Polar Express to a Bright Energy Future

As the over-heated talk against fossil-fuel use at the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change in Doha, Qatar ended last week, I was reminded of my early professional days in the frozen frontier of spectacular natural beauty and copious energy reserves. Standing on the shores of the icy Chukchi Sea, the sky is lower, the air colder and crisper, than almost anywhere else on earth.  There in Cape Lisburne, Alaska, one hundred and sixty miles above the Arctic Circle, is where I began my atmospheric-science career a few decades ago. Unfortunately, I didn't stay long. After a short stint as a weather observer, recording snowfall in July and awesome displays of the aurora borealis, I returned to the Midwest and western Pennsylvania to pursue a career as an air-pollution meteorologist. Although not as grand as observing weather from the top of the world, the air-quality profession is certainly an exciting, important field, especially today, with the anxious balance between...(Read Full Post)