Gas Flaring

Friends of Earth InternationalGas flaring is a perfect study in wasteful human activity. This practice typically occurs in developing, oil-rich nations which are lacking in infrastructure. Essentially, those drilling for oil hit deposits of natural gas, which are difficult to extract and sell. Rather than investing in the infrastructure to liquefy and harness the gas, the short term solution is just to set fire to the gas and leave it to burn completely in the open.

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Return of the subcompact car

Is this what is meant by new “green collar jobs” as the economy shifts?  There’s no clear definition of the “green collar job”, but Mexico will be getting 4,500 new jobs as part of a $3 billion investment in the country by Ford as the Ford Fiesta returns to their lineup. 25,000 jobs at direct and indirect suppliers are expected to be created, as well.

This further demonstrates how the shift towards ‘green’ alternatives does not have to come at the expense of the economy. In fact, with a possible fuel economy as high as 50 mpg on the gasoline model and a list price expected below $15,000, the new Fiesta could save consumers both on their car payments and at the gas pumps. Its not ridiculous to suggest that gas prices could rise to $10 or $12 per gallon in the next 5 years, making driving a luxury and cars like this a precious commodity to those who need an automobile.

How many more car fires are we going to see so people can buy a Fiesta?

Those Barrington residents don’t really know how bad it is

Yesterday, we saw how a lack of awareness led the residents of the suburban town of Barrington, Illlinois to protest an increase in freight traffic through their town.

Today, railway executive Matthew Rose told fellow industry leaders, that the future of the rail network is bleak, unless action is taken.

Maybe now Barrington will reconsider? Probably not. After all, can’t it be in someone else’s backyard?
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High fuel prices – help to aquatic ecosystems?

Fuel protests triggered by rising oil prices have spread to more countries across Europe, with thousands of fishermen on strike.

BBC News

The coasts of Portugal, Spain and France are all at a halt as fuel prices have forced the fishermen to campaign for government subsidies to offset rising costs while wholesale fish prices have remained the same. Even if thousands of fishermen are currently facing impoverishment, the new economics of fishing may help the fish population and the industry to recover.
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Closer look at Nigeria

Nigeria’s President says that his country will not be able to generate enough electricity for its population until 2015.

BBC News

How realistic are the President’s plans, what does the future hold for Nigeria and what are its implications for the rest of the world?
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An example of how peak oil awareness is imperative

Many of the peak-oil aware support freight rail as an effective substitute to trucking and method of mitigating the effects of resource depletion. Along with nuclear power, windmills, public transport and hybrids/EVs, freight-rail could be part of a future less dependent on hydrocarbons.

Unfortunately, enacting policies to facilitate a shift towards these alternatives is not as easy as realizing their existence. As everyone knows, politicians depend on the support of their constituents, and as a result are depending on the knowledge and values of these very people. The prevailing view among most voters, despite the current news, is that high energy prices are temporary and someone is to “blame”, leaving most to value style, status and comfort instead of sustainability. Due to this lack of knowledge, people continue to drive gas guzzlers, refuse to conserve, and vehemently reject the presence of anything “noisy” or “unsightly” whether it be an nuclear power plant, windmill, or freight train.
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“A growing unwillingness among chemical producers to function as an energy shock absorber.”

Dow chemical to raise prices by as much as 20%

It seems that the inflationary pressures of higher energy prices are starting to be felt. This can be seen across other industries; airlines are now charging extra for baggage, and the high price of diesel and fertilizer may keep farmers from increasing production despite high prices, preventing any relief for the world’s poor.

But where are we most likely to see these higher costs passed on to consumers?
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