Category Archives: Sustainable Design

The Promise and Hype of Shale Gas

A contrarian view of the potential of shale gas from the very experienced and credible Mr. Henry Groppe:

“Everyone thinks [shale gas] is going to solve all of our problems. There are very optimistic estimates about the economically recoverable volumes of gas from this new resource,”  … “That’s dominating everyone’s views about the gas supply picture – that we’re going to be flooded with gas.”

The reality, he argues, is that shale gas deposits are a tiny part of the North American production pool – and they are already depleting fast.


The Reality of Our Oil Demand

Another gem from Gregor Macdonald:

Here in United States we like to outsource the extraction of our oil supply to anyone but ourselves. We don’t particularly want to see the results of our own demand for liquid fuels, the pull from our 300 million vehicles and our four million miles of highways. We’d prefer that someone else–preferably far away–despoil their own landscape. And we’ve done quite a good job over the past several decades to make sure that’s happened, as the amount of oil we’ve had to import from the Mideast, from Africa, from Mexico and Canada has skyrocketed. This background is helpful in framing the BP well blowout in 5000 feet of Gulf deepwater. The reality of our oil demand has now touched home. In fact, it’s washing up on our coastline.

China & Peak Oil

More coverage of Peak Oil by the mainstream press (CNBC):


Learn about the dangers of the current neo-classical economic theory.  Arm yourself with knowledge.  A sustainable world will require a completely new economic model.

Putting it bluntly:

Will the Path to Resilience be paved by Dropouts?

Interesting social commentary in Time on visioning a post carbon, post suburban, and possibly resilient future.

Will $120/barrel Oil be the New Normal?

According to 60% of the world’s oil supply is derived from non-OPEC sources and the non-OPEC world of oil peaked in 2004.   Non-OPEC supply post 2004 was NOT responsive to the run up in crude prices.  Gregor predicts the “new normal” for oil prices post recession will be in the order of $120/barrel.

$2.2-Trillion Externalized Environmental Costs

A new study sponsored by the UN pegs externalized costs to the environment by the world’s top 3,000 corporations at $2.2-trillion.  This amount is equal to 1/3 of those corporation’s combined profits.

Hardly a compelling argument for corporate personhood!