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Obama needs a new Dream

I sincerely hope Barack Obama will become the next US President but his acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention last night did not convince me that he will be the One solving our global climate and energy crisis. Obama’s keynote address was big on changing the political culture in Washington and rescuing the American Dream… » read more

Contrary to global warming which is barely an issue in the presidential campaign, energy policy and the dream of weaning America off its “addiction” to foreign oil has become one of the main battlegrounds between candidates Obama and McCain. But do they really understand what is at stake? High oil prices and a 4 dollar… » read more

The renowned Dutch Clingendael International Energy Programme foresees more future turbulence in the oil markets, an energy crunch by 2010 and potential oil rationing in the Western world. Here are some of the most interesting conclusions of the highly recommended “Oil Turbulence in the next decade” essay: The “oil crunch” predicted by the International Energy… » read more

It is often assumed that climate and energy security policies are complementary and that therefore measures in one area are also good for the other. This assumption might be correct in certain cases (driving less will be good for climate and will make us less dependent on imported oil), but there are more and more… » read more

Jeremy Bentham and Jeroen Van de Veer presented Shell’s latest scenarios Scramble and Blueprints to Brussels policymakers on 7 April. Their visions for the future look pretty grim although they were not very upfront about it and their plea for big government hand-outs for carbon capture and storage raises a lot of questions. The scenarios… » read more

The EU is unprepared for future conflicts over energy resources, according to a new report written for the meeting of EU leaders on 13-14 March. The report, seen by the Guardian, predicts that global warming might lead to energy wars, mass migration, failed states and political radicalisation. The report highlights the “scramble” over natural resources… » read more

When investments banks start to talk openly about a future oil supply crunch, there is reason to get really worried. According to the Wall Street Journal, Deutsche Bank recently joined the club of high-level energy experts who think the world will never see production levels above 100 million barrels per day. The Bank is now… » read more

In a recent interview with EurActiv, Jeremy Rifkin expressed his belief that “Europe can lead the third industrial revolution”. In the closing debate of this year’s European Business Summit, the American author repeated his admiration for the EU’s policies but added cautiously that “the EU might well tell the right narrative, but the US could… » read more

How do you communicate the need to take urgent climate change actions when your citizens are enjoying the warmest winter in ages with temperatures which save them a lot of money in energy consumption? This was one of the interesting questions I discussed with government communicators, EU information officers and aspiring journalists during my two-day… » read more

The Wall Street Journal reported today that three of the biggest US investment banks are getting cold feet about financing new coal power plants as they expect US policy-makers to introduce a carbon capture-and-trade system in the future. The environmental standards which the three banks will lay down could mean that coal plants without carbon… » read more

A system-wide financial crisis, food insecurity, supply chain disruptions and climate and energy chaos are the four major global risks for the coming year according to a report released on 9 January by the World Economic Forum. The report “Global Risks 2008” comes two weeks before the yearly WEF meeting in Davos and highlights most… » read more

According to the Independent, the UK government will today announce what amounts to a real renewables revolution. In a remarkable U-turn, Gordon Brown’s government wants all households in Britain to be powered by off-shore windfarms in 2020. It could mean building 7000 wind turbines along the coast of the UK. Read further articles about this… » read more

Here, that is, in our own “developed” world and not only in those countries which are traditionally being identified as “developing” countries (the now politically incorrect “third world” in the past). As the economic growth successes and the consumption abundance of our developed countries have been bought on the back of rapid over-exploitation of the… » read more

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