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Hits from the Drum

Yesterday we talked about advances in solar power and the recently heightened profile of renewable energies due to increased adoption by business. Today I wanted to share some recent articles and post topics from a very interesting site, The Oil Drum, that will provide some background and insight on a wide variety of energy related topics.

Alternative energy, fossil fuel depletion, and sustainability: it's all covered here. Whatever your grasp of these issues, I can assure you that you'll find some interesting perspectives and probably learn something in the process. Just be sure not to get lost in the often long-running comment threads!

In, "Key Questions on Energy Options", Oil Drum member and contributor Robert Rapier lays out the key questions we must answer to determine whether an energy source is a good choice for our planet. Here is how Robert lays out the issue:

A question was recently posed here: What is the most important question concerning ethanol production? That got me to thinking about important questions regarding not only ethanol, but all of our energy sources. There are a number of issues that we must carefully consider for any of our potential energy sources.

In my opinion, they are:

1. Is the energy source sustainable?
2. What are the potential negative externalities of producing/using this energy source?
3. What is the EROEI?
4. Is it affordable?
5. Are there better alternatives?
6. Are there other special considerations?
7. In summary, are the advantages of the source large enough to justify any negative consequences?

Give the thread a read and see what Robert and the gang have to say about the various forms of ethanol, fossil fuels, biodiesel, biomass, wind, and solar. An informative essay.

Moving on from Rapier's discussion of suitable energy options, we find a directly related example case of disastrous energy planning in Dave Cohen's post, "Palm Oil - The Southeast Asia Report".

We've discussed the oft-neglected environmental impacts of biofuels here before. In Cohen's recent post, we learn more about the ill effects of palm oil plantation farming and the ensuing damage done to the local ecosystems and the environment.

Peak oil and farming? Yep, that's the subject of Chris Vernon's recent post to The Oil Drum: Europe. In "Agriculture Meets Peak Oil: Soil Association Conference", Vernon tells us about agriculture and food distribution in the post-fossil fuel era. Check it out.

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So here's what a real stock market bubble looks like. 

Here's what a bubble *really* looks like. InfoSpace in 1999-2001. $QQQ$BCORpic.twitter.com/xjsMk433H7
— David Shvartsman (@FinanceTrends) February 24, 2015
For those of you who are a little too young to recall it, this is a chart of InfoSpace at the height of the Nasdaq dot-com bubble in 1999-2001. This fallen angel soared to fantastic heights only to plummet back down to earth as the bubble, and InfoSpace's shady business plan, turned to rubble.

As detailed in our post, "Round trip stocks: Momentum booms and busts", InfoSpace rocketed from under $100 a share to over $1,300 a share in less than six months. 

In a pattern common to many parabolic shooting stars, the stock soon peaked and began a…

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Moneyball: How the Red Sox Win Championships

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The Boston Red Sox won their fourth World Series titleof the 21st century this week.

Having won their first Series in 86 years back in 2004, the last decade-plus has marked a very strong return to form for one of baseball's oldest big league clubs. So how did they do it?

Quick background: in late 2002, team owner and hedge fund manager,John W. Henry(with his partners)bought the Boston Red Sox and its historic Fenway Park for a reported sum of $695 million.

Henry and Co. quickly set out to find their ideal General Manager (GM) to help turn around their newly acquired, ailing ship.

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