One of the promising sources of natural gas is shale formations. There has been many articles recently claiming our energy problems are solved by shale gas. However this Alternet article points out that shale gas extraction involves piping water into the shale formation. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a technique that releases natural gas trapped in underground shale formations by injecting water, chemicals, and sand to "frack" the rock structures and release the gas. Often, large quantities of groundwater contaminated by chemicals, radioactive elements, or other minerals are produced in the process. Unless great care is taken, this "produced water" mixed with water used for fracturing can flow to the surface or into groundwater systems and contaminate land, drinking water supplies, and natural waterways. In other words, mining shale gas most likely involves widespread poisoning of water systems.
Friday, September 16, 2011
There are powerful forces driving the growth of the Carbon Capture and Sequestration industry. Those forces — the need to mitigate climate change, a looming price on carbon such as through a cap-and-trade system, and large amounts of government funding — could push the emerging industry to capture and store carbon emissions from power plants toward global annual revenues of $128 billion to $221 billion by 2030, according to a report released today from Pike Research. Energy Secretary Chu has said that CCS technology today would increase the cost of generating power from coal by about 80 percent. To be tolerable he claims the cost needs to be 20-25%. In the absence of a firm price on carbon, capital investments in CCS technology from private industry will remain limited, the Pike study said. But in the meantime, governments have been steadily increasing their commitments to fund R&D projects focused on advancing systems for capturing and storing emissions.
In many ways, the folks who say we a have lots of oil are correct. All one has to do is include the oil which is extremely expensive and slow to extract. Much of the cheap, easy-to-extract oil has already been removed. Economic theory says if/when prices rise our pocketbooks will dictate finding an alternative. The alternative will relieve price pressure on the oil causing the price of oil to drop. When oil prices rose, we found substitutes, but they were poor substitutes. Biofuels interfered with food supply; wind is a substitute for natural gas and coal in electricity production, but it is not as a transportation fuel, which is one of the things that we specifically expect to be short of.
Peak oil and four principles of PR By Kurt Cobb :: ASPO-USA: Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas
Robert Hirsch presented an impactful paper at the October 2007 ASPO conference that went over the impact on economy and society. Peak oil activists and mass media have had a rocky relationship, and don't quite communicate on the same page. Four principles for peak oil activists to better work with the mass media: a) don't criticize the media pubicly. It'll just offput them and they can buy ink by the barrels or megapixel, depending on your unit of measure. b) "Fear triumphs over hope".. so it's more effective to weild fear to goad your audience into action? Reporters seem to like to print fear stories? Sigh. c) Keep it short and simple rather than go into long explanations. Unfortunately peak oil is full of long explanations, but those tend to lose the audience about halfway through. d) Focus on the cover-ups that exist, like the varying claims over oil reserves.
The "progressives" seem to be shocked and surprised and outraged thinking that Obama is betraying them. What's really going on is they put projections onto Obama to pretend that Obama was like them, and being like them his administration would undertake every pet change they thought was important. If they had listened instead they'd have learned he was more of a centrist than progressive. By criticizing Obama, progressives are modeling the behavior of social movement participants as diverse as the abolitionists, suffragists, civil rights advocates, feminists and proponents of GLBT rights. Progressive movements have never achieved their goals by peacefully acquiescing to the will of politicians. While successful progressive movements have undoubtedly made and accepted compromises, they have also condemned politicians when doing so was appropriate. The election of Obama does not provide a reasonable basis for abandoning this tried and tested historical approach to social change.
TTamdC is a professional services organization helping businesses and organizations achieve triple bottom line (financial, social/ethical, and environmental) success. We work with businesses to navigate the twin impacts of peak oil and climate change, seeing the world as it is becoming, not as it was. etc...
Imagine having to walk six hours for a drink of water. Or being surrounded by so much rising water your ancestral homeland is sinking before your eyes. Or that the ice that has literally supported your community for untold generations is cracked, splitting and swallowing your loved ones, along with their way of life.
Copenhagen Won't Be Enough -- Only a 'Human Movement' Can Save Civilization from the Climate Crisis | Environment | AlterNet
A strange cloud envelops human civilization as its leaders fail to take the measures to protect it in Copenhagen that they themselves endorsed just five months ago. A child under 13 today can expect to live into the 2080s, by which time civilization as we know it will have disappeared if we continue to fail to reduce carbon emissions by 25-40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, and 80 percent by 2050, according to our climate scientists. What will occur in Copenhagen thus continues a pattern seen since the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. Scientists there were anguished that the treaty only sought to reduce emissions to 1990 levels by 2012. None foresaw that the treaty would be ignored and that world emissions would be 40.8 percent higher (and U.S. emissions 19.8 percent higher) in 2007 than in 1990. We live today as if in a trance, conducting business as usual in times so unusual that they pose an even greater threat than 20th-century wars that killed more than 100 million people.