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Top links: What both sides of the peak-oil debate are getting wrong

A roundup of what The Globe and Mail's market strategist Scott Barlow is reading this morning on the World Wide Web.

Energy industry expert D. Ray Long presents a wonderfully even-handed review of the peak oil debate that rightly dismisses the exaggerations and hyperbole on both sides. The post is long but entirely worthwhile, and anyone who wants to understand the issue and not just scream at their ideological combatants should read it. Here's a sample:

"This is one thing that the optimists simply do not do very well: developing data-driven arguments in response to the modern oil pessimists of today.

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If someone thinks that the U.S. shale boom will continue to grow over the next 10 to 20 years…. back to Hubbert, stay in 2014 and debate the points of David Hughes or Arthur Berman or make the case that the enterprise can remain financially sustainable over the long term.

If you want to promote the idea of international shale growth, guide readers past the numerous challenges faced internationally…"

"In search of oil realism" – D. Ray Long

A China-centric global steel glut is crushing the metallurgical coal price and China Daily reports on a Fitch Ratings study suggesting that thermal coal prices may not be far behind.

"The Fitch report also said the thermal coal market in Asia will remain oversupplied in the next 12 months despite ongoing rationalization of production, and prices remain weak.

Weak prices will continue to exert pressure on coal producers' credit profiles, especially those that are not sufficiently diversified to minimize the impact of weaker margins from coal mining."

"China's thermal coal import outlook remains weak: Fitch" – China Daily

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There's a lot of ugly things happening in the world that have unfortunately overshadowed some promising developments. The MIT Technology Review blog, for instance, is a great source for the incredible, life-saving advances happening in medical technology.

In a recent post, the blog describes a new laboratory-grown bacteria that can diagnose gastro-intestinal cancers.

"Cancer-detecting yogurt could replace colonoscopies " – M.I.T. Technology Review

Tweet of the Day: "@SoberLook Ugly situation developing in leveraged loans @lcdnews: Leveraged loan fund outflows grow to $1.44B http://t.co/YdtDLObdwM"

Diversion: "Hollywood salaries revealed, from movie stars to agents " – Hollywood Reporter

Follow Scott Barlow on Twitter @SBarlow_ROB

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About the Author
Market Strategist

Scott Barlow is The Globe's in-house market strategist. He is a 20-year veteran of Canadian investment banks, including Merrill Lynch Canada, CIBC Wood Gundy and Macquarie Private Wealth (MPW). He was a highly ranked mutual fund analyst for 10 years and then, most recently, the head of a financial adviser support team at MPW. More

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