This is my Darkest Day


Defeatism?  Pessimism?  Or a fair judgement and assessment of reality- the world as it is for those who make the decisions that affect us all.  Part of being positive is the policy of knowing your enemy, studying the tactics and procedures that destroy that which you love and then feeling into a way to counter those policies.


Title:  The U.S. will become energy independent by 2035 — but at what cost?–but-at-what-cost

Annalee Newitz,Editor io9 blog


Newitz has remained editor-in-chief since its founding, and in 2010, io9 was named one of the top 30 science blogs by The Times.[1]



The International Energy Agency has released a report in which it’s predicting that the U.S. will become the world’s largest producer of oil by 2020 — surpassing even Saudi Arabia. The IEA report also predicts that the U.S. will be a net exporter of oil by 2030 and nearly self-sufficient in energy by 2035. This dramatic and unexpected change in fortune can be primarily attributed to the relatively new practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking — an industrial process that’s not without its critics.

According to the report, by 2015, U.S. oil production is expected to rise to 10 million barrels per day and increase to 11.1 million barrels per day by 2020. And as the LA Times notes, this will put the U.S. in some serious company as it overtakes second-place Russia and front-runner Saudi Arabia:


“By around 2020, the United States is projected to become the largest

global oil producer (overtaking Saudi Arabia until the mid-2020s) and starts to see the

impact of new fuel-efficiency measures in transport. The result is a continued fall in US oil

imports, to the extent that North America becomes a net oil exporter around 2030. This

accelerates the switch in direction of international oil trade towards Asia, putting a focus

on the security of the strategic routes that bring Middle East oil to Asian markets. The

United States, which currently imports around 20% of its total energy needs, becomes all

but self-sufficient in net terms – a dramatic reversal of the trend seen in most other energy importing



“Most oil consumers are used to the effects of worldwide fluctuations in price (reducing its oil imports will not insulate the United States from developments in international markets), but consumers can expect to see growing linkages in other areas.


A current example is how low-priced natural gas is reducing coal use in the

United States, freeing up coal for export to Europe (where, in turn, it has displaced higher priced

gas). At its lowest level in 2012, natural gas in the United States traded at around

one-fifth of import prices in Europe and one-eighth of those in Japan.


Sky:  Note that natural gas usage does not diminish or reduce the use of coal overall, just shift its location adding the cost of transportation.  So, this is not an either/or but a both/and. Whilst energy spokespersons and government officials are trying to justify energy exploration and production as necessary for our economic survival, actually, this only masks the true raison d’etre which is profits through exports.  So we pollute our atmosphere and water, deplete our natural resources, especially precious water which will inevitably cause widespread poverty and deprivation – all to line the pockets of the few – call them the 1% perhaps.  Now, be assured that the “we” is not only Americans but the UK as well.  It has already started with recent activity –  “Tim Yeo, has since revised his personal opinion, however, and now argues shale gas is a “game changer” that could “transform the UK’s energy independence”. Interest in hydraulic  fracking comes just as imports of gas to the UK have surpassed domestic production for the first time since the 1960s.* Emily Gosden (29 March 2012). “UK gas imports outstrip production for first time since 1967”. The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 31 March 2012. Let there be no doubts, as The US goes, the UK will go, especially under the present administration. We now have precious food, maise, used to feed cars and trucks leaving the sickening CO and carbon particulates and soon we will have our precious fresh water poisoned in the process of forcing natural gas to the surface so we can expand our pollution, poisonous fumes and greenhouse gasses.    


I’m reminded of an article I read in the early 1950s.  The writer explained how all the gadgets [time savers] would free up time and people would then develop their interests in the arts, literature and improve their minds.  Ha Ha.  What happened was that the gadgets freed women from the, backbreaking and tedious household jobs.  That’s nothing but good.  But few used their extra time for literary and artistic pursuits – they simply got a paying job and left the children to the baby sitter.  Companies used the labour-saving machines to lay off employees and increase profits.  Our western society has a gadget for everything now but we suffer more mental illness, heart disease, stress and work longer hours than we did 50 years ago. 


Just today the UK police arrested 18 protesters in the village of Balcombe, West Sussex, where Cuadrilla is poised to start test drilling. Police were reported to say  ‘arrests were made to “ensure public safety”’  I’m afraid that it will take far more than 80 anti-fracking campaigners to make a significant impact on policy. 



Going forward, price relationships between regional gas markets are set to strengthen as liquefied natural gas trade becomes more flexible and contract terms evolve, meaning that changes in one part

of the world are more quickly felt elsewhere. Within individual countries and regions,

competitive power markets are creating stronger links between gas and coal markets, while

these markets also need to adapt to the increasing role of renewables and, in some cases,

to the reduced role of nuclear power. Policy makers looking for simultaneous progress

towards energy security, economic and environmental objectives are facing increasingly

complex – and sometimes contradictory – choices.”


“As noted, however, the burgeoning oil boom will likely come at a price. It’s thought, for example, that the new influx of oil will de-motivate efforts to develop sustainable forms of energy.


The report warned that energy-related carbon dioxide emissions will continue to escalate.  Sky:  Remember the coal will still be burned but by another country.  The new gas will be burned but by another country.


Critics warn that the industrial practice — in which long, horizontal channels are drilled deep underground to draw oil trapped in rocks by applying high pressure — could result in contaminated water supplies, risks to air quality, the release of gases and hydraulic fracturing chemicals to the surface, and surface contamination from spills and throwback. There are even concerns that fracking may cause earthquakes.”


Sky:  As I said, this is not good news.  How will our industrialists be willing to curtail growth and profits when that is the only way to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions?