November 2014

Big Oil RIP?

Are we living through the dying days of the oil age? The oil industry is certainly facing challenging times. While the world is still thoroughly dependent on 'black gold', change is on the horizon. Capital expenditure by the largest oil companies is now five times what it was in 2000, yet production has barely increased. This is because cheap and easy sources of crude have become scarce. The oil majors are forced to go after harder-to-reach, resource-intensive, more polluting, dangerous and thus more expensive sources of oil - such as tar sands, oil shale, ultra-deepwater and Arctic.

However, climate scientists tell us these are exactly the sources of oil we must leave in the ground to have any hope of avoiding a catastrophic 6 degree temperature rise. Meanwhile, the renewables boom is breaking records daily, demonstrating that a world beyond fossil-fuel dependence is within our grasp.

The implications of this looming 'carbon bubble' are gradually dawning on the financial sector. Grassroots resistance to oil extraction is racking up successes, and fossil-fuel divestment campaigns are sweeping the globe. But the likes of Shell, Exxon and Chevron won't go down without an almighty fight. The November issue of New Internationalist will explore these momentous developments and highlight strategies to prize big oil’s toxic grip from our political process.










Stories making the news this month
6 A place to feel free in Chechnya
6 Chile’s agitating students
7 Women on board in India
7 Norwegian ¬ ords at risk
7 Introducing Frank Bainimarama
8 Guatemala: where are the disappeared?
8 Poverty breeds disease
9 Prying plumbers in Britain
9 Killing without counting
PLUS: Scratchy Lines by cartoonist Simon Kneebone
and Reasons to be Cheerful.

The Big Story
Big Oil RIP?
10 Ending the oil age
Change is coming. The dominance of the ‘oil majors’ is being assailed from all sides. Jess Worth examines whether growing pressure for divestment, disruption and alternatives can knock Big Oil off its perch.

15 Action to end the oil age
Wherever you are, there’s something you can do.

16 A year of oil resistance
Success stories from around the world.

18 Big Oil’s looming bubble
Investors are starting to wonder whether oil’s such a good bet, reveals Jeremy Leggett.

20 The spirit of Saro-Wiwa rises
Twenty years after the execution of their leader, the Ogoni people are rebelling once more, with protests, blockades, lawsuits and international support. Patrick Naagbanton reports from the frontline.

23 My spy
Why did an oil company go to such lengths to monitor Jess Worth’s activism? Perhaps we are more powerful than we think.

28 A deeper pain
The daily reality of life in Gaza creates unseen psychological scars, writes psychiatrist Samah Jabr.

30 Rocking the boat
Graeme Green talks to author and activist Naomi Klein about why global warming is a political issue
Mixed Media
34 Music reviews
Animism by Tanya Tagaq; Spirit of Malombo by Julian Bahula.

35 Film reviews
The Overnighters, directed by Jesse Moss; The Imitation Game, directed by Morten Tyldum.

36 Book reviews
By Night the Mountain Burns, by Juan Tomas Avila Laurel; Inequality and the 1% by Danny Dorling; Assata by Assata Shakur; and This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate by Naomi Klein.
PLUS: Also out there…

33 Kate Smurthwaite
So much for free speech…
PLUS: Polyp’s Big Bad World cartoon.

4 Letters
The ills of gold; man-hating feminists; and more on Mother Teresa.
PLUS: I’m a New Internationalist.

5 Letter from Bangui
It’s hard to trust official sources of information, so CAR’s citizens are desperate for the truth, discovers Ruby Diamonde.

26 Country Pro¬file: Turkey

32 Making Waves
Afghan photo-journalist Barat Ali Batoor tells Michelle Slater about using his own experience of asylum to help others.

38 And Finally
‘Africa isn’t all refugee camps and windswept savannahs’. Nigerian author and journalist Dayo Olopade on the future of the Bright Continent.




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