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At home on the city farm
Posted: 18 December 2014  
A while ago, seven years to be exact, we published this MindBullet about farms in city skyscrapers. Now it's an actual proposal for a retirement complex in Singapore. Could it work?
HOMEFARM VERTICAL FARMING RETIREMENT HOUSING - SERIOUS WONDER
18 December 2014
HOMEFARM VERTICAL FARMING RETIREMENT HOUSING could be the future of elderly care. Futurist GRAY SCOTT for SERIOUS WONDER.
MindBullet logo SKYSCRAPER FARMS SOLVE URBAN FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN
Indoor farming produces fresh food where it's needed - in the store
Dateline: 1 May 2030
New thinking in urban design, plus new technologies, are turning city blocks into self-contained 'country villages'. Hydrogen fuel cells and community ...
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Gasoline, electric or hybrid?
Posted: 15 December 2014  
Electric cars are doing pretty well in some urban markets, with the BMW i3 claiming to have sold 12,000 units in the last year. The market is still very fragmented, and now hydrogen fuel cell cars are making their way onto the scene. Personally I think these are the least likely to get mass adoption, but then, with the oil price dropping, perhaps a return to gasoline-electric hybrids will ...
Fuel Cell Vehicles Aren’t Yet Greener than Hybrids
15 December 2014
Hybrids are a much more cost-effective way to reduce carbon emissions than newly released hydrogen fuel cell cars.
MindBullet logo FUEL CELLS TO THE RESCUE OF PLUG-IN ELECTRIC CARS
There's a resurgence in EVs, thanks to cheap fuel-cell technology and hydrogen
Dateline: 9 August 2016
Once the darling of the US administration, fuel-cell vehicles were the future of clean, green motoring. Fuel cells running on hydrogen produce only water ...
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What is the 'bottom' level for the oil price?
Posted: 14 December 2014  
A few years ago $40 a barrel seemed 'impossible'. But what would happen if the oil price dropped way below that? Take a look at this scenario from more than a decade ago.
Opec willing to push oil price to $40 says Gulf oil minister
14 December 2014
Senior Opec ministers says cartel has no fear of oil prices falling to levels as low as $40 per barrel amid price war with Russia and US shale
MindBullet logo OIL $5 A BARREL!
THE PRICE OF CRUDE OIL PLUMMETS AS THE USA SHUTS THE DOOR
Dateline: 3 February 2009
Global markets reeled today as America announced a total embargo on oil imports from the Middle East. The move effectively smashes the stranglehold of ...
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Oil heading for a wild ride
Posted: 11 December 2014  
When we published this MindBullet not even a month ago, we were pretty sure that oil would drop, but we didn't expect it to be this fast or this far. Perhaps our scenario wasn't crazy enough!

Bank of America forecasts deep structural shifts that will have profound consequences:
"The free market will now set the global cost of oil, leading to a new era of wild price swings and disorderly trading ...
Bank of America sees $50 oil as Opec dies - Telegraph
11 December 2014
The Opec oil cartel no longer exists in any meaningful sense and crude prices will slump to $50 a barrel over the coming months as market forces shake out ...
MindBullet logo GOLD AT $800, OIL AT $64
The mini-boom is on
Dateline: 6 November 2016
Two years ago we saw the first faltering of the oil price, as Brent crude dipped below US$80 per barrel. Gold was also weak, at about US$1100 per ounce. ...
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THE NEW COLD WAR INTENSIFIES
Published on: 11 December 2014  
MindBullet picture
Business in the firing line as governments spar
Dateline: 2 April 2015
Forget about McDonald's trying to outperform KFC or Coca-Cola aiming to increase sales over Pepsi. Those were the days, my friend! Lately, businesses are primarily competing against governments' geopolitical agendas - and then against each other. Let's refer to the best case in point: Russia. Following the Crimean crisis, the 2014 sanctions against Russia and Donetsk have been ratcheted up, but Russia has decided that the party is not nearly merry enough yet. After banning several G20 nations ...
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PEAK OIL IS HORSE MANURE
Published on: 4 December 2014  
MindBullet picture
The stone age didn't end because we ran out of stones
Dateline: 20 January 2021
Back in the day, when horse drawn carriages and buggies were the preferred mode of transport for anyone, there was a big fear in Paris, London and New York that there wouldn't be enough stabling for all the horses required in the future, to say nothing of all the manure that was piling up in the streets. Then we invented motor cars, and the problem of peak horse manure disappeared. That's a salutary tale to bear in mind when we talk of peak oil. There will be a time when our consumption of oil ...
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OPEC to the rescue
Posted: 24 November 2014  
Could OPEC inadvertently rescue the global economy by pushing energy prices down quicker than market forces? This article tends to suggest that oil could drop well before our MindBullet timeline!
Brent Plunge To $60 If OPEC Fails To Cut
24 November 2014
While OPEC has been mostly irrelevant in the past 5 years as a result of Saudi Arabia's recurring cartel-busting moves,
MindBullet logo GOLD AT $800, OIL AT $64
The mini-boom is on
Dateline: 6 November 2016
Two years ago we saw the first faltering of the oil price, as Brent crude dipped below US$80 per barrel. Gold was also weak, at about US$1100 per ounce. ...
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GOLD AT $800, OIL AT $64
Published on: 20 November 2014   2 Comments
MindBullet picture
The mini-boom is on
Dateline: 6 November 2016
Two years ago we saw the first faltering of the oil price, as Brent crude dipped below US$80 per barrel. Gold was also weak, at about US$1100 per ounce. This despite the ongoing crises in the Middle East and Ukraine. What was happening? Some put it down to weak demand and plentiful supply. Although the global economy had stabilized, there was no great appetite for oil at these prices. The United States was also producing more of its own oil and gas, becoming less dependent on the Gulf for ...
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Toyota's Mirai is not the future of motoring
Posted: 19 November 2014  
Although 'mirai' means 'future' in Japanese, I don't think this car will be a mass market winner, not even in the 2020s. It's just too expensive, at around US$ 60,000 (in Japan) and entirely dependent on the ability to refuel it at hydrogen stations, which makes it a niche product in the extreme. I think a far better concept would be a plug-in electric car like Tesla with a small fuel cell to ...
Toyota Tackles Chicken And Egg With Rollout Plan for Hydrogen-Powered Mirai
19 November 2014
Carmaker will subsidize hydrogen infrastructure to jump-start acceptance of its new fuel cell vehicle
MindBullet logo FUEL CELLS TO THE RESCUE OF PLUG-IN ELECTRIC CARS
There's a resurgence in EVs, thanks to cheap fuel-cell technology and hydrogen
Dateline: 9 August 2016
Once the darling of the US administration, fuel-cell vehicles were the future of clean, green motoring. Fuel cells running on hydrogen produce only water ...
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The true cost of different forms of energy
Posted: 30 October 2014  
A really interesting read - what's the true cost of various forms of energy, including alternative? And why is solar so expensive?
Environmental Cost Makes Wind Cheaper Than Coal in Europe | MIT Technology Review
30 October 2014
A new report from the E.U. estimates the true economic cost of different forms of energy production.
MindBullet logo EUROPE HELD TO RANSOM BY SUNNY AFRICAN STATES
Solar energy at the centre of an economic storm
Dateline: 11 May 2020
It's been just a year since the Afro-European solar energy initiative was launched to harness the deserts of North Africa to supply European countries with ...
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Nuclear fusion a reality?
Posted: 30 October 2014  
We've written a lot on these pages over the years about the dream of nuclear fusion - clean, fast nuclear energy. Could it actually be happening? The sceptics remain, but it seems unlikely that a company of the stature of Lockheed Martin would make lose claims. The energy market just got more exciting!
Lockheed Martin’s Claims on Fusion Energy Meet with Skepticism | MIT Technology Review
30 October 2014
Lockheed Martin says it will have a small fusion reactor prototype in five years but offers no data.
MindBullet logo COLD FUSION SIGNALS THE END OF BIG OIL AND NUCLEAR POWER
It’s the start of a new low energy nuclear revolution
Dateline: 5 June 2014
Every once in a while we see the introduction of a technology that is so radically innovative that it seems magical, or impossible. The old clichés get ...
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HP gets its 3D groove on
Posted: 29 October 2014  
So we're finally going see the biggest name in printers getting onto the 3D bandwagon. This will be a pivotal point for HP. It will either become a big name in 3D printing or fade into irrelevance like it did with pocket computers and smartphones. It's a big deal, either way, and something that HP doesn't want to mess up.
HP promises a fast, colorful 3D enterprise printer for 2016 that will cost…something
29 October 2014
The long-promised printer will be available to everyone in 2016. In the meantime, partners like Shapeways will be able to test it.
MindBullet logo NEW DIMENSION FOR METAL MINING
3-D printing creates unusual alliances
Dateline: 26 August 2016
Five years ago, it would have seemed an unlikely partnership. But the alliance announced today between BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining group, and ...
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The perfect storm
Posted: 27 October 2014  
Are we headed for inevitable, irreversible global collapse? Although the attached article was published much earlier in the year, in March, it has recently been shared on Facebook as something to consider seriously.

I'm generally of the opinion that prophets of doom are usually wrong, and this study points to the increasing stratification of society into Elites and Masses as the root cause of ...
Nasa-funded study: industrial civilisation headed for 'irreversible collapse'?
27 October 2014
Nafeez Ahmed: Natural and social scientists develop new model of how 'perfect storm' of crises could unravel global system
MindBullet logo 'PERFECT STORM' OF SHORTAGES AVERTED
Predictions of a global lack of food, water and energy prove false
Dateline: 1 September 2029
Once again, Malthusian famine and thirst have been forecast - and failed to materialize. Twenty years ago, Professor John Beddington, the UK government's ...
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Hero farming in the US
Posted: 21 October 2014  
They call it sustainable agriculture, I call it hero farming. There must be a better way to keep everyone fed without resorting to 'factory' food, and it seems it can be profitable too.
Investing in sustainable agriculture by converting farms to 'beyond organic'
21 October 2014
A San-Francisco based fund aims to target conventional farms and make them sustainable while providing high returns to investors. Can it work?
MindBullet logo FARMAGEDDON, FAMINE AND FOOD
The war between agribusiness and artisanal farming threatens food security for the poor
Dateline: 1 May 2024
It seems that voices in the pastoral wilderness have been shouting contradictory messages at each other for decades. Since the beginning of the 21st ...
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Huge focus on energy efficiency
Posted: 15 October 2014   1 Comment
The article alongside, and the two links below, demonstrate just how much research is going into how we can better and more efficiently using energy. There are breakthroughs on the horizon, and the MindBullet we wrote in 2008 could just become a reality in the years ahead.

Lighting sheets better than lightbulbs: ...
Generator Produces 25,000 Watts without Consuming Fuel | MIT Technology Review
15 October 2014
Startup Alphabet Energy has its first product: what it says is the world’s largest thermoelectric generator.
MindBullet logo COAL HITS US$10 PER TON AS SOLAR POWER SHINES
Nano solar films bring cheap energy to sunshine states
Dateline: 5 May 2018
It's hard to believe that a mere decade ago fossil fuels were at a premium, and everyone talked of 'peak oil' and the high prices of natural gas and coal. ...
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Food crops and forests of the future
Posted: 26 September 2014  
Seven years ago we published a MindBullet that suggested the use of fungi to dramatically encourage reforestation. We speculated that this might be achieved through open innovation on Facebook. In an uncannily similar real world event, young girls living in Ireland have won the Google Science Fair with the invention of a method to increase crop yields with beneficial bacteria. Imagine the ...
MindBullet logo VISIT THE SAHARA NOW - WHILE IT'S STILL THERE
Hydroscopic fungus turns deserts into bushland and forests
Dateline: 14 March 2017
The simple application of a fungal cocktail to arid soils in Southern Africa has enabled small shrubs and trees to take root where no plants have grown for ...
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Printing up a new industry
Posted: 23 September 2014  
3D printing is becoming big business. In fact it's building an entirely new industry. There are still many challenges and obstacles to be overcome, but think back on the original personal computer industry, and how that stumbling infant grew to be the giant commodity industry it is today. There are several niche industries being spun out of the development of 3D printing, and new metal ...
How 3D Printing Will Impact Your Future
23 September 2014
Approximately 40 manufacturers sell the 3D-printers most commonly used in businesses, and over 200 startups are developing consumer-oriented machines.
MindBullet logo NEW DIMENSION FOR METAL MINING
3-D printing creates unusual alliances
Dateline: 26 August 2016
Five years ago, it would have seemed an unlikely partnership. But the alliance announced today between BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining group, and ...
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What Millennials really want from your business
Posted: 23 September 2014   1 Comment
We are seeing increasing signs of the old drivers of the economy - mass consumerism - starting to tilt and shift. And some of this opens new opportunities to innovative thinkers. Ignore at your peril in developed economies and be aware of what this may mean in developing economies where we risk thinking they will all want the 'American Dream'.
A Millennial's Version of "The American Dream"
23 September 2014
Gen-Y hasn't bought into the dream of big houses and fancy cars. So how do you sell to their demographic? First things first, forget what you knew.
MindBullet logo FACEBOOK TO CLOSE: GEN Z REJECTS DIGITAL LIFESTYLE
Flower children of the twenties look for analogue bullet
Dateline: 12 January 2021
In what might be considered a typical anti-establishment rebellion of youth, teenagers of the 2020s seem to be disenchanted by their parents' excessive ...
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Solar breakthrough?
Posted: 20 September 2014  
Now we're talking! If solar power really becomes cheaper than other, carbon-derived forms of power, then the game will change. And isn't it interesting that the man driving this is South African-born maverick billionaire Elon Musk. There really are new and different players entering the field.
Perhaps our 2008 MindBullet will become a reality? ...
Elon Musk Promises Solar Power Cheaper Than Fracked Gas
20 September 2014
Elon Musk's SolarCity buys panel maker and promises to slash the cost of solar power
MindBullet logo COAL HITS US$10 PER TON AS SOLAR POWER SHINES
Nano solar films bring cheap energy to sunshine states
Dateline: 5 May 2018
It's hard to believe that a mere decade ago fossil fuels were at a premium, and everyone talked of 'peak oil' and the high prices of natural gas and coal. ...
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NEW DIMENSION FOR METAL MINING
Published on: 18 September 2014   2 Comments
MindBullet picture
3-D printing creates unusual alliances
Dateline: 26 August 2016
Five years ago, it would have seemed an unlikely partnership. But the alliance announced today between BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining group, and printing technology company Hewlett Packard, makes perfect sense. And the reason? 3-D printing has gone mainstream as an industrial production technique, and HP-BHP wants to corner the market. There's hardly an industry within which 3-D printing is not hard at work, from construction to aerospace. And the demand for the specialized metal ...
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