hydraulic fracturing

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pages: 423 words: 118,002

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

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

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

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, addicted to oil, American energy revolution, Asian financial crisis, Bakken shale, Bernie Sanders, Buckminster Fuller, corporate governance, corporate raider, credit crunch, energy security, Exxon Valdez, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, Kickstarter, 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

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

., 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.


pages: 257 words: 67,152

The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels by Alex Epstein

addicted to oil, carbon footprint, clean water, glass ceiling, hydraulic fracturing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), LNG terminal, oil shale / tar sands, profit motive, Saturday Night Live, the scientific method

“Paracelsus,” Toxipedia, Nov. 12, 2013, www.toxipedia.org/display/toxipedia/Paracelsus. 20. Sierra Club, “Beyond Natural Gas,” http://content.sierraclub.org/naturalgas (accessed May 8, 2014). 21. N. R. Warpinski, J. Du, and U. Zimmer, “Measurements of Hydraulic-Fracture-Induced Seismicity,” Society of Petroleum Engineers, SPE 151597, 2012, http://www.energy4me.org/hydraulicfracturing/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/SPE-151597-MS-P1.pdf. 22. Ibid. 23. American Petroleum Institute, “The Facts About Hydraulic Fracturing and Seismic Activity,” 2014, www.api.org/~/media/Files/Policy/Hydraulic_Fracturing/HF-and-Seismic-Activity-Report-v2.pdf. 24. Pierre Desrochers and Hiroko Shimizu, “Innovation and the Greening of Alberta’s Oil Sands,” Montreal Economic Institute, Oct. 2012, p. 16, www.iedm.org/files/cahier1012_en.pdf. 25.

It is a common practice to attack fossil fuels by misrepresenting them as fundamentally or uniquely dangerous. This is what’s behind the current attack on fracking—hydraulic fracturing, part of the shale energy revolution I discussed in chapter 3. There are at least four common fallacies used to discourage big-picture thinking and breed opposition to fossil fuels: the abuse-use fallacy, the false-attribution fallacy, the no-threshold fallacy, and the “artificial” fallacy. These are things to be on the lookout for when you follow the cultural debate; they are everywhere, and all four are used to attack what might be the most important technology of our generation. THE ABUSE-USE FALLACY The largest fossil fuel controversy today, besides the broader climate change issue, is fracking—shorthand for hydraulic fracturing—one of several key technologies for getting oil and gas out of dense shale rock, resources that exist in enormous quantities but had previously been inaccessible at low cost.

As mentioned earlier, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has demanded that the United States and other industrialized countries cut carbon emissions to 20 percent of 1990 levels by 2050—and the United States has joined hundreds of other countries in agreeing to this goal.42 And the UN panel reassures us that “close to 80 percent of the world’s energy supply could be met by renewables by mid-century if backed by the right enabling public policies . . .”43 Around the world, it is fashionable to attack every new fossil fuel development and every new form of fossil fuel technology, from hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in the United States to oil sands (“tar sands”) in Canada. To think about dire measures like this without seriously reflecting on the predictions and trends of the last forty years—and the thinking mistakes that led to those wrong predictions—is dangerous, just as it was dangerous for thought leaders to ignore the benefits of fossil fuels while focusing only on (and exaggerating) the risks.


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

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

., 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

1960s counterculture, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bilateral investment treaty, British Empire, business climate, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, Climategate, cognitive dissonance, coherent worldview, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, crony capitalism, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, different worldview, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, energy security, energy transition, equal pay for equal work, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, financial deregulation, food miles, Food sovereignty, global supply chain, hydraulic fracturing, ice-free Arctic, immigration reform, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jones Act, Kickstarter, light touch regulation, market fundamentalism, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, new economy, Nixon shock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, patent troll, Pearl River Delta, planetary scale, post-oil, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rana Plaza, renewable energy transition, 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, 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.


The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations by Daniel Yergin

3D printing, 9 dash line, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, addicted to oil, Admiral Zheng, Albert Einstein, American energy revolution, Asian financial crisis, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, Bakken shale, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, British Empire, coronavirus, COVID-19, Covid-19, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, energy transition, failed state, gig economy, global pandemic, global supply chain, hydraulic fracturing, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Kickstarter, LNG terminal, Lyft, Malacca Straits, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Masdar, mass incarceration, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, new economy, off grid, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, paypal mafia, peak oil, pension reform, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, supply-chain management, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, ubercab, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, women in the workforce

The test area would be the Barnett Shale, named for a farmer who had come out to the area by wagon train in the mid-nineteenth century—five thousand square miles in extent, a mile or more underground, sprawling out beneath the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport and under the ranches and small towns of North Texas. Year after year, the Mitchell team toiled away to break the shale code. Their goal was to open up tiny pathways in the dense shale so gas could flow through the rock and into the well. To do that, they applied hydraulic fracturing, later much better known as “fracking,” which uses cocktails of water, sand, gel, and some chemicals injected under high pressure into rocks that would break open tiny pores and liberate the gas. Hydraulic fracturing is a technology that had been developed in the late 1940s and has been commonly used in conventional oil and gas drilling ever since. But here the fracking was being applied not to a conventional reservoir but to the shale itself. Yet time was passing, and much money was being spent, with no commercial results.

Better to plow money back into the United States, where contracts were generally observed and courts independent, than deal with foreign governments that could unilaterally change the terms under which a company operated. For two years, Pioneer’s geologists had studied the shales under Pioneer’s nine hundred thousand acres in the Permian. Their conclusion was startling. Under it lay a potential bonanza—not just one layer of shale, but layer upon layer of tight rocks stacked on top of each other like pancakes a mile or two beneath the surface, whose oil could be made to flow in abundant volumes with hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. “That,” said Sheffield, “was the aha moment.” Pioneer abruptly redirected its spending to that resource. In 2012, it drilled its first successful horizontal shale well in the Permian.9 Pioneer was only one of a host of companies that jumped on the new opportunity. Once again, the region was booming. The shortage now was not of oil, but of workers and housing and office space.

.* There were jobs in and around oil and gas fields, manufacturing jobs in the Midwest making equipment and trucks and pipes, jobs in California writing software and managing data, and jobs generated by increased income and spending, like real estate agents and car dealers. What is striking is that, owing to the linkages, the economic impact was felt across virtually all states. This was true even in New York state, where environmental activists and politicians succeeded in getting the state to ban hydraulic fracturing and prevent a new natural gas pipeline that would have carried inexpensive natural gas from the Marcellus in Pennsylvania to gas-short New England. The lack of new pipelines resulted in a prohibition in 2019 on gas hookups for new housing and small businesses in Westchester County, just north of New York City. Yet even New York registered over forty thousand jobs that were supporting shale activity in other states.2 All of this incremental economic activity generates a lot of federal and state revenues, estimated to be $1.6 trillion between 2012 and 2025


Saudi America: The Truth About Fracking and How It's Changing the World by Bethany McLean

addicted to oil, American energy revolution, Asian financial crisis, buy and hold, corporate governance, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, family office, hydraulic fracturing, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Masdar, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, Upton Sinclair, Yom Kippur War

This remarkable transformation in the U.S. was brought about by American entrepreneurs who figured out how to literally force open rocks often more than a mile below the surface of the earth, to produce gas, and then oil. Those rocks—called shale, or source rock, or tight rock, and once thought to be impermeable—were opened by combining two technologies: horizontal drilling, in which the drill bit can travel well over two miles horizontally, and hydraulic fracturing, in which fluid is pumped into the earth at a high enough pressure to crack open hydrocarbon bearing rocks, while a so-called proppant, usually sand, holds the rocks open a sliver of an inch so the hydrocarbons can flow. A fracking entrepreneur likens the process to creating hallways in an office building that has none—and then calling a fire drill. In November 2017, production topped the ten million barrel a day record set in 1970, back in the last gasp of the legendary oil boom.

Much later, one observer recalls that when the two would go to Oklahoma City Thunder basketball games, their blocks of seats were on opposite sides of the arena, and they never sat together. Neither Ward nor McClendon were technological pioneers. That distinction, most people agree, goes to a man named George Mitchell, who drew on research done by the government to experiment on the Barnett Shale, an area of tight rock in the Fort Worth basin of North Texas. Using a combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, Mitchell’s team cracked the code for getting gas out of rock that was thought to be impermeable. The few people who were paying attention to what Mitchell was doing were far from convinced that it would succeed. Giants like Exxon were selling off their U.S. properties to the small independent companies and going international. “At the time, we dismissed shale because ExxonMobil told us it would cost $125 a barrel to get it out and would never work,” says Jeff Currie, the global head of commodities research at Goldman Sachs.

Greenspan recommended that the U.S. build terminals to accept deliveries of LNG from other countries. “We see a storm brewing on the horizon,” said Representative Billy Tauzin, Republican of Louisiana and the then-chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee. (Such fears eventually helped push through the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which exempted natural gas drillers from having to disclose the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, thus averting costly regulatory oversight.) As fracking took off, McClendon began telling anyone who listened that the U.S. had enough natural gas to last more than a hundred years. He quietly financed a campaign called “Coal is Filthy,” and he argued that converting 10 percent of U.S. vehicles to natural gas in the next ten years would be the fastest, cheapest way to free the country from dependency on foreign oil.


pages: 503 words: 131,064

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

airport security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Brian Krebs, Broken windows theory, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, commoditize, 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, longitudinal study, mass incarceration, 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, zero-sum game

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

addicted to oil, Bakken shale, bilateral investment treaty, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial exploitation, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, decarbonisation, Deep Water Horizon, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, Exxon Valdez, failed state, global village, guest worker program, happiness index / gross national happiness, hydraulic fracturing, immigration reform, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, liberal capitalism, LNG terminal, market fundamentalism, means of production, Naomi Klein, new economy, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, profit maximization, race to the bottom, smart grid, special economic zone, WikiLeaks, 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: 1,373 words: 300,577

The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World by Daniel Yergin

"Robert Solow", addicted to oil, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, Ayatollah Khomeini, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, borderless world, BRICs, business climate, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, cleantech, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, colonial rule, Colonization of Mars, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, diversification, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, energy security, energy transition, Exxon Valdez, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, financial innovation, flex fuel, global supply chain, global village, high net worth, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), James Watt: steam engine, John von Neumann, Kenneth Rogoff, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, Malacca Straits, market design, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, mutually assured destruction, new economy, Norman Macrae, North Sea oil, nuclear winter, off grid, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, Piper Alpha, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Robert Metcalfe, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart grid, smart meter, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Stuxnet, technology bubble, the built environment, The Nature of the Firm, the new new thing, trade route, transaction costs, unemployed young men, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, William Langewiesche, Yom Kippur War

Then, in order to convince her not to, he told her to go to the blackboard to calculate at exactly what point the world would reach one person per square meter. From Shell he moved to the U.S. Geological Survey, where he was in a permanent battle with some of his colleagues. “He was the most difficult person I ever worked with,” said Peter Rose, his boss at the USGS. Yet Hubbert also became recognized as one of the leading figures in the field and made a variety of major contributions, including a seminal paper in 1957, “The Mechanics of Hydraulic Fracturing.” One of his fundamental objectives was to move geology from what he called its “natural-history phase” to “physical science phase,” firmly based in physics, chemistry, and in particular, in rigorous mathematics. “King Hubbert, mathematician that he is,” said the chief geophysicist of one of the oil companies, “based his look ahead on facts, logically and analytically analyzed.” Four decades after turning him down for tenure, Columbia implicitly apologized by awarding him the Vetlesen Prize, one of the highest honors in American geology.11 AT THE PEAK In the late 1940s, Hubbert’s interest was piqued when he heard another geologist say that 500 years of oil supply remained in the ground.

The key was found on the fringes of the industry, in a huge oil formation called the Bakken, which sprawls beneath the Williston Basin across North and South Dakota and Montana and into Saskatchewan and Manitoba in Canada. The Bakken was one of those places where smaller operators drilled wells that delivered just a few barrels a day. By the late 1990s, most people had given up on the Bakken, writing it off as “an economically unattractive resource.”26 But then the impact of the technology for liberating shale gas—horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing—be came evident. “As shale gas began to grow, we asked ourselves ‘Why not apply it to oil?’ ” said John Hess, CEO of Hess, one of the leading players in the Bakken. The new technologies worked. Companies rushed to stake out acreage, and a boom in tight oil began to sweep across the Bakken. Production in the Bakken increased dramatically, from less than 10,000 barrels per day in 2005 to more than 400,000 in 2010.

Indeed, by the late 1990s the area was so much off the radar screen that when people did forecasts of future natural gas supplies, the Barnett did not even show up. Mitchell Energy’s board of directors was becoming increasingly skeptical. After all, when almost two decades of effort were added up, it was clear that the company had lost a good deal of money on the Barnett play. But George Mitchell would not give up; he insisted that they were getting closer to cracking the Barnett’s code.3 BREAKTHROUGH Fraccing—otherwise known as hydraulic fracturing—is a technique that was first used at the end of the 1940s. It injects large amounts of water, under high pressure, combined with sand and small amounts of chemicals, into the shale formation. This fragments underground rock, creating pathways for otherwise trapped natural gas (and oil) to find a route and flow through to the well. Mitchell Energy had been experimenting with different methodologies for fraccing.


pages: 258 words: 77,601

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

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

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: 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

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

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: 262 words: 83,548

The End of Growth by Jeff Rubin

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

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

addicted to oil, 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, Johannes Kepler, Kuiper Belt, low earth orbit, 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, selection bias, 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: 363 words: 101,082

Earth Wars: The Battle for Global Resources by Geoff Hiscock

Admiral Zheng, Asian financial crisis, Bakken shale, Bernie Madoff, BRICs, butterfly effect, clean water, cleantech, corporate governance, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, energy security, energy transition, eurozone crisis, Exxon Valdez, flex fuel, global rebalancing, global supply chain, hydraulic fracturing, Long Term Capital Management, Malacca Straits, Masdar, mass immigration, megacity, Menlo Park, Mohammed Bouazizi, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Panamax, Pearl River Delta, purchasing power parity, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, trade route, uranium enrichment, urban decay, WikiLeaks, 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: 219 words: 61,720

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

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 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, low earth orbit, 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: 436 words: 114,278

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

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

In the 1980s, geologists employed by Mitchell noticed that when sinking deep wells through shale rock, geological instruments registered large amounts of natural gas. Shale—“a fine-grained sedimentary rock formed by the compaction of silt and clay-size mineral particles”35—was long known to hold oil and gas, but no one knew how to get it out. Mitchell came up with the idea of trying to get at the gas using hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.” Fracking essentially entailed shattering rock to liberate gas or oil molecule trapped inside, and had been used widely since the earliest days of the oil industry. A rudimentary form of fracking was used after the Civil War by drillers who dropped explosive “torpedoes” into wells to shatter rock and accelerate oil flow, and the technology was further developed with the support of the federal government amid fears of shortages during the oil and gas boom in the early 1970s.

To get to the rest, drillers employ improved oil recovery or well stimulation techniques such as injecting water or gas into the reservoir to boost well pressure pushing the oil up. And when stimulation is exhausted, a final step is called enhanced oil recovery or EOR. The EOR techniques include pumping acids into the reservoir to create fissures in the rock through which oil can flow or heating up the oil by injecting hot water or steam into the rock. Another, related EOR technique is hydraulic fracturing. By pulling oil out of a well with artificial means, pushing it out through stimulation, and finally blasting, heating, or acidifying the reservoir, producers can sustain oil flow from a field for many years or decades, extending the plateau and allowing for a gradual decline.42 But in the case of shale oil wells, drillers go right to the EOR stage. Shale oil is not produced from a reservoir, but instead out of the source rock many thousand feet below it.

See Texas-plus pricing Gulf War, 226; Saudi Arabia’s role in OPEC after, 159; SPR and, 157–58, 185 gushers: Black Giant discovery as, 72–75, 76, 85, 107, 201; Spindletop, 33, 201; in Texas and Oklahoma, 67 Hamilton, James, 109, 184, 251n5, 252n10 hedging, 182, 191–92, 240 Higgins, Pattillo, 33 horizontal integration, 65–66, 253n30 “hot” oil, 75–78, 79 Hubbert, Marion King, 178–80, 271n34 Hussein, Saddam, 157, 215 hydraulic fracturing. See fracking Ibn Saud (king), 88, 116 Ickes, Harold, 77, 92 IEA. See International Energy Agency Illinois, 83–84 IMF, 184, 209, 236 imports, oil, 267n28; from Middle East, 96; national security and reliance on, 102; quotas on, 102, 128, 259n139; TRC and, 101–2; U.S., from 1945–1955, 96 import tariffs, 84–85; investigation of Seven Sisters, 101; Reagan’s consideration of, 153; variable, 237–38, 267n29 incorporation laws, 35 independent producers, 124; global market access of, 96, 102–3; Suez Crisis and, 98–99; TRC protecting, 81, 99; in Venezuela, 96, 102 Independent Producers League, 47 India, 239; energy intensity in, 243n6; kerosene price war in, 86 infrastructure, 275n22; for fracking, 202, 204; investment in, 57, 115, 174; specialized nature of, 62 innovation: in drilling/boring, 44, 248n7; in oil market volatility, 224; in oil/petroleum usage, 41–42; of Rockefeller, 247n106 integration, 65–66, 253n30 internal combustion engine, 41–42 International Energy Agency (IEA), 240, 264n55; forecasting of, 6, 7, 61, 171, 180, 184, 205–6, 206, 228; forming of, 135–36; oil spike in late 1990s and, 161; on shale production, 204; SPR coordination within, 239; on SPR release, 186, 201 International Petroleum Commission, 94 International Petroleum Exchange (IPE), 267n40 inventions: of drilling/boring, 13; fracking, 201–2; for production, 33 investments: downstream, 215, 239, 268n46; in infrastructure, 57, 115, 174; Saudi Aramco, since 2011, 230, 231–32, 277n78; in shale production, 217; upstream, 174, 228, 240 IPE.


pages: 433 words: 124,454

The Burning Answer: The Solar Revolution: A Quest for Sustainable Power by Keith Barnham

Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, carbon footprint, credit crunch, decarbonisation, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, Ernest Rutherford, hydraulic fracturing, hydrogen economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Kickstarter, Naomi Klein, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method, uranium enrichment, wikimedia commons

Given these experiences, it was with some trepidation that I approached the joint report of the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2011, ‘Shale gas extraction in the UK: a review of hydraulic fracturing’. This was a report about the risks associated with ‘fracking’ for methane, the villain we met earlier and the main component of natural gas. Fracking is a contentious issue in the UK and US, but the French government appears set against it. Sadly, in this case too, I have concerns about the report. The two societies conclude that the extraction of shale gas ‘can be managed effectively in the UK as long as operational best practices are implemented and enforced through regulation’. The societies had been asked by the government to consider ‘What are the major risks associated with hydraulic fracturing as a means to extract shale gas in the UK, including geological risks, such as seismicity, and environmental risks, such as groundwater contamination?’

The Royal Society, ‘Fuel cycle stewardship in a nuclear renaissance’, October 2011, The Royal Society Science Policy Centre report 10/11, http://royalsociety.org/policy/projects/nuclear-non-proliferation/report/, accessed 19 January 2014. 24. Frank von Hippel, Rodney Ewing, Richard Garwin and Alison Macfarlane, ‘Time to bury plutonium’, Nature, 485, 167 (2012). 25. Geoffrey Lean, ‘Minister admits total failure of Sellafield MOX plant’, Independent, 9 March 2008. 26. The Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering, ‘Shale gas extraction in the UK: A review of hydraulic fracturing’, DES2597, June 2012, http://royalsociety.org/policy/projects/shale-gas-extraction/, accessed 19 January 2014. 27. International Energy Agency, ‘World Energy Outlook 2012, Executive Summary’ (2012), http://www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/English.pdf, accessed 19 January 2014. 28. Robert Howarth, Renee Santoro and Anthony Ingraffea, ‘Methane and the greenhouse-gas footprint of natural gas from Shale Formations’, Climatic Change, 106, 679, (2011). 29.


Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All by Michael Shellenberger

Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, Bernie Sanders, Bob Geldof, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, clean water, Corn Laws, coronavirus, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, energy transition, failed state, Gary Taubes, global value chain, Google Earth, hydraulic fracturing, index fund, Indoor air pollution, indoor plumbing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, land tenure, Live Aid, LNG terminal, long peace, manufacturing employment, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Potemkin village, purchasing power parity, Ralph Nader, renewable energy transition, Steven Pinker, supervolcano, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trade route, union organizing, WikiLeaks, Y2K

And, as we will see, sometimes politics can move societies away from energy-dense fuels and back toward more energy-dilute ones. 5. The Gasland Deception In spring 2010, a documentary filmmaker released the trailer to his new film, Gasland, about the natural gas boom in the United States. The background music, similar to what we hear in trailers for horror-fantasy movies, grows in volume and speed. We hear people say that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, of shale, an underground rock formation, is poisoning their water and causing neurological diseases and brain lesions. It shows documents describing lung disease and cancer. Three-quarters into the trailer, we hear an ominous chorus typical of what you might expect to hear when dragons take flight. A man stands by his sink with a hand-written sign above it reading, Do Not Drink This Water.

See also Beef cattle; Chicken production Forced displacement, 74 Ford, Henry, 101, 233 Ford River Rouge Complex, 101 Foreign Affairs, 187–88, 238 Foreign Policy, 258 Forest cover, 32–33 Forest Service, U.S. (USFS), 20 Fossil fuels. See also Coal use; Natural gas cap-and-trade, 205, 219, 258, 259 climate denial funding, 200–202, 204, 206 Congo’s need for, 81–83 energy density, 100, 102, 192 Fossil plastics, 60–61 Fracking (hydraulic fracturing), 117–20, 123, 124 France forests, 32 free trade, 41 nuclear energy, 146, 151–52, 169–70, 184, 344n renewable energy, 181, 184 Franzen, Jonathan, 197 Free-range farming, 130–31 “French paradox,” 140 Friedman, Benjamin, 95 Friends of the Earth (FOE), 163, 205 Fry, Stephen, ix Fugazi, 135 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, 145, 147, 150, 168–69 Gaddis, John Lewis, 172–73 Game of Thrones (TV show), 200 Gasland (film), 116–18 Geesman, John, 217 Geldof, Bob, ix General Electric (GE), 114 Geological Survey, U.S.

., 213–14 Gorillas, 68–70, 72–75, 76, 79, 281–82, 395n Goulding, Ellie, ix Gourmet (magazine), 132 Government Accountability Office (GAO), 218 Grandin, Temple, 134, 136–37, 138, 144 Grand Inga Dam, 70–71, 84, 245–46, 276, 386n Grass-fed cattle, 130–31 Great African War, 7 Great Ape Program, 74, 77 Great Escape, 92–95 Great Pacific Garbage Patch, 48 Greenhouse gas emissions, 2, 21, 24, 43, 60–61, 128, 130, 193, 253–54 “Greening,” 32–33 Green New Deal, 3–5, 154, 176, 187, 217, 267 Green Nuclear Deal, 278 Greenpeace, 86, 108, 113, 163, 226, 248 Greenpeace Brazil, 31–32, 38–41 Green utopianism, 267 Grijalva, Raúl, 257–59 Habitat conservation, 68 Haidt, Jonathan, 264 Haiti, 15 Hall, Craig, 202 Hallam, Roger, 10, 11, 22 Halliburton, 205, 219 H&M, 85, 102, 105 Hanno the Navigator, 72 “Hansel and Gretel,” 37 Hansen, James, 181 Hardin, Garrett, 236–37 Harris, Kamala, 216 Harvard University, 93–96, 104, 139, 225, 250, 252, 261 Hawksbill sea turtles, 52–53 Heal, Geoffrey, 88 Heart disease, 132–33 Heartland Institute, 206 Heidegger, Martin, 187 Heritage Foundation, 206 Hetch Hetchy Project, 386n High-fat diets, 131–33, 140 High-yield farming, 6, 91–92 Hillary, Edmund, 155 Hinkley Point C Nuclear Plant, 146 Hitler, Adolf, 233 Hohenkammer Statement, 13–14 Holdren, John, 239–40, 242, 243, 258 Hole in the World, A (Rhodes), 269–70 Hollywood, 2, 7, 27, 162, 164, 165, 222 Homosexuality, 95 Hoover Dam, 84 Höppe, Peter, 13 Human evolution, 133–34 Human-wildlife conflicts, 17–18, 74–75 Hunter-gatherers, 36–37, 134 Hurricane Katrina, 14 Hurricanes, 14–15 Hurricane Sandy, 16 Hyatt, John Wesley, 54, 55 Hydraulic fracturing (fracking), 117–20, 123, 124 Hydroelectricity, 177, 179–80, 228–29, 238 in Congo, 70–71, 82, 83–84, 245–46, 276 power density and, 100, 102–3, 191–92, 386n Hydrogenation, 112 Hypocrisy, 201–4, 222–24, 246–47 Ice sheets, 2, 3, 25, 262 I’ll Take My Stand (Ransom), 234 Impossible Burger, 135 Inconvenient Truth, An (documentary), 217 India author’s visit, 247–49 population control, 235–36, 237 sustainable development in, 247–49 India Great Famine of 1876–1878, 232 Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, 15 Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, 284 India-Pakistan relations, 173 Indonesia, 88–89, 92–93, 96–97, 277 Indonesia oil, 211–12 Industrial Revolution, 95–96, 227 Infrastructure, 64, 225–26, 247 power of electricity, 226–29 Inga dam, 70–71, 84, 245–46, 276, 386n Insect die-off, 195–96 Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics, 195 Intensive farming, 38, 39, 42–43, 130–31, 135–36, 139 InterAcademy Council, 255–56 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 114, 284–85 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports, xiii, 1–6, 10, 11–12, 14, 15–16, 23, 30, 126–27, 128, 244, 252, 253–57 Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), 65–66, 67, 79 International Energy Agency (IEA), 26 International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), 114–15, 252 International Rivers, 245–46 International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), 57, 59, 67, 76 International Whaling Commission (IWC), 113 Inuits, 109 “Invasive species,” 66 Invenergy, 207 IPCC.


pages: 389 words: 87,758

No Ordinary Disruption: The Four Global Forces Breaking All the Trends by Richard Dobbs, James Manyika

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, business cycle, business intelligence, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, cloud computing, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, demographic dividend, deskilling, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global village, hydraulic fracturing, illegal immigration, income inequality, index fund, industrial robot, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, inventory management, job automation, Just-in-time delivery, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Lyft, M-Pesa, mass immigration, megacity, mobile money, Mohammed Bouazizi, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, openstreetmap, peer-to-peer lending, pension reform, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, recommendation engine, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Great Moderation, trade route, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, urban sprawl, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, working-age population, Zipcar

Now, new materials are being created that have attributes such as enormous strength and elasticity and remarkable capabilities such as self-healing and self-cleaning. Smart materials and memory metals (which can revert to their original shapes) are finding applications in a range of industries such as aerospace, pharmaceuticals, and electronics. The period between historic breakthroughs has been decreasing dramatically 2.Rethinking energy comes of age. In North America, fracking—a combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing—has unleashed a shale energy boom that few saw coming. In less than a decade, the price of natural gas has fallen from more than $12 per unit (million British thermal units) to around $4 to $5 per unit in the United States. And as gas supply outstrips demand and prices remain low, producers are turning to fracking for oil in formations like North Dakota’s Bakken Shale. Other unconventional sources are also being explored, including coal-bed methane and methane clathrates.

Boosting supply aggressively can also help mitigate the downside of resource scarcity. Let’s take energy as an example. Time and again in the twentieth century, technology played a vital role in overcoming logistical and geological difficulties. Today, three major areas of innovation in energy could transform the supply picture over the coming decade: oil and gas technologies, renewable energy, and advanced battery technology. In oil and gas, hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and horizontal drilling have enabled the large-scale extraction of gas and oil from shale rock and are already making a difference in global markets. Although fracking is controversial on environmental grounds, there is no doubting its extraordinary impact. In the United States, where natural gas production soared 25 percent between 2000 and 2013, winter gas prices have halved since 2008.53 Driven by new technology, as we’ve noted earlier, the United States in 2013 surpassed Russia as the world’s largest producer of hydrocarbons, and by 2020, it could become the world’s largest producer of oil, according to the International Energy Agency.54 In addition to improving cost and access to new oil reserves, government efforts on researching and developing technology have also contributed to dramatic improvement in recovery rates of existing reserves.


pages: 354 words: 92,470

Grave New World: The End of Globalization, the Return of History by Stephen D. King

9 dash line, Admiral Zheng, air freight, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bilateral investment treaty, bitcoin, blockchain, Bonfire of the Vanities, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, central bank independence, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, corporate governance, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, floating exchange rates, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global value chain, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, imperial preference, income inequality, income per capita, incomplete markets, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, Internet of things, invisible hand, joint-stock company, Kickstarter, Long Term Capital Management, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, moral hazard, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, paradox of thrift, Peace of Westphalia, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price stability, profit maximization, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, reserve currency, reshoring, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, Skype, South China Sea, special drawing rights, technology bubble, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, the market place, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, trade liberalization, trade route, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

The more China expands, therefore, the less credible US ‘protection’ will likely be: whilst American military power is deployed through much of East Asia, replenishing bases in the event of an outbreak of hostilities would not be achieved so easily. The ‘pivot to Asia’ under Barack Obama reflected these new realities. Yet there was – and is – an opportunity cost. With more resources devoted to Asia, fewer could be deployed elsewhere. Doubtless, US thinking was heavily influenced by the shale energy revolution. Thanks to new technologies associated with hydraulic fracturing – alongside horizontal drilling – the US was no longer so dependent on Middle Eastern oil and gas. Why, therefore, spend so much time and trouble investing in a region that for much of the post-war period had only been a thorn in America’s side? Given America’s shrinking share of the global economy, however, it followed that the decision to devote more of its – limited – resources to the Pacific risked an increase in power ‘vacuums’ elsewhere in the world.

(i) Hall of Mirrors (Versailles) (i) Hamas (i) Han Chinese (i) see also China Hangzhou (i) Hausas (i) Hawaii (i) Hayek, Friedrich (i), (ii) HBOS (i) Healey, Denis (i), (ii) Hearst, William Randolph (i) Heath, Edward (i) Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich (i) Heineken (i) Henry VIII, King (i), (ii), (iii) Himalayas (i) Hindus (i) Hitler, Adolf (i) HIV (i) Hobbes, Thomas (i), (ii), (iii) Hofstadter, Richard (i) Holy Roman Empire (i) Honduras (i) Hong Kong (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi) House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (US) (i) House of Debt (Atif Mian and Amir Sufi) (i) hukou system (i) Hundred Years’ War (i) Hungary (i), (ii), (iii) Husayn (son of Ali) (i) Hussein, Saddam (i), (ii), (iii) Huxley, Aldous (i) hydraulic fracturing (i) hyperinflation (i) see also inflation Iberian Peninsula (i) Iceland (i) IMF see International Monetary Fund immigration (i) 19th century (i) 20th century (first half) (i) 20th century (second half)–21st century (i) Africa (i), (ii) Commonwealth citizens in UK (i) German Gastarbeiter (i) Hispanics in US (i) Irish potato famine (i) key drivers for (i), (ii) opposition to in UK (i), (ii) Schengen and (i) Syria (i) Immigration Act 1917 (i) Immigration and Naturalization Act 1965 (i) Imperial Preference (i), (ii) India British in (i) bureaucracy (i) China and (i) economic resurgence (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) glacial melt threat (i) immigration into Britain (i) Islam spreads to (i) living standards (i) population statistics (i) SCO and (i) steel and textiles (i) Indian Ocean (i), (ii) Indochina (i) Indonesia (i), (ii), (iii) Industrial Revolution (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) industrialization (i) IMF and (i) India loses out (i) Lewis Model on (i) Russia (i), (ii) inequality (i) infant mortality (i), (ii) inflation a bad thing?


pages: 358 words: 93,969

Climate Change by Joseph Romm

carbon footprint, Climatic Research Unit, decarbonisation, demand response, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, energy security, energy transition, failed state, hydraulic fracturing, hydrogen economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), knowledge worker, mass immigration, performance metric, renewable energy transition, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, the scientific method

The pressure could cause leaks or earthquakes, says Curt M. White, who ran the US Energy Department’s carbon sequestration group until 2005 and served as an adviser until earlier this year. ‘Red flags should be going up everywhere when you talk about this amount of liquid being put underground’.” With the use of hydraulic fracturing to produce natural gas in the United States, we have seen considerable concern about leakage of methane and other potentially harmful substances. There is a growing body of research linking hydraulic fracturing to earthquakes. That has been especially true for the so-called reinjection wells, where millions of gallons of wastewater from the fracturing process are injected deep underground, much as the carbon dioxide would be in CCS. Research published by Stanford University concluded in 2012: We argue here that there is a high probability that earthquakes will be triggered by injection of large volumes of CO2 into the brittle rocks commonly found in continental interiors.


pages: 391 words: 97,018

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

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

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: 944 words: 243,883

Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power by Steve Coll

addicted to oil, anti-communist, Atul Gawande, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, decarbonisation, energy security, European colonialism, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Google Earth, hydraulic fracturing, hydrogen economy, illegal immigration, income inequality, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), inventory management, kremlinology, market fundamentalism, McMansion, medical malpractice, Mikhail Gorbachev, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, place-making, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Scramble for Africa, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, smart meter, statistical model, Steve Jobs, WikiLeaks

When Randall arrived on August 6, he explained that Bob Simpson was thinking about a “strategic combination” between XTO and ExxonMobil. Might ExxonMobil be interested? “Yes, I think we’ll be interested,” Tillerson answered. “Let me take some time to soak on it.”5 In 1976, as a young Exxon engineer on his second assignment, in East Texas, Rex Tillerson was asked to work on a drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, which employs pressurized fluids to shatter rocks and unlock natural gas buried in complex geological formations. The drilling and engineering problems he wrestled with anticipated the shale gas boom that undergirded XTO’s success. In part because of his early, direct experience, Tillerson felt he understood the unconventional gas business. Not everyone in or around ExxonMobil thought Tillerson had the analysis right, however.6 For most of Tillerson’s career, the exploitation of American onshore natural gas beds had not been a major priority for Exxon and other international oil companies.

.), 26–27, 28 Feinstein, Dianne, 486 Feith, Douglas, xiv, 227, 231, 234, 241, 242, 243, 245 global vision on oil, 237–40, 246 Senate testimony of, 227–28 Field of Dreams (film), 525 Fifteenth World Petroleum Congress, 81 Finance Ministry, Iraqi, 564 financial crisis of 2008, 540, 541, 578 Finestone, Paul, 528 Finestone Insurance Agency, 528 Finkel, Louis, 343 Flannery, Brian, xiii, 79, 84, 183, 555 Flatt, Shawn, 424 Fleytas, Andrea, 602–3 Fluor Corporation, 235 Foley, Thomas, 232–33 Foltz, William, 171 Ford, Gerald, 237 Ford Motor Company, 85, 539 Foreign Agricultural Service, 154 Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (F.C.P.A.), 109, 142, 298–99 Foreign Office, British, 459 Forsythe, Rosemarie, xiii, 160–62, 163, 255, 419, 442, 463 Fortune, 33, 316, 645n F.P.S.O. (offshore production vessels), 469–70 fracking. See hydraulic fracturing France, 19, 141, 155, 261, 297, 357, 455, 512, 513, 620 Franco, Francisco, 137, 285 Franklin, Rob, 574, 575 Franks, Tommy, 227–28 Frazer, Jendayi, 468, 469 Free Aceh Movement, see G.A.M. FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership, 437, 444 Freedom House, 344 Freedom of Information Act, 131, 133–34, 135–36, 183, 459 Freeman, Bennett, 223, 504–7, 538 Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, 102 Freudenberg, William, 312–13 Friedberg, Aaron, 243–44 Friedman, Thomas, 240 Front Uni Pour le Changement (United Front for Change), 357, 363 Fryszman, Agnieszka, 405–7 Fuller, Lawrence, 60 Future 500, 537 Future of Iraq Project, 232 “Future Policy Issues Concerning the Ministry of Oil” (Carroll), 236 Gabon, 141, 150 Gaddafi, Muammar, 97, 159, 531 Galante, Edward G., xiii, 210, 211–12, 314, 315–17, 332, 338 Galbraith, John Kenneth, 570 Galbraith, Peter, 570 G.A.M.

., 73, 342, 343, 496, 617, 650n Energy and Commerce Committee of, 488, 489–90, 494, 551 Science and Technology Committee of, 343 toy safety bill in, 486 Waxman-Markey bill in, 552 Hoyt, Max, 488 Hubbard, Allan, 303–4 Hubble, Henry, 493–94 human rights, 170, 504, 510 Aceh war and, 101–5, 107, 110–11, 114, 118, 120, 396–98, 400 Equatorial Guinea and, 142–43, 145, 146–48, 150–51, 152–53, 296–97, 511–13, 516, 521, 529, 531–33 ExxonMobil and, 220–23, 404–5, 521 Human Rights Watch, 106, 152, 220–21, 222, 405, 531–32 Humble Oil and Refining, 3, 36, 61, 77, 608 Humphreys, Donald, 493 Hungary, 17, 587 Hunt, Hunter L., 569 Hunt, Ray L., 569–70 Hunt Oil, 568–71, 622 Hurricane Katrina, 319 Hurricane Rita, 319 Hurtt, Adrienne, 45 Hushka, Leslie, 481 Hussein, Saddam, 59, 227, 228, 230, 232, 360, 440, 558, 561, 564, 574 Hutchison, Kay Bailey, 335 Hutto, F. Chase,, III, 304–5 Hutton, Keith, 589 hydraulic fracturing, 580–81 hydrocarbons, classes of, 127 hydrogen, 437, 444–45 I.B.M., 19, 318 Ibrahim, Khalil, 357 Ijaw Patriotic Front, 456 Immelt, Jeffrey, 180 Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S., 526 Imperial Oil, 544 Inconvenient Truth, An (film), 337 India, 224, 257, 303, 310, 324, 415, 420, 422, 440, 457, 512, 559, 618, 620 Indonesia, 20, 59, 62, 93–94, 95, 99–100, 102, 104, 107, 112–13, 114–15, 116, 197, 232, 351, 352, 364, 415, 419, 636n John Doe lawsuit and, 120, 399–406, 621 2004 tsunami in, 402–7 see also Aceh war Indonesian National Army, see T.N.I.


pages: 398 words: 105,032

Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve And/or Ruin Everything by Kelly Weinersmith, Zach Weinersmith

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, connected car, double helix, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Google Glasses, hydraulic fracturing, industrial robot, information asymmetry, Kickstarter, low earth orbit, market design, megastructure, microbiome, moral hazard, multiplanetary species, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, personalized medicine, placebo effect, Project Plowshare, QR code, Schrödinger's Cat, self-driving car, Skype, stem cell, Tunguska event

The nascent environmental movement opposed them, and given the bureaucracy required to get a nuclear weapon to a test site, atomic bombs weren’t saving much, if any, money compared to conventional bombs. And in any case, they hadn’t produced much of use. Their biggest development was liberated natural gas, but companies weren’t too keen on trying to market gas that’s only a teensy bit more radioactive than average. Moreover, in what has to be one of the more ironic turns in all of history, the invention of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) midcentury undercut the idea of using atomic power to release natural gas. Tell this to your environmentalist friend if you want to break her brain. Adding to the irony, the ever-more-expensive war in Vietnam made funding less available to nuclear tests for fun and profit. So yeah, you may have been spared from a more radioactive world thanks to . . . fracking and Vietnam. Over the course of the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s, the danger posed by radiation became better and better understood, and people become more concerned not just about the quantity of radiation, but also the type.

., 81 homosexuality, 310 house-building factory, 135 houses: programmable, 126 reconfigurable, 109–11 housing, 134–37, 157 complexity of, 137 inspection of, 145–46 Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 212 Hull, Richard, 80, 82, 84, 92 human genome, 214, 234–35 Human Genome Project, 220 Human Metabolome Database, 244 Huntington’s disease, 196n, 237 Hussein, Saddam, 48, 49 hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), 99 “Hydrocolloid Printing: A Novel Platform for Customized Food Production” (2009 paper), 162 hydrogen, 4, 73–76, 78, 79, 94, 208–9 hydrogen bombs, 98, 100 hydrogen sulfide, 327 HygroScope, 104 hypertension, 246 hypocholesterolemia, 246 hypothalamus, 189 Hypurin, 198n Ice Age, 223 iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine), 216 IKEA, 129, 137 Illinois, University of: at Urbana-Champaign, 182 Veterinary School at, 184 Illusio, 185 immune system, 207, 238, 241–42 organ transplants and, 258–59 immunosuppressive drugs, 258–59, 275 immunotherapy, 242 income distribution, 154 Industrial Revolution, 154 inertial confinement fusion, 86–87 infinite universes, 329, 330 information asymmetry, 181 Innovega, 176 Instagram, 247, 250 Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, 151 insulin, 198, 207 insurance, 250 Interactive Robogami, 108 international arms trade, 48 International Space Station, 15–16, 41, 42–43 Internet, 109, 122, 216, 262, 269 intracortical neural recording, 295–99 Iowa State University, 179 iPhone, 216 Iraq, 48, 49–50 iron, 54 irritable bowel syndrome, 206 isopropanol, 208–9 isotopes, 73–74 ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor), 88–89, 91–94 ivacaftor, 236, 248 Japan, 136 JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), 65 J.


pages: 417 words: 109,367

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

3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Asilomar, autonomous vehicles, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, Climatic Research Unit, Commodity Super-Cycle, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Attenborough, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic transition, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, double helix, energy security, failed state, financial independence, Gary Taubes, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Induced demand, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, knowledge economy, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, peak oil, Peter Calthorpe, 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: 390 words: 109,870

Radicals Chasing Utopia: Inside the Rogue Movements Trying to Change the World by Jamie Bartlett

Andrew Keen, back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Boris Johnson, brain emulation, centre right, clean water, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, drone strike, Elon Musk, energy security, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, failed state, gig economy, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, life extension, Occupy movement, off grid, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, QR code, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rosa Parks, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart contracts, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism

But what if Nimbyism served as a way into activism, piercing the subculture and turning activism into a mass hobby rather than an elite sport? A mass movement of Nimbys might sound like an oxymoron, but it’s already happening. In several Western democracies—notably the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom—there is a fast-growing crusade of people who are helping to tackle a global issue: the anti-frackers. ‘Fracking’ is shorthand for hydraulic fracturing, the process of blasting a mix of water, sand and chemicals at shale rocks hundreds of metres underground. Tiny fissures in the rocks contain trapped gas, and the process releases that gas into pipes, and on to a refinery. In the United States, where this industry is most advanced, fracking makes up roughly half of all gas extraction, has created thousands of jobs and driven down energy prices.16 It turns out the United Kingdom has potentially enormous reserves of shale gas deep underground too, and since 2008 the British government has awarded dozens of licences to companies to start exploratory drilling.

‘Supply and consumption of coal’, ‘Chapter Two: Solid fuels and derived gases’, in the Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics (DUKES), Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/solid-fuels-and-derived-gases-chapter-2-digest-of-united-kingdom-energy-statistics-dukes. 15. Astra Taylor, ‘Against activism’, Baffler 30, 2016, https://thebaffler.com/salvos/against-activism. 16. ‘Hydraulic fracturing accounts for about half of current U.S. crude oil production’, U.S. Energy Information Administration, 15 March 2016, http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=25372; ‘Frequently asked questions: How much shale gas is produced in the United States’, Energy Information Administration, 13 February 2017, http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=907&t=8. 17. Estimates as to the volume of available gas has varied, although it is certainly billions of cubic feet, and the Institute of Directors has suggested the industry could create 74,000 jobs, although this is highly speculative (and disputed).


pages: 395 words: 116,675

The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge by Matt Ridley

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, AltaVista, altcoin, anthropic principle, anti-communist, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Columbian Exchange, computer age, Corn Laws, cosmological constant, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of DNA, Donald Davies, double helix, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Edward Snowden, endogenous growth, epigenetics, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, falling living standards, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, George Santayana, Gunnar Myrdal, Henri Poincaré, hydraulic fracturing, imperial preference, income per capita, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, land reform, Lao Tzu, long peace, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, Necker cube, obamacare, out of africa, packet switching, peer-to-peer, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, price mechanism, profit motive, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, smart contracts, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, twin studies, uber lyft, women in the workforce

There’s a much stronger flow the other way: new technologies give academics things to study. An example: in recent years it has become fashionable to argue that the hydraulic fracturing technology that made the shale-gas revolution possible originated in government-sponsored research, and was handed on a plate to industry. A report by California’s Breakthrough Institute noted that microseismic imaging was developed by the federal Sandia National Laboratory, and ‘proved absolutely essential for drillers to navigate and site their boreholes’, which led Nick Steinsberger, an engineer at Mitchell Energy, to develop the technique called ‘slickwater fracking’. To find out if this was true, I spoke to one of hydraulic fracturing’s principal pioneers, Chris Wright, whose company Pinnacle Technologies reinvented fracking in the late 1990s in a way that unlocked the vast gas resources in the Barnett shale, in and around Forth Worth, Texas.


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

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

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: 514 words: 152,903

The Best Business Writing 2013 by Dean Starkman

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

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.


Growth: From Microorganisms to Megacities by Vaclav Smil

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, agricultural Revolution, air freight, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, colonial rule, complexity theory, coronavirus, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, endogenous growth, energy transition, epigenetics, happiness index / gross national happiness, hydraulic fracturing, hydrogen economy, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, Law of Accelerating Returns, longitudinal study, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, megastructure, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, old age dependency ratio, optical character recognition, out of africa, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, Productivity paradox, profit motive, purchasing power parity, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Republic of Letters, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, technoutopianism, the market place, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, trade route, urban sprawl, Vilfredo Pareto, yield curve

Pre-WWII extraction of natural gas was overwhelmingly an American affair, but between 1950 and 2000 global output grew 11-fold as the Soviet Union surpassed US production and as Canada, the North Sea, Netherlands, and Australia emerged as major producers (Smil 2015b). The logistic fit of post-1870 global gas extraction has its inflection point in 1994 and output in 2050 only 25% above the 2015 level (figure 5.15). This looks like an underestimate of the most likely extraction. Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing made the US, once again, the world’s largest natural gas producer, and moreover one with long-term aspirations to become also the world’s largest exporter of LNG. The growth of Russian and Chinese production, increased LNG exports from Qatar and Australia, and the entry of Iran into the global LNG market will combine to lift output considerably: as a result, Exxon forecasts a 50% rise between 2015 and 2040 and the new policies scenario of the International Energy Agency had a similar target, with a 46% rise by 2040.

As for energy supply, the US was the world’s largest producer of coal until 1983 (when China became the leader), the world’s largest producer of crude oil until 1976 (when the Soviet Union assumed the lead), and the world’s largest producer of natural gas until 1983 (due to the Soviet advances). I must add that the latter two lost primacies were recently regained as a result of widespread deployment of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. US statistics allow us to reconstruct more than two centuries of economic growth. Average annual growth of real (inflation-adjusted, with GDP deflator set to 2009 US$) US GDP rose from 3.88% during the first half of the 19th century to 4.31% during the second half, with corresponding per capita rates at 0.85% and 1.89% (Johnston and Williamson 2017). During the slowdown in the first four decades of the 20th century, the average was 2.85% (1.2%/capita) between 1901 and 1929, and the 1930s (with steep economic decline during the decade’s first half) still ended up with an expanded economy and with annual growth averaging 2.08% and 1.38% per capita.

If in 1980 you entered the US crude oil extraction data for the entire 20th century and calculated the total annual output expected in 2008 you would have made only about a 6% error as US crude oil extraction continued its long-predicted decline (figure 6.1, top). But the year 2008 turned out to be a turning point as subsequent output began to rise rapidly thanks to the innovative combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing of America’s plentiful hydrocarbon-bearing shales. Figure 6.1 US crude oil extraction forecast based on the 1900–1980 trajectory, and actual 1900–2018 performance. Data from USBC (1975) and USEIA (2019). In 2015—when output, if it were to follow the normal curve decline, was due to be back to the level reached in 1940—US crude oil production rose nearly 90% above the 2008 low and missed the 1970 extraction record by only about 2%, resulting in a new bimodal extraction curve (figure 6.1, bottom).


pages: 692 words: 167,950

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

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

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: 221 words: 68,880

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

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, Boris Johnson, business cycle, car-free, hydraulic fracturing, if you build it, they will come, Induced demand, 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: 227 words: 71,675

Rules for Revolutionaries: How Big Organizing Can Change Everything by Becky Bond, Zack Exley

battle of ideas, Bernie Sanders, call centre, centre right, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, declining real wages, Donald Trump, family office, fixed income, full employment, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, immigration reform, income inequality, Kickstarter, mass incarceration, Naomi Klein, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, plutocrats, Plutocrats, randomized controlled trial, Skype, telemarketer, union organizing

Zack Malitz grew up in Austin, Texas, but went to college at CUNY in New York City and became deeply involved in his adopted state’s antifracking movement. I met Zack back in 2012, when CREDO was searching for a new environmental organizer. He was twenty-four years old back then but had a pragmatic idealism rarely seen in activists his age. We hired him to lead CREDO’s members in the fight against hydraulic fracturing, and he soon established himself as one of the nation’s foremost antifracking activists. Soon after I left CREDO for the Bernie campaign, Texas Zack talked his way onto his home state’s Bernie operation. At the Bernie headquarters in Austin, he put in fourteen-hour days on the campaign, punctuated by coffee, which eventually faded into Lone Star tall boys at a café/bar near the office called Rio Rita.


pages: 238 words: 73,121

Does Capitalism Have a Future? by Immanuel Wallerstein, Randall Collins, Michael Mann, Georgi Derluguian, Craig Calhoun, Stephen Hoye, Audible Studios

affirmative action, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, butterfly effect, creative destruction, deindustrialization, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, distributed generation, eurozone crisis, fiat currency, full employment, Gini coefficient, global village, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Isaac Newton, job automation, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, land tenure, liberal capitalism, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, loose coupling, low skilled workers, market bubble, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, means of production, mega-rich, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, Ponzi scheme, postindustrial economy, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, too big to fail, transaction costs, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks

If they become increasingly unstable, the repercussions will be major. Nigeria, long a prime example of the “resource curse,” appears to have begun a more successful but still fraught path to development. Several Latin American countries are significant oil exporters and some, like Brazil, are also emerging powers. The United States has reduced its dependence on international energy sources partly by investments during the financial crisis, including new hydraulic fracturing technologies. New capacity to extract oil and gas from shale is perhaps the clearest example of a possible technological fix to one of the major threats to the future of capital accumulation (more so than “greener” technologies that so far have proved harder to scale up proportionately to energy demand). But the technological fix brings new environmental concerns. And capitalism remains deeply entangled in global energy and resource politics.


pages: 249 words: 79,740

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

airport security, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business cycle, continuation of politics by other means, creative destruction, 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: 286 words: 87,401

Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies by Reid Hoffman, Chris Yeh

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, bitcoin, blockchain, Bob Noyce, business intelligence, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, database schema, discounted cash flows, Elon Musk, Firefox, forensic accounting, George Gilder, global pandemic, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, hydraulic fracturing, Hyperloop, inventory management, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, late fees, Lean Startup, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Oculus Rift, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, speech recognition, stem cell, Steve Jobs, subscription business, Tesla Model S, thinkpad, transaction costs, transport as a service, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, uber lyft, web application, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator, yellow journalism

Chesapeake’s cofounders, the late Aubrey McClendon and his partner Tom Ward, didn’t have the usual industry background in exploration or refining. Instead of working drilling rigs or operating refineries, McClendon and Ward were “land men,” specialists who went out into the field to negotiate mineral rights leases with landowners. This expertise would be key to their blitzscaling effort. In the late 1990s, the combination of horizontal drilling and improved hydraulic fracturing techniques (fracking) made extracting hydrocarbons from shale rock formations economically feasible for the first time. Essentially, energy companies could drill horizontal shafts into rock formations and then pump high-pressure liquids into the wells to fracture the rock and release more oil and gas. Because traditional drilling techniques didn’t work on shale rock formations, the land above those formations had never been leased, which meant that when fracking made those hydrocarbons accessible for the first time, the market to acquire those mineral rights was completely wide open.


pages: 307 words: 82,680

A Pelican Introduction: Basic Income by Guy Standing

bank run, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Black Swan, Boris Johnson, British Empire, centre right, collective bargaining, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial intermediation, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gunnar Myrdal, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, intangible asset, job automation, job satisfaction, Joi Ito, labour market flexibility, land value tax, libertarian paternalism, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, mass incarceration, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, open economy, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precariat, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, rent control, rent-seeking, Sam Altman, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, Stephen Hawking, The Future of Employment, universal basic income, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce, working poor, Y Combinator, Zipcar

More than half these sums would be a charge on overseas owners.36 This writer has proposed a levy on rental income from private ownership and exploitation of all types of property – physical, financial and intellectual – that would be used to build the fund.37 The governance structure would need to be democratic and run on ethical principles, ensuring inter-generational equity by making the fund sustainable long after revenue sources have been depleted. The importance of ethical governance, exemplified by the Norwegian Pension Fund, is highlighted by a deplorable UK government proposal in 2016 to set up a Shale Wealth Fund.38 The fund would receive up to 10 per cent of the revenue generated by fracking (hydraulic fracturing) for shale gas, which could amount to as much as £1 billion over twenty-five years. This would be paid out to communities hosting fracking sites, which could decide to use the money for local projects or distribute it to households in cash. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that this is a bribe to secure local approval of environmentally threatening fracking operations, to which there has been considerable public opposition.


pages: 326 words: 91,559

Everything for Everyone: The Radical Tradition That Is Shaping the Next Economy by Nathan Schneider

1960s counterculture, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Mechanical Turk, back-to-the-land, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, disruptive innovation, do-ocracy, Donald Knuth, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Food sovereignty, four colour theorem, future of work, gig economy, Google bus, hydraulic fracturing, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, means of production, multi-sided market, new economy, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, post-work, precariat, premature optimization, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, Richard Florida, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, smart contracts, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, transaction costs, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, underbanked, undersea cable, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, working poor, Y Combinator, Y2K, Zipcar

Why would the kind of company matter? More than a century later, here I am. I was raised back east, lived on both coasts, and then wound up moving—returning—from New York City to Colorado with my wife and our unborn son, who would enter the world an hour’s drive from the nameless spot where my grandfather did. Compared to what it was in his time, Colorado is another kind of place, a land of ski resorts and hydraulic fracturing and tech startups. Cooperative business shores up the area’s burgeoning affluence—the mortgage-lending credit unions, the babysitting time-banks, the consumer-owned REI stores for skiwear and climbing gear. High-country electric co-ops helped plan out some of the famous resort towns. But Colorado is still a place where people have to create an economy of their own to get by. When I take a ride with an East African driver-owner of Green Taxi or meet a child-care co-op member who speaks only Spanish, I remember my grandfather’s immigrant parents a century earlier.


pages: 327 words: 90,542

The Age of Stagnation: Why Perpetual Growth Is Unattainable and the Global Economy Is in Peril by Satyajit Das

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

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


pages: 323 words: 90,868

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

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Airbnb, American energy revolution, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, creative destruction, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, disruptive innovation, 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, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, 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, Marc Andreessen, mass immigration, means of production, new economy, performance metric, pets.com, post-work, 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 Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, 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

active measures, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, business cycle, business process, buy and hold, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, discounted cash flows, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, double entry bookkeeping, Exxon Valdez, financial innovation, fixed income, hydraulic fracturing, index fund, information asymmetry, intangible asset, inventory management, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, 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.


pages: 372 words: 94,153

More From Less: The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources – and What Happens Next by Andrew McAfee

back-to-the-land, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, Corn Laws, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Rosling, humanitarian revolution, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Khan Academy, Landlord’s Game, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, market fundamentalism, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, precision agriculture, profit maximization, profit motive, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, telepresence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Veblen good, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog, World Values Survey

Peak oil captured the idea that despite our best efforts and ample incentive, we would come to a time after which we would only be able to extract less and less oil year after year from the earth. Most of the estimates summarized in the GAO report found that peak oil would occur no later than 2040. The report did not mention fracking, which in retrospect looks like a serious omission. Fracking is short for “hydraulic fracturing” and is a means of obtaining oil and natural gas from rock formations lying deep underground. It uses a high-pressure fluid to cause fractures in the rock, through which oil and gas can flow and be extracted. The United States and other countries have long been known to have huge reserves of hydrocarbons in deep rock formations, which are often called shales. Companies had been experimenting with fracking to get at them since the middle of the twentieth century, but had made little progress.


pages: 322 words: 89,523

Ecovillages: Lessons for Sustainable Community by Karen T. Litfin

active transport: walking or cycling, agricultural Revolution, back-to-the-land, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, collaborative consumption, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, corporate social responsibility, glass ceiling, global village, hydraulic fracturing, megacity, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, planetary scale, publish or perish, Silicon Valley, the built environment, the scientific method, The Spirit Level, urban planning, Zipcar

US oil production peaked in 1970, and other countries are now reaching theirs. Most analysts put the date for world peak oil somewhere between 2005 and 2015. Current oil production has indeed plateaued, lending credence to the idea that peak oil is on schedule. A key consequence of “peak oil” is that more energy is required to extract the last half of the oil. Methods like steam injection, fluid injection, and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) are now being deployed to squeeze out the last bits of oil and gas. This has made metrics like EREOI (energy returned on energy invested) increasingly salient. An EROEI of 100 means the extracted oil has a hundred times the energy that was used to extract it. As EROEI declines, the payoffs dwindle – unless, of course, production is subsidized. Around 1900, EROEI for US oil was as high as 1,200.


pages: 463 words: 105,197

Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society by Eric Posner, E. Weyl

3D printing, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, anti-communist, augmented reality, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, business process, buy and hold, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, commoditize, Corn Laws, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, endowment effect, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, feminist movement, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Akerlof, global supply chain, guest worker program, hydraulic fracturing, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, index fund, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jean Tirole, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, Landlord’s Game, liberal capitalism, low skilled workers, Lyft, market bubble, market design, market friction, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, negative equity, Network effects, obamacare, offshore financial centre, open borders, Pareto efficiency, passive investing, patent troll, Paul Samuelson, performance metric, plutocrats, Plutocrats, pre–internet, random walk, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Rory Sutherland, Second Machine Age, second-price auction, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, special economic zone, spectrum auction, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, telepresence, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, Vanguard fund, women in the workforce, Zipcar

Furthermore, control of everything would be radically decentralized; a COST thus combines extreme decentralization of power with partial socialization of ownership, showing that they are, perhaps surprisingly, two sides of the same coin. Far from creating a form of centralized planning, the COST creates a new kind of market—a flexible market in uses, to replace the old market based on permanent ownership. Brass Tacks Imagine that you want to develop gas resources through hydraulic fracturing. A large swath of land deep in the Canadian Rockies looks promising. You open an app on your cell phone and enter your requirements: the desired size of the territory, the spots within it that research has indicated will be most productive, their proximity to roads, and their topographic characteristics. In an instant, the app displays a map of the area you are interested in with spots numbered in order of how well they meet your criteria—a process like searching for restaurants on Yelp.


pages: 372 words: 101,678

Lessons from the Titans: What Companies in the New Economy Can Learn from the Great Industrial Giants to Drive Sustainable Success by Scott Davis, Carter Copeland, Rob Wertheimer

3D printing, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, airport security, barriers to entry, business cycle, business process, clean water, commoditize, coronavirus, corporate governance, COVID-19, Covid-19, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, factory automation, global pandemic, hydraulic fracturing, Internet of things, iterative process, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Marc Andreessen, megacity, Network effects, new economy, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, random walk, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, skunkworks, software is eating the world, strikebreaker, Toyota Production System, Uber for X, winner-take-all economy

Copper prices that had been flat for 20 years reached new highs, then doubled, and rose 50 percent again after that. Gold prices reached prior highs as well. The price of metallurgical coal, used to make steel, rose more than five times. These are precisely the sorts of unpredictable compounding factors that can make demand for equipment explode. The surge in mining demand came alongside not only a rise in oil prices but also a structural shift in how oil was extracted. Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” of wells was becoming far more important than drilling holes. Wells had been fracked for many decades, sometimes with dynamite and once with a 43-kiloton nuclear bomb (1969, in Rulison, Colorado), but widespread horizontal drilling and fracking of wells as a primary strategy was new. Fracking has mostly been confined to North America, but it has provided most of the world’s incremental oil and gas for the past decade, and very quickly it started to displace investments elsewhere.


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

addicted to oil, big-box store, clean water, cognitive dissonance, energy security, Exxon Valdez, hydraulic fracturing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jones Act, 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: 425 words: 117,334

City on the Verge by Mark Pendergrast

big-box store, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, crowdsourcing, desegregation, edge city, Edward Glaeser, global village, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, jitney, liberation theology, mass incarceration, McMansion, New Urbanism, openstreetmap, Richard Florida, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, transatlantic slave trade, transit-oriented development, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, young professional

As late as 1999, only 41 percent of summer days had good or moderate air quality. By 2014, 95 percent featured decent air quality. Although power generation had gone steadily up, greenhouse gas emissions were declining, due in large part to Georgia Power’s switching from coal to natural gas—not necessarily great news for the environment, since the cheaper gas came from fracking (underground hydraulic fracturing). Tougher standards had also reduced automobile emissions. Michael Chang, a Georgia Tech professor who has served on a team monitoring Atlanta air quality since 1996, told me that they recorded the last Code Purple day (“very unhealthy”) in 2002. “We reached a turning point in 2004, when most coal plants and industrial boilers finally complied with the Clean Air Act.” He believes that as the metro area swells to a predicted 8 million people in thirty years, tighter standards will result in lower emissions.


pages: 396 words: 117,897

Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization by Vaclav Smil

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, additive manufacturing, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, British Empire, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, energy transition, Fellow of the Royal Society, global pandemic, Haber-Bosch Process, happiness index / gross national happiness, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), James Watt: steam engine, megacity, megastructure, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, post-industrial society, purchasing power parity, recommendation engine, rolodex, X Prize

Annual consumption has recently fluctuated around 25 Mt/year: about 40% of this total is pure silica used in glassmaking, and a fifth goes to foundries to make moldings and refractories as well as silicon carbide for flux and metal smelting. Smaller but functionally irreplaceable uses include abrasives used in blasting and sanding, sands for water filtration, and sands for creating artificial beaches and sporting areas. A new, and rapidly rising, market is for the special kinds of sands used in hydraulic fracturing of gas- and oil-bearing shales, well-packing, and cementing. Other materials aggregated by the USGS into the heterogeneous group of industrial minerals include elements (carbon in the form of graphite and diamonds, boron, bromine, hafnium, helium, lithium, nitrogen, sulfur, strontium, zirconium) as well as both abundant (phosphate, potash, salt) and relatively rare (gemstones, industrial garnet, quartz crystal) compounds.


pages: 424 words: 119,679

It's Better Than It Looks: Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear by Gregg Easterbrook

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, air freight, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, coronavirus, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Exxon Valdez, factory automation, failed state, full employment, Gini coefficient, Google Earth, Home mortgage interest deduction, hydraulic fracturing, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, Indoor air pollution, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, labor-force participation, liberal capitalism, longitudinal study, Lyft, mandatory minimum, manufacturing employment, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum wage unemployment, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post scarcity, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, reserve currency, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, short selling, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, supervolcano, The Chicago School, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, uber lyft, universal basic income, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, working poor, Works Progress Administration

That Washington-based (and Brussels-based) ministries do not do this, rather, hire Experts who are paid to cry doom, places public comprehension of resources often in error. Before leaving office in 1981, Carter, a pragmatic moderate, deregulated oil and gas. Supply increased so rapidly that the price-maintenance cartel of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries broke, ending a monopoly that once seemed invincible. In years to come engineering advances such as three-dimensional seismology, horizontal drilling, and hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) would make production of oil and natural gas practical from shale deposits, which are common in North America, while exploration of the Bakken Formation of the Dakotas, Montana, and Saskatchewan led to discovery of substantial reserves. No government agency performed the research that led to these developments—which is why they happened! Government-led attempts to increase oil and gas supplies resulted in costly white-elephant facilities that spent vast amounts to produce mere drops of petroleum substitute.


pages: 448 words: 142,946

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

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

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: 428 words: 134,832

Straphanger by Taras Grescoe

active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, Albert Einstein, big-box store, bike sharing scheme, Boris Johnson, British Empire, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, City Beautiful movement, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, David Brooks, deindustrialization, East Village, edge city, Enrique Peñalosa, extreme commuting, financial deregulation, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, indoor plumbing, intermodal, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, jitney, Joan Didion, Kickstarter, Kitchen Debate, laissez-faire capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, mortgage tax deduction, Network effects, New Urbanism, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, peak oil, pension reform, Peter Calthorpe, Ponzi scheme, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, Skype, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, transit-oriented development, union organizing, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, working poor, young professional, Zipcar

The long-feared arrival of peak oil has been delayed, at least for the time being. What we are now experiencing is a new phenomenon: the onset of the era of peak cheap oil. As old, easily accessed fields are sucked dry, oil from such unconventional sources as Alberta’s tar sands is coming on line; the extraction process, which requires enormous amounts of water and natural gas, is energy-intensive and punishing to the environment. Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” in which highly toxic chemicals are used to extract natural gas and oil from shale deposits, is already a suspected cause of groundwater contamination and even earthquakes across North America. The Deepwater Horizon spill, which blackened the Gulf of Mexico with 200 million gallons of oil over three months in 2010, highlighted the desperate measures already being taken to track down the planet’s last remaining reserves of conventional oil.


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

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

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: 524 words: 155,947

More: The 10,000-Year Rise of the World Economy by Philip Coggan

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, airline deregulation, Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, Columbine, Corn Laws, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency peg, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, germ theory of disease, German hyperinflation, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global value chain, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, hydraulic fracturing, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflation targeting, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kenneth Arrow, Kula ring, labour market flexibility, land reform, land tenure, Lao Tzu, large denomination, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Blériot, low cost airline, low skilled workers, lump of labour, M-Pesa, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mittelstand, moral hazard, Murano, Venice glass, Myron Scholes, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, popular capitalism, popular electronics, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, railway mania, Ralph Nader, regulatory arbitrage, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special drawing rights, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, TaskRabbit, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, V2 rocket, Veblen good, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

In the 1990s, a few enterprising wildcatters had attempted to release gas from rock formations deep below the ground in America. Vertical drilling did not work on these formations so the wildcatters worked out a method of horizontal drilling, with the drill entering the ground at an angle and then gradually curving round. The rock is then fractured, or broken up, by blasting it with various liquids. The term hydraulic fracturing became shortened to “fracking”. One of the pioneering groups was Mitchell Energy, which found vast gas reserves in the Barnett field in Texas.37 Other fields, like the Marcellus shale in the north-east region and the Caney field in Oklahoma, were developed in the 2000s. Fracking made an enormous difference to the US energy market, after a long period when the country was dependent on imported fuels.


pages: 558 words: 168,179

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

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Bakken shale, bank run, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, centre right, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, collective bargaining, corporate raider, crony capitalism, David Brooks, desegregation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, energy security, estate planning, Fall of the Berlin Wall, George Gilder, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, job automation, low skilled workers, mandatory minimum, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, Mont Pelerin Society, More Guns, Less Crime, Nate Silver, New Journalism, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Powell Memorandum, Ralph Nader, Renaissance Technologies, road to serfdom, Robert Mercer, 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.


Lonely Planet Ireland by Lonely Planet

bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bike sharing scheme, Bob Geldof, British Empire, carbon footprint, Celtic Tiger, credit crunch, G4S, glass ceiling, global village, haute cuisine, hydraulic fracturing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jacquard loom, Kickstarter, land reform, reserve currency, sustainable-tourism, young professional

Polls seem to indicate the Irish are slightly less concerned about the environment than the citizens of most other European countries, and the country is a long way from meeting its Kyoto Protocol requirement for reduced emissions. The government isn't pushing the environmental agenda much beyond ratifying EU agreements, although it must be said that these have established fairly ambitious goals for reduced air pollution and tighter management of water quality. FRACKING Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is banned in both the Republic and Northern Ireland. There's been great interest in the shale-rich areas of the Northwest Ireland Carboniferous Basin, roughly covering parts of counties Leitrim, Roscommon, Sligo, Cavan, Donegal and Fermanagh, with pro-fracking groups lobbying hard for the exploitation of the area's reserves of shale gas, but a 2016 report by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that while many of the environmental problems related to the process could be overcome, not enough was known to ensure the protection of human health.