When it comes to price predictions, few things have become as slippery as crude oil. The big economic shock of this year is likely to transmute into several big political stories in 2015 as the consequences of the collapse in oil prices unfold. Shale oil and gas are revolutionary. But their real impact will be to destabilise the once well-buffered global oil price system. --Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, Hindustan Times, 23 December 2014
The U.S. shale boom that’s brought the country closer to energy self-sufficiency than at any time since the 1980s will be challenged in 2015 as never before. The benchmark U.S. crude price fell below $50 today for the first time since April 2009. Some of the largest U.S. shale drillers have been spending money faster than they make it, borrowing to pay for their expansion. Current oil prices are “not a sustainable long-term trend,” said Warren Henry, a spokesman for Continental. --Asjylyn Loder, Bloomberg, 5 January 2015
Three centuries ago, the world ran on green power. Wood was used for heating and cooking; charcoal for smelting and smithing; wind or water power for pumps, mills, and ships; and whale oil for lamps. People and soldiers walked or rode horses, and millions of horses and oxen pulled ploughs, wagons, coaches, and artillery.
But smoke from open fires choked cities, forests were stripped of trees, most of the crops went to feed draft animals, and streets were littered with horse manure. For many people, life was “nasty, brutish and short.”
Then the steam engine was developed, and later the internal combustion engine, electricity, and refrigeration came along. Green power was replaced by coal and oil. Carbon energy powered factories, mills, pumps, ships, trains, and smelters, and cars, trucks, and tractors replaced the workhorses. The result was a green revolution – forests began to regrow, and vast areas of cropland used for horse feed were released to produce food for humans. Poverty declined, and population soared.
Lord Christopher MoncktonThere are now 219 months with no significant upward temperature trend, according to an analysis of satellite data, which is more than half the 432-month satellite temperature record.
Climate scientists sounded the alarm last year that 2014 was on track to be the hottest year on record. The Japan Meteorological Agency, in fact, declared 2014 year the hottest on record, but only by only 0.05 degrees Celsius.
“The Great Pause is a growing embarrassment to those who had told us with ‘substantial confidence’ that the science was settled and the debate over,” writes Christopher Monckton, the 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley and a climate skeptic. ”Nature had other ideas.”
RSS satellite data is now published for December, and confirms that global atmospheric temperatures for 2014 are nowhere near the record being touted by NOAA and NASA.
The anomaly for the year has finished at 0.256C, which ties with 2007 as only the sixth warmest year since 1979. Not only that, but last year was well below the record set in 1998, and also 2010.