Thomas Homer-Dixon

10 results found for: Conventional Oil


December 20th, 2013 —

Seeing Past the Fracking Hype

Toronto Globe and Mail, December 20, 2013 For years, NASA has produced a composite photograph of North America at night. Taken by satellite, the photo shows huge patches of light marking New York, Los Angeles, and Toronto. Smaller patches mark cities like Denver, Seattle, and Calgary. Recently something strange has appeared in this image. Another [...]

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July 11th, 2013 —

No Trains, No Keystone XL?

The Lac- Mégantic tragedy will make large-scale rail shipment of oil products far less acceptable to the public in both Canada and the US. So the main alternative to Keystone XL that the State Department has identified is unlikely to be available at anything like the scale needed. If so, the pipeline’s approval would enable expansion of oil sands’ extraction that wouldn’t otherwise occur, and it would therefore lead to a large net increase in the oil sands’ carbon emissions—violating President Obama’s main criterion for approving the project.

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April 1st, 2013 —

The Tar Sands Disaster

President Obama rejected the pipeline last year but now must decide whether to approve a new proposal from TransCanada, the pipeline company. Saying no won’t stop tar sands development by itself, because producers are busy looking for other export routes — west across the Rockies to the Pacific Coast, east to Quebec, or south by rail to the United States. Each alternative faces political, technical or economic challenges as opponents fight to make the industry unviable.

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May 1st, 2012 —

Exploring the Climate “Mindscape”

Exploring the Climate “Mindscape”: an interview in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
The climate change problem might ultimately reside as much in our heads as in the external world. Researchers need to map the “mindscape,” a virtual space within which most of the world’s people are clustered in a few ideologically polarized groups. Vast, unexplored regions of the mindscape, he says, may offer new ways of thinking about problems such as climate change and new ways of living together successfully in the future.”

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February 1st, 2012 —

Our Peak Oil Premium

Global Oil Supply: an op-ed in the Toronto Globe and Mail
Analysts concerned about global oil supply usually point to two basic facts. First, each year, the world’s mature conventional fields produce about four million barrels a day less oil than the previous year, a gap that has to be filled just to keep global output constant. In only five years, that gap grows to 20 million barrels a day of production – equivalent to twice Saudi Arabia’s output, which is mammoth. Second, the world’s cheap and easy-to-get oil is disappearing fast. So, on average, each additional barrel requires more work, more complex technology, more environmental risk to get and refine than the last.

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March 1st, 2011 —

Podcast: Wicked Problems & Solutions

Radio Ecoshock Podcast: “Wicked Problems & Solutions.” Normal approaches to science and policy cannot solve wicked problems, like climate change, energy scarcity, or economic crisis.

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June 8th, 2009 —

The Great Transformation: Climate Change as Cultural Change

A speech to a conference in Essen, Germany. I’m delighted to be here with you this evening, in part because this is my first visit to the Ruhr. This region has an extraordinary history as a crucible of an industrial revolution that was, of course, powered by coal. And coal is a substance that will [...]

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June 8th, 2009 —

Podcast: Speech to a conference on “The Great Transformation: Climate Change and Cultural Change” (part 1 of 2)

On June 8, 2009, I gave a speech to a conference in Essen, Germany on “The Great Transformation: Climate Change as Cultural Change,” in which I identified the cognitive, economic, political, and normative components of the coming cultural transformation arising from climate change.

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June 8th, 2009 —

Podcast: Speech to a conference on “The Great Transformation: Climate Change and Cultural Change” (part 2 of 2)

On June 8, 2009, I gave a speech to a conference in Essen, Germany on “The Great Transformation: Climate Change as Cultural Change,” in which I identified the cognitive, economic, political, and normative components of the coming cultural transformation arising from climate change.

Read more »


August 6th, 2007 —

The Age of Cheap Oil is Ending

On July 18, the National Petroleum Council delivered a blockbuster report to the US Secretary of Energy. The council advises the US federal government on energy issues. Chaired by Lee Raymond, the hardnosed former CEO of ExxonMobil, it’s composed largely of representatives of the U.S. oil and gas industry.

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