Sunday, September 03, 2006

Labor Day Week

I'm taking advantage of the Labor Day holiday to spend some family time out west. Energy Outlook will be on vacation this week, resuming new postings next Monday, September 11. In the meantime, here are some links to vintage postings that newer readers may not have encountered, along with links to some recent articles I found interesting, but didn't get around to posting on:

Anyone wondering what a wider war in the Middle East might look like, in the aftermath of the recent war in Lebanon, should peruse this article from MIT's Technology Review on the proliferation of cruise missiles in the region. It describes a key aspects of Iran's conventional armament, and goes into the tactical and strategic implications of this development. It also includes comments from John Arquilla, a brilliant thinker on the topic of "netwar" and other revolutionary military developments. The article was published in two parts, each spanning several pages:

"The Missiles of August: Part I"
"The Missiles of August: Part II"

I hesitated to include a link to an article that requires a subscription to the New York Times' Times Select service, but I believe this long piece on the challenge and opportunity posed by America's deteriorating physical infrastructure merits inclusion, anyway. The author highlights our reliance on assets built by previous generations and not properly renewed, and identifies the costs imposed by this failure. He calls for a bi/non-partisan consensus on infrastructure, and makes an interesting point about the need to sharpen ours skills in this area, in a warming world that is likely to test them more frequently and persistently.

"Things Fall Apart: Fixing America's Crumbling Infrastructure"

Posting Re-Runs

With control of at least the House of Representatives up for grabs in the fall, energy and environmental policy may expand to focus more on vehicle efficiency or new fuel taxes. Here's an alternative that would achieve many of the same objectives, while preserving and expanding consumer choice:

A Tax on "Excess" Horsepower

Even as debate over what to do about climate change--and who's responsible for it--continues, I'm seeing more references to a novel and pragmatic approach to tackling the problem: breaking it down into smaller, more manageable segments:

"Subtracting Wedges"

The prospect of Peak Oil continues to alarm some and intrigue many others. Comparing this looming potential crisis to a similar prospective crisis in the recent past, Y2K, provides some useful insights:

"Peak Oil Millenarianism"

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