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break even

Break even points for oil producers

Last week when I was writing about the oil price, I had a look around for a neat graphic that showed the various break-even points for global oil producers. I couldn’t find one at the time, but the Financial Times have since compiled one. Here’s a graph showing the cost of production for various regions: […]

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The Big Six and the Big Sixty Million

In Britain, the energy market is dominated by six big companies. Together they supply 95% of the country’s households, but that is changing. In the past, the huge investment costs of energy generation made it impossible to break into the market, but renewable energy is creating new challengers. As we’ve discussed before, renewable energy can […]

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cross church

Catholic bishops call for radical action on climate

This week a group of Catholic bishops issued a statement in support of the climate talks in Lima. It’s a really well worded statement to world leaders, and also to the Catholic church. It recognises the benefits of technology and development, comes from a place of compassion for the poor, and it’s ambitious in its […]

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Equal countries grow faster, says OECD

I recently mentioned how the IMF and the World Bank had begun to talk about inequality, part of a growing recognition that too much inequality is bad for society and the economy. To the list we can now add the OECD, who released a striking new report this week. Noting that in-country inequality has risen […]

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Climate change could make development impossible

In this year’s haul of pre-conference climate reports is the third in a series from the World Bank called Turn Down the Heat: Confronting the New Climate Normal. The first, released in 2012, put the figure of 4 degrees squarely on the map. This is what business as usual could lead to, it argued. Subsequent […]

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What we learned this week?

Remember my recent post on how subsidies for fossil fuel exploration represented a massive lose-lose situation? The government has just announced further “financial support for seismic surveys in under-explored areas” of the North Sea There’s a petition on this subject here. “The chancellor has pledged to extract “every drop” of oil from the North Sea” […]

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sf parklet

Building of the week: the parklet

Last year Sao Paulo ran a little experiment as part of an environmentally themed week. They turned underused street parking spaces into mini-parks for the duration of the event. They reclaimed the space for pedestrians rather than cars, with benches and plants and bike racks. The ‘parklets’ were so popular that they are now going […]

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Oil Fields In Northern Iraq Try To Reach Maximum Production capacity.

The consequences of a low oil price

Something a little crazy has happened in the oil market this year, and we begin December with the price of crude below $70 for the first time since the global financial crisis. That figure rang a bell. It’s the ‘economic prerequisite’ that Leonardo Maugeri said was necessary to keep oil supplies on track in his […]

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learning with nature

Book review: Learning with Nature

I’ve written before about ‘nature deficit disorder’, and the way that 21st century children have far fewer opportunities to encounter nature than previous generations. Without access to wild spaces, children live sedentary lives, with all the associated health problems. They lack freedom and adventure, and make up for it in screen time. And they risk […]

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Three forms of Western democracy

One of the overarching themes of recent history has been the spread of Western democracy, sometimes through reform, other times through revolution, and sometimes by force. Right or wrong, there is more or less a consensus that whatever its shortcomings may be, it’s the best form of government anyone has thought of yet. Most of […]

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