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Showing posts from April 17, 2011

How to Make Some Sense Out of So Much Nonsense?

For most people the Big Recession of 2009 has never ended.  It has not ended as well for elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, colleges, universities, museums, policemen, firefighters, municipalities, counties, states, and so on. This recession has not ended, yet we see inflation in every aspect of the lives of ordinary people: fuels, food (even the food-like edible substances that masquerade as food in the U.S.), and clothing.  Click on the image to see the original size There is a reason why food and fuels are excluded from the government measure of "core" inflation, which then becomes a game of controlling how fast we print and price new money relative to how fast we improve productivity.  Over the last several decades, the Federal Reserve has become quite good in playing that control game, and the rest seemed OK.  But not this time. So what is different now? Why do the Left and the Right offer such dramatically different solutions to the same problem? 

The Macondo Well Anniversary

At noon today I was asked by the Austin Chapter of Sierra Club to do a joint interview on the first anniversary of the Macondo well tragedy.  This is what I said: Tad Patzek, Remarks at the 4/20/2011 media event organized by Sierra Club Noon Press Event at 11th & Congress in Austin.  For full disclosure l need to tell you that I am Chairman of the first-ranked petroleum engineering department in the country, and I am very proud of it.  I have not come here to bash oil, because hydrocarbons, oil and natural gas , as well as coal, have underwritten both the industrial revolution and the scientific revolution that have produced the wind turbines and solar photovoltaics, as well as all components of the electric cars we all like so much.  Without fossil fuels, all modern renewable energy sources would be dead before arrival . Because the real production rate of liquid petroleum is peaking and the imaginary additions are unlikely to make up for the rate deficit, the world, but esp