Upon approach, offshore oil and gas platforms appear industrial and lifeless -- devoid of any life, besides the humming of industry. Their potential to function as artificial reef systems seems impossible. Yet we have found that offshore oil and gas platforms provide one of the most unique artificial ecosystems in California.
The world is aflame with new or intensifying conflicts. At first glance, these upheavals appear to be driven by their own idiosyncratic circumstances. But look more closely and they share several key characteristics -- notably, a witch's brew of ethnic, religious, and national antagonisms that have been stirred to the boiling point by a fixation on energy.
Even as Obama pursues a new public effort to fight global warming, his administration is quietly advancing an energy policy that may well raise the volume of climate-increasing greenhouse gases, while at the same time polluting U.S. communities through increased use of the controversial practice of fracking.