Learn From Mistakes
This year our varsity soccer team has only 2 seniors. We graduated 13 last year, most were starters. A lot of underclassmen have some big shoes to fill. We also have a new head coach, a former player I had the privilege to coach. He has played the game at a high level and brings a positive attitude. The boys respect and trust him.
Inexperience typically causes mistakes. With all our young players there have been plenty of learning opportunities. Coach has been patient and encouraging. The goal is to get better every day. Seven games into the season we had an uncharacteristic losing record and had just suffered a 4-1 loss on the road and were dominated by our opponent. These was a lot of doubt on the long ride home. Our schedule wasn’t going to get much easier.
Coach continued to believe and challenged our players to work hard at practice, learn from past mistakes and focus on getting a little better every day. The players believed in coach and did the work. Our captains were becoming the leaders we knew they could be. The mistakes became less. We started to win and are on a five-game win streak. There is still a lot of season left. We haven’t arrived but if we continue to learn, work hard as a team and get better every day, we will be fine. As a coach I love to see people overcome adversity and achieve their dreams. One of the keys is to learn from past mistakes and make changes to avoid repeating them. Another key is to continue to believe success is possible in the face of adversity.
At Shale Crescent USA (SCUSA) the pandemic has been challenging without live meetings and conferences. We continued to believe in success in spite of adversity. We continued our marketing. Last year for the first time, companies interested in coming to SCUSA called us. We found ways to maintain a dialog with existing prospects. We made some mistakes. We learned. Prospects are coming to “the Crescent” and projects are moving forward. Companies already here are learning why and how they can expand. They can successfully compete with China and manufacture products here that are currently being imported. This is important because of the backup of ships floating offshore at U.S. ports pouring out pollution waiting to unload.
Workforce availability is one of the first questions we get asked. We have work to do in that area. Companies we are working with are trying to hire over 100 engineers in the region right now and are having difficulty. One firm is actively looking for retired engineers who want to go back to work. If you or someone you know is interested let me know. The other need is for operators and technicians. These are not your grandfather’s manufacturing jobs. They are high tech jobs typically requiring a two-year degree at minimum. They also pay well.
An article in Hart Energy this week talked about widening power shortages in China. Production halted “at numerous factories including many supplying Apple and Tesla, while some shops in the northeast operated by candlelight and malls shut early.” The problem is a shortage of coal supplies, toughening of emissions standards and strong demand from manufacturers. Power rationing has been implemented during peak hours and lasting longer. This is impacting China’s GDP. We are beginning to hear things like “global energy crisis”.
Europe is also experiencing its own energy crisis. Weather dependent renewables can’t meet demand. Supplies of natural gas and coal are depleted because last winter was colder and longer than usual. Europe is now scrambling for natural gas and coal and must compete with China whose Vice-Premier in charge of the energy sector told state owned energy companies to, “get hold of supplies at all cost”. Russia is building Nordstream II, a 42-inch pipe being laid in the Baltic Sea to carry natural gas from Russia to Europe but it won’t be completed for two years. Part of Europe’s need is being supplied by U.S. LNG. Energy is life. People die without heat in the winter. Power is essential for hospitals to operate. Grocery stores need electricity to keep food from spoiling. A shortage of truck drivers in England has stopped delivery of gasoline and food leading to shortages and rationing. China and Europe could face similar problems from a real shortage of fuel.
The USA is experiencing shortages of imported products because of port congestion and soon because of the Chinese energy crisis. The U.S. experienced energy shortages during the Arab Oil Embargo of the 1970s and the energy crisis of the 1990s and early 2000s prior to the shale revolution. Many people don’t remember this or weren’t born at the time. If we don’t learn from our past we can suffer the same fate as Europe and China.
The last energy crisis ended almost 15 years ago with the Shale Revolution. Emissions also began decreasing. How easily people forget. The USA has abundant energy. There are people and organizations, including some governments who want to keep our live saving resources in the ground. Their ignorance about energy may become deadly not just to the U.S. but to innocent people around the world. Why is the cancelled Atlantic Coast Pipeline bad but the Russian Nordsream pipeline laid in the ocean okay? Europe needs the natural gas. If we choose to use windmills, solar panels and electric cars we must understand these are all made possible by petrochemicals from oil and natural gas. We can manufacture them in the USA instead of China.
We have the resources and the technology to manufacture products in the USA and reduce polluting and undependable global supply chains. We can help the world in a time of energy crisis. A team of high school boys understood how to learn from their mistakes and get better. Our country can also. All things are possible.