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How the climate change debate got hijacked by the wrong standard of proof

Everyone loves a courtroom drama--especially one that pits a feisty, but a determined criminal defense attorney against the awesome power of a prosecutor who has the resources of the state behind him or her. We see such David and Goliath stories every week on television.

The hidden reasons behind slow economic growth: Declining EROI, constrained net energy

As fossil fuels, which provide more than 80 percent of the power modern society uses, become more energy intensive to extract and refine, there is a growing drag on economic activity as more and more of the economy's resources are devoted simply to getting the energy we want.

The puzzling flattening of carbon emissions and the problem of global growth

There is another obvious and plausible explanation for the flat carbon emissions, namely, that the global economy did not grow by the stated percentage, that it may have grown only a fraction of that amount or not at all.

Cheap oil, complexity and counterintuitive conclusions

The chief intellectual challenge of our age is that we live in complex systems, but we do not understand complexity. How can cheap oil be a harbinger of future supply problems in the oil market? Here's where complexity, history and subtle thinking all have to combine at just the right intellectual temperature to reveal the answer.

Lipstick on a pig: America as the world's swing producer of oil

Investors and policymakers would be wise to stop staring at the glossy lipstick now being applied to the carcass of the U.S. industry. At least a pig with lipstick brings hope of a pork dinner at some point. All the industry has to offer now are shattered dreams and negative cash flows.

What is Saudi Arabia not telling us about its oil future?

It is popular these days to speculate about why Saudi Arabia cajoled its OPEC allies into maintaining oil production in the face of flagging world demand. Was the real reason for the decision to maintain production the desire to undermine rising U.S. tight oil production--which has now proven embarrassingly vulnerable to low prices after years of triumphalist talk from the industry about …

William Catton's warning

William Catton Jr. died last month at age 88. His book, "Overshoot," may stand as the central text of the 20th century about the ecological fate of humankind. The book represents a missed opportunity in that so few people were able to hear what Catton had to say in 1980, and so few want to hear it now--even as the headlines are filled with the very precursors of the bottleneck he …

Alternate opinions: The world's energy information duopoly comes to an end

Most energy forecasts are based on information from the two leading energy information agencies: the EIA and the IEA. That's about to change. Policymakers, investors and the public should take heed.

Commodities crash: Bad news for the world economy, but is anyone listening?

Commodity price declines signal exceptional weakness in the world economy. It is no secret that economic growth in Europe has been stalled for some time and is now receding. The European Union's confrontation with Russia over the Ukraine conflict and the resulting tit-for-tat economic sanctions levied by both sides are only worsening the economic climate.

The most important thing to understand about the coming oil production cutbacks

What the current oil price slump means for world oil supply is starting to emerge. "Layoffs," "cutbacks," "delays," and "cancellations" are words one sees in headlines concerning the oil industry every day. That can only mean one thing in the long run: less supply later on than would otherwise have been the case.
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