Ohhhh… barracudaaaa

A large swarm of teeth

Majestic if also a bit unnerving in a school. I’ve seen the cloud of exploded fish after a hunting great barracuda went in for the kill. They could easily dispatch me if they were so inclined.

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Quiero hacer contigo lo que la primavera hace con los cerezos

Spring

A season for Neruda.

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I’m still amazed by truly healthy coral

Hanging off of Dixon's Pinnacle

After a week in Costa Rica and Panama and several days diving in silty, sediment-filled water, it’s almost refreshing to look back at clear blue underwater at Dixon’s near Havelock.

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Lost at sea

Lost photo: Tortuga Bay

I’m powering down the blog for a week or so. I’m touring in Costa Rica and Panama, getting a good dose of sun and salt water.

This is from my files from an afternoon at Tortuga Bay, Galapagos.

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When the stars make you drool… it’s a moray!

Open wide

Johnny’s Gorge. He’s actually just breathing. And he’s substantially more afraid of me than I of him.

But still, these guys are unnerving. Amazing and unnerving.

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Now that BP is over, a new rush to drill in the ocean?

The NYT this week had a story noting that as the BP Gulf oil spill court case winds down, the Obama administration (cautiously) and the GOP presidential front-runners (with absolute abandon) want to open up U.S. coasts to more drilling.

Their flawed logic goes like this: More drilling = more oil = lower gas prices = happy voters = elected.

Hogwash and pandering. And unfortunately, it’s hogwash left unchecked by the NYT.

Here’s a bit of reality, that any reasonable natural resources economist could tell you: Any extra oil from drilling will come over decades, not months, and certainly not in time to save an election. And the amount of extra oil that does bubble up from the deep (at least that which isn’t spilled again) will only be a drop in the world barrel.

Yes, oil prices are a function of world supply and demand. Just because it comes from our EEZ instead of someone else’s doesn’t mean we get it on the cheap.

So if oil prices are controlled by the world market, then so are gas prices. Sure, some extra oil will result in some decrease. That’s likely going to be three or four cents, per government estimates. Consider that the Energy Information Administration in 2008 (under President George W. Bush, mind you) said that any impact from opening up a large new source (such as ANWR) will be almost nil.

And if the U.S. brings online more oil, OPEC could close down some production to keep the price higher.

Oh wait, and then there’s ever increasing demand from China, India, Brazil and the other big developing economies.

So yes, hogwash. Whatever marginal amounts are obtained in the future from expanded drilling will do very, very, very little to decrease pain at the pump.

Sadly, the NYT didn’t take the time — or even a couple grafs — to give this a bit of scrutiny. I’m sure their reporters and editors know it. But somehow that counter opinion was left out.

The answers instead can be found in alternatives, in a new economy and in new consumption patterns. For example: offshore wind, a green global public transportation network and using less energy.

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Lionfish out for a swim

Lionfish

These guys tend to stick close to reef and shelter during the day, frequently not moving at all and relying on their camouflage and poisonous barbs to defend them.

This one, was out above the reef almost in open ocean for a cruise at Johnny’s Gorge.

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Like a big pizza pie… that’s a moray!

Wrinkly with teeth

All leather and fangs but no actual threat (to divers).

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Lionfish have weird eyebrows…

Am I right?

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Jadoo tree

My favorite tree in the world

Neem, the magical, medicinal tree of India. This one towers over a courtyard in the Qutub Minar complex and carries with it so many fond memories.

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