The sounds of U2 this is America spins in my head. Kinda strange but a look forward to seeing them in Glastonbury.
The AAPG convention is a stunning thing for any scientist. 6000 geologists and trade shows. 8 concurrent sessions. 100s of posters. All talking to the business of exploring and producing oil and gas.
At the invitation of the AAPG I chaired a session yesterday. It was well attended and I met lots of people. my friend and colleague Steve Kimbrell from Exxon came down the night before and chaired the session with me. It was the first time that AAPG has had an Operations Geology session so there was a great sense of "moment" for all those that took part and presented papers. The convention centre is ginormous. Despite the number of people it does not feel crowded.
Yesterday morning I got up at sunrise ( a la Nepal) and took the ferry across the river and photographed the city skyline. I then took the street car up St Charles and photographed the mansions. I visited with guitarman who gave me the low down on the shooting across the road the night before. I had not felt very comfortable about how it looked in this part of Canal street. And it explained all the comotion. I had walked past 15 minutes earlier.
I then took a guided tour of the city. To see the Katrina damage. The city is close to being refitted and seems vibrant here in the centre. This is not the case in the poorer part of town. A great deal of housing has been removed and only cement plinths remain. Strip malls have not been rejuvinated and many shells of houses remain. The barriers and leveees and pumping stations have been replaced / repaired. You have got to admire the American spiriti and industry. People have worked hard to get their environment back. But there are now fewer in the city. 320,000.
Off to the convention to relax and enjoy some good papers.