Monday, March 26, 2012

Brazil's dam fish cultivation

Brazil's taking a bad idea and teaching it to swim.

As I mentioned not long ago, dam reservoirs are really nasty things to create but once you have them in place they provide enormous advantages for advancing alternative energy. Now Congress is proposing that dam operators find another way to take advantage of them -- raising fish. And not just any fish. We're talking about non-native species like carp and tilapia.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Belo Monte nearly bankrupts the OAS?

Interesting tidbit pops up in this week’s edition of Semana, Colombia’s premier news magazine. The Organization of American States came close to running out of cash at the end of last year, with December’s paychecks hanging delicately in limbo as the agency struggled to with a growing deficit. Finally OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza managed to scrape together $3.5 billion that kept the group afloat.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Venezuela's Dept. of WTF, officially lost in outer space

I think Setty's Dept. of WTF post most clearly summed up how the world should see the Chavez government's plan to partially privatize Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA. (Yes, *that* Chavez, the one who has spent a decade yelling about the evils of privatizations and the better part of five years nationalizing everything in sight.)

Which is why I'm not sure where to look now that top government dog Diosdado Cabello is accusing the opposition of riling up public opinion about the massive oil spill at the Jusepin field as an way of ... privatizing PDVSA??

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot indeed.

Sorry, sir, we can’t afford to staunch this torrential oil spill

I'm now officially one month behind on the horrid oil spill in eastern Venezuela, which is pretty inexcusable, though I have to thank the The Economist, Gustavo at Caracas Chronicles and Setty for keeping an eye on this one.

Some absolutely staggering details about what happened out in the Guarapiche river in the state of Monagas at the Jusepin oil field surfaced in the last couple days. State oil company PDVSA still has not released any detailed information on how much crude was spilled, (Setty's got a great roundup of what has been said), but it's quite obvious that it was a lot worse than it needed to be.

An excellent story by David Gonzalez in El Nacional lays out the most glaring problem: at least two PDVSA managers refused to halt output even after the severing of a pipeline had been confirmed and a 30-meter column of oil was shooting into the air. They determined -- I shit you not -- that it would take too long to restart production if they shut it down.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

I'm still not dead yet

I swear. I've just been struggling to keep my head above water at work. I'll soon rise from the ashes like the Phoenix. Wait, that would contradict the idea that I'm not dead.

I've got some stuff in the pipeline. Thanks for remembering me.