Monthly Archives: May 2009

Kate Mackenzie

Climate change is responsible for 300,000 deaths this year, and will be responsible for 500,000 by the year 2030, according to the Global Humanitarian Forum, led by Kofi Annan. And it gets worse. The study estimates:

…that climate change seriously affects 325 million people every year, a number that will more than double in 20 years to 10 percent of the world’s population (now about 6.7 billion).

Economic losses due to global warming amount to over $125 billion annually — more than the flow of aid from rich to poor nations — and are expected to rise to $340 billion each year by 2030, according to the report.

After those rather unpleasant figures sink in, the first question you might have (if you’re like me, anyway) is: how did they get those numbers? Read more

Kate Mackenzie

Kjell Aleklett, a Swedish physics professor and president of ASPO, the main peak oil association, is taking on the IEA over future liquid hydrocarbon supply.

Platts reports Aleklett will present a paper for peer review and inclusion in the journal Energy Policy that says the IEA’s projections of liquid output of 101.5m barrels per day by 2030 is too high.  He puts the number at 75m bpd. Read more

Opec dislikes speculators, or that is what the cartel says.

In the words of Abdalla El-Badri, Opec’s secretary general, on Friday speculators are back, not only to crude oil, but into all commodities. “We are not happy… and we do not want to see them to be a factor in prices.” Read more

Kate Mackenzie

On FT Energy Source:

Steep crude price rise is tolerable, so far Read more

Kate Mackenzie

Javier Blas reports from Vienna:

Oil prices on Friday rose above $66 a barrel, setting a fresh six-month high and heading for their biggest monthly gain in more than 10 years, following Opec’s upbeat comments about oil demand in Asia at its meeting this week. Read more

Kate Mackenzie

Olivier Jakob at Petromatrix points out on Friday:

Today is the last trading day of the month and if things are left unchanged at the close then May 2009 will print in absolute terms the highest monthly gains ever for WTI, beating by a few cents the month of… May 2008. Read more

Fiona Harvey

Steven Chu, the US secretary of energy, is a fan of second generation biofuels. But he doesn’t call them that.

In his interview with the FT, he says: “I like to talk about 4th generation biofuels.”

First generation is burning wood. He didn’t make it quite clear what the second and third generation are, but broadly in between comes ethanol and then a new generation of biofuels scientists are currently working on, to make liquid fuels from waste.

He says that the “technologies and the science we’re doing today is quite different. There are synthetic biology tools that simply weren’t available to us five years ago.” Read more

James Fontanella-Khan

- Opec bets on recovery to boost price
Cartel deliveres optimistic message about the global economy (FT)

- Obama says will talk to Saudis about oil prices
US president says oil dependency is not in Suadi’s interest (Reuters) Read more

Kate Mackenzie

The revised Waxman-Markey bill now plans to give away about 85 per cent of initial carbon allowances for free – despite President Obama’s first budget back in February planning for all allowances to be auctioned; with no freebies.  Many commentators, including the FT, have been critical of the giveaways.

Robert Stavins at Harvard has written a defence of giving away allowances; in principle, he says, they are not as bad as they sound. Read more

Kate Mackenzie

On Energy Source:

Steven Chu: Open source software can reduce need for coal plants Read more