Speaking of Thar coal, if you want to start the week with a belly laugh read Fouad Khan's beautifully researched and written analysis for the (Pakistan) Express Tribune, Chasing a pipe dream: three reasons why Thar coal will not save Pakistan. Just a little preview:
The fixed carbon content of Thar coal is less than 22%. The low carbon content translates into low energy generation capacity, which means that if energy is invested into transporting the lignite from source to point of consumption, the net energy output of the mining, extraction, transportation and conversion process becomes less than zero; you end up investing more energy making energy out of coal than you get out of it in terms of megawatts. In order to get any energy out of lignite, it has to be converted into electricity almost entirely onsite; where it is being mined. Which brings us to the first reason why Thar coal will not save Pakistan.Gee I hope the Thar-Pak folks don't read the Express Tribune if their intention is actually to help Pakistan; I think that's the name of the American coal-mining consortium that was thrown together.
There isn’t enough water
Where was I? China snapping up contracts in Afghanistan that should have gone to the USA seeing how Americans are spilling so much of their blood there and all.
I know; it's not State's fault. It's never State's fault because it was born under an unlucky star. When you're wrong there's a President in office who follows your advice. When you're right it so happens there's a President who won't listen to a word you say. And then there are presidents, such as Obama, with a built-in homing device: if State is right that means he doesn't listen; if it's wrong he loves the advice.
But has it ever occurred to State that Foggy Bottom might be built on top of a Native Indian burial ground? I'm serious; maybe the problem is not in the stars. It could be ghosts. In that case State doesn't need a bigger budget; it needs a shaman or two. Have them do a blessing ceremony to pacify any angry spirits hanging out in the halls. Or State could always solve the problem by relocating its headquarters to somewhere else. Like Brussels.
All right, all right, Pundita; somebody get the hook because I could on like this for the rest of week.