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North Sea Oil Shock Keeps Fire Under Brent Price

Just when it looked as if Iran's oil shock was starting to be absorbed by the market, a problem in Europe is keeping alight the fire under crude prices.

On March 25, a gas leak forced Total SA, the French oil company, to halt production of 60,000 barrels of oil per day at the Elgin field, about 200 kilometers from the coast of Scotland. The high-profile incident has led to soul-searching that could rein in output in the Continent's largest oil patch.

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Activists Worry About Oil Spill Due to North Sea Platform Gas Leak

      

This is an undated handout photo issued by Total E&P UK Ltd of Total's Elgin PUQ (Process/Utilities/Quarters) platform. (AP/TOTAL E&P UK Ltd.)

Associated Press - foxnews.com - March 29, 2012

Environmental groups warned Thursday they fear an oil spill could be triggered at a North Sea offshore platform that has been leaking highly pressurized gas since the weekend.

A flame is still burning in the stack above the Elgin platform, which stands about 150 miles off the coast of Aberdeen, eastern Scotland, after a leak of flammable gas Sunday-- prompting all 238 staff to be evacuated on Monday.

Platform operator Total S.A. insists there is no threat of any explosion under current weather conditions, but said that surveillance flights have detected a sheen around the platform estimated to extend over 1.85 square miles.

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Exxon's Big Bet on Shale Gas

Drill pipe ready for use on a rig at Exxon's Johnson Ranch site outside Fort Worth

by Brian O'Keefe - CNN - April 16, 2012

America's most profitable company now produces about as much natural gas as it does oil. CEO Rex Tillerson thinks the fracking party has just begun.

FORTUNE -- For Rex Tillerson fracking is more than a revolutionary approach to drilling oil and gas -- it's part of his personal history. Simply mention the word to the CEO of Exxon Mobil (XOM) and he starts reminiscing about his days as a young engineer.

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Looking Back on the Limits of Growth

      

Chart Sources: Meadows, D.H., Meadows, D.L., Randers, J. and Behrens III, W.W. (1972) /  Linda Eckstein

by Mark Strauss - Smithsonian Magazine - April 2012

Recent research supports the conclusions of a controversial environmental study released 40 years ago: The world is on track for disaster. So says Australian physicist Graham Turner, who revisited perhaps the most groundbreaking academic work of the 1970s,The Limits to Growth.

Written by MIT researchers for an international think tank, the Club of Rome, the study used computers to model several possible future scenarios. The business-as-usual scenario estimated that if human beings continued to consume more than nature was capable of providing, global economic collapse and precipitous population decline could occur by 2030.

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Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update

The Club of Rome

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Gulf's Dolphins Pay Heavy Price for Deepwater Oil Spill

A study of bottlenose dolphins in Barataria Bay, Louisiana, showed that many of the marine mammals were suffering from lung and liver disease. Photograph: Alamy

by Peter Beaumont - guardian.co.uk - March 31, 2012

New studies show impact of BP's Deepwater Horizon disaster on dolphins and other marine wildlife may be far worse than feared.

A new study of dolphins living close to the site of North America's worst ever oil spill – the BP Deepwater Horizon catastrophe two years ago – has established serious health problems afflicting the marine mammals.

The report, commissioned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA], found that many of the 32 dolphins studied were underweight, anaemic and suffering from lung and liver disease, while nearly half had low levels of a hormone that helps the mammals deal with stress as well as regulating their metabolism and immune systems.

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Stocks Follow Oil Lower on Reserve Talks

A man refuels his car as gas prices are reflected into the windows of the United Oil gas station in Los Angeles, California March 24, 2012.  REUTERS/Bret Hartman

Reuters - by Rodrigo Campos - March 28, 2012

(Reuters) - Oil prices fell on Wednesday as the U.S. and some European governments mulled the release of strategic oil reserves, while commodity-related shares weighed on global equities.

U.S. stocks closed weaker, though far from the day's lows, in the wake of economic data that was slightly below expectations.

France, the United States and Britain are in talks about the possible release of strategic oil stocks to help push fuel prices lower, French ministers said, only weeks ahead of the country's presidential election. Purchasing power is among voters' top concerns.

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Insights from Past Millennia into Climatic Impacts on Human Health and Survival

submitted by Janine Rees

      

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov - by A. J. McMichael - National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Australian National University, Canberra ACT 0200, Australia.

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Exercise 24: Using Social Media for Crisis Response

submitted by Samuel Bendett

      

worldfinancialreview.com - By George H. Bressler, Murray E. Jennex & Eric G. Frost

“Can populations self-organize a crisis response? This is a field report on the first two efforts in a continuing series of exercises termed Exercise 24 or X24. These exercises attempted to demonstrate that self-organizing groups can form and respond to a crisis using low-cost social media and other emerging web technologies.”

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Firefly Technology Sheds New Light

The light-producing enzyme in the firefly is the key to rapid pathogen detection // Source: cri.cn

submitted by Luis Kun

Homeland Security News Wire - March 22, 2012

A new device, employing the same chemical which lights up fireflies, can easily detect food contamination; the researchers who developed the system hope it will soon be used to test for other diseases, including HIV-AIDS.

Food contamination can now be detected easily by a new device based on the chemical which lights up fireflies.

The Bioluminescent Assay in Real-Time (BART), jointly invented by Professor Jim Murray of the Cardiff University’s School of Biosciences and Dr. Laurence Tisi of Lumora, allows users to test rapidly and simply for food poisoning bacteria. Professor Murray and his partners at technology company Lumora Ltd. hope to develop the system to test for other diseases, including HIV-AIDS.

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Predicting Locations of Emergency & Damage During Disaster Using VGI Data

submitted by Alister Wm Macintyre

                                                     (CLICK ON IMAGE BELOW - TO ENLARGE)

      

ushahidi.com - by Prateek Budhwar

The VGI data obtained from the Ushahidi-Haiti platform during the first 72 hours of Earthquake in Haiti can be used for predicting the locations of ‘Emergency and damaged areas’ using Ushahidi Reports in Port-au-Prince. Two rapid and very successful VGI deployments helped coordinate disaster response after a devastating magnitude 7 earthquake struck Haiti in January 2010.

OpenStreetMap (OSM) project volunteers working outside Haiti created a digital street map of Port-au-Prince and other places in Haiti very rapidly using fine-resolution imagery to trace vector maps of streets and other features.

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