Category Archives: Oceans

Empty Shell

Happy New Year.  The snow here is two feet deep and the temperature is in single digits, sometimes above and sometimes below zero.  Winter in Vermont as it should be and as it too rarely seems to be anymore. Global warming is the cause, of course, and while we seem to be enjoying a respite [...]

Race to the Bottom: Homestretch

In this space the first week of January 2004, I predicted it would be the year that would determine whether or not American democracy would survive.  In the last month of that same year, I was forced to conclude, with sorrow, that American democracy is doomed.  Although I’ve been allowed brief moments of hope since [...]

Romantic Poetry

BILOXI, MS – It’s five in the morning, St. Patrick’s Day 2011; I’m in a cheap motel 75 yards from the Gulf of Mexico. I’ve opened the door to let in cool pre-dawn air. I hoped to hear the surf but it’s drowned out by the hum of electric lights outside and the traffic on [...]

Low Incidence, High Consequence

To date, NASA has launched 132 space shuttle missions. Two – Challenger in 1986 and Columbia in 2003 – were catastrophic failures, killing all the astronauts onboard each shuttle. Low incidence, high consequence; it doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it’s bad. So it is with deepwater and/or high pressure oil drilling. Most [...]

The Muse

I found Clio in her cave, high above the Aegean Sea. She looked up from the scroll she was writing when I entered; dozens of other scrolls lay half-unrolled, perched on rocks or unwinding across the floor. “The technology, of course is unprecedented,” she said, knowing already what subject I’d come to discuss, “The other [...]

Out of Commission

On May 20, Lee Hamilton and Thomas Kean, leaders of the 9-11 Commission, told a congressional committee that six years after the commission completed its work, the federal government has not taken the steps needed to implement the commission’s recommendations. The next day, President Barack Obama announced the formation of a commission to investigate the [...]

“We’re Gonna Need Bigger Boat”

My neighbors are starting to refer to our block as “The Farm” because of all the fruit trees and vegetables that grow in our gardens. We have bees and chickens and the guys across the street make beer with hops that grow along our fences. Margaret is our master gardener, dispensing advice. Last week she [...]