I’ve been waiting in the weeds for the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina to republish the following piece, my memories of the storm and its impact on New Orleans and New Orleanians. Lightly edited, first published August 28, 2010. I hope you enjoy it. Steve
It was a sunny Friday afternoon just five years ago. My wife was in New Orleans helping her sister move into her new Warehouse District condo. At lunch, they noticed that a storm had moved into the Gulf, and was threatening the central Gulf Coast. It was the “K” storm, already 2005’s eleventh named storm, too many for late August. Continue reading
Rathergate inspired me to fire the mainstream media in September 2004. That’s when I found Redstate. My morning routine used to be coffee, bagel and either the USA Today or the local paper. The phrase "fake but accurate" jarred my brain.
As Vladimir, I lurked at Redstate for a while before contributing a few throwaway diaries. But I found my blogging voice when I realized that my petroleum engineering background allowed me to make observations that the average reader would never find in the mainstream press. Geography helped too: Louisiana is a cornucopia of compelling content.
And there were some big stories:
- Louisiana Politics and Politicians: the William (IN HIS FREEZER!) Jefferson clan, Edwin Edwards, Ray Nagin and the occasional honest pol;
- Energy: High prices, low prices, Peak Oil (or not), the Shale Boom (I was initially skeptical of the Bakken), and the Obama Administration’s patently fraudulent claim of responsibility for same. You may have read about "fracking" in these pages before it was a thing: http://www.redstate.com/2010/01/23/energy-101-hydraulic-fracturing/
- Climate, Environment and Science: Anthropogenic Global Warming, the BP oil spill, Hurricane Katrina, the Bayou Corne Sinkhole, Bulls*** Detection.
The "Greatest Hits" tab at my blog contains links to the articles I like best.
I was a diarist for a looong time. My advice: Don’t give up writing. I became a Front Page Contributor in 2009, at the first Redstate Gathering in Atlanta. Late last year, I stepped back from the one-post-per-week goal I had set for myself. My personal life demanded revised priorities.
Through Redstate, I’ve met and interacted with some of the finest, most influential conservative minds in the country. I was an eyewitness to the political "coming out parties" of Nikki Haley, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, among others. I testified before Congress while the BP well was still blowing; my prediction of the spill’s impact was based on science and experience, and a lot closer to the actual outcome than the environmental calamity scenario being sold by the scientific illiterates in the press.
Few of my articles have clickbait titles ("You’ll Never Guess What Weird Trick BP Used to Cap the Macondo Monster Well from Hell!"). Traffic was never really my goal; posting on Saturdays meant less completion for space and more time for interested readers to digest the content. Anyway, I hope I brought something to the picnic. I wish you all well, although there may be the occasional Vladimir sighting from time to time.
Naomi Klein, in a book excerpt at The Nation, doesn’t quite say that fossil fuels = slavery. In fact, she doesn’t quite say it about five times in one paragraph. I learned something from her essay, though: I never knew I was an “extractivist”. And if “heading an oil company that actively sabotages climate science and lobbies aggressively…” is a “heinous moral crime”, I’m guilty of at least a few venial sins. Where do I go for absolution?
While not equivalent, the dependence of the US economy on slave labor—particularly in the Southern states—is certainly comparable to the modern global economy’s reliance on fossil fuels. But the analogy, as all acknowledge, is far from perfect. Burning fossil fuels is of course not the moral equivalent of owning slaves or occupying countries. (Though heading an oil company that actively sabotages climate science and lobbies aggressively against emission controls, while laying claim to enough interred carbon to drown populous nations like Bangladesh and boil sub-Saharan Africa, is indeed a heinous moral crime.) Nor were the movements that ended slavery and defeated colonial rule in any way bloodless: nonviolent tactics like boycotts and protests played major roles, but slavery in the Caribbean was outlawed only after numerous slave rebellions were brutally suppressed. And, of course, abolition in the United States came only after the carnage of the Civil War.
Union Station, DC. “Kelly” and “Boudreaux” (of Boudreaux’s Seafood/Chinese crawfish) must be best buds.
We have the transformative power of energy facing off with the coercive power of government. If not denied by political powers, the energy opportunities created by the shale revolution would confer multiple genuine benefits for human welfare and peace: jobs, increased income, rebirth of “made in America” manufacturing, national security and even the basis for geopolitical security in Europe – now perilously dependent on oil and natural gas controlled by not-so- dove-ish Vladimir Putin.
The federal government’s increasing regulatory efforts to decarbonize our energy supply are not only economically damaging, they are also are futile. EPA’s recently proposed Clean Power Plan would mandate a re-engineering our nation’s entire system of electric generation to lower CO2emissions by only 30 percent. Yet, this would only reduce supposed global warming by an immeasurable 0.01 degrees Celsius in 2050 according to the science endorsed by EPA. When this inconvenient data is brought to EPA’s attention, the Agency admits its power plan won’t stop global warming, but says it will symbolically demonstrate to the “international community” that the U.S. is willing to sacrifice. This is how EPA would justify a complete overhaul of electric power supply of the U.S. , deep-sixing the coal power on which 40 percent of US electric generation depends?
It’s time to get real about energy and to distinguish myth and theory from hard facts. One of the Summit’s most compelling doyen is Mark P. Mills of the Manhattan Institute. He recently offered a poignant reminder of the world’s need for energy realism. “Every realistic scenario,” Mills writes “sees the world consuming more, not less oil and gas in the future. As for alternative energy, even if the hyperbolic goal of supplying all new global demand were met, the world would still consume 40 billion barrels of oil and natural gas annually.”
Ohio’s unemployment rate in July was 5.7 percent, well below the national average of 6.1 percent. That’s a sharp reversal of the situation four years ago, when unemployment in Ohio hit 10.6 percent, significantly above the country’s overall jobless rate at the time, as manufacturers here and elsewhere hemorrhaged jobs. In the Youngstown area, the jobless rate in July was 6.7 percent, compared with 13.3 percent in early 2010.
“Both Youngstown and Canton are places which experienced nothing but disinvestment for 40 years,” said Ned Hill, a professor of economic development at Cleveland State University. Now, “they’re not ghost towns anymore. You actually have to go into reverse to find a parking spot downtown.”