President’s Column – March 2009

Title: That’s a lot of MALARKY … or is it?

Author: James Mullarky

Publication: The Outcrop, March 2009, p. 8, 23, 32

Ok, now that I grabbed your attention, I’ll explain the term malarky, in contrast to the surname, Mullarkey. And then move on to things of more substance, possibly. Webster’s says, “malarky: insincere or foolish talk.” Mullarkey, my family name, is said, by other Mullarkeys, to be passed down by an Irish king. I have also heard any man or woman landowner in old Ireland was a king or queen. Enough of that.

Energy efficiency (EE) compared to and contrasted against energy conservation has been in the news recently, including articles in Time Magazine and the Denver Business Journal. Efficiency is about doing the same or more with less. Efficiency doesn’t require anyone to change routines or sacrifice comfort (Michael Grunwald, Time 1-12-09, p. 32). Conservation has a limit to the amount of energy that can be saved; efficiencies may not have limits, at least in the near term.

Efficiency seems like something to concentrate on to help bridge the crossing from dependence on fossil fuels as energy sources, to the use of a much larger set of energy generating sources. An example of a significant impact EE project is an Xcel Energy rebate program (to be paid for by special charges on Excel bills), which targets EE savings of 694 megawatts. Seven hundred megawatts is approximately the size of a new coal-fired power plant Xcel is building in Pueblo, CO. One megawatt supplies the energy needs of about 75 households (Cathy Proctor, Denver Business Journal, Jan. 16-22, 2009, p. 4). I did my own minor energy conservation task this month, unplugging some inoperative appliances. As we know, small efforts from a large number of people can add up quickly to equal big results.

Ruminations on the present — good traits of RMAG members, staying optimistic, staying aware of the current environment, preparing for some industry downturn due to fallout from the global recession. For good news, the longest recession since 1937 has been 16 months long and at the end of February 2009 we are 14 months into this one, so the end of the recession and the start of the following recovery should be here soon, according to the Bureau of Economic Research (Time 12-15-08). Traits to improve on for RMAG members include reversing the low voter turnout seen during the last two RMAG elections. The 2009 Board of Directors is counting on each of you to help with this glitch, and fill out and return your ballots this fall.

Ruminations on the future — everyone needs to work hard to make it a good year. RMAG is looking for someone from the Neo-Geo group to step forward and volunteer to be a part of the Professional Awards Committee. Please contact Bill Houston or me. Don Stone’s foreland structure course was well and attentively attended. The 15th Annual 3-D Symposium will be held on 3-27-2009, it should be the best one yet, so make your reservation now, if you haven’t already.

I’ll wrap up with another definition, not from Webster’s: Hiking – the way you address a monarch. Happy hiking trails to you.