversified portfolio, double helix, energy security, failed state, financial independence, Gary Taubes, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, invisible hand, knowledge economy, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, peak oil, phenotype, planetary scale, price stability, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Stewart Brand, Tesla Model S, trade liberalization, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, women in the workforce, yield curve

For example, the Breakthrough Institute report rejects the International Energy Agency’s anemic recommendation that annual access to 100 kilowatt-hours of electricity per person is sufficient. That is the amount of electricity that the average American burns in three days and the average European consumes in five days. One reasonable threshold might be 8,000 kilowatt-hours, which is the quantity that the average Japanese citizen uses in a year. Second, activist opposition to safe hydraulic fracturing to release vast quantities of natural gas trapped in deep underground shale formations is counterproductive. Burning natural gas releases about half the carbon dioxide that burning coal does. In fact, the 2013 IPCC Physical Science report identifies power generation using natural gas as a “bridge technology” that can be deployed now. Consequently, the IPCC report notes, “Greenhouse gas emissions from energy supply can be reduced significantly by replacing current world average coal‐fired power plants with modern, highly efficient natural gas combined‐cycle power plants.”

See also disease biotechnology for birth control pills birth defects coffee drinking DDT creation for EMFs and endocrine disruption and false positives in female male nanotechnology for obesity and pathological science and penile deformation pesticides and pharmaceuticals and politicization of precautionary principle positioned for reproductive problems saccharin and sperm synthetic biology for Heinberg, Richard herbicides Heritage Foundation Hickey, Joseph HIV/AIDS Holdren, John homeopathy Hooker, Joseph Hopfenberg, Russell hormones, in meat and dairy. See also endocrine disrupting chemicals Howard, Ted Hubbert, M. King Hueper, Wilhelm hurricanes hydraulic fracturing hypospadias IEA. See International Energy Agency IIASA. See International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis Iler, Stuart income increase climate adaptation and climate mitigation and fertility rate decline and intergenerational equity and open-access social orders and trend overview India biotech crops in climate change negotiations with farmer suicide in fertility rate and life expectancy in Green Revolution in oil consumption patterns for Orissa cyclone Industrial Revolution industrialization commodity super-cycles and fertility rate decline and innovation trial and error in pollution correlation to Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) Inhofe, James innovation cognitive biases against elitist resistance to fertility rate decline and free-market capitalist drive for population projections and positive possibilities with precautionary resistance to trial and error for innovation sectors and types additive manufacturing autonomous vehicles biofuel biotech crops cellular climate geoengineering DDT electric vehicle energy, clean energy efficiency food production Green Revolution lasers metal nanotechnology nuclear power oil pharmaceutical resource efficiency solar power insulin Intellectual Ventures intergenerational equity Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on climate adaptation on climate mitigation on extinction on natural disasters on natural gas efficiency on ocean acidification on temperature increase on water privatization International Energy Agency (IEA) International Food Policy Research Institute International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) International Monetary Fund International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Ioannidis, John IPCC.

 

pages: 514 words: 152,903

The Best Business Writing 2013 by Dean Starkman

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

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, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, jimmy wales, job automation, late fees, London Whale, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, market clearing, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, 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

When Republicans took back the House in the 2010 midterm elections, ExxonMobil’s lobbyists no longer had reason to fear that Obama or congressional Democrats could upend their industry with climate or tax laws. • • • All of ExxonMobil’s business strategies remain oriented toward the very long run. With little sign that climate legislation can be revived successfully, the most important issue during the next presidential term likely will be the regulation of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” drilling for unconventional gas trapped in shale rocks and other formations, an issue that will shape the corporation’s business prospects in the United States for a generation or more. Obama and Mitt Romney, the most likely Republican nominee, disagree over oil-and-gas regulations, and this has reinforced ExxonMobil’s alignment with the Republican Party. Exxon’s interest in the matter increased substantially in 2010, when it bought America’s leading unconventional-gas producer, XTO Energy.

The shale formation is a layer of oil- and gas-rich rock lying thousands of feet below the rolling hills, cherry groves, and family farms of northern Michigan. It extends from beneath the dunes on Lake Michigan and Lake Huron’s shorelines to the center of the mitten-shaped state. In 2010, the region was at the forefront of America’s shale boom—a buying frenzy made possible by the innovative drilling technology known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” The technique has fueled the largest U.S. land grab since the Gold Rush of the 1850s—and Chesapeake and Encana are among the biggest players nationwide. Chesapeake’s McClendon has been the single most acquisitive buyer. In the last ten years, his company has amassed more than fifteen million acres of land in the United States—an area about the size of West Virginia. Encana has leased 2.5 million acres.

 

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

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

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Chelsea Manning, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate personhood, David Brooks, discovery of DNA, double helix, failed state, Howard Zinn, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, inflation targeting, Julian Assange, land reform, Martin Wolf, Mohammed Bouazizi, Naomi Klein, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, 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

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. Suppose it were environmentally pure. You’re still using fossil fuels.

 

pages: 221 words: 68,880

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

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

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, 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 exact amount spent on overseas military protection of oil reserves is hotly debated, but conceivably dwarfs all of the rest of the costs discussed in this book. For this reason alone, many Americans, on the left and the right, are eager to be free of foreign fuel. As with our other transportation problems, we are trying to solve our energy problems primarily on the supply side, by finding more North American energy sources. The quest for fossil fuel continues, and we are finding it. This gas, siphoned from the earth through a process called hydraulic fracturing or fracking, has brought much-needed prosperity to parts of the middle of the country. At the same time it has proven extraordinarily problematic. The resulting wealth is highly concentrated and unevenly distributed, and much of it leaves the areas from which the oil was extracted. Locals benefit in some ways, but also have to contend with housing shortages, rent increases, hazards from increased truck traffic, hazardous air pollution, and the destruction of water supplies.

 

pages: 249 words: 79,740

The Next Decade: Where We've Been . . . And Where We're Going by George Friedman

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

airport security, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Deng Xiaoping, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, hydraulic fracturing, illegal immigration, Monroe Doctrine, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea

No nuclear power plant started now will be operational in five or six years. But a choice between more coal and more natural gas is not the choice the president will want to make. He will want a silver bullet of rapid availability, no environmental impact, and low cost. In this decade, however, he will be forced to balance what is needed against what is available. In the end, he will pick both, with natural gas having the greater surge. The application of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to the production of natural gas opens the possibility of dramatic increases in energy availability. What this technology does is to recover natural gas from up to three miles beneath the earth’s surface, where it is contained in rock so compressed that it does not release the gas. Fracturing the rock allows the gas to pool and be recovered, but this method, like all energy production on earth, carries environmental risks.

 

pages: 692 words: 167,950

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

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

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, big-box store, bilateral investment treaty, carbon footprint, Chance favours the prepared mind, clean water, Deep Water Horizon, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, hydraulic fracturing, invisible hand, John Snow's cholera map, Louis Pasteur, 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

Running the nation’s 8 million freight trucks on natural gas would cut down on air pollution and cost about a fourth of petroleum diesel, Pickens says. He and many others, including the Obama White House, have aggressively promoted natural gas as a fuel for this century, one that helps reduce global warming, creates jobs, and provides healthy tax revenues to recession-hurt states. Yet Pickens and his colleagues don’t mention one critical fact: over 90 percent of natural gas wells today use hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a controversial method of accessing pockets of natural gas trapped in underground shale formations. To frack a well is to inject a slurry of water, sand, and a mixture of chemicals at high pressure into subterranean shale, cracking open fissures, which release the natural gas; the gas then flows into a borehole to the surface. But each fracked gas well uses 3 to 8 million gallons of water, and the process has been blamed for contaminating groundwater and impacting people’s health.

Understanding the full extent of the problem has been made difficult by the secretive nature of the gas industry, and its ability to convince people such as Amos to sign nondisclosure agreements, as she did with Encana, the large Canadian gas company that drilled a well less than a thousand feet from her home. Gas companies counter that such horror stories are simply not true or are not their fault. “In sixty years of hydraulic fracturing across the country, more than a million wells have been fracked, including fourteen thousand in New York,” maintained Jim Smith, spokesman for the Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York. The process “has never harmed a drop of drinking water.” BP, the largest producer of natural gas in the United States, with over fifteen thousand natural gas wells, has been expanding through acquisitions, and predicts “a revolution in the gas fields of North America.”

 

pages: 323 words: 90,868

The Wealth of Humans: Work, Power, and Status in the Twenty-First Century by Ryan Avent

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

3D printing, Airbnb, American energy revolution, autonomous vehicles, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gig economy, global supply chain, global value chain, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, means of production, new economy, performance metric, pets.com, price mechanism, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reshoring, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, software is eating the world, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, very high income, working-age population

What has taken over the North Dakota countryside is not a massive new supercity but the fracking wells of the Bakken shale, one manifestation of an extraordinary American energy revolution. The hundreds of wells that dot the land are spot-lit at night, and are occasionally ablaze with light when excess natural gas from the wells is burnt off. Of the new work that resembles the mass employment of the industrial past, jobs in fracking are probably the closest analogue to industrial-era factory jobs. Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) has, in fact, been around as a technique since the middle of the twentieth century. But innovations to the process, including a move to horizontal drilling, opened vast shale deposits to development at a time when the global oil price was rising dramatically. The result was an extraordinary boom in oil and gas production, centred on American shale deposits. American production of oil and petroleum liquids, which entered a steep and steady decline in the 1980s, has more than doubled since 2008, to about fourteen million barrels per day in 2014, making America the world’s largest producer of oil, ahead of Saudi Arabia.1 The boom generated a jobs bonanza.

 

The End of Accounting and the Path Forward for Investors and Managers (Wiley Finance) by Feng Gu

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

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, business process, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, discounted cash flows, diversified portfolio, double entry bookkeeping, Exxon Valdez, financial innovation, fixed income, hydraulic fracturing, index fund, inventory management, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, moral hazard, new economy, obamacare, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, shareholder value, Steve Jobs, The Great Moderation, value at risk

Damages from oil spills and refinery accidents can be catastrophic, like the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, for which the company provided in its accounts $43 billion for expected restitutions, as of the end of 2014 (Bloomberg, October 28, 2014). Regulatory changes around the world are also a constant threat to oil and gas companies. Thus, for example, in Ohio, in May 2013, the Youngstown city council considered a proposal to ban fracking in the city, but, fortunately for frackers, turned it down. Similarly, the Niles city council passed a fracking ban in August 2013, yet rescinded it the following month (Wikipedia, Hydraulic Fracturing in the United States). And don’t forget the constant harassment of oil, gas, and particularly coal companies by environmentalists. No love lost for energy companies. Long-range planning and the substantial fund commitments required in the oil and gas industry are a particular challenge in such a volatile, political, and regulatory environment. Given the heightened threat level to which oil and gas resources are exposed, a clear, specific statement to investors—not the standard risk boilerplate in companies’ financial reports, written by lawyers15 —detailing ongoing and expected threats, along with estimates of losses, should be disclosed in the Resources & Consequences Report, focusing on the following types of risks: company properties currently subject to ownership challenge, adverse regulatory actions by local authorities, and major contracts currently considered for terms revisions or expected to be challenged in the near future, to the extent, of course, that such disclosure doesn’t enhance legal exposure.

 

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

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

big-box store, clean water, cognitive dissonance, energy security, Exxon Valdez, hydraulic fracturing, North Sea oil, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Piper Alpha, Ronald Reagan

The New York State environmental impact statement for drilling to frack the Marcellus Shale has six pages of tables listing the many components of fracturing fluids. You can begin to imagine the above-ground mess and risk of all this fluid. Then there is the little issue of drinking water. Experts say it’s not a problem. The New York State environmental impact statement reads, “Regulatory officials from 15 states have recently testified that groundwater contamination from the hydraulic fracturing procedure is not known to have occurred despite the procedure’s widespread use in many wells over several decades.” The Environmental Impact Statement says that there is a vertical separation between the base of any aquifer in New York (850 feet) and the target shales (below 1,000 feet, although it also, confusingly, gives this depth as above 2,000 feet). It says the rock between the target shales and the aquifers is impermeable, so it should be an effective migration barrier.

 

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

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

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, 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, 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, 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

Friedrich von Hayek, The Fatal Conceit, 1988543 Change happens all the time. Some of it is reasonably predictable: higher demand for ice cream in summer. Some of it isn’t: out of nowhere, Gangnam Style became a global hit. Big changes often happen unexpectedly. The Berlin Wall falls. The Fukushima earthquake knocks out a big chunk of the Japanese economy and with it crucial links in global supply chains. Hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) leads to a shale-gas boom that transforms America’s energy landscape – and Europe’s – within a few years. Apple was left for dead at the turn of the century, then vaulted to being the world’s most valuable listed company. American house prices never fell – and then they did. The Western financial system collapses. When such unexpected changes happen, it is often hard to know whether they will last.

 

pages: 448 words: 142,946

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

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

Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, bank run, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Bretton Woods, capital controls, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, disintermediation, diversification, fiat currency, financial independence, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, global supply chain, happiness index / gross national happiness, hydraulic fracturing, informal economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, land tenure, 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, oil shale / tar sands, Own Your Own Home, 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

In traditional Chinese medical thought, the adrenal glands are part of the kidney organ system, which is understood to be the reservoir of the original qi, the life force, as well as the gateway to an ongoing supply of acquired qi. 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: 558 words: 168,179

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

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

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, 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, 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, invisible hand, job automation, low skilled workers, market fundamentalism, 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, 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

A government investigation into Massey found it negligent on multiple safety fronts, and a federal grand jury indicted its CEO, Don Blankenship, for conspiring to violate and impede federal mine safety standards, making him the first coal baron to face criminal charges. Later, Massey was bought for $7.1 billion by Alpha Natural Resources, whose CEO, Kevin Crutchfield, was yet another member of the Koch network. Several spectacularly successful leaders of hydraulic fracturing, who had their own set of government grievances, were also on the Kochs’ list. The revolutionary method of extracting gas from shale revived the American energy business but alarmed environmentalists. Among the “frackers” in the group were J. Larry Nichols, co-founder of the huge Oklahoma-based concern Devon Energy, and Harold Hamm, whose company, Continental Resources, was the biggest operator in North Dakota’s booming Bakken Shale.