Mandy Nelson:This was a useful tool, especially on a Sunday morning over coffee. I bet your readers would enjoy it too.”

☞ Indeed! I solved the deficit problem in 10 minutes. You can, too. Whether you will go along with my choices or I will go along with yours – or Congress will go along with anyone’s – is another story. But it’s an interesting exercise.


Lesley Stahl’s “60 Minutes” piece last night . . . that we’ve now identified two whole Saudi Arabia’s worth of natural gas in our native shale, but that extracting it could contaminate much of our drinking water forever . . . brought to mind Robert Bryce’s Power Hungry: The Myths of ‘Green’ Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future. Bryce scoffs at the solar panels Charles and I have put on our roof (and would have scoffed all the harder if we had found room for a windmill). Instead, he sees natural gas as the bridge to the ultimate cheap, clean solution: nuclear. I’m skeptical that he has it all right, but learned things all the same. I now know what a joule is. (More or less.)

Recently, when I mentioned concerns about natural gas fracking, you responded:

Kirk: “Not all natural gas comes from shale formations where they use fracturing to get it out. Most NG up to now has been drilled down into same as oil, with very little environmental impact. After the well is drilled, only a small well head is left to produce and gather the gas. We should be promoting the use of clean NG as an alternative to costly foreign oil, by using NG cars, buses, and such. I urge you to get on board and sign up for the Pickens Plan at”

Charles C:Gasland is a great documentary on the ‘safety’ of extracting natural gas. Worth watching since the conventional wisdom is that natural gas is safe and clean. The film centers around drinking water contamination as you mentioned in your post.”


Take a look. (Thanks, James.) Oh, my.


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