1978 vs. 2010: What’s changed, what hasn’t

This post was originally published in 2010 on the 1Sky blog. I didn’t foresee fracing, so my predictions related to Peak Oil haven’t come to pass. Most of the rest (e.g. the challenges of nuclear, the growth of EVs, wind, and solar) have been on the mark. Even most of the links were still good.

“The West Wing” and renewable energy


As part of my post-election therapy I’m watching every episode of The West Wing. For those who don’t remember the show, it’s a soap opera set in the White House of President Jeb Barrlett, a Nobel-prize winning economist played by Martin Sheen. His White House is filled with smart, hard-working, dedicated public servants just trying to keep the wheels on the bus while dealing with budgets, terrorist attacks, and unspoken love. It’s reassuring to listen to the President talk in complete sentences and actually hear intelligent discussions of important policies. Even the Republicans are smart and doing what they believe to be believe to be the best for the country.

Continue reading ““The West Wing” and renewable energy”

Making the Case for Nuclear Energy in the 21st Century: an evening of pro-nuclear discussions

On April 4th, 2017 I attended a forum presented by Energy Northwest, the operators of the Columbia Generating station (the Northwest’s only nuclear power plant), and Seattle Friends of Fission at Town Hall. The panel was exclusively pro-nuclear and included:

  • James Conca, Forbes.com contributor on energy and environmental issues
  • Nick Touran, advanced nuclear reactor physicist, TerraPower
  • Kristin Zaitz, senior consulting engineer, Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant
  • Moderator: Scott Montgomery, nationally acclaimed writer, and adjunct faculty, UW Jackson School of Intl. Studies

Continue reading “Making the Case for Nuclear Energy in the 21st Century: an evening of pro-nuclear discussions”

NW Wind Power – Too Much of a Good Thing?

This is a repost of an  article I wrote for Sustainable West Seattle in May, 2011. Given the heavy snow pack that the Pacific coast got this winter, we’re likely to see a repeat of the situation we saw in 2011.

The Challenges of Wind Development in the Northwest

It was recently reported that the Northwest power grid operators (primarily the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA)) plan to instruct wind farm operators to turn their turbines off occasionally this spring, because our grid can’t handle all of the power. Why are we turning off wind farms now and not shutting down Washington’s only coal power plant until 2025?

Continue reading “NW Wind Power – Too Much of a Good Thing?”

Contest Time!

In celebration of the launch of the Kindle version, I’m giving away five signed copies of my book, Adaptive Project Management: Leading Complex and Uncertain Projects. To enter write a one-paragraph explanation on why you should get a copy of my book (e.g. how fustrated you are with waterfall or agile, or how complex and uncertain your projects are). Just post your entry here and let me know how to get ahold of you.

Continue reading “Contest Time!”

Adaptive Project Management lessons from a Saturday Night Live skit

Last night on Saturday Night Live there was a skit in which three engineers  demonstrated their invention, a machine that can translate a dog’s thoughts into words, to two investors. This is a project with complexity and uncertainty, and adaptive project management is appropriate. Did they use adaptive project management and if not, would it have improved their demonstration?

Continue reading “Adaptive Project Management lessons from a Saturday Night Live skit”

Adaptive Project Management: Leading Complex and Uncertain Projects

I just want to let my readers know that even though my blog has been quiet lately it’s not because I’ve stopped writing, but that I’ve been working on a book. The goal of the book, like many of my blog posts, is to provide insights on how to manage projects that have both complexity (so agile is a poor fit) and uncertainty (so waterfall is a bad fit). It should be coming out in March 2017.