Oil, CO2, Environment, Climate, War
This year there are real, physical issues for the humans on Planet Earth. …
We need a new revolution – not an armed, adversarial revolution, but a peaceable revolution in what we buy, how we use energy, how we distribute and assess information, and in how we allow ourselves to be governed. …
The most successful revolution of all time was one in which individuals saw the menace of rule from above and the opportunity for ruling themselves, and took matters into their own hands. In a rather broad sense, George Washington didn’t so much raise an army to fight the British as take command of an army that had already arisen to meet a public need. …
(17 June, 2005)


Prices spark oil-sands heyday

Justin Blum, Washington Post via Houston Chronicle
FORT MCMURRAY, ALBERTA – Along Highway 63 here the rolling hills give way to massive open pits, huge waste ponds and tangles of pipes and refining equipment that spew smoke into the air.
In the pits, shovel trucks load dirt into dump trucks so gigantic that a driver has to climb a ladder attached to the front grille to get behind the steering wheel.
The changing landscape reflects an ambitious quest to develop a new source of oil.
Major companies, faced with tougher prospects for developing big new oil fields around the world, are doing what was once unthinkable: sinking billions of dollars into projects to wring oil out of deposits of petroleum buried amid sand and clay.
Until a few years ago, such projects — called “oil sands” or “tar sands” — sputtered at the fringes of the oil industry. But since technological breakthroughs brought down costs and oil prices have soared, companies have been investing heavily here. …
(18 June 2005)


Venezuela to Sell Fuel Oil to China

Reuters / iWon
CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) – Venezuela has signed a deal to supply China with 30,000 barrels per day of fuel oil as part of the OPEC nation’s efforts to expand trade with the Asian economic giant, state oil firm PDVSA said on Saturday.
“The first shipment of 1.8 million barrels sailed for China on Friday, June 17,” PDVSA said in a statement.
Venezuela and China signed a memorandum of understanding in January to promote energy and trade relations. Venezuela also has sold cargoes of heavy crude for asphalt production to China in recent months.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced this year Chinese firms were considering building computer and electrical appliance plants in the world’s No. 5 oil exporter.
Chavez has sought to tap China’s growing oil demand as a fresh market for Venezuela’s crude as part of a plan to diversify PDVSA’s sales.
PDVSA currently ships most of its crude and products to the giant U.S. market, which relies on Venezuela for about 15 percent of its oil imports.
But relations between Washington and Caracas have been strained since Chavez, a fierce critic of U.S. foreign policy, first won office in 1998.
(18 June 2005)

The Uncertain Balance of Global Oil Supply and Demand: Crisis or Business as Usual?

Centre for Strategic and Independent Studies (US)
The study assesses the geo-strategic, production and technological risks facing seven crucial oil-producing regions: The Middle East, Africa, Asia-
Pacific, Europe-Eurasia, North America, and South and Central America.
(15 June 2005)
Could be read as a survey of excuses for more ‘democratising’ of oil reserves.


How high-pressure politics threatens action on climate

Robin McKie, The Observer
American resistance will not be the only obstacle to saving the world when Tony Blair meets the G8 leaders – but they must act or face catastrophe. …
…the greater issue of saving the planet is bogged in petty negotiation, largely because America’s delegates still refuse to admit, in public, that global warming is caused by human activity. …
There has been a massive change in attitudes in America,’ added King. ‘There is a real feeling that they are positioning themselves so that when there is a decision – and I say when, not if – to introduce cutbacks in carbon emissions, they will be up and running very quickly.
(19 June 2005)
Long background article.

New US move to spoil climate accord

Mark Townsend, The Observer
Extraordinary efforts by the White House to scupper Britain’s attempts to tackle global warming have been revealed in leaked US government documents obtained by The Observer.
These papers – part of the Bush administration’s submission to the G8 action plan for Gleneagles next month – show how the United States, over the past two months, has been secretly undermining Tony Blair’s proposals to tackle climate change. …
(19 June 2005)


Father of the Modern Hybrid Car Dies

Associated Press via Guardian
NEW YORK (AP) – Victor Wouk, an electrical engineer and entrepreneur who developed the first full-size version of the modern hybrid car, has died. He was 86.
(19 June 2005)