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Chem Links, October 20: Peaking Too Soon?
1:22 PM MDT | October 20, 2009 | By VINCENT VALK
Chem Links is our new weekly round-up of stories from around the web related, in some way, to the chemical industry. We'll be focusing mostly on stories that are under-the-radar or tangentially related to the industry, to give you a broader picture of where it sits in relation to the news of the day. We'll also try to include some links that are amusing, unusual or otherwise quirky. We hope you enjoy it. If you have any suggestions, please email email@example.com.
Peak Oil may be coming pretty soon. Or not. It really depends whom you ask. The latest group to predict an energy doomsday in the near future: the UK Energy Research Council, which says that crude production may peak before 2020. (The Guardian)
Speaking of oil, the chemical industry tends to think of it as a feedstock. Those of us in developed nations frequently associate it with automobiles. But though few people ever see it, it has left an in indelible physical mark on society, as Edward Burtynsky's stunning photographs demonstrate. (Foreign Policy)
How do we know when the recession is over? When GDP grows. It's probably the most familiar economic metric in the world. But it was not always thus, and there's no guarantee that GDP is the best reflection of well being, economic or otherwise. Some people are working to fix this problem. (The Atlantic)
Late last month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) caused a stir by taking the first steps towards formal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. A bit earlier, David Roberts of Grist gave a comprehensive and strangely understandable rundown of what that means and how it would work – with bunnies! (Grist)
Natural gas may be a big part of the solution to the energy crisis, especially in the U.S. But it's…probably less useful for the water supply. (Infrastructurist)