Oil prices : from a recession to another

To the prestigious International Energy Agency :” If oil averages USD 120 per barrel in 2012, the global oil import burden  is set to reach a record high of over USD 2 trillion, or USD 5.5 billion per day “

Their press release goes on : ” The current price levels are on average higher than the awful year of 2008, and as such have the capacity to tip the global economy back into recession

The solution is simple : we have to ween ourselves from oil as soon as possible. It’s not as if already knew it and not as if we lacked alternatives.

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Throwing money out of the window

In this economy, I am sure you are careful about how you spend your money and really think about how you will make ends meet this month or the next as the economy might head toward another recession as oil prices go up.

However, each time you are putting 50 euros in your gas tank, you are literally burning two-twenty euro notes as current cars’ internal combustion engines are 85 percent inefficient.

Similarly, if you live in an inefficient building, you may throw out of the roof or the windows up to 80 percent of your $1,000 or 1,000€ heating bill. Yes, that’s 800€ or $ right out of the windows.

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Could oil prices increase exponentionally ?

This is the question as we are breaking record high prices. To Reuters: ” Brent oil priced in euros hit a record high on Thursday on heightened tension between Iran and the West while U.S. stocks neared peaks not seen since 2008. “

” The rise in Brent, the benchmark for European crude and most international oil trades, poses a new headache for cash-strapped Europe, still reeling from a two-year-old sovereign debt crisis.”

When I wrote the post on the increasing prices of oil, I noticed that – despite my low level in advanced mathematics – the price curve looks like the beginning of an exponential.

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Oil prices back up, averaged $111 in 2011

For my ultimate post of 2011, I would like to write about something that was little to not noticed at all, yet as crucial as the increased importance of extreme weather events : oil prices were at their highest average ever this year.

According to some research carried out by the Cambridge Energy Research Associates (Cera) mentioned in Le Figaro [Fr] oil prices averaged $111 throughout 2011.

In 2008 – when oil prices reached the all-time high levels of $147 – the barrel of brent had averaged ” only ” $99. We had then noticed a near-exponential escalation of oil prices…

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Two great news from Europe on climate change

Here are two good news. First : this seems too good to be true as such a fact would sure lead to a bigger role of climate change in politics all around the 27 nations of the .

According to an article from the Guardian : ” Europeans believe that dangers of climate change represent a more serious problem than the current financial turmoil, according to a new poll.

But wait, there is more. To the latest figures from the European Commission, the Union decreased its emissions by 15.5 percent since 1990. And we keep clinging to 20 percent cuts…

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Oil prices back above $100

To the AFP news agency : ” Brent crude rose on Tuesday, holding above $101 on fears that worsening turmoil in Egypt could disrupt supply flows through the strategic Suez Canal, analysts said. “

It had been more than two years than oil didn’t reach such levels. This happens as I read yesterday an interesting post : The Peak Oil Catastrophe-in-Waiting on GreenTech Media.

The author urges the United States to decrease fast their huge oil consumption as peak oil is nearing or behind us (nearly a quarter of the global production is siphoned by the country).

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GHG emissions keep increasing: 2010 hottest year

To the World Meteorological Organization the main greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide – keep increasing in the atmosphere, and this despite the efforts and the economic recession. To the WMO :

” The report highlights concerns that global warming may lead to even greater emissions of methane from Arctic areas. To the Bulletin, total radiative forcing of all long-lived greenhouse gases increased by 27.5% from 1990 to 2009.”

Meanwhile, NASA reports 2010 is the hottest year on record so far. It seems that more than ever before, drastic action is needed. Will the call be heard in Cancun ?

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IEA : Global CO2 emissions decreased

greenhouse-gas-emissionsAccording to a study to be released in November by the International Energy Agency, global greenhouse gases emissions decreased by no less than 2.6 percent. This can be explained by several factors.

Among these factors are the economic recession which decreased the emissions of the global industrial sector but also the various commitments of the United States, the European Union and China.

In the Washington Post, Lester Brown noted that US emissions went down by no less than nine percent over the last two years, ending a century of increasing emissions.

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Why this recession may be good for us

dollarsNo, I am not thinking that unemployment is good. It ain’t, and I know about it as I am myself currently seeking employment. However, this recession is the occasion for us to embrace a more sustainable development.

Less money means we have to reduce the amount of stuff we buy and focus back more on our NEEDS instead of our WANTS. The Pew Research Center shows that this begins to happen in the United States.

Similar trends have been found in France and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the case in other rich and developed countries.

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A green recovery for our economies is possible

Last weeks were horrendous for our financial institutions and economies. Many concerns arise in Europe and around the world over GDP growth which is due to be low in 2008 and 2009.

What if building a greener and more sustainable world actually brought economic growth, millions of jobs and most important of all, hope of a brighter low carbon future ?

A report assessing this possibility was published and the results are most encouraging. The only question I have is : what are we waiting for to carry this plan out ?

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