Oct 162014
 
Pepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times/Hong Kong, an analyst for RT and TomDispatch, and a frequent contributor to websites and radio shows ranging from the US to East Asia.short URL Published time: October 15, 2014 11:52 http://rt.com/op-edge/196148-saudiarabia-oil-russia-economic-confrontation/ A fisherman pulls in his net as an oil tanker is seen at the port in the northwestern city of Duba.(Reuters / Mohamed Al Hwaity) Rosneft Vice President Mikhail Leontyev: “Prices can be manipulative …Saudi Arabia has begun making big discounts on oil. This is political manipulation, Arabis is being manipulated, which could end badly.” A correction is in order; the Saudis are not being manipulated. What the House of Saud is launching is“Tomahawks of spin,” insisting they’re OK with oil at $90 a barrel; also at $80 for the next two years; and even at $50 to $60 for Asian and North American clients. The fact is Brent crude had already fallen to below $90 a barrel because China – and Asia as a whole – was already slowing down economically, although to a lesser degree compared to the West. Production, though, remained high – especially by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait – even with very little Libyan and Syrian oil on the market and with Iran forced to cut exports by a million barrels a day because of the US economic war, a.k.a. sanctions. The House of Saud is applying a highly predatory pricing strategy, which boils down to reducing market share of its competitors, in the middle- to long-term. At least in theory, this could make life miserable for a lot of players – from the US (energy development, fracking and deepwater drilling become unprofitable) to producers of heavy, sour crude such as Iran and Venezuela. Yet the key target, make no mistake, is Russia. A strategy that simultaneously hurts Iran, Iraq, Venezuela, Ecuador and Russia cannot escape the temptation of being regarded as an “Empire of Chaos” power play, as in Washington cutting a deal with Riyadh. A deal would imply bombing ISIS/ISIL/Daesh leader Caliph Ibrahim is just a prelude to bombing Bashar al-Assad’s forces; in exchange, the Saudis squeeze oil prices to hurt the enemies of the “Empire of Chaos.” Yet it’s way more complicated than that. Sticking it to Washington Russia’s state budget for 2015 requires oil at least at $100 a barrel. Still, the Kremlin is borrowing no more than $7 billion in 2015 from the usual “foreign investors”, plus $27.2 (more…)
Jun 022013
 
Population growth erodes sustainable energy gains – UN report Source: – Fri, 31 May 2013 02:58 PMAuthor: Laurie Goering LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The world has made important progress towards improving energy efficiency, using more renewable sources of power and providing basic electricity to every household over the last two decades. But the gains have barely been enough to keep up with population growth and surging energy demand and are far short of what is needed to curb climate change, a new UN-backed energy report suggests. In the last 10 years, 1.7 billion people around the world gained access to electricity. But the world’s population grew by 1.6 billion over that same period, nearly wiping out the gains. Similarly, rising energy demand effectively eliminated half the energy efficiency savings and 70 percent of the gains from growth in renewable energy over the past decade. “Even to stand still, we have to run extremely fast. That’s the challenge,” said Vivien Foster, a sustainable energy leader at the World Bank and one of the lead authors of the Global Tracking Framework report, released on Friday. Based on household survey data from 180 countries around the world, the report examines progress over the last 20 years towards three sustainable energy goals the United Nations Secretary General has set for 2030: universal access to electricity and fuel sources other than firewood or dung for cooking; a doubling of renewable energy as a share of global energy use; and a doubling of the annual rate of improvement in energy efficiency. About 70 countries around the world have signed up to try to meet the “Sustainable Energy for All” goals. The report – the first to track progress on such goals – aims to drive better policy on sustainable energy as well as to support the inclusion of energy issues in new sustainable development goals (SDGs), which are expected to be adopted next year to replace the expiring Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). 1.2 BILLION WITHOUT ELECTRICITY Access to clean and sustainable energy remains an enormous problem around the world, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Globally 1.2 billion people have no access to electricity and 2.8 billion cook with firewood and other “solid fuels” that can cause health problems and that help fuel widespread deforestation. The problem is worst in rural areas, but experts are particularly concerned about cities, where virtually all of the expected (more…)
Apr 292011
 
[Editor: Why aren’t we hearing about this instead of the clap trap pitched on the so called “news” channels? These guys are going to surface as a very powerful force int the Global Reserve Currency discussion.] The leaders of China, Brazil, Russia, India and now, South Africa wrap up a one-day summit with repeated calls for reforming the global monetary and financial system and more promises of cooperation among themselves. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VmvaTrpX1M Share this:FacebookLinkedInTwitterGoogleTumblrPinterestReddit (more…)