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David Fickling
For David Fickling's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Apr 4, 2023
OPEC+’s shock production cut is a capitulation to oil’s decline
Oil producers want more cash from the market. Choosing not to expand output is good for prices, but signals little confidence in demand.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Mar 3, 2023
Peak emissions are just the start of the climate battle
Fossil-fuel pollution may be declining faster than anyone anticipated, but most of the world's carbon is locked up in places you'd least expect.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Feb 14, 2023
We’re not even close to running out of green minerals
A U.S. Geological Survey suggests concerns over the securing of materials needed to shift to cleaner energy such as lithium, cobalt, copper and others may be overblown.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Dec 25, 2022
Shipping’s oil era is coming to an end
It's a good start, but reducing shipping's carbon footprint it's not the holy grail of decarbonization. That would entail plugging the industry into the emerging hydrogen economy.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Dec 5, 2022
Climate change costs are eating up the money needed to avert it
Rich countries need to meet their ODA commitments, which would more than double the money available to avert the effects of climate change.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Oct 5, 2022
Peak oil has finally arrived. No, really.
With the U.S. Fed's willingness to send the U.S. economy into a recession to bring inflation back on target, oil production may soon enter terminal decline as a result.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Sep 25, 2022
Pakistan could have averted its climate catastrophe
Decades of corruption and underinvestment have led to massive flooding in Pakistan. Only significant expenditure can avoid another disaster.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Jun 24, 2022
The rich-poor divide on clean power is getting wider
Rich nations can green their own economies all they want. If they don't provide the funds to repeat the trick around the world, it will all be in vain.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
May 24, 2022
Climate won Australia's election. Wielding power will be harder.
Voters have identified their issue. Whether new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese can deliver is an open question.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
May 20, 2022
The global safety net against hunger is frailer than you think
Political upheaval can accelerate food insecurity, particularly when the system is based on shaky foundations.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
May 18, 2022
Obesity is stalking poor countries where hunger once reigned
Low-cost calories are at the heart of the next big health crisis — and we have no systems in place to deal with the fallout.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
May 6, 2022
India’s heatwaves are testing the limits of human survival
Each summer in India is a fresh roll of the dice on whether a freak event will occur that leads to a vast number of deaths.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Mar 25, 2022
Only in America can gas prices be turned into a political time bomb
Other countries use tax cuts and subsidies to soften the impact of higher fuel costs on consumers. Congress should bite the bullet and do the same.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Mar 20, 2022
Saudi Arabia’s oil-for-yuan bid won’t threaten the dollar
In an increasingly divided world, it makes sense to look for a good alternative to the greenback. Now is not that time.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Feb 20, 2022
How China’s 'COVID zero' policy is giving a polish to gold
Gold has mostly traded sideways since the start of the year, and the usual negative correlation between higher U.S. Treasury yields and lower gold prices — and vice versa — has disappeared.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Feb 9, 2022
America’s frackers are back, and they’re looking leaner
Oil production this month will rise to 8.54 million barrels a day — just 730,000 barrels below the record in November 2019.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Jan 7, 2022
China can have cheap coal or common prosperity. Not both.
Operating 24 hours a day, the only way coal mines can increase output in a hurry is to skimp on maintenance, making for a dangerous situation.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Dec 26, 2021
A gas pipeline won’t turn Russia and China into buddies
The Power of Siberia 2 pipeline is presented as something akin to a marriage proposal between Russian and China, bringing two leading authoritarian states closer together.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Nov 15, 2021
Forget the words of this COP26 deal. Follow the money.
The costs of subsidizing fossil fuels go up with each passing year, making it harder to abandon them even as their damage accumulates.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Oct 27, 2021
Why 25 previous conferences have failed to stop climate change
Climate talks are at a disadvantage from the start as their intent is stunningly broad: remaking the energy systems that have powered the planet since the Industrial Revolution.

Longform

Historically, kabuki was considered the entertainment of the merchant and peasant classes, a far cry from how it is regarded today.
For Japan's oldest kabuki theater, the show must go on