Stop using me and workers like me as a shield, you fucking asshole. 2

Stop using me and workers like me as a shield, you fucking asshole.
Today I met another refugee from the oil industry. This happens so often it’s like work is one giant reunion. Probably because construction is an industry where there’s a lot of crossover in skill sets, and it’s booming, so there are actually jobs. If you were a geologist, you can find a second life as ...

I get e-mail (Son of Bride of Abiotic Oil) 3

I swear to god, this is the post that keeps on giving. By which I mean that it keeps me supplied with random comments and e-mails like this one. (Though in Mr. Alli’s defense, he was quite coherent and not frothily paranoid, counter to the norm.) Hello Rachel Acks, this is Shawn Alli. I came ...

Earthquakes in Ohio

I love you, Rachel Maddow. But I need to take exception to a thing you said, as much as it pains me. Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy It’s a long clip, and the point in question is sort of interspersed through it. Basically Rachel says that the earthquakes ...

Fracking on the SGU

The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe this week (episode #346) has an interview with Gordon Maupin, about fracking. I think Mr. Maupin was very reasonable and it’s definitely a good interview to hear for a calm, measured take on the topic. It would have been nice to hear more discussion of the geological issues, but ...

Two Earth Science Items

Everyone should read this post. It’s by Dr. Bailles, one of the co-discoverers of the so-called “diamond planet” that the media was having squee spasms about recently. He pointedly notes that his discovery wouldn’t have been at all gleefully received if he was, say, a climate scientist, despite the fact that the scientific process and ...

Hydrocarbon Formation at Depth

I think this got mentioned on this week’s Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe in the science or fiction. I thought it might be the fiction, but wasn’t all that surprised when it turned out to be science: Hydrocarbons in the deep earth (press release…?)Stability of hydrocarbons at deep Earth pressures and temperatures (PNAS article) And ...

Abiotic/Abiogenic Oil 1

You know, the stuff I squeeze out of people who ask me what abiotic oil is on Twitter. Today, shortly after I admitted (gasp) to being a geologist, one of the guys on my judging team asked me about abiotic oil, saying that “there’s been some study in Russia about this.” Which I hadn’t heard ...

The Pelican in the Room 2

I am getting increasingly worried about the Macondo well’s continuing shut-in state, not to mention the way BP and Admiral Allen seem to be bickering about it. I guess the good news is that the pressure has built to a reasonable level and has pretty much parked there. That’s certainly better than the alternative1. And ...

It takes WEEKS to drill 40 feet? 1

On Countdown last night, Keith Olberman reported that the relief well is 40 feet away from the well that’s blown out, and it’s expected to take several more weeks to reach it. I thought I’d clarify this, since it may be a little confusing as to why it is going to take several weeks to ...

Hope and Disappointment

I made it my business to listen to the President’s Oval Office speech from last night. I found it to be an intensely disappointing experience. From where I stand, he had the opportunity to really strongly push the country in a new direction, particularly in calling for new energy policy. While he did say that ...