oil shale / tar sands

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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 company has previously constructed the same facilities for tar sands extraction in Canada.) ATP mining in Jordan would be the first large commercial application of tar sands extraction technologies to the mining of oil shale, though smaller plants do already exist in China and Australia. Perhaps even more ominous is the projected oil shale-fired electrical power plant, designed by Estonia-based Eesti Energia, which is slated to be built near Attarat Um Ghudran, southeast of Amman. Estonia is home to the oldest successful oil shale industry, the largest oil shale electricity-generating power plant, and the largest oil shale mine on the planet. The proposed power plant near Attarat Um Ghudran would be the second-largest oil shale-fuelled power plant.21 There is also a proposal for an open pit mine to extract kerogen-based oil at this same location, using Petrobras’s kerogen extraction technology (known as “Petrosix,” which is currently used in the south of Brazil) in concert with mining techniques used by TOTAL in the tar sands of Alberta.22 Foreign investment and technologies are crucial to the materialization of these various projects in Jordan, as Brazil, Estonia, and China are the only countries operating commercial plants converting kerogen to oil, gas, and jet fuel.

The movement in Quebec has the chance to achieve more than just blocking tar sands pipeline projects in the province. It could set an inspiring international precedent by winning a moratorium on the exploitation and shipment of all extreme fossil fuels, extending the existing moratorium on shale gas by adding to it both tar sands and oil shale, which companies are exploring on Anticosti Island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It is a positive sign that the Regroupement interrégional gaz de schiste de la vallée du St-Laurent—the anti-shale gas coalition that includes more than a hundred citizen groups—has changed its mandate to actively oppose all extreme energy sources, including the tar sands pipelines. For now, the anti–tar sands movement in the province awaits the kind of proactive strategy that was provided for the anti-shale gas movement by the grassroots group Moratoire d’une génération (One-Generation Moratorium).

Such extreme extraction has also come with considerable confusion, as there is a fundamental difference between fracking for “tight” oil and mining for oil shale, or kerogen. Fracking is a procedure that releases normal liquid crude and natural gas from formations of shale that were impossible to recover prior to new fracking technologies. In the case of fracked oil, the crude oil itself is not from shale, which is why “tight oil” is more accurate than shale oil, as it is sometimes referred to (“tight” oil should be read as code for fracking). Oil shale, on the other hand, describes rocks that are fused with kerogen and set in geological formations similar to tar sands bitumen. Much like bitumen, kerogen is a proto-crude oil, in that it is essentially a building block that can be processed into crude oil after being mined or extracted in situ using vast quantities of energy (for heating) and often tremendous amounts of water to separate the proto-oil from the bearing rock.


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

They were joined by conservative Nebraska landowners, afraid of risks posed by a pipeline that would run through their backyards. The disparate group had tapped into something much deeper than concern about a single pipeline. “We’ve got to get off oil,” McKibben emphasized the day after his release. “We don’t need one more huge source of oil pouring in.”6 The sentiment made instinctive sense, and not only when it came to the tar sands. Americans were rapidly tapping into ever bigger pools of petroleum. The outer continental shelf, Alaska, tight oil, oil shale; each source of oil raised alarms when juxtaposed with increasing concerns “GAME OVER” • 83 about climate change, which scientists were confident was being accelerated by the carbon dioxide produced from burning fossil fuels. Massive deposits of shale gas, recently unlocked, had struck many similarly: there was nearly ten times more much carbon in the world’s gas fields than in the Alberta oil sands.7 The Sierra Club, which had campaigned to move “Beyond Coal” since 2002, added “Beyond Oil” after the BP spill in 2010 and then launched “Beyond Natural Gas” in 2012.

But the resultant price crash would be short-lived or would wipe out the financial viability of massive American oil production. Either way the climate impact would be limited. All of this, many scientists and advocates argue, misses something important: carbon emissions from new sources of oil are unusually high. The Canadian oil sands have come in for acute criticism on this front, and many fear U.S. oil shale could have similar problems too. Former Vice President Al Gore claimed for several years that “gasoline made “GAME OVER” • 97 from the tar sands gives a Toyota Prius the same impact on climate as a Hummer using gasoline made from oil.”28 His assertion rested on the fact that some oil sands operations produce three times the emissions of extracting conventional oil. But most emissions from oil come when it’s burned in your tank, not when it’s removed from the ground.

., 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.


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

“It could mean an end to agriculture and to the historic economic base of these rural communities.” A few hundred miles north of the Colorado oil shale fields, tension between oil and water has been growing since the discovery of vast deposits of tar sands, another source of synthetic crude oil, in Ontario and Alberta, Canada. Tar sand consists of quartzite, clay, water, and the “tar,” which is the heavy hydrocarbon bitumen (similar to what is found in shale oil). The first commercial operation to exploit it to produce oil was established in Alberta, in 1930. Today, Fort McMurray, a small town set among rippling hills on the Athabasca River, in northern Alberta, is a tar sands boomtown. Since the mid-1990s, residents have taken to calling it Fort McMoney because companies such as Royal Dutch Shell, Conoco-Phillips, Chevron, Imperial Oil (mostly owned by ExxonMobil), British Petroleum, Total, StatoilHydro of Norway, and Suncor have poured $150 billion into processing oil from the tar sands in a fifty-seven-thousand-square-mile area—a region almost the size of Florida.

org/pdf/9_24_10CWCWCcommentstEPA.pdf. 287 shale oil: Clifford Krauss, “New Way to Tap Gas May Expand Global Supplies,” New York Times, October 9, 2009. 288 shale formation under Colorado: Mike Soraghan, “BLM’s OK of oil-shale leases digs up concerns,” Denver Post, November 15, 2006. 288 retort 1.55 million barrels of shale oil per day: David O. Williams, “Oil giants have ‘cornered the market’ on Western Slope water rights, study says,” Colorado Independent, March 20, 2009. 288 In 2007 and 2008, Shell went on a buying spree: Ibid. 289 acquired 7.5 million acre-feet of water rights: Mark Jaffe, “Oil companies ‘corner’ Western Slope water rights,” Denver Post, March 18, 2009. 289 Karin Sheldon: David O. Williams, “Shell official confirms thirsty nature of oil shale, denies push to ‘corner water market,’ ” Colorado Independent, March 23, 2009. 289 deposits of tar sands: Elizabeth Kolbert, “Unconventional Crude,” New Yorker, November 12, 2007. 289 tar sands is the world’s largest energy project: John Loring, “Q&A: Energy Independence, Obama and Canada’s Oil Sands,” New York Times green blog, February 9, 2009. 290 Tree-ring studies show: Laura Nichol, “Tree Rings Tell Story of Ancient Droughts,” Natural Resources Canada, February 2009. 290 three to four barrels of freshwater: “Canada’s oil sands: Water”: http://www.canadasoilsands.ca/en/what-were-doing/water.aspx. 290 76 percent of the water taken from the Athabasca: “Water Depletion,” TarSandsWatch, Polaris Institute.org. 290 4.2 billion barrels a year: “Liquid Asset,” Polaris Institute. 290 Athabasca Chipewyan and Mikisew Cree Indians: “Pollution Flows Downstream,” ForestEthics: http://www.forestethics.org/downstream-from-the-tar-sands.

Since the mid-1990s, residents have taken to calling it Fort McMoney because companies such as Royal Dutch Shell, Conoco-Phillips, Chevron, Imperial Oil (mostly owned by ExxonMobil), British Petroleum, Total, StatoilHydro of Norway, and Suncor have poured $150 billion into processing oil from the tar sands in a fifty-seven-thousand-square-mile area—a region almost the size of Florida. These companies plan to invest an additional $75 billion in the region by 2012. The extraction of oil from Alberta’s tar sands is the world’s largest energy project and is expected to contribute nearly $1 trillion to Canada’s gross domestic product by 2020. The tar sands contain more oil than the fields of Kuwait, Norway, and Russia combined. If only 10 percent of Alberta’s deposits are actually tapped, they still represent the world’s second-largest oil reserve, after Saudi Arabia’s. By 2007, output from Alberta’s fields was topping a million barrels a day, making Canada the United States’s number one source of imported oil. By 2015, oil recovery from the tar sands is predicted to triple.


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

And these oil prices won’t fall until they trigger another global recession—one that will last much longer than just a few quarters. Of course, there is at least one group that’s content to see triple-digit prices, and that’s Big Oil. High prices are inspiring oilmen to scour the earth like never before. They’re drilling miles beneath the ocean floor, leveling boreal forests to dig up tar sands, and learning how to get at oil that’s trapped in shale rock. Meanwhile, Western governments are swarming around the Middle East, even launching a couple of military invasions, in a bid to get their hands on every last drop of the region’s treasure trove of oil before it too is sucked dry. The cost of tapping the extra energy we need to fuel our economies is mounting for both our wallets and the environment. Catastrophic environmental events, such as BP’s Macondo well leak in the Gulf of Mexico or the nuclear accident at Fukushima, are happening with alarming frequency.

That’s entirely understandable, but there’s an unavoidable obstacle that puts such ambitions out of reach: today’s oil isn’t flowing from the same places it did yesterday. More importantly, it’s not flowing at the same cost. That doesn’t mean there won’t be any more oil. New reserves are being found all the time in brand-new places. What the decline in conventional production does mean, though, is that future economic growth will be fueled by expensive oil from nonconventional sources such as the tar sands, offshore wells in the deep waters of the world’s oceans, and even oil shales, which come with a long list of environmental costs that range from carbon dioxide emissions to potential groundwater contamination. The arrival of these new sources of oil points to the same thing: oil will be getting more expensive. Where will that leave the global economy? Well, we know that when oil prices rise, economies eventually contract and roll over into a recession.

Triple-digit prices make it profitable to tap ever more expensive sources of oil, but the prices needed to pull this crude out of the ground will throw our economies right back into recession. What geologists don’t get is that peak oil isn’t about supply: higher prices will always fetch more oil supply. It may not be exactly what purists think of as oil, but hey, if it burns, it’ll do. Peak oil is really a demand phenomenon rooted in economics, not geology. It doesn’t matter if billions of barrels are waiting to be tapped in unconventional plays such as the tar sands or oil shales if the cost of extraction is beyond our capacity to pay. In other words, the only peak that matters is the one determined by what we can afford, not by how much we can drill. Potential oil resources are only meaningful if we have the money to actually pay for the fuel. Otherwise, who really cares if we can pump it out of the ground? The energy industry’s task is not simply to find oil, but to find stuff we can afford to burn.


pages: 217 words: 61,407

Twilight of Abundance: Why the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish, and Short by David Archibald

Bakken shale, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, deindustrialization, energy security, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), means of production, mutually assured destruction, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, out of africa, peak oil, price discovery process, rising living standards, sceptred isle, South China Sea, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, Yom Kippur War

In the interim, nuclear power could significantly enhance the production of fossil fuels. In the case of the Canadian tar sands, production of a barrel of bitumen requires the energy from burning natural gas that is the energy equivalent of one-fifth of a barrel of oil. At that rate, production of the 180 billion barrels of the Canadian tar sands reserves will use the energy equivalent of 36 billion barrels of oil. Nuclear power could provide steam and hydrogen for that process and save the natural gas for other purposes. So applying nuclear power to the Canadian tar sands industry would effectively create 36 billion barrels of fossil fuels. Similarly, processing of crude oil from the oil shales of the Green River Formation will require hydrogen best produced by electrolysis using power from nuclear reactors.

The rate of rise, which has been 15 percent per annum for the last decade, will accelerate as countries become desperate to buy their irreducible minimum requirement—what they need to grow and gather their food crops. We will have to sustain our civilization on what is left over. The oil price rise has resulted in some mitigating responses. Oil consumption in the United States is now down from its peak in 2005, which was also the year that world oil production peaked. Road deaths have also declined as people have driven more slowly. The oil price rise has allowed the development of oil and gas production from shales, and that shale production is making a useful contribution. But the decline in conventional U.S. oil production continues all the while. America is currently on a path to a wrenching transition to a very high oil price, and a widening trade deficit from that higher price. But it need not be on that path. America could choose to have a future in which diesel and gasoline are not much more expensive than they are now and the economy does not contract.

A more recent study by the National Petroleum Council includes an estimate of 2,500 TCF for the likely amount of shale gas that could be recovered at a cost of less than $10 per thousand cubic feet.5 The EIA shale gas resource estimate ranges from the energy-content equivalent of 70 billion barrels of oil at the low end to 182 billion at the high end, ten years’ and twenty-six years’ worth of oil consumption, respectively. Meanwhile, non-conventional oil production from shales has risen to 2.3 million barrels per day, on its way to perhaps 2.8 million barrels in 2016, about one-third of projected U.S. production in that year. But output from shale oil wells declines very rapidly. In the Bakken Formation of North Dakota’s Williston Basin, well-production rates decline to 15 percent of the initial flow rate by the third year of operation. Keeping the production rate up is a constant treadmill of drilling new wells.


pages: 311 words: 17,232

Living in a Material World: The Commodity Connection by Kevin Morrison

addicted to oil, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, clean water, commoditize, commodity trading advisor, computerized trading, diversified portfolio, Doha Development Round, Elon Musk, energy security, European colonialism, flex fuel, food miles, Hernando de Soto, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, hydrogen economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Kickstarter, Long Term Capital Management, new economy, North Sea oil, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, price mechanism, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transaction costs, uranium enrichment, young professional

Today’s equivalent of the North Sea oil fields – that is, oil supply from a politically stable region – is the Canadian tar sands, also known as oil sands. These are a combination of clay, sand, water and bitumen in a rock formation. Unlike conventional oil, which is drilled, tar sands near the surface are mined using open pit techniques, a common method normally used for large metal deposits. Once the rock is removed from the ground, the oil content, which is bitumen, has to be separated, from the clay, water and sand. The bitumen, a rather thick, gooey substance, is processed to make it more viscous so that it can be refined and turned into a liquid for use in our cars. The extra processes required to extract and refine tar sand compared with conventional oil add significantly to its cost. Only in recent years has it been economic to commercially exploit the deposits of tar and oil sands, found mainly in Canada and Venezuela.

Even now, the commercialization of this resource is decades away according to the National Petroleum Council, headed by former ExxonMobil chairman Lee Raymond. Oil prices around $100 a barrel, it is still hard for shale oil to be economic. One of the factors inhibiting the exploitation of shale oil is the amount of water required to extract it – an estimated 1.2 barrels of water for each barrel of shale oil. The US shale deposits are in dry areas where rainfall is minimal. ENERGY | 51 Developers of oil shale projects would therefore need to buy water rights – a complicated affair in Colorado, and the demand for water is becoming even more competitive with the expanding population in the Rocky Mountain region. US energy researchers have also experimented with the live form of algae. The US department of energy spent 20 years researching the prospect of turning algae into biodiesel, but found that it cost twice as much as making gasoline from crude oil (National Renewable Energy Laboratary, 1998).

Coal, for instance, has fewer joules per kilogram than the same weight in oil, making oil the favourite in terms of what you’re going to get out of the effort of finding and producing it. In fact, oil is superior to all other fossil fuels, which is why it is the most strategic of all energy. The weight of oil is 43 MJ per kilogram compared with 25.5 MJ for ethanol from grain, 24 MJ for coal, 18 MJ for wood and 4.4 MJ for oil shale (the small content of energy power contained in oil shale is one of the factors that have limited its commercial viability). 52 | LIVING IN A MATERIAL WORLD In terms of volume, a cubic metre of oil contains 35 000 MJ of energy, a cubic metre of coal around 27 500 MJ, ethanol about 20 000 MJ, and a cubic metre of gas only 35 MJ. Another point in oil’s favour is that it is a liquid, so it’s easier to transport and store.


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

Index AAR (Alfa-Access-Renova) Abengoa Abidjan, Ivory Coast Abramov, Alexander Abramovich, Roman Abu Dhabi Access Industries Adani, Gautam Adani Group Adaro Energy Addax & Oryx Group (AOG) Addax Petroleum Aden Aditya Birla Group Adriana Resources Afghanistan Africa general coal copper iron ore oil and gas uranium African Minerals African Rainbow Minerals Agarwal, Anil Ahearn, Michael Aircraft carriers Akpo field, Nigeria Aksai Chin Aksumite kingdom Al-Assad, Bashar Al-Falih, Khalid Al Thani, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Alasaka North Slope offshore reserves Albanese, Tom Alekperov, Vagit Alexandria, Egypt Alfa Group Alfa-Access-Renova (AAR) Algeria Aluminum, aluminium Aluminium Corp of China (Chinalco) Amazon River Ambani, Mukesh Amu Darya Amur and Ussuri Rivers Amyris Anadarko Basin Anadarko Petroleum Anben Iron & Steel Group Andersson, Martin Andes Aneka Tambang Anshan Iron & Steel Anglo American Angola Antarctic Antofagasta Minerals Apache Corp Apple Inc Applied Clean Tech Aquila Resources Arabian Sea Aral Sea ArcelorMittal Arch Coal Archer Daniels Midland Arctic, Arctic Circle, Arctic Ocean Areva Argentina Armenia Arrow Energy Arunachal Pradesh, India Asarco Asian Development Bank Aswan High Dam Ataturk Dam Athabasca Oil Sands Corp Athabasca oil/tar sands Athabaskan people Atlas Energy Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd (AECL) Atomredmetzoloto (ARMZ) Atyrau, Kazakhstan Australia Chinese investment in coal copper gas, LNG gold Indian investment in iron ore Japanese investment in rare earths uranium Australia Pacific LNG Azadegan oil field, Iran Azerbaijan Baffin Island, Baffinland Bakken shale field Baku Bakrie, Aburizal Baltic Sea Banco Bradesco Banco do Brasil Bangladesh Bashneft Baoshan Iron & Steel Baotou Barlow, Maude Barnett shale field Barrick Gold Batista, Eike Batista da Silva, Eliezer Bayan Obo Beas River Beihai Beijing Belgium Belo Monte Dam Belorusneft Ben Ali, Zine El-Abedine Bengal, Bay of Berau Coal Energy Berezovsky, Boris (also known as Platon Elenin) BG Group Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL) Bharuch, India BHP Billiton coal iron ore oil and gas Olympic Dam Pilbara shale uranium Biofuel ethanol Birla, Kumar M. Black Sea Blavatnik, Leonard Bogdanov, Vladimir Bohai Sea Bolivia Bontang, Indonesia Borneo Botswana Bouazizi, Mohammed BP Gulf of Mexico in Russia Brahmaputra River Brazil ethanol iron ore nuclear power, uranium oil and gas presalt Bridas Corp BrightSource Energy Brookings Institution Brunei Bryant, Robert BSG Group, BSG Resources Buenos Aires Buffett, Warren Bulgheroni, Carlos Bumi Resources Bunge Burma (Myanmar) Burundi BYD Co Cairo Caithness Energy Calderon, Felipe Calicut, India Cambodia Cameco Canada tar sands LNG shale nuclear power, uranium Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers Canadian Natural Resources Canadian Solar Inc Cantarell oil field, Mexico Carabobo, Venezuela Cargill Caribbean Sea Carrizo Oil & Gas Carroll, Cynthia Caspian Sea Cecil, Ronnie Central Asia Centre for Global Energy Studies Century Aluminium Cerrejon Ceyhan, Turkey Chad Chalco Changlang district, India Chatterji, Zohra Chavez, Hugo Chenab River Cheniere Energy Chesapeake Energy Chevron Chile copper lithium China 12th Five-Year Plan coal Communist Party copper iron ore investment abroad nuclear power oil and gas rare metals solar power water wind power China Coal Energy China Development Bank China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group (CGNPG) China Investment Corp (CIC) China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) China Metallurgical Group Corp China Metallurgical Mines Association China Minmetals China Mobile China National Coal Group China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) China Nonferrous Metal Mining Group Co (CNMC) China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec) China Railway Construction Corp China Railway Engineering Corp China Shenhua Coal China State Shipbuilding Corp Chinalco Chodiev, Patokh Chromium Chubu Electric Power Co Chung Joon-yang Chunxiao gas field CITIC Clinton, Bill Clinton, Hillary CNOOC Coal production clean technology metallurgical thermal Coal India Ltd Codelco Codexis COFCO Colombia Common Economic Space Comtec Solar Conde, Alpha Conga, Peru Congo, Democratic Republic (DRC) ConocoPhillips Cosmo Oil Consolidated Thompson Iron Ore Mines Conte, Lansana Copper Cosan Critical Materials Strategy report Cuba Cubapetroleo Currie, Jeffrey Curtis, Nicholas Cyprus Dadis Camara, Moussa Dalian (Port Arthur) D’Amato, Richard Danube River Daqing, China Datong Coal Dauphin, Claude Davis, Mick Daye Non-ferrous Metals Co (DNMC) De Beers DeKastri oil terminal De Margerie, Christophe De Turckheim, Eric Deng Xiaoping Denmark Deripaska, Oleg Diaoyutai (Senkaku islands) Disi-Saq aquifer Domen Kazunari DONG Energy Dongfang Turbine DP Clean Tech Drummond Co Du Plessis, Jan Dubai Dudley, Robert (Bob) Dunand, Marco Dutch East India Company (VOC) Eagle Ford shale field East China Sea East Prinovozemelsky field East Timor (Timor-Leste) EBX Ecuador EDF Elenin, Platon (Boris Berezovsky) Empresas Frisco Enbridge Encana Enercon Enex EngelInvest Group England Eni E.ON Equinox Minerals Erdenes-Tavan Tolgoi Eritrea Escondida mine, Chile Essar Oil Essar Steel Estonia Ethanol Ethiopia Eurasian Energy Corp Eurasian National Resources Corp Europe nuclear power solar power shale wind power European Union (EU) European Wind Energy Association Eurozone Evraz Group Exxon Neftegas ExxonMobil Falklands (Malvinas) Fan Shenggen Fayetteville shale Fedun, Leonid Ferghana Valley, Central Asia Ferreira, Murilo First Quantum First Solar Ford Motor Forrest, Andrew Fortescue Metals Group Foster, Maria das Gracas Silva Fosun International Fox, Josh Fracturing, “fracking” France nuclear power Freeport McMoRan Fresnillo Friedland, Robert Fridman, Mikhail Frolov, Alexander Fu Chengyu Fukushima Gabon Gaddafi, Muammar Galp Energia Gamesa Gandhi, Rahul Gandur, Jean Claude Ganges River Gangotri Glacier Gao Jifan Garnaut, Ross Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) Gazprom Gazprom Neft GCL Poly Energy Gecamines General Electric (GE) GE Wind Energy General Motors (GM) Germany nuclear power solar power wind power Gevo Ghawar oil field, Saudi Arabia Gidropress Gindalbie Metals Gladstone LNG Glasenberg, Ivan Glencore International Glencore Xstrata International Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) Gold Goldman, Arnold Goldman Sachs Google Gorgon LNG project Grasberg mine, Indonesia Great Artesian Basin Great Lakes Great Man-made River (GMR), Libya Greece Green Energy Technology Greenland Greenland Minerals and Energy Grupo Carso Grupo Mexico Guangzhou Guarani aquifer Guinea Gunvor Group Guodian United Power Technology Gutseriev, Mikhai Hainan island Hancock Coal, Hancock Prospecting Hansen Transmissions Hanwha Solarone Hasankeyf Haynesville shale field Hayward, Tony Hebei Iron & Steel Heilongjiang-Amur aquifer Himalayas Hindalco Hindustan Copper Hitachi Hokkaido Holland Hong Kong Hormuz, Strait of Houser, Trevor HRT Participacoes em Petroleo HSBC Hu, Stern Hunan Valin Hunt, Simon Hydro power Ibragimov, Alijan Idemitsu Kosan Ilisu Dam, Turkey Impeccable, USNS Imperial Oil India coal copper hydropower iron ore nuclear power oil and gas solar power wind power Indian Ocean Indian Oil Corp Ltd (IOCL) Indonesia coal oil and gas Indus River Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Industrias Nucleares do Brazil (INB) Industrias Penoles Inmet Inner Mongolia Yitai Coal Inpex International Atomic Energy Agency International Copper Study Group International Energy Agency International Finance Corp International Food Policy Research Institute International Monetary Fund Interros Inuit Iran South Pars Iraq Iraq National Oil Co (INOC) Ireland Iron ore Israel Istanbul Itaipu Dam Italy ITOCHU Ivanhoe Mines Ivory Coast JA Solar Jaeggi, Daniel Jakarta Jamnagar Japan earthquake and tsunami nuclear power and Fukushima disaster solar power steel industry trading houses Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp (JOGMEC) Japan Petroleum Exploration Co (Japex) Japan Renewable Energy Foundation Jazan JFE Jhelum River Jiang Jiemin Jiang Zemin Jiangsu Shagang Jiangxi Copper Corp Jin Baofang Jinchuan Group Jindal Steel Jordan, Jordan River JSW Steel Jubail JX Holdings Kaltim Prima Coal, Indonesia Kamchatka peninsula Kan Naoto Kansai Electric Power Co Karachaganak field, Kazakhstan Karachi, Pakistan Karakoram Pass Kashagan field, Kazakhstan Kashgar, China Kashmir Katanga Mining Kazmunaigas Khan, German Khartoum, Sudan Kazakhmys Kazakhstan coal copper nuclear test site, uranium oil and gas Kazzinc Kazatomprom Kenya Keystone pipeline Khabarovsk, Russia Khodorkovsky, Mikhail Khudainatov, Eduard Khunjerab Pass Khuzestan province, Iran Kim, Vladimir Kloppers, Marius Koc Holding Koizumi Junichiro Kolkata (Calcutta) Kolomoisky, Igor Korea Electric Power Corp (Kepco) Korea Gas (KoGas) Krishna-Godavari (KG) Basin, India Kuantan, Malaysia Kudankulam, India Kulibayev, Timur Kuwait Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration (Kufpec) Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) Kuzbassrazrezugol Kyrgyzstan Kyushu Electric Power Co Kvanefjeld, Greenland Lagos Lanco Infratech Laos Las Bambas, Peru Lavrov, Sergey LDK Solar Lead Lebanon Legacy Iron Ore Li Keqiang Li Xianshou Li Yihuang Liang Guanglie Liberia Libya Lifton, Jack Liquefied natural gas (LNG) Lisin, Vladimir Lithium Lithuania Lombok Strait Lomonosov ridge Lorenz, Edward Los Bronces, Chile Louis Dreyfus Lu Tingxiu Lu Xiangyang LUKOIL Lumwana, Zambia Lundin Mining Lynas Corp Ma Zhaoxu Maanshan Iron & Steel Macarthur Coal McArthur River McClendon, Aubrey McMahon Line MacMines AustAsia Madagascar Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel (MMK) Makhmudov, Iskander Malacca, Strait of Malaysia Malawi Malvinas (Falklands) Manila Mao Zedong Marcellus shale field Marubeni Corp Mary River Masdar Mashkevich, Alexander Mechel Medcalf, Rory Mediterranean Sea Medvedev, Dmitry MEG Energy Mehta, Sureesh Mekong River Mekong River Commission Melnichenko, Andrey MEMC Mercuria Group Merkel, Angela Metalloinvest Metorex Mexico Mexico City Mexico, Gulf of Miao Liansheng MidAmerican Energy Middle East Mikhelson, Leonid Miller, Alexei Mineralogy/Resourcehouse Mittal, Lakshmi Minmetals Resources Mitsubishi Chemical Mitsubishi Corp Mitsubishi Electric Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Mitsui & Co Modi, Narendra Molycorp Mongolia coal copper uranium Mongolia, Inner Montana Resources Morocco Mordashov, Alexei Mount Weld, Australia Mountain Pass, California Mozambique Mulva, Jim Mumbai (Bombay) Muziris, India Myanmar (Burma) Nabucco project Namcha Barwa, Tibet Namibia Nansha (Spratlys) National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) National Oil Co of Libya National Mineral Development Corp (NMDC), India National Thermal Power Corp (NTPC), India Natuna field Natural gas Nazarbayev, Nursultan Neelum river Neira, Dr Maria Netherlands New Delhi New Hope Coal Newcastle, Australia Newmont Mining NewZim Steel Niger Nigeria Nigerian National Petroleum Corp Nile River Ningbo Niobrara shale field Niobium Nippon Mining Nippon Oil Nippon Steel Noble Group Noda Yoshihiko Nomura China Non-Proliferation Treaty Norilsk Nickel North Atlantic Gyre North Caspian Operating Co North Korea North Pacific Gyre North Pars field, Iran North Pole North Slope, Alaska North West Shelf, Australia Northern Sea Route, Russia Northwest Passage, Canada Norway Novatek Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK) NRG Energy Nubian Sandstone aquifer Nuclear power Nuclear Power Corp of India Ltd (NPCIL) NUKEM Nunavut Obama, Barack Occidental Petroleum Corp Ogallala aquifer OGX Petroleo & Gas Ohmae Kenichi Oil & Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) Oil India Ltd (OIL) Olam International Olympic Dam Oman Ombai Strait ONEXIM Group ONGC Videsh Opium Wars Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Origin Energy Oryx Petroleum Osaka Gas Osborne, Milton Oyu Tolgoi, Mongolia Palmer, Clive Pan American Energy Papua New Guinea Paracels Pakistan Paraguay Paraná River Pars Oil & Gas Co Pasha Bulker Patna Peabody Energy Pearl River Pemakochung monastery, Tibet Pemex Peng Xiaofeng Penn West Energy Persian Gulf Pertamina Peru Petrobras PetroChina PetroHawk Energy Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) Petronas Petronet LNG PetroVietnam Philippines Pioneer Natural Resources Pilbara iron ore region, Australia Poland Polo, Marco Popov, Sergey Port Arthur (Dalian) Portugal POSCO Potanin, Vladimir Potash supplies Poussenkova, Dr Nina Praj Industries Pratas islands (Dongsha) Prelude LNG project, Australia Premier Oil Prigorodnoye, Russia PrivatGroup Probo Koala Prodeco Prokhorov, Mikhail Prokopyevskugol PTT Exploration & Production Puducherry (Pondicherry), India Punjab province, Pakistan Putin, Vladimir Qatar QatarGas Qatar General Petroleum Corp (QGPC) Qatar Investment Authority Qatar Petroleum Qteros Quadra FNX Mining Queensland coal basins (Bowen, Galilee, Surat) Rabigh, Saudi Arabia RAIPON Raizen Rare earths Rare metals and materials (indium, gallium, tellurium) Ras Tanura RasGas Rashtriya Ispat Nagam (Vizag Steel) Raspadskaya Rashnikov, Viktor Rave, Dr Klaus Ravi River Red Sea Refineries Reliance Industries ReneSola Renewable Energy Policy Network (REN21) REpower Repsol Repsol Brazil Repsol-YPF Rich, Marc Rio de Janeiro Rio Tinto Plc/Ltd coal copper iron ore uranium Rinehart, Gina Riversdale Mining Roeslani, Rosan Rosatom Rosneft Ross Sea Rothschild, Nathaniel Rousseff, Dilma Royal Dutch Shell Royal Society of Canada Ruia, Shashi and Ravi Rusal RusHydro Russia coal iron ore oil and gas nuclear/uranium Russian Far East Russky Ugol (Russian Coal) Russneft Rwanda RWE Power Saami Sabic Salar de Atacama Salar de Cauchari Salar de Olaroz Salar de Uyuni Sakhalin Sakhalin Oil & Gas Development Saleh, Ali Abdullah Salween River Samruk Energo Samruk Kazyna Samsung Electronics Samsung Heavy Industries Sanaa basin, Yemen Santos basin Santos Ltd Sao Paulo Sargasso Sea Saudi Arabia Saudi Aramco Sawyer, Steve Sechin, Igor Senkaku islands Serageldin, Ismail Sesa Goa Severstal Shanghai Shandong Iron & Steel Group Shanxi Meijin Energy Sharp Corp Shatt al-Arab waterway Shell Australia LNG Shen Wenrong Shenzhen Shi Zhengrong Shougang Beijing Group Shvidler, Eugene Siachen Glacier Siberia Siberian Coal Energy Co (SUEK) Sibneft Siemens Sierra Gorda, Chile Sierra Leone Silver Simandou, Guinea Sindh province, Pakistan Singapore Singh, Manmohan Sino American Silicon SinoHydro Sinopec (China Petroleum & Chemical Corp) Sinosteel Midwest Corp Sinovel Wind Sistema Slavneft Slovakia Soeryadjaya, Edwin SoftBank Sogo Shosha Sojitz Solar power Solar Reserve Son Masayoshi Sonangol Sonatrach South Africa South America South China Sea South Kara Sea South Korea South Kuzbass Coal South Pars field, Iran South Sudan South Yolotan, Turkmenistan Southeast Anatolia Development (GAP) Southeast Asia Southern California Edison Soya Strait Spain Spratlys State Grid, China State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) Statoil Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) Steinmetz, Beny Sterlite Industries Strait of Malacca Strait of Hormuz Strothotte, Willy SUAL Sudan Sumatra Sumitomo Chemicals Sumitomo Corp Sumitomo Metal Suncor Energy Sunda Strait Sundance Resources SunPower Suntech Surgutneftegas Sutlej River Suzlon Energy Swaminathan, M.S.

The single biggest supplier of crude is Canada, with a 21 percent share, followed by Mexico (12 percent), Saudi Arabia (12 percent), Nigeria (11 percent), and Venezuela (10 percent). The United States itself produces about 5.5 million barrels a day of crude and about 2 million barrels of natural gas liquids. The United States also has the world’s largest reserves of oil shale deposits, estimated at between 1.5 and 2 trillion barrels. But extraction is complex and costly, and the economic viability of oil shale is haphazard. Estonia, China, and Brazil are the only current producers of any size. Russia has oil shale reserves of 250 billion barrels, and Israel may have about the same. Against this backdrop, oil executives from around the world gathered in the ballroom of London’s Waldorf Hilton Hotel in May 2011 for an important update on the latest market information. Russia, Brazil, China, Africa, and the North Sea were all on the agenda, but it was the recent cataclysmic events in North Africa and the Middle East—and the likely response from the oil cartel known as OPEC (the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries)—that figured high in their calculations of where oil demand and oil prices were headed.

It also has agreed to jointly develop a deepwater pipeline from Oman to India, to give it access to cheaper gas. Oil India has a mainly domestic focus, with most production coming from Assam state in India’s northeast, plus Rajasthan in the west. Its overseas exploration blocks, usually in partnership with IOCL and/or OVL, are in Iran, Gabon, Libya, Egypt, Nigeria, Venezuela, and East Timor. GAIL bought its first U.S. shale gas asset, a stake in Houston-based Carrizo Oil & Gas’s Eagle Ford shale tenement in late 2011. It will spend about $300 million with Carrizo over five years, and said it was prepared to spend another $1 billion for more such assets in North America. Reliance Industries, controlled by India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, has its primary oil-sector focus on exploration and production off the coast of India, mainly in the Krishna Godavari Basin in the Bay of Bengal where it began producing oil and gas in 2009.


pages: 257 words: 94,168

Oil Panic and the Global Crisis: Predictions and Myths by Steven M. Gorelick

California gold rush, carbon footprint, energy security, energy transition, flex fuel, income per capita, invention of the telephone, meta analysis, meta-analysis, North Sea oil, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, price stability, profit motive, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, statistical model, Thomas Malthus

With the onset of the 2008 economic crisis and the rapid decline in oil prices, it was estimated that about $75 billion of new project investment would be halted, and the 2010 peak workforce needs would be cut in half from 44,000 to 22,000.158 US oil shale Much lower on the US oil resource pyramid is the third type of unconventional oil that comes from oil shale. Oil shale is a hard rock, generally derived from calcium-rich clay and mud, that is loaded with kerogen. If this rock were buried under the right conditions (within what is called the oil window), it might produce oil naturally, over geologic time. Now tied up as a solid, the organic matter, kerogen, in oil shales needs to be artificially “cooked” over a human time scale to generate oil. Today, oil shale is not being produced in the US, although Unocal did produce about 1 million barrels between 1957 and 1989. Like oil sands, oil from oil shale is obtained by two methods: surface “retorting” and in-situ recovery. In surface retorting, the mined oil shale is heated to 842 °F (450 °C) to yield gas and synthetic oil, mimicking in a compressed period the long geologic baking process that forms oil in Earth’s crust.

Earlier Rand studies suggested that after 0.5 billion barrels were produced, the technology would improve, production costs would drop by 50 percent, and the oil shale resource would be profitable at $35 to $48 per barrel (2005$). The expectation is that such production efficiency would occur within 12 years of initial commercial operation. An analysis conducted in 2008 claims that US oil shale can be profitably produced at an oil price of $38 to $62 (2007$) per barrel.162 Global oil shale With potential recovery of about 3 trillion barrels globally, there is about as much oil in oil shale as the total global endowment estimated in the USGS 2000 Assessment. However, within the oil industry, the standing joke is that, “Oil shale is the energy source of the future and always will be.” Oil shale was mined from 1815 through the 1850s in both the US and Canada, until it was rendered uneconomic by the production of conventional oil in 1859.

Even so, the process is purportedly competitive with oil at $17 (2006$) per barrel.163 Counter-Arguments to Imminent Global Oil Depletion 173 If such new technology were to take hold throughout the world, oil shale could become a critical source of oil. Oil shale is so far down on the global oil resource pyramid that there are no tight estimates of the total resource. There are documented reserves in China, Brazil, and Estonia, where oil shale has been mined and used, and other countries contain substantial oil shale deposits (e.g., Australia, Russia, Italy, Morocco, and Zaire). Worldwide, a credible published estimate by the USGS is 2.9 trillion barrels of recoverable oil, based on analysis of oil shale in 33 countries that contain a total of 411 billion tons of oil shale, which “should be considered a minimum figure because numerous deposits are still largely unexplored or were not included in [their] study.”164 The average of published, but uncertain, estimates of all global oil shale resources suggests that the quantity of oil shale containing at least 10 gallons of oil per ton is staggering: about 330 trillion barrels, which, even at 1 percent recovery, would roughly equal the current estimate of the global endowment of conventional oil (approximately 3 trillion barrels).165 Fossil Fuel Conversion: The Role of Gas and Coal If the supply of conventional oil were to fall short, and the technology to economically extract unconventional oil from as yet untapped resources like oil shale did not materialize, what could possibly replace common gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel fuel, the most precious products derived from 60 percent of each barrel of oil?


pages: 235 words: 65,885

Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Declines by Richard Heinberg, James Howard (frw) Kunstler

addicted to oil, anti-communist, Asilomar, back-to-the-land, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, demographic transition, ending welfare as we know it, energy transition, Fractional reserve banking, greed is good, Haber-Bosch Process, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), land reform, means of production, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, plutocrats, Plutocrats, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, the built environment, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, urban planning

And what would be the next energy source? Other low-grade fossil fuels, such as tar sands, oil shale, and heavy oil are also problematic from both the depletion and emissions perspectives. Some depletion analysts recommend full-speed development of these resources. However, the energetic extraction costs for them are usually quite high compared to the energy payoff from the resource extracted. Their already-low energy profit ratio (also known as the energy returned on energy invested, or EROEI) would be compromised still further by efforts to capture and sequester carbon, since, as with coal, these low-grade fuels have a high carbon content as compared to natural gas or conventional oil. Currently, natural gas is used in the processing of tar sands and heavy oil; from both an energy and an emissions point of view, this is rather like turning gold into lead.

The exception and limit to the exception address the common argument of free-market economists that resources are infinitely substitutable, and that therefore modern market-driven societies need never face a depletion-led collapse, even if their consumption rates continue to escalate.9 In some instances, substitutes for resources do become readily available and are even superior, as was the case in the mid-19th century when kerosene from petroleum was substituted for whale oil as a fuel for lamps. In other cases, substitutes are inferior, as is the case with tar sands as a substitute for conventional petroleum, given that tar sands are less energy-dense, require more energy input for processing, and produce more carbon emissions. As time goes on, societies will tend first to exhaust substitutes that are superior and easy to get at, then those that are equivalent, and increasingly will have to rely on ever more inferior substitutes to replace depleting resources — unless rates of consumption are held in check (see Axioms 2-4). 2.

Klare, Michael Kübler-Ross, Elisabeth L labor Lahontan, Baron de The Land Institute land use language: and belief in symbols; development; and economics; and environmental damage; and politics; and reason; and religion; role in civilization; and societal change leisure time Lerro, Bruce lifestyle choices The Limits to Growth (Club of Rome) local economies logic Looking Backward: 2000-1887 (Bellamy) love M MacKenzie-Mohr, Doug Macy, Joanna magical thinking Malthus, Thomas Mandil, Claude marketing. see also advertising McLuckie, Benjamin media Mexico Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Mollison, Bill money trading morality Morris, William Moyers, Bill Müller, Max Mumford, Lewis The Myth of the Machine (Mumford) mythology N natural gas The Natural Step nature Nelson, Gaylord Nixon, Richard non-renewable resources. see also fossil fuels nuclear power O oil (see also Peak Oil): as bulwark of US economy; level of dependency on; production levels; substitutes for; sustainability; and wars Oil Depletion Protocol oil shale Oman Ornstein, Robert P parrots Pauli, Wolfgang Peak Oil (see also psychology of peak oil/climate change; techno-collapse): benefits of cooperation with Climate Change; concerted campaign for; conflict with Climate Change; definition; depletionists’ and their views; effects of; experts in; possible strategies for; predictions of when it will happen; psychological theories on; strategies for psychologically coping with; in US Pepperberg, Irene permaculture petrochemicals politics (see also government): after techno-collapse; beginnings of political organization; in a de-industrialized society; and greenhouse gas emissions; and the industrial revolution; and population explosion; and quasi-religious ideologies; role in changing society; and success of technology; and sustainability measures; in US pollution Poon, Wing-Chi population: and A.


pages: 415 words: 103,231

Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of Energy Independence by Robert Bryce

addicted to oil, Berlin Wall, Charles Lindbergh, Colonization of Mars, decarbonisation, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, financial independence, flex fuel, hydrogen economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), John Markoff, Just-in-time delivery, low earth orbit, Nelson Mandela, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, price stability, Project for a New American Century, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stewart Brand, Thomas L Friedman, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize, Yom Kippur War

But even as all of these factors are restraining new production, advances in technology and rising commodity prices are spurring the Why We Think We Want Energy Independence 39 development of oil deposits that just a few years ago were viewed as mere fantasy. And that reflects a truism about natural resource development: As prices for a given commodity rise, more people will work to figure out how to find and produce more of it. That means that “difficult” oil like that located in oil shale and tar sands, which is virtually worthless when oil sells for less than about $40 per barrel, becomes more viable when the price of oil is, say, $60 or $80 a barrel. The innovations in the oil exploration business were clearly illustrated in September 2006 when Chevron, Devon Energy, and Norway’s Statoil ASA announced a major discovery with a well called the Jack No. 2. The three companies found a huge oil field in the deepwater of the Gulf of Mexico, about 270 miles southwest of New Orleans.74 The Jack well, drilled in 7,000 feet of water, found a major field in a geological area called the lower tertiary trend.

Dave Russum, a technical specialist with AJM Petroleum Consultants in Calgary, expects gas production in Alberta, which produces about 80 percent of Canada’s gas, to drop from 14 billion cubic feet per day in 2000 to just 6 billion cubic feet per day by 2024. Even if Canada is able to forestall a major decrease in its natural gas production, the booming tar sands operations in Alberta and Saskatchewan have a huge hunger for gas, which they use to heat the sands to leach out the oil. Some forecasts have even projected that all of the gas that would be carried by the proposed Mackenzie Delta pipeline, which could bring Canadian gas southward from the Beaufort Sea, may be diverted into the tar sands operations.5 The crimps in the Canadian gas market have left the U.S. with few options. New LNG-receiving terminals are being built in Texas and on the West Coast to handle the incoming gas. Those terminals will complement the LNG-receiving facilities that are already in place in Maryland, Massachusetts, Georgia, and Louisiana.

And like Ford, he threatened to impose gasoline rationing.26 Carter even had some 5 billion gasoline rationing coupons printed up, at a cost of $12 million, in case rationing became necessary.27 Perhaps the most expensive element of Carter’s push for energy independence was the federally funded Synthetic Fuels Corporation. Launched in 1980, the agency provided money and loan guarantees to entrepreneurs who wanted to produce motor fuel from coal and oil 102 GUSHER OF LIES shale. Congress supported the program, wrote energy analyst Vito Stagliano in his 2001 book, A Policy of Discontent, “even as one uneconomic project followed another, justified by the ever-elusive standard of energy security.”28 By 1992, the new federal agency was supposed to be producing 1.5 million barrels of synthetic fuel per day.29 It never got close to that target. Instead, wrote Stagliano, it never produced “a single cost-effective barrel of fuel but managed to rack up federal debt obligations of over $2 billion.”30 (The agency was abolished in 1985.)


Nuclear War and Environmental Catastrophe by Noam Chomsky, Laray Polk

American Legislative Exchange Council, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, energy security, Howard Zinn, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Malacca Straits, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks

Of course, that requires the contributions of the information and political systems, largely willing to line up in the same parade with only occasional hesitation. During the Tar Sands Action in Washington, a spokesperson for the American Petroleum Institute told the press, “the protesters are really protesting jobs.” What do you make of API’s statement?103 The translation of the API statement to English is easy: “The Tar Sands Action is protesting an initiative that will severely harm local environments and accelerate the global rush to disaster—while putting plenty of bucks in our pockets for us to hoard or spend while we watch the ship sinking.” From what I know of the Tar Sands Action, it consists of people whose priorities are virtually the opposite of the API’s. They want to maintain an environment in which people can live decent lives, to protect their grandchildren from disaster, and to create far more good jobs by using the ample resources available to develop a sustainable energy future while also rebuilding a decaying society and turning it to different and far more healthy directions.104 But, admittedly, they have inadequate concern for the bulging profits of the super-rich and their desperate need to run the world to the ground.

On the influence of Koch-funded groups on the election process, see note 3, chap. 6. 103 Shelby Lin Erdman, “Battle over Controversial International Oil Pipeline Growing,” CNN, September 5, 2011. The API spokesperson quoted in the article was contacted to verify accuracy; she responded, “If they [Tar Sands Action participants] are protesting the pipeline they are protesting a shovel-ready job that will put thousands of Americans to work. This industry is focused on creating jobs, producing energy responsibly and strengthening America’s energy security.” Sabrina Fang, API Media Relations, e-mail correspondence, November 16, 2011. On how Saudi interests infuse money into US elections through trade associations, namely, API, see Lee Fang, “How Big Business Is Buying the Election,” The Nation, September 17, 2012. 104 The Tar Sands Action is part of an ongoing campaign to protest the proposed 1,661-mile pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast.

The unconventional product to be conveyed, chemical-laden bitumen derived from the Canadian tar sands, has been described as “the dirtiest oil on the planet.” The largest action to date took place in front of the White House between late August and early September 2011. During the two-week sit-in, more than twelve hundred participants committed acts of civil disobedience, resulting in arrest. The event involved a consortium of groups and individuals: Bold Nebraska, Indigenous Environmental Network, 350.org, activists, ’08 Obama campaigners, farmers, scientists, and writers. 105 Clifford Krauss, “U.S. Reliance on Oil from Saudi Arabia Is Growing Again,” New York Times, August 16, 2012. On Saudi plans to refine Canadian tar sands in Texas, see Lee Fang, note 7, this chapter. On history of OPEC, see note 8, chap. 1. 106 Lawrence M.


pages: 372 words: 107,587

The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality by Richard Heinberg

3D printing, agricultural Revolution, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, banks create money, Bretton Woods, business cycle, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, computerized trading, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Elliott wave, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, Gini coefficient, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Kenneth Rogoff, late fees, liberal capitalism, mega-rich, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, naked short selling, Naomi Klein, Negawatt, new economy, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, price stability, private military company, quantitative easing, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, short selling, special drawing rights, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade liberalization, tulip mania, WikiLeaks, working poor, zero-sum game

Meanwhile, international competition for dwindling oil supplies might lead to wars between petroleum importing nations, between importers and exporters, and between rival factions within exporting nations. In the years following the turn of the millennium, many pundits claimed that new technologies for crude oil extraction would increase the amount of oil that can be obtained from each well drilled, and that enormous reserves of alternative hydrocarbon resources (principally tar sands and oil shale) would be developed to seamlessly replace conventional oil, thus delaying the inevitable peak for decades. There were also those who said that Peak Oil wouldn’t be much of a problem even if it happened soon, because the market would find other energy sources or transport options as quickly as needed — whether electric cars, hydrogen, or liquid fuel made from coal. In succeeding years, events appeared to be supporting the Peak Oil thesis and undercutting the views of the oil optimists.

More oil-producing countries were seeing their extraction rates peaking and beginning to decline despite efforts to maintain production growth using high-tech, expensive extraction methods like injecting water, nitrogen, or carbon dioxide to force more oil out of the ground. Production decline rates in the world’s old, super-giant oilfields, which are responsible for the lion’s share of the global petroleum supply, were accelerating. Production of liquid fuels from tar sands was expanding only slowly, while the development of oil shale remained a hollow promise for the distant future.15 From Scary Theory to Scarier Reality Then in 2008, the Peak Oil scenario became all too real. Global oil production had been stagnant since 2005 and petroleum prices had been soaring upward. In July 2008, the per-barrel price shot up to nearly $150 — half again higher (in inflation-adjusted terms) than the price spikes of the 1970s that had triggered the worst recession since World War II.

In 2010, the International Energy Agency settled the matter. In its authoritative 2010 World Energy Outlook, the IEA announced that total annual global crude oil production will probably never surpass its 2006 level.2 However, the agency fudged the question a bit by declaring that the peak was not due to geological constraints, and that total volumes of liquid fuels (including crude oil, biofuels, synthetic oil from tar sands and coal, and natural gas liquids like butane and propane) will continue to grow — just a bit — until 2035. In discussing the IEA report, a few analysts declared that these latter claims were essentially just efforts to avoid panicking the markets.3 BOX 3.1 Oil Shock 2011? In the early months of 2011 street demonstrations erupted in Iraq, Iran, Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, and Algeria.


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

Oil is used for the vast, vast majority of transportation—93 percent in the United States.11 Other technologies struggle to mimic it. Oil’s value leads to continuous large investments in exploration and extraction technology. Whereas oil deposits were once completely invisible to industry, today modern imaging, called 3D seismic imaging, can get us a far clearer idea of what’s going on below the surface and how it changes over time. We can get oil out of hard rock (shale oil). In oil sands, we’ve created technology that acts as a ground decongestant—releasing oil from the sands that have held it in place for decades. Portability is valuable for many reasons. Personally, oil is the fuel of freedom—the fuel that liberated Americans to go where they want, when they want. Economically, oil is the fuel of trade. Our entire standard of living depends on specialization—on people doing what they do best, wherever they are, and then being able to cheaply move their products to those who most need them.

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. Fracking has gotten attention, not primarily because of the productivity revolution it has created, but because of concerns about groundwater contamination. The leading source of this view is celebrity filmmaker Josh Fox’s Gasland (so-called) documentaries on HBO.10 Looking at how these movies have affected public opinion is an instructive exercise.

WHAT WE ALL MUST DO In 2007 and 2008, candidate Obama declared his intention to destroy fossil fuel energy in America and around the world, calling for “emissions targets” that would make it illegal to use more than 20 percent of today’s levels.20 About oil, the most versatile fuel in the world, which powers 93 percent of our transportation system and, through shale-oil booms in North Dakota, Texas, and elsewhere, has been one of our few sources of economic hope, he said: At the dawn of the twenty-first century, the country that faced down the tyranny of fascism and communism is now called to challenge the tyranny of oil. . . . For the sake of our security, our economy, our jobs and our planet, the age of oil must end in our time.21 While he was saying this, the oil industry he was comparing to the mass murderers of the twentieth century was perfecting shale-oil (and shale-gas) technology. Thanks to Obama’s lack of oversight in this area, shale energy technology became the leading positive economic force during his administration. That is, a revolution in fossil fuel technology occurred because our government didn’t know enough about it to demonize and ban it. This is not the kind of thing we want to depend on. What if Obama had been aware of this revolution in the making ten years out?


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

BP has paid more than US$40 billion in criminal and civil settlements to date. Accessing Arctic fields, believed to contain 13 percent of the world's undiscovered oil and 30 percent of its natural gas, creates the risk of catastrophic spills. Fracking and tar sand oils require large quantities of water for extraction, transport, and refining. There is a risk of groundwater and aquifer contamination, and storing and treating waste water is difficult. There are suspected connections between fracking and earthquakes. Unconventional fuels, especially heavy oils and tar sands, have a higher proportion of carbon to hydrogen, resulting in higher carbon dioxide emissions when used. Fracking also increases potential emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Concern about future energy shortages and the long-term effects of climate change are driving interest in renewable energies.

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.

This fall reflects weaker than expected demand due to slower economic growth and increased supply, in part from new sources such as shale gas and liquids, but also due to the refusal of OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries), led by Saudi Arabia, to cut output for strategic and geopolitical reasons. The strategy was to allow prices to fall below the production costs of high-cost producers and non-traditional oil sources, especially shale, forcing them out of business and thus protecting Saudi's and OPEC's market share. Some argued that oil prices had entered a new, permanent long-term range of US$20–60 per barrel. Others saw the fall as temporary. The consensus was that lower oil prices would assist the global economy. Quantitative greasing would augment quantitative easing, supporting economic activity. A US$40 fall in oil price equates to an income transfer of around US$1.3 trillion (around 2 percent of global GDP) from oil producers to oil consumers.


pages: 554 words: 168,114

Oil: Money, Politics, and Power in the 21st Century by Tom Bower

addicted to oil, Ayatollah Khomeini, banking crisis, bonus culture, corporate governance, credit crunch, energy security, Exxon Valdez, falling living standards, fear of failure, forensic accounting, index fund, interest rate swap, kremlinology, LNG terminal, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Nelson Mandela, new economy, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, passive investing, peak oil, Piper Alpha, price mechanism, price stability, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, transaction costs, transfer pricing, zero-sum game, éminence grise

The fundamentals of supply and demand could not permanently support record high prices, and if the price increases were remorseless, the cost of processing “unconventional” tar sands into gasoline became realistic, undermining the peak oil case. High crude prices, however, were hitting profits. Refineries were earning less from their products, the cost of rigs and personnel was rising, and the taxes demanded by the producer nations soared. Rex Tillerson tried to talk prices down. “One trillion barrels of oil have been produced,” he said, “and over 15 trillion barrels of energy remains.” More conservatively, the energy consulting group CERA estimated that four trillion barrels of proven reserves existed; by including oil shale, tar sands and bitumen, that figure was increased to at least seven trillion barrels. A new CERA study by Peter Jackson of 811 oilfields, producing 19 billion barrels a year out of the world’s total of 32 billion, showed that the 4.5 percent depletion was just half the rate previously assumed by the industry.

Hubbert’s original forecast of production in America was based upon data compiled over decades, but new technology and prices challenged its accuracy. While America’s “proven” reserves in 1991 were 24.7 billion barrels, the total reserves, including tar oil, oil shale and other condensates, were estimated in 2003 to be 204 billion barrels, and some experts calculated that new technology could increase the ultimate recovery to between 263 billion and 368 billion barrels; and that figure did not include an estimated 180 billion barrels of oil in the Canadian tar sands. Price and technology would determine the amounts: producing a barrel of oil from bitumen cost about $35. “Let me know when we reach peak technology, then we can talk about peak oil,” Paul Siegele, Chevron’s vice president in charge of strategic planning, would say.

The corporation crafted public statements promoting its intention to be more open, to acknowledge human rights and to protect the environment by including renewable energy projects in its core business plan. In the future, said Herkströter, Shell would engage with Greenpeace to discuss the reduction of greenhouse gases in coal gasification and biofuels. Satisfied that he had fulfilled the public relations requirements, Herkströter approved the purchase of one fifth of Canada’s Athabasca tar sands for C$27 million, a relative pittance. The total estimated reserves were 1,701 billion barrels of oil. Shell anticipated extracting 179 billion barrels. Exploitation of the tar sands was uneconomic while oil was at $15 a barrel, but would be profitable once the price hit $40, although the process offended Shell’s newfound commitment to protect the environment. The tar’s extraction would require the felling of 54,000 square miles of forest, an area the size of New York State, and as a consequence wildlife would be killed and water polluted.


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 energy companies quickly moved away from this rock. It just didn’t seem possible to easily extract oil or gas from shale. Sure, shale had a lot of pores, allowing it to store oil and gas. But the rock was too tight and compressed. In other words, there weren’t enough connections between those pores. Trapped oil and gas didn’t seem to have necessary pathways for it to flow to a “wellbore,” or a hole drilled into the ground to create a well. Much of the oil and gas in shale eventually makes its way to shallower rock formations near the surface through natural fractures in the rock. But because shale is so compressed, this process can take millions of years. Geologists knew oil and gas remained in shale formations around the country and around the world, but it seemed much too expensive to try to go get it.

Since the early 1900s, for example, interest has waxed and waned in areas of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming jam-packed with so-called oil shale, an organic-rich rock that’s a distant cousin of shale oil, despite the similar name. Oil shale holds high concentrations of kerogen, a precursor to oil that some liken to teenage crude because it hasn’t experienced the millions of years of pressure needed to become oil.2 Rock in those U.S. states holds the energy equivalent of the world’s entire proven oil reserves, government reports have said. Plus, it’s close to the surface, making it easy to find. During World War I, National Geographic predicted that “no man who owns a motor-car will fail to rejoice” because oil shale surely would provide the “supplies of gasoline which can meet any demand.”3 But fervor for this rock has petered out time and time again in the United States due to the imposing cost of heating it to get the kerogen out, as well as the environmental damage that usually results from this extraction.

Geologists knew oil and gas remained in shale formations around the country and around the world, but it seemed much too expensive to try to go get it. The rock had such low permeability that it just didn’t seem worth the time, cost, and effort. Whatever oil or gas shale held, it sure didn’t seem to want to give it up. “In the field the stance was that it wasn’t economical, the formation wasn’t viable and couldn’t make enough gas,” says Jay Ewing, an engineer who worked for a rival of Mitchell Energy in the early 1980s.9 Complicating matters, shale layers were just too far down—as much as two miles below the surface—adding to the difficulty and cost. Besides, it also wasn’t clear how much oil and gas remained in shale, since so much of it had already flowed up to the surface. Most experts were dubious that there was enough pore space in shale to contain very much oil and gas. “It was foreign to everyone’s thinking that there could be that much gas in this rock,” says Dan Steward, a Mitchell geologist.


pages: 422 words: 113,830

Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism by Kevin Phillips

algorithmic trading, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, buy and hold, collateralized debt obligation, computer age, corporate raider, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, currency peg, diversification, Doha Development Round, energy security, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Gilder, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, imperial preference, income inequality, index arbitrage, index fund, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, large denomination, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, Martin Wolf, Menlo Park, mobile money, money market fund, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old-boy network, peak oil, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, Renaissance Technologies, reserve currency, risk tolerance, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, shareholder value, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, The Chicago School, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trade route

Professor Michael Klare summarizes it this way: In May, the Energy Department “stopped talking about ‘oil’ in its projections of future petroleum availability and began speaking of ‘liquids.’ The global output of ‘liquids,’ the department indicated, would rise from 84 million barrels of oil equivalent (mboe) per day in 2005 to a projected 117.7 mboe in 2030—barely enough to satisfy anticipated world demand of 117.6 mboe.”74 Peak-oil stalwarts like Simmons have made the same point: crude-oil production is what has peaked, and the liquids—from tar sands, oil shale, biofuels, coal-to-liquids, and gas-to-liquids—must now be included to keep things on track. Perhaps they can do so; certainly they can for several years. But that is not the only issue. If crude production has peaked, with its many ramifications, that in itself conveys an enormously significant message. It is not a happy message. The economics are precarious, the geopolitics is dangerous, but the domestic U.S. politics stand to be awful.

After a while, he said, “they’ll be in liquidation.” 29 State oil companies have most remaining global reserves so locked up, according to the Oil & Gas Journal, that the Canadian oil sands region now represents 50 to 70 percent of the reserves not barred to international oil companies because of government restrictions.30 However, a substantial percentage of environmentalists seem as opposed to developing the Canadian oil sands as they are to developing coal in southern Illinois or oil shale in the Rocky Mountains. Some hold all three positions alongside determined support for the idea of U.S. energy independence. Facilitated as these assumptions are by strong public preference for Democratic environmental positions and general dismissal of the Republicans, the net result may be less a green breakthrough than a green illusion. Many of the presumptions about alternative energy supply involved do not add up.

At the National Restaurant Association, chief economist Hudson Riehle told the Times that “our operators are being forced to raise menu prices at the highest rate since 1990.” In the agricultural sector, though, the plus side of record food prices is that they have a history of encouraging innovation, be it in farm equipment, technology, seeds, or fertilizer. The same has been true in energy, where 2006-2008 prices spurred development of previously uneconomic resources—heavy oil, shale oil, and the Canadian oil sands region. This is why the idea of an Asia-centered Price Revolution II is so compelling. Price upheavals and progress may require each other. One prospect that troubled the National Intelligence Council was the apparent resurgence of state capitalism, resource nationalism, and forms of mercantilism. I see similar trends, which are developed at greater length in pages 54-58 and 180.


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

Ohio oil aggregate disruption of, see aggregate disruption Brent burning of as capital-intensive industry climate change and demand for demand shock and, see demand shock dependence on disappearance of diversification of supplies of for electricity energy density of estimates of stock of fading away as policy issue of First Gulf War and as fuel choice global choke points for increase in recovery rate of Iraq disruption and, see Iraq War job creation and nationalization of Nazi need for non-OPEC, birth of offshore production of price controls on refineries for for Royal Navy running out of shut-in capacity and size of production of in South China Sea strategic importance of supply shock and synthetic technology and unconventional supply of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) see also specific countries and regions oil boom (1970s) oil companies Afghanistan and antitrust and biofuels and Caspian Derby and Chinese environmental degradation from international (IOC) international national (INOCs) international vs. national Iran and Iraq and mergers and, see mergers, oil-industry national (NOC) in Nigeria offshore production and oil shale campaign and shale gas and Tengiz oil field and in Venezuela see also specific companies oil crisis (1975) “Oil Dot-com” (Morse) oil embargo (1967) oil embargo (1973) energy efficiency and France and Japan and oil prices and Solarex and wind energy and Oil-for-Food Programme Oil Ministry, USSR Oil Pollution Act oil prices Arab Awakening and avoided costs and biofuels and bubble in cars and China and collapse of (1986) collapse of (1997–98) demand shock and energy security and in Great Depression Hubbert’s predictions and Iran and Iraq War and Kuwait and LNG and Nigeria and 9/11 and 1973–74 increase in oil embargo and petro-state and R&D and reversed Midas touch and Soviet Union and Strait of Hormuz and surge in (2004) terrorism and Venezuelan general strike and whether they matter oil sands (tar sands) oil shale oil shock, second Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund oil spills oil trading Oily Rocks Oklahoma oil in Okonjo-Iweala, Ngozi Oman Omar, Mullah “On a Heuristic Point of View Concerning the Production and Transformation of Light” (Einstein) O’Neill, Jim O’Neill, Paul OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) Algiers meeting of (2004) divisions in energy security and founding of Iran and Jakarta meeting of (1997) June 2011 meeting of obscurity of quotas of total oil revenues of OPEC Imperium Open Russia Foundation Orange Revolution Orbach, Raymond Orchestra of the Three Seas O’Reilly, David Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Organization of Gas Exporting Countries Orinoco region Oslo Accords Otto, Nikolaus “Otto cycle” engine outer-continental shelf (OCS) over-the-counter markets “overwhelming force” doctrine oxide fuel cells oxygen ozone, hole in Pachauri, Rajendra Pacific Ocean Packard, David Pakistan atomic bomb in extreme weather in Khan network in Kissinger in pipelines and terrorism and Palestinian Liberation Organization Palestinian National Authority Paley Commission Parati Field Paris patents Patton, George PDVSA, see Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A.

And so there, under that hot sun at the Jose Industrial Complex, was both the spectacle of another victory for the Bolivarian Revolution and its leader, and at the same time, a very visible demonstration, amid one of the world’s richest concentrations of resources, of the meaning of aboveground risk—in this case clad in revolutionary red.24 MOTHER NATURE’S PRESSURE COOKER Despite the diversity of the range of unconventional oils, a common theme ties them together. It is all about finding a way to unlock resources whose existence may have long been recognized but for which recovery on a commercial scale had seemed impossible. Those breakthroughs are yet to happen with what is called oil shale. Oil shale contains high concentrations of the immature precursor to petroleum, kerogen. The kerogen has not yet gone through all the millions of years in Mother Nature’s pressure cooker that would turn it into what would be regarded as oil. The estimates for the oil shale resource are enormous: 8 trillion barrels, of which 6 trillion are in the United States, much of it concentrated in the Rocky Mountains. During the gasoline famine of World War I, National Geographic predicted that “no man who owns a motor-car will fail to rejoice” because this oil would provide the “supplies of gasoline which can meet any demand that even his children’s children for generations to come may make of them.

Petroleum companies announced major projects. But within a couple of years, the projects were abruptly terminated. The oil shale campaign was done in by the rising surplus of petroleum in the world market, the falling price, and the way in which the costs for developing oil shale were skyrocketing—even without any commercial production having begun.25 Yet today a few hardy companies, large and small, are at work on oil shale again. They are still trying to find new and more economic approaches for speeding up nature’s time machine and turning kerogen into a commercial fuel without having that several-million-year wait. One line of research parallels the in situ process for oil sands and seeks to heat the kerogen underground. There are still other types of unconventional oils that may grow in scale and importance over the next few years, notably oil made by processing coal or natural gas.


Blindside: How to Anticipate Forcing Events and Wild Cards in Global Politics by Francis Fukuyama

Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, cognitive bias, cuban missile crisis, energy security, flex fuel, global pandemic, income per capita, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, John von Neumann, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, Norbert Wiener, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, packet switching, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, The Wisdom of Crowds, trade route, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Yom Kippur War

Therefore, even if every new vehicle produced runs on some alternative fuel, uninterrupted supplies of conventional fuels will still be needed for the next fifteen to twenty years. 2990-7 ch07 luft 7/23/07 12:11 PM Page 77 in search of energy security 77 The petroleum industry will doubtless do its part: With high oil prices expected for the foreseeable future, Americans are likely to see expanded domestic production using enhanced recovery technologies; the government relaxing some restrictions on domestic drilling; and, increasingly, nonconventional sources of petroleum such as tar sands, extra-heavy oil, and oil shale coming online. An estimated 180 billion barrels of oil can potentially be generated from tar sands in Canada, and technology is being developed to tap an additional 800 billion barrels of oil from shale in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming—more than triple the proven oil reserves of Saudi Arabia. America’s vast coal reserves can also be tapped to produce synthetic petroleum. A process called Fischer-Tropsch, which was used extensively by Nazi Germany and by South Africa, allows the conversion of coal to clean diesel.

See Special Report on Emissions Scenarios SRI International, 95 Standardization, of automobiles, 24–25 State governments, political barriers to preparation by, 11 STEEP framework, 100–01 Stern, Fritz, 131 Stimson, Henry, 60, 61 Stock markets, in East Asia, before crisis, 42–43 Stockpiling, of antiviral drugs, 85–86 Storage, computer, 124 Strategic surprises, 93–108; believability of, 93–94, 98, 103–05; definition of, 94; denial and, 103; filters approach to, 99–100; imagination applied to, 93–94, 97–99; information-processing frameworks for, 100–01; insideout perspective on, 101–03; myths regarding, 94–95; outside-in perspective on, 101–02; predictions of, 97, 106–08; preparedness for, 105–08; Soviet collapse as, 95–97; systematic approach to, 97–99; ways of anticipating, 97–105 Sudan, infectious disease in, 86 Sugar cane, ethanol from, 78–79, 171 Suharto, 42, 106 2990-7 ch17 index 7/23/07 12:33 PM Page 197 index Sukarno, 106 Sumatra, 106, 144 Supercomputers, 122 Supernova, 141 Superpowers: European–Russian alliance as, 107; U.S. as, end of, 107, 157–59 Surowiecki, James, 100 Surprises: collective cognitive architecture of, 29–30, 36; expectation in, 110; inevitable, 93, 94; psychology of, 3, 23, 110; slow, 23–28; socio-surprises, 3; strategic, 93–108; time frames of, 23–24 Surveillance, of infectious disease, 86–87, 88 Switching circuits, in digital computers, 124 Syria, past surprises in, 145–46 Taiwan, 158 Tar sands, 77 Technological forecasting, limits of, 5 Technological innovation: adaptation to, 162–63; in automobile industry, 24–28; cycles of, 58; dangers of, 155, 163; in electricity, 27–28; in energy sector, 59–60, 67–70; in geo-engineering of climate change, 151–52; optimism vs. pessimism about, 138; organization of, 59–70; in petroleum industry, 26–28; precursors of DARPA in, 60–63; slow surprises in, 23–28; social change and, 163–64; in war, 57–58.


pages: 421 words: 120,332

The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization's Northern Future by Laurence C. Smith

Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, clean water, Climategate, colonial rule, deglobalization, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, energy security, flex fuel, G4S, global supply chain, Google Earth, guest worker program, Hans Island, hydrogen economy, ice-free Arctic, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invisible hand, land tenure, Martin Wolf, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, purchasing power parity, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, side project, Silicon Valley, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, standardized shipping container, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, trade route, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, urban planning, Washington Consensus, Y2K

Legarth, “Sustainable Metal Resource Management—the Need for Industrial Development: Efficiency Improvement Demands on Metal Resource Management to Enable a Sustainable Supply until 2050,” Journal of Cleaner Production 4, no. 2 (1996): 97-104; see also C. M. Backman, “Global Supply and Demand of Metals in the Future,” Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A, 71 (2008): 1244-1254. 104 Unconventional oil is much more difficult to extract and includes materials that are often excavated, like oil shales and tar sands, and high-viscosity oils. 105 Based on their analysis of eight hundred oil fields, including all fifty-four “supergiants” containing five billion or more barrels, the International Energy Agency estimates the world average production-weighted decline rate is currently about 6.7% for fields that have passed their production peak, rising to 8.6% decline by 2030. World Energy Outlook 2008, OECD/IEA, 578 pp. 106 U.S.

The cost to produce it has dropped from thirty-five dollars per barrel in 1980 to twenty dollars per barrel in recent years, making even fifty-dollars-per-barrel oil prices very profitable.421 Huge new supplies of natural gas, needed for energy and hydrogen, will come online with construction of the Mackenzie Gas Project, a long-anticipated 1,220-kilometer pipeline that will carry Arctic gas from the Mackenzie Delta area to the tar sands and other North American markets. 422 History tells us that Canada’s adherence to international climate-change treaties crumbles before market forces like these: The tar sands are the biggest reason why Canada not only failed to meet her pledged reduction in carbon dioxide emissions under the Kyoto Protocol (to -6% below 1990 levels), but actually grew them +27% instead.423 So far, about 530 square kilometers have been strip-mined, an area not much greater than the city of Edmonton. But tar sands underlie a staggering 140,000 square kilometers of Alberta, nearly one-fourth of the province and about the size of Bangladesh. Of this large area, about 20%—sixty more Edmontons—are shallow enough for strip mining.

It was northern Alberta, not Noril’sk. Beneath me sprawled the open sores of the Athabasca Tar Sands, economic engine of Fort McMurray and almost one-half of the Canadian oil industry. Though they are more commonly called “oil sands,” what they hold is nothing like conventional oil. The pure, light, sweet crude pumped with ease from Saudi oil fields is a dream compared to this stuff. It is tarlike bitumen, a low-grade, sulfur-rich, hydrogen-poor hydrocarbon that has soaked into vast expanses of Alberta sandstone. Extracting liquid oils from this mess is an extraordinarily invasive, consumptive, and environmentally damaging process. At present, the most common way to do it is strip mining, with about two tons of tar sand needed to obtain a single barrel of oil. Gigantic trucks and shovels scrape the stuff off the surface.


pages: 573 words: 115,489

Prosperity Without Growth: Foundations for the Economy of Tomorrow by Tim Jackson

"Robert Solow", bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, basic income, bonus culture, Boris Johnson, business cycle, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, David Graeber, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, financial deregulation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, full employment, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hans Rosling, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invisible hand, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, liberal capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, paradox of thrift, peak oil, peer-to-peer lending, Philip Mirowski, profit motive, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, secular stagnation, short selling, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, universal basic income, Works Progress Administration, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

Some have certainly argued that ‘peak everything’ is already visible. Respected observers – including the International Energy Agency (IEA) – had suggested, prior to the crisis, that a peak in oil production would arrive as early as 2020. These estimates clearly underestimated the potential rise in unconventional oil supplies. But the extent of this underestimation remains unclear.33 Optimists point to the massive reserves still lying in the tar sands and oil shales. Getting the oil out might be costly and environmentally damaging, but absolute scarcity is still a long way off, they claim. But recent detailed analyses suggest that unconventional oil will at best delay the production peak by a few decades. Some estimates even confirm a peak before 2025 and suggest that fracking will simply slow down the post-peak decline.34 In short, we are not in a position either to dismiss entirely or to confirm unequivocally the Limits to Growth scenarios.

INDEX Locators in italic refer to figures absolute decoupling 84–6; historical perspectives 89–96, 90, 92, 94, 95; mathematical relationship with relative decoupling 96–101, 111 abundance see opulence accounting errors, decoupling 84, 91 acquisition, instinctive 68 see also symbolic role of goods adaptation: diminishing marginal utility 51, 68; environmental 169; evolutionary 226 advertising, power of 140, 203–4 Africa 73, 75–7; life-expectancy 74; philosophy 227; pursuit of western lifestyles 70; growth 99; relative income effect 58, 75; schooling 78 The Age of Turbulence (Greenspan) 35 ageing populations 44, 81 agriculture 12, 148, 152, 220 Aids/HIV 77 algebra of inequality see inequality; mathematical models alienation: future visions 212, 218–19; geographical community 122–3; role of the state 205; selfishness vs. altruism 137; signals sent by society 131 alternatives: economic 101–2, 139–40, 157–8; hedonism 125–6 see also future visions; post-growth macroeconomics; reform altruism 133–8, 196, 207 amenities see public services/amenities Amish community, North America 128 An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (Smith) 123, 132 angelised growth see green growth animal welfare 220 anonymity/loneliness see alienation anthropological perspectives, consumption 70, 115 anti-consumerism 131 see also intrinsic values anxiety: fear of death 69, 104, 115, 212–15; novelty 116–17, 124, 211 Argentina 58, 78, 78, 80 Aristotle 48, 61 The Art of Happiness (Dalai Lama) 49 arts, Baumol’s cost disease 171–2 assets, stranded 167–8 see also ownership austerity policies xxxiii–xxxv, 189; and financial crisis 24, 42–3; mathematical models 181 Australia 58, 78, 128, 206 authoritarianism 199 autonomy see freedom/autonomy Ayres, Robert 143 backfire effects 111 balance: private interests/common good 208; tradition/innovation 226 Bank for International Settlements 46 bank runs 157 banking system 29–30, 39, 153–7, 208; bonuses 37–8 see also financial crisis; financial system basic entitlements: enterprise as service 142; income 67, 72–9, 74, 75, 76, 78; limits to growth 63–4 see also education; food; health Basu, Sanjay 43 Baumol, William 112, 147, 222, 223; cost disease 170, 171, 172, 173 BBC survey, geographical community 122–3 Becker, Ernest 69 Belk, Russ 70, 114 belonging 212, 219 see also alienation; community; intrinsic values Bentham, Jeremy 55 bereavement, material possessions 114, 214–15 Berger, Peter 70, 214 Berry, Wendell 8 Better Growth, Better Climate (New Climate Economy report) 18 big business/corporations 106–7 biodiversity loss 17, 47, 62, 101 biological perspectives see evolutionary theory; human nature/psyche biophysical boundaries see limits (ecological) Black Monday 46 The Body Economic (Stuckler and Basu) 43 bond markets 30, 157 bonuses, banking 37–8 Bookchin, Murray 122 boom-and-bust cycles 157, 181 Booth, Douglas 117 borrowing behaviour 34, 118–21, 119 see also credit; debt Boulding, Elise 118 Boulding, Kenneth 1, 5, 7 boundaries, biophysical see limits (ecological) bounded capabilities for flourishing 61–5 see also limits (flourishing within) Bowen, William 147 Bowling Alone (Putnam) 122 Brazil 58, 88 breakdown of community see alienation; social stability bubbles, economic 29, 33, 36 Buddhist monasteries, Thailand 128 buen vivir concept, Ecuador xxxi, 6 built-in obsolescence 113, 204, 220 Bush, George 121 business-as-usual model 22, 211; carbon dioxide emissions 101; crisis of commitment 195; financial crisis 32–8; growth 79–83, 99; human nature 131, 136–7; need for reform 55, 57, 59, 101–2, 162, 207–8, 227; throwaway society 113; wellbeing 124 see also financial systems Canada 75, 206, 207 capabilities for flourishing 61–5; circular flow of the economy 113; future visions 218, 219; and income 77; progress measures 50–5, 54; role of material abundance 67–72; and prosperity 49; relative income effect 55–61, 58, 71, 72; role of shame 123–4; role of the state 200 see also limits (flourishing within); wellbeing capital 105, 107–10 see also investment Capital in the 21st Century (Piketty) 33, 176, 177 Capital Institute, USA 155 capitalism 68–9, 80; structures 107–13, 175; types 105–7, 222, 223 car industry, financial crisis 40 carbon dioxide emissions see greenhouse gas emissions caring professions, valuing 130, 147, 207 see also social care Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Williams) 213 causal path analysis, subjective wellbeing 59 Central Bank 154 central human capabilities 64 see also capabilities for flourishing The Challenge of Affluence (Offer) 194 change see alternatives; future visions; novelty/innovation; post-growth macroeconomics; reform Chicago school of economics 36, 156 children: advertising to 204; labour 62, 154; mortality 74–5, 75, 206 Chile xxxiii, xxxvii, 58, 74, 74, 75, 76 China: decoupling 88; GDP per capita 75; greenhouse gas emissions 91; growth 99; life expectancy 74; philosophy 7; post-financial crisis 45–6; pursuit of western lifestyles 70; relative income effect 58; resource use 94; savings 27; schooling 76 choice, moving beyond consumerism 216–18 see also freedom/autonomy Christian doctrine see religious perspectives chromium, commodity price 13 Cinderella economy 219–21, 224 circular economy 144, 220 circular flow of the economy 107, 113 see also engine of growth citizen’s income 207 see also universal basic income civil unrest see social stability Clean City Law, São Paulo 204 climate change xxxv, 22, 47; critical boundaries 17–20; decoupling 85, 86, 87, 98; fatalism 186; investment needs 152; role of the state 192, 198, 201–2 see also greenhouse gas emissions Climate Change Act (2008), UK 198 clothing see basic entitlements Club of Rome, Limits to Growth report xxxii, xxxiii, 8, 11–16, Cobb, John 54 collectivism 191 commercial bond markets 30, 157 commitment devices/crisis of 192–5, 197 commodity prices: decoupling 88; financial crisis 26; fluctuation/volatility 14, 21; resource constraints 13–14 common good: future visions 218, 219; vs. freedom and autonomy 193–4; vs. private interests 208; role of the state 209 common pool resources 190–2, 198, 199 see also public services/amenities communism 187, 191 community: future visions of 219–20; geographical 122–3; investment 155–6, 204 see also alienation; intrinsic values comparison, social 115, 116, 117 see also relative income effect competition 27, 112; positional 55–61, 58, 71, 72 see also struggle for existence complexity, economic systems 14, 32, 108, 153, 203 compulsive shopping 116 see also consumerism Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (CoP21) 19 conflicted state 197, 201, 209 connectedness, global 91, 227 conspicuous consumption 115 see also language of goods consumer goods see language of goods; material goods consumer sovereignty 196, 198 consumerism 4, 21, 22, 103–4, 113–16; capitalism 105–13, 196; choice 196; engine of growth 104, 108, 120, 161; existential fear of death 69, 212–15; financial crisis 24, 28, 39, 103; moving beyond 216–18; novelty and anxiety 116–17; post-growth economy 166–7; role of the state 192–3, 196, 199, 202–5; status 211; tragedy of 140 see also demand; materialism contemplative dimensions, simplicity 127 contraction and convergence model 206–7 coordinated market economies 27, 106 Copenhagen Accord (2009) 19 copper, commodity prices 13 corporations/big business 106–7 corruption 9, 131, 186, 187, 189 The Cost Disease: Why Computers get Cheaper and Health Care Doesn’t (Baumol) 171, 172 Costa Rica 74, 74, 76 countercyclical spending 181–2, 182, 188 crafts/craft economies 147, 149, 170, 171 creative destruction 104, 112, 113, 116–17 creativity 8, 79; and consumerism 113, 116; future visions 142, 144, 147, 158, 171, 200, 220 see also novelty/innovation credit, private: deflationary forces 44; deregulation 36; financial crisis 26, 27, 27–31, 34, 36, 41; financial system weaknesses 32–3, 37; growth imperative hypothesis 178–80; mortgage loans 28–9; reforms in financial system 157; spending vs. saving behaviour of ordinary people 118–19; and stimulation of growth 36 see also debt (public) credit unions 155–6 crises: of commitment 192–5; financial see financial crisis critical boundaries, biophysical see limits (ecological) Csikszentmihalyi, Mihalyi 127 Cuba: child mortality 75; life expectancy 74, 77, 78, 78; response to economic hardship 79–80; revolution 56; schooling 76 Cushman, Philip 116 Dalai Lama 49, 52 Daly, Herman xxxii, 54, 55, 160, 163, 165 Darwin, Charles 132–3 Das Kapital (Marx) 225 Davidson, Richard 49 Davos World Economic Forum 46 Dawkins, Richard 134–5 de Mandeville, Bernard 131–2, 157 death, denial of 69, 104, 115, 212–15 debt, public-sector 81; deflationary forces 44; economic stability 81; financial crisis 24, 26–32, 27, 37, 41, 42, 81; financial systems 28–32, 153–7; money creation 178–9; post-growth economy 178–9, 223 Debt: The First Five Thousand Years (Graeber) 28 decoupling xix, xx, xxxvii, 21, 84–7; dilemma of growth 211; efficiency measures 84, 86, 87, 88, 95, 104; green growth 163, 163–5; historical perspectives 87–96, 89, 90, 92, 94, 95; need for new economic model 101–2; relationship between relative and absolute 96–101 deep emission and resource cuts 99, 102 deficit spending 41, 43 deflationary forces, post-financial crisis 43–7, 45 degrowth movement 161–3, 177 demand 104, 113–16, 166–7; post-financial crisis 44–5; post-growth economy 162, 164, 166–9, 171–2, 174–5 dematerialisation 102, 143 democratisation, and wellbeing 59 deposit guarantees 35 deregulation 27, 34, 36, 196 desire, role in consumer behaviour 68, 69, 70, 114 destructive materialism 104, 112, 113, 116–17 Deutsche Bank 41 devaluation of currency 30, 45 Dichter, Ernest 114 digital economy 44, 219–20 dilemma of growth xxxi, 66–7, 104, 210; basic entitlements 72–9, 74, 75, 76, 78; decoupling 85, 87, 164; degrowth movement 160–3; economic stability 79–83, 174–6; material abundance 67–72; moving beyond 165, 166, 183–4; role of the state 198 diminishing marginal utility: alternative hedonism 125, 126; wellbeing 51–2, 57, 60, 73, 75–6, 79 disposable incomes 27, 67, 118 distributed ownership 223 Dittmar, Helga 126 domestic debt see credit dopamine 68 Dordogne, mindfulness community 128 double movement of society 198 Douglas, Mary 70 Douthwaite, Richard 178 downshifting 128 driving analogy, managing change 16–17 durability, consumer goods 113, 204, 220 dynamic systems, managing change 16–17 Eastern Europe 76, 122 Easterlin, Richard 56, 57, 59; paradox 56, 58 eco-villages, Findhorn community 128 ecological investment 101, 166–70, 220 see also investment ecological limits see limits (ecological) ecological (ecosystem) services 152, 169, 223 The Ecology of Money (Douthwaite) 178 economic growth see growth economic models see alternatives; business-as-usual model; financial systems; future visions; mathematical models; post-growth macroeconomics economic output see efficiency; productivity ‘Economic possibilities for our grandchildren’ (Keynes) 145 economic stability 22, 154, 157, 161; financial system weaknesses 34, 35, 36, 180; growth 21, 24, 67, 79–83, 174–6, 210; post-growth economy 161–3, 165, 174–6, 208, 219; role of the state 181–3, 195, 198, 199 economic structures: post-growth economy 227; financial system reforms 224; role of the state 205; selfishness 137 see also business-as-usual model; financial systems ecosystem functioning 62–3 see also limits (ecological) ecosystem services 152, 169, 223 Ecuador xxxi, 6 education: Baumol’s cost disease 171, 172; and income 67, 76, 76; investment in 150–1; role of the state 193 see also basic entitlements efficiency measures 84, 86–8, 95, 104, 109–11, 142–3; energy 41, 109–11; growth 111, 211; investment 109, 151; of scale 104 see also labour productivity; relative decoupling Ehrlich, Paul 13, 96 elasticity of substitution, labour and capital 177–8 electricity grid 41, 151, 156 see also energy Elgin, Duane 127 Ellen MacArthur Foundation 144 emissions see greenhouse gas emissions employee ownership 223 employment intensity vs. carbon dioxide emissions 148 see also labour productivity empty self 116, 117 see also consumerism ends above means 159 energy return on investment (EROI) 12, 169 energy services/systems 142: efficiency 41, 109–11; inputs/intensity 87–8, 151; investment 41, 109–10, 151–2; renewable xxxv, 41, 168–9 engine of growth 145; consumerism 104, 108, 161; services 143, 170–4 see also circular flow of the economy enough is enough see limits enterprise as service 140, 141–4, 158 see also novelty/innovation entitlements see basic entitlements entrepreneur as visionary 112 entrepreneurial state 220 Environmental Assessment Agency, Netherlands 62 environmental quality 12 see also pollution environmentalism 9 EROI (energy return on investment) 12, 169 Essay on the Principle of Population (Malthus) 9–11, 132–3 evolutionary map, human heart 136, 136 evolutionary theory 132–3; common good 193; post-growth economy 226; psychology 133–5; selfishness and altruism 196 exchange values 55, 61 see also gross domestic product existential fear of death 69, 104, 115, 212–15 exponential expansion 1, 11, 20–1, 210 see also growth external debt 32, 42 extinctions/biodiversity loss 17, 47, 62, 101 Eyres, Harry 215 Fable of the Bees (de Mandeville) 131–2 factor inputs 109–10 see also capital; labour; resource use fast food 128 fatalism 186 FCCC (Framework Convention on Climate Change) 92 fear of death, existential 69, 104, 115, 212–15 feedback loops 16–17 financial crisis (2008) 6, 23–5, 32, 77, 103; causes and culpability 25–8; financial system weaknesses 32–7, 108; Keynesianism 37–43, 188; nationalisation of financial sector 188; need for financial reforms 175; role of debt 24, 26–32, 27, 81, 179; role of state 191; slowing of growth 43–7, 45; spending vs. saving behaviour of ordinary people 118–21, 119; types/definitions of capitalism 106; youth unemployment 144–5 financial systems: common pool resources 192; debt-based/role of debt 28–32, 153–7; post-growth economy 179, 208; systemic weaknesses 32–7; and wellbeing 47 see also banking system; business-as-usual model; financial crisis; reform Findhorn community 128 finite limits of planet see limits (ecological) Fisher, Irving 156, 157 fishing rights 22 flourishing see capabilities for flourishing; limits; wellbeing flow states 127 Flynt, Larry 40 food 67 see also basic entitlements Ford, Henry 154 forestry/forests 22, 192 Forrester, Jay 11 fossil fuels 11, 20 see also oil Foucault, Michel 197 fracking 14, 15 Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) 92 France: GDP per capita 58, 75, 76; inequality 206; life-expectancy 74; mindfulness community 128; working hours 145 free market 106: financial crisis 35, 36, 37, 38, 39; ideological controversy/conflict 186–7, 188 freedom/autonomy: vs. common good 193–4; consumer 22, 68–9; language of goods 212; personal choices for improvement 216–18; wellbeing 49, 59, 62 see also individualism Friedman, Benjamin 176 Friedman, Milton 36, 156, 157 frugality 118–20, 127–9, 215–16 fun (more fun with less stuff) 129, 217 future visions 2, 158, 217–21; community banking 155–6; dilemma of growth 211; enterprise as service 140, 141–4, 147–8, 158; entrepreneur as visionary 112; financial crisis as opportunity 25; and growth 165–6; investment 22, 101–2, 140, 149–53, 158, 169, 208; money as social good 140, 153–7, 158; processes of change 185; role of the state 198, 199, 203; timescales for change 16–17; work as participation 140, 144–9, 148, 158 see also alternatives; post-growth macroeconomics; reform Gandhi, Mahatma 127 GDP see gross domestic product gene, selfish 134–5 Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) 54, 54 geographical community 122–3 Germany xxxi; Federal Ministry of Finance 224–5; inequality 206; relative income effect 58; trade balance 31; work as participation 146 Glass Steagal Act 35 Global Commodity Price Index (1992–2015) 13 global corporations 106–7 global economy 98: culture 70; decoupling 86–8, 91, 93–5, 95, 97, 98, 100; exponential expansion 20–1; inequality 4, 5–6; interconnectedness 91, 227; post-financial crisis slowing of growth 45 Global Research report (HSBC) 41 global warming see climate change Godley, Wynne 179 Goldman Sachs 37 good life 3, 6; moral dimension 63, 104; wellbeing 48, 50 goods see language of goods; material goods; symbolic role of goods Gordon, Robert 44 governance 22, 185–6; commons 190–2; crisis of commitment 192–5, 197; economic stability 34, 35; establishing limits 200–8, 206; growth 195–9; ideological controversy/conflict 186–9; moving towards change 197–200, 220–1; post-growth economy 181–3, 182; power of corporations 106; for prosperity 209; signals 130 government as household metaphor 30, 42 governmentality 197, 198 GPI (Genuine Progress Indicator) 54, 54 Graeber, David 28 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act 35 Great Depression 39–40 Greece: austerity xxxiii–xxxiv, xxxvii, 43; energy inputs 88; financial crisis 28, 30, 31, 77; life expectancy 74; schooling 76; relative income effect 58; youth unemployment 144 Green Economy initiative 41 green: growth xxxvii, 18, 85, 153, 166, 170; investment 41 Green New Deal, UNEP 40–1, 152, 188 greenhouse gas emissions 18, 85, 86, 91, 92; absolute decoupling 89–92, 90, 92, 98–101, 100; dilemma of growth 210–11; vs. employment intensity 148; future visions 142, 151, 201–2, 220; Kyoto Protocol 18, 90; reduction targets 19–20; relative decoupling 87, 88, 89, 93, 98–101, 100 see also climate change Greenspan, Alan 35 gross domestic product (GDP) per capita 3–5, 15, 54; climate change 18; decoupling 85, 93, 94; financial crisis 27, 28, 32; green growth 163–5; life expectancy 74, 75, 78; as measure of prosperity 3–4, 5, 53–5, 54, 60–1; post-financial crisis 43, 44; post-growth economy 207; schooling 76; wellbeing 55–61, 58 see also income growth xxxvii; capitalism 105; credit 36, 178–80; decoupling 85, 96–101; economic stability 21, 24, 67, 80, 210; financial crisis 37, 38; future visions 209, 223, 224; inequality 177; labour productivity 111; moving beyond 165, 166; novelty 112; ownership 105; post-financial crisis slowing 43–7, 45; prosperity as 3–7, 23, 66; role of the state 195–9; sustainable investment 166–70; wellbeing 59–60; as zero sum game 57 see also dilemma of growth; engine of growth; green growth; limits to growth; post-growth macroeconomy growth imperative hypothesis 37, 174, 175, 177–80, 183 habit formation, acquisition as 68 Hall, Peter 106, 188 Hamilton, William 134 Hansen, James 17 happiness see wellbeing/happiness Happiness (Layard) 55 Hardin, Garrett 190–1 Harvey, David 189, 192 Hayek, Friedrich 187, 189, 191 health: Baumol’s cost disease 171, 172; inequality 72–3, 205–6, 206; investment 150–1; and material abundance 67, 68; personal choices for improvement 217; response to economic hardship 80; role of the state 193 see also basic entitlements Heath, Edward 66, 82 hedonism 120, 137, 196; alternatives 125–6 Hirsch, Fred xxxii–xxxiii historical perspectives: absolute decoupling 86, 89–96, 90, 92, 94, 95; relative decoupling 86, 87–9, 89 Holdren, John 96 holistic solutions, post-growth economy 175 household finances: house purchases 28–9; spending vs. saving behaviour 118–20, 119 see also credit household metaphor, government as 30, 42 HSBC Global Research report 41 human capabilities see capabilities for flourishing human happiness see wellbeing/happiness human nature/psyche 3, 132–5, 138; acquisition 68; alternative hedonism 125; evolutionary map of human heart 136, 136; intrinsic values 131; meaning/purpose 49–50; novelty/innovation 116; selfishness vs. altruism 133–8; short-termism/living for today 194; spending vs. saving behaviour 34, 118–21, 119; symbolic role of goods 69 see also intrinsic values human rights see basic entitlements humanitarian perspectives: financial crisis 24; growth 79; inequality 5, 52, 53 see also intrinsic values hyperbolic discounting 194 hyperindividualism 226 see also individualism hyper-materialisation 140, 157 I Ching (Chinese Book of Changes) 7 Iceland: financial crisis 28; life expectancy 74, 75; relative income effect 56; response to economic hardship 79–80; schooling 76; sovereign money system 157 identity construction 52, 69, 115, 116, 212, 219 IEA (International Energy Agency) 14, 152 IMF (International Monetary Fund) 45, 156–7 immaterial goods 139–40 see also intrinsic values; meaning/purpose immortality, symbolic role of goods 69, 104, 115, 212–14 inclusive growth see inequality; smart growth income 3, 4, 5, 66, 124; basic entitlements 72–9, 74, 75, 76, 78; child mortality 74–5, 75; decoupling 96; economic stability 82; education 76; life expectancy 72, 73, 74, 77–9, 78; poor nations 67; relative income effect 55–61, 58, 71, 72; tax revenues 81 see also gross domestic product INDCs (intended nationally determined commitments) 19 India: decoupling 99; growth 99; life expectancy 74, 75; philosophy 127; pursuit of western lifestyles 70; savings 27; schooling 76 indicators of environmental quality 96 see also biodiversity; greenhouse gas emissions; pollution; resource use individualism 136, 226; progressive state 194–7, 199, 200, 203, 207 see also freedom/autonomy industrial development 12 see also technological advances inequality 22, 67; basic entitlements 72; child mortality 75, 75; credible alternatives 219, 224; deflationary forces 44; fatalism 186; financial crisis 24; global 4, 5–6, 99, 100; financial system weaknesses 32–3; post-growth economy 174, 176–8; role of the state 198, 205–7, 206; selfishness vs. altruism 137; symbolic role of goods 71; wellbeing 47, 104 see also poverty infant mortality rates 72, 75 inflation 26, 30, 110, 157, 167 infrastructure, civic 150–1 Inglehart, Ronald 58, 59 innovation see novelty/innovation; technological advances inputs 80–1 see also capital; labour productivity; resource use Inside Job documentary film 26 instant gratification 50, 61 instinctive acquisition 68 Institute for Fiscal Studies 81 Institute for Local Self-Reliance 204 institutional structures 130 see also economic structures; governance intended nationally determined commitments (INDCs) 19 intensity factor, technological 96, 97 see also technological advances intentional communities 127–9 interconnectedness, global 91, 227 interest payments/rates 39, 43, 110; financial crisis 29, 30, 33, 39; post-growth economy 178–80 see also credit; debt Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 18, 19, 201–2 International Energy Agency (IEA) 14, 152 International Monetary Fund (IMF) 45, 156–7 intrinsic values 126–31, 135–6, 212; role of the state 199, 200 see also belonging; community; meaning/purpose; simplicity/frugality investment 107–10, 108; ecological/sustainable 101, 152, 153, 166–70, 220; and innovation 112; loans 29; future visions 22, 101–2, 140, 149–53, 158, 169, 208, 220; and savings 108; social 155, 156, 189, 193, 208, 220–3 invisible hand metaphor 132, 133, 187 IPAT equation, relative and absolute decoupling 96 IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) 18, 19, 201–2 Ireland 28; inequality 206; life expectancy 74, 75; schooling 76; wellbeing 58 iron cage of consumerism see consumerism iron ore 94 James, Oliver 205 James, William 68 Japan: equality 206; financial crisis 27, 45; life expectancy 74, 76, 79; relative income effect 56, 58; resource use 93; response to economic hardship 79–80 Jefferson, Thomas 185 Jobs, Steve 210 Johnson, Boris 120–1 Kahneman, Daniel 60 Kasser, Tim 126 keeping up with the Joneses 115, 116, 117 see also relative income effect Kennedy, Robert 48, 53 Keynes, John Maynard/Keynesianism 23, 34, 120, 174, 181–3, 187–8; financial crisis 37–43; financial system reforms 157; part-time working 145; steady state economy 159, 162 King, Alexander 11 Krugman, Paul 39, 85, 86, 102 Kyoto Protocol (1992) 18, 90 labour: child 62, 154; costs 110; division of 158; elasticity of substitution 177, 178; intensity 109, 148, 208; mobility 123; production inputs 80, 109; structures of capitalism 107 labour productivity 80–1, 109–11; Baumol’s cost disease 170–2; and economic growth 111; future visions 220, 224; investment as commitment 150; need for investment 109; post-growth economy 175, 208; services as engine of growth 170; sustainable investment 166, 170; trade off with resource use 110; work-sharing 145, 146, 147, 148, 148, 149 Lahr, Christin 224–5 laissez-faire capitalism 187, 195, 196 see also free market Lakoff, George 30 language of goods 212; material footprint of 139–40; signalling of social status 71; and wellbeing 124 see also consumerism; material goods; symbolic role of goods Layard, Richard 55 leadership, political 199 see also governance Lebow, Victor 120 Lehman Brothers, bankruptcy 23, 25, 26, 118 leisure economy 204 liberal market economies 106, 107; financial crisis 27, 35–6 life expectancy: and income 72, 73, 74, 77–9, 78; inequality 206; response to economic hardship 80 see also basic entitlements life-satisfaction 73; inequality 205; relative income effect 55–61, 58 see also wellbeing/happiness limits, ecological 3, 4, 7, 11, 12, 20–2; climate change 17–20; decoupling 86; financial crisis 23–4; growth 21, 165, 210; post-growth economy 201–2, 226–7; role of the state 198, 200–2, 206–7; and social boundaries 141; wellbeing 62–63, 185 limits, flourishing within 61–5, 185; alternative hedonism 125–6; intrinsic values 127–31; moving towards 215, 218, 219, 221; paradox of materialism 121–23; prosperity 67–72, 113, 212; role of the state 201–2, 205; selfishness 131–8; shame 123–4; spending vs. saving behaviour 118–21, 119 see also sustainable prosperity limits to growth: confronting 7–8; exceeding 20–2; wellbeing 62–3 Limits to Growth report (Club of Rome) xxxii, xxxiii, 8, 11–16 ‘The Living Standard’ essay (Sen) 50, 123–4 living standards 82 see also prosperity Lloyd, William Forster 190 loans 154; community investment 155–6; financial system weaknesses 34 see also credit; debt London School of Economics 25 loneliness 123, 137 see also alienation long-term: investments 222; social good 219 long-term wellbeing vs. short-term pleasures 194, 197 longevity see life expectancy love 212 see also intrinsic values low-carbon transition 19, 220 LowGrow model for the Canadian economy 175 MacArthur Foundation 144 McCracken, Grant 115 Malthus, Thomas Robert 9–11, 132–3, 190 market economies: coordinated 27, 106; liberal 27, 35–6, 106, 107 market liberalism 106, 107; financial crisis 27, 35–6; wellbeing 47 marketing 140, 203–4 Marmot review, health inequality in the UK 72 Marx, Karl/Marxism 9, 189, 192, 225 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 11, 12, 15 material abundance see opulence material goods 68–9; identity 52; language of 139–40; and wellbeing 47, 48, 49, 51, 65, 126 see also symbolic role of goods material inputs see resource use materialism: and fear of death 69, 104, 115, 212–15; and intrinsic values 127–31; paradox of 121–3; price of 126; and religion 115; values 126, 135–6 see also consumerism mathematical models/simulations 132; austerity policies 181; countercyclical spending 181–2, 182; decoupling 84, 91, 96–101; inequality 176–8; post-growth economy 164; stock-flow consistent 179–80 Mawdsley, Emma 70 Mazzucato, Mariana 193, 220 MDG (Millennium Development Goals) 74–5 Meadows, Dennis and Donella 11, 12, 15, 16 meaning/purpose 2, 8, 22; beyond material goods 212–16; consumerism 69, 203, 215; intrinsic values 127–31; moving towards 218–20; wellbeing 49, 52, 60, 121–2; work 144, 146 see also intrinsic values means and ends 159 mental health: inequality 206; meaning/purpose 213 metaphors: government as household 30, 42; invisible hand 132, 133, 187 Middle East, energy inputs 88 Miliband, Ed 199 Mill, John Stuart 125, 159, 160, 174 Millennium Development Goals (MDG) 74–5 mindfulness 128 Minsky, Hyman 34, 35, 40, 182, 208 MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) 11, 12, 15 mixed economies 106 mobility of labour, loneliness index 123 Monbiot, George 84, 85, 86, 91 money: creation 154, 157, 178–9; and prosperity 5; as social good 140, 153–7, 158 see also financial systems monopoly power, corporations 106–7 The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth (Friedman) 82, 176 moral dimensions, good life 63 see also intrinsic values moral hazards, separation of risk from reward 35 ‘more fun with less stuff’ 129, 217 mortality fears 69, 104, 115, 212–15 mortality rates, and income 74, 74–6, 75 mortgage loans 28–9, 35 multinational corporations 106–7 national debt see debt, public-sector nationalisation 191; financial crisis 38, 188 natural selection 132–3 see also struggle for existence nature, rights of 6–7 negative emissions 98–9 negative feedback loops 16–17 Netherlands 58, 62, 206, 207 neuroscientific perspectives: flourishing 68, 69; human behaviour 134 New Climate Economy report Better Growth, Better Climate 18 New Deal, USA 39 New Economics Foundation 175 nickel, commodity prices 13 9/11 terrorist attacks (2001) 121 Nordhaus, William 171, 172–3 North America 128, 155 see also Canada; United States Norway: advertising 204; inequality 206; investment as commitment 151–2; life expectancy 74; relative income effect 58; schooling 76 novelty/innovation 104, 108, 113; and anxiety 116–17, 124, 211; crisis of commitment 195; dilemma of growth 211; human psyche 135–6, 136, 137; investment 150, 166, 168; post-growth economy 226; role of the state 196, 197, 199; as service 140, 141–4, 158; symbolic role of goods 114–16, 213 see also technological advances Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness (Thaler and Sunstein) 194–5 Nussbaum, Martha 64 nutrient loading, critical boundaries 17 nutrition 67 see also basic entitlements obesity 72, 78, 206 obsolescence, built in 113, 204, 220 oceans: acidification 17; common pool resources 192 Offer, Avner 57, 61, 71, 194, 195 oil prices 14, 21; decoupling 88; financial crisis 26; resource constraints 15 oligarchic capitalism 106, 107 opulence 50–1, 52, 67–72 original sin 9, 131 Ostrom, Elinor and Vincent 190, 191 output see efficiency; gross domestic product; productivity ownership: and expansion 105; private vs. public 9, 105, 191, 219, 223; new models 223–4; types/definitions of capitalism 105–7 Oxfam 141 paradoxes: materialism 121–3; thrift 120 Paris Agreement 19, 101, 201 participation in society 61, 114, 122, 129, 137; future visions 200, 205, 218, 219, 225; work as 140–9, 148, 157, 158 see also social inclusion part-time working 145, 146, 149, 175 Peccei, Aurelio 11 Perez, Carlota 112 performing arts, Baumol’s cost disease 171–2 personal choice 216–18 see also freedom/autonomy personal property 189, 191 Pickett, Kate 71, 205–6 Piketty, Thomas 33, 176, 177 planetary boundaries see limits (ecological) planning for change 17 pleasure 60–1 see also wellbeing/happiness Plum Village mindfulness community 128 Polanyi, Karl 198 policy see governance political leadership 199 see also governance Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts 41 pollution 12, 21, 53, 95–6, 143 polycentric governance 191, 192 Poor Laws 10 poor nations see poverty population increase 3, 12, 63, 96, 97, 190; Malthus on 9–11, 132–3 porn industry 40 Portugal 28, 58, 88, 206 positional competition 55–61, 58, 71, 72 see also social comparison positive feedback loops 16–17 post-growth capitalism 224 post-growth macroeconomics 159–60, 183–4, 221; credit 178–80; degrowth movement 161–3; economic stability 174–6; green growth 163–5; inequality 176–8; role of state 181–3, 182, 200–8, 206; services 170–4; sustainable investment 166–70 see also alternatives; future visions; reform poverty 4, 5–6, 216; basic entitlements 72; flourishing within limits 212; life expectancy 74, 74; need for new economic model 101; symbolic role of goods 70; wellbeing 48, 59–60, 61, 67 see also inequality; relative income effect power politics 200 predator–prey analogy 103–4, 117 private credit see credit private vs. public: common good 208; ownership 9, 105, 191, 219, 223; salaries 130 privatisation 191, 219 product lifetimes, obsolescence 113, 204, 220 production: inputs 80–1; ownership 191, 219, 223 productivity: investment 109, 167, 168, 169; post-growth economy 224; services as engine of growth 171, 172, 173; targets 147; trap 175 see also efficiency measures; labour productivity; resource productivity profits: definitions of capitalism 105; dilemma of growth 211; efficiency measures 87; investment 109; motive 104; post-growth economy 224; and wages 175–8 progress 2, 50–5, 54 see also novelty/innovation; technological advances progressive sector, Baumol’s cost disease 171 progressive state 185, 220–2; contested 186–9; countering consumerism 202–5; equality measures 205–7, 206; governance of the commons 190–2; governance as commitment device 192–5; governmentality of growth 195–7; limit-setting 201–2; moving towards 197–200; post-growth macroeconomics 207–8, 224; prosperity 209 prosocial behaviour 198 see also social contract prosperity 1–3, 22, 121; capabilities for flourishing 61–5; and growth 3–7, 23, 66, 80, 160; and income 3–4, 5, 66–7; limits of 67–72, 113, 212; materialistic vision 137; progress measures 50–5, 54; relative income effect 55–61, 58, 71, 72; social perspectives 2, 22, 48–9; state roles 209 see also capabilities for flourishing; post-growth macroeconomics; sustainable prosperity; wellbeing prudence, financial 120, 195, 221; financial crisis 33, 34, 35 public sector spending: austerity policies 189; countercyclical spending strategy 181–2, 182; welfare economy 169 public services/amenities: common pool resources 190–2, 198, 199; future visions 204, 218–20; investment 155–6, 204; ownership 223 see also private vs. public; service-based economies public transport 41, 129, 193, 217 purpose see meaning/purpose Putnam, Robert 122 psyche, human see human nature/psyche quality, environmental 12 see also pollution quality of life: enterprise as service 142; inequality 206; sustainable 128 quality to throughput ratios 113 quantitative easing 43 Queen Elizabeth II 25, 32, 34, 37 quiet revolution 127–31 Raworth, Kate 141 Reagan, Ronald 8 rebound phenomenon 111 recession 23–4, 28, 81, 161–3 see also financial crisis recreation/leisure industries 143 recycling 129 redistribution of wealth 52 see also inequality reforms 182–3, 222; economic structures 224; and financial crisis 103; financial systems 156–8, 180 see also alternatives; future visions; post-growth economy relative decoupling 84–5, 86; historical perspectives 87–9, 89; relationship with absolute decoupling 96–101, 111 relative income effect 55–61, 58, 71, 72 see also social comparison religious perspectives 9–10, 214–15; materialism as alternative to religion 115; original sin 9, 131; wellbeing 48, 49 see also existential fear of death renewable energy xxxv, 41, 168–169 repair/renovation 172, 220 resource constraints 3, 7, 8, 11–15, 47 resource productivity 110, 151, 168, 169, 220 resource use: conflicts 22; credible alternatives 101, 220; decoupling 84–9, 92–5, 94, 95; and economic output 142–4; investment 151, 153, 168, 169; trade off with labour costs 110 retail therapy 115 see also consumerism; shopping revenues, state 222–3 see also taxation revolution 186 see also social stability rights: environment/nature 6–7; human see basic entitlements risk, financial 24, 25, 33, 35 The Road to Serfdom (Hayek) 187 Robinson, Edward 132 Robinson, Joan 159 Rockström, Johan 17, 165 romantic movement 9–10 Roosevelt, Franklin D. 35, 39 Rousseau, Jean Jacques 9, 131 Russia 74, 76, 77–80, 78, 122 sacred canopy 214, 215 salaries: private vs. public sector 130, 171; and profits 175–8 Sandel, Michael 150, 164, 218 São Paulo, Clean City Law 204 Sardar, Zia 49, 50 Sarkozy, Nicolas xxxi, 53 savage state, romantic movement 9–10 savings 26–7, 28, 107–9, 108; investment 149; ratios 34, 118–20, 119 scale, efficiencies of 104 Scandinavia 27, 122, 204 scarcity, managing change 16–17 Schumpeter, Joseph 112 Schwartz, Shalom 135–6, 136 schooling see education The Science of Desire (Dichter) 114 secular stagnation 43–7, 45, 173 securitisation, mortgage loans 35 security: moving towards 219; and wellbeing 48, 61 self-development 204 self-expression see identity construction self-transcending behaviours see transcendence The Selfish Gene (Dawkins) 134–5 selfishness 133–8, 196 Sen, Amartya 50, 52, 61–2, 123–4 service concept/servicization 140–4, 147–8, 148, 158 service-based economies 219; engine of growth 170–4; substitution between labour and capital 178; sustainable investment 169–70 see also public services SFC (stock-flow consistent) economic models 179–80 shame 123–4 shared endeavours, post-growth economy 227 Sheldon, Solomon 214 shelter see basic entitlements shopping 115, 116, 130 see also consumerism short-termism/living for today 194, 197, 200 signals: sent out by society 130, 193, 198, 203, 207; social status 71 see also language of goods Simon, Julian 13 simplicity/simple life 118–20, 127–9, 215–16 simulations see mathematical models/simulations slow: capital 170; movement 128 smart growth 85, 163–5 see also green growth Smith, Adam 51, 106–7, 123, 132, 187 social assets 220 social boundaries (minimum standards) 141 see also basic entitlements social care 150–1 see also caring professions social comparison 115, 116, 117 see also relative income effect social contract 194, 198, 199, 200 social inclusion 48, 69–71, 114, 212 see also participation in society social investment 155, 156, 189, 193, 208, 220–3 social justice 198 see also inequality social logic of consumerism 114–16, 204 social stability 24, 26, 80, 145, 186, 196, 205 see also alienation social status see status social structures 80, 129, 130, 137, 196, 200, 203 social tolerance, and wellbeing 59, 60 social unrest see social stability social wage 40 social welfare: financial reforms 182–3; public sector spending 169 socialism 223 Sociobiology (Wilson) 134 soil integrity 220 Solon, quotation 47, 49, 71 Soper, Kate 125–6 Soros, George 36 Soskice, David 106 Soviet Union, former 74, 76, 77–80, 78, 122 Spain 28, 58, 144, 206 SPEAR organization, responsible investment 155 species loss/extinctions 17, 47, 62, 101 speculation 93, 99, 149, 150, 154, 158, 170; economic stability 180; financial crisis 26, 33, 35; short-term profiteering 150; spending: behaviour of ordinary people 34, 119, 120–1; countercyclical 181–2, 182, 188; economic stability 81; as way out of recession 41, 44, 119, 120–1; and work cycle 125 The Spirit Level (Wilkinson and Pickett) 71, 205–6 spiritual perspectives 117, 127, 128, 214 stability see economic stability; social stability stagflation 26 stagnant sector, Baumol’s cost disease 171 stagnation: economic stability 81–2; labour productivity 145; post-financial crisis 43–7, 45 see also recession state capitalism, types/definitions of capitalism 106 state revenues, from social investment 222–3 see also taxation state roles see governance status 207, 209, 211; and possessions 69, 71, 114, 115, 117 see also language of goods; symbolic role of goods Steady State Economics (Daly) xxxii steady state economies 82, 159, 160, 174, 180 see also post-growth macroeconomics Stern, Nicholas 17–18 stewardship: role of the state 200; sustainable investment 168 Stiglitz, Joseph 53 stock-flow consistent (SFC) economic models 179–80 Stockholm Resilience Centre 17, 201 stranded assets 167–8 see also ownership structures of capitalism see economic structures struggle for existence 8–11, 125, 132–3 Stuckler, David 43 stuff see language of goods; material goods; symbolic role of goods subjective wellbeing (SWB) 49, 58, 58–9, 71, 122, 129 see also wellbeing/happiness subprime lending 26 substitution, between labour and capital 177–178 suffering, struggle for existence 10 suicide 43, 52, 77 Sukdhev, Pavan 41 sulphur dioxide pollution 95–6 Summers, Larry 36 Sunstein, Cass 194 sustainability xxv–xxvi, 102, 104, 126; financial systems 154–5; innovation 226; investment 101, 152, 153, 166–70, 220; resource constraints 12; role of the state 198, 203, 207 see also sustainable prosperity Sustainable Development Strategy, UK 198 sustainable growth see green growth sustainable prosperity 210–12; creating credible alternatives 219–21; finding meaning beyond material commodities 212–16; implications for capitalism 222–5; personal choices for improvement 216–18; and utopianism 225–7 see also limits (flourishing within) SWB see subjective wellbeing; wellbeing/happiness Switzerland 11, 46, 157; citizen’s income 207; income relative to wellbeing 58; inequality 206; life expectancy 74, 75 symbolic role of goods 69, 70–1; existential fear of death 212–16; governance 203; innovation/novelty 114–16; material footprints 139–40; paradox of materialism 121–2 see also language of goods; material goods system dynamics model 11–12, 15 tar sands/oil shales 15 taxation: capital 177; income 81; inequality 206; post-growth economy 222 technological advances 12–13, 15; decoupling 85, 86, 87, 96–8, 100–3, 164–5; dilemma of growth 211; economic stability 80; population increase 10–11; role of state 193, 220 see also novelty/innovation Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre 8 terror management, and consumption 69, 104, 115, 212–15 terrorist attacks (9/11) 121 Thailand, Buddhist monasteries 128 Thaler, Richard 194 theatre, Baumol’s cost disease 171–2 theology see religious perspectives theory of evolution 132–3 thermodynamics, laws of 112, 164 Thich Nhat Hanh 128 thrift 118–20, 127–9, 215–16 throwaway society 113, 172, 204 timescales for change 16–17 tin, commodity prices 13 Today programme interview xxix, xxviii Totnes, transition movement 128–9 Towards a Green Economy report (UNEP) 152–3 Townsend, Peter 48, 61 trade balance 31 trading standards 204 tradition 135–6, 136, 226 ‘Tragedy of the commons’ (Hardin) 190–1 transcendence 214 see also altruism; meaning/purpose; spiritual perspectives transition movement, Totnes 128–9 Triodos Bank 156, 165 Trumpf (machine-tool makers) Germany 146 trust, loss of see alienation tungsten, commodity prices 13 Turkey 58, 88 Turner, Adair 157 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (2015) 19 UBS (Swiss bank) 46 Ubuntu, African philosophy 227 unemployment 77; consumer goods 215; degrowth movement 162; financial crisis 24, 40, 41, 43; Great Depression 39–40; and growth 38; labour productivity 80–1; post-growth economy 174, 175, 183, 208, 219; work as participation 144–6 United Kingdom: Green New Deal group 152; greenhouse gas emissions 92; labour productivity 173; resource inputs 93; Sustainable Development Strategy 198 United Nations: Development Programme 6; Environment Programme 18, 152–3; Green Economy initiative 41 United States: credit unions 155–6; debt 27, 31–32; decoupling 88; greenhouse gas emissions 90–1; subprime lending 26; Works Progress Administration 39 universal basic income 221 see also citizen’s income University of Massachusetts, Political Economy Research Institute 41 utilitarianism/utility, wellbeing 50, 52–3, 55, 60 utopianism 8, 38, 125, 179; post-growth economy 225–7 values, materialistic 126, 135–6 see also intrinsic values Veblen, Thorstein 115 Victor, Peter xxxviii, 146, 175, 177, 180 vision of progress see future visions; post-growth economy volatility, commodity prices 14, 21 wages: and profits 175–8; private vs. public sector 130, 171 walking, personal choices for improvement 217 water use 22 Wealth of Nations, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes (Smith) 123, 132 wealth redistribution 52 see also inequality Weber, Axel 46 welfare policies: financial reforms 182–3; public sector spending 169 welfare of livestock 220 wellbeing/happiness 47–50, 53, 121–2, 124; collective 209; consumer goods 4, 21, 22, 126; growth 6, 165, 211; intrinsic values 126, 129; investment 150; novelty/innovation 117; opulence 50–2, 67–72; personal choices for improvement 217; planetary boundaries 141; relative income effect 55–61, 58, 71, 72; simplicity 129; utilitarianism 50, 52–3, 55, 60 see also capabilities for flourishing western lifestyles 70, 210 White, William 46 Whybrow, Peter 68 Wilhelm, Richard 7 Wilkinson, Richard 71, 205–6 Williams, Tennessee 213 Wilson, Edward 134 wisdom traditions 48, 49, 63, 128, 213–14 work: as participation 140–9, 148, 157, 158; and spend cycle 125; sharing 145, 146, 149, 175 Works Progress Administration, USA 39 World Bank 160 World Values Survey 58 youth unemployment, financial crisis 144–5 zero sum game, growth as 57, 71


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

It took a while, however, before that became clear. For more than a week Enbridge did not share with the public the very pertinent fact that the substance that had leaked was not conventional crude; it was diluted bitumen, piped from the Alberta tar sands through Michigan. In fact in the early days, Enbridge’s then CEO, Patrick Daniel, flatly denied that the oil came from the tar sands and was later forced to backtrack. “What I indicated is that it was not what we have traditionally referred to as tar sands oil,” Daniel claimed of bitumen that certainly had come from the tar sands. “If it is part of the same geological formation, then I bow to that expert opinion.”82 In the fall of 2010, with many of these disasters still under way, Marty Cobenais of the Indigenous Environmental Network told me that the summer of spills was having a huge impact on communities in the path of new infrastructure projects, whether big rigs, pipelines, or tankers.

There was something else worth noting about Branson’s decision to allow his Earth Challenge to cobrand with the Alberta oil sector. The Calgary event took place at a moment when the San Francisco–based Forest Ethics had been upping the pressure on large corporations to boycott oil derived from the Alberta tar sands because of its high-carbon footprint. A fierce debate was also unfolding over whether new European fuel standards would effectively ban the sale of tar sands oil in Europe. And as early as 2008, the NRDC had sent open letters to fifteen U.S. and Canadian airlines asking them “to adopt their own corporate ‘Low Carbon Fuel Standard’ and to publicly oppose the expansion” of fuel from the tar sands and other unconventional sources, and to avoid these fuels in their own fleets. The group made a special appeal to Branson, citing his leadership in “combating global warming and developing alternative fuels.”54 It seemed like a fair enough demand: the Virgin chief had enjoyed enormous publicity for his very public climate-change promises.

Yet, the safety and spill response standards used by the United States to regulate pipeline transport of bitumen are designed for conventional oil.”67 Meanwhile, there are huge gaps in our knowledge about how spilled tar sands oil behaves in water. Over the last decade, there have been few studies published on the subject, and almost all were commissioned by the oil industry. However, a recent investigation by Environment Canada contained several disturbing findings, including that diluted tar sands oil sinks in saltwater “when battered by waves and mixed with sediments” (rather than floating on the ocean surface where it can be partially recovered) and that dispersants like those used during BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster have only “a limited effect,” according to a report in The Globe and Mail. And there has been virtually no formal research at all on the particular risks of transporting tar sands oil via truck or rail.68 Similarly, large knowledge gaps exist in our understanding of the ecological and human health impact of the Alberta tar sands themselves, with their enormous open-pit mines, dump trucks that can reach up to five stories high, and roaring upgraders.


pages: 105 words: 18,832

The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View From the Future by Naomi Oreskes, Erik M. Conway

anti-communist, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, means of production, oil shale / tar sands, Pierre-Simon Laplace, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, stochastic process, the built environment, the market place

In the late twentieth century, Canada was considered an advanced nation with a high level of environmental sensitivity, but this changed around the year 2000 20 T h e F r e n z y o F F o s s i l F u e l s when Canada’s government began to push for development of huge tar sand deposits in the province of Alberta, as well as shale gas in various parts of the country. The Canada was considered an tar sand deposits (which the advanced nation with a high government preferred to call level of environmental sensitiv- ity, but this changed around oil sands, because liquid oil the year 2000 when Canada’s had a better popular image government began to push for than sticky tar) had been development of huge tar sand mined intermittently since deposits in the province of the 1960s, but the rising Alberta, as well as shale gas in cost of conventional oil now various parts of the country.


pages: 263 words: 79,016

The Sport and Prey of Capitalists by Linda McQuaig

anti-communist, Bernie Sanders, carbon footprint, clean water, diversification, Donald Trump, energy transition, financial innovation, Kickstarter, Menlo Park, Naomi Klein, neoliberal agenda, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, payday loans, profit motive, risk/return, Ronald Reagan, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, union organizing

Realizing that the heady oil prices wouldn’t last forever, he also established the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund, with an initial investment of $1.5 billion in 1976, to hold a portion of the province’s resource revenues as a nest egg for the future. It was Lougheed who launched the development of Alberta’s massive tar sands, or oil sands, as they’ve been renamed to soften their image. He saw the gigantic oil sands deposit as pivotal to the long-term prosperity of the province, as well as offering a chance to break the dominance of foreign corporations. A 1972 document produced for his government describes the oil sands as “a unique opportunity to change the historical trend of ever increasing foreign control of non-renewable resource development in Canada.”3 From its early days, the Lougheed government invested heavily in advancing the oil sands, funding government agencies that developed key technologies to extract bitumen from the gooey, tar-like sands, as well as creating a regulatory framework to supervise the development. When the privately owned Syncrude consortium seemed on the verge of abandoning its oil sands project in 1975, the Lougheed government stepped in with a two-­hundred-million-dollar investment.

The larger point is that public ownership is a potentially powerful, transformative vehicle for national development, and Canada has a long history of using it wisely and effectively to advance the broad public interest. As we continue to sell off more and more of what we’ve collectively built as a nation, let’s not desecrate the role of public ownership by falsely invoking the national interest when the only real beneficiaries are a set of immensely wealthy interests based in Houston. A pipeline that facilitates the exploitation of the tar sands is something Canadians don’t need. But something we do need is a strong national infrastructure: public transit, affordable housing, roads, and bridges, as well as hospitals and schools. During the 2015 election campaign, Justin Trudeau promised he would take advantage of historically low interest rates in order to rebuild our national infrastructure. Canadians liked what they heard and voted him into power.

Then, turning to the Norwegian officials in the room, Øien added in a voice loud enough for all to hear, “So, you guys didn’t take enough.” Years later, Wiborg still marvels at the oil minister’s “Viking chutzpah.”16 In truth, a strain of Viking chutzpah has been evident at times in Canadians, particularly back in the Lougheed years. David G. Wood, communications director for the Lougheed government, recalls then energy minister Don Getty negotiating the terms for tar sands development with high-level members of the Syncrude consortium in 1973. When it became clear the consortium wouldn’t budge on their demands, Getty announced that he was ending the meeting, which he did, prompting the consortium to become more flexible in the following days.17 For that matter, Lougheed’s insistence on standing up to the industry made him sufficiently unpopular that his membership in the Calgary Petroleum Club was revoked.


pages: 313 words: 92,907

Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less Are Thekeys to Sustainability by David Owen

A Pattern Language, active transport: walking or cycling, big-box store, Buckminster Fuller, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, delayed gratification, distributed generation, drive until you qualify, East Village, food miles, garden city movement, hydrogen economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, linear programming, McMansion, Murano, Venice glass, Negawatt, New Urbanism, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, placebo effect, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thomas L Friedman, unemployed young men, urban planning, urban sprawl, walkable city, zero-sum game

David Goodstein writes, “As we progress down the fossil fuel list from light crude oil (the stuff we mostly use now) to heavy oil, oil sands, tar sands, and finally shale oil, the cost in energy progressively increases, as do other costs.”24 All such calculations are subject to angry, irresolvable debate. (The EROEI of Middle Eastern oil looks worse if you include the cost of American military expenditures, in Iraq and elsewhere, that were intended at least partly to preserve U.S. access to those supplies,d or if you try to include some reckoning of the environmental costs of producing and using various fuels, and it looks better if you factor in the increasing energy efficiency of modern machines.) In addition, fossil fuels are by no means interchangeable; some aren’t even fuels. “Shale oil” is a misnomer, since shale oil—of which the United States has vast deposits—isn’t oil at all but is, rather, a dirty, difficult-to-extract oil precursor, which can be turned into a burnable fuel only with massive environmental disruption and a huge input of energy, giving it an EROEI that is probably much less than 1.


pages: 219 words: 63,495

50 Future Ideas You Really Need to Know by Richard Watson

23andMe, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, digital Maoism, digital map, Elon Musk, energy security, failed state, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, happiness index / gross national happiness, hive mind, hydrogen economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, life extension, Mark Shuttleworth, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peak oil, personalized medicine, phenotype, precision agriculture, profit maximization, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Florida, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, semantic web, Skype, smart cities, smart meter, smart transportation, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, Stuxnet, supervolcano, telepresence, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Turing test, urban decay, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, women in the workforce, working-age population, young professional

Oil is running out, alongside other key resources, but the amount that’s left is probably much more than we think and largely depends on what price people are willing to pay for it. With oil, in particular, technology will rapidly develop alongside demand, as it has done historically. This means that deeper deposits will be accessed alongside new reserves. Furthermore, “peak oil” generally refers to conventional oil, but there are huge reserves of unconventional oils such as tar sands, ultraheavy oils, oil shale and bituminous schist. Over the next few decades we’ll have problems matching rising demand to supply, but the main issues will be price volatility, transport and refining capacity—not a lack of oil. And let’s not forget that higher prices are an incentive for people to use resources more wisely and to develop highly cost-efficient alternatives. Nevertheless, in 2030, we will still rely on oil for around 29 percent of our energy needs and the world is still likely to get at least 75 percent of its energy from oil, coal and gas.

Yet simply turning things off, or not using devices or appliances at certain times of day, could make an enormous difference. According to the US Department of Energy, global electricity demand will rise by 77 percent by 2030. Yet simply designing fuel-efficient devices, factories and cars (relatively simple technology) could reduce demand by 20–33 percent. But changing how we use energy is not that straightforward: our infrastructure is largely designed for oil, not alternatives such as shale gas. The argument that we need a radical technology revolution to save the planet, however, is not necessarily true. Resource nationalism Ten of the largest oil companies in the world are “nationals”—state-controlled oil companies. Moreover, many of the owners of the world’s largest remaining oil fields are moving to the far left politically and could potentially nationalize all energy and resource production within their borders.


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

A 55-mile-per-hour speed limit was introduced.77 (Many of these policies, such as fuel economy regulations and renewable subsidies, remain in effect today, although in changed form.) Carter also famously launched the federal Synthetic Fuels Corporation (SFC)—synfuels—to use chemical engineering to produce liquid fuels, mainly from coal—coming full circle, as 110 years before, petroleum was first commercialized to replace oil refined from coal. The SFC also intended to develop liquid fuels from oil shale (not today’s famous “shale oil” but instead kerogen-laden rocks), oil sands, and heavy oils. (The SFC failed to commercialize alternatives to oil, and was terminated in 1986.78) None of Carter’s measures brought immediate relief and the country spiraled deeper into crisis. During the first weekend of summer—June 23 and 24, 1979—58 percent of the nation’s gasoline stations were closed on Saturday and 70 percent were closed on Sunday.79 To address the immediate problem of soaring oil prices, President Carter also quietly implored Saudi Arabia to increase production.

ENTER THE SHALE REVOLUTION Since the TRC and Seven Sisters lost control in the early 1970s, it seemed that every five years or so something dramatic and unexpected came along to transform the oil market. Between 2010 and 2015, small and independent U.S. oil producers—whose forebearers ignited the modern oil market and subsequently discovered giant gushers like Spindletop and the Black Giant—once again sprang a surprise on the world oil market: U.S. shale. If the shale boom has a father, it is veteran oilman George Mitchell, —one of Houston’s largest oil and gas producers. 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.

“It is hard to overstate the degree to which the North American supply boom has, since its onset, consistently defied expectations,” the IEA exclaimed in 2014.46 While OPEC officials tended to publicly express skepticism, as time went on their views ranged from extreme anxiety on the part of OPEC members that competed directly with lighter shale oil like Algeria and Nigeria, to a more nuanced view by Saudi Arabia, who saw the upside of another potential swing producer. HOW SAUDI ARABIA’S REFUSAL TO SWING WRONG-FOOTED OIL PRICE PREDICTIONS By 2014, the shale oil boom was a major factor in the predictions of future oil supply and prices. Leading oil forecasts that year assumed crude oil prices would fall gently by 2019, from about $111 in 2013 to $95,47 while OPEC forecasters expected prices would remain around $110 per barrel through the end of the decade. Forecasters saw oversupply building in coming years, mainly because of new production from outside OPEC—not just the U.S. shale oil boom but also new Canadian Oil Sands projects.


pages: 378 words: 111,369

Gateway by Frederik Pohl

blood diamonds, gravity well, Magellanic Cloud, oil shale / tar sands

All day and all night there’s the roar of the extractor furnaces, heating and grinding the marlstone to get the kerogen out of it, and the rumble of the long-line conveyors, dragging the spent shale away to pile it somewhere. See, you have to heat the rock to extract the oil. When you heat it it expands, like popcorn. So there’s no place to put it. You can’t squeeze it back into the shaft you’ve taken it out of; there’s too much of it. If you dig out a mountain of shale and extract the oil, the popped shale that’s left is enough to make two mountains. So that’s what you do. You build new mountains. And the runoff heat from the extractors warms the culture sheds, and the oil grows its slime as it trickles through the shed, and the slime-skimmers scoop it off and dry it and press it…and we eat it, or some of it, for breakfast the next morning. Funny. In the old days oil used to bubble right out of the ground!

On those days I worked myself up almost to the point of quitting Gateway completely. Most days we simply spent deferring decision. It wasn’t all that hard. It was a pretty pleasant way to live, exploring Gateway and each other. Klara took on a maid, a stocky, fair young woman from the food mines of Carmarthen named Hywa. Except that the feedstock for the Welsh single-cell protein factories was coal instead of oil shale, her world had been almost exactly like mine. Her way out of it had not been a lottery ticket but two years as crew on a commercial spaceship. She couldn’t even go back home. She had jumped ship on Gateway, forfeiting her bond of money she couldn’t pay. And she couldn’t prospect, either, because her one launch had left her with a heart arrhythmia that sometimes looked like it was getting better and sometimes put her in Terminal Hospital for a week at a time.

If we didn’t do what we do there would be hunger in Texas and kwashiorkor among the babies in Oregon. We all know that. We contribute five trillion calories a day to the world’s diet, half the protein ration for about a fifth of the global population. It all comes out of the yeasts and bacteria we grow off the Wyoming shale oil, along with parts of Utah and Colorado. The world needs that food. But so far it has cost us most of Wyoming, half of Appalachia, a big chunk of the Athabasca tar sands region…and what are we going to do with all those people when the last drop of hydrocarbon is converted to yeast? It’s not my problem, but I still think of it. It stopped being my problem when I won the lottery, the day after Christmas, the year I turned twenty-six. The prize was two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Enough to live like a king for a year. Enough to marry and keep a family on, provided we both worked and didn’t live too high.


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

By the time Theo T set sail, carrying the first American oil export of the twenty-first century, the energy world had been entirely turned upside down by an epic development few had foreseen. America was an oil powerhouse, ready to eclipse both Saudi Arabia and Russia, and was the world’s largest producer of natural gas. Few people saw this coming. 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.

Thus far, high profile projects in Poland and China have met with a total lack of success, for a wide range of reasons, from the different quality of the rock to a lack of transportation infrastructure needed to move the supply. But it’s probably safe to say if there were an absolute need, they would get it out. “American exceptionalism allowed us to move first,” says Webster. “But given time and incentives, other countries will figure it out if they need to.” As history shows, even oil and gas executives don’t have a clue what’s going to happen next. Charlie Munger might be right. Or shale oil and gas might do what shale oil and gas have done since the revolution began, and surprise to the upside. EOG might discover ways to get oil economically out of other places we never thought we could get oil economically. Or there could be a battery breakthrough tomorrow that renders oil obsolete more quickly than anyone ever dreamed. In the face of that, there a few things that should begin to change. For one, we should recognize that America’s oil and gas resources are very different.


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

And how has the coronavirus changed the energy markets and the future roles of the Big Three—the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Russia—which now dominate world oil. * * * — “America’s New Map” tells the story of the unanticipated shale revolution that is transforming America’s place in the world, upending world energy markets, and resetting global geopolitics. Together, shale oil and shale gas have proven to be the biggest energy innovations so far in the twenty-first century. Wind and solar are both innovations of the 1970s and 1980s, though they came into their own only over the last decade. The United States has surged ahead of Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world’s number one producer of both oil and gas, and is now one of the world’s major exporters of both. Though targeted for bans by some politicians, the shale revolution has fueled America’s economic growth, enhancing its trade position, generating investment and job creation, and lowering utility bills for millions of consumers.

It was called the “new normal,” and on this basis countries could make their budgets and companies would finance their projects. When it turned out not to be so normal, the oil world was rocked, countries would reel from the shock, and, out of the price crisis, new geopolitical alignments would emerge. Yet what was so surprising was that the price had held so steady for those three years despite turmoil and instability in global supply. The reason was a coincidental of trade-off: U.S. oil production was surging because of shale oil. These gains, however, were offset by disruptions and loss of supplies elsewhere—in Libya, where the chairman of its national oil company said the country had “all but disintegrated,” and in Nigeria, where militants were attacking the country’s pipelines. In Venezuela, the regime established by Hugo Chávez, with its mantra of “socialism of the twenty-first century,” would become, under Chávez and his successor, Nicolás Maduro, a great economic and humanitarian disaster, and its oil output was plunging.

What was striking now, however, was not that the price shot up, but that it did not go up that high, and that it soon came down to where it was before the attack. Part of it was that the Saudis hastened to make clear that they would maintain existing export levels by drawing down inventories and reducing supplies to their domestic refineries. They would move quickly to repair the facilities. Moreover, global inventories were high. What also made a difference was the rebalancing of the world oil market by the continuing surge in U.S. oil. For, it turned out, shale has not only reconfigured the world oil market. It has also reconfigured the psychology of the world market, providing a new sense of security. * * * — Yet still turmoil continued in the region. For months, angry demonstrators in Iraq had continued to protest the breakdown of social services, lack of jobs, corruption, and the pervasive Iranian influence. Oil exports from Iraq started to be disrupted.


pages: 386 words: 91,913

The Elements of Power: Gadgets, Guns, and the Struggle for a Sustainable Future in the Rare Metal Age by David S. Abraham

3D printing, Airbus A320, carbon footprint, clean water, cleantech, commoditize, Deng Xiaoping, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, glass ceiling, global supply chain, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, reshoring, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, Tesla Model S, thinkpad, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks, Y2K

Trapped within the soft-brown sedimentary rock is oil shale, which the Estonians have been mining for nearly a century. A cheap but dirty fuel, oil shale is still the source of 70 percent of the country’s energy. Aboveground, the brisk, frigid morning air turns warm plumes of smoke, coming from an oil shale energy plant in the distance, into faint billowing clouds. Beyond these clouds, I soon see a promise of a cleaner future—several wind turbines, their blades turning in unison in the Arctic breeze.1 These new wind turbines provide about 10 percent of the country’s total generation capacity. Ambitious plans being discussed in Tallinn promise an increase from some 300 mega-watts (MW) of wind power to 1,800 MW in the near future. Like the power plants running on oil shale, these factories are making use of local resources: wind and neodymium, the metal produced at Estonia’s rare earth element processing plant in Sillamäe.

John Smith, interview by David Abraham, Fairfield, CT, January 8, 2013. 42. Kirchain, interview, February 22, 2013. 43. Kevin Moore, telephone interview by David Abraham, May 6, 2014. 44. Duclos, “Energy-Critical Materials.” 7 Environmental Needs 1. Isa Soares, “Estonia’s Dirty Energy Drive for Self-Sufficiency,” CNN, December 5, 2013, edition.cnn.com/2013/12/05/business/estonia-oil-shale-industry/. 2. International Energy Agency, “Estonia Is Cleansing Oil Shale,” January 2014, www.iea.org/newsroomandevents/news/2014/january/estoniaiscleansingoilshale.html; Linas Jegelevicius, “Baltics’ Estonia Ramps Up Wind Power Generation,” Renewable Energy World, February 2014, http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2014/02/baltics-estonia-ramps-up-wind-power-generation. “Elering: Electricity Consumption and Production in Estonia,” accessed December 4, 2014, elering.ee/electricity-consumption-and-production-in-estonia-2/. 3.

Stalin chose to build the processing facility in Sillamäe because geologists had reported that the town was rich in uranium; some of it was used to make the country’s first atomic bomb. But, despite the Soviets’ meticulous planning, Factory Number 7, now known as Silmet, was built in the wrong spot. Sillamäe ran out of uranium not long after the mining started. Rumor in town had it that scientists had overestimated the resource buried in the region’s vast oil shale reserves. One wonders whether some unlucky souls spent years in Siberia contemplating this misjudgment.3 After the town’s ore ran out, Silmet started importing it. This imported uranium ore contained contaminants, other metals that complicated the refining process. Instead of discarding these impurities, notably niobium and tantalum, the Soviets set up two more processing lines to extract them.


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

One of the rule’s provisions held that “oil and gas producing activities do not include . . . the extraction of hydrocarbons from shale, tar sands, or coal.”15 Tar sands refer to bitumen, a thick form of oil that usually has to be dug out of the ground by techniques that resemble mining, after which it is mixed with chemicals to create a liquid suitable for transport by pipeline to an oil refiner. Canada holds some of the world’s largest tar sands reserves. Exxon, through local affiliates, had been buying into these holdings under Raymond’s spur. Raymond believed it was wrong for the S.E.C. to exclude tar sands from proved oil reserve counting—and so he simply ignored the commission’s rules when he issued press releases. The S.E.C. had enacted the tar sands rule because it wanted investors to know when a company was engaged in mining and when it was engaged in oil production—for one thing, the expense of mining was typically higher than the expense of oil drilling, so the value of tar sands reserves over time might be less than an equivalent amount of purer oil.

The S.E.C. had enacted the tar sands rule because it wanted investors to know when a company was engaged in mining and when it was engaged in oil production—for one thing, the expense of mining was typically higher than the expense of oil drilling, so the value of tar sands reserves over time might be less than an equivalent amount of purer oil. Raymond thought this was wrong, too: The purpose of S.E.C. regulation was to ensure accurate documentation of resources, not to force companies to dance around in outmoded categories devised by bureaucrats. There was no doubt that Exxon owned the Canadian tar sands resources it claimed—outright fraud was not the issue. In any event, if Exxon’s Canadian tar holdings were included with other oil and gas holdings, the corporation’s total proved reserves had indeed gone up during 1997, not down—and this is what Raymond chose to emphasize to Wall Street and the public. Did his defiance of the S.E.C. rules matter?

Cejka retired, leaving the company soon after the XTO deal closed. “The mainstream belief that shale plays have ensured North America an abundant supply of inexpensive natural gas is not supported by facts or results to date,” wrote an analyst at The Oil Drum, an independent online energy journal. “The supply is real but it will come at higher cost and greater risk than is commonly assumed. The arrival of ExxonMobil and other major oil companies on the shale gas scene is positive because they will not follow the manufacturing approach, and will do the necessary science that should make shale plays more commercial. This does not, however, ensure success. ExxonMobil has come late to the domestic shale party. . . . It is also possible that XTO has already drilled the best areas in more mature shale plays, while the potential of newer plays has not yet been established.”25 An unsigned memo carrying similar doubts circulated among retired ExxonMobil executives.


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 depth of 2009’s global recession sent global energy consumption down for the first time in twenty-seven years, but only by 1 percent. In the same year, China’s carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels rose by 9 percent. Global wind and solar generation rose by about 30 percent and 45 percent, respectively, enormous gains. Who says? A BP energy report says. The world’s oil reserves (including yet-to-be-developed Canadian “tar sands”) appear sufficient to last—at 2009 production rates—for forty-five years; gas will last about sixty-five years, and coal will last 120 years. After that, what? Do you or does someone you love plan to be alive forty-five years from now? This is our wake-up call. Don’t touch that snooze button. By mid-June the cap is ferrying about 10,000 barrels of oil a day up to a tanker on the surface. The well is leaking much more than that.

Without them, we might have overheated the planet and acidified the ocean. But I’m getting way ahead of the story; we’re not there yet. Not even close. As the whalers were stuck in their remorseless havoc, so we have stuck ourselves, with oil. As we burn the easy oil and tap the deep oil to the limits of technology, sources that hadn’t been worth it are getting attention. Enter: “oil-sands,” “tar sands,” “shale oil,” and other relatively meager sources that are now worth money. Of Canada’s northern Alberta—a province I remember as beautiful when it was younger—I read that as the Athabasca River and several of its tributaries flow past facilities gouging at oilsands (one ugly word), heavy metal neurotoxins like lead and mercury are entering the water at levels hazardous to fish. Add to them cadmium, copper, nickel, silver, and seven other metals considered priority pollutants by the U.S.


pages: 397 words: 112,034

What's Next?: Unconventional Wisdom on the Future of the World Economy by David Hale, Lyric Hughes Hale

affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, diversification, energy security, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, full employment, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global village, high net worth, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, index fund, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Just-in-time delivery, Kenneth Rogoff, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage tax deduction, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, passive investing, payday loans, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, price stability, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, technology bubble, The Great Moderation, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Tobin tax, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, Washington Consensus, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, yield curve

The Ghanaian government was concerned that Kosmos and the private equity groups backing it (Blackstone and Warburg Pincus) were going to profit handsomely from the sale.11 Such decisions are worrisome because they jeopardize a whole set of business models whereby smaller companies focus on the initial risk-taking in the investment value chain, and deep-pocketed companies take over when successful discoveries call for the type of large-scale developments they are better equipped to handle. In this case, the Ghanaian government designated the Chinese company CNOOC as the preferred buyer. Kosmos could not accept this decision, which left the Blackstone Group in the uncomfortable position of having to run an oil company rather than take the fruits of their successful risk-taking to another part of the world. The Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Its Implications for Deepwater Oil and Shale Gas Restrictions on investors’ freedom of operation do not result only from what tends to be summarily labeled “resource nationalism,” as can be seen from the reassessment of regulations regarding hydrocarbon exploration and development in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon platform (operated by Transocean for BP) on April 20, 2010, resulted in the death of eleven crewmen and a spill of 4.9 million barrels of oil before the well could be sealed.

The fact that Canada will be cutting taxes as the Obama administration is planning tax increases will enhance Canada’s competitive position. Canada needs more corporate investment because its productivity performance has lagged during recent years. Canada is better positioned than the United States to cope with the climate change challenge because it obtains only 15 percent of its electric power from coal compared to 50 percent in the United States. Canada’s concerns center on its rapidly growing tar sands industry in Alberta. Some members of the US Congress want to restrict imports of oil from Alberta on the grounds that it is dirty. Therefore, Canada intends to closely coordinate its environmental policies with the new policies that are emerging from the Obama administration. Canada’s problem in the short term is that the Obama administration cannot get support in the US Senate for its own cap-and-trade policy.

Thanks to a planned $10 billion investment, Saudi production capacity is set to have risen to 1 mb/d in 2010 to 12.8 mb/d, which will provide the country with enough spare capacity to keep prices from rising to levels that would threaten oil market stability—and excessively facilitate the international ambitions of Iran, Venezuela, and Russia. Yet these decreases in actual and planned investment levels will not impact the oil and gas industry in proportions similar to what the aggregate nominal decreases would suggest. First, the bulk of deferred capacity is in the power sector—in line with the fact that electricity demand has decreased for the first time—and in Canadian tar sands, for which a pause in an overheated sector in search of its ecological balance has a clear silver lining. Indeed, in Edward Morse’s words, “strategy,” rather than reduced cash flow, is the “most significant [factor] that [is] delaying projects today,” as companies “believe that they can negotiate better terms with contractors the longer they wait.”28 Costs had risen to incredibly high levels,29 and the ability to build capacity (for example, increasing the number of drilling vessels) needed to be expanded to tame this source of inflation.


pages: 565 words: 151,129

The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism by Jeremy Rifkin

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, active measures, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, big-box store, bioinformatics, bitcoin, business process, Chris Urmson, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, crowdsourcing, demographic transition, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, global supply chain, global village, Hacker Ethic, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, mass immigration, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, new economy, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, Occupy movement, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, phenotype, planetary scale, price discrimination, profit motive, QR code, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Stallman, risk/return, Ronald Coase, search inside the book, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social web, software as a service, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the built environment, The Nature of the Firm, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks, working poor, zero-sum game, Zipcar

The quick exhaustion of existing shale gas reservoirs requires producers to continuously find new shale gas deposits and dig new wells, which jack up the cost of production. The result, says Hall, is that it is “impossible to maintain production . . . without constant new wells being drilled [which would] require high oil prices.” Hall believes that shale gas euphoria will be a short-lived phenomenon.67 The International Energy Agency (IEA) agrees. In its annual 2013 World Energy Outlook report, the IEA forecast that “light tight oil,” a popular term for shale gas, will peak around 2020 and then plateau, with production falling by the mid-2020s. The U.S. shale gas outlook is even more bearish. The U.S. Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration expects higher shale gas levels to continue only to the late teens (another five years or so) and then slow.68 What hasn’t yet sunk in is that fossil fuel energies are never going to approach zero marginal cost, or even come close.

Internet communication is already being generated and shared at near zero marginal cost and so too is solar and wind power for millions of early adopters. The stalwart supporters of fossil fuels argue that tar sands and shale gas are readily available, making it unnecessary to scale up renewable energies, at least in the short term. But it’s only because crude oil reserves are dwindling, forcing a rise in price on global markets, that these other more costly fossil fuels are even being introduced. Extracting oil from sand and rock is an expensive undertaking when compared to the cost of drilling a hole and letting crude oil gush up from under the ground. Tar sands are not even commercially viable when crude oil prices dip below $80-per barrel, and recall that just a few years ago, $80-per-barrel oil was considered prohibitively expensive.

Malcolm Ritter, “Study: Digital Information can be Stored in DNA,” Huffington Post, January 23, 2013, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20130123/us-sci-dna-data/# (accessed November 6, 2013). 66. Derik Andreoli, “The Bakken Boom—A Modern-Day Gold Rush,” Oil Drum, December 12, 2011, http://www.theoildrum.com/node/8697 (October 30, 2013); A. E. Berman, “After the Gold Rush: A Perspective on Future U.S. Natural Gas Supply and Price,” Oil Drum, February 8, 2012, http://www.theoildrum.com/node/8914 (accessed October 30, 2013). 67. Ajay Makan and Javier Blas, “Oil Guru Says US Shale Revolution is ‘Temporary,’” Financial Times, May 29, 2013, www.ft.com/cms/s/0/281b118e-c870-11e2-acc6-00144feab7de .html#axzz2UbJC9Zz1 (accessed October 17, 2013). 68. Matthew L. Wald, “Shale’s Effect on Oil Supply Is Forecast to Be Brief,” The New York Times, November 12, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/13/business/energy-environment/shales -effect-on-oil-supply-is-not-expected-to-last.html?


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

This is the source rock for Siberia’s giant oil fields—and the source of much of modern Russia’s wealth and political strength. The trillions of tons of dead organisms baked in the heat of the earth and transformed, slowly, into oil droplets. Oil was expelled from the shale and traveled upward until impassable rock canopies trapped it. This process formed large oil reservoirs, not in underground pools but inside permeable rocks riddled with tiny holes that allowed billions of barrels’ worth of the sought-after liquid to collect. In any given year, Russia is either the world’s largest, or second largest, oil producer. This is due primarily to oil that escaped the Bazhenov. This narrative is a quintessential story of fossil fuel: organic material is converted into oil and gas inside the shale, and then the hydrocarbons escape and travel upward. If something blocks the molecules’ path, they will fill up porous rocks like water in a sponge and create a petroleum reservoir.

With fracks at closer intervals, more of the Bakken’s oil drained out. Other companies followed Brigham’s lead. In 2011, three years after tiny Brigham flirted with financial end days, Norwegian oil giant Statoil bought it for $4.4 billion. (Bud Brigham owned about 2 percent of the outstanding shares.) By then, other oil shales had been discovered, including the giant Eagle Ford oil field in South Texas. And if fracking could unlock the oil in these areas, it could do the same around the world. Argentina, Russia, and the Middle East are all believed to have vast oil deposits in shales. In the mid-2000s, fears of “peak oil” were rife. The Olson 10-15 helped change the narrative. Crude remains a complex and constrained global market. Even if a dozen new Bakkens are discovered on the Great Plains, global oil prices are unlikely to budge much. But Brigham in the Bakken reinforced the notion that the industry could sink its drill bits into more oil than even the most dewy-eyed wildcatters had dreamed possible.

Its annual budget topped $20 billion in 2012, and it spent a chunk of that on a sophisticated advertising campaign that preaches the gospel of domestic energy production and attempts to calm fears about hydraulic fracturing. Chesapeake drills more than a thousand wells every year and fracks each one. Once the bit churns through the dense rock, the company pumps in millions of gallons of water and chemicals to create a network of sinewy fractures, each one an escape route for trapped hydrocarbons. Gas and oil freed from the shale flows out of the cracks and up the well. The recipe that Chesapeake said it was following was quite simple: just add water. The reality, however, was more complex. My parents’ property was valuable to Chesapeake because it sits atop one of the largest shale formations in the world. The Marcellus Shale was once so obscure that it appeared in only the most detailed geologic maps of the area.


pages: 462 words: 150,129

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley

"Robert Solow", 23andMe, agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, Corn Laws, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial innovation, Flynn Effect, food miles, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, hedonic treadmill, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, packet switching, patent troll, Pax Mongolica, Peter Thiel, phenotype, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Productivity paradox, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Silicon Valley, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supervolcano, technological singularity, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Vernor Vinge, Vilfredo Pareto, wage slave, working poor, working-age population, Y2K, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

President Jimmy Carter announced in the 1970s that: ‘We could use up all of the proven reserves of oil in the entire world by the end of the next decade.’ In 1970, there were 550 billion barrels of oil reserves in the world and between 1970 and 1990 the world used 600 billion barrels of oil. So reserves should have been overdrawn by fifty billion barrels by 1990. In fact, by 1990 unexploited reserves amounted to 900 billion barrels – not counting the Athabasca tar sands of Alberta, the Orinoco tar shales of Venezuela and the oil shale of the Rocky Mountains, which between them contain about six trillion barrels of heavy oil, or twenty times the proven oil reserves in Saudi Arabia. These heavy oil reserves are costly to exploit, but it is possible that bacterial refining will soon make them competitive with conventional oil even at ‘normal’ prices. The same false predictions of the imminent exhaustion of the natural gas supply have recurred throughout recent decades.

Abbasids 161, 178 Abelard, Peter 358 aborigines (Australian): division of labour 62, 63, 76; farming 127; technological regress 78–84; trade 90–91, 92 abortion, compulsory 203 Abu Hureyra 127 Acapulco 184 accounting systems 160, 168, 196 Accra 189 Acemoglu, Daron 321 Ache people 61 Acheulean tools 48–9, 50, 275, 373 Achuar people 87 acid rain 280, 281, 304–6, 329, 339 acidification of oceans 280, 340–41 Adams, Henry 289 Aden 177 Adenauer, Konrad 289 Aegean sea 168, 170–71 Afghanistan 14, 208–9, 315, 353 Africa: agriculture 145, 148, 154–5, 326; AIDS epidemic 14, 307–8, 316, 319, 320, 322; colonialism 319–20, 321–2; demographic transition 210, 316, 328; economic growth 315, 326–8, 332, 347; international aid 317–19, 322, 328; lawlessness 293, 320; life expectancy 14, 316, 422; per capita income 14, 315, 317, 320; poverty 314–17, 319–20, 322, 325–6, 327–8; prehistoric 52–5, 65–6, 83, 123, 350; property rights 320, 321, 323–5; trade 187–8, 320, 322–3, 325, 326, 327–8; see also individual countries African-Americans 108 agricultural employment: decline in 42–3; hardships of 13, 219–20, 285–6 agriculture: early development of 122–30, 135–9, 352, 387, 388; fertilisers, development of 135, 139–41, 142, 146, 147, 337; genetically modified (GM) crops 28, 32, 148, 151–6, 283, 358; hybrids, development of 141–2, 146, 153; and trade 123, 126, 127–33, 159, 163–4; and urbanisation 128, 158–9, 163–4, 215; see also farming; food supply Agta people 61–2 aid, international 28, 141, 154, 203, 317–19, 328 AIDS 8, 14, 307–8, 310, 316, 319, 320, 322, 331, 353 AIG (insurance corporation) 115 air conditioning 17 air pollution 304–5 air travel: costs of 24, 37, 252, 253; speed of 253 aircraft 257, 261, 264, 266 Akkadian empire 161, 164–5 Al-Ghazali 357 Al-Khwarizmi, Muhammad ibn Musa 115 Al-Qaeda 296 Albania 187 Alcoa (corporation) 24 Alexander the Great 169, 171 Alexander, Gary 295 Alexandria 171, 175, 270 Algeria 53, 246, 345 alphabet, invention of 166, 396 Alps 122, 178 altruism 93–4, 97 aluminium 24, 213, 237, 303 Alyawarre aborigines 63 Amalfi 178 Amazon (corporation) 21, 259, 261 Amazonia 76, 138, 145, 250–51 amber 71, 92 ambition 45–6, 351 Ames, Bruce 298–9 Amish people 211 ammonia 140, 146 Amsterdam 115–16, 169, 259, 368 Amsterdam Exchange Bank 251 Anabaptists 211 Anatolia 127, 128, 164, 165, 166, 167 Ancoats, Manchester 214 Andaman islands 66–7, 78 Andes 123, 140, 163 Andrew, Deroi Kwesi 189 Angkor Wat 330 Angola 316 animal welfare 104, 145–6 animals: conservation 324, 339; extinctions 17, 43, 64, 68, 69–70, 243, 293, 302, 338–9; humans’ differences from other 1, 2–4, 6, 56, 58, 64 Annan, Kofi 337 Antarctica 334 anti-corporatism 110–111, 114 anti-slavery 104, 105–6, 214 antibiotics 6, 258, 271, 307 antimony 213 ants 75–6, 87–8, 192 apartheid 108 apes 56–7, 59–60, 62, 65, 88; see also chimpanzees; orang-utans ‘apocaholics’ 295, 301 Appalachia 239 Apple (corporation) 260, 261, 268 Aquinas, St Thomas 102 Arabia 66, 159, 176, 179 Arabian Sea 174 Arabs 89, 175, 176–7, 180, 209, 357 Aral Sea 240 Arcadia Biosciences (company) 31–2 Archimedes 256 Arctic Ocean 125, 130, 185, 334, 338–9 Argentina 15, 186, 187 Arikamedu 174 Aristotle 115, 250 Arizona 152, 246, 345 Arkwright, Sir Richard 227 Armenians 89 Arnolfini, Giovanni 179 art: cave paintings 2, 68, 73, 76–7; and commerce 115–16; symbolism in 136; as unique human trait 4 Ashur, Assyria 165 Asimov, Isaac 354 Asoka the Great 172–3 aspirin 258 asset price inflation 24, 30 Assyrian empire 161, 165–6, 167 asteroid impacts, risk of 280, 333 astronomy 221, 270, 357 Athabasca tar sands, Canada 238 Athens 115, 170, 171 Atlantic Monthly 293 Atlantic Ocean 125, 170 Attica 171 Augustus, Roman emperor 174 Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony 184–5 Australia: climate 127, 241, 300, 334; prehistoric 66, 67, 69–70, 127; trade 187; see also aborigines (Australian); Tasmania Austria 132 Ausubel, Jesse 239, 346, 409 automobiles see cars axes: copper 123, 131, 132, 136, 271; stone 2, 5, 48–9, 50, 51, 71, 81, 90–91, 92, 118–19, 271 Babylon 21, 161, 166, 240, 254, 289 Bacon, Francis 255 bacteria: cross fertilisation 271; and pest control 151; resistance to antibiotics 6, 258, 271, 307; symbiosis 75 Baghdad 115, 177, 178, 357 Baines, Edward 227 Baird, John Logie 38 baking 124, 130 ‘balance of nature’, belief in 250–51 Balazs, Etienne 183 bald eagles 17, 299 Bali 66 Baltic Sea 71, 128–9, 180, 185 Bamako 326 bananas 92, 126, 149, 154, 392 Bangladesh 204, 210, 426 Banks, Sir Joseph 221 Barigaza (Bharuch) 174 barley 32, 124, 151 barrels 176 bartering vii, 56–60, 65, 84, 91–2, 163, 356 Basalla, George 272 Basra 177 battery farming 104, 145–6 BBC 295 beads 53, 70, 71, 73, 81, 93, 162 beef 186, 224, 308; see also cattle bees, killer 280 Beijing 17 Beinhocker, Eric 112 Bell, Alexander Graham 38 Bengal famine (1943) 141 benzene 257 Berlin 299 Berlin, Sir Isaiah 288 Bernard of Clairvaux, St 358 Berners-Lee, Sir Tim 38, 273 Berra, Yogi 354 Besant, Annie 208 Bhutan 25–6 Bible 138, 168, 396 bicycles 248–9, 263, 269–70 bin Laden, Osama 110 biofuels 149, 236, 238, 239, 240–43, 246, 300, 339, 343, 344, 346, 393 Bird, Isabella 197–8 birds: effects of pollution on 17, 299; killed by wind turbines 239, 409; nests 51; sexual differences 64; songbirds 55; see also individual species bireme galleys 167 Birmingham 223 birth control see contraception birth rates: declining 204–212; and food supply 192, 208–9; and industrialisation 202; measurement of 205, 403; population control policies 202–4, 208; pre-industrial societies 135, 137; and television 234; and wealth 200–201, 204, 205–6, 209, 211, 212; see also population growth Black Death 181, 195–6, 197, 380 Black Sea 71, 128, 129, 170, 176, 180 blogging 257 Blombos Cave, South Africa 53, 83 blood circulation, discovery of 258 Blunt, John 29 boat-building 167, 168, 177; see also canoes; ship-building Boers 321, 322 Bohemia 222 Bolivia 315, 324 Bolsheviks 324 Borlaug, Norman 142–3, 146 Borneo 339 Bosch, Carl 140, 412 Botswana 15, 316, 320–22, 326 Bottger, Johann Friedrich 184–5 Boudreaux, Don 21, 214 Boulton, Matthew 221, 256, 413–14 bows and arrows 43, 62, 70, 82, 137, 251, 274 Boxgrove hominids 48, 50 Boyer, Stanley 222, 405 Boyle, Robert 256 Bradlaugh, Charles 208 brain size 3–4, 48–9, 51, 55 Bramah, Joseph 221 Branc, Slovakia 136 Brand, Stewart 154, 189, 205 Brando, Marlon 110 brass 223 Brazil 38, 87, 123, 190, 240, 242, 315, 358 bread 38, 124, 140, 158, 224, 286, 392 bridges, suspension 283 Brin, Sergey 221, 405 Britain: affluence 12, 16, 224–5, 236, 296–7; birth rates 195, 200–201, 206, 208, 227; British exceptionalism 200–202, 221–2; climate change policy 330–31; consumer prices 24, 224–5, 227, 228; copyright system 267; enclosure acts 226, 323, 406; energy use 22, 231–2, 232–3, 342–3, 368, 430; ‘glorious revolution’ (1688) 223; income equality 18–19, 218; industrial revolution 201–2, 216–17, 220–32, 255–6, 258–9; life expectancy 15, 17–18; National Food Service 268; National Health Service 111, 261; parliamentary reform 107; per capita income 16, 218, 227, 285, 404–5; productivity 112; property rights 223, 226, 323–4; state benefits 16; tariffs 185–6, 186–7, 223; see also England; Scotland; Wales British Empire 161, 322 bronze 164, 168, 177 Brosnan, Sarah 59 Brown, Lester 147–8, 281–2, 300–301 Brown, Louise 306 Bruges 179 Brunel, Sir Marc 221 Buddhism 2, 172, 357 Buddle, John 412 Buffett, Warren 106, 268 Bulgaria 320 Burkina Faso 154 Burma 66, 67, 209, 335 Bush, George W. 161 Butler, Eamonn 105, 249 Byblos 167 Byzantium 176, 177, 179 cabbages 298 ‘Caesarism’ 289 Cairo 323 Calcutta 190, 315 Calico Act (1722) 226 Califano, Joseph 202–3 California: agriculture 150; Chumash people 62, 92–3; development of credit card 251, 254; Mojave Desert 69; Silicon Valley 221–2, 224, 257, 258, 259, 268 Cambodia 14, 315 camels 135, 176–7 camera pills 270–71 Cameroon 57 Campania 174, 175 Canaanites 166, 396 Canada 141, 169, 202, 238, 304, 305 Canal du Midi 251 cancer 14, 18, 293, 297–9, 302, 308, 329 Cannae, battle of 170 canning 186, 258 canoes 66, 67, 79, 82 capitalism 23–4, 101–4, 110, 115, 133, 214, 258–62, 291–2, 311; see also corporations; markets ‘Captain Swing’ 283 capuchin monkeys 96–7, 375 Caral, Peru 162–3 carbon dioxide emissions 340–47; absorption of 217; and agriculture 130, 337–8; and biofuels 242; costs of 331; and economic growth 315, 332; and fossil fuels 237, 315; and local sourcing of goods 41–2; taxes 346, 356 Cardwell’s Law 411 Caribbean see West Indies Carnegie, Andrew 23 Carney, Thomas 173 carnivorism 51, 60, 62, 68–9, 147, 156, 241, 376 carrots 153, 156 cars: biofuel for 240, 241; costs of 24, 252; efficiency of 252; future production 282, 355; hybrid 245; invention of 189, 270, 271; pollution from 17, 242; sport-utility vehicles 45 The Rational Optimist 424 Carson, Rachel 152, 297–8 Carter, Jimmy 238 Carthage 169, 170, 173 Cartwright, Edmund 221, 263 Castro, Fidel 187 Catalhoyuk 127 catallaxy 56, 355–9 Catholicism 105, 208, 306 cattle 122, 132, 145, 147, 148, 150, 197, 321, 336; see also beef Caucasus 237 cave paintings 2, 68, 73, 76–7 Cavendish, Henry 221 cement 283 central heating 16, 37 cereals 124–5, 125–6, 130–31, 143–4, 146–7, 158, 163; global harvests 121 Champlain, Samuel 138–9 charcoal 131, 216, 229, 230, 346 charitable giving 92, 105, 106, 295, 318–19, 356 Charles V: king of Spain 30–31; Holy Roman Emperor 184 Charles, Prince of Wales 291, 332 Chauvet Cave, France 2, 68, 73, 76–7 Chernobyl 283, 308, 345, 421 Chicago World Fair (1893) 346 chickens 122–3, 145–6, 147, 148, 408 chickpeas 125 Childe, Gordon 162 children: child labour 104, 188, 218, 220, 292; child molestation 104; childcare 2, 62–3; childhood diseases 310; mortality rates 14, 15, 16, 208–9, 284 Chile 187 chimpanzees 2, 3, 4, 6, 29, 59–60, 87, 88, 97 China: agriculture 123, 126, 148, 152, 220; birth rate 15, 200–201; coal supplies 229–30; Cultural Revolution 14, 201; diet 241; economic growth and industrialisation 17, 109, 180–81, 187, 201, 219, 220, 281–2, 300, 322, 324–5, 328, 358; economic and technological regression 180, 181–2, 193, 229–30, 255, 321, 357–8; energy use 245; income equality 19; innovations 181, 251; life expectancy 15; Longshan culture 397; Maoism 16, 187, 296, 311; Ming empire 117, 181–4, 260, 311; per capita income 15, 180; prehistoric 68, 123, 126; serfdom 181–2; Shang dynasty 166; Song dynasty 180–81; trade 172, 174–5, 177, 179, 183–4, 187, 225, 228 chlorine 296 cholera 40, 310 Chomsky, Noam 291 Christianity 172, 357, 358, 396; see also Catholicism; Church of England; monasteries Christmas 134 Chumash people 62, 92–3 Church of England 194 Churchill, Sir Winston 288 Cicero 173 Cilicia 173 Cisco Systems (corporation) 268 Cistercians 215 civil rights movement 108, 109 Clairvaux Abbey 215 Clark, Colin 146, 227 Clark, Gregory 193, 201, 401, 404 Clarke, Arthur C. 354 climate change 328–47, 426–30; costs of mitigation measures 330–32, 333, 338, 342–4; death rates associated with 335–7; and ecological dynamism 250, 329–30, 335, 339; and economic growth 315, 331–3, 341–3, 347; effects on ecosystems 338–41; and food supply 337–8; and fossil fuels 243, 314, 342, 346, 426; historic 194, 195, 329, 334, 426–7; pessimism about 280, 281, 314–15, 328–9; prehistoric 54, 65, 125, 127, 130, 160, 329, 334, 339, 340, 352; scepticism about 111, 329–30, 426; solutions to 8, 315, 345–7 Clinton, Bill 341 Clippinger, John 99 cloth trade 75, 159, 160, 165, 172, 177, 180, 194, 196, 225, 225–9, 232 clothes: Britain 224, 225, 227; early homo sapiens 71, 73; Inuits 64; metal age 122; Tasmanian natives 78 clothing prices 20, 34, 37, 40, 227, 228 ‘Club of Rome’ 302–3 coal: and economic take-off 201, 202, 213, 214, 216–17; and generation of electricity 233, 237, 239, 240, 304, 344; and industrialisation 229–33, 236, 407; prices 230, 232, 237; supplies 302–3 coal mining 132, 230–31, 237, 239, 257, 343 Coalbrookdale 407 Cobb, Kelly 35 Coca-Cola (corporation) 111, 263 coffee 298–9, 392 Cohen, Mark 135 Cold War 299 collective intelligence 5, 38–9, 46, 56, 83, 350–52, 355–6 Collier, Paul 315, 316–17 colonialism 160, 161, 187, 321–2; see also imperialism Colorado 324 Columbus, Christopher 91, 184 combine harvesters 158, 392 combined-cycle turbines 244, 410 commerce see trade Commoner, Barry 402 communism 106, 336 Compaq (corporation) 259 computer games 273, 292 computers 2, 3, 5, 211, 252, 260, 261, 263–4, 268, 282; computing power costs 24; information storage capacities 276; silicon chips 245, 263, 267–8; software 99, 257, 272–3, 304, 356; Y2K bug 280, 290, 341; see also internet Confucius 2, 181 Congo 14–15, 28, 307, 316 Congreve, Sir William 221 Connelly, Matthew 204 conservation, nature 324, 339; see also wilderness land, expansion of conservatism 109 Constantinople 175, 177 consumer spending, average 39–40 containerisation 113, 253, 386 continental drift 274 contraception 208, 210; coerced 203–4 Cook, Captain James 91 cooking 4, 29, 38, 50, 51, 52, 55, 60–61, 64, 163, 337 copper 122, 123, 131–2, 160, 162, 164, 165, 168, 213, 223, 302, 303 copyright 264, 266–7, 326 coral reefs 250, 339–40, 429–30 Cordoba 177 corn laws 185–6 Cornwall 132 corporations 110–116, 355; research and development budgets 260, 262, 269 Cosmides, Leda 57 Costa Rica 338 cotton 37, 108, 149, 151–2, 162, 163, 171, 172, 202, 225–9, 230, 407; calico 225–6, 232; spinning and weaving 184, 214, 217, 219–20, 227–8, 232, 256, 258, 263, 283 Coughlin, Father Charles 109 Craigslist (website) 273, 356 Crapper, Thomas 38 Crathis river 171 creationists 358 creative destruction 114, 356 credit cards 251, 254 credit crunch (2008) 8–10, 28–9, 31, 100, 102, 316, 355, 399, 411 Cree Indians 62 Crete 167, 169 Crichton, Michael 254 Crick, Francis 412 crime: cyber-crime 99–100, 357; falling rates 106, 201; false convictions 19–20; homicide 14, 20, 85, 88, 106, 118, 201; illegal drugs 106, 186; pessimism about 288, 293 Crimea 171 crocodiles, deaths by 40 Crompton, Samuel 227 Crookes, Sir William 140, 141 cruelty 104, 106, 138–9, 146 crusades 358 Cuba 187, 299 ‘curse of resources’ 31, 320 cyber-crime 99–100, 357 Cyprus 132, 148, 167, 168 Cyrus the Great 169 Dalkon Shield (contraceptive device) 203 Dalton, John 221 Damascus 127 Damerham, Wiltshire 194 Danube, River 128, 132 Darby, Abraham 407 Darfur 302, 353 Dark Ages 164, 175–6, 215 Darwin, Charles 77, 81, 91–2, 105, 116, 350, 415 Darwin, Erasmus 256 Darwinism 5 Davy, Sir Humphry 221, 412 Dawkins, Richard 5, 51 DDT (pesticide) 297–8, 299 de Geer, Louis 184 de Soto, Hernando 323, 324, 325 de Waal, Frans 88 Dean, James 110 decimal system 173, 178 deer 32–3, 122 deflation 24 Defoe, Daniel 224 deforestation, predictions of 304–5, 339 Delhi 189 Dell (corporation) 268 Dell, Michael 264 demographic transition 206–212, 316, 328, 402 Denmark 200, 344, 366; National Academy of Sciences 280 Dennett, Dan 350 dentistry 45 depression (psychological) 8, 156 depressions (economic) 3, 31, 32, 186–7, 192, 289; see also economic crashes deserts, expanding 28, 280 Detroit 315, 355 Dhaka 189 diabetes 156, 274, 306 Diamond, Jared 293–4, 380 diamonds 320, 322 Dickens, Charles 220 Diesel, Rudolf 146 Digital Equipment Corporation 260, 282 digital photography 114, 386 Dimawe, battle of (1852) 321 Diocletian, Roman emperor 175, 184 Diodorus 169 diprotodons 69 discount merchandising 112–14 division of labour: Adam Smith on vii, 80; and catallaxy 56; and fragmented government 172; in insects 75–6, 87–8; and population growth 211; by sex 61–5, 136, 376; and specialisation 7, 33, 38, 46, 61, 76–7, 175; among strangers and enemies 87–9; and trust 100; and urbanisation 164 DNA: forensic use 20; gene transfer 153 dogs 43, 56, 61, 84, 125 Doll, Richard 298 Dolphin, HMS 169 dolphins 3, 87 Domesday Book 215 Doriot, Georges 261 ‘dot-communism’ 356 Dover Castle 197 droughts: modern 241, 300, 334; prehistoric 54, 65, 334 drug crime 106, 186 DuPont (corporation) 31 dyes 167, 225, 257, 263 dynamos 217, 233–4, 271–2, 289 dysentery 157, 353 eagles 17, 239, 299, 409 East India Company 225, 226 Easter Island 380 Easterbrook, Greg 294, 300, 370 Easterlin, Richard 26 Easterly, William 318, 411 eBay (corporation) 21, 99, 100, 114, 115 Ebla, Syria 164 Ebola virus 307 economic booms 9, 29, 216 economic crashes 7–8, 9, 193; credit crunch (2008) 8–10, 28–9, 31, 100, 102, 316, 355, 399, 411; see also depressions (economic) ecosystems, dynamism of 250–51, 303, 410 Ecuador 87 Edinburgh Review 285 Edison, Thomas 234, 246, 272, 412 education: Africa 320; Japan 16; measuring value of 117; and population control 209, 210; universal access 106, 235; women and 209, 210 Edwards, Robert 306 Eemian interglacial period 52–3 Egypt: ancient 161, 166, 167, 170, 171, 192, 193, 197, 270, 334; Mamluk 182; modern 142, 154, 192, 301, 323; prehistoric 44, 45, 125, 126; Roman 174, 175, 178 Ehrenreich, Barbara 291 Ehrlich, Anne 203, 301–2 Ehrlich, Paul 143, 190, 203, 207, 301–2, 303 electric motors 271–2, 283 electricity 233–5, 236, 237, 245–6, 337, 343–4; costs 23; dynamos 217, 233–4, 271–2, 289 elephants 51, 54, 69, 303, 321 Eliot, T.S. 289 email 292 emigration 199–200, 202; see also migrations empathy 94–8 empires, trading 160–61; see also imperialism enclosure acts 226, 323, 406 endocrine disruptors 293 Engels, Friedrich 107–8, 136 England: agriculture 194–6, 215; infant mortality 284; law 118; life expectancy 13, 284; medieval population 194–7; per capita income 196; scientific revolution 255–7; trade 75, 89, 104, 106, 118, 169, 194; see also Britain Enron (corporation) 29, 111, 385 Erie, Lake 17 Erie Canal 139, 283 ethanol 240–42, 300 Ethiopia 14, 316, 319; prehistoric 52, 53, 129 eugenics 288, 329 Euphrates river 127, 158, 161, 167, 177 evolution, biological 5, 6, 7, 49–50, 55–6, 75, 271, 350 Ewald, Paul 309 exchange: etiquette and ritual of 133–4; and innovation 71–2, 76, 119, 167–8, 251, 269–74; and pre-industrial economies 133–4; and property rights 324–5; and rule of law 116, 117–18; and sexual division of labour 65; and specialisation 7, 10, 33, 35, 37–8, 46, 56, 58, 75, 90, 132–3, 350–52, 355, 358–9; and trust 98–100, 103, 104; as unique human trait 56–60; and virtue 100–104; see also bartering; markets; trade executions 104 extinctions 17, 43, 64, 68, 69–70, 243, 293, 302, 338–9 Exxon (corporation) 111, 115 eye colour 129 Ezekiel 167, 168 Facebook (website) 262, 268, 356 factories 160, 214, 218, 219–20, 221, 223, 256, 258–9, 284–5 falcons 299 family formation 195, 209–210, 211, 227 famines: modern 141, 143, 154, 199, 203, 302; pessimism about 280, 281, 284, 290, 300–302, 314; pre-industrial 45, 139, 195, 197 Faraday, Michael 271–2 Fargione, Joseph 242 farming: battery 104, 145–6; free-range 146, 308; intensive 143–9; organic 147, 149–52, 393; slash-and-burn 87, 129, 130; subsidies 188, 328; subsistence 87, 138, 175–6, 189, 192, 199–200; see also agriculture; food supply fascism 289 Fauchart, Emmanuelle 264 fax machines 252 Feering, Essex 195 Fehr, Ernst 94–6 female emancipation 107, 108–9, 209 feminism 109 Ferguson, Adam 1 Ferguson, Niall 85 Fermat’s Last Theorem 275 fermenting 130, 241 Ferranti, Sebastian de 234 Fertile Crescent 126, 251 fertilisation, in-vitro 306 fertilisers 32, 129, 135, 139–41, 142, 143, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149–50, 152, 155, 200, 337 Fibonacci 178 figs 125, 129 filariasis 310 Finland 15, 35, 261 fire, invention of 4, 50, 51, 52, 60, 274 First World War 289, 309 fish, sex-change 280, 293 fish farming 148, 155 fishing 62, 63–4, 71, 78–9, 81–2, 125, 127, 129, 136, 159, 162, 163, 327 Fishman, Charles 113 Flanders 179, 181, 194 flight, powered 257, 261, 264, 266 Flinders Island 81, 84 floods 128, 250, 329, 331, 334, 335, 426 Florence 89, 103, 115, 178 flowers, cut 42, 327, 328 flu, pandemic 28, 145–6, 308–310 Flynn, James 19 Fontaine, Hippolyte 233–4 food aid 28, 141, 154, 203 food miles 41–2, 353, 392; see also local sourcing food preservation 139, 145, 258 food prices 20, 22, 23, 34, 39, 40, 42, 240, 241, 300 food processing 29–30, 60–61, 145; see also baking; cooking food retailing 36, 112, 148, 268; see also supermarkets food sharing 56, 59–60, 64 food supply: and biofuels 240–41, 243, 300; and climate change 337–8; and industrialisation 139, 201–2; pessimism about 280, 281, 284, 290, 300–302; and population growth 139, 141, 143–4, 146–7, 192, 206, 208–9, 300–302 Ford, Ford Maddox 188 Ford, Henry 24, 114, 189, 271 Forester, Jay 303 forests, fears of depletion 304–5, 339 fossil fuels: and ecology 237, 240, 304, 315, 342–3, 345–6; fertilisers 143, 150, 155, 237; and industrialisation 214, 216–17, 229–33, 352; and labour saving 236–7; and productivity 244–5; supplies 216–17, 229–30, 237–8, 245, 302–3; see also charcoal; coal; gas, natural; oil; peat Fourier analysis 283 FOXP2 (gene) 55, 375 fragmentation, political 170–73, 180–81, 184, 185 France: capital markets 259; famine 197; infant mortality 16; population growth 206, 208; revolution 324; trade 184, 186, 222 Franco, Francisco 186 Frank, Robert 95–6 Franken, Al 291 Franklin, Benjamin 107, 256 Franks 176 Fray Bentos 186 free choice 27–8, 107–110, 291–2 free-range farming 146, 308 French Revolution 324 Friedel, Robert 224 Friedman, Milton 111 Friend, Sir Richard 257 Friends of the Earth 154, 155 Fry, Art 261 Fuji (corporation) 114, 386 Fujian, China 89, 183 fur trade 169, 180 futurology 354–5 Gadir (Cadiz) 168–9, 170 Gaelic language 129 Galbraith, J.K. 16 Galdikas, Birute 60 Galilee, Sea of 124 Galileo 115 Gandhi, Indira 203, 204 Gandhi, Sanjay 203–4 Ganges, River 147, 172 gas, natural 235, 236, 237, 240, 302, 303, 337 Gates, Bill 106, 264, 268 GDP per capita (world), increases in 11, 349 Genentech (corporation) 259, 405 General Electric Company 261, 264 General Motors (corporation) 115 generosity 86–7, 94–5 genetic research 54, 151, 265, 306–7, 310, 356, 358 genetically modified (GM) crops 28, 32, 148, 151–6, 283, 358 Genghis Khan 182 Genoa 89, 169, 178, 180 genome sequencing 265 geothermal power 246, 344 Germany: Great Depression (1930s) 31; industrialisation 202; infant mortality 16; Nazism 109, 289; population growth 202; predicted deforestation 304, 305; prehistoric 70, 138; trade 179–80, 187; see also West Germany Ghana 187, 189, 316, 326 Gibraltar, Strait of 180 gift giving 87, 92, 133, 134 Gilbert, Daniel 4 Gilgamesh, King 159 Ginsberg, Allen 110 Gintis, Herb 86 Gladstone, William 237 Glaeser, Edward 190 Glasgow 315 glass 166, 174–5, 177, 259 glass fibre 303 Global Humanitarian Forum 337 global warming see climate change globalisation 290, 358 ‘glorious revolution’ (1688) 223 GM (genetically modified) crops 28, 148, 151–6, 283, 358 goats 122, 126, 144, 145, 197, 320 Goethe, Johann von 104 Goklany, Indur 143–4, 341, 426 gold 165, 177, 303 golden eagles 239, 409 golden toads 338 Goldsmith, Edward 291 Google (corporation) 21, 100, 114, 259, 260, 268, 355 Gore, Al 233, 291 Goths 175 Gott, Richard 294 Gramme, Zénobe Théophile 233–4 Grantham, George 401 gravity, discovery of 258 Gray, John 285, 291 Great Barrier Reef 250 Greece: ancient 115, 128, 161, 170–71, 173–4; modern 186 greenhouse gases 152, 155, 242, 329; see also carbon dioxide emissions Greenland: ice cap 125, 130, 313, 334, 339, 426; Inuits 61; Norse 380 Greenpeace 154, 155, 281, 385 Grottes des Pigeons, Morocco 53 Groves, Leslie 412 Growth is Good for the Poor (World Bank study) 317 guano 139–40, 302 Guatemala 209 Gujarat 162, 174 Gujaratis 89 Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden 184 Gutenberg, Johann 184, 253 Guth, Werner 86 habeas corpus 358 Haber, Fritz 140, 412 Hadza people 61, 63, 87 Haiti 14, 301, 315 Halaf people 130 Hall, Charles Martin 24 Halley, Edmond 256 HANPP (human appropriation of net primary productivity) number 144–5 Hanseatic merchants 89, 179–80, 196 Hansen, James 426 hanta virus 307 happiness 25–8, 191 Harappa, Indus valley 161–2 Hardin, Garrett 203 harems 136 Hargreaves, James 227, 256 Harlem, Holland 215–16 Harper’s Weekly 23 Harvey, William 256 hay 214–15, 216, 239, 408–9 Hayek, Friedrich 5, 19, 38, 56, 250, 280, 355 heart disease 18, 156, 295 ‘hedonic treadmill’ 27 height, average human 16, 18 Heller, Michael 265–6 Hellespont 128, 170 Henrich, Joe 77, 377 Henry II, King of England 118 Henry, Joseph 271, 272 Henry, William 221 Heraclitus 251 herbicides 145, 152, 153–4 herding 130–31 Hero of Alexandria 270 Herschel, Sir William 221 Hesiod 292 Hippel, Eric von 273 hippies 26, 110, 175 Hiroshima 283 Hitler, Adolf 16, 184, 296 Hittites 166, 167 HIV/AIDS 8, 14, 307–8, 310, 316, 319, 320, 322, 331, 353 Hiwi people 61 Hobbes, Thomas 96 Hock, Dee 254 Hohle Fels, Germany 70 Holdren, John 203, 207, 311 Holland: agriculture 153; golden age 185, 201, 215–16, 223; horticulture 42; industrialisation 215–16, 226; innovations 264; trade 31, 89, 104, 106, 185, 223, 328 Holy Roman Empire 178, 265–6 Homer 2, 102, 168 Homestead Act (1862) 323 homicide 14, 20, 85, 88, 106, 118, 201 Homo erectus 49, 68, 71, 373 Homo heidelbergensis 49, 50–52, 373 Homo sapiens, emergence of 52–3 Hong Kong 31, 83, 158, 169, 187, 219, 328 Hongwu, Chinese emperor 183 Hood, Leroy 222, 405 Hooke, Robert 256 horses 48, 68, 69, 129, 140, 197, 215, 282, 408–9; shoes and harnesses 176, 215 housing costs 20, 25, 34, 39–40, 234, 368 Hoxha, Enver 187 Hrdy, Sarah 88 Huber, Peter 244, 344 Hueper, Wilhelm 297 Huguenots 184 Huia (birds) 64 human sacrifice 104 Hume, David 96, 103, 104, 170 humour 2 Hunan 177 Hungary 222 Huns 175 hunter-gatherers: consumption and production patterns 29–30, 123; division of labour 61–5, 76, 136; famines 45, 139; limitations of band size 77; modern societies 66–7, 76, 77–8, 80, 87, 135–6, 136–7; nomadism 130; nostalgia for life of 43–5, 135, 137; permanent settlements 128; processing of food 29, 38, 61; technological regress 78–84; trade 72, 77–8, 81, 92–3, 123, 136–7; violence and warfare 27, 44–5, 136, 137 hunting 61–4, 68–70, 125–6, 130, 339 Huron Indians 138–9 hurricanes 329, 335, 337 Hurst, Blake 152 Hutterites 211 Huxley, Aldous 289, 354 hydroelectric power 236, 239, 343, 344, 409 hyenas 43, 50, 54 IBM (corporation) 260, 261, 282 Ibn Khaldun 182 ice ages 52, 127, 329, 335, 340, 388 ice caps 125, 130, 313, 314, 334, 338–9, 426 Iceland 324 Ichaboe island 140 ‘idea-agora’ 262 imitation 4, 5, 6, 50, 77, 80 imperialism 104, 162, 164, 166, 172, 182, 319–20, 357; see also colonialism in-vitro fertilisation 306 income, per capita: and economic freedom 117; equality 18–19, 218–19; increases in 14, 15, 16–17, 218–19, 285, 331–2 India: agriculture 126, 129, 141, 142–3, 147, 151–2, 156, 301; British rule 160; caste system 173; economic growth 187, 358; energy use 245; income equality 19; infant mortality 16; innovations 172–3, 251; Mauryan empire 172–3, 201, 357; mobile phone use 327; population growth 202, 203–4; prehistoric 66, 126, 129; trade 174–5, 175, 179, 186–7, 225, 228, 232; urbanisation 189 Indian Ocean 174, 175 Indonesia 66, 87, 89, 177 Indus river 167 Indus valley civilisation 161–2, 164 industrialisation: and capital investment 258–9; and end of slavery 197, 214; and food production 139, 201–2; and fossil fuels 214, 216–17, 229–33, 352; and innovation 38, 220–24, 227–8; and living standards 217–20, 226–7, 258; pessimistic views of 42, 102–3, 217–18, 284–5; and productivity 227–8, 230–31, 232, 235–6, 244–5; and science 255–8; and trade 224–6; and urbanisation 188, 226–7 infant mortality 14, 15, 16, 208–9, 284 inflation 24, 30, 169, 289 influenza see flu, pandemic Ingleheart, Ronald 27 innovation: and capital investment 258–62, 269; and exchange 71–2, 76, 119, 167–8, 251, 269–74; and government spending programmes 267–9; increasing returns of 248–55, 274–7, 346, 354, 358–9; and industrialisation 38, 220–24, 227–8; and intellectual property 262–7, 269; limitlessness 374–7; and population growth 252; and productivity 227–8; and science 255–8, 412; and specialisation 56, 71–2, 73–4, 76–7, 119, 251; and trade 168, 171 insect-resistant crops 154–5 insecticides 151–2 insects 75–6, 87–8 insulin 156, 274 Intel (corporation) 263, 268 intellectual property 262–7; see also copyright; patents intensive farming 143–9 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 330, 331, 332, 333–4, 338, 342, 347, 425, 426, 427, 428 internal combustion engine 140, 146, 244 International Planned Parenthood Foundation 203 internet: access to 253, 268; blogging 257; and charitable giving 318–19, 356; cyber-crime 99–100, 357; development of 263, 268, 270, 356; email 292; free exchange 105, 272–3, 356; packet switching 263; problem-solving applications 261–2; search engines 245, 256, 267; shopping 37, 99, 107, 261; social networking websites 262, 268, 356; speed of 252, 253; trust among users 99–100, 356; World Wide Web 273, 356 Inuits 44, 61, 64, 126 IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) 330, 331, 332, 333–4, 338, 342, 347, 349, 425, 426, 427, 428 IQ levels 19 Iran 162 Iraq 31, 158, 161 Ireland 24, 129, 199, 227 iron 166, 167, 169, 181, 184, 223, 229, 230, 302, 407 irradiated food 150–51 irrigation 136, 147–8, 159, 161, 163, 198, 242, 281 Isaac, Glyn 64 Isaiah 102, 168 Islam 176, 357, 358 Israel 53, 69, 124, 148 Israelites 168 Italy: birth rate 208; city states 178–9, 181, 196; fascism 289; Greek settlements 170–71, 173–4; infant mortality 15; innovations 196, 251; mercantilism 89, 103, 178–9, 180, 196; prehistoric 69 ivory 70, 71, 73, 167 Jacob, François 7 Jacobs, Jane 128 Jamaica 149 James II, King 223 Japan: agriculture 197–8; birth rates 212; dictatorship 109; economic development 103, 322, 332; economic and technological regression 193, 197–9, 202; education 16; happiness 27; industrialisation 219; life expectancy 17, 31; trade 31, 183, 184, 187, 197 Jarawa tribe 67 Java 187 jealousy 2, 351 Jebel Sahaba cemeteries, Egypt 44, 45 Jefferson, Thomas 247, 249, 269 Jenner, Edward 221 Jensen, Robert 327 Jericho 127, 138 Jevons, Stanley 213, 237, 245 Jews 89, 108, 177–8, 184 Jigme Singye Wangchuck, King of Bhutan 25–6 Jobs, Steve 221, 264, 405 John, King of England 118 Johnson, Lyndon 202–3 Jones, Rhys 79 Jordan 148, 167 Jordan river 127 Joyce, James 289 justice 19–20, 116, 320, 358 Kalahari desert 44, 61, 76 Kalkadoon aborigines 91 Kanesh, Anatolia 165 Kangaroo Island 81 kangaroos 62, 63, 69–70, 84, 127 Kant, Immanuel 96 Kaplan, Robert 293 Kay, John 184, 227 Kazakhstan 206 Kealey, Terence 172, 255, 411 Kelly, Kevin 356 Kelvin, William Thomson, 1st Baron 412 Kenya 42, 87, 155, 209, 316, 326, 336, 353 Kerala 327 Kerouac, Jack 110 Khoisan people 54, 61, 62, 67, 116, 321 Kim Il Sung 187 King, Gregory 218 Kingdon, Jonathan 67 Kinneret, Lake 124 Klasies River 83 Klein, Naomi 291 Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (venture capitalists) 259 knowledge, increasing returns of 248–50, 274–7 Kodak (corporation) 114, 386 Kohler, Hans-Peter 212 Korea 184, 197, 300; see also North Korea; South Korea Kuhn, Steven 64, 69 kula (exchange system) 134 !


pages: 334 words: 82,041

How Did We Get Into This Mess?: Politics, Equality, Nature by George Monbiot

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Alfred Russel Wallace, bank run, bilateral investment treaty, Branko Milanovic, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Attenborough, dematerialisation, demographic transition, drone strike, en.wikipedia.org, first-past-the-post, full employment, Gini coefficient, hedonic treadmill, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, land reform, land value tax, market fundamentalism, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mont Pelerin Society, moral panic, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, old-boy network, peak oil, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, rent-seeking, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, urban sprawl, wealth creators, World Values Survey

I don’t know when this will happen, and I urge environmentalists to remember that while we have been proved right about most things, we have been consistently wrong about the dates for mineral exhaustion. But before oil peaks, demand is likely to outstrip supply and the price will soar. The result is that the oil firms will have an even greater incentive to extract the stuff. Already, encouraged by prices, the pollutocrats are pouring billions into unconventional oil. In December 2007, BP announced a massive investment in Canadian tar sands. Oil produced from tar sands creates even more carbon emissions than the extraction of petroleum. There’s enough tar and kerogen in North America to cook the planet several times over. If that runs out, they switch to coal, of which there is hundreds of years’ supply. Sasol, the South African company founded during the apartheid period (when supplies of oil were blocked) to turn coal into liquid transport fuel, is conducting feasibility studies for new plants in India, China and the US.13 Neither geology nor market forces will save us from climate change.

., 94 Auschwitz, 232 Australia acoustic dispersal devices/acoustic deterrence, 69 coal exports from, 172 destruction of rainforest in, 86 disappearance of predators in, 81 trade agreement with Hong Kong, 250 Avatar (film), 227, 230, 231 B Babiak, Paul, 190 BAE, 244 bail outs, 102, 198, 199, 202, 210 Baker, Norman, 30 Bandar bin Sultan, 242, 244 Bandow, Doug, 223 Bank of England, 156 Barclays Global Power and Utilities, 20 BBC, 41, 90 bears, return of to former ranges, 97 The Bell Curve (Murray and Herrnstein), 163 Bellway Homes, 45, 46 Beowulf, 90 Berlin, Isaiah, 4 Bialowieza Forest (Poland), 96 billionaires Charles and David Koch, 211, 214 freedom of not to pay taxes, 24 Ian Wood, 155 negative freedom enjoyed by, 4 political involvement of, 209–12 on population growth, 106 Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 194 Biological Weapons Convention, 153 Blair, Tony, 219, 244, 264, 266, 281, 287 Blears, Hazel, 149 Block, Fred, 180, 182 Board, Belinda, 189 boarding schools, 64 Boarding Schools Association, 65 Boarding School Syndrome, 64 bosses as allowed to blackmail their workers, 264 and capital gains tax, 280 Carly Fiorina on list of worst, 186 as consuming utility their workers provide, 187 income of as compared to average full-time worker, 12 psychopathic traits of as being rewarded, 189–90 self-attribution of, 191 Boston College, 12 BP, 151 Brazil farming in, 140 genocide in, 230 government’s contraceptive programme, 76 Brembs, Bjorn, 196 Brennan, John, 55 A Brief History of Neoliberalism (Harvey), 218 Britain Unleashed (article series), 216 Britannia Unchained, 216 British Journal of Psychotherapy, 64 British Medical Journal, 75 British Social Attitudes, 287 Brown, Gordon, 219, 263, 264, 267, 281, 287 Buffini, Damon, 264 Bush, George, 76, 266 Bush, George W., 54, 209, 223 Business Council, 264 C Californian condor, decline of, 84–5 Cambridge University, 20, 49, 50, 51 Cameron, David, 76, 275, 282, 283 Cameron, James, 227 Canada greenhouse gas emissions in, 87 revocation of patents by, 251 rise in moose numbers, 86 Canadian tar sands, 151 capital gains tax, 276, 280 Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Piketty), 1 capitalism, 176, 187, 195. See also consumer capitalism capitalists, 193 carbon, governments in rich world exhorting citizens to use less, 148 carbon capture and storage, 147, 150 carbon-cutting programmes, 151 carbon dioxide catching and burying of, 150 contributions of whales in removal of, 83 production of, 86, 148, 204 rise in, 84, 103–4 carbon-fuelled expansion, 176 Carbon Tracker Initiative, 156 Cardigan Bay, 95 care workers, 184–6 Carnegie, Andrew, 1, 191 carnivores, impact of large carnivores, 80 Catholic church, on abortion and contraception, 72–6 CBI (Confederation of British Industry), 263, 267 Center for Responsive Politics, 24 Centre for Policy Studies, 219 chastity, 59 Cherry Orchard estate, 45 Chesterman, Gordon, 51 child prisoners, 69 children.


pages: 653 words: 155,847

Energy: A Human History by Richard Rhodes

Albert Einstein, animal electricity, California gold rush, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Copley Medal, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, demographic transition, Dmitri Mendeleev, Drosophila, Edmond Halley, energy transition, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, flex fuel, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, nuclear winter, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Ralph Nader, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, Simon Kuznets, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, Vanguard fund, working poor, young professional

Beyond waste wood, there were other potential sources of cellulose: corn stalks, flax, seaweed. And beyond alcohol, there was oil shale. Hibbert glanced hostilely at the Eighteenth Amendment, Prohibition, which had come into effect on 16 January 1920. He called it “pernicious and unenlightened legislation” that made research difficult by restricting access to alcohol (much as the illegality of marijuana later in the twentieth century would make research on the medicinal properties of cannabis difficult). He feared Prohibition might both “cripple existing chemical industries” and “endanger our national standing and security.”37 Farsighted as Hibbert’s proposal was—the world is reengaging with the same challenges today, from oil depletion, to oil shale, to renewable alcohol—he concluded by calling it a “scientific dream.” And as with most dream reports, few listened.

Other than gas, whale oil and tallow candles continued to be the most popular fuels for lighting.”67 Tallow is the rendered fat of cattle. Whale oil comes from whales. Castaneda is wrong about whale oil; not only the world’s largest mammal rendered up its fats and oils for lighting in the first half of the nineteenth century, or whales would have been extirpated. They very nearly were. * * * I. Cannel coal is an older name for what is today called oil shale, a hard, shiny, bituminous mineral with a high oil content. II. The type of flushing fever then associated with consumption. III. Just as some had doubted the possibility of a light without a wick, so did others, including members of Parliament and the Royal Society, assume that the pipes carrying gas would be so hot they would be a fire hazard, especially if confined within walls. EIGHT PURSUING LEVIATHAN Though the Nantucket Quaker Francis Rotch owned one of the ships that hosted the Boston Tea Party, the Quakers of Nantucket Island wanted nothing to do with the American Revolution.

Less valuable second- and after-year turpentine was called “yellow dip.” A tree might survive seven seasons despite the progressive damage of boxing and chipping to its structure. Loggers then harvested the dead and damaged trees for their dense heartwood.8 By the 1850s, turpentine production was declining in America. A new competitor surged into the lamp oil market: coal oil, distilled from cannel coal (oil shale) or asphalt/bitumen, a heavy hydrocarbon found naturally in semisolid pools such as Pitch Lake on the Caribbean island of Trinidad and the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles. (Tar and pitch are traditional terms for asphalt/bitumen, but are also used, confusingly, for tree exudates.) The world’s most extensive reserve of bitumen occurs in the Canadian province of Alberta, where the mineral in the form of oil sands—sand mixed with asphalt/bitumen—covers some fifty-five thousand square miles, an area larger than England.


pages: 421 words: 125,417

Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet by Jeffrey Sachs

agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, British Empire, business process, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, demographic transition, Diane Coyle, Edward Glaeser, energy security, failed state, Gini coefficient, global pandemic, Haber-Bosch Process, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, mass immigration, microcredit, oil shale / tar sands, old age dependency ratio, peak oil, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, Skype, statistical model, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transaction costs, unemployed young men, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working-age population

There has been much consternation about “peak” oil, the idea that the world may be nearing the peak of total oil production and, therefore, faces a decline of oil reserves and oil production in future decades because we have discovered and already developed most or all of the world’s great oil fields. The common assumption is that peak oil, if true, is a disaster: the world hitting a brick wall of oil supply just as the developing world is ramping up its demand for it. Yet the consequences would not be nearly as dire as some have suggested. We might run out of conventional petroleum in a few decades, but we have centuries left of coal and other nonconventional fossil fuels, such as tar sands and oil shale. This may seem like slight consolation, since it is hard to put coal into the gas tank. Yet chemists know precisely how to do that, using an industrial process known as Fischer-Tropsch liquefaction, which converts coal into liquid hydrocarbons such as gasoline at relatively low cost. In the long run, we need to be more concerned about the total supply of fossil fuels than with the supply of oil alone, since the fossil fuels are reasonably changeable from one to the other through known industrial processes.


pages: 497 words: 144,283

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna

"Robert Solow", 1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, digital map, disruptive innovation, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, LNG terminal, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low earth orbit, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, mass immigration, megacity, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Parag Khanna, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

Indeed, recent years have exposed both the fragility of America’s global status and the efficacy of its governance model. Both will continue to be severely tested in the decades ahead as America becomes even more dependent on foreign investment from and exports to the same rising powers, financial centers, and corporate hubs that compete with it in global markets. Imagine this rosy scenario of 2020: America’s military is mostly anchored at home after two decades of foreign policy disasters, more oil and gas is captured from shale deposits than is produced by Russia and Iran, and California’s tech titans produce breakthrough applications that propel the world’s first trillion-dollar company. The economy cruises at a steady 3 percent growth rate, and more inclusive mortgage standards allow a record 70 percent of Americans to own their own homes. Does restored growth mean that American citizens and corporations return home with their cash and loyalty?

It is no longer just investment bankers, exchange students, journalists, and Peace Corps volunteers but members of a wide cross section of American society who have become economic migrants, especially since the financial crisis. Where supply chains don’t come to people, people move to supply chains. From San Francisco to Johannesburg, nineteenth-century discoveries of gold deposits turned villages of homesteads into bustling cities. In the past decade, fifty thousand Canadians have moved to Fort McMurray, a new oil boomtown in Alberta, to work in the rugged tar sands. In Africa’s extractive industry, hundreds of thousands of miners flock to jobs extracting tungsten, coltan, and other minerals essential for mobile phones, even if they have to work like slaves. The supply chain is a potential escape from state failure in Africa’s largest country of Congo and the smaller nations surrounding it. Decades from now, we will all still live within the nominal borders of states, but more important, almost the entire world population will also live along infrastructure corridors and supply chains, physical and virtual


pages: 307 words: 90,634

Insane Mode: How Elon Musk's Tesla Sparked an Electric Revolution to End the Age of Oil by Hamish McKenzie

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Ben Horowitz, business climate, car-free, carbon footprint, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, Colonization of Mars, connected car, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Google Glasses, Hyperloop, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, low earth orbit, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Menlo Park, Nikolai Kondratiev, oil shale / tar sands, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Shenzhen was a fishing village, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, South China Sea, special economic zone, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, urban sprawl, Zipcar

The news site summed up its version of events by suggesting that Fortune was a beneficiary of a multimillion-dollar public relations offensive against electric vehicles, funded by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, whose Koch Industries is one of the largest private companies in the United States. Koch Industries and its subsidiaries own major oil operations, including refineries, pipelines, and leases on at least 1.1 million acres of tar sands in Canada. Electrek pointed out that Fortune had earlier published an opinion piece by Koch Industries board member James Mahoney. In that piece, Mahoney argued that electric cars shouldn’t get government subsidies. “The serious bottom line here is that Fortune is getting Koch money to further their climate changing agenda,” Electrek wrote at the time. If Electrek were in the mood for conspiracy, it might also have mentioned that Carol Loomis is a close friend and bridge-playing buddy of Warren Buffett.

They have also demonstrated an ability to obstruct regulation that would address climate change even through market-based means, such as a carbon tax. Looking at Koch Industries’ businesses and past troubles with the regulatory sector, it’s not hard to see why the brothers—each worth about $50 billion and among the top ten richest people in the world—might object to government action on carbon emissions and other pollution. For example, the Kochs own more acres of Canada’s tar sands than any other non-Canadian company, including Exxon, Chevron, and Conoco. While Koch Industries and its subsidiaries have a diverse set of business interests, from polymers and fibers to forestry and cattle ranches, they also preside over a fossil fuels empire of infrastructure, refineries, pipelines, storage, and shipping, and they profit from fossil- fuels-related financial instruments, such as an oil derivative that they co-invented.


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

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. Today, EROEI for conventional oil ranges from 5 to 20, depending upon the source. Unconventional hydrocarbons and biofuels are less attractive: tar sands and shale oil are 2–5, while ethanol and biodiesel from conventional US agriculture barely break even.8All fossil fuels warm the planet but coal, the most abundant, also happens to be the dirtiest. Practically speaking, “peak oil” means “peak cheap oil,” which makes petroleum the Achilles heel of globalization. Today, most manufactured goods travel long distances from China and other low-cost producers.

(Dr Ari) 28, 170 Arkin, Lois 30, 114–15, 143 art 8, 13, 58, 88, 119, 122, 138, 141, 183–4 Asia 12, 13, 15, 45, 71, 195 atheism 10, 150, 159, 162 atmosphere (Earth’s) 45, 113, 155, 169, 189 attunement 22, 128–9, 156 Auroville 10, 19, 27, 30–1, 38, 45–6, 63, 71, 88, 104, 114, 133, 137–40, 142, 150, 155, 177, 180–4 Auroville Village Action Group 181 Aurum earth-brick machine 46 Australia 13, 15, 26–7, 46, 53, 73, 181 Ba, Djibril (Jiby) 59, 72, 91 back-to-the-land 11, 22, 56 backyard 73, 97, 127, 189, 190, 205 backyard farm 97, 205 bacteria 29, 51, 60–1 Balde, Djibril 59 Bangladesh 107, 201 Barrel Cluster (Findhorn) 40 Bayer Corporation 199 beauty 25, 39, 47, 75, 78, 82, 89, 101, 108, 147, 163, 174–5, 205 bees 54, 74 belonging (sense of) 14, 30, 31, 136, 144, 146–8, 150, 152, 185 culture of 146–8, 152, 192 story of 185 Berlin 23, 64, 84, 86, 88, 177 Berry, Thomas 154–5 Berry, Wendell 170 Bible (New Testament) 163, 173 bicycle 1, 8, 27, 43, 63–7, 127, 192–4 Big Bang 154–5 bike trains 189 biodiversity 27, 71 see also wildlife biogeochemical cycles 201 biology 4, 25, 36, 51, 53, 57, 72, 135, 154, 159, 162, 163 birds 34, 73, 152, 155 Block, Peter 192 blocking (in consensus decision-making) 8, 41, 64–5, 117–19 Bokaer, Joan 54 Bott, Gabi 166 Brazil 13, 195 Brooks, Joss 181–3 Buddhism 28, 85, 149, 150, 151, 159, 162, 164, 165, 171, 177 building codes 40, 44, 53, 194 bus stop 24, 63, 131, 191 Business Alliance for Local Living Economies 89, 199 Caddy, Peter and Eileen 128, 156 Calera Creek Water Recycling Plant 194 California 6, 29, 43, 69, 74, 111–12, 166, 169, 194 car culture 27, 46, 62, 65–6, 145, 193 Camara, Lamin 90–1 Canada 197 capitalism 79, 88, 106, carbon dioxide 45, 71, 161 Caron, Paul 175–6 Carruba, Capra 16, 125 Catholicism 189 cell phones 70 cement 45, 116 charcoal 33, 72–3 Chennai 181–2 child-rearing practices 11, 17, 18, 24, 94, 111–12, 114, 116, 119, 133–8, 168, 191 children 8, 17, 21–2, 24, 30, 46, 66, 69, 85, 88, 94, 111, 114, 116, 119, 124–5, 127, 131–8, 140–1, 143–4, 147, 153, 163, 168, 180, 189, 193 absence of 30, 137 education of 23, 66, 88, 132, 140, 153, 163, 189 participation of in ecovillage culture 13, 134, 137, 143–5, 147 raised in ecovillages returning 116, 135–7 wellbeing of 24, 30, 46, 111–12, 116, 119, 127, 131, 147, 153 China 36, 59, 62–3, 193 choir 98, 138, 141, 145 Christian, Diana Leafe 113, 119, 206 Christianity (Christian) 149, 150, 151, 159, 162, 168, 185 circle of life 33–4, 74–7, 79, 109–11, 146, 148–9, 188, 202 circus 64, 88–9, 124 Cities for Climate Protection 194 citizenship 35, 49, 75, 92, 100, 122, 124, 136, 189, 202 City Repair 191 climate change 1, 5, 16, 34, 49, 50, 70, 75, 111, 130, 155, 161, 169, 172, 188, 190, 194, 195, 201, 204–5, 211 Club 99 (Sieben Linden) 43, 56–7, 70, 171 cogeneration 40, 49 co-housing 11, 21, 46–7, 93, 127, 207 Cold War 23, 88 collaborative consumption 34, 68–70, 92, 146 collective intelligence 175–9, 185 Colufifa 25–6, 31, 58–60, 66, 90–1, 105, 114, 120, 125, 150, 167–9, 196, 199 common house 17, 27, 43, 46, 50, 69, 70, 92–3, 97, 113, 127, 139, 143, 171 common property 69–70, 80, 92–4, 97, 191, 197, 199 Commoner, Barry 75 commons 191, 197, 199 see also common property commune 95–7, 127, 163 communication 18, 25, 78, 112, 119, 121–3, 125–8, 139, 147, 166, 174–5, 192, 201 communism 95, 106 community meals 70, 83, 162, 195 Community Sustainability Assessment 10, 132 Compassionate Listening 147, 192 complementary currency 99–103, 110 compost 5, 8–9, 32, 34, 54, 59, 128, 129, 137, 146–7, 207 composting toilet 15, 20, 41, 53, 61, 133, 147, 207 compressed-earth building 27–8, 46 conflict 11, 18, 106, 112, 114, 117–23, 137–8, 147, 150, 176, 205 conflict resolution 18, 106, 114, 137–8, 205 connection (sense of) 25, 69, 115, 123–4, 152, 155, 162–3, 166, 171 connectivity 185–6, 202–3 consensus 2, 6, 18, 20, 116–20, 125, 177, 180 consumerism 80, 97, 176 see also consumer society; overconsumption consumer society 15, 80, 92, 102 see also consumerism; overconsumption contraction and convergence 105 cooperative(s) 93, 100–2, 106, 191, 199 Copenhagen 133, 194 corporate lobbying 197–8 cottage industries 27, 87–8, 181–2 Council of Sustainable Settlements of the Americas (CASA) 200–1 courtyard 29, 46, 73, 84, 162 credito 100–3 crisis 3–4, 9, 11, 16, 18, 26, 36, 59, 108, 116, 120, 150, 153, 172, 176, 191, 203 ecological 1–5, 9, 11, 16, 150, 153, 172, 176 extinction 203 of meaning (existential) 150, 153 within ecovillages 18, 26, 108, 116–20 cult 115–16 currency (monetary) 12, 79–80, 98–103 da Silva, Arjuna 48 dairy 56, 83–4, 87 Damanhur 16, 18, 25, 30, 36–40, 42, 46, 57, 63, 87, 100–3, 115, 120, 122–5, 130, 133, 135–6, 150, 155, 157–60, 163, 171, 174, 177, 180, 183 Damanhur Crea 101 Dawson, Jonathan 11, 14, 68, 82, 124, 129, 130, 132 decision-making 17–18, 94, 116–17, 120, 135, 147, 177, 199 Dee, Bhavana 180–1 degrowth 196–7 democracy 66, 94, 106, 116, 117, 120, 177, 185, 188–9, 191, 193 Denmark 12, 22, 49, 92, 95, 97, 134, 197 dinosaurs 153, 155, 203–4 do-it-yourself politics 190 Dongtan (China) 193 downsizing 63, 105, 107, 197 drought-resistant plants 53 Duhm, Dieter 115–16 E2C2 30–5, 76, 80, 110, 151, 188, 191, 193, 195, 199, 203, 207 Earth community 76, 202 Earth System Governance 201 Earthaven 17. 20, 36, 38, 40, 43, 47–9, 53, 57–8, 77–8, 93, 100, 105, 108, 113–21, 129, 141, 150, 160, 165–6 Ecker, Achim 115 eco-home 42, 77, 108 ecological economics 196–7 ecological footprint 7, 21, 24, 26, 34–5, 43, 57, 68, 70, 73, 171, 183 ecology (defined) 34–5 eco-neighborhood 201 see also neighborhoods, sustainability practices in ecosystem 27, 34, 71, 74, 89, 109, 158. 182 ecovillage (defined) 3, 12 Ecovillage at Ithaca (EVI) 17, 21, 36, 41, 46, 50, 54, 63, 69, 83, 86, 93, 107–8, 111–14, 127, 138–9, 152, 194, 198 Ecovillage Design Education (EDE) 38, 132, 195 Ecovillage Network of the Americas 12 EcoYoff (Senegal) 179 Edinburgh 195 education 11, 12, 13, 19, 20, 23, 25, 67, 78, 89, 94, 119, 131–2, 135, 179, 181–2, 198 Effective Micro-organisms 29, 60, 182 efficiency 34, 36, 39–42, 64, 66, 81, 108, 121, 147 ego-village 42, 176 electric cars 36, 81 embodied energy 36, 42 energy 3, 20, 25, 27, 30, 34, 36, 38, 39, 40–5, 47, 48–9, 50–3, 58, 62, 63, 66, 69, 70, 74–5, 78, 82–3, 86, 88, 92, 99, 101, 111, 115, 122, 127, 130, 154–5, 156, 164, 176, 182, 183, 188, 189, 190, 193, 195, 197, 202, 205 cogeneration 40, 49 descent 70, 83, 92, 130, 189–90, 195, 202 fossil fuel 34, 42, 49, 51, 58, 62–3, 74, 92, 161, 167, 171, 192, 197, 200 micro-hydro 48 natural gas 48–9, 63 nonrenewable 5, 15, 49, 83 renewable 3, 38, 40, 48, 49, 63, 78, 82, 83, 88, 135, 156, 190, 197, 205 solar 9, 15, 25, 27, 28, 36, 40–5, 48–9, 63, 81–6, 101, 108, 111, 113, 133, 147, 183, 191, 193, 198, 205 wind 27, 48–51, 63, 73, 133 wood 33–4, 40–2, 48–9, 72, 141, 161 energy return on energy investment (EROEI) 62–3 engineer 43, 69, 84, 111 enlightenment (spiritual) 164, 183 entropy 155, 159 Estonia Ecovillage Network 179 Ethiopia 60 ethnic diversity 115, 155 Europe 4, 5, 12, 13, 15, 19, 26, 44, 49, 50, 55, 56, 58–60, 65–6, 105, 117, 122, 132, 163, 167–8, 178–9, 194, 197 European Union 5, 55–6, 189, 195, 198 evolution 3–4, 146, 148, 149, 152, 154–5, 157, 159–60, 162–3, 166, 175, 178, 185, 203–4 biological 3, 146, 154, 159, 161, 162, 166, 185, 203–4 cosmological 154–5, 159, 163 cultural 4, 148–9, 160, 166, 175, 188, 203–4 evolutionary intelligence 151, 154, 157, 163, 203 exponential growth 92, 102, 186 Falco (Oberto Airaudi) 25, 122, 158 Farmer, Chris 47–8, 58, 118, 141, 160 fermentation 141, 192 Field of Dreams (Findhorn) 42 Findhorn 12–13, 21–2, 30–1, 40, 42, 49, 51–2, 63, 68, 82, 89, 100, 115, 124, 128–9, 133, 138, 142, 150, 155–7, 177–8, 180, 194–5 Findhorn Consultancy Service 98 Findhorn Foundation 98 fish 58, 77–8, 90, 99,106, 188, 198 focalizer 22, 128, 156 forest (include forestry) 20, 33–4, 37, 55, 58, 71–2, 77, 90, 92, 116, 119, 125, 134, 162, 181, 183, 198 Forum (ZEGG practice) 24, 121–2, 132, 147, 192 fossil fuels 34, 42, 49, 51, 58, 62–3, 74, 92, 161, 167, 171, 192, 197, 200 freedom 6, 86, 95, 97, 121, 131, 178 friendship 6, 9, 42, 81, 108, 129, 134, 164, 185 frugality 51, 105 full-cost accounting 80–2, 189, 197–9 funeral 24, 144–5 Furuhashi, Michiyo 95, 176 Gaia 5, 31, 155–6, 163, 201 Gaia Education 10, 31, 132, 155, 190, 195, 198 Gaia Trust 12 Galle (Sri Lanka) 170–1 Gambia 35, 59, 90, 140, 167–8 Game of Life (at Damanhur) 124–5 Gandhi, Mahatma 81, 106 garbage 5, 9, 88–9, 194 Gateway Farm 57–8, 77, 108, 118, 160–1 GEN-Africa 200–1 gender relations 27, 72, 120, 126, 168 GEN-Europe/Africa 12 GEN-Oceania/Asia 12 genetically modified food 16, 25, 36, 54, 57 Germany 23–4, 33, 40, 44, 48–9, 56, 105, 115–16, 129, 143, 166, 177, 193, 197 gift economy 103–4, 147, 191–2, 199 Gilman, Robert and Diane 12 Gilmore, Jeff 69, 111–13, 138 global civilization 189, 200–2 global economy 12, 16, 34, 62, 79, 80, 82, 107, 109 Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) 10–12, 26, 38, 132–3, 179, 200–1 global governance 200–2 global inequality 35, 105, 167–9 global injustice 35, 169 globalization 12, 60, 63, 75, 107, 133, 139, 170, 186, 200–2 goat(s) 60–1, 207 God 61, 102, 136, 149–50, 164, 168–9, 173, 176, 182 Goura (Damanhurian) 57, 171 governance 18, 20, 28, 114, 116–17, 119, 120–1, 125, 134, 188, 190, 198, 200–1 government 72, 73, 83, 92, 94, 102, 106, 183, 190–1, 195–200 see also subsidies Great Depression 102 Great Reskilling 192 Great Unfoldment 152–61, 162–5, 172–4, 177, 178, 185, 186 green building 13, 36, 39–44, 45–8, 75, 175, 182 greenhouse gas emissions 45, 48, 62, 67–8, 71, 167, 169, 184, 193 see also carbon dioxide Greer, John 103 Groundswell Training Center 198 guesthouse 27, 117 guests in ecovillages 20–1, 23, 28, 40, 65, 68, 71, 87, 100, 117, 128, 132, 140, 144 see also visitors Gunambil (Sri Lanka) 106 Guneskoy Village (Turkey) 179 Halbach, Dieter 164 Hall of Metals (Damanhur) 158–60 Harris, Martha 93, 108 Hanover (Germany) 193 Hawken, Paul 200 Higa, Teruro 60 high school 8, 11, 77, 136 high-density building 46, 194 high-tech approaches in ecovillages 16, 25, 36, 40, 47, 113 Hinduism (Hindu) 149, 150, 151, 159 holistic approach 36–9, 126, 155, 166, 170 see also systemic thinking Hollywood 29, 65–7, 193 homeowners’ association 93, 191 Honduras 65 Høngsmark, Kirsten 96–7 horses 36, 56, 134, 143, 145 Hubble Telescope 188 Hübl, Thomas 177–9, 189 human excrement 8, 34, 182 human manure 33–4, 53 see also human waste; urine human subjects review 11 human waste 33–4 , 53, 182 hunger 10, 25–6, 31, 58–60, 69, 84–5, 97, 130, 141, 185, 196 hybrid cars 36 hyper-individualism 29, 185, 192, 193, 203 idealism 6, 17, 47–8, 86, 89, 99, 118, 120, 136 income (ecovillagers’) 16, 20, 22, 88, 95–6, 98, 101, 164; see also salary India 19, 27, 35–6, 57, 59, 62, 81, 140, 165, 169, 180–3 individualism 29, 46, 116, 176, 178, 185, 192, 193, 203 Indus Valley Restaurant 104 industrialized agriculture 105 infrastructure 35, 48, 51, 62, 63, 69, 86, 186, 194, 202 insulation 41–3 integrity 9, 80, 86, 149, 181, 201 intention (in ecovillages) 114–16, 123, 164, 207 see also purpose (sense of) intentional community 12, 93, 123, 164, 207 interdependence 4–5, 9, 17, 27, 28, 46, 49, 75, 79, 108, 117, 152, 184, 185–6, 199–202 ecological 4–5, 9, 36, 75, 108, 117, 184, 185–6 global (planetary) 4–5, 9, 27, 46, 75, 79, 117, 184, 185–6, 199–202 social 4–5, 9, 17, 36, 49, 117, 152, 184, 185–6 interest (monetary) 12, 17, 23, 35, 54, 76, 79, 80, 83, 100, 102–3, 112, 129 internal economy 64, 100 internalizing costs 197 see also full-cost accounting International Consortium of Local Environmental Initiatives 190 international institutions 189, 200 international law 3, 189, 194, 200 International Training Center for Local Authorities (CIFAL) 195 internet 12, 36, 64, 70, 99, 189, 191, 199, 201 interreligious sensitivity 149–50, 168 Isadon (Furuta Isami) 29, 61, 121, 172–3 Islam (Muslim) 26, 149, 150, 151, 159, 162, 168 Italy 16, 18, 25, 49, 100–2, 136, 157 Jackson, Ross 12 Japan 28–9, 60–1, 92, 94, 123, 172 jobs 79, 85–8, 96, 100, 111, 117, 166, 197 joining fee 93, 95 Judaism (Jew) 149, 159, 162 kibbutz 12, 13 Kibbutz Lotan (Israel) 179 Kidokoro, Yuki 84, 123, 143 Kitao, Koichi 60–1, 74 Kloster, Jørgen 55–6 Konohana 28–9, 60–1, 74, 92, 94–5, 121, 150, 155, 172–3, 176–7, 180 laboratory (ecovillage as) 13, 18, 27, 79, 86, 131, 149, 151, 164, 175, 180, 185–6, 205 LA County Bicycle Coalition 65 Læssø, Bø 55–6 Lagoswatte 28 laundry 46, 47, 50, 69 laws 25, 27–8, 93, 97, 106, 155, 170, 191, 197–9 learning author’s 2, 5–9, 13–16, 20, 39, 45, 67, 94. 102, 110, 141, 143, 153, 165, 168, 174–5, 179, 181, 205–7 from ecovillages 11, 14, 18–19, 60–1, 121, 131–4, 141–2, 147, 150, 187–204 in ecovillages 11, 14, 18–19, 28, 47, 51, 53, 60–1, 88, 108, 111, 113, 121, 131–4, 136–8, 147, 164, 177 legal and financial structure 92–7 lessons (from ecovillages) 9, 13, 15, 32, 69, 81, 110, 151, 187–204 libertarianism 190 Lietaer, Bernard 99–100 Lindegger, Max 26, 28, 84 linear model (economic) 33–4, 53, 75, 203 literacy 25, 106, 168, 181 Living Building Challenge 194 Living Machine 51–2, 194 living system 5, 53, 166, 173 Lizama, Jimmy 65–6, 193 localization 16, 54–5, 73–80, 84, 87–9, 97, 99, 110–11, 130, 141, 189–96, 198–9, 201–2 Los Angeles 13, 15, 29–30, 65, 67, 84, 93, 114, 150, 162, 193–4 riots in 30, 114–15 Los Angeles Eco-Village (LAEV) 29–30, 65, 67, 84, 93, 114–15, 123, 127, 137, 142, 150, 162, 193 Love, Brian 58, 77–8, 108 Lovelock, James 155 low-income housing 108 low-tech approaches in ecovillages 16, 36, 40, 47, 70 MacLean, Dorothy 156 Macy, Joanna 154, 165–6 magic 25, 124, 127, 159, 160–1, 163 malaria 25, 181 Marland, Angus 156–7 mass extinction 1, 75, 155, 172, 203 mass transit 23, 63–4, 66, 92, 127, 167, 206 Matrimandir (Auroville) 183–4 Mbackombel (Senegal) 198 meat 22, 25, 55–8, 83 medicine 59–60, 136 meditation 7, 25, 122, 128, 136, 151–2, 156–64, 165, 171, 177 Sarvodaya’s peace 151–2, 165 meetings 7, 17, 27, 46, 92, 95, 98, 105, 107, 112, 115, 117, 119, 120–1, 126, 132, 134, 138–40, 164, 172, 176–7, 179 membership process 22, 93–4, 96 microfinance 25, 59, 106–7, 168, 181, 185, 199 Middle America 21, 108, 194 Middle East 59, 197 Ministry of Ecovillages (Senegal) 198 misanthropic temptation 153 molecular biology lab 25, 36, 57 monasteries 11, 171 Monbiot, George 67–8 money 6, 8, 11, 13, 16, 49, 55, 77–80, 86–7, 98–103, 109–20, 140–1, 161, 168, 169, 180, 192, 198 see also currency (monetary); complementary currency monogamy 24, 115 Morrison, Lara 162 Mount Fuji 28, 172, 174 multinational corporation 112, 161, 200 music 8, 23, 86, 139, 142, 174–5, 185 see also song(s) Music of the Plants (Damanhur) 174–5 mysticism 115, 156, 162, 177, 183, 185 nation-state 117, 200 Nature-Spirit Community 126 Ndao, Babacar 198 neighborhood skills map 64, 70, 87, 192 neighborhoods 6, 21, 29, 32, 43, 54, 46, 50, 52, 56, 64, 67, 70, 87, 97, 108, 109, 110, 114, 138, 141, 146, 167, 171, 187, 188, 190, 191–6, 201, 205 sustainability practices in 80, 87, 97, 109–10, 114, 138, 141, 146, 188, 191–2, 205 New Age 21, 88, 162 New Rural Reconstruction Movement (China) 196 New York City 193 Nonviolent Communication (NVC) 112, 119, 123, 125, 147, 192 Nygren, Kristen 111–13, 138 Obama, Michelle, 199 oikos 74–5, 79 oneness 162, 186 organic food 2, 6, 9, 21, 29, 54–60, 73, 75, 81, 84, 87, 97, 128–9, 133, 191 overconsumption 4–5, 35, 36, 105, 107, 112, 167, 202 see also consumerism; consumer society Owen, David 193 ownership 11, 18, 64, 70, 80, 101–2, 92, 94, 97–8, 146, 199 Pacific Northwest 187 park (public) 73, 92. 97, 189 participatory development 10, 12 particle consciousness 178, 189 passive solar design 40–5, 48, 82, 108, 113 patriarchy 26, 115, 117, 120 Peace Contract with Animals (Sieben Linden) 24, 56 Peace Corps 198 peace movement 164 peak oil 5, 50, 62–3, 130 Pepe, Lucertola 174–5 permaculture 20, 26, 34, 36–9, 54, 58, 73, 75, 117, 162, 188, 195, 200, 205 personal growth 89, 113, 120, 148, 149, 175, 206 pets 73, 127 pioneer species 19 planetary citizen 189, 202 planetary interdependence 9, 27, 46, 186, 189 plants, communication with 162, 174–5 pocket neighborhood 194 policy making 189 polis 74–6, political activism 6, 11, 16, 23, 89, 133, 157, 164, 166 political science 35, 50, 85, 99, 116 politics 1–6, 35, 66, 88–9, 102–4, 113, 117, 129–30, 133, 141, 151, 157, 164–7, 189–90, 196 polyamory 23, 115 Portland (Oregon) 191, 193 postmodern 117, 125, 171 poultry 55, 58–61, 77, 84, 134, 168, 192, 207 Pour Tous Distribution Service (Auroville) 104 poverty 30–1, 43, 60, 81, 95, 151, 181 power of yes 190, 194, 199 power tools 69–70 preschool 107 private property 79–80, 92–4 product stewardship laws 197 prosperity 13, 101, 103, 105, 110 purpose (sense of) core human 188–9, 191, 196, 200, 202, 207 in ecovillages 12, 14, 18, 20, 23, 61, 78, 85, 109, 114–16, 118–19, 124, 132, 135, 138, 172, 182, 188 see also intention (in ecovillages) race 27, 168 rainwater 9, 26–9, 31, 44, 51–3, 71, 82, 113, 192, 205 real estate 54, 79, 92–4, 114 real wealth 97, 107, 109 recycling 3, 6, 188, 194 relational living 150, 165, 167, 192 religion 10, 149–50, 152, 154, 159, 162, 164, 165, 168–9, 172, 186 renters 79, 94 retirement 18, 81, 93–4, 108, 127, 207 retrofitting 41, 81, 114 right livelihood 80, 85–90, 99, 199 risk perception 82 n1 Rio+20 Earth Summit 200 Rosenberg, Marshall 123 rural ecovillages 17, 54, 71, 83, 84 Rylander, Kimchi 118–20 salary 1, 9, 11, 16, 20, 22, 72, 83–4, 88–9, 92 n6, 95–6, 98–9, 101, 105, 107–8, 113, 164, 167, 194, 198 Sarvodaya 13, 28, 31, 104, 106–7, 114, 120, 125–6, 129, 133, 149–52, 155, 165, 170, 187, 196 sauna 69, 93 science 51, 75, 135, 154–5, 162, 164–5, 185–6 Seattle 7, 30, 67, 138, 156, 191, 205–6 secularism 13, 31, 149, 150, 154, 159, 162–4, 168, 177, 185 Sekem (Egypt) 200 self-awareness 137, 170 Senadeera, Bandula 125–6 Senegal 25–6, 59, 66, 72, 167–9, 179, 198–9 Seneviratne, Mahama 151–2 sewage 27, 51, 132 sex 109, 115 Shapiro, Elan 107–8 shared-wall construction 45, 47, 69 sharing 16, 18, 22, 26, 32, 47, 54, 63–4, 69, 70, 81, 87, 92–3, 96–7, 106, 110, 114, 127, 132, 142, 146, 164–5, 172, 189, 191–4, 199, 201, 207 sheep 58, 77 Shelton, Julie 84 shramadana 104, 106, 129 Sieben Linden 24, 33–4, 36, 41, 43–4, 47, 49, 53, 56–7, 70–1, 105, 114, 127, 129, 143–6, 150, 164, 166, 171, 177–9 silence (inner) 128, 143, 157, 159, 169, 171, 178 simplicity 8, 39, 81, 171–4, 180 skills 8, 16, 32, 43, 64, 65, 78, 87, 88, 108–9, 110, 111, 114, 122, 127, 131, 134, 138, 139, 147, 189, 192, 207 SkyRoot 206–7 slavery 167, 185 Slow Cities 192 Slow Food movement 192 see also Slow Money; Slow Cities Slow Money 192 slums 115, 132, 182, 195, 196 socialism 88 sociocracy 120 soil 8, 17, 19, 24, 31, 33, 46, 53, 55, 56, 58–60, 71, 74–5, 84, 89, 103, 131, 145, 147, 156, 161, 196, 207 solar energy 9, 15, 25, 27–8, 36, 40, 48–9, 63, 81, 83, 86, 101, 108, 111, 113, 133, 147, 183, 191, 193,198, 205 solidarity 84–5, 100, 103, 109–10, 133, 169, 192, 200, 205, 207 song(s) 7, 28, 34, 73, 138, 143, 145, 147, 152, 179 see also music sorcerer’s apprentices 160–1 Spain 90, 168 spell 124, 160–1 see also magic spirituality 24, 30–1, 149, 150, 155–7, 162–5, 166, 170, 171–3, 180–5 Sri Aurobindo 180–2 Sri Lanka 13, 28, 106–7, 125–6, 142, 151, 155, 165, 170 steady-state economy 197 story of separation 4, 11, 165, 179, 195–6 straw-bale construction 18, 43–4, 47–8, 171 structural insulated panels (SIPS) 36 subsidiarity 189, 193, 198, 201 subsidies governmental 3, 15, 82–3, 197–8 within ecovillages 83, 96, 197 suburb 21, 41, 69, 97, 127, 193–4 survivalism 112 sustainable development 28, 88, 133 Sustainable Tompkins County 107 Svanholm 22–3, 31, 49, 55–6, 64, 92, 94–7, 114, 127, 134–5, 163–4 Swimme, Brian 154 symbiosis 4–5, 54, 103, 108–9, 120, 147 biological 53, 103, 148 intergenerational 108, 110 social 4, 54, 103, 108–9, 147–8 synchronic lines 158 systemic thinking 51, 188–90, 193, 208 see also holistic approach Tamerice, Macaco 100–2, 122, 158–9 Tamera 115, 122 Tamil Nadu 19, 27, 45, 88, 140, 181 tar sands 62 taxes 83, 93–6, 101, 189, 197 Technakarto (at Damanhur) 122, 125 technological solutions 36–8, 63, 133, 201–2 teenagers 15, 69, 136 Temples of Humankind 25, 157, 160, 183 Tompkins County (New York) 194 toilet 7, 15, 20, 33–4, 41, 51, 53, 61, 106, 131, 133, 147, 179, 207 toilet assumption 53 Tolle, Eckhart 157 tool library 191 tractor 125 traditional villages 10, 46, 105, 125, 196 transformation 28, 41, 70, 129–30, 145, 150, 155, 165, 168, 179, 183, 185, 192, 205 material 31, 140, 183 of consciousness 177–9, 183–5, 189, 192 personal 28, 145, 169, 173, 179, 192, 205 social 129–30, 168, 179, 185, 192 spiritual 150, 155, 183–4 Transition Town 130, 192, 195, 200–1 transparency 22, 24, 96, 164 transportation 8, 34, 39, 58, 60, 62–8, 75, 92, 189, 193, 194, 205 trees 17, 24, 27, 29, 33, 48, 58, 59, 71–3, 90, 97, 119, 140, 155 triple bottom line 199 trust 14, 17, 22, 64, 85, 96–97, 100, 102, 109, 112, 116, 119–23, 130, 146–7, 154, 164, 167, 174–5, 189, 191–2, 200–1, 207 tsunami 28, 88, 133, 170, 170 two-class society 79, 94, 108 UfaFabrik 23, 64–5, 84, 86, 88, 99, 124, 138–9, 150 unconventional hydrocarbons 62, 197 United Nations 21, 107, 132–3, 195 United States of America (US) 5, 8, 12, 15, 20–1, 29, 35, 48–50, 52, 57–8, 60, 62–3, 73, 82–3, 92–3, 105, 122, 126, 140–1, 177, 191, 197–8 universe story 154, 172 urban ecovillages 16, 23, 34, 64, 84 urban farming 54, 97, 205 urban planning 162, 189, 191 urine 53 utopia 18, 193 Van Dam, René 163 veganism 24, 56–7, 171 vehicle sharing 63–4, 92, 146 village model 78–9, 84, 117, 196 visitors (to ecovillages) 21, 23, 65, 68, 71, 87, 100, 117, 132, 140, 144 Wackernagel, Mathis 35 Walker, Liz 152–3, 194 war 5, 6, 17, 23, 80, 123, 133, 138, 151 wastewater 18, 46, 51, 52, 78, 194 see also sewage water conservation 51–3, 74 Way of Monks (Damanhur) 171, wealth 4, 8, 13, 16, 83, 97, 100, 103–4, 107–9, 112, 192, 197, 201 wellbeing 28, 36, 40, 46, 47, 78, 80, 85, 89, 105–6, 197 wells 17, 20, 51, 106, 117–18 West Africa 31, 59, 67, 167 wetland 52, 194 Whidbey Island 205–7 Wiartalla, Werner 86, 99 wildlife 26, 33–4, 38, 63, 70–4, 182, 194, 206 wind energy 27, 48–9, 51, 63, 73, 133 windows 36, 40–4, 43, 81, 127, 137, 143, 174 double-paned 36, 41, 43, 81 triple-paned 30 windows into sustainability 30, 188 Wolf, Stefan 179 women 26, 31, 39, 59, 72, 88, 90, 106, 107, 125–9, 139, 151, 158, 168, 185 empowerment of 26, 31, 88, 106 literacy 96 oppression of 151, 185 Women Empowerment through Local Livelihood (WELL) 88 World Café 192 worldview 10, 31, 149–50, 155, 159, 160, 164, 172, 178 Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) 11, 83 yurt 39, 206, 207 ZEGG 23–4, 41, 49, 63, 115–6, 121–2, 132–3, 137–8, 150, 177 Zeher, Ozzie 63, 190 ZipCar 64, 70, 199


pages: 898 words: 253,177

Cadillac Desert by Marc Reisner

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, California gold rush, clean water, Golden Gate Park, hacker house, jitney, Joan Didion, Maui Hawaii, oil shale / tar sands, old-boy network, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, trade route, transcontinental railway, uranium enrichment, Works Progress Administration, yellow journalism

In the early 1970s, Colorado became the first western state that actually wanted to keep an industry out, or at least keep it from overwhelming its economy and way of life. The industry was energy—especially oil shale. And the means of holding back its growth was to try to put the remaining water in agriculture’s hands and let the energy companies worry about wresting it away—or let them import water from somewhere else, as Exxon was proposing to run an aqueduct from Oahe Reservoir in South Dakota. C. J. Kuiper, on the other hand, was charged with putting water to beneficial use, and it seemed silly to him to waste tens of thousands of acre-feet on crops with a low economic return—crops which were subsidized by the Reclamation program and, in the case of some, federal price supports—when half of America’s oil was now coming out of the Middle East. Privately, Kuiper believed oil shale development was necessary: philosophically, he believed in the doctrine of highest use.

Wayne Aspinall, the chairman of the House Interior Committee, was growing old and politically vulnerable, and Narrows, it seemed, was to be his swan song. The imperious old schoolteacher began pushing it so relentlessly that he even refused to let the project’s opponents testify before his House Interior Committee. At the same time, the first OPEC oil crisis hit, and everyone began eyeing Colorado’s huge reserves of oil shale. Some Coloradans seemed to want to turn the state into an energy colony and grow rich off it; others wanted to lock up as much water as possible so the oil, coal, and uranium industies would be forced to remain relatively small and the state’s rural character, what was left of it, would remain fairly intact. One of the main adherents of the latter view was the new governor, Richard D. Lamm; an even stronger adherent was his commissioner of natural resources, Harris Sherman.

Meanwhile, as his salinity-management approach is almost universally ignored and the Bureau’s expensive solutions receive several hundred times more money than his laboratory does, salinity levels at Imperial Dam could reach 1,150 parts per million as early as the year 2000 and keep rising even if its desalination plant operates effectively—a prospect open to considerable doubt. New projects in the upper basin, oil shale development, the continued leaching of saline soil—all will contribute to salinity’s inexorable march. This is bad news for the Mexicans, but it is bad news for Los Angeles, too. Each additional part per million of salts in the city’s Colorado River supply is estimated to cause $300,000 worth of damage, basin-wide, to the things the water comes in contact with: pipes, fixtures, machinery, cars.


pages: 1,445 words: 469,426

The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power by Daniel Yergin

anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial exploitation, Columbine, continuation of politics by other means, cuban missile crisis, do-ocracy, energy security, European colonialism, Exxon Valdez, financial independence, fudge factor, informal economy, joint-stock company, land reform, liberal capitalism, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, North Sea oil, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old-boy network, postnationalism / post nation state, price stability, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Thomas Malthus, Yom Kippur War

Farben found a much more important potential partner—Standard Oil of New Jersey.[3] At that time, Standard was midway in its strategic transformation from refiner to integrated oil company, well-supplied with its own crude, both in the United States and abroad. It had also been exploring alternatives to crude oil as a source of liquid fuels; as early as 1921, it had purchased twenty-two thousand acres in Colorado with the hope of finding a commercially successful method for extracting oil from shale. But Standard had been dissatisfied with the results; the production of one barrel of synthetic oil from shale required a ton of rock, and the economics were extremely unattractive. Frank Howard, the head of research at Standard, visited I. G.'s Leuna works in 1926. He was so impressed that he immediately fired off a telegram to Standard's president, Walter Teagle, then visiting in Paris. "Based upon observations and discussions today, I think that this matter is the most important which has ever faced the company since the dissolution," wired Howard.

That is the reason why prices have gone up, and not because evilly- disposed gentlemen of the Hebraic persuasion—I mean cosmopolitan gentlemen—have put their heads together in order to try and force prices up." Churchill's proposal for government ownership of a private company was indeed unprecedented, save for Disraeli's purchase of shares in the Suez Canal a half century earlier—a step also taken on strategic grounds. Some M.P.s, representing their local interests, argued for the development of oil from Scottish shale and liquids from Welsh coal (many years later known as synthetic fuels). Both, they said, would provide more reliable supplies. Yet, despite the strong criticism inside Parliament and out, the oil bill passed by an overwhelming vote—254 to 18. The margin was so large that it surprised even Greenway. After the vote, he asked Churchill, "How did you manage to carry the House with you so successfully?"

A new Federal agency, the National Security Resources Board, made a similar argument in a major policy review in 1948; importing large amounts of Middle Eastern oil would allow a million barrels per day of Western Hemisphere production to be shut in, in effect creating a military stockpile in the ground—"the ideal storage place for petroleum." Many advocated that the United States do what Germany had done during the war—build a synthetic fuels industry, extracting liquids not only from coal, but also from the oil shale in the mountains of Colorado and from abundant natural gas. Some were confident that synthetic fuels could soon be a major source of energy. "The United States is on the threshold of a profound chemical revolution," said the New York Times in 1948. "The next ten years will see the rise of a massive new industry which will free us from dependence on foreign sources of oil. Gasoline will be produced from coal, air, and water."


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.

In contrast to Europe, where the vast majority of cargo is moved by truck, North America’s rail infrastructure is owned by seven major freight companies, and almost all of them consider the Amtrak and Via passenger trains that run on their rails an unmitigated nuisance. The next time you spend an hour or two sitting in a cornfield, sidelined by a Pennsylvania coal carrier, an 80-car tanker carrying crude oil from Alberta’s tar sands, or what railroaders call a “Wal-Mart Chinese Doodad Train,” blame it on companies like Union Pacific, Canadian National, and Burlington Northern, who prioritize on-time goods delivery over the travel needs of human beings. At Puttgarden, where Germany runs out of land, our Inter-City Express slowed to a crawl as we advanced over a specially adapted wharf and, without stopping, directly into the belly of a Scandline Ferry.


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

Those who argue the case for “ethical oil” should work to ensure that our energy needs are met in a truly ethical way, now and into the future. In the end, the only truly ethical solution is to phase out oil. The black eye that tar sands oil is sporting can’t be remedied with meaningless phrases such as “ethical oil.” To be seen as truly ethical when it comes to energy policy, Canada must slow down tar sands development, clean up the environmental problems, implement a national carbon tax, improve the regulatory and monitoring regime, and make sure that Canadians are reaping their fair share of the revenues. The U.S. must also look for ways to conserve energy and use cleaner sources so that it doesn’t have to rely on dirty oil from the tar sands. We must start taking clean energy seriously. Rather than subsidizing the tar sands and all the fossil-fuel industry through massive tax breaks, we should be investing in energy technologies that will benefit our health, economy, and climate.

If we ensure that care is taken to use technologies with minimal environmental impact and to locate turbines in areas where effects on humans and animals are also minimal, there is no good reason to oppose wind power. The trouble with tar sands IF YOU WANT to be scared, you don’t need to watch a horror movie or read the latest Stephen King bestseller. Real terror can be found by simply firing up Google Earth, the computer program that allows users to look at satellite pictures of any place on the planet. By mousing over and zooming in, you can see what Alberta’s tar sands look like from space. It is not a pretty sight. In fact, it’s scary—and for good reason. A book by celebrated journalist Andrew Nikiforuk, Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent, explores what these grey spots on Google Earth mean to Canada’s environment and economy. It’s an important book, one that every Canadian should read to find out how the world’s largest energy project will affect us.

Maybe the bogeyman is simply a man in a suit trying to satisfy his shareholders, make a profit, and cozy up to federal politicians so that he can continue doing his work without having to answer for his environmental crimes. Or maybe there’s something more frightening to consider. Perhaps we’re the bogeyman—when we put the short-term economic value of the tar sands above the priceless value of our environment and our health. Rebranding won’t make tar sands oil “ethical” RIPPING A PAGE—or the cover—from fellow Conservative and former tobacco industry lobbyist Ezra Levant’s book Ethical Oil, Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper and his environment minister, Peter Kent, have been referring to the product of the Alberta tar sands as “ethical oil.” The prime minister and Levant go back a long way. It was Levant who reluctantly stepped aside as the Alliance candidate in Calgary Southwest so that Harper could run in a by-election there in 2002.


pages: 459 words: 144,009

Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis by Jared Diamond

anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, British Empire, California gold rush, clean water, correlation coefficient, cuban missile crisis, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Gini coefficient, illegal immigration, interchangeable parts, invention of writing, Jeff Bezos, medical malpractice, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, post-work, purchasing power parity, rising living standards, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, The Spirit Level, traffic fines, transcontinental railway, women in the workforce, World Values Survey

Resource scarcities are already undermining societies or threatening to cause wars in many parts of the world today. Let’s begin by considering one example in detail: the fossil fuels that we use primarily for energy, and also as starting materials for chemical synthesis of many products. (The term “fossil fuels” means hydrocarbon fuel sources formed long ago in the Earth’s mantle: oil, coal, oil shale, and natural gas.) Humans require energy for all of our activities, and we require especially large quantities for transporting and lifting things. For millions of years of human evolution, human muscle power was our sole energy source for transporting and lifting. Around 10,000 years ago, we began to domesticate large animals and harness them to pull vehicles, carry packs, and raise weights by systems of pulleys and gears.

As those first sources became depleted, we shifted to sources that were less accessible, deeper underground, more expensive to extract, or more damaging. Thus, the first industrial-scale fuel use was of coal from shallow mines, used to power steam engines for pumping water and then for powering spinning wheels, and (eventually in the 1800’s) steamships and railroad engines. Industrial exploitation of coal was followed by exploitation of oil, oil shale, and natural gas. For instance, the first oil well that extracted oil from underground was a shallow well drilled in Pennsylvania in 1859, followed by progressively deeper wells. There are debates about whether we have already reached “peak oil”—that is, whether we have consumed so much of the Earth’s accessible oil reserves that oil production will soon start to decline. However, there is no debate about the fact that the cheapest, most accessible, and least damaging sources of oil have already been used up.

Instead, wells have to be dug deeper (a mile deep or more), and not just on land but also under the ocean floor, and not just in shallow ocean waters but in deeper waters, and not just in Pennsylvania in the U.S.’s industrial heartland but far away in New Guinea rainforests and in the Arctic. Those deeper, more remote oil deposits are much more expensive to extract than were Pennsylvania’s shallow deposits. The resulting potential for oil spills producing costly damages is higher. As costs of oil extraction increase, alternative but more damaging fossil fuel sources of oil shale and coal, and non-fossil-fuel sources such as wind and solar, are becoming more economic. Nevertheless, oil prices today still permit big oil companies to continue to be highly profitable. I just mentioned the apparently low cost of oil. Let’s pause to consider the actual cost of oil (or of coal). Suppose that oil sells for $60 per barrel. If it costs an oil company only $20 per barrel to extract and transport the oil, and if the company doesn’t have to pay for anything else, selling oil at $60 per barrel means that the oil company makes a big profit.


pages: 357 words: 94,852

No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need by Naomi Klein

Airbnb, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Brewster Kahle, Celebration, Florida, clean water, collective bargaining, Corrections Corporation of America, desegregation, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy transition, financial deregulation, greed is good, high net worth, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, income inequality, Internet Archive, Kickstarter, late capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, new economy, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, private military company, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, sexual politics, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transatlantic slave trade, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, urban decay, women in the workforce, working poor

Rex Tillerson’s ExxonMobil went wild buying up high-cost heavy-oil reserves; it reached the point where fully one-third of the company’s reserves were located in the Alberta tar sands. When the price of oil collapsed, it came as a major shock. Oil prices began to crash in 2014, with Brent crude—the global benchmark for oil—plummeting from $100 a barrel to $50 in just six months, and the price has hovered at around $55 a barrel ever since. As a result, we’ve seen a lot of companies pulling back from extreme energy projects. Fracking for oil and gas in the United States has cooled off, with devastating human costs: an estimated 170,000 oil and gas workers have lost their jobs after the 2014 price collapse. Investment in the Alberta tar sands dropped by an estimated 37 percent in the year following, and continues to fall. Shell pulled back from the Arctic and has sold most of its tar sands reserves. The French oil company Total has retreated from the tar sands as well.

It costs a lot of money to drill in the Arctic, or in very deep water, or to dig up and refine the semisolid oil found in Canada’s Alberta tar sands. When the price of oil was soaring, as it was as recently as 2014, fossil fuel companies were making multi-billion dollar investments in order to go after those expensive fuel sources. With oil at $100 a barrel, they could still turn a hefty profit even with the high costs for extraction. And the development in this sector did spur economic growth, and it did create a lot of jobs. But the environmental costs were enormous: the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico was intimately connected to the fact that these companies are drilling deeper than they ever have before. The reason the tar sands in Alberta are so controversial is that Indigenous lands and waterways have been badly contaminated by the invasive and carbon-intensive process of mining for that heavy crude.

The French oil company Total has retreated from the tar sands as well. Even ExxonMobil has been forced to write off nearly 3.5 million barrels of tar sands oil because the market considered these reserves to be no longer worth extracting at current oil prices. Deepwater drilling is also in a lull. For the big oil companies—particularly those that gambled on the price of oil staying high—all of this has been a disaster. And no oil major has suffered more than ExxonMobil. When prices were high, with Tillerson at the helm, the company broke the record for the highest corporate profits ever reported in the United States, earning $45 billion in 2012. Compare that to 2016, when Exxon’s profits fell well shy of $8 billion. That’s a more than 80 percent drop in profits in a span of just four years. What does all this mean?


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

Instability in the Middle East, where much of our oil comes from, is heightened by one state, Israel, having nuclear weapons and uncertainty about whether other states like Iran and Saudi Arabia are seeking them. Any conflict will affect oil supplies, as the latter two are major oil producers. These geopolitical concerns and the threat of oil depletion drive governments and oil companies to spend vast amounts on developing technology to exploit the so called ‘unconventional’ fossil fuel sources: shale oil, tar sands and fracking. These technologies are damaging the environment and have high carbon footprints. If these new fossil fuel resources are burned they will greatly add to the greenhouse gases in our atmosphere; which brings us full circle back to the threat posed by global warming. The solar technologies give us the chance to break the cycle. The 85 per cent figure in the YouGov survey quoted at the beginning of this chapter is typical of many surveys that show public support for renewable electricity generation.


pages: 270 words: 73,485

Hubris: Why Economists Failed to Predict the Crisis and How to Avoid the Next One by Meghnad Desai

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, floating exchange rates, full employment, German hyperinflation, Gunnar Myrdal, Home mortgage interest deduction, imperial preference, income inequality, inflation targeting, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, laissez-faire capitalism, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market clearing, means of production, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, negative equity, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, Paul Samuelson, price stability, purchasing power parity, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, reserve currency, rising living standards, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, secular stagnation, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, 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 Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tobin tax, too big to fail, women in the workforce

As I explained earlier, Kondratieff cycles are not as regular as clockwork and cannot be dated precisely. They rely on a combination of longer run forces such as demographic trends and cycles, or bursts of innovation, such as the discovery of gold and silver (relevant for the Gold Standard during the nineteenth century) or innovations in credit creation, as happened in the late twentieth century, or oil/shale discoveries, and also political events which may change the geography of the markets, as the fall of the Berlin Wall did. Kondratieff did, however, cover data going back to the Industrial Revolution. The first Kondratieff cycle has an upswing from the 1780s to 1810/17 and a downward phase from 1810/17 to 1844/51.The next long cycle peaked somewhere between 1870 and 1875 and then entered a downward phase which ended in the 1890s.

The rate of interest was around 5 percent, way below the rate of inflation. Despite this negative real rate of interest there was no demand for bank loans in developed economies as they were going through a period of stagflation. The banks began to aggressively lend to developing economies, especially to the governments on the benign assumption that there was no such thing as sovereign default. The recipients of this largesse invested it in oil exploration, especially shale oil, ambitious real estate schemes or just gross corruption. In a way the market rate of interest was so low that almost any investment would have a higher natural rate. This duality of a Wicksellian boom in developing countries and stagflation in developed economies prevailed through the 1970s. Toward the end of that decade, monetarists had moved into pivotal policy positions. There was to be no monetizing of public debt.


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

If you are a manager or a leader who is trying to rapidly scale a project or a business unit within a larger company, blitzscaling can help you too. And while we draw these lessons primarily from the world of high tech, many of the principles and frameworks the book lays out (especially regarding people management) are applicable to high-growth companies in most industries worldwide, from European fast-fashion retailers to Texan oil shale companies. Even organizations outside the business world can use blitzscaling to their advantage. Upstart presidential campaigns and nonprofits serving the underprivileged have used the levers of blitzscaling to overturn conventional wisdom and achieve massive results. You’ll read all these stories, and many more, in the pages of this book. Whether you are a founder, a manager, a potential employee, or an investor, we believe that understanding blitzscaling will allow you to make better decisions in a world where speed is the critical competitive advantage.


pages: 222 words: 70,559

The Oil Factor: Protect Yourself-and Profit-from the Coming Energy Crisis by Stephen Leeb, Donna Leeb

Buckminster Fuller, buy and hold, diversified portfolio, fixed income, hydrogen economy, income per capita, index fund, mortgage debt, North Sea oil, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, profit motive, reserve currency, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Vanguard fund, Yom Kippur War, zero-coupon bond

But the reason we’ve put them in this chapter is because of their stake in Canada’s enormous tar sands reserves, which by some estimates contain as much oil as Saudi Arabia. We haven’t mentioned tar sands up to now because we really don’t expect them to play a significant role in solving our energy problems. Converting tar sands into usable oil causes a lot of pollution and requires tremendous amounts of water. Further, production costs are sensitive to the underlying costs of energy; they rise as energy prices rise. Even under the most optimistic assumptions, Canada’s tar sands will be producing less than 2 million barrels of oil a day by the end of the decade. And that projection doesn’t factor in any possible restraints that might arise from Canada’s adherence to the Kyoto agreement’s environmental standards. But if tar sands will be only a niche alternative to oil and gas, they nonetheless have the potential to make a big contribution to the bottom lines of the few companies that can produce and market them.

Moreover, it’s possible that despite the huge cost of building new nuclear plants—stemming in large part from the need to address environmental and safety concerns—at some point as fossil fuel prices rise it may start to make economic sense to construct new nuclear facilities. Exelon would be the most likely manager of any new nuclear plants. This would clearly boost profits even more. We consider Exelon an attractive choice for all investors. Two Canadian energy producers are double plays: they qualify both as energy stocks and, because of their position in tar sands, as alternatives to current fossil fuels. EnCana, based in Calgary, is the largest independent natural gas producer in North America, while Petro-Canada is an integrated Canadian oil company. In terms of their primary energy businesses alone, both are very attractive companies. Each is growing reserves and production much faster than its competitors, and each can reasonably expect to increase production by 10 percent a year over the next three to five years.

But if tar sands will be only a niche alternative to oil and gas, they nonetheless have the potential to make a big contribution to the bottom lines of the few companies that can produce and market them. For EnCana and Petro-Canada, their stake in tar sands is likely to be the added kicker that will make them standouts among energy producers. Earlier, noting that alternative energies and conservation are generally thought of as two facets of the same solution, we argued that they really are quite different and that efforts to mandate conservation could prove counterproductive. But naturally occurring conservation efforts are a different matter. More than 90 percent of all the oil consumed in the U.S. goes for transportation, with cars gobbling up the lion’s share. Thus, by definition, significant conservation will have to start with cars.


Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? by Bill McKibben

23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, American Legislative Exchange Council, Anne Wojcicki, artificial general intelligence, Bernie Sanders, Bill Joy: nanobots, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, Colonization of Mars, computer vision, David Attenborough, Donald Trump, double helix, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, energy transition, Flynn Effect, Google Earth, Hyperloop, impulse control, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, life extension, light touch regulation, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, megacity, Menlo Park, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, obamacare, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart meter, Snapchat, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, supervolcano, technoutopianism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, traffic fines, Travis Kalanick, urban sprawl, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator, Y2K, yield curve

The first is to keep it going, and the second is to keep it human. 2 To walk the roads through even a corner of Alberta’s vast tar sands complex is to visit a kind of hell. This may be the largest industrial complex on our planet—the largest dam on Earth holds back one of the many vast settling “ponds,” where sludge from the mines combines with water and toxic chemicals in a black soup. Because any bird that landed on the filthy water would die, cannons fire day and night to scare them away. If you listen to the crack of the guns, and to the stories of the area’s original inhabitants, whose forest was ripped up for the mines, you understand that you are in a war zone. The army is mustered by the Kochs (the biggest leaseholders in the tar sands) and ConocoPhillips and PetroChina and the rest, and their enemy is all that is wild and holy.

And so, it will illustrate my point—even the common and boring roof demonstrates the complexity, the stability, and the reach of this human game. Consider the asphalt shingle, which tops most homes in the West and is itself, doubtless, the dullest of all forms of roofing. The earliest examples date to 1901, and the first manufacturer was the H.M. Reynolds Company of Grand Rapids, Michigan, which sold its product under the slogan “The Roof That Stays Is the Roof That Pays.” Asphalt occurs naturally in a few places on Earth—the tar sands of Alberta, for instance, are mostly bitumen, which is the geologist’s word for asphalt. But the asphalt used in shingles comes from the oil-refining process: it’s the stuff that still hasn’t boiled at five hundred degrees Fahrenheit. Vacuum distillation separates it from more valuable products such as gasoline, diesel, and naphtha; it then is stored and transported at high temperatures until it can be used, mostly for making roads.

A large-scale study found that, of the 4.4 million children in Delhi, fully half had irreversible lung damage from breathing the air.3 Around the world, pollution kills 9 million people a year, far more than AIDS, malaria, TB, and warfare combined.4 In the worst years, a third of the deaths in China can be blamed on smog, and by 2030, it may claim 100 million victims worldwide.5 It is sick, sad, unnecessary—the biggest public health crisis on the planet. And yet, even it represents no existential threat to the human game. If the devastation of the tar sands is limited in space, this assault is limited in time. It can and will be solved, too slowly, with far too much human anguish, but that is the lesson from London, from Los Angeles, even from Beijing, which has begun, haltingly, to clear its air. The list of such severe environmental problems grows ever longer: dead zones in the oceans where fertilizer pours off farms along with irreplaceable topsoil; great gyres of plastic waste spinning in the seas; suburbs spilling across agricultural land, and agricultural land overrunning tropical forest; water tables quickly sinking as aquifers drain.


pages: 376 words: 118,542

Free to Choose: A Personal Statement by Milton Friedman, Rose D. Friedman

affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, bank run, banking crisis, business cycle, Corn Laws, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, German hyperinflation, invisible hand, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, price stability, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, rent control, road to serfdom, Sam Peltzman, school vouchers, Simon Kuznets, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, Works Progress Administration

In mid-1979, President Carter proposed a massive government program stretching over a decade and costing $88 billion to produce synthetic fuel. Does it really make sense to commit the taxpayers to spending, directly or indirectly, $40 or more for a barrel of oil from shale while prohibiting the owners of domestic wells from receiving more than $5.94 for some categories of oil? Or, as Edward J. Mitchell put it in a Wall Street Journal article (August 27, 1979), "We may well question ... how spending $88 billion to obtain a modest amount of $40 per barrel synthetic oil in 1990 'protects' us from $20 per barrel OPEC oil either today or in 1990." Fuel from shale, tar sands, and so on, makes sense if and only if that way to produce energy is cheaper than alternatives—account being taken of all costs. The most effective mechanism to determine whether it is cheaper is the market.


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

It’s increasingly embedded within the U.S.-run system as a kind of client state. The energy system is a key part of this integration. The tar sands in Canada are a huge source of potential energy—and of environmental destruction. There’s a controversy going on about who is going to exploit the tar sands. The United States wants to, but Canada occasionally warns that it will partner with China, which is eager to develop these fields if the United States won’t.9 This is a major issue now. In his 2012 State of the Union address, Obama was very enthusiastic about the idea that we could have a century of energy independence by making use of fossil fuels in North America—natural gas in the United States and fuel from tar sands.10 He didn’t talk about what kind of a world it would be in one hundred years if we use these fossil fuels.

A little to my surprise, this has even affected the more serious and responsible parts of the business press, like the Financial Times, maybe the best newspaper in the world. Just at the time that these emissions reports were coming out, the Financial Times euphorically suggested that the United States was entering a new age of plenty and might have a century of energy independence, even global hegemony, ahead of it thanks to the new techniques of extracting fossil fuels from shale rock and tar sands.32 Leaving aside the debates about whether these predictions are right or wrong, celebrating this prospect is like saying, “Fine, let’s commit suicide.” I’m sure the people who write such articles have read the same climate change reports I have and take them seriously. But their institutional role makes such positions a social or cultural necessity. They could make different decisions, but that would require real rethinking of the nature of our institutions.

In his 2012 State of the Union address, Obama was very enthusiastic about the idea that we could have a century of energy independence by making use of fossil fuels in North America—natural gas in the United States and fuel from tar sands.10 He didn’t talk about what kind of a world it would be in one hundred years if we use these fossil fuels. 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.


pages: 127 words: 51,083

The Oil Age Is Over: What to Expect as the World Runs Out of Cheap Oil, 2005-2050 by Matt Savinar

Albert Einstein, clean water, energy security, hydrogen economy, illegal immigration, invisible hand, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, post-oil, Ralph Nader, reserve currency, Rosa Parks, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Y2K

In a recent interview with ABC news, Dr. Goodstein had this to say about Peak Oil: Best case? The worldwide disruptions that follow the peak serve as a global wake-up call. A methane-based economy is successful in bridging the gap temporarily while nuclear power plants are built and the infrastructure for other alternative fuels is put in place. The world watches anxiously as each new Hubbert's peak estimate for uranium and oil shale makes front-page news. Worst case? After the peak, all efforts to produce, distribute, and consume alternative fuels fast enough to fill the gap between falling supplies and rising demand fail. Runaway inflation and worldwide depression leave many billions of people with no alternative but to burn coal in vast quantities for warmth, cooking, and primitive industry. The change in the greenhouse effect that results eventually tips Earth's climate into a new state hostile to life.


pages: 412 words: 128,042

Extreme Economies: Survival, Failure, Future – Lessons From the World’s Limits by Richard Davies

agricultural Revolution, air freight, Anton Chekhov, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, big-box store, cashless society, clean water, complexity theory, deindustrialization, eurozone crisis, failed state, financial innovation, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, James Hargreaves, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, large denomination, Livingstone, I presume, Malacca Straits, mandatory minimum, manufacturing employment, means of production, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, pension reform, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, school choice, school vouchers, Scramble for Africa, side project, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, spinning jenny, The Chicago School, the payments system, trade route, Travis Kalanick, uranium enrichment, urban planning, wealth creators, white picket fence, working-age population, Y Combinator, young professional

Land was appropriated by the state, and any peasant running a successful farm was branded a kulak, meaning tight-fisted, or selfish. Over a period of just four days in March 1949 over 20,000 kulak Estonians were rounded up, put on special trains and deported to Siberian cities such as Khabarovsk and Krasnoyarsk over 5,000 km away. The Estonian industrial base changed too, with factories set up all along the north-east coast: Kunda was the site of a huge cement factory and pulp mill; Kohtla-Järve had plentiful oil-shale deposits and became an important source of energy; Sillamäe, once a peaceful resort where Russia’s cultural elite, including Tchaikovsky, had vacationed, was repurposed as a centre for uranium enrichment, the nature of the work so secretive that the town was removed from maps. The economic model, planned from Moscow, was catastrophic for Estonia. Agricultural collectivization was supposed to reduce the number of farms by amalgamating small homesteads into large estates and thus deliver efficiency gains; instead it resulted in agricultural output falling by half.

But Estonia carries deep scars, says Marianna Makarova, who leads research at Integratsiooni Sihtasutus, the Estonian ‘Integration Foundation’. Many of the problems stem from the way people were moved around by state decree under the Soviet system. ‘You had no choice over where you went,’ she explains. Young Russian engineers who had completed degrees in nearby St Petersburg would be sent to work in the factories and oil-shale plants in Narva and the easternmost county of Estonia (Ida-Viru) that was home to these facilities. These were not the plum jobs – the standard of living in Moscow was then far higher than in Estonia – but an energy worker with no family connections took what they were given (jobs at the coal mines of Karaganda and Vorkuta, both north of the Arctic Circle, were far worse gigs). With the Soviet system deciding where people would live, the ethnic make-up of the ESSR changed.


pages: 304 words: 90,084

Net Zero: How We Stop Causing Climate Change by Dieter Helm

3D printing, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, blockchain, Boris Johnson, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, coronavirus, COVID-19, Covid-19, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, demand response, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, fixed income, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Haber-Bosch Process, hydrogen economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, market design, means of production, North Sea oil, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, planetary scale, price mechanism, quantitative easing, remote working, reshoring, Ronald Reagan, smart meter, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, statistical model, Thomas Malthus

In this market, the Saudis in particular choose not to do this to their full potential capacity. As the price is credibly kept well above $5 a barrel, other supplies come into the market which would not otherwise be produced. The North Sea oil and gas industry developed because of the oil shocks in the 1970s, with much higher costs than in the Middle East. So too did Alaska, the offshore Gulf of Mexico, and eventually even the tar sands of Alberta in Canada could turn a profit at the higher prices. These high-cost producers need the Saudis and others to manipulate the market to keep the price up. The relevance of all this for carbon and climate change is that this premium on the costs of production has an effect similar to a carbon price. What might be called the OPEC Tax is the dominant carbon price in the world, and it applies universally across all countries, although some subsidise their consumers.


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

The key measure is energy return on investment (EROI), or “the ratio between the energy delivered by a particular fuel to society and the energy expended in the capture and delivery of this energy”.4 The earliest uses of fossil fuels had very high EROIs; in 1919, the ratio for US oil and gas may have been 1,000:1.5 That explains why coal, and then oil, transformed the global economy. But as time has gone on, fossil fuels are being exploited in more difficult places: under the North Sea, for example, or locked in rock (requiring fracking), and EROIs have declined. Getting oil from deep-lying Canadian tar sands, for example, may have an EROI of under 3:1, and even less if the full cost of transport and refining is included.6 The first fossil fuel to be exploited was coal, the remnants of plants that lived in swampy forests millions of years ago. The Chinese developed coal from the fourth century CE onwards.7 England was lucky enough to have substantial coal deposits, some of which were close to the surface and thus easy to develop; in the 1560s, they were producing around 177,000 tons a year.8 But the English had also cut down large areas of woodland and were short of timber, which was needed for constructing houses and ships as well as for fuel; the cost of firewood in London more than doubled between 1500 and 1592.

Richard Rhodes, Energy: A Human History 4. Charles A. S. Hall, Jessica G. Lambert and Steven B. Balogh, “EROI of different fuels and the implications for society”, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421513003856 5. Ibid. 6. Rachel Nuwer, “Oil sands mining uses up almost as much energy as it produces”, Inside Climate News, https://insideclimatenews.org/news/20130219/oil-sands-mining-tar-sands-alberta-canada-energy-return-on-investment-eroi-natural-gas-in-situ-dilbit-bitumen 7. E. A. Wrigley, Energy and the English Industrial Revolution 8. Ibid. 9. Rhodes, Energy: A Human History, op. cit. 10. Ibid. 11. Ibid. 12. Wrigley, Energy and the English Industrial Revolution, op. cit. 13. Alan Fernihough and Kevin Hjortshøj O’Rourke, “Coal and the European Industrial Revolution”, https://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/papers/13183/Coal%20-%200%27Rourke%20124.pdf 14.


pages: 537 words: 99,778

Dreaming in Public: Building the Occupy Movement by Amy Lang, Daniel Lang/levitsky

activist lawyer, Bay Area Rapid Transit, bonus culture, British Empire, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate personhood, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, deindustrialization, different worldview, facts on the ground, glass ceiling, housing crisis, Kibera, late capitalism, mass incarceration, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Port of Oakland, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Slavoj Žižek, structural adjustment programs, the medium is the message, too big to fail, trade liberalization, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, We are the 99%, white flight, working poor

This includes surface and subsurface rights, inland and coastal waters, renewable and non-renewable resources, and the economies based on these resources. In advancement of this position, to stand in solidarity with the Cree nations, whose territories are located in occupied northern Alberta, Canada, in their opposition to the Tar Sands development, the largest industrial project on earth. Further, to demand that President Barack Obama deny the permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline, proposed to run from the Tar Sands in Canada into the United States, and that the United States prohibit the use or transportation of Tar Sands oil in the United States. 7. To assert that Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions. They have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their intellectual property over such cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions.

People who got rich looting the public wealth and exhausting natural resources around the world. The point is, today everyone can see that the system is deeply unjust and careening out of control. Unfettered greed has trashed the global economy. And it is trashing the natural world as well. We are overfishing our oceans, polluting our water with fracking and deepwater drilling, turning to the dirtiest forms of energy on the planet, like the Alberta tar sands. And the atmosphere cannot absorb the amount of carbon we are putting into it, creating dangerous warming. The new normal is serial disasters: economic and ecological. These are the facts on the ground. They are so blatant, so obvious, that it is a lot easier to connect with the public than it was in 1999, and to build the movement quickly. We all know, or at least sense, that the world is upside down: we act as if there is no end to what is actually finite – fossil fuels and the atmospheric space to absorb their emissions.

The Hudson’s Bay Company in Canada and the East India Trading Company in India, for example, were some of the first corporate entities established on the stock market. Both these companies were granted trading monopolies by the British Crown, and were able to extract resources and amass massive profits as a direct result of the subjugation of local communities through the use of the British Empire’s military and police forces. The attendant processes of corporate expansion and colonization continue today, most evident in this country with the Alberta tar sands. In the midst of an economic crisis, corporations’ ability to accumulate wealth is dependent on discovering new frontiers from which to extract resources. This disproportionately impacts Indigenous peoples and destroys the land base required to sustain their communities, while creating an ecological crisis for the planet as a whole. Systemic oppression connected to economic inequality They want me to remember Their memories And I keep on remembering mine – Lucille Clifton In creating a unified space of opposition to the 1%, we must also simultaneously foster critical education to learn about the range of systemic injustices that many of us in the 99% have faced historically and continue to face daily.


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

recordId=6. The new American gas and oil boom reminds us all that energy is the cornerstone of all economic development. Everyone depends on it. In terms of cost and availability, natural gas has never been cheaper or more readily available domestically than it is right now. With each passing year, we find more of the stuff. Energy companies are getting better at using technology to extract oil and gas from the vast shale formations under much of the central and eastern United States. Horizontal drilling and new wells leave a much smaller footprint on the landscape than traditional methods. When energy costs are low, not only do you stimulate economic growth, you also stimulate the innovation you need to create high-paying jobs and strengthen the middle class. Nucor is a living example. Our growth into the largest U.S. steel maker hinged largely on the availability of low-cost energy.


pages: 258 words: 83,303

Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller: Oil and the End of Globalization by Jeff Rubin

addicted to oil, air freight, banking crisis, big-box store, BRICs, business cycle, carbon footprint, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, energy security, food miles, hydrogen economy, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Just-in-time delivery, market clearing, megacity, North Sea oil, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, profit maximization, reserve currency, South Sea Bubble, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, zero-sum game

Of course, oil shot well past $100, and the advent of triple-digit oil prices transformed the Canadian oil sands from a marginal resource propped up by huge royalty subsidies to one of the most important hydrocarbon deposits anywhere in the world. In the process, Calgary’s Petroleum Club has been suddenly thrust from relative obscurity into the limelight of the world energy industry, triggering an enormous boom in Alberta, where for a while the people serving coffee in doughnut shops were making $40 an hour. That was the good news I had tried to tell them five years earlier: high oil prices would suddenly make expensive tar-sands oil a hot commodity. But what is good news for Alberta is not necessarily good news for the rest of the world. Every time the price of a barrel of oil dips by a few dollars, someone tells me I’m out to lunch. And when prices went from $147 to briefly below $40, not a few people figured I had been proven wrong pretty decisively. That’s fine. I’ve had this debate on CNN, on ABC, in the pages of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Thinking about an energy rate of return is like thinking about the difference between the gross and net on your paycheck. What matters on payday is not your gross salary, but what is left after taxes and other deductions have been taken off. You don’t get to spend your gross salary—you have to make do with your take-home pay. It is the same with oil, or any other energy resource. There may be 165 billion barrels of oil in the Canadian tar sands, but that is not the same thing as finding 165 billion barrels of light sweet crude in the desert in the Middle East. The “take-home” energy from the oil-sand reserves would be a fraction of what you get from conventional reserves. There are a lot of deductions when it comes time to calculate the take-home energy of a barrel of synthetic crude from the oil sands: the huge energy costs of a sprawling open-pit mine, the additional energy it takes to refine bitumen as opposed to crude oil (one of the main differences between the two is that bitumen contains less hydrogen than crude and the process in which hydrogen is added is itself very energy intensive, as is the process of producing the hydrogen in the first place).

There are a lot of deductions when it comes time to calculate the take-home energy of a barrel of synthetic crude from the oil sands: the huge energy costs of a sprawling open-pit mine, the additional energy it takes to refine bitumen as opposed to crude oil (one of the main differences between the two is that bitumen contains less hydrogen than crude and the process in which hydrogen is added is itself very energy intensive, as is the process of producing the hydrogen in the first place). But the biggest energy deduction really stings: if you want to produce a single barrel of synthetic oil from a load of tar sand, you are going to have to burn 1,400 cubic feet of natural gas first. And there is not an inexhaustible supply of cheap natural gas in North America. So while soaring oil prices can temporarily manufacture attractive financial returns from nonconventional sources like oil sands, they mask the sharp decline in the energy rate of return. Resources that are subject to steadily declining rates of energy return are ultimately unsustainable sources of energy supply.


pages: 651 words: 161,270

Global Spin: The Corporate Assault on Environmentalism by Sharon Beder

American Legislative Exchange Council, battle of ideas, business climate, centre right, clean water, corporate governance, Exxon Valdez, Gary Taubes, global village, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, oil shale / tar sands, old-boy network, price mechanism, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, urban planning

Palese is comfortable with the fact that Ecos clients are often Greenpeace targets, denying that she has any conflicts of interest.34 One example of the conflict between Ecos Corporation and Greenpeace was the development of an oil-shale deposit in Queensland, which was opposed by Greenpeace Australia because of the fossil fuel emissions associated with it and the damage it could do to the Barrier Reef. The developers, Canadian company Suncor and Australian company Southern Pacific Petroleum (SPP) were clients of Ecos. Greenpeace Australia press releases accused Suncor and SPP of “misleading the public and their own shareholders over the amount of greenhouse pollution” from the planned development, and argued that “oil shale is the most polluting source of energy currently being developed,” with much higher carbon dioxide emissions than conventional oil sources.35 Ecos literature, on the other hand, named Suncor as “one of the leading fossil fuel focussed energy companies in the world on climate change”.36 According to its literature, “Ecos Corporation provides strategic support and advice to corporate clients and partners seeking commercial advantage through a focus on sustainability . . .


The Ecotechnic Future: Envisioning a Post-Peak World by John Michael Greer

back-to-the-land, Black Swan, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, David Strachan, deindustrialization, European colonialism, Extropian, failed state, feminist movement, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Santayana, hydrogen economy, hygiene hypothesis, illegal immigration, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, mass immigration, McMansion, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, post-industrial society, Project for a New American Century, Ray Kurzweil, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

World production of conventional petroleum, in fact, peaked in 2005 and has been in a shallow decline ever­­since.5 That decline has been masked so far by rising production of natural gas liquids, tar sand extractives and biofuels, but these are not really replacements for conventional petroleum. Natural gas ­liquids are subject to sharp depletion problems of their own, while the ­others all require large investments of energy, most of which comes from petroleum. In a real sense, to count ethanol production as part of petroleum production without subtracting the diesel fuel, ­petroleum-based agricultural chemicals and other inputs needed to grow the ethanol feedstock and convert it into ethanol is to count the same oil twice over. The same issue holds for the massive energy inputs needed to turn tar sand into barrels of oil and for other nonconventional fuels as well. For the time being, this dubious number 9 10 T he E cotechnic F u t u re juggling has kept production figures up, which may well be the point of the exercise.

If the peak of Hubbert’s curve remains at 2005, in other words, the amount of oil produced in 2030 will likely be somewhere near the amount produced in 1980; production in 2060 will fall near production in 1950, and production in 2100 will approximate production in 1910. Even after the peak comes and goes, in other words, there will still be a great deal of oil for many years to come. The same rule applies to other energy resources. This lesson could have been learned from the growth of nonconventional oil sources like the Alberta tar sands, and the reopening of hundreds of formerly abandoned stripper wells in pumped-out oil regions like Pennsylvania. As oil production falters, market forces and political pressures guarantee that every possible replacement will be brought online. Right now, attempts to increase production are struggling to keep up with slumping yields at existing fields, and it’s a struggle that will only get harder as more fields reach their own Hubbert peaks.

That expansion will no longer continue as the limits to growth begin to bite in the next few years, and many things — ​including the ­economic framework of the industrial world — ​will change accordingly. As the peak of conventional oil production recedes in the rearview mirror, we approach the beginning of serious declines in energy availability. How serious those will be is a matter for guesswork today, but balancing failing production from existing fields against new production from fields under development and unconventional sources such as tar sands and biodiesel, something on the order of a four to five percent decline per year seems likely for the first decade or so. That will be a body blow to existing economic and social arrangements. Still, production increases of four to five percent a year didn’t bring Utopia, and production declines on the same scale won’t bring Armageddon, either. A very large percentage of the energy used in a modern industrial society, after all, is wasted.


pages: 538 words: 138,544

The Story of Stuff: The Impact of Overconsumption on the Planet, Our Communities, and Our Health-And How We Can Make It Better by Annie Leonard

air freight, banking crisis, big-box store, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, California gold rush, carbon footprint, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, dematerialisation, employer provided health coverage, energy security, European colonialism, Firefox, Food sovereignty, Ford paid five dollars a day, full employment, global supply chain, income inequality, Indoor air pollution, intermodal, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, liberation theology, McMansion, Nelson Mandela, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, Ralph Nader, renewable energy credits, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, supply-chain management, the built environment, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, union organizing, Wall-E, Whole Earth Review, Zipcar

To see what this looks like and to get involved, visit www.ilovemountains.org. Ceasing development of Canada’s tar sands. Tar sands consist of heavy crude oil mixed with sand, clay, and bitumen. Extracting the oil entails burning natural gas to generate enough heat and steam to melt it out of the sand and uses up to five barrels of water for each barrel of oil produced. Rainforest Action Network (RAN) says that tar sands oil is the worst type for the climate, producing three times the greenhouse gas emissions of conventionally produced oil because of the energy required to extract and process it. RAN is organizing to redirect the $70 to $100 billion the United States plans to invest in tar sands infrastructure into research and development of sustainable energy alternatives such as electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and solar and wind energy.

., 140–141 Madagascar, 2, 3, 35 Makeup, 76–77 Makower, Joel, 185, 186 Malaysia, 8 Mandela, Nelson, 222 Maniates, Michael, 112, 159, 239, 240 Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (Ocean Dumping Act), 98 Markey, Ed, 195 Marshall, James, 24 Mascara, 75 Massachusetts, toxics use reduction in, 218–219 Mazzochi, Tony, 85–86 McDonough, Bill, 52, 103 McKibben, Bill, 141 McRae, Glenn, 201 Mechanical pulping, 53 Medical waste, 185, 201–202 Mercury, 24, 25, 30, 34–35, 42, 54–55, 59, 61, 62, 69, 73, 74–75, 77, 79, 86, 91, 95, 203, 221–223, 257 Methane, 36, 209 Methyl-3-methoxyproprionate, 60 Methyl alcohol, 60 Methyl ethyl ketone, 60 Methyl isocyanate (MIC), 90, 91, 93 Mexico, 72, 135 Mickey Mouse Goes to Haiti (National Labor Committee), 49, 50 Microchips, 59–61 Microsoft, 71, 203 Minerals, 20–29 Minerals Policy Institute, 253 Mines, Minerals and People, 253 Mining, 20–25, 35, 36, 59, 64, 75 Mirex, 79 Mitchell, Stacy, 121, 125 Mobil Chemical Company, 230–231 Mobile phone chargers, 103–104 Monitors, 61 Monocropping, 47 Montague, Peter, 211–212 Moosewood Cookbook (Katzen), 158 Morris, David, 34 MOSOP (Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People), 31–33 Mountaintop removal mining, 36, 254 Mozambique, 66 Mudslides, 4, 7 Muir, John, 7 Municipal solid waste (MSW), 185, 190–199 Municipal supply of discards (MSD), 190 Myers, John Peterson, 45 NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), 126, 136, 255 Nair, Shibu, 236 National Environmental Justice Advisory Council, 88 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, 95 National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service, 96 National Foreign Trade Council, 258 National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH), 85, 96, 205 National Labor Committee, 49 National Marine Fisheries Service, 96 National Memorial for the Mountains, 36 National Ocean Service, 96 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 96 National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit (1991), 88 National Priorities Project (NPP), 243, 244 National Recycling Coalition (NRC), 196 National Weather Service, 96 Native Americans, 24, 196 New Economics Foundation, 152 New Leaf Paper, 56 Newsom, Gavin, 235–236 Newsweek, 234 Nickel, 59 Nigeria, 30–33, 35 Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, 33 Nike, 71, 108, 109, 165, 188 9/11 terrorist attacks, 147 Nitrates, 61 Nitric acid, 60, 61 Nitrogen dioxide, 65 Njehu, Njoki Njoroge, 39 No Dirty Gold campaign, 25 t-Nonachlor, 79 North Cascades National Park, 6–7, 10, 11 Obesity, 150 Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, 96 Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 96, 123 Office Depot, 9 Office of Environmental Quality, 95 Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, 96 Ogoni 9, 33 Ogoniland, Nigeria, 31–33 Oil, 29–35, 246, 254 Oil Pollution Act of 1990, 98 One Planet Living program, 40 Online shopping, 118–119 Only the Paranoid Survive (Grove), 58 Open-pit mining, 20–22 Oreskes, Michael, 173 Organic cotton, 51 Organic matter, in water, 11 O’Rourke, Dara, 62, 108–112, 117, 140 Orris, Peter, 84 Our Stolen Future (Colborn, Myers and Dumanoski), 45 Overproduction, 102 Overspent American, The (Schor), 167, 168 Overworked American, The (Schor), 156 Oxfam America, 21 Oxychlordane, 79 Pacific Institute, 17 Packaging, 194–198 Packard, Vance, 163, 194 Paglia, Todd, 10 Paolino & Sons, 224 Paper, 1, 8–9, 14, 51–56, 52–55 Papyrus, 52 Parchment, 52 Patagonia, 50–51 PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers), 60, 73, 261 Peak oil, 29 Peek, Bobby, 223 PepsiCo, 196 Perceived obsolescence, 162–163 Perot, Ross, 126 Personal care products, 76–77, 264 Personal consumption expenditures, 146–147, 177–178 Pesticide Action Network Organic Cotton Briefing Kit, 47 Pesticides, 5, 46, 47, 79, 231, 262 Petroleum, 20, 29–34, 55, 230 PFCs (perfluorocarbons), 65, 79 PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid), 73 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 224–227 Phosphoric acid, 60 Phosphorus, 59 Phthalates, 69, 71–72, 76, 124 Planned obsolescence, 160, 161–163 Plant-derived pharmaceuticals, 2–3 Plastics, 44, 194–195, 230–232 PVC (polyvinyl chloride), 42, 51, 61–63, 68–72, 124, 170–172, 184, 188, 257, 261, 265–267 Pollution Prevention Act of 1990, 98 Polyester, 44 Polymers, 44 POPs (persistent organic pollutants), 73 Poverty, 178–179 Prescription drugs, 2–3 Print-on-demand technology, 119 Printers, 203, 204 Privatization of water systems, 16 Processed chlorine free (PCF) process, 54, 56 Procter & Gamble, 112 Product Policy Institute (PPI), 198–199 Production, 44–105, 255–256 Progress, redefining, 242–243 Project Return to Sender, 225–226 Project Underground, 31 Puckett, Jim, 205, 210 Puget Sound, 11 Pulping, 53 Putnam, Robert, 149, 238–239 PVC (polyvinyl chloride), 42, 51, 61–63, 68–72, 124, 170–172, 184, 188, 257, 261, 265–267 Quante, Heidi, 226 Quinine, 2 Rainforest Action Network (RAN), 5, 254–255 Rainforests, 2–4, 30–31 REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals) Act, 82, 83 ReBuilders Source, 200–201 Reciprocity, culture of, 238–239 Recycle-Bank, 229 Recycling, 9, 42, 52, 55, 56, 64, 66–67, 69–70, 190, 196, 197–199, 204–207, 216, 228–234, 266–267 Rendell, Edward, 225–226 Repairs, 192–194 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) of 1976 and 1986, 98 Hazardous and Solid Wastes Amendments of 1984, 98 Resource curse, 37 Responsible Care program, 93 Revolutionary United Front (RUF), Sierra Leone, 26 Rivers, 10–11, 24, 25 Roane County, Tennessee, 35 Rocks, 20–29 Rogers, Heather, 228, 232 Rosario, Juan, 65 Rosy periwinkle, 2–3, 35 Rwanda, 27, 28 Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974, 97 Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families Campaign, 84 Salt water, 15 San Francisco, California, 235–236 Sarangi, Satinath, 91 Saro-Wiwa, Ken, 31–33 Schettler, Ted, 74, 78, 79 Schor, Juliet, 156, 167, 168, 246, 247 Scorecard, 94 Scott, Lee, 122 Sea levels, 13 Seattle, Washington, 133–134 Seinfeld, Jerry, 182 Seldman, Neil, 228 Sequestration, 2 Sewage systems, 12 Shaman Pharmaceuticals, 3 Sharing and borrowing, 43, 237–238 Shell Oil, 31–33 Shoe repairs, 194 Shopping, 147–148 Shopping malls, 124–125 Shower curtains, 69 Shukla, Champa Devi, 91 Sierra Leone, 26, 35 Silent Spring (Carson), 98 Silicon, 59 Silicon Valley, 57–58 Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, 63 Silicosis, 59 Silver, 59 SmartWay Transport program, 115 Smith, Alisa, 140–141 Smith, Kari, 165 Smith, Ted, 58 Sodium hydroxide, 60 Soesterberg Principles, 63 Soil, 7, 12 Solar power, 34, 36 South Africa, 23–24, 26, 221–223, 258 South Korea, 135 Soy inks, 55 Spain, 31, 71 Species extinction, 4 Speth, Gus, 167 Stainless steel, 44 Staples, 9 Steam engine, invention of, 101 Stevens, Brooks, 161, 163 Stewart, Howard, 225 Stoller Chemical, 219 Story of Stuff, The (film), 56, 147, 162 Suicide, teen, 150 Sulfonamides, 48 Sulfur dioxide, 65 Sulfuric acid, 48, 60 Superfund sites, 57, 97, 208 Supply chains, 107–113, 117, 256 Sustainable Biomaterials Collaborative, 34, 231 Sustainable Forestry Initiative, 10 Sweatshops, 49–50, 51 Switkes, Glenn, 66 Synthetic materials, 44–45, 75, 78, 80 Take-back programs, 29, 206 Talberth, John, 242 Tantalum (coltan), 27–29, 35, 246 Tar sands, 254 Target, 118 Television, 167–168, 262 Tetramethylammonium, 60 Texaco, 30 Text messages, 57 Thor Chemicals, 221–223 Thoreau, Henry David, 147 Thornton, Thomas, 245 Timber plantations, 5 Tin, 59 Toluene, 55 Total economic value framework, 18 Totally chlorine free (TCF) process, 54, 56 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976, 82, 97 Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty, 1987–2007 (United Church of Christ), 89 Toxic Wastes and Race in the United States (United Church of Christ), 88 Toxics Release Inventory, 93–94 Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA), 218 Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI), 218–219 Toyota, 71, 108, 111 Toys, 74, 111 Trade Reform, Accountability, Development and Employment (TRADE) Act, 136, 255 Trans-Atlantic Network for Clean Production, 63 Transition Towns, 141–142 Trees, 2–10, 21 Triclosan, 79 Trucks, 113–115, 123 Ts’ai Lun, 52 Tucker, Cora, 88 Turkey, 50, 157–158 Tweeting, 57 Uganda, 27 Underground (subsurface) mining, 20 Unhappiness/happiness, 149–155 UNICOR, 205 Union Carbide Corporation, 90–93 United Church of Christ (UCC), 88, 89 United Nations, 38, 146 Center for Trade and Development, 228 Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 16 Environment Programme (UNEP), 75 Food and Agriculture Organization, 47 Human Development Index, 242 Human Poverty Index, 151 U.S.


pages: 496 words: 131,938

The Future Is Asian by Parag Khanna

3D printing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Basel III, blockchain, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, cashless society, clean water, cloud computing, colonial rule, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crony capitalism, currency peg, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, energy security, European colonialism, factory automation, failed state, falling living standards, family office, fixed income, flex fuel, gig economy, global reserve currency, global supply chain, haute couture, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, Internet of things, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, light touch regulation, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low skilled workers, Lyft, Malacca Straits, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, Monroe Doctrine, mortgage debt, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, Parag Khanna, payday loans, Pearl River Delta, prediction markets, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, urban planning, Washington Consensus, working-age population, Yom Kippur War

All of the top ten foreign holders of US dollar reserves—including Saudi Arabia, South Korea, India, and Singapore—are Asian economies, collectively holding more than 55 percent of US Treasuries.19 Furthermore, Asian foreign investment in the US economy, led by Japan, totals more than $1 trillion (compared to Europe’s $2 trillion FDI in the United States), especially in industries such as energy, manufacturing, and real estate. Asian investors have helped keep oil pumping in the shale patches of Texas when prices slumped. Both the China Investment Corporation (CIC) and Korea Investment Corporation (KIC) allocate more than 50 percent of their public equity portfolios to US equities, and GIC Private Limited of Singapore (formerly known as Government of Singapore Investment Corporation) invests 34 percent of its assets in North America. Asian financing will also be essential to underwrite the long-term debt needed to fund the United States’ infrastructure renewal.


pages: 306 words: 85,836

When to Rob a Bank: ...And 131 More Warped Suggestions and Well-Intended Rants by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbus A320, airport security, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, feminist movement, food miles, George Akerlof, global pandemic, information asymmetry, invisible hand, loss aversion, mental accounting, Netflix Prize, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, Pareto efficiency, peak oil, pre–internet, price anchoring, price discrimination, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, Richard Thaler, Sam Peltzman, security theater, Ted Kaczynski, the built environment, The Chicago School, the High Line, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, US Airways Flight 1549

Without realizing it, the author just invoked basic economics to invalidate the entire premise of the article! Just for good measure, he goes on to write: High prices can have another unfortunate effect for producers. When crude costs $10 a barrel or even $30 a barrel, alternative fuels are prohibitively expensive. For example, Canada has vast amounts of tar sands that can be rendered into heavy oil, but the cost of doing so is quite high. Yet those tar sands and other alternatives, like bioethanol, hydrogen fuel cells and liquid fuel from natural gas or coal, become economically viable as the going rate for a barrel rises past, say, $40 or more, especially if consuming governments choose to offer their own incentives or subsidies. So even if high prices don’t cause a recession, the Saudis risk losing market share to rivals into whose nonfundamentalist hands Americans would much prefer to channel their energy dollars.

The fact that McKibben recently traveled to the White House to oppose the construction of a natural gas pipeline (and got arrested in the process), provides a hint of an answer. I imagine that getting slammed in the clinker after protesting a massive pipeline project is a lot better for 350.org’s profile than staying at home, munching kale, and advising others to explore veganism. In this respect, the comparative beneficial impact of global veganism versus eliminating natural gas from Canadian tar sands matters none. What matters is grabbing a headline or two. Hence the “problem” with veganism and environmentalism. Ever since Silent Spring, Rachel Carson’s exposé of dangerous insecticides, modern environmentalism has depended on high-profile media moments to shore up the activist base. Veganism, however, hardly lends itself to this role. Although quietly empowering in its own way, going vegan is an act poorly suited to sensational publicity.


pages: 326 words: 88,905

Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt by Chris Hedges, Joe Sacco

Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate personhood, dumpster diving, Exxon Valdez, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Howard Zinn, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, mass incarceration, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, union organizing, urban decay, wage slave, white flight, women in the workforce

The rights and health of those who live on the land are meaningless. The fossil-fuel industry’s dirty game of corporate politics was on display following the arrests in the fall of 2011 of 1,253 activists from the environmental group 350.org outside the White House. The protestors opposed the proposal to build the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have brought some of the dirtiest energy on the planet from the tar sands in Canada through the United States to the Gulf Coast. James Hansen, NASA’s leading climate scientist, has said that the building of the pipeline would mean “game over for the climate.”5 President Barack Obama, ducking the issue, said he would review the proposal and make a decision after the November 2012 presidential election. The U.S. House of Representatives, urged on by lobbyists, however, voted a few days later 234 to 194 to force a quicker review of the pipeline.6 The House attached its demand to a bill proposing a popular payroll tax cut.

Gangster Disciples, 38 Gary, Albert, 132 Gary, West Virginia, 130, 132, 143 drug addiction in, 154 Gem of the Ocean (Wilson), 64 General Allotment Act, 12 General Electric, 72 General Motors, 72, 117 Genocide, 4, 11, 12, 48 Germino, Laura, 204, 205–206 Geronimo, resistance by, 13 Giant, 182, 206 Giardina, Denise, 174 quote of, 115 Gibson, Larry, 116, 120, 149 on being poor, 117–118 coal companies and, 119, 121, 123 coal waste and, 121–123 government accountability, 124 illustration of, 122–123 Global warming, 130, 150 Globalization, 72, 205, 269 Gold, 9, 11, 23 Goldman Sachs, 69, 129, 160, 233, 266, 267, 268, 269, 270 Gomez, Sebastian: sentence for, 198 Google, 69 Göring, Herman, 170 Graft, political/corporate, 90 Grant, Ulysses S., 9, 11 Great Mystery, 55 Great Sioux Reservation, 17 Great Spirit, 53, 54 Guadalupe Center, 191, 199, 202 Guantánamo Bay, penal colony in, 263 Guardians of the Oglala Nation (GOONs), 16, 50 Gunnoe, Maria: on coal companies, 148–149 Gural, John, 89, 90 Habitat for Humanity, 38 Hansen, James: tar sands and, 128 Harrington, John, 89 Harvest of Shame (Murrow), 196 Hatfield, Sid: assassination of, 173 Havel, Václav, 229, 230, 243, 244 Hawkins, Michael “Doc Money,” 62, 64 Hayes, Brenda, 101–102 Haywood, “Big” Bill, 160 Health care, 235, 236, 237, 239 Health issues, 160, 169, 172 Heart of Camden project, 102, 109 Hechler, Ken, 169–170, 172 Heineman, Dave, 41, 43–44 Heizer, Neil, 154, 155, 156, 157 death of, 158 illustration of, 156–157 Hepburn, Katherine, 238 Hernandez, Oscar Medina, 61, 62, 97 Herzen, Alexander: quote of, 225 Highway Safety Program, 51 Hitler, Adolf, 244 Ho Chi Minh, 40, 45 Homelessness, 68, 69, 99, 182, 251 Homer, 23 Homicides, 72, 88 Honecker, Erich, 228 Hookers, 99 interviewing, 100–101 Hovack, Wayne, 154, 155, 156 illustration of, 156–157 Huff, Muriah Ashley, 64 Huxley, Aldous, 239 “I Sit and Look Out” (Whitman), text of, 59 Immigrants, 191, 219 undocumented, 62, 78, 187, 190, 204, 205 Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), 184, 187 Immokalee, Florida, 178, 204, 221 coffee shops/tiendas in, 222 dancing in, 198 (illus.)

Department of Labor), 180 National Council of Churches, 48 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), 263 National Guard, 72 National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 183 National Park Service, Occupy movement and, 234 Native American culture, assault on, 12 Native American language, 12 Native Americans, 231 eradicating, 4, 11 Native history, American history and, 40–41 NATO, 264 Navajos, 250 Navarrete, Cesar, 200, 203 Navarrete, Geovanni, 200, 203 Navarrete, Virginia, 200 New Deal, 196, 237 New Forum, 228 New Jersey Racing Commission, 92 New Jersey Turnpike, 76 New York City Police Department, Occupy Wall Street and, 231 New York City Police Foundation, 245 New York Private Bank & Trust, 233 New York Shipbuilding Corporation, 73 New York Times, 69, 168 News Corp, 129 Night Comes to the Cumberlands (Caudill), 153 1984 (Orwell), 12, 239, 241, 265 “99% Deficit Proposal: How to Create Jobs, Reduce the Wealth Divide and Control Spending, The” (report), 237 Nixon, Richard, 46, 172 Nonviolence, 73, 234, 236, 241, 242, 244, 263 police and, 260 Norcross, Donald, 93 Norcross, George, III business of, 92–93 Camden and, 88–89 as political boss, 90–91 politics and, 91–92, 95 Norcross, George Edwin, Jr., 92 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), 186, 203–204, 205 Northern Cheyenne, 9 Nuremberg Trials, 170 Oakes, Richard: protest by, 46 Obama, Barack, 69, 236, 240 corporate state and, 233–234, 238 MTR and, 174 pipeline and, 129 tar sands and, 128 Occupy encampments, 40, 68, 231, 234, 235, 237–238, 241, 242, 248, 249, 263 expansion of, 264 shutting down, 241 Occupy Oakland, supporting, 242 Occupy Super Committee, 236–237 Occupy Wall Street, 68, 219, 220, 228, 233, 244, 245, 267, 269 activists of, 242–243 hearing for, 237 hope and, 266 police and, 231, 260 revolt and, 248 rules of, 257 slandering, 262 as template, 232 working groups of, 247 Occupy Washington, 236–237 Oceania, 239 Odyssey (Homer), 23 Office of Surface Mining, 162 Oglala Lakota College, 16 Oglala Sioux, 17, 23, 41, 46 Oglala Sioux Civil Rights Organization, 50 Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, 124 Oil Change International, 129 Oprah Winfrey Show, The, 238 Ortiz, Rodrigo: story of, 178–179, 180–181 Orwell, George, 12, 239, 240, 241, 265 Ott, Dwight, 88 OxyContin, 149, 154, 157 Pacific Tomato Growers, 200 Palach, Jan, 230 Palach Square, 230 Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), 227 Palestinian uprising, 244 Paquito, Don, 199–200, 202 illustration of, 201 Parker, Dorothy, 238 PATCO, 66 Peace Corps, 204 Peltier, Leonard, 20, 48, 51 People’s History of the United States, A (Zinn), 94, 245 People’s mic, 253, 257 illustration of, 254 Pequot War, 11 Pesticides, 182, 183, 184 Pharm parties, described, 154 Phencyclidine (PCP), 97 Philadelphia Inquirer, 88, 91, 93 Philadelphia Magazine, 90, 92 Pine Ridge Agency, 17 Pine Ridge Indian Health Service Hospital, 17 Pine Ridge Reservation, 8, 22, 41, 44, 46–47, 52, 54, 62 activists on, 46–48 agriculture on, 21 alcoholism on, 3 described, 13, 16–17 illustration of, 14–15 poverty on, 21, 226 Pines, the, 132, 154 Pittston Coal Company, 145 Pocahontas Fuel Company, 145, 146 Police, 38, 73, 99, 251, 253, 263 confrontations with, 260, 262, 264 Political consciousness, 248, 249 Politics, 91–92, 95, 233, 250, 262, 266 coal industry and, 165 fossil-fuel industry and, 128 Poor Bear, Webster, 56–57 Poverty, 4, 17, 21, 44, 62, 64, 72, 96, 110–111, 112, 117–118, 166, 180, 182, 194, 200, 227, 239 business of, 88 farmworkers, 221, 223 mitigation of, 237 violence of, 65 Pow Wows, 44–45 Powder River Basin, 130 Powell, Kuasheim “Presto,” 64 Power, 243, 250, 265, 267 corporate, 236, 237, 238, 242 narrative of, 226 structures of, 263 “Power of the Powerless, The” (Havel), 243 “Prayer for Marta” (song), 229 Prisons, 64, 68 as growth industry, 158–159 Proletarian revolution, 244–245 Prostitutes, 99, 100 illustration of, 99 Publix, 182, 206 Pullman strike (1894), 160 Purchasing power, concentrating, 182 Puritans, 10 Quan, Jean, 242 Racism, 4, 5, 64 Ramos, Sylvia, 61, 62, 97 Raney, Bill, 152 Rape, 5, 6, 7, 8–9, 199 Rasmussen, Donald: challenge by, 172 Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, The, 239 Red Cloud, Chief, 22, 23, 24 Red Cloud, Michael, 22, 23, 24, 38, 54–55 story of, 24–37 (illus.)


pages: 566 words: 163,322

The Rise and Fall of Nations: Forces of Change in the Post-Crisis World by Ruchir Sharma

Asian financial crisis, backtesting, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, business climate, business cycle, business process, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, colonial rule, Commodity Super-Cycle, corporate governance, creative destruction, crony capitalism, currency peg, dark matter, debt deflation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Freestyle chess, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflation targeting, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, lateral thinking, liberal capitalism, Malacca Straits, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, mittelstand, moral hazard, New Economic Geography, North Sea oil, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, pets.com, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, secular stagnation, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, smart cities, Snapchat, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, The Future of Employment, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, trade route, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, unorthodox policies, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, working-age population

Overall, U.S. prospects still look good relative to other developed countries, but they have shifted to being a bit more mixed in recent months. The factories first rule says that a strong flow of investment is a big plus, particularly if it is going to productive industries like technology and, above all, manufacturing. In this respect, the billions of dollars that have been pouring into tech-driven U.S. businesses has been a very good investment binge, fueling the rise of new methods for extracting oil and gas from shale rock and of the country’s world-leading software and Internet companies. By 2015 the top ten companies in the world, in terms of stock market value, were all based in the United States—the first time this has happened since 2002. This dominant American group is led by Apple and includes Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google, which has spawned trend-stamping acronyms like the unfortunate “FANG.”


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 per capita U.S. electricity consumption in the 1970s ended up rising almost as much as it had in the 1960s, and the overall population grew 14 percent between 1970 and 1980. As a result, when an electric utility didn’t build a nuclear plant, it usually built one that burned coal, instead.90 Antinuclear environmentalists openly favored coal and other fossil fuels over nuclear. “We do not need nuclear power,” said Nader. “We have a far greater amount of fossil fuels in this country than we’re owning up to . . . the tar sands . . . oil out of shale . . . methane in coal beds . . .”91 The Sierra Club’s energy consultant, Amory Lovins, wrote, “Coal can fill the real gaps in our fuel economy with only a temporary and modest (less than twofold at peak) expansion of mining.”92 The Sierra Club deliberately sought to make nuclear plants expensive. “We should try to tighten up regulation of the [nuclear] industry,” wrote the organization’s executive director, in a 1976 memo to the board of directors, “with the expectation that this will add to the cost of the industry and render its economics less attractive.”93 Shortly after, the anti-nuclear advocacy by Sierra Club and Nader helped motivate President Jimmy Carter to advocate new coal plants rather than new nuclear ones.94 It’s not that nobody knew of coal’s dangers.


The Oil Kings: How the U.S., Iran, and Saudi Arabia Changed the Balance of Power in the Middle East by Andrew Scott Cooper

addicted to oil, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, banking crisis, Boycotts of Israel, energy security, falling living standards, friendly fire, full employment, interchangeable parts, Kickstarter, land reform, MITM: man-in-the-middle, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, RAND corporation, rising living standards, Robert Bork, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker, unbiased observer, uranium enrichment, urban planning, Yom Kippur War

Thus Russia can’t use détente with Europe and toughness with us; they must link détente with us to détente in Europe.” Nixon and Kissinger did not blanch when the Shah said they should expect additional increases in the price of oil. Higher prices were seen as providing insurance for the Shah and enabling Iran to fulfill its security guarantees: “Oil policy is sufficiently crucial. We have asked for atomic stations even for Iran. The normal trend will be that oil will rise in price until shale or gasification of coal becomes profitable. We have produced stability in the oil negotiations. No other country can do this.” The Shah asked for help in building an Iranian navy. He said he had invited Hughes and Westinghouse to establish an electronics industry in Iran. He was also keen to start co-production in the defense industry. Nixon said he would help Iran attain nuclear power if the Shah wanted it.

They fixed low prices. Now they will have to pay the price.” THE SAFETY OF ALL YOUR LIVES MAY DEPEND ON IT Throughout the October War the Shah believed he had more than proven his credentials as an ally to the West. But he viewed oil prices as the one nonnegotiable issue in bilateral relations with the United States. Back in July, the Shah had warned Nixon and Kissinger that oil prices would rise “until shale or gasification of coal becomes profitable.” Nixon had given him a blank check to raise oil prices three years earlier. The Americans did not ask him to explain what he meant or why the price of one commodity should be contingent on another. The Shah’s views on oil pricing were never more clearly spelled out than in an interview that appeared in the December 1, 1973, issue of The New Republic.

He urged them not to raise the price of oil to the point where it hurt the industrial nations whose capital was essential for their own development. But he also inveighed against wasting oil for use in “power generation, moving ships or heating homes. Oil must be reserved for use in more sophisticated industries such as petrochemicals.” He recommended they adopt his own price formula which was “a price comparable to the price of coal oil derived from shale or other sources such as coal gasification or coal liquefaction.” It was the same pricing formula he had mentioned to Nixon and Kissinger in July. The Shah ended his remarks by assuring the delegates that if they adopted his proposal he was “quite prepared to bear the consequences. I shall defend our action before the entire world, confident that my nation will support me.” The Shah won over the delegates and turned out to be as good as his word.


pages: 403 words: 111,119

Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist by Kate Raworth

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Asian financial crisis, bank run, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, clean water, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, complexity theory, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, disruptive innovation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, full employment, global supply chain, global village, Henri Poincaré, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, land reform, land value tax, Landlord’s Game, loss aversion, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, megacity, mobile money, Mont Pelerin Society, Myron Scholes, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, Occupy movement, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, price mechanism, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, smart cities, smart meter, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the map is not the territory, the market place, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Torches of Freedom, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, wikimedia commons

Many in the prepare-for-landing crowd believe it cannot be installed fast enough to match the economy’s demand for energy, especially if fossil fuels are phased out at the speed required. What’s more, in comparison to the easy-to-access oil, coal and gas reserves of the twentieth century, a far larger proportion of renewable energy that is generated must be used by the energy industry itself simply to generate more – as is the case for energy from sources such as shale gas and tar sands. Some analysts believe the economic implications are stark. ‘It is time to re-examine the pursuit of economic growth at all costs,’ concludes US energy economist David Murphy; ‘we should expect the economic growth rates of the next 100 years to look nothing like those of the last 100 years.’39 Furthermore, some in the prepare-for-landing crowd doubt that the weightless economy can be as dematerialised as its name implies, given the material- and energy-intensive infrastructure that underpins the coming digital revolution.40 Others, meanwhile, doubt that the weightless economy will contribute as much to GDP growth as the growth optimists expect.

They promise business that they will ‘cut red tape’, but end up dismantling legislation that was put in place to protect workers’ rights, community resources and the living world. They privatise public services – from hospitals to railways – turning public wealth into private revenue streams. They add the living world into the national accounts as ‘ecosystem services’ and ‘natural capital’, assigning it a value that looks dangerously like a price. And, despite committing to keep global warming ‘well below 2°C’, many such governments chase after the ‘cheap’ energy of tar sands and shale gas, while neglecting the transformational public investments needed for a clean-energy revolution. These policy choices are akin to throwing precious cargo off a plane that is running out of fuel, rather than admitting that it may soon be time to touch down. Learning how to land What would it mean to prepare high-income economies for landing so that they could touch down safely and become thriving, growth-agnostic economies when the time was right?

., 6 micro-businesses, 9, 173, 178 microeconomics, 132–4 microgrids, 187–8 Micronesia, 153 Microsoft, 231 middle class, 6, 46, 58 middle-income countries, 90, 164, 168, 173, 180, 226, 254 migration, 82, 89–90, 166, 195, 199, 236, 266, 286 Milanovic, Branko, 171 Mill, John Stuart, 33–4, 73, 97, 250, 251, 283, 284, 288 Millo, Yuval, 101 minimum wage, 82, 88, 176 Minsky, Hyman, 87, 146 Mises, Ludwig von, 66 mission zero, 217 mobile banking, 199–200 mobile phones, 222 Model T revolution, 277–8 Moldova, 199 Mombasa, Kenya, 185–6 Mona Lisa (da Vinci), 94 money creation, 87, 164, 177, 182–8, 205 MONIAC (Monetary National Income Analogue Computer), 64–5, 75, 142, 262 Monoculture (Michaels), 6 Monopoly, 149 Mont Pelerin Society, 67, 93 Moral Consequences of Economic Growth, The (Friedman), 258 moral vacancy, 41 Morgan, Mary, 99 Morogoro, Tanzania, 121 Moyo, Dambisa, 258 Muirhead, Sam, 230, 231 MultiCapital Scorecard, 241 Murphy, David, 264 Murphy, Richard, 185 musical tastes, 110 Myriad Genetics, 196 N national basic income, 177 Native Americans, 115, 116, 282 natural capital, 7, 116, 269 Natural Economic Order, The (Gessel), 274 Nedbank, 216 negative externalities, 213 negative interest rates, 275–6 neoclassical economics, 134, 135 neoliberalism, 7, 62–3, 67–70, 81, 83, 84, 88, 93, 143, 170, 176 Nepal, 181, 199 Nestlé, 217 Netherlands, 211, 235, 224, 226, 238, 277 networks, 110–11, 117, 118, 123, 124–6, 174–6 neuroscience, 12–13 New Deal, 37 New Economics Foundation, 278, 283 New Year’s Day, 124 New York, United States, 9, 41, 55 Newlight Technologies, 224, 226, 293 Newton, Isaac, 13, 15–17, 32–3, 95, 97, 129, 131, 135–7, 142, 145, 162 Nicaragua, 196 Nigeria, 164 nitrogen, 49, 52, 212–13, 216, 218, 221, 226, 298 ‘no pain, no gain’, 163, 167, 173, 204, 209 Nobel Prize, 6–7, 43, 83, 101, 167 Norway, 281 nudging, 112, 113, 114, 123–6 O Obama, Barack, 41, 92 Oberlin, Ohio, 239, 240–41 Occupy movement, 40, 91 ocean acidification, 45, 46, 52, 155, 242, 298 Ohio, United States, 190, 239 Okun, Arthur, 37 onwards and upwards, 53 Open Building Institute, 196 Open Source Circular Economy (OSCE), 229–32 open systems, 74 open-source design, 158, 196–8, 265 open-source licensing, 204 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 38, 210, 255–6, 258 Origin of Species, The (Darwin), 14 Ormerod, Paul, 110, 111 Orr, David, 239 Ostrom, Elinor, 83, 84, 158, 160, 181–2 Ostry, Jonathan, 173 OSVehicle, 231 overseas development assistance (ODA), 198–200 ownership of wealth, 177–82 Oxfam, 9, 44 Oxford University, 1, 36 ozone layer, 9, 50, 115 P Pachamama, 54, 55 Pakistan, 124 Pareto, Vilfredo, 165–6, 175 Paris, France, 290 Park 20|20, Netherlands, 224, 226 Parker Brothers, 149 Patagonia, 56 patents, 195–6, 197, 204 patient capital, 235 Paypal, 192 Pearce, Joshua, 197, 203–4 peer-to-peer networks, 187, 192, 198, 203, 292 People’s QE, 184–5 Perseus, 244 Persia, 13 Peru, 2, 105–6 Phillips, Adam, 283 Phillips, William ‘Bill’, 64–6, 75, 142, 262 phosphorus, 49, 52, 212–13, 218, 298 Physiocrats, 73 Pickett, Kate, 171 pictures, 12–25 Piketty, Thomas, 169 Playfair, William, 16 Poincaré, Henri, 109, 127–8 Polanyi, Karl, 82, 272 political economy, 33–4, 42 political funding, 91–2, 171–2 political voice, 43, 45, 51–2, 77, 117 pollution, 29, 45, 52, 85, 143, 155, 206–17, 226, 238, 242, 254, 298 population, 5, 46, 57, 155, 199, 250, 252, 254 Portugal, 211 post-growth society, 250 poverty, 5, 9, 37, 41, 50, 88, 118, 148, 151 emotional, 283 and inequality, 164–5, 168–9, 178 and overseas development assistance (ODA), 198–200 and taxation, 277 power, 91–92 pre-analytic vision, 21–2 prescription medicines, 123 price-takers, 132 prices, 81, 118–23, 131, 160 Principles of Economics (Mankiw), 34 Principles of Economics (Marshall), 17, 98 Principles of Political Economy (Mill), 288 ProComposto, 226 Propaganda (Bernays), 107 public relations, 107, 281 public spending v. investment, 276 public–private patents, 195 Putnam, Robert, 76–7 Q quantitative easing (QE), 184–5 Quebec, 281 Quesnay, François, 16, 73 R Rabot, Ghent, 236 Rancière, Romain, 172 rating and review systems, 105 rational economic man, 94–103, 109, 111, 112, 126, 282 Reagan, Ronald, 67 reciprocity, 103–6, 117, 118, 123 reflexivity of markets, 144 reinforcing feedback loops, 138–41, 148, 250, 271 relative decoupling, 259 renewable energy biomass energy, 118, 221 and circular economy, 221, 224, 226, 235, 238–9, 274 and commons, 83, 85, 185, 187–8, 192, 203, 264 geothermal energy, 221 and green growth, 257, 260, 263, 264, 267 hydropower, 118, 260, 263 pricing, 118 solar energy, see solar energy wave energy, 221 wind energy, 75, 118, 196, 202–3, 221, 233, 239, 260, 263 rentier sector, 180, 183, 184 reregulation, 82, 87, 269 resource flows, 175 resource-intensive lifestyles, 46 Rethinking Economics, 289 Reynebeau, Guy, 237 Ricardo, David, 67, 68, 73, 89, 250 Richardson, Katherine, 53 Rifkin, Jeremy, 83, 264–5 Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, The (Kennedy), 279 risk, 112, 113–14 Robbins, Lionel, 34 Robinson, James, 86 Robinson, Joan, 142 robots, 191–5, 237, 258, 278 Rockefeller Foundation, 135 Rockford, Illinois, 179–80 Rockström, Johan, 48, 55 Roddick, Anita, 232–4 Rogoff, Kenneth, 271, 280 Roman Catholic Church, 15, 19 Rombo, Tanzania, 190 Rome, Ancient, 13, 48, 154 Romney, Mitt, 92 Roosevelt, Franklin Delano, 37 rooted membership, 190 Rostow, Walt, 248–50, 254, 257, 267–70, 284 Ruddick, Will, 185 rule of thumb, 113–14 Ruskin, John, 42, 223 Russia, 200 rust belt, 90, 239 S S curve, 251–6 Sainsbury’s, 56 Samuelson, Paul, 17–21, 24–5, 38, 62–7, 70, 74, 84, 91, 92, 93, 262, 290–91 Sandel, Michael, 41, 120–21 Sanergy, 226 sanitation, 5, 51, 59 Santa Fe, California, 213 Santinagar, West Bengal, 178 São Paolo, Brazil, 281 Sarkozy, Nicolas, 43 Saumweder, Philipp, 226 Scharmer, Otto, 115 Scholes, Myron, 100–101 Schumacher, Ernst Friedrich, 42, 142 Schumpeter, Joseph, 21 Schwartz, Shalom, 107–9 Schwarzenegger, Arnold, 163, 167, 204 ‘Science and Complexity’ (Weaver), 136 Scotland, 57 Seaman, David, 187 Seattle, Washington, 217 second machine age, 258 Second World War (1939–45), 18, 37, 70, 170 secular stagnation, 256 self-interest, 28, 68, 96–7, 99–100, 102–3 Selfish Society, The (Gerhardt), 283 Sen, Amartya, 43 Shakespeare, William, 61–3, 67, 93 shale gas, 264, 269 Shang Dynasty, 48 shareholders, 82, 88, 189, 191, 227, 234, 273, 292 sharing economy, 264 Sheraton Hotel, Boston, 3 Siegen, Germany, 290 Silicon Valley, 231 Simon, Julian, 70 Sinclair, Upton, 255 Sismondi, Jean, 42 slavery, 33, 77, 161 Slovenia, 177 Small Is Beautiful (Schumacher), 42 smart phones, 85 Smith, Adam, 33, 57, 67, 68, 73, 78–9, 81, 96–7, 103–4, 128, 133, 160, 181, 250 social capital, 76–7, 122, 125, 172 social contract, 120, 125 social foundation, 10, 11, 44, 45, 49, 51, 58, 77, 174, 200, 254, 295–6 social media, 83, 281 Social Progress Index, 280 social pyramid, 166 society, 76–7 solar energy, 59, 75, 111, 118, 187–8, 190 circular economy, 221, 222, 223, 224, 226–7, 239 commons, 203 zero-energy buildings, 217 zero-marginal-cost revolution, 84 Solow, Robert, 135, 150, 262–3 Soros, George, 144 South Africa, 56, 177, 214, 216 South Korea, 90, 168 South Sea Bubble (1720), 145 Soviet Union (1922–91), 37, 67, 161, 279 Spain, 211, 238, 256 Spirit Level, The (Wilkinson & Pickett), 171 Sraffa, Piero, 148 St Gallen, Switzerland, 186 Stages of Economic Growth, The (Rostow), 248–50, 254 stakeholder finance, 190 Standish, Russell, 147 state, 28, 33, 69–70, 78, 82, 160, 176, 180, 182–4, 188 and commons, 85, 93, 197, 237 and market, 84–6, 200, 281 partner state, 197, 237–9 and robots, 195 stationary state, 250 Steffen, Will, 46, 48 Sterman, John, 66, 143, 152–4 Steuart, James, 33 Stiglitz, Joseph, 43, 111, 196 stocks and flows, 138–41, 143, 144, 152 sub-prime mortgages, 141 Success to the Successful, 148, 149, 151, 166 Sugarscape, 150–51 Summers, Larry, 256 Sumner, Andy, 165 Sundrop Farms, 224–6 Sunstein, Cass, 112 supply and demand, 28, 132–6, 143, 253 supply chains, 10 Sweden, 6, 255, 275, 281 swishing, 264 Switzerland, 42, 66, 80, 131, 186–7, 275 T Tableau économique (Quesnay), 16 tabula rasa, 20, 25, 63, 291 takarangi, 54 Tanzania, 121, 190, 202 tar sands, 264, 269 taxation, 78, 111, 165, 170, 176, 177, 237–8, 276–9 annual wealth tax, 200 environment, 213–14, 215 global carbon tax, 201 global financial transactions tax, 201, 235 land-value tax, 73, 149, 180 non-renewable resources, 193, 237–8, 278–9 People’s QE, 185 tax relief v. tax justice, 23, 276–7 TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), 202, 258 Tempest, The (Shakespeare), 61, 63, 93 Texas, United States, 120 Thailand, 90, 200 Thaler, Richard, 112 Thatcher, Margaret, 67, 69, 76 Theory of Moral Sentiments (Smith), 96 Thompson, Edward Palmer, 180 3D printing, 83–4, 192, 198, 231, 264 thriving-in-balance, 54–7, 62 tiered pricing, 213–14 Tigray, Ethiopia, 226 time banking, 186 Titmuss, Richard, 118–19 Toffler, Alvin, 12, 80 Togo, 231, 292 Torekes, 236–7 Torras, Mariano, 209 Torvalds, Linus, 231 trade, 62, 68–9, 70, 89–90 trade unions, 82, 176, 189 trademarks, 195, 204 Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), 92 transport, 59 trickle-down economics, 111, 170 Triodos, 235 Turkey, 200 Tversky, Amos, 111 Twain, Mark, 178–9 U Uganda, 118, 125 Ulanowicz, Robert, 175 Ultimatum Game, 105, 117 unemployment, 36, 37, 276, 277–9 United Kingdom Big Bang (1986), 87 blood donation, 118 carbon dioxide emissions, 260 free trade, 90 global material footprints, 211 money creation, 182 MONIAC (Monetary National Income Analogue Computer), 64–5, 75, 142, 262 New Economics Foundation, 278, 283 poverty, 165, 166 prescription medicines, 123 wages, 188 United Nations, 55, 198, 204, 255, 258, 279 G77 bloc, 55 Human Development Index, 9, 279 Sustainable Development Goals, 24, 45 United States American Economic Association meeting (2015), 3 blood donation, 118 carbon dioxide emissions, 260 Congress, 36 Council of Economic Advisers, 6, 37 Earning by Learning, 120 Econ 101 course, 8, 77 Exxon Valdez oil spill (1989), 9 Federal Reserve, 87, 145, 146, 271, 282 free trade, 90 Glass–Steagall Act (1933), 87 greenhouse gas emissions, 153 global material footprint, 211 gross national product (GNP), 36–40 inequality, 170, 171 land-value tax, 73, 149, 180 political funding, 91–2, 171 poverty, 165, 166 productivity and employment, 193 rust belt, 90, 239 Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), 92 wages, 188 universal basic income, 200 University of Berkeley, 116 University of Denver, 160 urbanisation, 58–9 utility, 35, 98, 133 V values, 6, 23, 34, 35, 42, 117, 118, 121, 123–6 altruism, 100, 104 anthropocentric, 115 extrinsic, 115 fluid, 28, 102, 106–9 and networks, 110–11, 117, 118, 123, 124–6 and nudging, 112, 113, 114, 123–6 and pricing, 81, 120–23 Veblen, Thorstein, 82, 109, 111, 142 Venice, 195 verbal framing, 23 Verhulst, Pierre, 252 Victor, Peter, 270 Viner, Jacob, 34 virtuous cycles, 138, 148 visual framing, 23 Vitruvian Man, 13–14 Volkswagen, 215–16 W Wacharia, John, 186 Wall Street, 149, 234, 273 Wallich, Henry, 282 Walras, Léon, 131, 132, 133–4, 137 Ward, Barbara, 53 Warr, Benjamin, 263 water, 5, 9, 45, 46, 51, 54, 59, 79, 213–14 wave energy, 221 Ways of Seeing (Berger), 12, 281 Wealth of Nations, The (Smith), 74, 78, 96, 104 wealth ownership, 177–82 Weaver, Warren, 135–6 weightless economy, 261–2 WEIRD (Western, educated, industrialised, rich, democratic), 103–5, 110, 112, 115, 117, 282 West Bengal, India, 124, 178 West, Darrell, 171–2 wetlands, 7 whale hunting, 106 Wiedmann, Tommy, 210 Wikipedia, 82, 223 Wilkinson, Richard, 171 win–win trade, 62, 68, 89 wind energy, 75, 118, 196, 202–3, 221, 233, 239, 260, 263 Wizard of Oz, The, 241 Woelab, 231, 293 Wolf, Martin, 183, 266 women’s rights, 33, 57, 107, 160, 201 and core economy, 69, 79–81 education, 57, 124, 178, 198 and land ownership, 178 see also gender equality workers’ rights, 88, 91, 269 World 3 model, 154–5 World Bank, 6, 41, 119, 164, 168, 171, 206, 255, 258 World No Tobacco Day, 124 World Trade Organization, 6, 89 worldview, 22, 54, 115 X xenophobia, 266, 277, 286 Xenophon, 4, 32, 56–7, 160 Y Yandle, Bruce, 208 Yang, Yuan, 1–3, 289–90 yin yang, 54 Yousafzai, Malala, 124 YouTube, 192 Yunnan, China, 56 Z Zambia, 10 Zanzibar, 9 Zara, 276 Zeitvorsoge, 186–7 zero environmental impact, 217–18, 238, 241 zero-hour contracts, 88 zero-humans-required production, 192 zero-interest loans, 183 zero-marginal-cost revolution, 84, 191, 264 zero-waste manufacturing, 227 Zinn, Howard, 77 PICTURE ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Illustrations are reproduced by kind permission of: archive.org


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The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World by Jeremy Rifkin

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Albert Einstein, American ideology, barriers to entry, borderless world, carbon footprint, centre right, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate governance, decarbonisation, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, global supply chain, hydrogen economy, income inequality, industrial cluster, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, knowledge economy, manufacturing employment, marginal employment, Martin Wolf, Masdar, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open borders, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, purchasing power parity, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, scientific worldview, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, supply-chain management, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, urban planning, urban renewal, Yom Kippur War, Zipcar

This doesn’t mean that the oil spigot will suddenly run dry tomorrow. Oil will continue to flow but at dwindling rates and higher costs. And because oil is aggregated and priced in a single world market, there is no magic formula by which any particular country can isolate itself under the banner of “energy independence.” As for conventional natural gas, the global production curve roughly shadows that of oil. What about coal in China, tar sands in Canada, heavy oil in Venezuela, and shale gas in the United States? While still relatively abundant, these energy sources are costly to extract and emit far more carbon dioxide than either crude oil or conventional natural gas. Were we to make a significant shift into these more polluting fuels to stave off the closure of the fossil fuel era, the dramatic rise in global temperatures might inevitably be the final arbiter of our fate.


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Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth? by Alan Weisman

air freight, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, David Attenborough, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, El Camino Real, epigenetics, Filipino sailors, Haber-Bosch Process, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute couture, housing crisis, ice-free Arctic, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), land reform, liberation theology, load shedding, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, megacity, Menlo Park, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Pearl River Delta, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, unemployed young men, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

And in each of those decades, more oil was consumed than in all of mankind’s previous history.” But as the century drew to a close, that rate inevitably had slowed. “We’ve picked the low-hanging fruit,” said Bartlett. “Finding more gets progressively harder.” Albert Bartlett didn’t know back then about twenty-first-century technologies for fracturing bedrock to release trapped natural gas, or squeezing the petroleum out of tar sands—or rather, he did, but at the time, when the price of oil was around sixteen dollars per barrel, their cost seemed prohibitively high, as in higher-hanging fruit. But even so, they were just the equivalent of finding a couple of new bottles: As demand keeps increasing exponentially with countries like China and India zooming past the United States, they at best give us a few more decades—and a lot more CO2.

The transition alone will be daunting, because throughout human history, we’ve been doing exactly the opposite, and nearly everyone alive knows no other way. What worked fine for our ancestors—run out of game, pick up and move to new hunting grounds—doesn’t work when there’s nowhere else to go that we haven’t already picked over. But it’s hard for most of us to see that, because, like Alberta tar sands, we keep squeezing more out of soil and water. The fact that they give steadily less is mainly apparent to a growing fringe at the bottom of the human tapestry: more hungry people than the population of the entire human race before industrialization began blowing the lid off our numbers. So how do we get those of us at the top of the food chain to comprehend, lest we join their ranks? The 2008 global financial crisis created a whole new batch of recruits to the world’s chronic have-nots: growing numbers of underemployed and jobless, as the traditional economy fails them.


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Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder From the World of Plants by Jane Goodall

Alfred Russel Wallace, British Empire, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, European colonialism, Google Earth, illegal immigration, language of flowers, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, microcredit, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, phenotype, transatlantic slave trade

“Yakusugi Land [pamphlet],” Conservation & Stewardship Council for Yakushima Recreation Forest, accessed August 21, 2013, http://yakushima.injapan.org/docs/Yakusugi.pdf. 50. “known as Wilson’s Stump” “Wilson’s Stump,” Japan Ministry of the Environment, accessed September 10, 2013, http://www.env.go.jp/nature/isan/worldheritage/en/yakushima/area/a04.html. 51. “exploitation of the tar sands” “Pipeline Project Could Turn Maine into ‘Dirty Tar Sands Oil’ Capital of the Eastern U.S. [press release],” Natural Resources Council of Maine, August 31, 2011, http://www.nrcm.org/news_detail.asp?news=4362. 52. “persuading African governments” “Growing Africa: Unlocking the Potential of Agribusiness,” The World Bank, January 2013, http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTAFRICA/Resources/africa-agribusiness-report-2013.pdf.

And because of the migration of rural populations seeking new livelihoods in urban areas—said to be the greatest migration in human history (four hundred new cities need to be built!)—China is buying timber (and mineral) concessions in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Canada, wherever forests have been left standing. Western countries did exactly the same thing—but China is very much larger. Of course, China is not alone. The Canadian government is allowing the exploitation of the tar sands in Alberta that is leading to the desecration of thousands of square miles of pristine forests. American agribusiness is persuading African governments, with false promises of the wealth it will bring, to lease (or sell) hundreds of square miles of their precious rain forests for the growing of monocrops or biofuel. And on and on. Let me give just a few examples of the massive scale of some of the operations that are destroying our forests and that must be tackled—and somehow stopped.


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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

And Europe-based suppliers such as Bach Composite, a Danish manufacturer of wind turbine components, have followed Vestas to Colorado. Foreign companies also deploy capital in the United States to get access to technology and expertise. As we’ve seen, America still has much to show the world about how to tap into existing internal resources. It has led the world in developing new techniques for liberating natural gas and oil from shale. Foreign energy companies, eager to get a piece of the U.S. action and, more important, to learn how to bring hydraulic fracking to their own substrata, have invested in U.S. companies. In October 2010 CNOOC, the Chinese state oil company, agreed to invest more than $2 billion in a Texas oil and natural gas project with the natural gas titan Chesapeake. Reliance Energy, a unit of one of India’s largest conglomerates, has plowed more than $3 billion into North American natural gas companies.


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The Green New Deal: Why the Fossil Fuel Civilization Will Collapse by 2028, and the Bold Economic Plan to Save Life on Earth by Jeremy Rifkin

1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, blockchain, borderless world, business cycle, business process, carbon footprint, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, decarbonisation, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, failed state, ghettoisation, hydrogen economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, means of production, megacity, Network effects, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, planetary scale, renewable energy credits, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, Steven Levy, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, union organizing, urban planning, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

While Canada is regarded as a country fiercely dedicated to the environment and protection of its natural resources, there is another, darker Canadian persona deeply tied to fossil fuel energies. Like the United States, the Canadian government, several of the provinces, the financial community, and businesses are awash in fossil fuels. In recent years, much of the criticism by environmental organizations has centered on tar-sand extraction in the province of Alberta, with periodic protests, lawsuits, and legislative battles attempting to rein in one of Canada’s most lucrative economic enterprises. Canada is the fourth-largest producer of crude oil in the world, after the United States, which is ranked number one, Saudi Arabia, and Russia. Canada extracts and refines more fossil fuels than Iran, Iraq, China, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Brazil, Venezuela, and Mexico, which I suspect will come as a surprise to most of the rest of the world.36 Less known is that British Columbia has entered the fossil fuel arena, with deep natural gas reserves in the northern tier of the province.

In South Korea, the eleventh-largest economy in 2018, 46 percent of electricity is still powered by coal.46 Frustrated by the government’s intransigence, the Teachers’ Pension and the Government Employees Pension System, with a combined $22 billion in assets under management, announced they would “commit to stop investing in new coal projects” and reinvest the funds being withdrawn from coal projects in renewable energies, hoping it would steer similar commitments by other investment bodies and action at the national government level to divest.47 While localities, regions, and national governments and their public pension funds are quickly coming onboard by divesting from the fossil fuel industry and reinvesting in green energies, some of the world’s leading insurance companies are not far behind, and for good reason. Eighteen insurers, mostly in Europe, with assets of at least $10 billion each, have already begun to divest from the fossil fuel industry. Several of the biggest insurers—AXA, Munich Re, Swiss Re, Allianz, and Zurich—have either limited or eliminated insuring coal projects. AXA and Swiss RE have also limited underwriting tar sands projects.48 Yet, only two of the ten largest American insurance companies—AIG and Farmers—have modified their investment strategies in response to climate change, which is remarkable considering the US West Coast has been devastated by climate change–induced droughts and wildfires for years, with $12.9 billion in insured losses in 2017 alone.49 Texas and the southeastern states of Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, South and North Carolina, and Virginia have been ravaged by hurricanes, and the midwestern states of Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Missouri have experienced ever-worsening 1,000-year historic floods yearly, all brought on by climate change in just the past decade, with loss of lives and property damage.


pages: 505 words: 147,916

Adventures in the Anthropocene: A Journey to the Heart of the Planet We Made by Gaia Vince

3D printing, agricultural Revolution, bank run, car-free, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, clean water, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, energy security, failed state, Google Earth, Haber-Bosch Process, hive mind, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Kickstarter, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mars Rover, Masdar, megacity, mobile money, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Peter Thiel, phenotype, planetary scale, Ray Kurzweil, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, supervolcano, sustainable-tourism

Across the globe, from the Amazon to the Siberia, oil formed millions of years ago from the burial of algae and plankton has been spilt and spread around the terrestrial surface with ecologically devastating consequences. Currently, the world uses over 85 million barrels of petroleum every day, and as its price rises companies are becoming ever more ambitious in their extractions, even trying to harvest crude oil from tar sands. Although tar sands can hold large volumes of bituminous oil, extracting it is a filthy, energy-intensive process that leaves the landscape devastated in its wake. Nevertheless, for countries such as Canada, the allure of domestically available supplies of such an essential commodity is strong and could well outweigh the substantial environmental and public-health concerns. Mining involves huge amounts of water and energy, often in places where both are scarce.

Foundation 342 Goodall, Chris 322 Google 28, 44 Google Earth/Maps 51, 366, 367 Goreau, Thomas 167 gorillas 237, 248, 276 granite 299 graphene 317 grasses/grasslands 7, 106, 109, 129, 221, 222, 231, 238, 240, 271, 287 Great Acceleration 3, 8, 307, 320 Great Barrier Reef, Australia 169 Green Revolution 109, 114, 133, 317 greenhouse gases 8, 23, 34, 35, 51, 67, 68, 144, 146 and biofuel production 145 see also carbon dioxide; methane greenhouses 65 desalinated seawater 219–20 Greenland 73, 177, 178, 182, 215 Greenpeace 183 Gregory, John and Sue 153 Grindr app 367 groundwater 47 contamination of 310 extraction of 50, 72, 115, 203, 215, 379 Groupon (online shopping network) 367 guanacos 74 guano 108 Gujarat, India 110–14, 115–16, 212 Guyana Shield 267 Haber, Fritz 108 Hadley Cell 15–16 Hadley Centre for Climate Research 66 Hadzabe people 223–7, 320 Haiti 28, 366 Haiyan, typhoon 66 Hansen, James 177 Hartmann, Peter 80–82, 85, 86 Haywood, Jim 66 HCFCs 374 helium 298, 329 H5N1 influenza 349 HidroAysén (company) 79–80, 86–7 high-voltage direct current (HVDC) lines 213–14 Hilbertz, Wolf 167 Himalayas 19, 40, 46, 47, 51–3 Hippocrates 304 hippopotamuses 207, 229 Hiroshima, bombing of 327 HIV/Aids 135, 198, 234, 245, 283, 349 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 89, 380 Ho Tong Yen 360–61, 362 Hoatzin/‘stink bird’ 271–2 Hobbs, Richard 253–4 Hofmeister, Anke 172 Holocene epoch 4, 7, 8, 9, 17, 238, 264, 299, 338 honey badgers 199–200, 226 honey birds 199–200, 226 Hong Kong 90, 346, 340, 369–70 Hooker, Joseph 285–6 Hoover Dam, USA 77 Huaneng Group: carbon capture facility 330 huemal deer 82, 83 Hulhumalé, the Maldives 162 Hunt Oil 280 hunter gatherers 7, 11, 94, 107, 124, 223–7, 233, 238, 279, 338, 345 Hurricane Katrina (2005) 380 Hurricane Sandy (2012) 379 Huvadhoo atoll, the Maldives 164 hydrocarbon fuels 214, 296 hydrodams see dams hydroelectricity/hydropower 31–2, 39–42, 52, 77–8, 213–14, 327 see also dams hydrogen 16, 214, 298, 329, 365 ‘hydropeaking’ 85 hydropower see dams; hydroelectricity Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol 98 ibex 50, 260 ice ages 7, 17, 34, 264 ice melt 177–81 see also glaciers Iceland 184, 213 ICRISAT see International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics IGCC see integrated gasification combined cycle power plants IMF 135 Imja glacial lake, Nepal 52 Incas, the 62, 270, 333, 334 Independent 178 India 34, 37, 116–17, 147, 320 air-conditioning units 374 air pollution/‘brown cloud’ 37, 38 aquifers 111, 112, 114 biofuel production 145, 332 coal-fired stations 325 GM crops 140, 141 groundwater extraction 115, 117 irrigation 114, 115, 211 land bought in Africa 102–3 mobile phones 28 Slum-Dwellers International network 350 tanka system 115–16, 117 tigers 244, 247 water shortages 110, 114–15 see also Ladakh India Space Research Centre 112 indium 315–16 indium tin oxide (ITO) 316 Indonesia 2, 35, 129, 256 ‘Indus Oasis’ (casino) 113 Indus River 53, 71–2 Industrial Revolution 3, 35, 263, 300, 307, 310 industrial symbiosis manufacture see ‘closed-loop’ manufacture insects 1, 17, 71, 108, 141, 142, 263, 271, 291 as food 97, 148, 388--9 and pest-control 134 see also ants; bees integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plants 330, 331, 332 Interface (carpet manufacturer) 319 International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) 139–40 International Energy Agency (IEA) 213, 318, 325 International Institute for Environment and Development 98 International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) 328–9 Internet, the 11, 18, 24, 26, 27, 29–34, 136, 322, 367–9 Inuit, the 182 invasive species 250, 252–6 iron 298, 299, 306, 307 Irrawaddy River 53 irrigation 72, 79, 109, 114, 115, 118, 121, 132, 133, 143 with desalinated seawater 219–20 in deserts 107 drip 112, 113, 114, 120 in India 49, 50, 51, 52, 54, 56, 57, 58, 59, 61, 211 in Libya 215 solar-powered 211 Isiolo, Kenya 193, 194 Isla Incahuasi, Bolivia 334 Israel: electric cars 373 Itaipu dam, Brazil/Paraguay border 102 ITER see International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor ITO see indium tin oxide Ito, Akinori 326 Ituri Forest, Democratic Republic of Congo 246 ivory trade 198, 246 Jadeja, Hardevsinh 110–14, 143 jaguars 240–43, 237, 247, 260, 270, 275, 278 Janjaweed, the 245 Japan 102, 147, 161, 186, 318–19, 327, 340 jatropha 145 jellyfish 185–6 JET experiment 329 jet stream, the 180–81 Jinja, Uganda 122 Jones, Steve 378 Kalinowski, Celestino 279, 280 Kalinowski, Jan 279–80 Kalundborg, Denmark 320 Kampala, Uganda 112 Kandholhudhoo, the Maldives 160, 161, 163 Karachi, Pakistan: Orangi slum 350 Kathmandu, Nepal 18, 30, 32, 36–7, 39, 42 Kenya 135 drought 193, 195–6, 200–1, 206 education 204–5 206 M-Pesa 28 missionaries/missions 193–4, 199, 202, 204–5, 206–7, 208 pastoralists 196, 201, 205–6, 210 road-building 197–8 shanty towns 350 tribal conflict 193, 194–5, 196–7, 201, 206 see also missionaries; Turkana, Lake Kenya, Mount 46, 235 Kew Gardens, London 286 kha-nyou (rodent) 94 Khone Phaphene Falls, Laos 97 Khulna, Bangladesh 343, 346, 347, 352 Kikwete, Jakaya Mrisho, President of Tanzania 230, 259 Kilimanjaro, Mount 46 Kilimo Trust 120 Kinabalu, Mount 46 kingfishers 268, 271 Kipling, Rudyard 18 Kiribati 174–7 Kissinger, Henry 109 koala bears 237, 250 Kolkata, India: 2 Nehru Colony 366–7 Konik ponies 236 Korea, South 90, 102, 124, 346, 365 POSCO iron and steel consortium 336 krill 180 Kubuqi Desert, China 192 Kyakamese village, Uganda 118–20 Laama, Ringin 40 labour, division of 339 Lackner, Klaus 294, 295–6 Ladakh, India 48–51 artificial glaciers 53, 56–61 Laetoli, Tanzania 223–4 landslides 40, 46, 52 languages 26, 55, 62, 224, 273, 277, 347, 378 Lanzhou, China 362 Laos 88, 97, 98, 99 cluster bombs 90 Communist government 90, 91, 94 opium use 89 road-building 91–2 slash-and-burn 89 see also Mekong River La Paz, Bolivia 274, 275, 310 Las Vegas, Nevada 103, 193 ‘Late Heavy Bombardment’ 298 Laurance, Bill 255 lead/lead mining 301, 310, 315, 316 Leakey, Mary 223–4, 232 legumes 38, 133, 134 Leh, Ladakh, India 50–51, 54–5 leishmaniasis 274 lemurs, Madagascan 247, 250, 256 Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy, Columbia University 294 León, German Cardinas 348 Leonard, Annie: The Story of Stuff 319 leopards 94, 227, 229 snow leopards 33, 260 leprosy 343 Li Quan 247 Libya: Great Man-made River project 215 Licancabur volcano, Bolivia 333 Licapa, Peru 62–4 ‘light-bulb conspiracy’ 312 lighting/light bulbs 315, 371 Lima, Peru 216–17 asentamientos humanos (AAHH; slums) 62, 217, 218, 347–8, 352 fog-harvesting 217–19 lions 227, 228, 229, 239–40, 248 Liquiñe–Ofqui fault line 85 lithium 332, 335–6 Liverpool 349 livestock 147, 148, 196, 200–1, 206 see also cattle; sheep; yaks llamas 74, 221, 300, 334 logging industry 9, 267, 268, 270, 273, 274, 276, 277, 283, 288, 289--90 Loiyangalani, Kenya 199, 204–5, 206–8 London 317, 349, 350, 364, 372, 378 ‘Gherkin’ 374 ‘guerrilla gardeners’ 377 smog 3, 35 Thames Barrier 379 Lopes, Antonio Francisco Bonfim (‘Nem’) 356 Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) 126, 245 Loshner, Gabriella 83 Lovelock, James 294 Lowoi (schoolteacher) 201, 202 Luang Prabang, Laos 89 Lugo, Ariel 254 Luis Val, Adalberto 291, 292 Lummerich, Anne 218 Luna, Javier Torres 217–18 Lyme disease 242 lysine 138 Ma’aden aluminium mine, Saudi Arabia 104 Maasai, the 224, 229–31 macaws 268, 271, 278, 281 McDougall, Gerald 188–9 McKinsey (consultants) 103, 319 Macquarie Island: rabbits 255 Madagascan lemurs 247, 250, 256 Madagascar 93, 124, 237, 264 Madidi National Park, Amazon Basin 267, 269–72, 273–4, 277–8 Madre de Dios region, Peru 278–84 Madre de Dios River, Peru 280–81, 283 Madrid: Canada Real Galiana 344 mahogany trees 270, 275, 279, 289 maize 125, 129, 130, 138, 144, 250 Makerere University, Kampala 137, 138 malaria 43, 121, 135, 199, 224, 274, 283, 293, 341, 367 Malawi 135 Malaysia 28 Petronas Towers 370 see also Singapore Maldives, the 152–3, 156--9, 175, 186 artificial islands/floating islands 157, 162–3 coral reefs 158, 159, 160, 161–2, 164, 166–8 ‘designer islands’ 160–61 heroin dependency 156 overfishing 169–70, 171–2 Soneva Fushi 172–3 tourists 153–4, 156, 158, 160, 163, 171, 172, 173 Malé, the Maldives 153, 154, 156, 161 Mamang-Kanga, Jean-Baptiste 245 Manaus, Brazil 290–91 manta rays 170, 185, 245 Manu National Park, Madre de Dios, Peru 278–80 Manu River 280–81 Manu Wildlife Centre 279, 281 marijuana 357, 369 marine reserves 186–7 Mascho-Piro tribe 279 Masdar, Abu Dhabi 366 Matterhorn, the 48 Mawlamyaing, Burma 91 meat consumption 147, 148, 290, 322 Medellín, Colombia 353–4, 357 Mekong River 53, 88–9, 90–91, 95, 99–101, 105 fish/fishing 95–6, 100, 101 hydrodams 83, 88, 89, 91, 92–4, 95–6 meltwater see glaciers Mesozoic era 221 metals 298, 299–300 rare earth 305, 315, 373 see also copper; gold; gold mining; iron; silver; silver mining methane 41, 78, 129, 134, 178, 214 methanol 296 metro/underground systems 346, 353, 354, 357, 364, 372, 373 Mexico City 379 miconia shrub 252 ‘microloan’ cooperatives 130 millets 130, 139, 143 minerals 191, 272, 298–9, 300, 305 mining 8, 9, 300, 308–9 see also coal; copper mining; gold mining; silver mining miscarriages 203 missionaries/missions see Kenya mobile phones/smartphones 27–9, 34, 118, 136, 210, 212, 231, 300, 304, 311, 312, 315–16, 335, 367 see also M-Pesa Mohammed, Fatima 161 Mojave Desert, California 209, 213, 214 monkeys 275, 291 chimpanzees 3–4, 306 howler monkeys 271, 281 spider monkeys 267, 271, 275–6, 277, 278, 281 Monsanto (company) 140–41 Montana, USA 236 Morales, Evo, President of Bolivia 274, 277, 278, 282, 335, 336 Morgan, Ned 121 mosquitoes 47, 274, 293, 341 moths, urban 377 mountains 8, 45–8, 66–7 painting white 62–4 M-Pesa mobile phone banking service 28, 208, 211, 350 mulch/mulching 133, 134, 145 Mumbai, India 344, 374 Murray River 72 Museveni, Yuweri, President of Uganda 126 mussels 187 Mutharika, Bingu wa, President of Malawi 135 Mwanawasa, Levy, President of Zambia 175 Nagasaki, bombing of 327 Nairobi 200, 207, 209, 210, 344 Nakai, Laos 92–4 Nam Theun II dam, Laos 92–4 Namibia 215, 216, 362 Nangi, Nepal 21, 24, 25–7, 30–32, 33, 36, 43 Napoleon Bonaparte 285 NASA 177, 294, 333 NaSARRI see under Uganda Nasheed, Laila 154 Nasheed, Mohamed (‘Anni’), President of the Maldives 153–8, 160, 161, 163, 172, 173–5, 190 National Geographic 273 Neanderthals 2, 238, 259, 306 Neem trees 134 Nepal 18–20, 21–3, 24–7, 43 Bengal tigers 243–5 electricity 20, 27, 41–2, see also hydropower (below) glacier melt 37, 40–41 hydropower 31–2, 39–40, 41 Internet/Wi-Fi 24, 27, 30–31, 32, 33, 34 tourism 32–3, 39 yak herders 24, 33, 37, 40 see also Kathmandu; Nangi Netherlands, the 236–7, 379 New Guinea: rainforest 264 New Orleans: and Hurricane Katrina 380 New Songdo City, South Korea 365 New York City 35, 317, 349, 350, 365, 378, 379 Bank of America Tower 371 raised railway park 377 water sources 104 New York Times 77 New Zealand 47, 175, 184, 237, 308 Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania 224, 228–30 Niger Delta 309 Nigeria 114 Nile, River 71–2, 79, 103, 122, 204, 207 Nineveh 339, 340 nitrogen 8–9, 16, 108, 133, 146, 373 nitrogen-’fixing’ plants 133, 136, 142, 143–4 Nomura’s jellyfish 186 Norphel, Chewang 53–9, 60–61, 69 North-East Passage 181 North Pole, the 177, 182 Norway: hydroelectricity 213–14 Nottingham, University of: Frozen Ark project 259 Nubian Sandstone Aquifer 215 nuclear energy/power stations 327–8 nuclear fusion plants 328–30 nylon stockings/tights 312 obsolescence, planned 312–14 oceans 150–52 acidification 3, 9, 152, 153, 165, 168–9 conservation zones/reserves 186–7 phytoplankton 152, 180, 190 pollution 152, 187–9 see also Arctic Ocean; sea-levels, rising ocelots 240 Odentethes hatcheri (fish) 83 Ohtake, Ruy 358 oil/oil industry 23–4, 181–2, 183, 280, 284, 296, 308, 309, 318, 326 oil spills 182 Okehampton, Devon 349 Okello, David Kalule 135–9 Olmaikorit-Oumo, Florence 130 Ologara village, Uganda 125–6, 127–31 Oman: peridotite 296 Omo Valley, Ethiopia 203, 204 Omoding, Ephrem 125, 127 Omoding, Winifred 125–7, 129–33, 143 One-Laptop-One-Child organisation 31 Oostvaardersplassen, the Netherlands 236–7 opium industry 89–90 orang-utans 248, 273, 276–7 Ordos, Inner Mongolia 331, 359 organic farming 133–4 orius (pirate bugs) 219 oryx, Arabian 256 oscar (fish) 291–2 ostriches 197 otters 83, 270 oxygen 16, 142, 214, 285, 293–4 lack of 133, 185, 186, 187, 291–2 and photosynthesis 263, 264, 284, 299 oysters 168 ozone 35, 37, 38, 373 ozone layer 3, 11, 17, 66 painting mountains/roofs white 62–4, 374 palm oil 276, 290 palm trees 172, 204, 266, 270, 293, 343 Panama Canal 320–21 pandas, Chinese 257 Pangaea 45 pangolins 245 Pantanal, the 240–42 Paraguay 102, 240 Parana River 102 Parco, Salamon 62–4 Paris 347, 364, 373 Parker, Ted 280 parks, national 236 see Bardia, Madidi, Manu, Serengeti and Yellowstone National Park Pascua River dam, Patagonia 73, 75–6 passenger pigeons 259 pastoralists 205–6, 210, 214, 220, 225 see also Maasai, the Patagonia 74–5, 81, 86 hydroelectric dams 73–4, 75–7, 79–88 Peak District, England 310 peanuts 118–19, 120, 129, 132–3, 136, 143 genetically modified 138, 139–40 peas 51, 139 peat 263, 310 Pemuteran, Bali 167 peridotite 296 Peru 41, 52, 108, 278–84, 332 mountain painting 62–4 pest-control/pesticides 129, 132, 134, 136, 141, 143, 185, 219, 243, 293 petrels 186 petroleum 309, 325–6 Petronas Towers, Malaysia 370 Phakding, Himalayas 39 pharmaceuticals 272 Philippines 28, 65, 66 Phnom Penh, Cambodia 100 Phoenix, Arizona 103, 193 photography 304 photosynthesis 2, 16, 38, 143–4, 165, 180, 190, 214, 263, 264, 265, 284–5, 291, 293–4, 297, 299, 317 photovoltaic (PV) panels see solar energy Phuktse, Ladakh, India: artificial glacier 58–9 phytoplankton 152, 180, 190 piezoelectric generators 363 Pilon Lajas Biosphere Reserve, Bolivia 278 Pinatubo, Mount (Philippines): eruption of (1991) 65 pine beetles 236 Piñera, Sebastian, President of Chile 80, 87 PlanIT Valley, Portugal 365 plankton 84, 168, 185, 309, 386 see also phytoplankton plants 1–2, 47, 70–71, 262, 263, 288, 326 plastic 5, 187–8, 311 bags 4, 128, 189, 323, 341 3D-printed items 317 turning back into oil 326 plate tectonics see tectonic movements platinum 214, 298 Playas de Rosarito, Mexico: proposed desalination plants 102 Pleistocene epoch 236, 237, 238 plutonium 328 Pokhara, Nepal 18, 19–20, 30 polar bears 178, 187 polio vaccination 367 pollution 310, 312, 318, 321, 330, 360–61 and environmental services fees 322–3 radioactive 7, 11 see also air pollution; ocean; waste; polyester garments 187 population growth 3, 9, 11, 36, 146–7, 251 POSCO iron and steel consortium 336 potatoes, sweet 140, 143 Potosí, Bolivia: silver mines 300–6, 307, 310 prickly pear 251, 256 printers, electronic 313 3-D 317 public transport 345, 372–3, see also metro Puerto Maldonado, Peru 283–4, 288 Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria: International Institute of Tropical Forestry 254 pumas 73 pumps, groundwater 50, 51, 115, 121, 122 see also boreholes; wells Pun, Mahabir 18–19, 21–7, 30–33, 37 Pun tribe 24, 27, 41 Putin, Vladimir, President of Russia 181–2 PV panels see solar energy pyrolysis 326 Qatar 219 Quechua 62, 347 Racoviteanu, Adina 60–61 radio 17–18 Rahmsdorf, Stefan 177 rain/rainfall 15, 37–8, 46, 47, 150, 151 acid rain 3, 310 in Africa 118, 122, 195 artificial production of 66, 132 harvesting and storing 115–17, 121–2, 216 in India 49–50, 111 in Lima, Peru 216, 217 in Uganda 118, 119, 122, 128 rainforests 15–16, 262, 264–5, 272–3 Borneo 264, 276–7 see also Amazon rainforests Raj-Samadhiyala, Gujarat, India 110–14 Rajkot, Gujarat, India 110, 115 Rajoelina, Andry, President of Madagascar 124 rats 250, 255 Ravalomanana, Marc, President of Madagascar 124 recycling see waste; water REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) 287–8, 289 redwoods, Californian 218, 293 Rees, Richard 171 refrigerants 17 Reid, Brian 84 reservoir-building 53, 77–8, 104, 112 Restore and Revive 259 rhinoceroses 227, 228, 246, 248, 258 rhododendrons 250 Ribeiro da Silva, José Claudio 268 rice/rice-growing 78, 90, 97, 101, 109, 134, 136, 143–4, 147, 185, 250 genetically modified 140, 141 Rift Valley 203, 223, 232 Rimac River 216 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: favelas 354–8, 367 Rio Grande 72 rivers 4, 8, 50, 53, 70–73, 104, 308 see also dams and specific rivers road-building Amazon rainforest 281–4 Burma–Vietnam 91–2 Serengeti 258–9 Robichaud, Bill 92, 94 Robinah, Byarindaba 118–20, 121 Rockefeller Foundation 138, 139 ‘rock glaciers’ 60 rocks 2, 46, 74, 108, 299–300 Rome/Romans 34, 307 roofs, whitewashing 64, 374 Roosevelt, Theodore, US President 227 Rotterdam, Netherlands 379 Rubbish Island, 163 Ruiz, Rosa Maria 266–72, 273–4, 275, 277, 278 ruminants 221–2, see cattle Rurrenabaque, Bolivia 265–6, 269 Rwanda: gorillas 276 Sahara Desert 195 aquifers 215 Desertec solar power plant 213 Great Green Wall 192 minerals from 191, 272 salamander, jumping 257 Sale, Peter 164, 167 salmon, farmed 185 salt production 334 Salter, Stephen 66 Samburu tribe 195, 197, 201, 204, 208 Samso island, Denmark 325 San Cristobel, Bolivia: silver/zinc mine 333 San Diego, California: Zoo 259 San people 232–5 Sánchez de Lozada, Gonzalo 273 sand dams 198, 216 sanitation 11, 20–21, 38, 115, 339 see also toilets Santa Cruz, island of, Galapagos 251–3 Charles Darwin Research Station 251–2, 253, 254 Santiago, Chile 75 São Paulo, Brazil: Heliopolis favela 358 saola antelope 94 Sarima, Kenya 201–3 SARS 349 satellites 18, 22–3 mapping by 60–61, 112, 367 Saudi Arabia 102, 104, 308 solar-powered desalination plants 216 superfarms 148 savannahs 221–3, 238, 265 Save the Children 135 scalesia (Scalesia pedunculata) 251, 252, 253 schizophrenia 377 schools see education seabirds 186 sea cucumbers 168–9 seagulls 377 sea-levels, rising 5, 9, 52, 151, 153, 159–60, 174–8, 189–90, 343, 379 Seasteading Institute 189 Semiletov, Igor 178 Seoul, South Korea 346 Serengeti National Park 223, 227–32, 256, 258 Serere bird 271–2 Serere Sanctuary, Amazon Basin 268 service manuals 313–14 sesame seeds 125, 131, 138 Shabab, the 245 Shanghai 35, 89, 211, 321, 322, 379 shanty towns see slums sharks 164, 171–2, 185, 242 whale 170–71 shearwaters 186 sheep 74, 81, 82, 221, 236 Shemenauer, Bob 219 ships 65, 317, 320–21 Shivdasani, Sonu 172–3 Shrestha, Alok 41 Siem Reap, Cambodia 99 silica 84 silicosis 301, 302, 303, 306 silver 304–5, 312 silver mining, Bolivian 300–6, 333 silver nitrate 304 Silvestre, Elizabeth 216–17 Simpson Valley, Chile 83 Singapore 90, 346, 360, 362, 369 Marina Bay Sands 376 Si Phan Don, Laos 95 Siteram (Nepali guide) 243–4 Skarra, Ladakh, India 53 Skinner, Jamie 98 skyscrapers 370–71 slash-and-burn 107, 128, 277 sleeping sickness 225 sloths 237, 250, 270 slums/shanty towns 341–4, 346, 347, 348–53, 366–7, 378 in Brazil (favelas) 354–8, 367 smartphones see mobile phones Smil, Vaclav 250–51 Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC 227 Smits, Willie 276–7 social media sites see Facebook; Twitter soil(s) 108, 127–9, 142 solar energy/power 30, 211–14 combined with wind projects 209, 213, 361 for desalination plants 193, 216, 219–20 for public and private buildings 363–4, 366 panels/photovoltaic (PV) panels 116, 211–12, 214, 315, 331, 332 and payback schemes 211, 212, 323 storage and distribution 213–14, 365 solar radiation management 63–5, 68–9, 132 Soneva Fushi, the Maldives 172–3 sorghum 120, 125, 130, 139, 143, 144 Soroti, Uganda 125–6, 132, 135 Soules, Luke 313, 314 South Africa 118, 236, 351–2 Southern Ice Field 73 soya/soybean 281, 289, 290 Spain 65, 128, 184, 213, 216, 301, 307 spotted fever 242 Stakmo, Ladakh, India 48–50, 61 Stanbic Bank Uganda 120 star coral 257 Starbucks 368 steam power 213, 219, 307, 365 Stone Age 2–3, 307 stoves see cooking stromatolites 16 sturgeon 71 sugar cane 122, 144, 145, 290 Sumatra: rainforest 264 Sumerian cities 339 Sundrop Farms, South Australia 219 sunflowers 125, 131, 138, 145 sunlight see solar energy; solar radiation management Survival International 234 sustainability 323–5, 369, 371, 375–6 Suzano (Brazilian consortium) 290 Svalbard islands, the Arctic 37 Switzerland 20, 21, 48, 60 Syncrude mine, Athabasca oil sands, Canada 4 syngas 296, 330 Syngenta 140–41 Tacana people 269, 277 Taiwan 90, 146–7 tamarin, pied 291 tanka system 115–16 Tanzania 223–4 road-building 258–9 tourism 227, 231 UAE hunting reserves 227, 230 see also Serengeti National Park tapirs 237, 240, 270, 275, 281 tar sands 309 tara trees 218 Target (supermarket) 369 tarpans 236 Tashi (Indian farmer) 48, 49, 61 Tasmanian devils 247 Tasmanian tigers 260 taxes 97, 123, 194, 324, 350, 356, 357, 368, 372 tectonic movements 45–6, 73, 85, 250, 263, 299, 334 telegraphy 27 television sets 313, 314, 315 tenebrionid desert beetle 218 Thailand 90, 91, 93, 100, 256 Thakek, Laos 91, 95 Thar Desert, Rajasthan, India 209 Thiel, Peter 189 Thiladhunmathi atoll, the Maldives 164 Thilafushi, the Maldives 163 Thompson, Lonny 64 thorium/thorium reactors 315, 328 3D printing 317 Three Gorges Dam, China 83 Thupstan (Indian farmer) 50 Tianjin, China Eco-city 360–63, 375 GreenGen energy plant 330 Tiedemann, Kai 218 tigers 94, 243–5, 246–8, 249, 260 tiger wine 245, 246 Tigris, River 71–2 tilapia 207, 208 tin/tin mining 299, 301, 310, 316 tin oxides, non-stochiometric 316 Toba, Indonesia: volcanic eruption 2 toilets 20–21, 25, 26, 113, 115, 116, 348, 363 tokamaks 329 tokay geckos 256 Tokyo: population 340 Tomasetti, Roberto 166–7 Tong, Anote, President of Kiribati 174–6, 190 Tonle Sap, Lake 99–100 Torres, Geronimo 63–4 tortoises 214, 250, 251, 252, 253, 255 Toshiba 314 tourism industry/tourists Amazon rainforest 270, 273, 276, 279 Cambodia 99 and ‘conservation fees’ 248 India 50–51, 57, 244 Maldives 153–4, 156, 158, 160, 163, 171, 172, 173 Nepal 32–3, 39 Serengeti 228, 231 in Tanzania 227, 231 TRAFFIC 245, 246 trains, maglev 372 trees 129, 263 artificial 295–6, 297 fog-trapping 218 see also deforestation; forests tryptophan 138 tsetse flies 225 Tsodilo Hills, Botswana 233 tsunamis 160, 161, 328 tuberculosis 135, 234 Tullow Oil 210 tuna 169–70, 185, 187 tundra, Arctic 178, 293 tungsten 298 tunqui (bird) 279 Turkana, Lake (Kenya) 193, 199, 203–4, 205, 208, 209 and see below ‘Turkana Boy’ 203 Turkana Corridor Low Level Jet Stream 208–9 Turkana solar power station 210–11 Turkana tribe 194–5, 197, 201–2, 204, 207–8, 242, 316 Turkana wind farm 208–9, 210 Turkmenistan 59 turtles 170, 174, 185, 187, 268, 280 Tuvalu 174 Twitter 28–9, 367, 368 Uganda 26, 118–22 agriculture 118–22, 125, 126–33, 135, 136, 137–8, 140, 144 gorillas 276 National Semi-Arid Resources Research Institute (NaSARRI) 130–31, 136, 138 roads 144 United Arab Emirates: Tanzanian hunting reserves 227, 230 United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity 247 Environment programme 37, 248 Food and Agriculture programme 145 GRIDMAP programme 203 United States of America 157 Agency for International Development 133 biofuel production 145 dams 77, 98 maglev trains 372 meat consumption 147, 148 National Ignition Facility, California 329 Natural Resources Defense Council 374 no-till agriculture 142 oil consumption 318 water use 102, 362 see also specific states and towns Ur 339 uranium 308, 315, 327, 328 Uribe, Freddie 342 Uunartoq Qeqertaq 178 Uyuni, Bolivia 332–3, 336–7 salar (salt flats) 333–6, 337 Vabbinfaru, the Maldives 166–7 Vanua Levu, Fiji 176 VCRs 313–14 vegetables 26, 61, 65, 97, 272 see also legumes Venice 168 vetifer 129 Victoria, Queen 27 Vientiane, Laos 91 Vietnam 90, 92, 100–1 floating markets 101 Villa Hermosa, Colombia 341, 342–3, 344, 346, 347, 352 villages 338–9, 378 Vio, Francisco 82 Vishwanath (‘Zen Rainman’) 116–17 vitamin A deficiency 140 VoIP phones 31 volcanoes/volcanic eruptions 2, 5, 36, 65, 66, 68, 73, 79, 85, 299, 333 Vong, Mr (restaurateur) 96–7 Wageningen, Carlo van 210 Walker, Barry 279, 280–81 warthogs 229 waste 310–11, 312–13, 361 electronic 311–12, 313 food 144, 147 plastic 5, 187–8, 326 recycling 319–20, 322, 323, 324, 351 waste-pickers 350, 351–2 water 11, 46–7, 72–3, 215 fetching 202–3 recycling 115, 323, 362–3 ‘virtual water’ trade 102–3 see also aquifers; boreholes; dams; desalination; fossil water; glaciers; groundwater; irrigation; rain; reservoirs; rivers; wells water shortages 72–3, 103–4, 215–16 Africa 118, 121, 122–3, 215 India 49–51, 57, 110, 111–13, 114–15 see also droughts wattieza (plants) 263 wells, hand-dug 121, 122, 132 Westpoint Island, Belize 188–9 wetlands 53, 71, 78, 85 artificial 104–5 whale sharks 170–71 whales 73, 164, 180 wheat 7, 23, 38, 43, 51, 88, 109, 136, 138, 193, 250, 251 Wiens, Kyle 313, 314–15 Wi-Fi 24, 30–31, 32, 356 Wikipedia 12 wildebeest 228, 229, 231, 258 wildlife see animals and specific animals Wilson, E.


pages: 273 words: 93,419

Let them eat junk: how capitalism creates hunger and obesity by Robert Albritton

Bretton Woods, California gold rush, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, corporate personhood, creative destruction, deindustrialization, Food sovereignty, Haber-Bosch Process, illegal immigration, immigration reform, invisible hand, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kickstarter, land reform, late capitalism, means of production, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, South Sea Bubble, the built environment, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, upwardly mobile

In the 1940s for every barrel of oil spent searching for oil, 100 barrels of oil were produced, and now for every barrel of oil spent, we get only 10 barrels.7 As we reach the point of “peak oil”, it takes almost as much oil to expand the supply as is gained by the new supply. For example, the ecological damage involved in retrieving oil from the Alberta oil sands, and the amount of energy it takes to produce a single barrel of oil from the tar sands, raise serious doubts about the desirability and viability of the entire project.8 The Canadian oil sands are enriching many people at immense long-term environmental costs. It now takes one barrel of oil to produce three barrels of oil from oil sands, and as a result, three times the quantity of greenhouse gases are produced per barrel of oil from oil sands than for conventional oil.9 Further, because it takes up to 4.5 barrels of water to produce one barrel of oil from oil sands, aquifers are being drained and huge toxic tailing ponds are created.10 While there has been awareness of the problem of peak oil along with the problem of global warming for years, the lobbying and propaganda power of the oil, chemical and auto industries have delayed for at least two decades most efforts to wean the US economy and especially agriculture off petroleum.

Index A abstract theory 10–12, 18–50 see also deep structure, inner logic, pure capitalism accountability 205–10 see also democracy addiction 43, 45, 95–6, 177, 179, 222 advertising 70, 167–8, 172–4, 177 Africa 153, 156, 158 agriculture 7, 11, 18, 32, 40, 125, 127, 128, 132, 134, 141, 158, 185, 202, 205 American 8, 135, 148–9 non-food crops 7, 142, 157 (see also cotton, tobacco) see also aid to agriculture, exportoriented agriculture, family farms, industrial farms aid 134 see also aid to agriculture, food aid, foreign aid AIDS 153, 178 Alberta tar sands 148, 206 see also peak oil algae blooms 156, 159 see also chemical fertilizer allergies 118, 161–2 American hegemony 52, 76, 91, 125 see also US hegemony American Council on Science and Health 195 American Sugar Association 188 anaemia 107 anti-depressants 178 antibiotics 103 anxiety 173 Archer Daniels Midland 186, 189 asthma 149 atomism 72–3 see also individualism, islandization, possessive individualism Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) 63, 114, 173 austerity policies 135 see also structural adjustment policies automobile 57, 59–60, 72–3 see also car-dependent development B Baby Milk Action Group 96 balance of payments 58, 68, 220 balance of trade 136, 220 banana workers 136–8, 143 Bangladesh 142 Bernay, Edward 168 biodiesel 142 see also biofuel, ethanol biofuel 151–2 blacklisting 127 Borneo 155 bottom trawling 160 bovine growth hormone 116, 236 boycotts 206 brand loyalty 166, 169, 173, 176 see also advertising, marketing Brandt, Allan 8, 168, 170 Brazil 139, 140, 151, 155 [ 251 ] 252 INDEX Bretton Woods monetary system 68 Buffet, Warren 84 bulimia 176 Bush, President George W. 149, 152 Butz, Earl (US Secretary of Agriculture) 59, 68–9, 75 C Califano, Joseph 170 California 127, 159 cancer 63 see also carcinogen capitalism x, 8–11, 50–1, 61, 82–3, 93, 122, 124, 126, 178, 183, 184, 190, 197, 201–2, 204, 210, 213 capitalist farms 130–1, 214 capitalist ideology 73–4, 165, 168, 183, 196–7 car-dependent development 60, 64 see also automobile carbon dioxide (CO2) 149, 151, 154 carbon tax 209 carcinogens 111–12, 114, 137, 178, 191, 194 Carson, Rachel 61, 77, 111 causality 169–70 causes ix, 90, 180 Center for Consumer Freedom 188, 196 Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) 93, 174 Channel One 176 chemical fertilizers 58, 129, 149, 151, 159–60, 217 chemicalization 83, 158–9, 202 see also chemical fertilizers, nemagon, pesticides Chicago Board of Trade 153 child labour 138–9 see also slavery China 122, 142, 155, 175 choice 165–81, 187 see also consumer sovereignty, freedom chronic illnesses 94 class 99, 168, 213 class struggle 12 Clinton, President Bill 100 coal 151 cocoa 135, 138, 202 codex alimentarius 97, 188 coffee 135, 140–3, 202 cold war 58–9, 61–2, 74–6 collective bargaining 127 colonialism 18, 25, 44–5, 71, 124, 153 see also developing countries command economy 202 commodification 12, 21, 37–8, 39, 214–15 commodities 12, 20 commodity futures 89, 108, 142, 145, 153 see also Chicago Board of Trade concentration/centralization 25, 45, 114, 120, 131–2, 137, 187, 216 competition 11, 26, 43, 127–8, 135 confined animal feeding operation (CAFO) 101–2, 150, 153, 155, 159, 163 consumer sovereignty 165, 178–80 see also choice, freedom, rights consumerism xii, 42, 68–9, 72, 125, 173, 176, 180 consumers 28, 144, 166, 178 consumption 9, 165 contradiction x, 25 see also irrationality, rationality cooking skills 121–2 cooperation 144, 200–11 see also movements coral 159 corn 108, 111, 136, 151–3 see also ethanol, subsidies corporate lobbies 186 corporations xi, 8, 14–15, 45, 60–1, 70, 87, 123, 130, 132, 136, 138, 141–2, 145, 147–8, 162, 165, 168–9, 172, 183,–4, 186, 193–5, 197, 203, 206–7, 218–19 Costa Rica 138 INDEX cotton 111, 129, 143 see also non-food crops, pesticides, subsidies crises 12, 25, 38, 39, 42, 216 ecological crisis 146–7 see also food crisis D Dalley, George 187 death rate 127, 130 debt 42–3 64, 66, 68, 70, 122, 129, 134, 141, 205, 208 ecological debt 43, 147 health debt 43 decline of civilization 7 deep cause/deep structure ix, 12, 16, 18–50, 52, 106 see also abstract theory, inner logic, levels of analysis, pure capitalism deforestation 35, 86, 102, 140 142–3, 151, 155, 157 democracy x, 9, 19, 52, 85, 162, 166, 181, 197, 206 see also accountability, equality, freedom, inequality, liberaldemocracy, rights democratization of corporations xii, 14, 15, 205–8 of markets xii, 15, 208–10 Department of Agriculture (US) 171 deportation 126–7 depression 94, 222 desertification 157 see also deforestation developing countries 45, 58–9, 69, 76, 78, 85–6, 104, 106, 111, 129, 134–37, 140–3, 162, 193, 203, 205 diabetes 94, 96, 99, 100 diet 174, 191 distributive justice 8, 10, 16, 91, 142, 194, 209–10 division of labour 6 Doll, Sir Richard 194–5 Dominican Republic 128 253 drought 158 see also water dumping 59, 129, 135, 205 see also developing countries, food prices, subsidies E E.


pages: 323 words: 89,795

Food and Fuel: Solutions for the Future by Andrew Heintzman, Evan Solomon, Eric Schlosser

agricultural Revolution, Berlin Wall, big-box store, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate social responsibility, David Brooks, deindustrialization, distributed generation, energy security, Exxon Valdez, flex fuel, full employment, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, hydrogen economy, Kickstarter, land reform, microcredit, Negawatt, Nelson Mandela, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment

The 1970s saw an ever-growing number of proposals for new energy megaprojects coming under consideration, and many people — mostly environmentalists, but others as well — in Canada, the United States, and around the world began turning their attention to issues raised by such unprecedentedly large projects. These issues were as diverse as the projects, which ranged from hydro dams in wilderness areas to oil and gas production in the Arctic and the offshore, to tar-sands plants, to oil tanker and liquefied natural gas terminals, to nuclear generating stations and the new uranium mines and refineries that supply them. Given the potentially huge impacts of these projects, social and economic as well as biophysical, environmentalists began to raise questions about the actual need for so much energy. Could there really be a demand for some thirty nuclear reactor units in the Canadian Maritime provinces by 2000, as some Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. projections suggested?

Oil-producing countries outside of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are already nearing their peak production, leaving most of the remaining reserves in the politically charged Middle East. Increasing tensions between the Islamic world and the West are likely to compound the threat to our access to affordable oil. Rising oil prices will assuredly plunge developing countries even further into debt, ensuring that much of the Third World remains in the throes of poverty for years to come. In desperation, many nations may turn to dirtier fossil fuels — coal, oil from tar sands, and heavy oil — which will only worsen global warming and imperil the Earth’s already beleaguered ecosystems. Looming oil shortages will make industrial life vulnerable to massive disruptions and possibly even collapse. Hydrogen has the potential to end the world’s reliance on oil from the Persian Gulf, the most politically volatile region on the planet. Indeed, making the transition to hydrogen is the best insurance against the prospects of future oil wars in the Middle East.


pages: 369 words: 94,588

The Enigma of Capital: And the Crises of Capitalism by David Harvey

accounting loophole / creative accounting, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, call centre, capital controls, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, failed state, financial innovation, Frank Gehry, full employment, global reserve currency, Google Earth, Guggenheim Bilbao, Gunnar Myrdal, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, interest rate swap, invention of the steam engine, Jane Jacobs, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, land reform, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, means of production, megacity, microcredit, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, new economy, New Urbanism, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, place-making, Ponzi scheme, precariat, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, special drawing rights, special economic zone, statistical arbitrage, structural adjustment programs, the built environment, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, women in the workforce

Oil rents and oil futures therefore get capitalised as a form of fictitious capital and claims also circulate in such a way that all operators in these markets hedge their bets, create all manner of derivatives and then seek to manipulate the market in ways that match their bets. As oil prices rise, of course, all sorts of marginal fields get exploited (or in some cases re-opened) simply because the definition of the margin fluctuates with singular volatility. Canada’s Athabaska tar sands are expensive to exploit but become highly profitable when oil goes to $150 a barrel. But the problem is that it takes considerable time to bring new fields into production and so the response time to a surge in demand is slow unless there is existing capacity, such as that controlled by OPEC, which can more easily be brought into play. But here, too, the whole operation including that of refining is capital-intensive and very sensitive both to conditions in capital markets, to profit margins and to what is happening in the oil futures market, which is one of the great markets for hedging and betting and so heavily influenced by the availability of surplus capital.

Index Numbers in italics indicate Figures; those in bold indicate a Table. 11 September 2001 attacks 38, 41–2 subject to perpetual renewal and transformation 128 A Abu Dhabi 222 Académie Française 91 accumulation by dispossession 48–9, 244 acid deposition 75, 187 activity spheres 121–4, 128, 130 deindustrialised working-class area 151 and ‘green revolution’ 185–6 institutional and administrative arrangements 123 ‘mental conceptions of the world’ 123 patterns of relations between 196 production and labour processes 123 relations to nature 123 the reproduction of daily life and of the species 123 slums 152 social relations 123 subject to perpetual renewal and transformation 128 suburbs 150 technologies and organisational forms 123 uneven development between and among them 128–9 Adelphia 100 advertising industry 106 affective bonds 194 Afghanistan: US interventionism 210 Africa civil wars 148 land bought up in 220 neocolonialism 208 population growth 146 agribusiness 50 agriculture collectivisation of 250 diminishing returns in 72 ‘green revolution’ 185–6 ‘high farming’ 82 itinerant labourers 147 subsidies 79 AIG 5 alcoholism 151 Allen, Paul 98 Allende, Salvador 203 Amazonia 161, 188 American Bankers Association 8 American Revolution 61 anarchists 253, 254 anti-capitalist revolutionary movement 228 anti-racism 258 anti-Semitism 62 après moi le déluge 64, 71 Argentina Debt Crisis (2000–2002) 6, 243, 246, 261 Arizona, foreclosure wave in 1 Arrighi, Giovanni: The Long Twentieth Century 35, 204 asbestos 74 Asia Asian Currency Crisis (1997–98) 141, 261 collapse of export markets 141 growth 218 population growth 146 asset stripping 49, 50, 245 asset traders 40 asset values 1, 6, 21, 23, 26, 29, 46, 223, 261 Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) 200 Athabaska tar sands, Canada 83 austerity programmes 246, 251 automobile industry 14, 15, 23, 56, 67, 68, 77, 121, 160–61 Detroit 5, 15, 16, 91, 108, 195, 216 autonomista movement 233, 234, 254 B Baader-Meinhof Gang 254 Bakunin, Michael 225 Balzac, Honoré 156 Bangalore, software development in 195 Bangkok 243 Bank of England 53, 54 massive liquidity injections in stock markets 261 Bank of International Settlements, Basel 51, 55, 200 Bank of New England 261 Bankers Trust 25 banking bail-outs 5, 218 bank shares become almost worthless 5 bankers’ pay and bonuses 12, 56, 218 ‘boutique investment banks’ 12 de-leveraging 30 debt-deposit ratio 30 deposit banks 20 French banks nationalised 198 international networks of finance houses 163 investment banks 2, 19, 20, 28, 219 irresponsible behaviour 10–11 lending 51 liquidity injections by central banks vii, 261 mysterious workings of central banks 54 ‘national bail-out’ 30–31 property market-led Nordic and Japanese bank crises 261 regional European banks 4 regular banks stash away cash 12, 220 rising tide of ‘moral hazard’ in international bank lending practices 19 ‘shadow banking’ system 8, 21, 24 sympathy with ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ bank robbers 56 Baran, Paul and Sweezey, Paul: Monopoly Capital 52, 113 Barings Bank 37, 100, 190 Baucus, Max 220 Bavaria, automotive engineering in 195 Beijing declaration (1995) 258 Berlin: cross-border leasing 14 Bernanke, Ben 236 ‘Big Bang’ (1986) 20, 37 Big Bang unification of global stock, options and currency trading markets 262 billionaire class 29, 110, 223 biodiversity 74, 251 biomass 78 biomedical engineering 98 biopiracy 245, 251 Birmingham 27 Bismarck, Prince Otto von 168 Black, Fischer 100 Blackstone 50 Blair, Tony 255 Blair government 197 blockbusting neighbourhoods 248 Bloomberg, Mayor Michael 20, 98, 174 Bolivarian movement 226, 256 bonuses, Wall Street 2, 12 Borlaug, Norman 186 bourgeoisie 48, 89, 95, 167, 176 ‘boutique investment banks’ 12 Brazil automobile industry 16 capital flight crisis (1999) 261 containerisation 16 an export-dominated economy 6 follows Japanese model 92 landless movement 257 lending to 19 the right to the city movement 257 workers’ party 256 Bretton Woods Agreement (1944) 31, 32, 51, 55, 171 British Academy 235 British empire 14 Brown, Gordon 27, 45 Budd, Alan 15 Buenos Aires 243 Buffett, Warren 173 building booms 173–4 Bush, George W. 5, 42, 45 business associations 195 C California, foreclosure wave in 1, 2 Canada, tightly regulated banks in 141 ‘cap and trade’ markets in pollution rights 221 capital bank 30 centralisation of 95, 110, 113 circulation of 90, 93, 108, 114, 116, 122, 124, 128, 158, 159, 182, 183, 191 cultural 21 devalued 46 embedded in the land 191 expansion of 58, 67, 68 exploitations of 102 export 19, 158 fixed 191, 213 industrial 40–41, 56 insufficient initial money capital 47 investment 93, 203 and labour 56, 88, 169–70 liquid money 20 mobility 59, 63, 64, 161–2, 191, 213 and nature 88 as a process 40 reproduction of 58 scarcity 50 surplus 16, 28, 29, 50–51, 84, 88, 100, 158, 166, 167, 172, 173, 174, 206, 215, 216, 217 capital accumulation 107, 108, 123, 182, 183, 191, 211 and the activity spheres 128 barriers to 12, 16, 47, 65–6, 69–70, 159 compound rate 28, 74, 75, 97, 126, 135, 215 continuity of endless 74 at the core of human evolutionary dynamics 121 dynamics of 188, 197 geographic landscape of 185 geographical dynamics of 67, 143 and governance 201 lagging 130 laws of 113, 154, 160 main centres of 192 market-based 180 Mumbai redevelopment 178 ‘nature’ affected by 122 and population growth 144–7 and social struggles 105 start of 159 capital circulation barriers to 45 continuity of 68 industrial/production capital 40–41 inherently risky 52 interruption in the process 41–2, 50 spatial movement 42 speculative 52, 53 capital controls 198 capital flow continuity 41, 47, 67, 117 defined vi global 20 importance of understanding vi, vii-viii interrupted, slowed down or suspended vi systematic misallocation of 70 taxation of vi wealth creation vi capital gains 112 capital strike 60 capital surplus absorption 31–2, 94, 97, 98, 101, 163 capital-labour relation 77 capitalism and communism 224–5 corporate 1691 ‘creative-destructive’ tendencies in 46 crisis of vi, 40, 42, 117, 130 end of 72 evolution of 117, 118, 120 expansion at a compound rate 45 first contradiction of 77 geographical development of 143 geographical mobility 161 global 36, 110 historical geography of 76, 117, 118, 121, 174, 180, 200, 202, 204 industrial 58, 109, 242 internal contradictions 115 irrationality of 11, 215, 246 market-led 203 positive and negative aspects 120 and poverty 72 relies on the beneficence of nature 71 removal of 260 rise of 135, 192, 194, 204, 228, 248–9, 258 ‘second contradiction of’ 77, 78 social relations in 101 and socialism 224 speculative 160 survival of 46, 57, 66, 86, 107, 112, 113, 116, 130, 144, 229, 246 uneven geographical development of 211, 213 volatile 145 Capitalism, Nature, Socialism journal 77 capitalist creed 103 capitalist development considered over time 121–4 ‘eras’ of 97 capitalist exploitation 104 capitalist logic 205 capitalist reinvestment 110–11 capitalists, types of 40 Carnegie, Andrew 98 Carnegie foundation 44 Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 195 Carson, Rachel: Silent Spring 187 Case Shiller Composite Indices SA 3 Catholic Church 194, 254 cell phones 131, 150, 152 Central American Free Trade Association (CAFTA) 200 centralisation 10, 11, 165, 201 Certificates of Deposit 262 chambers of commerce 195, 203 Channel Tunnel 50 Chiapas, Mexico 207, 226 Chicago Board Options Exchange 262 Chicago Currency Futures Market 262 ‘Chicago School’ 246 Chile, lending to 19 China ‘barefoot doctors’ 137 bilateral trade with Latin America 173 capital accumulation issue 70 cheap retail goods 64 collapse of communism 16 collapse of export markets 141 Cultural Revolution 137 Deng’s announcement 159 falling exports 6 follows Japanese model 92 ‘Great Leap Forward’ 137, 138 growth 35, 59, 137, 144–5, 213, 218, 222 health care 137 huge foreign exchange reserves 141, 206 infant mortality 59 infrastructural investment 222 labour income and household consumption (1980–2005) 14 market closed after communists took power (1949) 108 market forcibly opened 108 and oil market 83 one child per family policy 137, 146 one-party rule 199 opening-up of 58 plundering of wealth from 109, 113 proletarianisation 60 protests in 38 and rare earth metals 188 recession (1997) 172 ‘silk road’ 163 trading networks 163 unemployment 6 unrest in 66 urbanisation 172–3 and US consumerism 109 Chinese Central Bank 4, 173 Chinese Communist Party 180, 200, 256 chlorofluoral carbons (CFCs) 74, 76, 187 chronometer 91, 156 Church, the 249 CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) 169 circular and cumulative causation 196 Citibank 19 City Bank 261 city centres, Disneyfication of 131 City of London 20, 35, 45, 162, 219 class consciousness 232, 242, 244 class inequalities 240–41 class organisation 62 class politics 62 class power 10, 11, 12, 61, 130, 180 class relations, radical reconstitution of 98 class struggle 56, 63, 65, 96, 102, 127, 134, 193, 242, 258 Clausewitz, Carl von 213 Cleveland, foreclosure crisis in 2 Cleveland, foreclosures on housing in 1 Clinton, Bill 11, 12, 17, 44, 45 co-evolution 132, 136, 138, 168, 185, 186, 195, 197, 228, 232 in three cases 149–53 coal reserves 79, 188 coercive laws of competition see under competition Cold War 31, 34, 92 Collateralised Bond Obligations (CBOs) 262 Collateralised Debt Obligations (CDOs) 36, 142, 261, 262 Collateralised Mortgage Obligations (CMOs) 262 colonialism 212 communications, innovations in 42, 93 communism 228, 233, 242, 249 collapse of 16, 58, 63 compared with socialism 224 as a loaded term 259–60 orthodox communists 253 revolutionary 136 traditional institutionalised 259 companies joint stock 49 limited 49 comparative advantage 92 competition 15, 26, 43, 70 between financial centres 20 coercive laws of 43, 71, 90, 95, 158, 159, 161 and expansion of production 113 and falling prices 29, 116 fostering 52 global economic 92, 131 and innovation 90, 91 inter-capitalist 31 inter-state 209, 256 internalised 210 interterritorial 202 spatial 164 and the workforce 61 competitive advantage 109 computerised trading 262 computers 41, 99, 158–9 consortia 50, 220 consumerism 95, 109, 168, 175, 240 consumerist excess 176 credit-fuelled 118 niche 131 suburban 171 containerisation 16 Continental Illinois Bank 261 cooperatives 234, 242 corporate fraud 245 corruption 43, 69 cotton industry 67, 144, 162 credit cards fees vii, 245 rise of the industry 17 credit crunch 140 Credit Default swaps 262 Crédit Immobilièr 54 Crédit Mobilier 54 Crédit Mobilier and Immobilier 168 credit swaps 21 credit system and austerity programmes 246 crisis within 52 and the current crisis 118 and effective demand problem 112 an inadequate configuration of 52 predatory practices 245 role of 115 social and economic power in 115 crises crises of disproportionality 70 crisis of underconsumption 107, 111 east Asia (1997–8) 6, 8, 35, 49, 246 financial crisis of 1997–8 198, 206 financial crisis of 2008 34, 108, 114, 115 general 45–6 inevitable 71 language of crisis 27 legitimation 217 necessary 71 property market 8 role of 246–7 savings and loan crisis (US, 1984–92) 8 short sharp 8, 10 south-east Asia (1997–8) 6, 8, 35, 49, 246 cross-border leasing 142–3 cultural choice 238 ‘cultural industries’ 21 cultural preferences 73–4 Cultural Revolution 137 currency currency swaps 262 futures market 24, 32 global 32–3, 34 options markets on 262 customs barriers 42, 43 cyberspace 190 D Darwin, Charles 120 DDT 74, 187 de-leveraging 30 debt-financing 17, 131, 141, 169 decentralisation 165, 201 decolonisation 31, 208, 212 deficit financing 35, 111 deforestation 74, 143 deindustrialisation 33, 43, 88, 131, 150, 157, 243 Deleuze, Gilles 128 demand consumer 107, 109 effective 107, 110–14, 116, 118, 221, 222 lack of 47 worker 108 Democratic Party (US) 11 Deng Xiaoping 159 deregulation 11, 16, 54, 131 derivatives 8 currency 21 heavy losses in (US) 261 derivatives markets creation of 29, 85 unregulated 99, 100, 219 Descartes, René 156 desertification 74 Detroit auto industry 5, 15, 16, 91, 108, 195, 216 foreclosures on housing in 1 Deutsches Bank 20 devaluation 32, 47, 116 of bank capital 30 of prior investments 93 developing countries: transformation of daily lives 94–5 Developing Countries Debt Crisis 19, 261 development path building alliances 230 common objectives 230–31 development not the same as growth 229–30 impacts and feedbacks from other spaces in the global economy 230 Diamond, Jared: Guns, Germs and Steel 132–3, 154 diasporas 147, 155, 163 Dickens, Charles: Bleak House 90 disease 75, 85 dispossession anti-communist insurgent movements against 250–51 of arbitrary feudal institutions 249 of the capital class 260 China 179–80 first category 242–4 India 178–9, 180 movements against 247–52 second category 242, 244–5 Seoul 179 types of 247 under socialism and communism 250 Domar, Evsey 71 Dongguan, China 36 dot-com bubble 29, 261 Dow 35,000 prediction 21 drug trade 45, 49 Dubai: over-investment 10 Dubai World 174, 222 Durban conference on anti-racism (2009) 258 E ‘earth days’ 72, 171 east Asia crash of 1997–8 6, 8, 35, 49, 246 labour reserves 64 movement of production to 43 proletarianisation 62 state-centric economies 226 wage rates 62 eastern European countries 37 eBay 190 economic crisis (1848) 167 economists, and the current financial crisis 235–6 ecosystems 74, 75, 76 Ecuador, and remittances 38 education 59, 63, 127, 128, 221, 224, 257 electronics industry 68 Elizabeth II, Queen vi-vii, 235, 236, 238–9 employment casual part-time low-paid female 150 chronic job insecurity 93 culture of the workplace 104 deskilling 93 reskilling 93 services 149 Engels, Friedrich 89, 98, 115, 157, 237 The Housing Question 176–7, 178 Enron 8, 24, 52, 53, 100, 261 entertainment industries 41 environment: modified by human action 84–5 environmental movement 78 environmental sciences 186–7 equipment 58, 66–7 equity futures 262 equity index swaps 262 equity values 262 ethanol plants 80 ethnic cleansings 247 ethnicity issues 104 Eurodollars 262 Europe negative population growth in western Europe 146 reconstruction of economy after Second World War 202 rsouevolutions of 1848 243 European Union 200, 226 eastern European countries 37 elections (June 2009) 143 unemployment 140 evolution punctuated equilibrium theory of natural evolution 130 social 133 theory of 120, 129 exchange rates 24, 32, 198 exports, falling 141 external economies 162 F Factory Act (1848) 127 factory inspectors 127 ‘failed states’ 69 Fannie Mae (US government-chartered mortgage institution) 4, 17, 173, 223 fascism 169, 203, 233 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) 8 rescue of Continental Illinois Bank 261 Federal Reserve System (the Fed) 2, 17, 54, 116, 219, 236, 248 and asset values 6 cuts interest rates 5, 261 massive liquidity injections in stock markets 261 rescue of Continental Illinois Bank 261 feminists, and colonisation of urban neighbourhoods 248 fertilisers 186 feudalism 135, 138, 228 finance capitalists 40 financial institutions awash with credit 17 bankruptcies 261 control of supply and demand for housing 17 nationalisations 261 financial services 99 Financial Times 12 financialisation 30, 35, 98, 245 Finland: Nordic cris (1992) 8 Flint strike, Michigan (1936–7) 243 Florida, foreclosure wave in 1, 2 Forbes magazine 29, 223 Ford, Henry 64, 98, 160, 161, 188, 189 Ford foundation 44, 186 Fordism 136 Fordlandia 188, 189 foreclosed businesses 245 foreclosed properties 220 fossil fuels 78 Foucault, Michel 134 Fourierists 168 France acceptance of state interventions 200 financial crisis (1868) 168 French banks nationalised 198 immigration 14 Paris Commune 168 pro-natal policies 59 strikes in 38 train network 28 Franco-Prussian War (1870) 168 fraud 43, 49 Freddie Mac (US government-chartered mortgage institution) 4, 17, 173, 223 free trade 10, 33, 90, 131 agreements 42 French Communist Party 52 French Revolution 61 Friedman, Thomas L.: The World is Flat 132 futures, energy 24 futures markets 21 Certificates of Deposit 262 currency 24 Eurodollars 262 Treasury instruments 262 G G7/G8/G20 51, 200 Galileo Galilei 89 Gates, Bill 98, 173, 221 Gates foundation 44 gays, and colonisation of urban neighbourhoods 247, 248 GDP growth (1950–2030) 27 Gehry, Frank 203 Geithner, Tim 11 gender issues 104, 151 General Motors 5 General Motors Acceptance Corporation 23 genetic engineering 84, 98 genetic modification 186 genetically modified organisms (GMOs) 186 gentrification 131, 256, 257 geographical determinism 210 geopolitics 209, 210, 213, 256 Germany acceptance of state interventions 199–200 cross-border leasing 142–3 an export-dominated economy 6 falling exports 141 invasion of US auto market 15 Nazi expansionism 209 neoliberal orthodoxies 141 Turkish immigrants 14 Weimar inflation 141 Glass-Steagall act (1933) 20 Global Crossing 100 global warming 73, 77, 121, 122, 187 globalisation 157 Glyn, Andrew et al: ‘British Capitalism, Workers and the Profits Squeeze’ 65 Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von 156 gold reserves 108, 112, 116 Goldman Sachs 5, 11, 20, 163, 173, 219 Google Earth 156 Gould, Stephen Jay 98, 130 governance 151, 197, 198, 199, 201, 208, 220 governmentality 134 GPS systems 156 Gramsci, Antonio 257 Grandin, Greg: Fordlandia 188, 189 grassroots organisations (GROS) 254 Great Depression (1920s) 46, 170 ‘Great Leap Forward’ 137, 138, 250 ‘Great Society’ anti-poverty programmes 32 Greater London Council 197 Greece sovereign debt 222 student unrest in 38 ‘green communes’ 130 Green Party (Germany) 256 ‘green revolution’ 185–6 Greenspan, Alan 44 Greider, William: Secrets of the Temple 54 growth balanced 71 compound 27, 28, 48, 50, 54, 70, 75, 78, 86 economic 70–71, 83, 138 negative 6 stop in 45 Guggenheim Museu, Bilbao 203 Gulf States collapse of oil-revenue based building boom 38 oil production 6 surplus petrodollars 19, 28 Gulf wars 210 gun trade 44 H habitat loss 74, 251 Haiti, and remittances 38 Hanseatic League 163 Harrison, John 91 Harrod, Roy 70–71 Harvey, David: A Brief History of Neoliberalism 130 Harvey, William vii Haushofer, Karl 209 Haussmann, Baron 49, 167–8, 169, 171, 176 Hawken, Paul: Blessed Unrest 133 Hayek, Friedrich 233 health care 28–9, 59, 63, 220, 221, 224 reneging on obligations 49 Health Care Bill 220 hedge funds 8, 21, 49, 261 managers 44 hedging 24, 36 Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich 133 hegemony 35–6, 212, 213, 216 Heidegger, Martin 234 Helú, Carlos Slim 29 heterogeneity 214 Hitler, Adolf 141 HIV/AIDS pandemic 1 Holloway, John: Change the World without Taking Power 133 homogeneity 214 Hong Kong excessive urban development 8 rise of (1970s) 35 sweatshops 16 horizontal networking 254 household debt 17 housing 146–7, 149, 150, 221, 224 asset value crisis 1, 174 foreclosure crises 1–2, 166 mortgage finance 170 values 1–2 HSBC 20, 163 Hubbert, M.


pages: 329 words: 85,471

The Locavore's Dilemma by Pierre Desrochers, Hiroko Shimizu

air freight, back-to-the-land, British Empire, Columbian Exchange, Community Supported Agriculture, creative destruction, edge city, Edward Glaeser, food miles, Food sovereignty, global supply chain, intermodal, invention of agriculture, inventory management, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, land tenure, megacity, moral hazard, mortgage debt, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, planetary scale, profit motive, refrigerator car, Steven Pinker, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, Upton Sinclair, urban sprawl

Despite the obvious finiteness of their surroundings, humans have long been able to develop profitable new technologies to achieve the same or better results while using less resources; to extract valuable materials from more remote locations (for example, offshore drilling) or from less interesting materials (such as less concentrated ores); and to create substitutes out of previously worthless raw materials and industrial residuals that proved their advantage over previous alternatives, such as being more powerful and/or abundant; stronger and/or lighter; and/or easier to produce, handle, transport, and/or store. For instance, because they did not burn cleanly without modern technologies, coal and petroleum were not very valuable for most of human history. In recent years, in North America alone, the advent of shale gas, increased onshore oil production from shale rock, new recovery techniques that make it economical to extract oil left in old wells, new oil field discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico, and advances that have drastically reduced production costs in the Canadian oil sands, have all ensured an abundant supply of affordable transportation fuels for at least several decades, if not for a few centuries.73 Sure, one day humanity will move beyond fossil fuels, but it will not be because we have run out of them, but rather because better alternatives have come along.


pages: 405 words: 109,114

Unfinished Business by Tamim Bayoumi

algorithmic trading, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, battle of ideas, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, buy and hold, capital controls, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, Doha Development Round, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, floating exchange rates, full employment, hiring and firing, housing crisis, inflation targeting, Just-in-time delivery, Kenneth Rogoff, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, price stability, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, random walk, reserve currency, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rubik’s Cube, savings glut, technology bubble, The Great Moderation, The Myth of the Rational Market, the payments system, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs, value at risk

The United States, a large continent-wide currency union encompassing many different regions and economic realities, has relatively flexible labor and product markets. Such markets have helped the economy to adapt to unexpected changes such as the rise in oil prices in the 1970s (which supported the oil-producing Southwest region while hurting the manufacturing core of the Great Lakes economy), through the slump in oil prices later in the 1980s, the rise in the information technology sector in the 1990s, and the more recent oil shale boom. While these shocks have all involved regional winners and losers, the costs have been reduced by the ability of the US economy to adapt. An important expectation for European monetary union was that the constraints of a single currency would inspire deregulation of labor and product markets.23 This would increase the rate of growth of the region and make it more flexible and hence a better currency union.


pages: 369 words: 98,776

The God Species: Saving the Planet in the Age of Humans by Mark Lynas

Airbus A320, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic transition, Haber-Bosch Process, ice-free Arctic, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Negawatt, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, peak oil, planetary scale, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, special drawing rights, Stewart Brand, undersea cable, University of East Anglia

Industry carries much of the blame for entrenching itself in a position that for too long opposed political action. With the all-important political tipping point not crossed, companies that had begun to reposition for the post-carbon age instead began to fall back into their old roles. For example BP, which for a few years rebranded itself as “Beyond Petroleum” and flirted with solar power, moved strongly back into fossil fuels, even investing heavily in oil extraction in the dirty Canadian tar sands. Of course, it is also important to recognize that moving out of fossil fuels was always going to be orders of magnitude harder than disavowing CFCs—oil, coal, and gas provide most of the energy powering modern industrial civilization, rather than being important for just a small number of specific uses and processes. The companies invested in fossil fuel production are commensurately vastly more politically and economically powerful.

Again, this is to misunderstand the physical and ecological nature of the proposed boundaries: It makes no difference to the biosphere if humans run out of iron, for example. Nor does it make any difference if we use up all the cheaply extractable oil—as has recently become the concern of the “peak oil” crowd—except to the extent that humanity’s response to declining oil supplies, like burning more coal or extracting more tar sands, will negatively affect real planetary boundaries like climate change. But peak oil might also be a good thing if it adds to rising prices of fossil fuels sufficiently to encourage the faster uptake of low-and zero-carbon alternatives. Either way, the planetary boundaries are the metric by which humanity’s response to resource crunches should be judged—they are not concerned with resource shortages in and of themselves.


pages: 364 words: 102,528

An Economist Gets Lunch: New Rules for Everyday Foodies by Tyler Cowen

agricultural Revolution, big-box store, business climate, carbon footprint, cognitive bias, creative destruction, cross-subsidies, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, food miles, guest worker program, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, informal economy, iterative process, mass immigration, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, price discrimination, refrigerator car, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce

The good news, if I can call it that, is that carbon taxes are likely to prove more effective over time at limiting carbon production. For instance, as the global economy pumps and uses more fossil fuels, the most profitable supply sources—which get used first—tend to dry up. In other words, we used readily available, “suck it up with a straw” Texas oil and Saudi oil quite early on, and we will use oil from tar sands—a far more expensive technology—later in time, and indeed we are already making that switch to the tougher processes. That means we have a world of only marginally profitable fossil fuel producers, and it is easier to induce everyone to switch to new technologies. In contrast, we’re not going to get the Saudis out of their oil-pumping game until they run out of the easy stuff, no matter what kind of tax we enact.

See also shipping and transportation infrastructure and the Aztecs, 143 and barbecue, 89 and chili peppers, 207 and cities, 143–44 and cross-subsidies, 65 and French food, 226–27, 229 and Genetically Modified Organisms, 165 historical influences on, 36 and home cooking, 245–46 and immigrants, 28–29 impact on quality of American food, 17–19 and Mexican food, 196, 210 and Nicaraguan food, 5 and poverty, 155–56 and Singaporean foods, 221–22 sushi, 58, 118, 122–23, 216, 218, 258 Susur: A Culinary Life (Lee), 249 Swanson, 35 sweets shops, 224, 240 Switzerland, 222, 235–37 Syngenta, 162 Syria, 157 tacit knowledge, 251 Taco Bell, 188 tacos, 190 Tad’s, 17 Taino culture, 89–90 Taiwanese restaurants, 136 tamales, 7 Tanzania, 129–30 tapas, 20, 239–40 taquerías, 188 Tarahumaras, 251 tariffs, 192 tar sands, 181 Tastee Chinese Food, 52 tastes of consumers, 183–84 taxi drivers, 3–4, 216–17 tax policy, 149, 158, 178–80 teas, 49 technological progress and agricultural revolutions, 146 changing pace of, 13 and home cooking, 258–59 and hunger and malnutrition, 151–52 and kitchen appliances, 35 mechanization of food production, 96, 100–107, 143–44, 154, 203, 205–6 and Mexican food, 209 and modern food market, 154 telegraph, 144 television, 18, 33–37 Teochew food, 221 teosinte, 143 Texas and barbecue, 12, 88, 105–7, 109, 111, 259 and food trucks, 76 and immigration restrictions, 31 and liquor laws, 25–26 and Mexican food, 189, 190, 192, 195, 199, 203, 206 and oil, 181 and perceptions of American food, 19 Texas de Brazil, 111 Texas Monthly, 88 Tex-Mex food, 31, 188 Thai Food (Thompson), 118–19 Thailand and Thai food and agricultural revolutions, 146 described, 116–22 and ethnic supermarkets, 50 and influential cookbooks, 251 in London, 232 and low-rent areas, 75 and seafood, 59 Thai Street Food (Thompson), 119 Thai X-ing, 119–20 Thermomix, 255–56 Thompson, David, 118–19 Ticciati, Laura, 164 Ticciati, Robin, 164 Tijuana, Mexico, 195 Time Out, 237 Tim Hortons, 94 Tlaxcala, Mexico, 98 tofu, 217 Tokyo, Japan, 214–19 tomatoes, 90, 206, 208–10, 246 Tony Roma’s, 96 torta sandwich, 202 tortillas, 141–42, 201–6, 246 tort law, 197 tourism and foods of Istanbul, 241 and foods of London, 231 and French food, 226, 229, 231 and Italian food, 237 and rules for finding good food, 70, 73, 74 traffic patterns, 74 trains, 193 transportation.


pages: 339 words: 95,988

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

airport security, Broken windows theory, crack epidemic, desegregation, Exxon Valdez, feminist movement, George Akerlof, information asymmetry, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, longitudinal study, mental accounting, moral hazard, More Guns, Less Crime, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, pets.com, profit maximization, Richard Thaler, school choice, sensible shoes, Steven Pinker, Ted Kaczynski, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, Thorstein Veblen, twin studies, War on Poverty

Without realizing it, the author just invoked basic economics to invalidate the entire premise of the article! Just for good measure, he goes on to write: High prices can have another unfortunate effect for producers. When crude costs $10 a barrel or even $30 a barrel, alternative fuels are prohibitively expensive. For example, Canada has vast amounts of tar sands that can be rendered into heavy oil, but the cost of doing so is quite high. Yet those tar sands and other alternatives, like bioethanol, hydrogen fuel cells and liquid fuel from natural gas or coal, become economically viable as the going rate for a barrel rises past, say, $40 or more, especially if consuming governments choose to offer their own incentives or subsidies. So even if high prices don’t cause a recession, the Saudis risk losing market share to rivals into whose nonfundamentalist hands Americans would much prefer to channel their energy dollars.


Scotland Travel Guide by Lonely Planet

agricultural Revolution, British Empire, carbon footprint, clean water, demand response, European colonialism, James Watt: steam engine, land reform, North Sea oil, oil shale / tar sands, Piper Alpha, place-making, smart cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban sprawl

James Watt (1736–1819) didn’t invent the steam engine (that was done by an Englishman, Thomas Newcomen), but it was Watt’s modifications and improvements – notably the separate condenser – that led to its widespread usefulness in industry. The chemical engineer James Young (1811–83), known as ‘Paraffin’ Young, developed the process of refining crude oil and established the world’s first oil industry, based on extracting oil from the oil shales of West Lothian. Not only did John Logie Baird (1888–1946) from Helensburgh invent TV, but it was his own company that produced (with the BBC) the world’s first TV broadcast, the first broadcast with sound and the first outside broadcast. He also developed the concept of colour TV and took out a patent on fibre optics. More Scottish Inventions » Antiseptic » Breech-loading rifle » Colour photography » Kaleidoscope » Lawnmower » Logarithm » Marmalade » Refrigeration » Ultrasound » Vacuum flask Alexander Graham Bell (1847–1922) was born in Edinburgh and emigrated to Canada and the USA, where he made a series of inventions, the most famous being the telephone in 1876.

The Southern Uplands, ranges of grassy rounded hills divided by wide valleys and bounded by fertile coastal plains, form the southern boundary to the Central Lowlands. The geological divide – the Southern Uplands Fault – runs in a line from Girvan (Ayrshire) to Dunbar (East Lothian). The Central Lowlands lie in a broad band stretching from Glasgow and Ayr in the west to Edinburgh and Dundee in the east. This area is underlaid by sedimentary rocks, including the beds of coal and oil shale that fuelled Scotland’s Industrial Revolution. Though it’s only a fifth of the nation by land area, most of the country’s industry, its two largest cities and 80% of the population are concentrated here. Seventeen per cent of Scotland is forested, compared with England’s 7%, Finland’s 74% and a worldwide average of 30%. Another great geological divide – the Highland Boundary Fault – runs from Helensburgh in the west to Stonehaven on the east coast, and marks the southern edge of the Scottish Highlands.


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.

The simplest mining and preparation sequence to produce fairly clean sand and uniformly-sized sand may require no more than 100 MJ/t, and even more costly gravel sorting (or crushing as needed) should have an energy cost well below 500 MJ/t. The highest energy input is required for the preparation of the industrial sand that is used in glassmaking, ceramics and refractory materials, metal smelting and casting, paints, and now also increasingly in hydraulic fractioning of gas- and oil-bearing shales: its moisture must be reduced (in heavy-duty rotary or fluidized-bed dryers) to less than 0.5%, and this may consume close to 1 GJ/t. Bricks fired in inefficient rural furnaces in Asia may require as much as 2 GJ/t, just 1.1–1.2 GJ/t is typical for Chinese enterprises (Global Environmental Facility, 2012; Li, 2012) while US production of high-quality bricks requires 2.3 GJ/t (USEPA, 2003).


pages: 376 words: 109,092

Paper Promises by Philip Coggan

accounting loophole / creative accounting, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, debt deflation, delayed gratification, diversified portfolio, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, fear of failure, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, floating exchange rates, full employment, German hyperinflation, global reserve currency, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, Isaac Newton, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market bubble, market clearing, Martin Wolf, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, negative equity, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, paradox of thrift, peak oil, pension reform, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, principal–agent problem, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, short selling, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, 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 Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, time value of money, too big to fail, trade route, tulip mania, value at risk, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

At the time of writing, oil trades in a range of $90 – $100 a barrel; a decade earlier $20 – $30 would have been the typical price. In terms of our earlier equation, we have to put in a lot more units of energy to extract the same amount of utility. The profit margins of the global ‘company’ have declined. Some numbers may help. The oil deposits found in the 1930s produced about 100 times as much energy as they took to exploit; in the 1970s, the ratio was around 30 to 1.14 But Canadian tar sands require a lot of heat and energy to refine; one estimate suggests they only produce 70 per cent more energy than it costs to extract them, or a ratio of 1.7 to 1.15 16 Biofuels may be even worse. Why does this matter? We are accustomed to improvements in productivity; creating more output with fewer inputs. Think of Moore’s Law, where the capacity of a microprocessor doubles every eighteen months.

Index AAA Status of US Adams, Douglas Adams, John Addison, Lord Adenauer, Konrad adjustable rate mortgages adulterating coins affluent society Afghanistan ageing populations agrarian revolution Ahamed, Liaquat AIG air miles Alaska Amazon.com Angell, Norman Anglo Irish Bank annuities Argentina Aristophanes Arkansas Asian crisis of 1997 – 8 asset prices assignats Athens Austen, Jane austerity Austria Austrian school Austro-Hungarian empire Aztecs B&Q baby boomers Babylon Bagehot, Walter bailouts balanced budget Baldwin II, King of Jerusalem Balfour, Arthur Bancor Bank for International Settlements bank notes Bank of England bank reserves bank runs bankruptcy codes Banque Generale Barclays Capital Baring, Peter Baring Brothers Barnes & Noble barter Basle Accords Bastiat, Frederic BCA Research BCCI bear markets Bear Stearns Beaverbrook, Lord Belgium Belloc, Hillaire Benn, Tony Benn, William Wedgwood Bernanke, Ben Bernholz, Peter bezant Big Bang Big Mac index bills of exchange bimetallism biofuels Bismarck, Otto von Black Death Black Monday black swan Blackstone Blair, Tony Blum, Léon BMW Bodencreditanstalt Bohemia Bolsheviks Bonnet, Georges Bootle, Roger Brady, Nicholas Brady bonds Brazil Bretton Woods system Brodsky, Paul Brooke, Rupert Brown, Gordon Bruning, Heinrich Brutus Bryan, William Jennings bubbles budget deficits budget surplus building societies Buiter, Willem Bundesbank Burns, Arthur Bush, George W. Business Week Butler, Eamonn Calder, Lendol California Callaghan, Jim Calvin, John Canada Canadian Tar Sands capital controls capital economics capital flows capital ratios carried interest carry trade Carville, James Cassano, Joseph Cato Institute Cayne, Jimmy CDU Party ‘Celtic tiger’ central bank reserves Cesarino, Filippo ‘Chapter’ Charlemagne Charles I, King of England cheques/checks chief executive pay Chile China Churchill, Winston civil war (English) civil war (US) Citigroup clearing union Clientilism Clinton, Bill CNBC collateralized debt obligations commerical banks commercial property commodity prices Compagnie D’Occident comparative advantage conduits confederacy Congdon, Tim Congress, US Connally, John Conservative Party Consols Constantine, Emperor of Rome consumer price inflation continental bonds convergence trade convertibility of gold suspended Coolidge, Calvin copper Cottarelli, Carlo Council of Nicea Cowen, Brian cowrie shells Credit Anstalt credit cards credit crisis of 2007 – 8 credit crunch credit default swaps ‘cross of gold’ speech Cunliffe committee Currency Board currency wars Dante Alighieri David Copperfield Davies, Glyn debasing the currency debit cards debt ceiling debt clock debt deflation spiral debt trap debtors vs creditors, battle defaults defined contribution pension deflation Defoe, Daniel Delors, Jacques Democratic convention of 1896 Democratic Party Democratic Republic of Congo demographics denarii Denmark deposit insurance depreciation of currencies derivatives Deutsche Bank Deutschmark devaluation Dickens, Charles Dionysius of Syracuse Dodd – Frank bill dollar, US Dow Jones Industrial Average drachma Duke, Elizabeth Dumas, Charles Duncan, Richard Durst, Seymour Dutch Republic East Germany East Indies companies Economist Edward III, King of England Edwards, Albert efficient-market theory Egypt Eichengreen, Barry electronic money embedded energy energy efficiency estate agents Estates General Ethelred the Unready euro eurobonds eurodollar market European Central Bank European Commission European Financial Stability Facility European Monetary System European Union eurozone Exchange Rate Mechanism, European exorbitant privilege farmers Federal Reserve Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Federalist party fertility rate ‘fiat money’ Fiji final salary pension Financial Services Authority Financial Times Finland First Bank of the United States First World War fiscal policy fiscal union Fisher, Irving fixed exchange rates floating currencies florin Florio, Jim Ford, Gerald Ford, Henry Ford Motor Company Foreign & Colonial Trust foreign direct investment foreign exchange reserves Forni, Lorenzo Forsyte Saga France Francis I, King of France Franco-Prussian War Franklin, Benjamin French Revolution Friedman, Milton Fuld, Dick futures markets Galbraith, John Kenneth Galsworthy, John GATT Gaulle, Charles de Geithner, Tim General Electric General Motors general strike of 1926 Genghis Khan Genoa conference George V, King of England Germany gilts Gladstone, William Glass – Steagall Act Gleneagles summit Glorious Revolution GMO Gokhale, Jagadeesh gold gold exchange standard gold pool gold standard Goldman Sachs goldsmiths Goodhart, Charles Goodhart’s Law Goschen, George Gottschalk, Jan government bonds government debt Graham, Frank Granada Grantham, Jeremy Great Compression Great Depression Great Moderation Great Society Greece Greenspan, Alan Gresham, Sir Thomas Gresham’s Law Gross, Bill G7 nations G20 meeting Guinea Habsburgs Haiti Haldane, Andrew Hamilton, Alexander Hammurabi of Babylon Havenstein, Rudolf von Hayek, Friedrich Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative hedge funds Henderson, Arthur Henry VIII, King of England Hien Tsung, Chinese emperor Hitler, Adolf Hoar, George Frisbie Hohenzollern monarchy Holy Roman Empire Homer, Sydney Hoover, Herbert House of Representatives houses Hume, David Hussein, Saddam Hutchinson, Thomas Hyde, H.


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

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: 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

“It has concentrated on the inside game, at the expense of broad-based organizing.”22 As Bill McKibben has said, the environmental movement needs to become a movement again. McKibben’s new organization, 350.org, is trying to make it that, using the Internet to connect self-organizing chapters. So far, its focus has been on stopping things, like the Keystone pipeline, which would bring Canadian tar sand oil to Gulf Coast refineries. But its larger goal—getting the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide concentration below 350 parts per million—is indelibly engraved in its name, and its preferred mechanism—charging polluters and paying dividends to all—has the potential to rally broad support. IN THE PAST, EACH GENERATION of Americans believed it would live better than the one that came before it. That’s what we meant by “progress.”


pages: 124 words: 36,360

Kitten Clone: Inside Alcatel-Lucent by Douglas Coupland

British Empire, cable laying ship, Claude Shannon: information theory, cosmic microwave background, Downton Abbey, Hibernia Atlantic: Project Express, hiring and firing, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Marshall McLuhan, oil shale / tar sands, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Turing machine, undersea cable, upwardly mobile, urban planning, Wall-E

Our species now has a babysitter, and we’re still trying to figure out just why it is that for an activity that’s so intensely and utterly private–going online–its net effect is that of locating and amplifying allegiances to groups. Fleetingly, I wonder if the Bell Labs building has free WiFi, but I wonder that wherever I go now. Fun fact: Starbucks has the world’s largest Internet footprint. Another fun fact: the tar sands processing town of Fort McMurray, Alberta, (population 76,000) has a disproportionately male population, and it also has North America’s highest video streaming rate per capita–all those dateless nights spent watching old M*A*S*H reruns, one supposes. Passing through the Bell Labs security gate, I look up once again at the purple A L logo. How on earth does a company land a weird and hard-to-remember name like Alcatel-Lucent?


pages: 1,309 words: 300,991

Vanished Kingdoms: The Rise and Fall of States and Nations by Norman Davies

anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Celtic Tiger, Corn Laws, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, labour mobility, land tenure, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, Red Clydeside, Ronald Reagan, Skype, special economic zone, trade route, urban renewal, WikiLeaks

An encyclopedia of Russia published in London in 1961, for example, was not so much factually inaccurate as incapable of distinguishing the wood from the trees: Estonia (Estonian Eesti or Eestimaa), Union Republic of the U.S.S.R, bordering on the Gulf of Finland, Latvia, the Baltic Sea and Lake Chudskoye in the east; it is mainly lowland plain, partially forested, with many lakes and marshes and a soft, almost maritime climate; Area 17,800 sq. m.; population (1959) 1,197,000 (56 per cent urban), mostly Estonians (73 per cent), also Russians (22 per cent), before the war also Germans. There are oil-shale extraction and processing, electrical engineering, textile, wood-processing and food (bacon and butter) industries; dairy farming and pig raising are carried on, and grain, potatoes, vegetables and flax cultivated. Principal towns: Tallinn (capital), Tartu, Pärnu, Narva, Kohtla-Järve… During the period of Estonian independence (1919–40) the country’s industry declined, being cut off from the Russian market, but agriculture flourished with the export of butter and bacon to Britain and Germany.

The large-scale presence of the Soviet military had the same effect. Several Estonian garrison towns, like Paldiski, were closed to civilians for decades. In the socio-economic sphere, it is true that Soviet planning promoted industrialization and urbanization, yet one can hardly refer to the subject without discussing the harsh, exploitative methods and their baleful consequences. The unrestrained exploitation of Estonia’s oil-shale beds for the benefit of Leningrad, for example, has ruined the town of Kohtla-Järve, which is now overshadowed by towering slag heaps. The nearby town of Ailamae was blessed with a Soviet nuclear processing plant, and has been left with a hopelessly polluted man-made lake that was used as a dump for dangerous waste. In Tallinn, the suburb of Lasnamäe, once touted as a workers’ paradise, is stranded as a museum for the maltreatment of the proletariat.


pages: 424 words: 122,350

Feral: Rewilding the Land, the Sea, and Human Life by George Monbiot

Chance favours the prepared mind, cognitive dissonance, en.wikipedia.org, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, land reform, Nelson Mandela, nuclear winter, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, place-making, social intelligence, trade route

For Canada today is providing the world with a third parable: the remarkable, perhaps unprecedented story of a complex, diverse economy slipping down the development ladder towards dependence on a single primary resource, which happens to be the dirtiest commodity known to man. The tar sands poisoned the politics first of Alberta then of the entire nation. Their story recapitulates that of the Grand Banks. To accommodate rapacious greed, science has been both co-opted and ignored, the Providential Principle has been widely deployed, laws have been redrafted and public life corrupted. The government’s assault on behalf of the tar sands corporations on the common interests of all Canadians has licensed and empowered destructive tendencies throughout the nation. Already the planned pipelines whose purpose is to transport the tar to new markets are carrying the toxic sludge of misinformation across Canada.


pages: 497 words: 143,175

Pivotal Decade: How the United States Traded Factories for Finance in the Seventies by Judith Stein

"Robert Solow", 1960s counterculture, activist lawyer, affirmative action, airline deregulation, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, centre right, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, desegregation, energy security, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial deregulation, floating exchange rates, full employment, Gunnar Myrdal, income inequality, income per capita, intermodal, invisible hand, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, liberal capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market bubble, Martin Wolf, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, post-industrial society, post-oil, price mechanism, price stability, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, strikebreaker, trade liberalization, union organizing, urban planning, urban renewal, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, working poor, Yom Kippur War

Not only did the energy story take a backseat to the political story, which was a lot more appealing and comprehensible to reporters, but the public could wonder about the soundness of an energy plan which was put together by men who were then fired.40 Nevertheless, the Congress embraced the energy program, approving the Energy Security Corporation in June 1980. Containing something for everyone—incentives for oil shale, alcohol fuels, geothermal energy, solar, etc.—the corporation would guarantee loans, support prices, buy fuel, and even own production facilities. Funded up to $88 billion by a windfall profits tax, it seemed both self-financing and guaranteed to provide an elusive energy security. By 1985, the United States was 25 percent more energy efficient and 32 percent more oil efficient than it had been in 1973.


pages: 684 words: 188,584

The Age of Radiance: The Epic Rise and Dramatic Fall of the Atomic Era by Craig Nelson

Albert Einstein, Brownian motion, Charles Lindbergh, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, Doomsday Clock, El Camino Real, Ernest Rutherford, failed state, Henri Poincaré, hive mind, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, music of the spheres, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, Project Plowshare, Ralph Nader, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Skype, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, William Langewiesche, éminence grise

Greenpeace cofounder Patrick Moore, Gaia theorist James Lovelock, NASA climate scientist James Hansen, and Earth Institute director Jeffrey Sachs, among many others in the environmental movement, are convinced that we need nuclear power to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, a greenhouse gas. Like most of the world, “Americans have never met a hydrocarbon they didn’t like,” journalist Elizabeth Kolbert said. “Oil, natural gas, liquefied natural gas, tar-sands oil, coal-bed methane, and coal, which is, mostly, carbon—the country loves them all, not wisely, but too well. To the extent that the United States has an energy policy, it is perhaps best summed up as: if you’ve got it, burn it.” For of all the ways we have right now of producing electricity, nuclear is in many ways the least of our worries, so much so that perhaps antinuclear activists should refocus on the far greater menace of coal.


pages: 148 words: 45,249

Losing Earth: A Recent History by Nathaniel Rich

Dissolution of the Soviet Union, energy security, ice-free Arctic, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), James Watt: steam engine, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, oil shale / tar sands, planetary scale, Ronald Reagan, spinning jenny, the scientific method

By accelerating industrial emissions of carbon dioxide, they could alter weather patterns, forcing mass migration, starvation, drought, and economic collapse. In the decade since, MacDonald had grown alarmed to see humankind accelerate its pursuit of this particular weapon of mass destruction, not maliciously, but unwittingly. President Carter’s initiative to develop high-carbon synthetic fuels—gas and liquid fuel extracted from shale and tar sands—was a frightening blunder, the equivalent of building a new generation of thermonuclear bombs. During spring 1977 and summer 1978, the Jasons met in Boulder at the National Center for Atmospheric Research to determine what would happen once the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere doubled from pre–Industrial Revolution levels. It was an arbitrary milestone, the doubling, but a dramatic one, marking the point at which human civilization would contribute as much carbon to the atmosphere as the planet had done in the preceding 4.6 billion years.


Because We Say So by Noam Chomsky

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, Chelsea Manning, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Julian Assange, Malacca Straits, Martin Wolf, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, Nelson Mandela, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, Powell Memorandum, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Slavoj Žižek, Stanislav Petrov, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks

The countries that have driven indigenous populations to extinction or extreme marginalization are racing toward destruction. Thus Ecuador, with its large indigenous population, is seeking aid from the rich countries to allow it to keep its substantial oil reserves underground, where they should be. Meanwhile the U.S. and Canada are seeking to burn fossil fuels, including the extremely dangerous Canadian tar sands, and to do so as quickly and fully as possible, while they hail the wonders of a century of (largely meaningless) energy independence without a side glance at what the world might look like after this extravagant commitment to self-destruction. This observation generalizes: Throughout the world, indigenous societies are struggling to protect what they sometimes call “the rights of nature,” while the civilized and sophisticated scoff at this silliness.


pages: 436 words: 76

Culture and Prosperity: The Truth About Markets - Why Some Nations Are Rich but Most Remain Poor by John Kay

"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, business cycle, California gold rush, complexity theory, computer age, constrained optimization, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, equity premium, Ernest Rutherford, European colonialism, experimental economics, Exxon Valdez, failed state, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, George Gilder, greed is good, Gunnar Myrdal, haute couture, illegal immigration, income inequality, industrial cluster, information asymmetry, intangible asset, invention of the telephone, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, John Meriwether, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, market bubble, market clearing, market fundamentalism, means of production, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, Nash equilibrium, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, pets.com, popular electronics, price discrimination, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, rent-seeking, Right to Buy, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, second-price auction, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, the new new thing, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, transaction costs, tulip mania, urban decay, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, yield curve, yield management

There is oil beneath the major oceans, beyond the reach of existing drilling capabilities; at great cost, these capabilities could be extended to make exploitation possible. In the tar sands in Venezuela and at Athabasca in Canada, there is enough oil to satisfy the demands of motorists, airlines, and power stations for decades, even centuries; but the cost of extraction is well above current oil prices. 2 The availability of oil is a commercial rather than a technological question. The reserves of oil that are available at $100 a barrel are many times the reserves available at $10 a barrel. And the more oil is needed, the more of these different sources of supply are required. If the demand for oil were lower, it would be met entirely from the Middle East. As things are, we draw on Alaska and the North Sea, but not the ocean beds or the Athabascan tar sands. 3 Culture and Prosperity { 139} (b) Milk New Zealand has a wet, temperate climate and more than enough land for 4 million people.


Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Kimmerer

back-to-the-land, clean water, commoditize, double helix, invisible hand, music of the spheres, oil shale / tar sands, p-value, Pepto Bismol, Potemkin village, scientific worldview, the built environment, the scientific method

That would be at a minimum a breach of good manners, a betrayal of the loving relationship. What’s more, your grandma would be heartbroken, and not inclined to bake more cookies for you any time soon. As a culture, though, we seem unable to extend these good manners to the natural world. The dishonorable harvest has become a way of life—we take what doesn’t belong to us and destroy it beyond repair: Onondaga Lake, the Alberta tar sands, the rainforests of Malaysia, the list is endless. They are gifts from our sweet Grandmother Earth, which we take without asking. How do we find the Honorable Harvest again? If we’re picking berries or gathering nuts, taking only what is given makes a lot of sense. They offer themselves and by taking them we fulfill our reciprocal responsibility. After all, the plants have made these fruits with the express purpose of our taking them, to disperse and plant.

Throwing the empty pot aside, he reaches for me again, but before his fingers can surround my neck he turns from the door and staggers backward out into the snow. I see him doubled over, overcome with violent retching. The carrion stench of his breath mixes with the reek of shit as the buckthorn loosens his bowels. A small dose of buckthorn is a laxative. A strong dose is a purgative, and a whole kettle, an emetic. It is Windigo nature: he wanted every last drop. So now he is vomiting up coins and coal slurry, clumps of sawdust from my woods, clots of tar sand, and the little bones of birds. He spews Solvay waste, gags on an entire oil slick. When he’s done, his stomach continues to heave but all that comes up is the thin liquid of loneliness. He lies spent in the snow, a stinking carcass, but still dangerous when the hunger rises to fill the new emptiness. I run back in the house for the second pot and carry it to his side, where the snow has melted around him.


Masters of Mankind by Noam Chomsky

affirmative action, American Legislative Exchange Council, Berlin Wall, failed state, God and Mammon, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), land reform, Martin Wolf, means of production, Nelson Mandela, nuremberg principles, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit maximization, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Silicon Valley, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, union organizing, urban renewal, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Westphalian system

The countries that have driven indigenous populations to extinction or extreme marginalization are racing forward enthusiastically toward destruction. Thus Ecuador, with a large indigenous population, is seeking aid from the rich countries to allow it to keep its substantial oil reserves underground, where they should be. Meanwhile, the US and Canada enthusiastically seek to burn fossil fuels, including the extremely dangerous Canadian tar sands, and to do so as quickly and fully as possible while they hail the wonders of a century of (largely meaningless) energy independence without a side glance at what the world might look like after this extravagant commitment to self-destruction. The observation generalizes. Throughout the world, indigenous societies are struggling to protect what they sometimes call “the rights of nature,” while the civilized and sophisticated scoff at this silliness.


What We Say Goes: Conversations on U.S. Power in a Changing World by Noam Chomsky, David Barsamian

banking crisis, British Empire, Doomsday Clock, failed state, feminist movement, Howard Zinn, informal economy, liberation theology, mass immigration, microcredit, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Thomas L Friedman, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus

People talk about it as a catastrophe, but what they’re failing to notice is that continued use of oil could cause a worse catastrophe, maybe only one generation from now. Oil is finite. So at some point it will no longer be economical to use oil. When that will be, nobody really knows. There are many ambiguities, including whether it’s not going to be economically possible to refine oil from tar sands or to exploit other oil that’s currently hard to access. It may turn out that Venezuela has the largest reserves in the world, by some measures.42 It’s just very hard to get to. But peak oil will come. If this situation leads to sensible steps toward reconstructing our society and we accommodate to the fact that we cannot keep polluting the atmosphere, we cannot keep destroying the environment or else we’ll all die; if that happens sooner, fine.


pages: 513 words: 154,427

Chief Engineer by Erica Wagner

Charles Lindbergh, Edmond Halley, index card, oil shale / tar sands, railway mania, Silicon Valley

That clay, however, hid a greater treasure: “Had your grandfather only known what was under his land at that time—The great Golden eagle well that spouted 3,000 barrels a day!” He told the story to Reta, his daughter-in-law, too: “In 1859 when I was in Pittsburg with my father he was offered an interest in the original Rockefeller syndicate for drilling oil wells, refining oil and buying oil land—At the same time some friends who own Oil shale deposits asked him to go in with them—He reasoned that the oil wells would all give out in a short time—that refining was too costly—So he put all his money in shale and lost every cent he put in, but at the same time escaped being a second Rockefeller. Thank God, what would I have done with a billion of dollars! Truth is stranger than fiction.” Rockefeller didn’t, in fact, get into the oil business until the 1860s—but one could argue that in this respect John Roebling was ahead of his time.


pages: 372 words: 92,477

The Fourth Revolution: The Global Race to Reinvent the State by John Micklethwait, Adrian Wooldridge

Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Asian financial crisis, assortative mating, banking crisis, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, cashless society, central bank independence, Chelsea Manning, circulation of elites, Clayton Christensen, Corn Laws, corporate governance, credit crunch, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, Etonian, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Gunnar Myrdal, income inequality, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, liberal capitalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, mittelstand, mobile money, Mont Pelerin Society, Nelson Mandela, night-watchman state, Norman Macrae, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, old age dependency ratio, open economy, Parag Khanna, Peace of Westphalia, pension reform, pensions crisis, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, popular capitalism, profit maximization, rent control, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, school choice, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, Skype, special economic zone, too big to fail, total factor productivity, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, working-age population, zero-sum game


pages: 372 words: 94,153

pages: 258 words: 63,367

Making the Future: The Unipolar Imperial Moment by Noam Chomsky

"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate personhood, creative destruction, deindustrialization, energy security, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Frank Gehry, full employment, Howard Zinn, Joseph Schumpeter, kremlinology, liberation theology, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, precariat, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, structural adjustment programs, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, working poor

Furthermore, it may be that the military occupation has taken the initiative in restoring the hated Iraq Petroleum Company, which, as Seamus Milne writes in the London Guardian, was imposed under British rule to “dine off Iraq’s wealth in a famously exploitative deal.” Later reports speak of delays in the bidding. Much is happening in secrecy, and it would be no surprise if new scandals emerge. Concern over control of Iraqi oil is not hard to understand. Iraq contains perhaps the second-largest oil reserves in the world, which are, furthermore, very cheap to extract: no permafrost or shale or tar sands or deep-sea drilling. For U.S. planners, it is a priority that Iraq remain under U.S. control, to the extent possible, as an obedient client state that will also house major U.S. military bases, right at the heart of the world’s major energy reserves. That these were the primary goals of the invasion was always clear enough through the haze of successive pretexts: weapons of mass destruction, Saddam’s links with al-Qaida, democracy promotion and the war against terrorism, which, as predicted, sharply increased as a result of the invasion.


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

By 2015, Pine Bend was processing some 350,000 barrels of Canadian crude a day, and according to David Sassoon of the Reuters-affiliated InsideClimate News, Koch Industries was the world’s largest exporter of oil out of Canada. In 2012, he wrote, “This single Koch refinery is now responsible for an estimated 25 percent of the 1.2 million barrels of oil the U.S. imports each day from Canada’s tar sands territories.” The Kochs’ good fortune, however, was the globe’s misfortune, because crude oil derived from Canada’s dirty tar sands requires far greater amounts of energy to produce and so is especially harmful to the environment. In 1970, a year after Koch Industries completed the Pine Bend deal, the twins joined their elder brother at Koch Industries, with David working out of New York and Bill near Boston. Charles characteristically assumed control, and it was not long before the long-standing sibling rivalries flared anew.


pages: 239 words: 68,598

The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning by James E. Lovelock

Ada Lovelace, butterfly effect, carbon footprint, Clapham omnibus, cognitive dissonance, continuous integration, David Attenborough, decarbonisation, discovery of DNA, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Henri Poincaré, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), mandelbrot fractal, mass immigration, megacity, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, planetary scale, short selling, Stewart Brand, University of East Anglia

FOSSIL FUELS This book is not the place to list comprehensive statistics of fuel reserves and production. With modest effort and discernment they are available on the internet, but I will include some comments on the fuels now in use and on our food prospects for the coming century. There are huge reserves of coal, oil and natural gas still left, and in addition there are even larger reserves of less efficient fuels such as tar sands, shale and peat. The catch is this natural fuel is renewed very slowly, at one‐hundredth the pace we burn it. It is not the amount that we have burnt but the rapidity with which we are doing it that matters. However, if in your car you used petrol or diesel fuel made from atmospheric carbon dioxide using nuclear energy or solar thermal energy you would be doing something good for the planet. It is not the fuel that is damaging but the balance sheet of its production and use.


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 cause of the collapse was a truck that struck the bridge’s overhead structure several times. The truck was too large for the bridge, taller than the maximum height indicated for crossing and larger than the bridge’s designers, half a century earlier, had likely ever imagined a truck could be. At the time of the collapse, the truck was in service delivering heavy oil-drilling equipment from the Port of Vancouver, Washington to the Alberta Tar Sands oil fields. The equipment was housed in large containers for the trip, and it is one of these empty containers that struck the bridge struts on the southbound trip.201 Such equipment is not normally carried on freeways. In fact, the route that the trucking company had originally planned to use was through the Montana wilderness. Communities along this route had protested the use of their rural highways, complaining of the ecological devastation and the damage to a tourism and hunting-based economy that would result.


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

Becky had already been deeply involved in the fight to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, but organizing civil disobedience was an escalation of tactics. Elijah Zarlin, who had worked in the Chicago headquarters of President Obama’s 2008 campaign and at the time worked for CREDO, wrote an email to CREDO’s members. The email began, “This isn’t an everyday request. I’d like you to consider doing something really big.” That big thing was to go to jail in peaceful civil disobedience to send a message to the president to reject a tar sands oil pipeline. Keystone XL wasn’t just any pipeline, it was the fuse on a veritable carbon bomb lying below the surface of western Canada—oil that we had to keep in the ground. When Elijah was arrested in front of the White House with over a hundred other protesters (including Becky), he had to sit for hours in the hot August sun in a white dress shirt and the tie he had last worn on Election Day in 2008 celebrating his team’s historic win—a win that put the man he was now protesting into the White House.


pages: 510 words: 163,449

How the Scots Invented the Modern World: The True Story of How Western Europe's Poorest Nation Created Our World and Everything in It by Arthur Herman

British Empire, California gold rush, creative destruction, do-ocracy, financial independence, global village, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Joan Didion, joint-stock company, laissez-faire capitalism, land tenure, mass immigration, means of production, new economy, New Urbanism, North Sea oil, oil shale / tar sands, Republic of Letters, Robert Mercer, spinning jenny, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, urban planning, urban renewal, working poor

The grisly story inspired, among others, Robert Louis Stevenson’s short story “The Body Snatcher.” Knox himself was never charged, while Hare turned king’s evidence. William Burke went to the gallows—and ended up as a cadaver for dissection at the medical school. His skeleton is still there, preserved in its museum. 30 Here again, oddly enough, a Scot proved to be the pioneer: James “Paraffin” Young, who developed a technique for extracting kerosene from oil shale from the Lothian mountains in the 1840s, and created the foundations of the petroleum industry. 31 Legend has it the volunteers took the kiss and gave the guinea away to their neighbors. 32 Literally hardheaded: one day Jardine was walking on the street in Canton when an iron bar fell from a construction site and hit him on the head. Jardine simply walked on. The Chinese gave him the nickname of Iron Head Rat—which was meant as a compliment. 33 Ironically, Minto and Palmerston also happened to be Dugald Stewart’s pupils.


pages: 306 words: 79,537

Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World (Politics of Place) by Tim Marshall

9 dash line, Admiral Zheng, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, California gold rush, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, drone strike, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Hans Island, Kickstarter, LNG terminal, market fragmentation, megacity, Mercator projection distort size, especially Greenland and Africa, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, Nelson Mandela, oil shale / tar sands, Scramble for Africa, South China Sea, trade route, transcontinental railway, Transnistria, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, zero-sum game

The Dead Cow, or Vaca Muerta, is a shale formation that, combined with the country’s other shale areas, could provide Argentina’s energy needs for the next 150 years with excess to export. It is situated halfway down Argentina, in Patagonia, and abuts the western border with Chile. It is the size of Belgium—which might be relatively small for a country but is large for a shale formation. So far so good, unless you are against shale-produced energy—but there is a catch. To get the gas and oil out of the shale will require massive foreign investment, and Argentina is not considered a foreign-investment-friendly country. There’s more oil and gas farther south—in fact, so far south it’s offshore in and around islands that are British and have been since 1833. And therein lies a problem, and a news story that never goes away. What Britain calls the Falkland Islands are known as Las Malvinas by Argentina, and woe betide any Argentine who uses the F word.


pages: 230 words: 71,834

Building the Cycling City: The Dutch Blueprint for Urban Vitality by Melissa Bruntlett, Chris Bruntlett

active transport: walking or cycling, autonomous vehicles, bike sharing scheme, car-free, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, intermodal, Jones Act, Loma Prieta earthquake, megacity, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, starchitect, the built environment, the High Line, transit-oriented development, urban planning, urban renewal, wikimedia commons

Bringing Beauty to “Oil Country” Many North American cities have tried to reinvent themselves in recent years, with few as poignant as Detroit, which attempted to shed its “Motor City” reputation (despite being home to a number of bicycle manufacturers) after a 2013 bankruptcy and become a city known for innovation and creativity. North of the border, in Calgary, Alberta, a similar revolution is taking place. Most Canadians know Alberta as “Oil Country” due to its economic dependence on the oil-rich tar sands, and Calgary, Canada’s third-largest city, is home to a number of oil and gas headquarters. Covering a 848-square-kilometer (327-square-mile) area—eight times the size of San Francisco—and sprawling endlessly into the prairies, it’s easy to see why driving has become the default mode of transportation for the vast majority of Calgarians. In the past few years, however, things have started to shift, as residents have begun demanding options.


pages: 417 words: 109,367

When Cultures Collide: Leading Across Cultures by Richard D. Lewis

Ayatollah Khomeini, British Empire, business climate, business process, colonial exploitation, corporate governance, global village, haute cuisine, hiring and firing, invention of writing, lateral thinking, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, Nelson Mandela, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, old-boy network, open borders, profit maximization, profit motive, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, trade route, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, women in the workforce

Undeterred, the factory improved the quality of the product and quickly secured markets in Finland and other Western countries for 250,000 pairs of skis per annum. It then went further and started producing Rossignol skis for the U.S. market. Unfortunately, this business has not proven viable in the long run. The versatility of Estonian businesspeople is a quality born of necessity. Although Estonia has several advantages over neighboring Latvia and Lithuania—it has enormous oil-shale deposits and is a net exporter of electricity— its small economy makes it difficult for Estonians to compete in mass markets. Niche products are the solution. In this respect, high-quality Estonian handicrafts are among the most original in the world. At meetings Estonians present their products and policies confidently and with frankness. They are well aware that low labor costs give them useful leverage when dealing with Scandinavians.


pages: 294 words: 80,084