This picture is plastered all over the front page of the Austin daily paper, with the caption
“With the Pedernales River nearly empty Thursday at the Texas 71 bridge near Spicewood, a dock is left high and dry.”
The accompanying story is about the difficulty in obtaining drought aid.
On the weather page, meanwhile, is the advice that the high temperature may be below 100 for several days running next week. [more]
An aggie fellow (that is, from Texas A&M, our rivals), Robert Avant is apparently a big player in biofuels. He came and gave a talk today at the Pickle campus on the outlook for biofuels.
He’s the kind of authentic, down-to-earth Texan that I like but it tends not to be mutual. [more]
(Picture: guy in a pink gorilla suit selling some silly thing or other at SXSW;
guy on cellphone at left probably has a more consequential job)
Why am I at SXSWi?
“SXSWi?” regular readers will surely ask. If I tell them it’s locally pronounced “Sowfba enneractive” the confusion may well mount. [more]
The image is lifted from The Oil Drum and shows the progress of oil futures prices over the past couple of months. Normally, future prices are lower than present prices, because of discounting. Discounting amounts to an expectation that you can invest money somewhere else now and buy the commodity at a lower net price because of your profits. [more]
A bicycle commuter tried to get one of those transponder gizmos for the tollway, but the state of Texas is confused and can’t seem to manage to take his money.
A typical Texas intersection
(I’m not exaggerating quite as much as you think I am,
there are literally dozens of intersections on this scale in and around the five biggest cities):
Update on the image above: I should also point out for the non-Texan reader that Texas “urban” (I use the term in its loose southwestern sense) expressways are typically six lanes wide, and paralleled by two-lane one-way commercial streets for a total of ten lanes in four distinct paths. [more]
Galveston TX is built on a shifting sandbar off the Texas coast, not far from Houston.
Galveston, it appears, is in big trouble even if sea level rise doesn’t accelerate. The Texas Observer has an article called “That Sinking Feeling” detailing how the beach boom town is in denial about the fact that nature trumps real estate. [more]
Texas ought to be leading the way on energy. We need it, we have an established culture of energy related industries, we have land, wind, sun and saltwater (for cooling and possibly even for hydraulic energy storage), and we have geological formations that can contain sequestered carbon.
We in Texas also have a huge coastline at huge risk from business as usual, possibly worse than anybody except Florida. [more]
First of all, it’s still raining and it looks to be getting worse soon.
The New York Times had an article recently about Ron Paul remarked on the strange confluence of far left and far right opinion. This has coastal folks baffled. It makes perfect sense in the south, though. People who dismiss “flyover country” and come up with stupid theories about what makes rural people tick drive me mad. [more]
A readable article, flickering somewhere between respectful and mildly condescending, about a journalism professor appears in the Austin Statesman, focusing largely on the man’s refusal to own a car. Living without a car, in Texas, constitutes news. One of the reader comments reads
“In the classroom we heard about his unique way of life. [more]
Bicycles are good enough for Paris. When will they be good enough for “green leader” Austin?
Jean-Luc Dumesnil, who is an adviser in City Hall on cycling policy, said that while the number of bicycles on the streets increased by 50 percent in the last six years, the number of cycling accidents remained stable. [more]
Here’s a little more detail on our atypical summer from our local daily news source, the Statesman. (Note, if you are visiting from the Future, welcome. Sorry that these stories may already have expired. I hope you are comfortably cool and dry in the Future.)
“June comes in as the third- or fourth-wettest month of the year,” said Lower Colorado River Authority meteorologist Bob Rose. [more]
18 inches of rain in 24 hours, yesterday, just upriver from us at Marble Falls TX. The flood control people (the LCRA = “Lower Colorado River Authority”) are going bonkers trying to smooth this event out and parcel out minimal flood damage. More rain is expected in the Colorado basin this week. [more]