When countries set out their cases for energy independence, the main reason is generally cited as the need to ease reliance on oil and gas from unfriendly places. President Barack Obama's 'All of the Above' energy strategy for example, a plan that has seen this US administration extract more fossil fuels than any other, is very much predicated on the need to lessen oil imports from Iran and Saudi Arabia.
The announcement this week by the gas company Cuadrilla that it wants to drill and frack up to eight new wells in Lancashire has alarmed local people and green campaigners alike; they are worried about the impact of hydraulic fracturing - the controversial technique which involves injecting, at high pressure, a mixture of water, sand and chemicals into the earth to release shale gas - on the area's countryside and wider environment.
Labour Party leader Ed Miliband's laughably naïve announcement that, if elected, he would freeze energy prices for twenty months from the date of his election makes you wonder if these seat-of-the-pants, counter-punch 'policies' have been properly considered or professionally researched and analysed.
Some blame the 'greedy profiteering energy fat cats'. Some have even blamed consumers for not helping themselves when it comes to cutting back on their energy use or finding the best energy deals that are out there. The truth of course is that no one group is right. The real truth is our energy market is fundamentally failing.
If the US attacks Syria on its own, it won't be the first time in a solo operation after a British rejection. UK politicians have short memories when trumpeting the Special Relationship. Some may recall Bill Clinton's first foreign trip as President was to the UK to seek support for operations to end the bloodbath in Bosnia after four years of carnage and NATO/UN fence sitting.
All of us have a visceral, emotional reaction to the use of chemical weapons. It repulses us... Yet there's a question that must be asked: why are we more offended by the killing of civilians with chemical weapons than we are by the slaughter of far greater numbers of civilians with conventional weapons?
It sometimes seems that Iraqi Kurds have no word with the urgency of manana but it hasn't stopped Iraqi Kurdistan making tremendous strides in a few short years. The best start date for their renaissance is 2006, the first full year of the new Iraqi constitution, agreed by the people and which recognised Kurdistan as a largely autonomous region.
As Nelson Mandela lies ailing in a Pretoria hospital, hundreds of miles away in a courtroom in Kirov, Russia, history may have repeated itself. With the conviction of Alexei Navalny under arguably dubious circumstances, Vladimir Putin has cast aside the strongest threat to his presidency. Yet, he may have also unwittingly strengthened the opposition's hand.