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Vol. 15, No. 13 Week of March 28, 2010
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Greening of Oil - Latest from Mac Ackers

ALASKANS, GOO WANTS TO HEAR FROM YOU … Greening of Oil recently posted an article, Hydrokinetic proposition for Alaska at about a Floridian who won an award for a device he wants to use on abandoned Cook Inlet oil platforms. Basically, the device produces power from the movement of water. In the comments section that followed the article, Al Hastings and Arlen Ehm both expressed concerns about the structural integrity of using the old platforms, but Hastings suggested ConocoPhillips give Scott Anderson a chance to see what he can do with Conoco’s Cook Inlet platforms. Don’t be shy! Weigh in on the article in the comments section. The author, Eric Lidji, is looking at doing a follow-up. He wants to hear from you! If you’re shy, his email address is [email protected]

ANIMAL WITH SKIN LIKE A BEARD … That’s what omingmak means, the Inupiaq Eskimo word for muskoxen. Sound cuddly? I’d forgotten about these mellow beasts until I saw the most recent Arctic Oil & Gas Directory cover at The photo, capturing the oh-so-common meshing of wildlife and industry in Alaska, comes from Judy Patrick, a well-known photographer and close friend of Sarah Palin. According to the State of Alaska “the name muskox is misleading because the animals have no musky odor.” Ahem. Readers, I won’t lie to you. I’ve been to the zoo in Anchorage and they smell. Not good. Perhaps keepers missed the section in the manual that suggested they be bathed regularly? But odors aside, these animals get serious credit for fighting off evolution and remaining basically the same since the last ice age. To read more on muskox and their shaky, but heartwarming history in Alaska, visit the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Web site at

NOT STRESSED ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING … In a recent Gallup Poll Americans ranked global warming last among eight environmental issues to be worried about. The percentage of respondents who told Gallup they worry “a great deal” about global warming was 28 percent, down 5 percent from last year. Here are the top seven environmental issues Americans are very worried about, per the poll results, which were released March 16: pollution of drinking water, 50 percent; pollution of rivers, lakes, and reservoirs, 46 percent; maintenance of the nation’s supply of fresh water for household needs, 45 percent; contamination of soil and water by toxic waste, 44 percent; air pollution, 38 percent; loss of tropical rain forests, 33 percent; and extinction of plant and animal species, 31 percent. Gallup’s take on the results? “Americans are now less worried about a series of environmental problems than at any time in the past 20 years. That could be due in part to Americans’ belief that environmental conditions in the U.S. are improving. It also may reflect greater public concern about economic issues, which is usually associated with a drop in environmental concern.”

CLIMATEGATE INQUIRY LED BY OIL BOSS … Per a March 22 report by environmental news reporter Louise Gray, former non-executive chairman of Shell, Lord Oxburgh, will head up a team of leading scientists looking at claims manmade activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels, cause global temperatures to rise. Gray says “other controversial names on the panel” include Kerry Emanuel, professor of meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who “is best known for a paper that suggested hurricanes are getting fiercer with global warming, immediately causing skeptics on the internet to start questioning the appointment.” The new inquiry will look into “mountains of research by the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit,” which Gray says is the leading institution for climate change research. Lord Oxburgh, former chief scientific adviser for the Ministry of Defence and Rector of Imperial College and chairman of the Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology, says, “The shadow hanging over climate change and science more generally at present makes it a matter of urgency that we get on with this assessment. We will undertake this work and report as soon as possible.” His past association with the oil industry “will make environmentalists cautious, but he has also shown an interest in the environment and is currently president of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association and Falck Renewables,” Gray reported.

THE TREASURE IMPULSE … Can we manage our desire for resources while safeguarding the environment and alleviating poverty? The answer to that question is explored in “Treasures of the Earth: Need, Greed, and a Sustainable Future” by Saleem H. Ali, which was published in October by Yale University Press (Hardcover, ISBN: 978-0-300-14161-0, 304 pages). Ali does not think we can resist our “treasure impulse,” arguing that simply disavowing consumption of the earth’s mined riches — oil, gems, precious metals, and minerals — won’t help us plan effectively for a resource-scarce future. I am told by people in the know, including Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate in 2006, that it’s a great read. For more info, chat with Liz Pelton at 410-467-0989 or [email protected]

GEEKS GOING GREEN … CompTIA technology has come out with the first ever specialized exam for green IT skills. The subject matter: green technologies, standards, policies and design-support techniques. The topics: proper disposal, power preservation best practices, how to address carbon footprint management, virtualization skills, and how to measure the return on investment from green IT activities. A 2009 survey showed that IT solution providers were having to provide more and more green-related services. Forty percent provide energy audits, 26 percent do carbon footprint measuring and monitoring and another 23 percent are planning to provide these services by the end of 2011. You can learn more about the exam at To learn more about IT’s role in climate change check out the Green:Net2010 event in San Francisco at this link

Contact me! I am Greening of Oil’s social networker. My weekly column is posted in both Petroleum News and on Greening of Oil’s Buzz and Latest news pages. My e-mail address is [email protected].

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