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Deluding Ourselves

The theater of the absurd visits the EIA
Monday, April 20, 2015, 4:50 PM

Once you understand the role of oil, you cannot walk around or travel anywhere without seeing its massive impact on our lives.  Whether it’s the year-round abundance in our grocery stores or it’s the endless traffic jams in every city across the globe, every single day of the year, you see oil’s effect in and on our collective lives. » Read more



Arthur Berman: Why Today's Shale Era Is The Retirement Party For Oil Production

A leading geologist delivers the hard facts
Saturday, February 7, 2015, 5:00 PM

Much of what's been 'sold' to us about the US shale oil revolution is massively over-hyped. The amount of commercially-recoverable shale oil is much less than touted, returns much less net energy than the petroleum our economy was built around, and is extremely unprofitable to extract for most drillers at today's lower oil price.

To separate the hype from reality, our podcast guest is Arthur Berman, a geological consultant with 34 years of experience in petroleum exploration and production, who sees the recent US oil production boost from shale drilling as and short-lived and somewhat desperate; a kind of last hurrah before the lights get turned out. » Read more



Reality-Optional Economics

Cockamamie Stories Infecting the Body Politic
Wednesday, July 9, 2014, 12:10 PM

The total tonnage of economic malarkey being shoveled over the American public these days would make the late Dr. Joseph Goebbels (Nazi Minister of “Public Enlightenment and Propaganda”) turn green in his grave with envy. It’s a staggering phenomenon because little about it is conspiratorial; rather, it’s the consensual expression of a public that wants desperately to believe things that are untrue, and an economic leadership equally credulous, unmanned, and avid to furnish the necessary narratives that might preserve their jobs and perqs. » Read more



The US Shale Oil Miracle Disappears

The Monterey formation was just downgraded by 96%
Wednesday, May 21, 2014, 8:02 PM

The US shale oil "miracle" has about as much believability left as Jimmy Swaggart. Just today, we learned that the EIA has placed a hefty downward revision on its estimate of the amount of recoverable oil in the #1 shale reserve in the US, the Monterey in California.

As recently as yesterday, the much-publicized Monterey formation accounted for nearly two-thirds of all technically-recoverable US shale oil resources.

But by this morning? The EIA now estimates these reserves to be 96% lower than it previously claimed. » Read more

Daily Digest

Image by PhillipC, Flickr Creative Commons

Daily Digest 3/5 - ‘Massive Layoffs’ Predicted In Law Schools, The Wealth Beneath

Tuesday, March 5, 2013, 11:20 AM
  • ‘Massive layoffs’ predicted in law schools due to big drop in applicants
  • BOJ nominee Kuroda sets out aggressive policy ideas
  • BMO Lowers Mortgage Rate To Record Low; Flaherty Warns Against Lending War
  • Info boss says B.C. isn't writing down key decisions to avoid public scrutiny, FOI requests
  • Calvin McCraw, Homeless Oklahoma Man, Lets People Vent To Him For 50 Cents A Minute
  • Four Things To Know About The Next Big Budget Battle
  • Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana: The wealth beneath
  • China Overtakes the US to become the World’s Largest Oil Importer
  • Shell to build LNG plants in Ontario and Louisiana
  • Toyota's i-Road to debut at the Geneva Motor Show
  • Taiwan tests recycling's limits with bus stops out of bottles

The Really, Really Big Picture

There isn't going to be enough net energy
Tuesday, January 15, 2013, 8:54 PM

[Many longtime followers of the Crash Course have asked Chris to update his forecasts for Peak Oil in light of the production increases in shale oil and gas over recent years. What started out as a modest effort at clarification morphed into a much more massive 3-report treatise as Chris sifted through mountains of new data that ultimately left him more convinced than ever we are facing a global net energy crisis despite misguided media efforts intended to convince us otherwise. His reports are being released in series over the next several weeks; the first installment is below.]

There has been a very strong and concerted public-relations effort to spin the recent shale energy plays of the U.S. as complete game-changers for the world energy outlook.  These efforts do not square up well with the data and are creating a vast misperception about the current risks and future opportunities among the general populace and energy organizations alike.  The world remains quite hopelessly addicted to petroleum, and the future will be shaped by scarcity – not abundance, as some have claimed.

This series of reports will assemble the relevant data into a simple and easy-to-understand story that has the appropriate context to provide a meaningful place to begin a conversation and make decisions. » Read more