More world oil and gas investment desperately needed, report warns

Increasing spending does not contradict efforts to reduce emissions, says IEF

More world oil and gas investment desperately needed, report warnsWorld energy markets are facing a “red alert,” and there’s more trouble ahead without enough investment going into oil and gas to meet demand, according to a new report by the International Energy Forum (IEF). “At a time when the global energy crisis calls for more supply, underinvestment in hydrocarbons will be the main reason…

No sign of major crude oil price decline any time soon

Bullish pressure on crude oil markets doesn’t seem to be easing

No sign of major crude oil price decline any time soonCrude oil prices fell last week, notching their second weekly decline in the face of concern that rising interest rates could push the global economy into recession. Yet the future of crude oil still seems bullish to many. Spare capacity, or lack of it, is just one of the reasons. The global surplus of crude…

Hereditary empires and the struggle with modernity

Hereditary dynasties could not survive the industrial revolution. Well, except for one

Hereditary empires and the struggle with modernityLast week’s column drew from British historian Dominic Lieven’s current book about emperors and empires. Called In the Shadow of the Gods, it’s an exploration of the characteristics that contributed to dynastic success or failure. Lieven’s penultimate chapter deals with the challenges modernity posed to hereditary dynasties. As the environment changed rapidly, the crowns adorning…

No end in sight for soaring oil prices

The best bet remains to bring sanctioned Iranian oil back to the market

No end in sight for soaring oil pricesAmerican gasoline prices have crossed the unprecedented US$5-a-gallon mark. American Automobile Association data shows prices at the pump are up roughly 60 per cent from a year ago. And prices in Canada are already more than $2 a litre. We are seeing new record prices around the world with each passing week. And no respite…

Punishing Russia has upended global economics

And we can blame political meddling

Punishing Russia has upended global economicsThe crude oil world has inched into a crisis mode. The world faces a “much bigger” energy crisis than the one in the 1970s. Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), told the German daily Der Spiegel in an interview last Tuesday. The IEA, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development…

Canada’s electric vehicle ambitions are pure foolhardy fantasy

Here are facts for Canadians forced to face the real-world impact

Canada’s electric vehicle ambitions are pure foolhardy fantasyThe marvellous Christmas movie The Polar Express, starring the inimitable Tom Hanks, ends with the words “anything is possible, if you only believe.” Except, as adults understand, many things aren’t possible, not even if some people do believe them. An obvious example is the fantasy that the 84 per cent of global energy supplied by…

The perfect playbook for a global food security crisis

Climate change, a pandemic, war and nationalistic hoarding are all contributing factors

The perfect playbook for a global food security crisisEvents unfolding around the world are creating the perfect playbook for a global food security crisis: climate change, a pandemic, war and nationalistic hoarding are all factors. Climate has been affecting agriculture for a very long time. And the unpredictable nature of severe weather patterns is making the lives of our farmers more difficult. Growing…

Don’t blame climate change for the world’s food shortage

More to do with strangulation of the world’s fuel supply

Don’t blame climate change for the world’s food shortageThere are a million funny things to talk about, a million laughs to be had, a lot of phenomenal progress being made on numerous fronts, things that do make our lives better and better. But it’s kind of hard to smell the roses when it’s like Voldemort is expected by dinner time. There’s the war…

War and brutality go hand in hand

Combat naturally leads to behaviours that would be deemed shocking in normal life

War and brutality go hand in handAntony Beevor is a prolific English military historian, most famous for the bestseller Stalingrad. First published in the late 1990s, the book’s narrative covers the period between the June 1941 German invasion of the Soviet Union and the conclusion of the Battle of Stalingrad in February 1943. That battle is often described as the Second…

Putin’s War is redrawing the geopolitical map

Despite the sanctions, Russian oil revenues are soaring

Putin’s War is redrawing the geopolitical mapThe energy pieces on the global chessboard are altering geopolitical realities, with serious consequences. China is boosting the volume of crude oil it purchases in order to increase its strategic reserves, Reuters’ Clyde Russell reported on Friday. China, the world’s largest crude importer, is buying more oil at a point when the demand-supply balance is…

Wheat makes the world go round

Wheat is one of the world’s staple crops. And Ukraine and Russia are critical exporters

Wheat makes the world go roundFor American academic Scott Reynolds Nelson, the timing was fortuitous. His Oceans of Grain came to market coincident with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. And as Nelson’s thesis revolves around the critical role wheat has played in history, the invasion’s implications for supply disruption add to the book’s topicality. For sure, Nelson may egg the pudding.…

Trump the better man to negotiate end to Putin’s War?

Proved to be an effective negotiator while president, especially when dealing with dictators

Trump the better man to negotiate end to Putin’s War?Many people in the political mainstream will say, “Even a broken clock is right twice a day” when they discuss the viewpoints of left-leaning public intellectual Noam Chomsky. They will often say the same thing about Donald Trump, who is supported by the far right. Chomsky and Trump agree on issues far less than twice…

As oil prices rise, global economic uncertainty grows

And OPEC is in no mood to open taps to fill in any gaps created by the absence of Russian crude

As oil prices rise, global economic uncertainty growsThe oil markets are likely to face another round of supply disruptions. Most indicators point to a bullish trend in the near future. After recently announcing the release of over 180 million barrels of crude oil from its strategic reserves (SPR) over the next six months to cool down the markets, the United States government…

Will Ukraine’s fate be the same as that of 1940s Finland?

Finland was truly alone. That’s not the case with Ukraine today

Will Ukraine’s fate be the same as that of 1940s Finland?Bordered by Russia to the east and Sweden to the northwest, Finland’s historical experience has been coloured by the existence of these more powerful neighbours. In fact, ‘dominated’ might be more apt. After being effectively part of Sweden for centuries, Finland was ceded to the Russian Empire in 1809. But when the chaos surrounding the…