Recent pictures of methane bubbles in northern lakes are stunningly beautiful. We used to explain the familiar bubbles like these (but unfrozen of course) in an Alabama lake or in the bayou along the Mississippi coast as “swamp gas” – not “natural gas.” Same thing. Today’s “natural” gas is swamp gas from millions of years ago when plants and phytoplankton died and decayed into minerals and gases trapped in rock or as frozen hydrates. Swamp gas, then, is a energy-releasing carbon fuel. You can …

Swamp Gases in Cold Places Read more »

I’m pretending, as a fumbling fiction writer, that there will be a life after carbon. It is a thought and a hope I’d like to hold up as a possibility, though I hold serious doubts, because I do not think it possible any carbon will be left in the ground if we can get it out–up to the point where it takes a barrel of oil to produce a barrel of oil. One might think that this run on “unconventional reserves” of carbon in …

Life After Carbon Read more »