The price of food is at the heart of this wave of revolutions
No one saw the uprisings coming, but their deeper cause isn't hard to fathom
By Peter Popham Sunday, 27 February 2011
Revolution is breaking out all over. As Gaddafi marshals his thugs and mercenaries for a last-ditch fight in Tripoli, several died as protests grew more serious in Iraq. Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah tried to bribe his people into docility by splashing out $35bn on housing, social services and education. Across the water inBahrain the release of political prisoners failed to staunch the uprising. In Iran, President Ahmadinejad crowed about chaos in the Arab world, but said nothing about the seething anger in his own backyard; in Yemen, the opposition gathers strength daily.
And it's not just the Middle East. This is an African crisis: Tunisia, where it started, is an African country, and last week in Senegal, a desperate army veteran died after setting fire to himself in front of the presidential palace, emulating Mohamed Bouazizi, the market trader whose self-immolation sparked the revolution in Tunisia. Meanwhile, the spirit of revolt has already leapt like a forest fire to half a dozen other ill-governed African nations, with serious disturbances reported in Mauritania, Gabon, Cameroon and Zimbabwe. moreAnd then there is oil.
Oil could bust economic bubble
Oil spike to spoil US economy bubble
It is appropriate to celebrate successes in building the new green economy. But it is also important to remember that we need THOUSANDS of such successes to make a minor dent in the problem.
Iceland Channels Volcanoes in Europe's Energy-Supply Race
By Omar R. Valdimarsson - Feb 28, 2011 9:33 AM CT
Europeans left stranded at airports last year as an Icelandic volcano spewed ash across the continent may soon benefit from the power that seethes beneath the remote north Atlantic island.
Iceland is doing a feasibility study into building a 1,170- kilometer (727-mile) power cable to Scotland to send some of its untapped potential of 18 terawatt-hours of geothermal and hydropower -- that’s enough for 5 million European homes. The project has the backing of the government, Industry Minister Katrin Juliusdottir said in an interview.
“Icelanders live with earthquakes and volcanic activity but the benefits are that now we can monetize these powers,” said Valdimar Armann, an economist at Reykjavik-based asset manager GAMMA, who estimates annual clean-energy exports could reach about a tenth of the island’s $12 billion economy.
The island is trying to emerge from Europe’s biggest banking meltdown this century to restyle itself as one of the European Union’s main sources of renewable energy. The power cable, which would be the longest of its kind ever built, would come as the EU strives to reach its target of 20 percent clean energy by 2020. In about 20 years, Iceland’s energy revenue per capita may rival that of Norway, where oil income has made its $540 billion sovereign wealth fund the world’s second-biggest, Armann said. more
Green diesel harnesses Swedish forests
Published: 20 Feb 11 11:24 CET
Swedish oil and energy firm Preem has announced the development of the "world's first" green diesel developed using residue from the Swedish forestry industry.
Describing the development of the product, which hits the market in April, as "unique", the firm claims that Preem Evolution diesel reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 16 percent due to the fact that a fifth of the raw material is tall oil.
"New thinking on green solutions lies behind the development of the Evolution diesel. The tall oil has hitherto been regarded as waste by the forest industry. Through innovative thinking and co-operation it has been developed into a renewable resource," the firm said in a statement.
The product is developed from processing a residue extracted from black liquor in pulp mills and is the result of six years of research and costing the firm more than 300 million kronor ($47 million). more