quinta-feira, 9 de janeiro de 2014

The Work Behind the Prize.

The Global Impact of US Shale - Daniel Yergin.

WASHINGTON, DC – The biggest innovation in energy so far this century has been the development of shale gas and the associated resource known as “tight oil.” Shale energy ranks at the top not only because of its abundance in the United States, but also because of its profound global impact – as events in 2014 will continue to demonstrate. America’s shale gas and tight oil are already changing global energy markets and reducing both Europe’s competitiveness vis-à-vis the US and China’s overall manufacturing competitiveness. They are also bringing shifts in global politics. Indeed, how shale energy may change America’s role in the Middle East is becoming a hot topic in Washington, DC, and in the Middle East itself. This “unconventional revolution” in oil and gas did not come quickly. Hydraulic fracturing – known as “fracking” – has been around since 1947, and initial efforts to adapt it to dense shale began in Texas in the early 1980’s. But it was not until the late 1990’s and early 2000’s that the specific type of fracturing for shale, combined with horizontal drilling, was perfected. And it was not until 2008 that its impact on the US energy supply became notable. Since then, the industry has developed fast, with shale gas currently accounting for 44% of total US natural-gas production. Given abundant supply, US gas prices have fallen to a third of those in Europe, while Asia pays five times as much. Tight oil, produced with the same technology as shale gas, is boosting US oil production as well, with output up 56% since 2008 – an increase that, in absolute terms, is larger than the total output of each of eight of the 12 OPEC countries. Indeed, the International Energy Agency predicts that in the next few years the US will overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world’s largest oil producer. Five years ago, it was expected that the US would be importing large volumes of liquefied natural gas to make up for an anticipated shortfall in domestic production. Now the US is not importing any LNG – thereby saving $100 billion on its annual import bill. At current prices, the increase in US oil production has been cutting another $100 billion from that bill. In addition, the unconventional revolution supports over two million jobs. The global impact has been enormous. Much of the new global LNG capacity was developed with the US in mind. Now, with the US market cordoned off by cheap domestic gas, some of that LNG is going to Europe, introducing unexpected competition for traditional suppliers Russia and Norway. For Japan, the lack of US demand for LNG proved fortunate in the aftermath of the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear-power plant in 2011. Much of that LNG could go to Japan to generate electricity, replacing the electricity lost from the total shutdown of nuclear power. Many other countries are reassessing their own energy policies in light of the unconventional-energy revolution. China, seeing the speed and extent of US shale-gas development, has placed a high priority on developing its extensive unconventional gas resources. For China, replacing coal with natural gas in electricity generation is essential to mitigate public discontent and health problems stemming from the heavy burden of urban air pollution. The rise of US shale energy is also having a broader global economic impact: American shale gas is changing the balance of competitiveness in the world economy, giving the US an unanticipated advantage. Indeed, inexpensive natural gas is fueling a US manufacturing renaissance, as companies build new plants and expand existing facilities. Throughout Europe, industrial leaders are becoming increasingly alarmed by enterprises’ loss of competitiveness to factories that use low-cost natural gas and the consequent shift of manufacturing from Europe to the US. This is particularly worrying in Germany, which relies on exports for half of its GDP, and where energy costs remain on a stubbornly upward trajectory. These high costs mean that German industry will lose global market share. Whatever their targets for shifting their energy mix, European Union countries, already suffering from high unemployment, will be forced to reconsider high-cost energy strategies or face weakening competitiveness and loss of jobs. The geopolitical impact is already evident. For example, Iran is now seriously at the table in nuclear negotiations, which might well not have happened were it not for tight oil. When strict sanctions were imposed on Iranian oil exports, many feared that world oil prices would spike, and that the sanctions would ultimately fail, owing to insufficient alternative supply. But the increase in US oil production over the last two years has more than made up for the missing Iranian output, enabling the sanctions (bolstered by parallel financial measures) to work – impelling Iran to negotiate seriously, which it was unwilling to do only two years ago. In Arab capitals, anxiety is mounting that a rapid increase in US tight-oil production will fuel wholesale US disengagement from the Middle East. But this overstates the extent to which direct oil imports shape US policy toward the region. To be sure, rising US output, combined with greater automotive fuel efficiency, will continue to reduce US oil imports. And, while the US will still import oil in the years ahead, more of it will come from Canada (notwithstanding the debate about the Keystone XL pipeline). But the fact is that Middle East supply has not loomed very large in the overall US petroleum picture for some time. After all, even before the growth of tight oil, the Persian Gulf provided only about 10% of total US supply. It was not direct US oil imports from the Middle East, but rather oil’s importance to the global economy and world politics, that helped define US strategic interests. The Middle East will continue to be an arena of great geopolitical importance, and its oil will be essential to the functioning of the global economy. This implies that the region will likely remain a central strategic interest for the US. Overall, however, the shale-energy revolution does provide a new source of resilience for the US and enhances America’s position in the world. The emergence of shale gas and tight oil in the US demonstrates, once again, how innovation can change the balance of global economic and political power. Read more from "2013: Reversing Gears" here, or on Kindle and iBooks. Read more at http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/daniel-yergin-traces-the-effects-of-america-s-shale-energy-revolution-on-the-balance-of-global-economic-and-political-power#WmUuYcJ6ioY8dh2G.99

quarta-feira, 8 de janeiro de 2014

Fabio Lione no Angra.

Excelente escolha. Fabio é um dos vocalista mais técnicos do Heavy Metal.

terça-feira, 11 de junho de 2013

A marcha dos oprimidos. Por Rodrigo Constantino.

Represento a ONG Minorias Unidas na Luta Ativista (Mula). Somos uma entidade que defende as pobres vítimas do “sistema”, ou seja, os gays, as lésbicas, os transexuais, os negros, as mulheres, os índios, os muçulmanos e todos os demais grupos excluídos que são explorados pelos brancos capitalistas. Nossa visão de mundo não engloba o indivíduo, essa figura de carne e osso criada pelos ocidentais para fins espúrios. Nós só enxergamos grupos, que formam nossas identidades: classe, raça, gênero, inclinação sexual, religião. Somente essas abstrações nos interessam. Falar em indivíduo é cair na estratégia pérfida dos liberais. Não aceitamos isso! Dividir para conquistar, eis nossa meta. Separamos o mundo entre aqueles que estão conosco, e nossos inimigos mortais. Estes são representados pela ONG Brancos Ricos Ocidentais Capitalistas Heterossexuais e Associados (Brocha). São nossos arquiinimigos na retórica, e ao mesmo tempo nossos melhores amigos na prática. É que precisamos deles para que paguem a conta de nossos privilégios. Conseguimos isso por meio de chantagem emocional, incutindo culpa nas “elites”. A bilionária Fundação Ford é ótimo exemplo, sempre do nosso lado. É verdade que o mundo teve escravidão desde sempre, que até Zumbi tinha escravos, que os próprios africanos escravizaram outros africanos, e que foi o Ocidente que colocou um fim nessa prática nefasta. Não importa! Vamos dizer que todo negro é vítima e que os brancos precisam pagar. Alguns negros, como Thomas Sowell, condenam isso? Simples: chamamos eles de traidores da raça. Funcionava com Lênin e os demais comunistas. Lembrem-se: existem apenas dois grupos. Por isso podemos fazer como o ex-presidente Lula e culpar os “brancos de olhos azuis” pela crise de 2008, mesmo que o CEO de um dos maiores bancos envolvidos na confusão fosse negro. Por falar em Lula, eis outra grande vítima: nordestino e metalúrgico. Não importa que ele não trabalhe em um chão de fábrica há décadas, ou que receba duzentos mil por palestra, ou que só ande em jatinho particular, ou que seja aliado de todos os velhos caciques da política. Lula sempre será um ícone das minorias oprimidas! O mais importante é vender a idéia de que somos vítimas, e que os brancos são responsáveis por todos os males do mundo. Sabemos que os negros e “chicanos” americanos gozam de muito mais liberdade e prosperidade do que seus pares africanos e latino-americanos. Não importa! Eles são vítimas, mesmo que o homem mais poderoso do mundo seja negro. Eternas vítimas. Somos herdeiros de Foucault, o sadomasoquista que falava da forma mais cruel de tirania: a “hegemonia” oculta. Esqueça Coréia do Norte, Irã ou Cuba. A verdadeira ditadura está nos Estados Unidos! Sabemos que os gays correm risco de vida nos regimes comunistas ou islâmicos, mas o que importa isso? São os gays em São Francisco e Ipanema as verdadeiras vítimas. É que tem de ser muito macho para ser ativista em Cuba ou no Irã. Somos filhos de Paulo Freire, e também acreditamos na “pedagogia dos oprimidos”. As escolas e faculdades não podem ser máquinas de formação de engenheiros e cientistas para ajudar na hegemonia capitalista. Precisamos de ainda mais professores marxistas, engajados nas causas das minorias, doutrinando nas áreas humanas. Viva Gramsci! Vamos criar várias nações dentro do Brasil. A nação negra, a nação gay, a nação indígena, e por aí vai. Nada de ver todos apenas como brasileiros. Cada um desses grupos vai receber sua legítima cota, e vai direto para ótimos cargos públicos ou dar aulas nas faculdades. Merecemos essa vantagem, nada mais do que uma reparação pelo domínio dos brancos ao longo dos séculos. E podemos ficar tranquilos: o povo da Brocha costuma aceitar calado nossas demandas. Nada como uma “elite” culpada, mesmo que de classe média. Basta acusarmos eles de “homofóbicos”, “racistas”, “reacionários”, ou “preconceituosos” que eles logo se intimidam e recuam. Sempre funciona acusar alguém que não é nada disso dessas coisas feias. O verdadeiro homofóbico ou racista não liga, mas a turma da Brocha entra em pânico. Eis nosso grito revolucionário: minorias do mundo todo, uni-vos! Vamos pleitear mais privilégios de grupo, pois essa coisa de igualdade perante as leis que os liberais defendem é muito chata. Alguns podem estranhar eu ser homem e branco. Mas Chico Buarque é branco, com olhos claros, rico e heterossexual, e é aclamado pela Mula. Somos nós contra eles. Só há identidade no grupo. Abaixo o indivíduo! Socialismo ou morte! A morte dos que discordam, claro. Rodrigo Constantino é economista

segunda-feira, 22 de abril de 2013

Projeto com Mike Portnoy, Derek Sherinian, Tony MacAlpine & Billy Sheehan.

Não há nem comentários.... Quatro caras extremamente virtuosos!