Archives for April, 2011

Comments Off on Thin Steel Line: Japan’s Nuclear Crisis–Now a “Major Accident”– Could Have Been Worse

The new, raised assessment of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident puts it on par with Chernobyl in terms of potential consequences, but it is obvious to anyone that there is a difference between Japan’s ongoing crisis and the 1986 explosion in the Ukraine. Summed up in a single word, that difference is “containment.” Steel and…

Since the Copenhagen Climate summit we’ve known there is something very wrong with the U.N. political framework for climate change. Early morning compromise decisions by exhausted negotiators have become the rule at Climate Change meetings. It happened again at the preparatory talks in Bangkok last week. Delegates have consumed three and a half days just…

Comments Off on What’s Driving Up Oil Prices? Or The Yadda Yadda Yadda Theory of Oil Speculation

So, oil prices are above $100 per barrel, the price at the gasoline pump is well past $3 per gallon, and people are looking for reasons. Your possible explanations are: Unrest in the Middle East Rising worldwide demand, driven by growth in China and India Speculation by oil traders You can find people pitching all…

It’s no surprise that oil and coal companies are having a banner year. Earthquakes in Japan and revolutions in Africa have oil riding a profitable wave of instability. The Wall Street Journal noted that rising gas prices are a boon to oil companies even as costs pinch consumers. Fortunately there are plenty of energy innovators…

John Maynard Keynes, a giant in modern economic theory, famously wrote that “Most, probably, of our decisions to do something positive, the full consequences of which will be drawn out over many days to come, can only be taken as the result of animal spirits…” This notion, laid out in his seminal book The General…