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ENERGY

Seven billion people ‘a catastrophe’: professor

“We’re behaving like spoiled egoists,” a University of Bergen zoology professor has said of a world too busy to contemplate the perils of the world's rocketing population growth.

Seven billion people 'a catastrophe': professor
Photo: SimplyCVR

As the world’s population topped 7 billion people on Monday, Professor Harald Kryvi said something needed to be done to counter the strain on the environment.

“There are two things we need to do — We must dare to discuss the problems that come from population growth, and we must provide (birth control) to areas where growth is biggest,” Kryvi told newspaper Bergens Tidende.

The professor points to the large-scale stripping of resources and climate change as warning signs that there are too many people on Earth.

“People talk about the effects of climate change. They don’t talk about the cause,” he said.

Politicians, he warned, were too fearful of “religious leaders” to begin talking about the need for more contraception in some parts of the world.

To set an example, Norwegians should not have more than two children, he said.

Norway’s burgeoning oil industry, meanwhile, openly cites population growth as the primary reason for its healthy economic outlook, as well as the need to produce more petroleum.

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ENERGY

Norwegian oil company doubles revenue as gas prices surge  

Norwegian energy giant Equinor said Wednesday that soaring gas prices helped it more than double its revenue in the third quarter. 

A file photo showing a North Sea oil rig. Norway's state-owned oil company Equinor netted a pre-tax operating result of 9.77 billion dollars for the third quarter of 2021.
A file photo showing a North Sea oil rig. Norway's state-owned oil company Equinor netted a pre-tax operating result of 9.77 billion dollars for the third quarter of 2021. Photo: ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP

Equinor, which is 67 percent owned by the Norwegian state, said that its net profit rose to $1.4 billion between July to September this year, compared to a loss during the same period in 2020, partly due to asset write-downs.

But the profit figure was well below analyst expectations of $2 billion.

However, total revenue hit $23 billion, narrowly beating expectations of $22 billion, according to analysts surveyed by Factset.

The number was also more than twice the revenue of the same period last year, when many businesses were devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Equinor’s preferred indicator — net operating profit, which excludes some one-off items, came in well above expectations at $9.8 billion.

Energy prices have surged recently as the global economy recovers from the pandemic, and the northern hemisphere heads towards winter.

Chief executive Anders Opedal said that “the global economy is in recovery, but we are still prepared for volatility related to the impact of the pandemic”.

“The current unprecedented level and volatility in European gas prices underlines the uncertainty in the market,” he said in the statement.

“Equinor has an important role as a reliable energy provider to Europe and we have taken steps to increase our gas exports to respond to the high demand.”

Equinor’s average price of oil per barrel reached $69.2 in the third quarter — up from $38.3 a year earlier.

Still largely oil-based, the company said in June it plans to invest $23 billion in renewable energy by 2026.

READ ALSO: Norway oil giant Equinor aims to be carbon neutral by 2050

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