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All articles from Resource Insights

  • Energy Voices Has crude oil production already peaked?

    The notion that oil is becoming abundant all over again is contradicted by the levitating price, Cobb writes, and by the evidence that actual worldwide crude oil production is either flat or growing at an infinitesimal rate.

  • Energy Voices Ukraine crisis: There is no US 'energy weapon'

    The Ukraine crisis has led many to call on the US to use its growing oil and natural gas production to help Ukraine and Europe wean itself off Russian energy. There's one very big problem with this view, Cobb writes: The US is still a net importer of both oil and natural gas.

  • Energy Voices Is the future of clean energy in the janitor's closet?

    Most of us think of ammonia as a pungent household cleaning agent that disinfects and deodorizes, Cobb writes, but ammonia can also be used as a carbon-free, relatively safe form of fuel. 

  • Energy Voices Shareable economy: Sharing cars means saving energy

    As we develop a renewable-energy economy powered by clean-energy technologies, we must in the meantime find ways to cut down on resource consumption, Cobb writes. Car sharing and other elements of the 'shareable economy' can help.  

  • Energy Voices Fracking for an energy renaissance that will not come

    The hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling used to extract oil from shale deposits is supposed to glut the world with oil and drive down the price. The record so far is not compelling, Cobb writes, and talk of an American energy renaissance is essentially baseless.

  • Energy Voices 7 things you think you know about energy

    There are many, many things that the public and policymakers know for sure about energy that just ain't so, Cobb writes. Here are seven alternative takes on conventional energy wisdom for 2014.

  • Energy Voices Why Shell nixed a $20 billion gas-to-liquids project

    When Royal Dutch Shell pulled the plug on its US gas-to-liquids project recently, the company said it was because it saw opportunities elsewhere. But abandoning the gas-to-liquids plant speaks much more loudly about shale gas than what Shell is saying in public, Cobb writes.

  • Energy Voices US energy future is a risk management problem

    The practiced confidence of oil and gas industry executives, captive Wall Street analysts and fake think tank academics has convinced the public that there is nothing to worry about when it comes to America's energy future, Cobb writes. But, the realities of our energy situation suggest that we should have little confidence in such pronouncements, especially given their self-interested nature. 

  • Energy Voices The age of oil will not last forever

    The oil age may not be over yet, Cobb writes, but projections of shale gas and oil fueling US energy independence are vastly overblown. We are wasting precious time being lulled to sleep by the oil optimists when we should be preparing for a post-peak-oil world.

  • Energy Voices In oil shale, geology trumps technology

    Thirty years of oil-shale failure suggests that such a development remains far off, Cobb writes. And, in a world that is trying to wean itself from fossil fuels because of climate change and the risks of depletion, time may run out unless more realistic technologies are developed.

  • Energy Voices Keystone pipeline, climate change, and the problem of fossil fuel demand

    Keystone pipeline protests are aimed at highlighting the need to address the causes of climate change by reducing our use of carbon-based fuels, Cobb writes. But advocating for a carbon tax might be a better way to spur innovation in energy efficiency and renewable energy production. 

  • Energy Voices Our energy future: 'They'll think of something'

    Concerns over future supplies of oil and gas are often met with a 'They'll-think-of-something' mentality, Cobb writes. But the only sensible response to the looming possibility of depleted resources is to begin reducing our energy use now in earnest. 

  • Energy Voices The oil industry hype machine

    Buzz is building around a deposit of oil in Texas that some in the oil industry say is the largest deposit in the world. It's no surprise then that the industry is trotting out the America-as-the-new-Saudi-Arabia theme once again, Cobb writes, a theme that many have shown to be pure bunkum.

  • Energy Voices Energy independence in the age of natural gas exports

    Natural gas producers keep telling the public and policy makers that US natural gas production is set to grow continuously for decades, and that additional natural gas export terminals are necessary. But that story isn't holding up, Cobb writes. 

  • Energy Voices Obama climate plan: the one thing you need to know

    President Obama's plan to address climate change will at most have a slight impact, Cobb writes, but it is nonetheless a brave and even historic move towards slowing the effects of climate change. 

  • Energy Voices Israel mulls natural gas exports. Is that a good idea?

    In an era of high volatility in energy prices and supplies and in a country surrounded by unfriendly neighbors, one would think that Israel would want to keep this valuable energy prize all to itself, Cobb writes. Still, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is seeking approval for Israel to jump on the natural gas exports bandwagon.

  • Energy Voices The kaleidoscope of fossil fuel abundance

    If the US shale experience is supposed to forecast the world, then the evidence so far suggests a boomlet followed by frantic efforts just to keep production level, Cobb writes. But in some cases, such as Poland, the results have been far worse as heavily touted prospects have turned out to be duds.

  • Energy Voices The 'Mad Men' of fossil fuels

    There is nothing particularly 'mad' about the role of advertising in society, Cobb writes, and it should really be looked upon as the logical conclusion of the long process of rationalizing modern economic life – a type of economic life which arose simultaneously with the widespread use of fossil fuels.

  • Energy Voices When oil forecasts get it wrong

    Oil forecasts fail so often that it's puzzling that the media, governments, corporations, and the public put so much faith in them, Cobb writes. Those whose plans were based on the IEA's 2000 oil forecast were completely blindsided by developments just a few years later.

  • Energy Voices Why natural gas exports would benefit clean energy

    The renewable energy industry would benefit from higher natural gas prices since, as these fuels for electric power plants become dearer, renewable energy sources become more competitive, Cobb writes. Still, the renewable energy industry will probably stay largely mum in the fight over expanded exports of US natural gas.

Doing Good

 

What happens when ordinary people decide to pay it forward? Extraordinary change...

Danny Bent poses at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, Danny Bent took on a cross-country challenge

The athlete-adventurer co-founded a relay run called One Run for Boston that started in Los Angeles and ended at the marathon finish line to raise funds for victims.

 
 
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