Redrawing the World's Energy Map
A new generation of unconventional fossil fuels is taking hold thanks to new technologies that are expected to diversify global resources away from the Middle East.
What's the Latest Development?
Recent developments in energy technology have opened new sources of unconventional fossil fuels that may benefit consumers and the global balance of power: Deep-water offshore drilling for oil is becoming common place around the world; production and refinery of petroleum in Canada's oil sands is increasingly economically viable; a glut of shale gas has been harvested across the U.S. in recent years and China, too, is looking to benefit; big oil and gas companies are increasingly exploring the high Arctic.
What's the Big Idea?
Relatively inexpensive fossil fuels located outside the Middle East stand to benefit consumers and the foreign policies of powerful nations but at what cost to the planet? Cheap fossil fuels will slow the implementation of renewable technologies and, worse, the newest sources "are dirtier and release more carbon pollution in the process of extracting and using them." Without aggressive government subsidies in our current time of austerity, renewable energies will struggle to compete with new fossil fuel sources.
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China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.
- China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
- In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
- The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Arranged marriages and Western romantic practices have more in common than we might think.
In his book In Praise of Love (2009), the French communist philosopher Alain Badiou attacks the notion of 'risk-free love', which he sees written in the commercial language of dating services that promise their customers 'love, without falling in love'.
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