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diasyrmus : environment   9

The dramatic rise and fall of shale oil | Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide
debt and continual capital requirements: shale's dirty secret
Here is the dirty secret about shale. Although you can get a lot of oil from a horizontally drilled shale well in the first year of operation compared with a vertically drilled conventional one, production in the shale well starts to decline pretty rapidly in subsequent years. Many wells only produce less than half of the oil in the second year as they did in the first year of operation. Some actually produce just 30% as much oil in the second year. That means shale producers need to drill more wells every year just to match the previous year’s output. That requires more cash, which means they need to go back to their private equity investors for equity or debt, Wall Street banks for new bond issuances or commercial banks for new lines of credit.

The good news is that over the years, the shale firms have operationally become very efficient. They have also been able to squeeze costs down to the barest minimum. Yet, cost savings and dramatic improvements in efficiencies have not made them the lowest-cost producers even as the cost-per-barrel of production on average has declined from US$70 some years ago to between US$40 and US$50 a barrel now. The cost of conventional oil varies — Saudi Arabia can produce at under US$10 per barrel in some of its fields while elsewhere, costs range from US$20 to US$40 a barrel. There are only a handful of US shale firms with production costs of below US$33 a barrel. Even those shale firms do not make money because US$33 a barrel is just the cost of extraction and does not include financing costs.
shale  fracking  energy  environment 
41 minutes ago by diasyrmus
The idea of ‘disposability’ is a new and noxious fiction | Aeon Essays
as with all these discussions, it tends towards the critical tensions between growth and planetary resources and with a third aspect of resource distribution/social equality/postgrowth tensions.

optimists point to growth driven and enabling technology outstripping the resource question. we have not got a great record on this though. equally post-growth is unlikely to be pretty in its questions of distribution, and of course would mean a comparatively static set of barely post-industrial technologies.
The romance of sustainability calls for sacrifice and ingenuity, as do all popular romances. The rich must forgo disposability and commit to reuse with the help of ‘smart’ systems. The Sun and the wind will provide a boundless fount of energy, powering the ‘internet of things’ (and screens). New technologies will alleviate poverty by enabling women to cook without burning wood and children to do their homework after dark. Done right, the tale goes, such measures can generate a ‘good Anthropocene’, in which growth continues and everyone thrives. Those who object – who insist that the only path to planetary stability is via degrowth – face the same derision hurled at their predecessors behind The Limits to Growth.

Pre-industrial Japan monetised excreta; as the historian Susan Hanley writes, in Osaka, ‘the rights to faecal matter … belonged to the owner of the building, whereas the urine belonged to the tenants’.

excremental colonialism
In the same period, American imperialists in the Philippines implemented a suite of faecal laws; the historian Warwick Anderson describes these as ‘excremental colonialism’.

manufacturing of disposability
Contrary to popular discourse, humans are not inherently wasteful; rather, Liboiron notes, that claim ‘came into being at a particular time and place, by design’. By 1963, a packaging industry executive could triumphantly praise his colleagues in plastics:

You are filling the trash cans, the rubbish dumps and the incinerators with literally billions of plastics bottles, plastics jugs, plastics tubes, blisters and skin packs, plastics bags and films and sheet packages – and now, even plastics cans. The happy day has arrived when nobody any longer considers the plastics package too good to throw away.
waste  recycling  kibble  your_future_our_clutter  shit  environment 
yesterday by diasyrmus
Green Impact of Heating our Homes
good thread on cost of redressing the huge problem of heating our homes.
houses  environment  sustainability  housing 
5 weeks ago by diasyrmus
Vegetarianism & the environment – sarah taber
this is great on the land politics of vegetariansim:

It's really interesting to me that the conversation around vegetarianism & the environment is so strongly centered on an assumptions that every place in the world is on the limited land/surplus plan.

You know what region that describes really well? Northwestern Europe.
In many ways, viewing low/no-meat diets as the One True Sustainable Way is very much a vestige of colonialism. It found a farmway that works really well in NW Europe, assumed it must be universal, and tries to apply it to places where it absolutely does not pencil out."
sarah_taber  vegetarianism  environment  food  twitter 
february 2019 by diasyrmus
Things Are Getting Crazy on the Colorado River - Voice of San Diego
was told a couple of years ago that the nevada water table was irretrievably low. this is what that looks like.

my untutored view then was that given current consumption levels the western seaboard would become uninhabitable.
las_vegas  california  water  environment  climate_change 
january 2019 by diasyrmus
Notes on the Global Condition: Of Landscapes of Feed and Oceanic Dead Zones – ADAM TOOZE
Holy shit.

"“When Embrapa started, the cerrado was regarded as unfit for farming. Norman Borlaug, an American plant scientist often called the father of the Green Revolution, told the New York Times that “nobody thought these soils were ever going to be productive.” They seemed too acidic and too poor in nutrients. Embrapa did four things to change that. First, it poured industrial quantities of lime (pulverised limestone or chalk) onto the soil to reduce levels of acidity. In the late 1990s, 14m-16m tonnes of lime were being spread on Brazilian fields each year, rising to 25m tonnes in 2003 and 2004. This amounts to roughly five tonnes of lime a hectare, … Embrapa scientists also bred varieties of rhizobium, a bacterium that helps fix nitrogen in legumes and which works especially well in the soil of the cerrado, reducing the need for fertilisers. Second, Embrapa went to Africa and brought back a grass called brachiaria. Patient crossbreeding created a variety, called braquiarinha in Brazil, which produced 20-25 tonnes of grass feed per hectare, many times what the native cerrado grass produces and three times the yield in Africa. That meant parts of the cerrado could be turned into pasture, making possible the enormous expansion of Brazil’s beef herd. Thirty years ago it took Brazil four years to raise a bull for slaughter. Now the average time is 18-20 months.”"
environment  brazil  US  farming  pastoral  GM 
january 2018 by diasyrmus
Benjamin Kunkel: The Anthropocene
"a year also notable for a world economic crisis that caused global carbon emissions to fall for the first time since the dissolution of the USSR"
lrb  catastrophe  environment  anthropocene 
march 2017 by diasyrmus
Democracy is Joy | k-punk
fantasmatic bodies, the continuance of pastoral salvation and apocalypse as counterweight to mechanistic kakatopia,

"Soon, always soon, Capital dreams, I will be free of the need for politics … and free of the need for humans too … (“… liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate farmers, liquidate real estate… “) Capital’s realised utopia would be a burned-out planet full of fully-automated factories turning out shit that no-one wants to buy, with no-one left to buy it any way, because the conditions for the continued existence of these factories is the destruction of an environment humans can live in"

Why not export Capital (and its wiling servants, if they are so keen on it) to an already-dead planet? Then Capital can get on with realising its utopia, and we can get on with recovering earth for Red Plenty.

Stewart Lee quoted:

"The absence of abundance is already accepted. The metaphors of the nature poets, mapping human hearts through once commonly understood imagery, are irrelevant and impenetrable. “The sun of Winter, / The moon of Summer, and all the singing birds / Except the missel-thrush that loves juniper, / Are quite shut out.” I’m sorry. The missel-what? Can the juniper be monetised? Is this missel-thing for sale? Our children already have no stable baseline from which to calibrate the loss of all that lives. It’s game over."

The metaphors of the nature poets, mapping human hearts through once commonly understood imagery, are irrelevant and impenetrable... The nature behind the intangible internet - that place where in theory children and adults now spend their time - is vast warehouses in Canada, Finland etc.
kpunk  marxism  capitalism  pastoral  environment  greece  syriza  economics  money  progress 
july 2015 by diasyrmus

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