Category Archives: Energy

Godwin’s Scale

Hillary Clinton, frantically flailing to keep her brand fresh until 2016, this week compared Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler and then, having secured the requisite attention, “clarified” her remark, saying she wasn’t comparing Mr. Putin to Mr. Hitler.  Got that? You might say Ms. Clinton was invoking Godwin’s Law, which states: “As an online discussion [...]

Gas Attack

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the Shell oil rig Kulluk, which was then beached on an uninhabited island off Alaska’s south coast.  Shell has since refloated the rig and it’s now in a sheltered harbor being inspected.  This is not the end of Shell’s troubles. Shell’s incompetence with equipment (see here for a longer, [...]

Geography, For Example

Some things we can’t control.  Geography, for example. Mountains ranges in Europe tend to run east-west; in North America, they run north-south.  A new report by the reinsurance company Munich Re cites this fact as one reason North America experiences more weather related disasters than Europe – there’s no east-west mountain range to separate cold [...]

Mulch Ado About Nothing

I promised myself in January I’d devote the first comment of each month to the world immediately around me.  Today I feel obligated to say something about last night’s presidential debate.  I’ll try, perhaps foolishly, to do both.  Hang on. It’s rained every day of October, so far.  Right now it’s relatively warm and non-relatively [...]

No Environmentalists Need Apply

Many people on the political scene are anticipating Mitt Romney’s vice presidential choice in a state of high agitation and none are more agitated than I.  Four years ago next month, I had just left the dentist’s office with a face full of novocaine when my boss’s boss called me on my cell and screamed, [...]

Accountability

What is a reasonable cost for a conference for 300 civil servants from across the western US?  Airfare, food, lodging, conference facilities, speakers, prep, etc., etc.  From the news stories, it’s clear that $823,000 is way too much.  Next year’s conference, I’m just guessing, will be substantially less extravagant, so let’s say $300,000.  That means [...]

Zero to Seven Billion

When I heard the seven billionth person is due to be born Monday, I thought I must have made a mistake a few years back.  “Didn’t I just write a commentary on the six billionth person?  Was my math wrong?” My math was not wrong.  I wrote that commentary the first week of October 1999.  [...]