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24 March 2011 @ 06:53 pm
CCNet - The Coming Shale Oil Revolution  

CCNet – 22 March 2011

The Climate Policy Network

The Coming Shale Oil Revolution

Dr Vinegar, the former chief scientist of Royal Dutch Shell, is at the centre of an ambitious project to turn Israel into one of the world's leading oil producers. According to Dr Vinegar, Israel has the second-biggest oil shale deposits in the world, outside the US: "We estimate that there is the equivalent of 250 billion barrels of oil here. To put that in context, there are proven reserves of 260 billion barrels of oil in Saudi Arabia." --Ian King, The Times, 21 March 2011

Britain may back away from the use of nuclear energy because of safety fears and a potential rise in costs after the Fukushima disaster, says Chris Huhne, the energy secretary. He said that after the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster in the US 32 years ago, it became more difficult to raise money for nuclear investment. "After Three Mile Island in 1979, nuclear operators found it very hard to finance new projects. Globally, this undoubtedly casts a shadow over the renaissance of the nuclear industry. That is blindingly obvious," he said.  --Toby Helm, The Observer, 20 March 2011

In the short run, the beneficiary of nuclear's now inevitable crisis is going to be fossil fuels. Renewable energy remains too expensive, too land-hungry, too unreliable and too small-scale to take up much slack, so cheap coal and newly abundant natural gas will do the job. This is ironic, because however high the death toll at Fukushima climbs, it is unlikely to match the casualties in the fossil-fuel industry. –Matt Ridley, The Wall Street Journal, 19 March 2011

The only evidence that exists as to the health of humans who have been irradiated at low levels points to a benefit, not a harm. Difficult though it may be to overcome the fear of radiation that has been drubbed into us since childhood, there is no scientific proof whatsoever to view the radiation emitted from the Fukushima plant as dangerous to the Japanese population, and certainly no reason for the Japanese to view those living near the plant as damaged goods. In all likelihood, though, many will nevertheless be viewed as such. If so, that will be one more tragedy heaped among the others that the affected Japanese population will need to endure. –Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post, 22 March 2011

If one was asked to list the natural factors causing variations on the global temperature of the Earth over timescales from months to millennia I think most would write down such things as the oceans, atmosphere, sun, Earth’s orbit and their associated timescales. How many would, I wonder, include changes in the rotation of the Earth as an influence in changing global temperature? Certainly not the IPCC. In AR4, their 2007 review of the science of climate change, it doesn’t receive a mention. Yet it might be an influence, and an important one at that. -–David Whitehouse, The Observatory, 21 March 2011

1) The Coming Shale Oil Revolution - The Times, 21 March 2011

2) Britain May Back Away From Nuclear Energy - The Observer, 20 March 2011

3) Matt Ridley: Does A Different Nuclear Power Lie Ahead? - The Wall Street Journal, 19 March 2011

4) Lawrence Solomon: Fears Over Fukushima Radiation Overblown - Financial Post, 22 March 2011

5) David Whitehouse: Climate In A Spin - The Observatory, 21 March 2011

6) Tropical Storm Activity Hits A 40-Year Low - NoTricksZone, 21 March 2011