The Ecologist


OIl: 25/50 of 398
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The massive 5-reactor Hamaoka nuclear site, 200km SW of Tokyo, is built directly over the subduction zone near the junction of two tectonic plates. It was closed in 2011 to avoid a second Fukushima scale disaster. Photo: Cesar Ogasawara via Flickr (CC BY-

To stop using fossil fuels any time soon, Japan must follow Germany's lead

Peter Matanle, University of Sheffield

15th June 2015

Japan and Germany have much in common: both are major industrial countries that have gone nuclear-free, writes Peter Matanle - Germany by choice, Japan by necessity. But while Germany is actively pursuing its renewable energy revolution, or Energiewende, Japan, possessed of the richest renewable energy resources in East Asia, is stuck in a fossil fuel pit. more...
Part of the Science Museum’s Atmosphere exhibition, which Shell sponsored. Photo: The Science Museum.

Shell leant on Science Museum to influence climate programme

Terry Macalister / the Guardian

1st June 2015

Emails released by the Science Museum show that Shell pressed its case to Museum staff to deny NGOs the opportunity to open up a debate on the company's operations in connection with an exhibition it had sponsored on waste and climate change, writes Terry Macalister. more...
The recent 100,000 gallon oil spill in Santa Barbara shows that accidents are always waiting to happen - and all the more so in a hazardous environment like the Arctic. But Shell says it's fine to drill for oil there - while refusing to release its 'indep

Shell's Arctic safety audit kept secret, may never see full light of day

Joe Sandler Clarke / Greenpeace Energydesk

27th May 2015

Shell claims a third party audit into its plans to drill for Arctic oil and gas has found 'no issues of significance', writes Joe Sandler Clarke. But the audit remains under wraps, and may never be released in full. Now Obama pledges his support for the project - just as it turns out that Shell selected the 'independent' auditor. more...
These guys aren't waiting till 2050! 'Kayaktivists' opposing Shell's plans to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean prepare for the 'Paddle in Seattle' protest, 16th May 2015. Photo: Backbone Campaign via Flickr (CC BY).

The world won't let Shell wait until 2050 to adapt its business to climate change

Steffen Böhm

27th May 2015

Shell's senior management are treading an impossible path, writes Steffen Böhm. On the one hand they accept that climate change is real and serious, and that many of their fossil fuel assets may prove unburnable. On the other, they insist that business as usual will continue for decades to come. It's high time they smelt the coffee! more...
Unit 3 of the Boundary Dam Power Station in Estevan, Saskatchewan, has been converted for post-combustion CCS, producing over 1 million tonnes of CO2 per year - pipelined to oil fields in the south of the province to increase recovery. Photo: SaskPower vi

False promise of 'carbon capture' exposed

The Ecologist

26th May 2015

The widely touted 'carbon capture and storage' technology is much more expensive than wind and solar, says a Greenpeace report. It also represents a perverse subsidy to the fossil fuel sector that will only boost coal and oil, and delay the transition to a renewable energy system. more...
A Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus) off the coast of Massachusetts, USA. Photo: chris buelow via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Time to 'Get Oil Out!' from sea to shining sea

Ralph Nader & David Helvarg

4th July 2015

Faced with the double crisis of global warming and the decimation of marine wildlife, what does the Obama administration do? Open up the US's Atlantic and Arctic Ocean seafronts to oil and gas drilling, write Ralph Nader & David Helvarg. But this assault on our climate and cetaceans can be stopped, as a 'Sea Party Rebellion' prepares to fight it all the way in forthcoming Presidential elections. more...
The 'Polar Pioneer' - made unwelcome on its arrival at the Port of Los Angeles on 17th April 2015 by Kayaktivists from the sHellNo! Action Council. Photo: Charles Conatzer & the sHellNo! Action Council / Backbone Campaign via Flickr (CC BY).

Shell's Arctic oil setback - unlawful use of Seattle Port

Oliver Tickell

5th May 2015

The Port of Seattle is violating its shoreline permit in allowing Shell to set up a 'home port' for its Arctic oil drilling fleet, according to Seattle officials. The finding could nix Shell's oil drilling plans for the 2015 season. more...
Despite the exploitation of unconventional oil resources like high-cost tar sands (pictured in Canada) and shales, peak oil really is upon us. Photo: Gord McKenna via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

'Beyond petroleum' - fracking's collapse heralds the arrival of peak oil

Paul Mobbs

5th May 2015

The 'death of peak oil' has been much exaggerated, writes Paul Mobbs. Take out high-cost 'unconventional' oil and production peaked ten years ago, and even North America's fracking and tar sands boom has failed to open up new resources both big enough to make good the shortfall, and cheap enough to reward investors. We really do need to be thinking 'beyond petroleum'. more...
Oil wells in the Bakken Oil Field of North Dakota, USA. Photo: Alan Graham McQuillan PhD ARPS via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Future dustbowl? Fracking ravages Great Plains land and water

Tim Radford

4th May 2015

The fracking boom has caused massive vegetation loss over North America's rangelands, writes Tim Radford, as 3 million hectares have been occupied by oil and gas infrastructure and 34 billion cubic metres of water have been pumped from semi-arid ecosystems. more...
A boy herding cattle near Mentao refugee camp in Burkina Faso. More than 18 million people in West Africa’s Sahel region are hungry and malnourishedas a result of the crisis. Photo: DFATD | MAECD via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Rebellion and hunger - how drought and food scarcity are fanning the flames of war

Nafeez Ahmed

13th May 2015

Food and water shortages and sharp price hikes in the necessities of life are driving civil unrest and rebellion across the Middle East and North Africa, writes Nafeez Ahmed. Adding to the problem, many of the afflicted countries are of strategic importance for their oil and gas, putting them on the front line of destabilizing 'counter-terrorism' operations. more...
It's only a matter of time before solar energy will make all this petroleum infrastructure worthless. But until then, there's money to be made! Dusk view of the Valero Energy Corporation's refinery in Port Arthur, Texas. Photo: Carol M. Highsmith via Flic

Saudi Arabia's oil price manipulation - let's get rich while we still can!

Karl Grossman

2nd May 2015

The oil industry and oil producers have a long history of market manipulation, writes Karl Grossman, and we see it going on right now with the low oil price that's squeezing fracking and getting America back onto gas-guzzling SUV's. But longer term, solar power is going to win out, and even Saudi Arabia knows it. Its game? To make out big, while the going's good. more...
Dispersing the dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico May 5, 2010.  Adrian Cadiz, US Air Force public affairs.

Dispersants sprayed after Deepwater Horizon oil spill more toxic than oil alone

Danielle M DeLeo

26th April 2015

The dispersant used in the Deepwater Horizon clean-up appears to be more toxic to corals than crude oil, writes Danielle M DeLeo. It also increases the concentration of oil in seawater, leading to higher, more toxic exposures of oil components when they come into contact with corals and other marine organisms. more...

OIl: 25/50 of 398
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What lies over the rainbow is not a 100 billion barrels of oil, but a green and prosperous future of decentralised renewable energy. Photo: Steve Jurvetson via Flickr (CC BY).

The mirage of fossil fuel wealth - our energy future is green, renewable, decentralised

Vicente López-Ibor Mayor

20th April 2015

Hopes of strengthening Britain’s energy security are often pinned on the fossil fuel industry says Vicente López-Ibor Mayor, as exemplified by the hysteria over the claimed 'discovery' of 100 billion barrels of oil beneath Gatwick airport. But the real long-term solution lies with abundant and ever cheaper decentralised renewables. more...
Nigerian refugees from Boko Haram attacks in Gagamari camp, Diffa region, Niger. Photo: EC / ECHO / Anouk Delafortrie via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

Nigeria's resource curse: Boko Haram and the poverty of plenty

Joshua Goldfond

10th June 2015

After six decades of oil exploitation, Nigeria's failure to provide for its citizens and develop its economy has exposed a hollowed-out state that benefits only the politicians and plutocrats, writes Joshua Goldfond. This is the environment in which Boko Haram has flourished, and as Nigeria proves incapable of effective action or reform, there's no end in sight to the nation's misery. more...
Greenpeace volunteers on board Shell's 'Polar Explorer' oil rig in the Pacific Ocean. Photo: Miriam Friedrich / Greenpeace.

Greenpeace occupies Shell rig after Arctic drilling go-ahead

Christine Ottery & Oliver Tickell

7th April 2015

Days after Shell received US Government backing for its plans to drill in the Chukchi Sea in the Alaskan Arctic, volunteers from Greenpeace have occupied its 'Polar Pioneer' oil rig in the Pacific Ocean to demand a halt to all Arctic oil exploration. more...
Utah's Book Cliffs are no empty wasteland - but that's what the tar sands industry is set to turn them into. Photo:  Loco Steve via Flickr (CC BY).

Wilderness Society's 'Grand Compromise' is a fossil-fuelled sell out

Alexander Reid Ross

7th April 2015

A deal to give up 500,000 acres of public lands in Utah to the tar sands industry in return for 1.5 million acres of industry is a sacrifice too far, writes Alexander Reid Ross, as it disclaims the wider costs of massive water use and contamination in the headwaters of the Colorado River, already seriously stressed by drought. more...
As California's drought bites, its $500 fines for 'water waster' households, but the water's still flowing for the state's powerful agribusiness sector. Photo: Malcolm Carlaw via Flickr (CC BY).

California drought: agribusiness, fracking untouched by water rationing

Evan Blake

5th April 2015

California has responded to the drought by rationing water, with $500 fines for domestic 'water wasters', writes Evan Blake. But agribusiness and water-intensive industries like fracking remain untouched by the restrictions, even though they consume over 90% of the state's water. more...
Waterfall in the Srayaku territory in the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador. Photo: skifatenum via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Deep in the Amazon, one tribe is beating big oil

David Goodman

30th March 2014

The people of Sarayaku in Ecuador's Amazon rainforest are a leading force in 21st century indigenous resistance, writes David Goodman, resisting the incursion of oil exploration into their lands, winning legal victories, and inspiring other communities to follow their example. more...
Hippo and Buffalo on the Semliki River at Lulimbi in Virunga National Park. Photo: via Terese Hart / Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

DRC Congo wants to develop Virunga's oil

Melanie Gouby / the Guardian Environment

17th March 2015

The Democratic Republic of Congo is to consult UNESCO, writes Melanie Gouby, over its wish to 'explore judiciously' for oil in Africa's first and most biodiverse National Park and World Heritage Site. more...
Let them eat carbon! At the 2011 UN climate summit in Durban, South Africa. Photo: Ainhoa Goma / Oxfam International via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Let them eat carbon! The corporate plan to cook Africa in its own fossil fuels

Nnimmo Bassey & Sheila Berry

17th March 2015

Mining corporations, politicians and big NGOs are meeting in London today to plan the future of extractive industries in Africa, write Nnimmo Bassey & Sheila Berry. Absent African civil society and impacted communities, delegates are setting an agenda for 'resource-led development' that will cook the continent in the greenhouse gases of its plundered oil, gas and coal. more...
MPs may make the law - but that does not make them above the law. Photo: UK Parliament via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Fracking: MPs and Lords have derelicted their legal duties - now they must pay the price!

Jojo Mehta

26th February 2015

The rushed passage of the Infrastructure Bill with all its pro-fracking provisions and toothless 'safeguards' is an abuse of democracy. And as it's manifestly against the national and public interest, it's also in breach of both MPs' and Lords' legally binding Codes of Conduct. Now Jojo Mehta intends to hold them to account - in Court. more...
Too good to frack? Spogen Lake lies in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness in Carbon County, Montana. Photo: Troy Smith via Flickr (CC BY-ND-NC 2.0).

Montana's Carbon County farmers sue for protection from fracking

The Ecologist

22nd February 2015

Montana legislators have brushed off the attempts of farmers, ranchers and landowners to effect 'zoning' regulations to protect them, their land, their water and their livestock from the toxic impacts of fracking. Now they say: 'See you in Court!'. more...
Houma, Louisiana: after the town of Venice was almost completely destroyed by Katrina, Houma became the service and transportation center for the offshore oil industry in this part of the Gulf. Photo: Paul Goyette via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Oil lawyer turned judge rules: industry not liable for $50bn Gulf Coast damage

Farron Cousins / DeSmogBlog

19th February 2015

The oil and gas industry has admitted that its canals and drilling rigs have destroyed 1,900 square miles of coastal wetlands on the US Gulf Coast, but a Federal Judge with deep industry ties has ruled that 97 companies off have no liability for the $50 billion damage. more...
A Kichwa girl on the Rio Tigre blockade. Photo: David Hill.

Victory in prospect for Peru's Kichwa People after 40 years of oil pollution

David Hill

10th February 2015

A month-long blockade of the Rio Tigre deep in the Peruvian Amazon has secured promises of compensation and cleanup for Peru's Kichwa communities who have suffered 40 years of contaminated waters from oil drilling operations in their remote Amazon region. But until the funds materialize, they are holding firm in their resolve. more...
The Alberta tar sands aren't just destroying forests and waters on an industrial scale - they are also destabilising the global economy. Photo: Luc Forsyth via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).

Energy market madness is the death spasm of the oil age - renewables now!

Nafeez Ahmed

4th February 2015

Current oil price volatility is a symptom of the end of cheap oil, writes Nafeez Ahmed, and it's destablising the entire global economy. The answer is a major shift to renewables - but the the International Energy Agency, which should be leading the transition, is in the grip of nuclear and fossil fuel interests. Instead the leadership must come from us, the people! more...


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