The Observer Effect

I enjoyed reading Ken Wilson’s chapter “Thinking about the ethics of fieldwork” in “Fieldwork in Developing Countries.” I want to focus on one sentence found on page 186 that says, “…people who are aware of being observed, tend to report or behave in a biased fashion, either willfully or subconsciously…if a researcher attempts to observe [...]

The Tradegy of the Niger Delta

In his article “Righteous Oil? The Oil Complex, and Corporate Social Responsibility,” Michael Watts weaves a pretty scary web in his portrayal of the “oil complex,” The oil complex could take many forms but the goal is always the same: get as much oil out as quickly and cheaply as possible. In the Niger Delta [...]

“The End of Cheap Oil,” by Campbell and Laherrere – compared to – “Risks of the Oil Transition,” by Farrel and Brandt

“The End of Cheap Oil,” by Campbell and Laherrere

• diminishing oil supplies will lead to severe economic and geopolitical consequences by 2010

This article, written in 1998, brings the reader’s attention to the supply of global conventional crude oil and predicts that by 2010 the demand will begin to outpace supply leading to severe [...]

Cap and trade versus a tax on carbon as a mechanism for reducing greenhouse gas emissions (200 words)

One distinct advantage of cap and trade versus a carbon tax as a policy mechanism for reducing GHG emissions is that it allows us to meet any carbon emission goal we decide upon simply by setting the carbon cap at that level. In this scheme carbon credits would be traded in the market place, allowing [...]

Cutting Butter With a Chainsaw

When Amory Lovins refers to energy in terms of “quality,” he is referencing one of the principles in the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Entropy is the measure of disorder in the universe and the law states that entropy (disorder) is always increasing. Because of this law there is a spontaneous direction in which energy transformation [...]

The Mustang and the Donkey

The climate talks are a lot like a car race if you think about it, but with a twist. Each country is racing toward the finish line as if getting there would be enough to win. But the twist in this race is that, in order to win, we have to all finish at the [...]