We write posts to do with each of the books we publish —
and also a series to do with ‘Engineering in an Age of Limits’. A full index is
here. The latest posts are highlighted below.
Our latest post is
Renaissance Man and Climate Change. In it we discuss whether Pope
Francis is qualified to discuss climate change, as he does in
Laudato Si’. We conclude that he
If wishes were horses . . . discusses some of
the real world problems associated with converting the automobile fleet to
Electric Vehicles (EVs).
Before that we had Denying Blackbeard
Part 2. In them we note that many of the large oil companies, as exemplified by ExxonMobil and its CEO Rex Tillerson, express doubts regarding climate change and other issues to do with the Age of Limits. They certainly fail to take action.
Yet failing to take action in the face of systemic changes has led to the failure of many companies — Kodak being an good example. Even though one of its employees invented the digital camera in the year 1975 the company’s failure to respond promptly and thoroughly led to its demise in the year 2012.
The issues faced by the oil companies are not entirely analogous to those of Kodak because there is no new technology that is replacing the oil and gas that they produce. Still, their environment (in both senses of the word) is changing, and if the fail to change their business model then they will probably fade away.
In this post and the next one we suggest that this failure to respond to these systemic issues is somewhat puzzling for two reasons. First, oil companies are well acquainted with risk-taking — it’s what they do all the time when they drill for oil and gas. No matter how good their seismic models there is always a chance that they will drill a dry hole.
Second, these companies have, over the last thirty years or so, made safety a priority — it matters more than profits. This commitment to the ethic of safety is demonstrated by examining the Blackbeard (non) event in which ExxonMobil walked away from a very promising new oil find on the grounds that they were taking too much risk — the chance of a blowout was too great.
We publish books and ebooks. The following book titles are currently available:
We are currently working on Engineering in an Age of Limits. Its current release date is the first quarter of 2016.
We publish a series of blogs to do with the design, operation and safety of process and energy facilities. Each blog series corresponds to the book titles shown above. They are:
We offer the following videos on the topics discussed at this site.
Contractors in the Process Industries
We have prepared a three-part series of video posts to do with contractors and their role in the process industries. The series is organized into three parts:
- Contractors and Operators
- Management of Contractors
Contractors and Regulations
This video provides an overview of the important topic of Prestartup Safety Reviews (PSSR), sometimes referred to as Operational Readiness Reviews.
The PSM Report
We publish a letter that discusses events and information of interest to the process safety world. If you are not on our distribution and would like to receive this letter by email please register using the "Join Our EMail List" link at the top of this page.
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