Using BP Neural Networks to Prioritize Risk Management

Today, my latest article was published in the open access journal Sustainability. The article — Using BP Neural Networks to Prioritize Risk Management Approaches for China’s Unconventional Shale Gas Industry — was co-authored by Cong (Cindy) Dong (a Ph.D. student at China University of Petroleum School of Business Administration, currently visiting me at the University of Alberta), Xiucheng Dong (China University of Petroleum, School of Business Administration), Joel Gehman (University of Alberta School of Business), and Lianne M. Lefsrud (University of Alberta, Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering).

China has become the top energy consumer in the world. At the same time, China is facing intense international and domestic pressure to reduce the greenhouse gas and other emissions resulting from its primarily coal-based energy system. Given these twin pressures of increasing energy demand while controlling emissions, the development of China’s shale gas industry has emerged as a strategic national priority.The shale gas resource distribution in China is illustrated in Figure 1. Seven provinces—Sichuan, Xinjiang, Chongqing, Guizhou, Hunan, Hubei and Shanxi—account for 68.9% of the nation’s total reserves.

Figure 1. Shale gas resource potential in China’s provinces (trillions of m3).

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Climate Change Timeline

The New York Times has a nice timeline of the science and politics of climate change — from Fournier’s 1824 theorization about the way in which the earth’s atmosphere retains heat radiation to Callender’s 1938 measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations to Plass’s 1956 calculations that a doubling of carbon dioxide levels would lead to a 3.6 degree Celsius increase in surface temperatures.

U.S. Energy Subsidies

Today I found this visual comparison of U.S. federal government subsidies to fossil fuels versus renewable energy. The underlying data came from a study by the Environmental Law Institute and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars which reviewed fossil fuel and renewable energy subsidies for Fiscal Years 2002-2008. The study concluded that “the lion’s share of energy subsidies supported energy sources that emit high levels of greenhouse gases.” A PDF of the graphic is available here.

U.S. Federal Government Energy Subsidies
U.S. Federal Government Energy Subsidies

The Global Subsidies Initiative recently published a report that looks specifically at The Politics of Fossil Fuel Subsidies, but on a global basis.