energy transition

23 results back to index

pages: 520 words: 129,887

Power Hungry: The Myths of "Green" Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future by Robert Bryce


Bernie Madoff, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, cleantech, collateralized debt obligation, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping,, energy security, energy transition, flex fuel, greed is good, Hernando de Soto, hydraulic fracturing, hydrogen economy, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Menlo Park, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, Stewart Brand, Thomas L Friedman, uranium enrichment, Whole Earth Catalog

Tomorrow’s energy sources will look a lot like today’s, because energy transitions are always difficult and lengthy. “There is one thing all energy transitions have in common: they are prolonged affairs that take decades to accomplish,” wrote Vaclav Smil in November 2008. “And the greater the scale of prevailing uses and conversions, the longer the substitutions will take.”23 Smil, the polymath, prolific author on energy issues, and distinguished professor at the University of Manitoba, wrote that while a “world without fossil fuel combustion is highly desirable ... getting there will demand not only high cost but also considerable patience: coming energy transitions will unfold across decades, not years.”24 Indeed, energy transitions unfold slowly and are always under way whether we recognize them or not.

Power is like sex and Internet bandwidth: The more we get, the more we want. And that’s one of the biggest problems when it comes to energy transitions. We have invested trillions of dollars in the pipelines, wires, storage tanks, and electricity-generation plants that are providing us with the watts that we use to keep the economy afloat. The United States and the rest of the world cannot, and will not, simply jettison all of that investment in order to move to some other form of energy that is more politically appealing. Yes, we will gradually begin moving toward other forms of energy. But that move will be just that: gradual. And for those who doubt just how lengthy energy transitions can be, history offers some illuminating examples. Power Equivalencies of Various Engines, Motors, and Appliances, in Horsepower (and Watts) Saturn V rocket: 160,000,000 (120 billion W)19 Boeing 757: 86,000 (64.1 million W)20 Top fuel dragster: 7,500 (5.6 million W)21 M1A1 tank: 1,500 (1.1 million W)22 Formula 1 race car: 750 (560,000 W)23 2009 Ferrari F430: 490 (365,000 W)24 1999 Acura 3.2 TL sedan: 225 (168,000 W)25 2010 Ford Fusion: 175 (130,000 W)26 1908 Ford Model T: 22 (16,000 W)27 Average home air-conditioning compressor: 5.6 (4,200 W)28 Honda Cub motorbike: 4 (3,000 W)29 Average lawnmower: 3.5 (2,600 W)30 Dyson vacuum cleaner: 1.68 (1,250 W)31 Toaster: 1.67 (1,250 W)32 Lance Armstrong, pedaling at maximum output: 1.34 (1,000 W)33 Coffeemaker: 1.08 (800 W)34 Cuisinart: 0.16 (117 W)35 Human walking at a brisk pace: 0.14 (106 W)36 20-inch iMac computer: 0.11 (80 W)37 Ryobi 3/8-inch cordless drill battery charger: 0.07 (49 W)38 60-watt lamp: 0.07 (54 W)39 Table fan: 0.03 (25 W)40 Recharging an Apple iPhone: 0.0013 (1 W)41 CHAPTER 4 Wood to Coal to Oil The Slow Pace of Energy Transitions GIVEN OUR CURRENT OBSESSION with Big Oil and Big Coal, it’s worth noting that the fuel source that has had the longest reign in the American energy business is plain old firewood.

Over the past century or so, the United States has built a $14-trillion-per-year economy that’s based almost entirely on cheap hydrocarbons. 10 No matter how much the United States and the rest of the world may desire a move away from those fossil fuels, the transition to renewable sources of energy—and to no-carbon sources such as nuclear power—will take most of the twenty-first century and require trillions of dollars in new investment. So, given the Four Imperatives and the stark realities posed by the long energy transition that lies ahead, what are we to do? FIGURE 1 Annual U.S. Energy Production: Comparing Wind and Solar with Other Energy Sources Sources: Energy Information Administration, South Texas Nuclear Operating Company, and Alliance Resource Partners. That question brings us to the other purpose of this book: to debunk some of the energy myths that have come to dominate our political discussions and to lay out the best “no-regrets” energy policy for the United States and the rest of the world.

pages: 235 words: 65,885

Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Declines by Richard Heinberg, James Howard (frw) Kunstler


anti-communist, Asilomar, back-to-the-land, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, demographic transition, ending welfare as we know it, energy transition, Fractional reserve banking, greed is good, Haber-Bosch Process, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), land reform, means of production, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-oil, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, the built environment, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, urban planning

So the overall message of this book is not necessarily one of doom — but it is one of inevitable change and the need for deliberate engagement with the process of change on a scale and speed beyond anything in previous human history. Crucially: we must focus on and use the intangibles that are not peaking (such as ingenuity and cooperation) to address the problems arising from our overuse of substances that are. Our One Great Task: The Energy Transition As we have seen, just a few core trends have driven many others in producing the global problems we see today, and those core trends (including population growth and increasing consumption rates) themselves constellate around our ever-burgeoning use of fossil fuels. Thus, a conclusion of startling plainness presents itself: our central survival task for the decades ahead, as individuals and as a species, must be to make a transition away from the use of fossil fuels — and to do this as peacefully, equitably, and intelligently as possible.

Again, my thesis: many problems rightly deserve attention, but the problem of our dependence on fossil fuels is central to human survival, and so as long as that dependence continues to any significant extent we must make its reduction the centerpiece of all our collective efforts — whether they are efforts to feed ourselves, resolve conflicts, or maintain a functioning economy. But this can be formulated in another, more encouraging, way. If we do focus all of our collective efforts on the central task of energy transition, we may find ourselves contributing to the solution of a wide range of problems that would be much harder to solve if we confronted each one in isolation. With a coordinated and voluntary reduction in fossil fuel consumption, we could see substantial progress in reducing many forms of environmental pollution. The decentralization of economic activity that we must pursue as transport fuels become more scarce could lead to more local jobs, more fulfilling occupations, and more robust local economies.

Perhaps unemployment will have to rise to 10 or 20 or 40 percent, with families begging for food in the streets, before embattled policy makers begin to reconsider their commitment to industrial agriculture. But even in that case, as in Cuba, all may depend upon having another option already articulated. Without that, we will be left to the worst possible outcome. Rather than consigning ourselves to that fate, let us accept the current challenge — the next great energy transition — as an opportunity not to try vainly to preserve business as usual (the American Way of Life that, we are told, is not up for negotiation), but rather to re-imagine human culture from the ground up, using our intelligence and passion for the welfare of the next generations, and the integrity of nature’s web, as our primary guides. 3 (post-) Hydrocarbon Aesthetics THOUGH I COULD HARDLY call myself a professional violinist these days, I still get the occasional call for a wedding or other special function, and I cherish these increasingly rare opportunities to work alongside competent players.

pages: 382 words: 92,138

The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths by Mariana Mazzucato


Apple II, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, California gold rush, call centre, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, cleantech, computer age, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demand response, deskilling, endogenous growth, energy security, energy transition, eurozone crisis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Financial Instability Hypothesis, full employment, G4S, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hyman Minsky, incomplete markets, information retrieval, intangible asset, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, natural language processing, new economy, offshore financial centre, Philip Mirowski, popular electronics, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, renewable energy credits, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart grid, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

Many who write on the subject of energy policy forget that until wind turbines and solar PV panels (the focus of Chapter 7) can produce energy at a cost equal to or lower than those of fossil fuels they will likely continue to be marginal technologies that cannot accelerate the transition so badly needed to mitigate climate change. Understanding how businesses transform government support mechanisms into lower-cost, higher-performance products through the innovation process is typically the ‘missing link’ in discussions of energy policy, and this missing link can undermine not just our desire to push an energy transition – but to do it with high-road investments in innovation. State support for clean technologies must continue until they overcome the sunk-cost advantage of incumbent technologies, and these sunk costs are a century long in some cases. That is why much of this chapter focuses on supply-side support mechanisms (although I of course also discuss crucial demand-side policies). In the current policy environment, many countries have been aggressively deploying public finance with the aim of promoting green industry – and this is the most direct support possible for business development.

The fourth section concludes by analysing the different national approaches discussed in the second and third sections. Funding a Green Industrial Revolution First, what is a ‘green industrial revolution’? There are many ways to conceptualize a green industrial revolution, but the basic premise is that the current global industrial system must be radically transformed into one that is environmentally sustainable. Sustainability will require an energy transition that places non-polluting clean energy technologies at the fore. It moves us away from dependence on finite fossil and nuclear fuels and favours ‘infinite’ sources of fuel – the ‘renewable’ fuels that originate from the sun. Building a sustainable industrial system also requires technologies for recyclable materials, advanced waste management, better agricultural practices, stronger energy efficiency measures across sectors, and water desalinization infrastructures (to address resource and water scarcity, for instance).

The problem with using climate change as a primary justification for investing in energy technologies is that it is not the only relevant environmental issue faced today. It is also an issue that can be partially ‘solved’ with the aid of non-renewable technologies like nuclear power or carbon sequestration. Is that really what we want? Deployment of resources meant to facilitate the innovative process must occur alongside the courage to set a technological direction and follow it. Leaving direction setting to ‘the market’ only ensures that the energy transition will be put off until fossil prices reach economy-wrecking highs. Pushing – Not Stalling – Green Development The history of US government investment in innovation, from the Internet to nanotech, shows that it has been critical for the government to have a hand in both basic and applied research. National Institute of Health (NIH) labs, responsible for 75 per cent of the most radical new drugs, performs applied research.

pages: 501 words: 134,867

A Line in the Tar Sands: Struggles for Environmental Justice by Tony Weis, Joshua Kahn Russell


Bakken shale, bilateral investment treaty, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial exploitation, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, decarbonisation, Deep Water Horizon,, energy security, energy transition, Exxon Valdez, failed state, global village, guest worker program, happiness index / gross national happiness, hydraulic fracturing, immigration reform, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, liberal capitalism, LNG terminal, market fundamentalism, means of production, Naomi Klein, new economy, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, profit maximization, race to the bottom, smart grid, special economic zone, working poor

It could inform specific interventions at the scale of workplaces and building workers’ collective capacities, such as: the incorporation of carbon-reduction strategies within collective agreements through clauses on reductions of the carbon footprint, energy committees, and adjustment plans for jobs affected by climate change; workers’ plans forged to extend best practices for carbon reduction in labour processes and between workplaces; building democratic planning capacities for plant conversion to sustain capital equipment, workers’ skills, and community infrastructure as ecologically responsible production norms are internalized; and participatory planning structures built at the level of local wards for carbon reduction and ecological clean-up in neighbourhoods. An energy transition extends beyond particular labour processes, and the fossil fuel branches of production, to the energy sector as a whole.22 In providing the general conditions facilitating production and consumption, the energy sector tends to be both highly concentrated and monopolistic, as well as highly decentralized and diversified. An energy transition entails concerns not only with the phasing out of fossil fuel production (and immediate limits on extreme energy, such as the tar sands) and the reversal of the neo-liberal privatization of power supplies. It also needs to be conceived in terms of “energy democracy”: public ownership and control; diversity, decentralization, and localization in production and control; and transparency and accountability in ecological impacts.23 For the most part, renewable energy production also fails miserably on all these accounts.

This will, so the market logic goes, encourage preventative measures and shift relative prices favourably towards “green” production. In a striking example of market fetishism, more prices and more markets are proposed. Nature and pollution are put forward as new zones of accumulation, with the state facilitating the creation of markets and property rights where none existed before. With more complete and transparent markets, capitalist growth will be “greener,” and an energy transition from fossil fuels towards renewables will “naturally” occur via firm responses to more efficient price signals. “Green jobs” will follow in due course. The market imperatives that drive capital accumulation and carbon emissions are now offered up, without any sense of paradox or doubt, as the solution to the climate crisis. “Green Jobs” and Institutional Ecology The long-standing failure of “protecting the environment through privatizing it” has led many environmental and labour organizations to take a different tack.

The shift to renewables is likely, in almost all forecasts, to have a positive impact on employment during both construction and steady-state operations due to the lower capital intensity. But this should not be exaggerated (as renewables producers do), as this is still quite capital-intensive production. A shift to renewable energy is a solution to neither the general problem of unemployment in capitalism, nor to the employment instability resulting from climate change. The political imaginary of a climate justice movement cannot be confined, therefore, to a market-led energy transition, whether spurred by further institutional coordination or not. It can become a vital example of societal political alliances co-joining in programmatic alternatives. At the scale of the workplace, this struggle has formed around the notion of a just transition. As noted above, this is set narrowly as retraining policies for workers as fossil fuel extraction is phased down and workers shift to indeterminate prospects elsewhere in the economy.

pages: 829 words: 229,566

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein


1960s counterculture, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bilateral investment treaty, British Empire, business climate, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, Climategate, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, crony capitalism, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, energy security, energy transition, equal pay for equal work, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, financial deregulation, food miles, Food sovereignty, global supply chain, hydraulic fracturing, ice-free Arctic, immigration reform, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, light touch regulation, market fundamentalism, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, new economy, Nixon shock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, patent troll, Pearl River Delta, planetary scale, post-oil, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rana Plaza, Ronald Reagan, smart grid, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, structural adjustment programs, Ted Kaczynski, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, wages for housework, walkable city, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

The cities of Frankfurt and Munich, which had never sold off their energy grids, had already joined the transition and pledged to move to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 and 2025, respectively. But Hamburg and Berlin, which had both gone the privatization route, were lagging behind. And this was a central argument for proponents of taking back Hamburg’s grid: it would allow them to get off coal and nuclear and go green.5 Much has been written about Germany’s renewable energy transition—particularly the speed at which it is being achieved, as well as the ambition of its future targets (the country is aiming for 55–60 percent renewables by 2035).6 The weaknesses of the program have also been hotly debated, particularly the question of whether the decision to phase out nuclear energy has led to a resurgence of coal (more on that next chapter). In all of this analysis, however, scarce attention has been paid to one key factor that has made possible what may be the world’s most rapid shift to wind and solar power: the fact that in hundreds of cities and towns across the country, citizens have voted to take their energy grids back from the private corporations that purchased them.

Boulder’s local power movement began with the desire to switch to clean energy, regardless of who was providing it. Yet in the process of trying to achieve that goal, these residents discovered that they had no choice but to knock down one of the core ideological pillars of the free market era: that privately run services are always superior to public ones. It was an accidental discovery very similar to the one Ontario residents made when it became clear that their green energy transition was being undermined by free trade commitments signed long ago. Though rarely mentioned in climate policy discussions, there is a clear and compelling relationship between public ownership and the ability of communities to get off dirty energy. Many of the countries with the highest commitments to renewable energy are ones that have managed to keep large parts of their electricity sectors in public (and often local) hands, including the Netherlands, Austria, and Norway.

Current experience from around the world, including the markets of Europe, also shows that private companies and electricity markets cannot deliver investments in renewables on the scale required.”16 Citing various instances of governments turning to the public sector to drive their transitions (including the German experience), as well as examples of large corporate-driven renewable projects that were abandoned by their investors midstream, the Greenwich research team concludes, “An active role for government and public sector utilities is thus a far more important condition for developing renewable energy than any expensive system of public subsidies for markets or private investors.”17 Sorting out what mechanisms have the best chance of pulling off a dramatic and enormously high-stakes energy transition has become particularly pressing of late. That’s because it is now clear that—at least from a technical perspective—it is entirely possible to rapidly switch our energy systems to 100 percent renewables. In 2009, Mark Z. Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University, and Mark A. Delucchi, a research scientist at the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis, authored a groundbreaking, detailed road map for “how 100 percent of the world’s energy, for all purposes, could be supplied by wind, water and solar resources, by as early as 2030.”

pages: 372 words: 107,587

The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality by Richard Heinberg


3D printing, agricultural Revolution, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, banks create money, Bretton Woods, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, computerized trading, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Elliott wave,, energy transition, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, Gini coefficient, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Kenneth Rogoff, late fees, liberal capitalism, mega-rich, money market fund, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, naked short selling, Naomi Klein, Negawatt, new economy, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, price stability, private military company, quantitative easing, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, short selling, special drawing rights, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade liberalization, tulip mania, working poor, zero-sum game

Cleveland, “Energy Quality,” The Encyclopedia of Earth, 19. David Stern, “Energy Mix and Energy Intensity,” Stochastic Trend, posted April 17, 2010, 20. Cutler J. Cleveland, “Energy Quality, Net Energy and the Coming Energy Transition,” in Frontiers in Ecological Economic Theory and Application, Jon D. Erickson and John M. Gowdy, eds. (Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2007), pp. 268–284. 21. Cleveland, “Energy Quality, Net Energy, and the Coming Energy Transition,” 7; Kenneth S. Deffeyes, chapter 3 in Beyond Oil: The View From Hubbert’s Peak (New York: Hill and Wang, 2005); David I. Stern, “Energy and Economic Growth in the USA: A Multivariate Approach,” Energy Economics 15, no.2 (1993), pp. 137–150. 22. Cleveland, “Energy Quality,” The Encyclopedia of Earth (online). 23.

Whether we like or hate globalization and specialization, we will nevertheless have to bend to the needs of an energy-constrained economy — and that will mean relying more on local resources and production capacity, and being able to do a broader range of tasks. Of course, this is not to say that all activities will be localized, that trade will disappear, or that there will be no specialization. The point is simply that the recent extremes achieved in the trends toward specialization and globalization cannot be sustained and will be reversed. How far we will go toward being local generalists depends on how we handle the energy transition of the 21st century — or, in other words, how much of technological civilization we can preserve and adapt. The near-religious belief that economic growth depends not on energy and resources, but solely on increasing innovation, efficiency, trade, and division of labor, can sometimes lead economists to say silly things. Some of the silliest and most extreme statements along these lines are to be found in the writings of the late Julian Simon, a longtime business professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute.

Cleveland, “Energy Quality,” The Encyclopedia of Earth (online). 23. In 2009, the US imported nearly $300 billion in consumer goods from China. For information on the trade balance between the two nations see US Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Statistics, 24. Cleveland, “Energy Quality, Net Energy, and the Coming Energy Transition.” 25. David Murphy and Charles A. S. Hall, “EROI, Insidious Feedbacks, and the End of Economic Growth,” pre-publication, 2010. 26. Ernst von Weizsacker, Amory Lovins, and L. Hunter Lovins, Factor Four: Doubling Wealth, Halving Resource Use — The New Report to Rome (Sydney, AU: Allen & Unwin, 1998). 27. Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, and L. Hunter Lovins, Natural Capitalism: The Next Industrial Revolution (London: Earthscan, 2000). 28. Apsmith, “What’s Wrong With Amory Lovins?

pages: 357 words: 94,852

No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need by Naomi Klein

Airbnb, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Brewster Kahle, Celebration, Florida, clean water, collective bargaining, Corrections Corporation of America, desegregation, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy transition, financial deregulation, greed is good, high net worth, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, income inequality, Internet Archive, late capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, new economy, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, private military company, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, sexual politics, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, urban decay, women in the workforce, working poor

We were inspired by these models—and by the hundreds of thousands of jobs they have created—but we were equally inspired by examples in the United States, where, through networks like the Climate Justice Alliance, low-income communities of color have been fighting to make sure the places that have been most polluted and neglected benefit first from a large-scale green energy transition. In Canada, the same patterns are clear: our collective reliance on dirty energy over the past couple of hundred years has taken its highest toll on the poorest and most vulnerable people, overwhelmingly Indigenous and immigrant. That’s whose lands have been stolen and poisoned by mining. That’s who gets the most polluting refineries and power plants in their neighborhoods. So in addition to calling for “energy democracy” on the German model, we placed reparative justice at the center of the energy transition, calling for Indigenous and other front-line communities (such as immigrant neighborhoods where coal plants have fouled the air) to be first in line to receive public funds to own and control their own green energy projects—with the jobs, profits, and skills staying in those communities.

Obama and the Democrats could have buried that claim once and for all. Other countries, in the same period, did bury the claim. Over the past decade, the German government has treated the green economy as the main way to revive its manufacturing sector. In the process, it has created 400,000 jobs, and now 30 percent of the country’s energy comes from renewables. And Germany has the strongest economy in Europe by far. The energy transition there is incomplete—Germany remains excessively reliant on coal—and its government has inflicted merciless austerity on other countries while choosing another course for itself. But if the US had followed Germany’s domestic example, it would have been so far along the road to a renewables-based economy that it would have been impossible for Trump to undo—no matter how many executive orders he signed.

pages: 105 words: 18,832

The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View From the Future by Naomi Oreskes, Erik M. Conway


anti-communist, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction,, energy transition, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, means of production, oil shale / tar sands, Pierre-Simon Laplace, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, stochastic process, the built environment, the market place

It garnered particular attention is for this reason that we now among wealthy Westerners, know this era as the Period of but what was anomalous in the Penumbra. 2023 soon became the new normal. . . . A shadow of It is clear that in the early ignorance and denial had fallen twenty-first century, imme- over people who considered diate steps should have been themselves children of the taken to begin a transition enlightenment. to a zero-net-carbon world. Staggeringly, the opposite occurred. At the very time that the urgent need for an energy transition became palpable, world production of greenhouse gases increased. This fact is so hard to understand that it calls for a closer look at what we know about this crucial juncture. Bangladesh Among North Americans, Bangladesh—one of the poorest nations of the world—served as an ideological battleground. Self-described “Climate Hawks” used it to levy moral demands for greenhouse gas reductions so that it would not suffer inundation, while so-called “Climate Realists” insisted that only economic growth powered by cheap fossil fuels would make Bangladeshis wealthy enough to save themselves.

pages: 415 words: 103,231

Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of Energy Independence by Robert Bryce


Berlin Wall, Colonization of Mars, decarbonisation,, energy security, energy transition, financial independence, flex fuel, hydrogen economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), John Markoff, Just-in-time delivery, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, price stability, Project for a New American Century, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stewart Brand, Thomas L Friedman, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize, Yom Kippur War

In a 2006 speech delivered at a conference sponsored by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris, Smil—one of the world’s most authoritative writers about energy and the history of technological advances—said that energy transitions are “deliberate, protracted affairs.” Today’s energy technologies are “still dominated by prime movers and processes invented during the 1880s (steam turbines, internal combustion engines, thermal and hydro electricity generation) or during the 1930s (gas turbines, nuclear fission) and no techniques currently under development,” Smil said, will be able to rival those technologies over the next two or three decades. He continued, “Energy transitions span generations and not, microprocessor-like, years or even months: there is no Moore’s law for energy systems.” (In 1965, Gordon Moore, a cofounder of Intel, noting the rapid progress in the semiconductor industry, estimated that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit was doubling every two years.)

pages: 436 words: 114,278

Crude Volatility: The History and the Future of Boom-Bust Oil Prices by Robert McNally

American energy revolution, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, collective bargaining, credit crunch, energy security, energy transition, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, index fund, Induced demand, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, joint-stock company, market clearing, market fundamentalism, moral hazard, North Sea oil, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, price discrimination, price stability, sovereign wealth fund, transfer pricing

Fuel efficiency of new U.S. passenger cars, even excluding gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles and pickups, increased at an annual rate of just 2.5 percent since 1973.7 And efficiency gains are partly offset by consumer preferences (such as for bigger cars and SUVs) and what economists call the “rebound effect”—higher efficiency lowers the cost of driving, inducing motorists to drive more.8 So while oil has been displaced in electricity generation, there are no scalable substitutes on the horizon for oil use in transportation, which accounts for 55 percent of world consumption.9 Oil’s strong and likely enduring advantage in transportation stems from its application in a variety of vehicle types, cost competitiveness, infrastructure availability and supportive government policies.10 Scale also is critical to thinking about energy transformations. The larger the scale of prevailing energy forms—in this case, the near-total dominance of transportation by gasoline and diesel—the longer energy transitions will take. “Even if an immediate alternative were available,” leading energy researcher Vaclav Smil has written, “writing off this colossal infrastructure that took more than a century to build would amount to discarding an investment worth well over $5 trillion—but it is quite obvious that its energy output could not be replicated by any alternative in a decade or two.”11 As for policy, and the call that we must stop using oil because of climate change: Although elected officials from many nations pledged to reduce future carbon emissions in Paris in 2015, we are not going to see a forced march off of oil in the foreseeable future.

In the case of peak oil, the timing and pace of peak production is not just an academic matter. While economists believe people could adjust to steadily rising prices, and abrupt spike caused by unexpected peaking would be catastrophic, economically and politically. Modern transportation, agriculture, defense, and other core systems depend on oil, and there is no near term alternative to oil in these vital sectors. Peak oil adherents warn against assuming that past, smooth energy transition such as from wood to coal in the 1800s or coal to oil in the 1900s are a model for peak oil, which will be “abrupt and revolutionary.” In 2005 a report by three researches sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (though not reflecting government views) titled “Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation, & Risk Management” concluded: The peaking of world oil production presents the U.S. and the world with an unprecedented risk management problem.

pages: 224 words: 69,494

Mobility: A New Urban Design and Transport Planning Philosophy for a Sustainable Future by John Whitelegg


active transport: walking or cycling, Berlin Wall, British Empire, car-free, conceptual framework, congestion charging, corporate social responsibility, decarbonisation, energy transition, eurozone crisis, glass ceiling, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Urbanism, peak oil, post-industrial society, price mechanism, Right to Buy, smart cities, telepresence, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Spirit Level, transit-oriented development, urban planning, urban sprawl

Accident Analysis and Prevention 35, 557–570. Elvik, R (2008) Road safety management by objectives: a critical analysis of the Norwegian approach, Accident Analysis and Prevention 40 (2008), 1115-1122. Elvik, R and Amundsen A H (2000) Improving road safety in Sweden. Main report. TOI Report 490, Oslo Institute of Transport Economics. Ethics Commission for a Safe Energy Supply (2011), Germany’s Energy Transition: A Collective Endeavour for the Future, German Federal Government, Berlin, 30 May 2011. EUROCONTROL (2008) Long-Term Forecast Flight Movements 2010 – 2030. European Commission (1999) EU focus on clean air. European Commission (2009) European Air Traffic Management Master Plan, European Commission, SESAR and EUROCONTROL. European Commission (2012) EU transport in figures. Statistical pocketbook.

pages: 289 words: 112,697

The new village green: living light, living local, living large by Stephen Morris


back-to-the-land, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, cleantech, collective bargaining, Columbine, Community Supported Agriculture, computer age, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, discovery of penicillin, distributed generation, energy security, energy transition, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, Firefox, index card, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Kevin Kelly, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, McMansion, Menlo Park, Negawatt, off grid, peak oil, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review

And that reduction is made much harder by the fact that it is needed at just the moment that China and India have begun to burn serious quantities of fossil fuel as their economies grow. Not, of course, American quantities – each of us uses on average eight times the energy that a Chinese citizen does – but relatively serious quantities nonetheless. Kelly Sims Gallagher, one of the savviest early analysts of climate policy, has devoted the last few years to understanding the Chinese energy transition. Now the director of the Energy Technology Innovation Project at Harvard’s Kennedy School, she has just published a fascinating account of the rise of the Chinese auto industry. Her research makes it clear that neither American industry nor the American government did much of anything to point the Chinese away from our addiction to gasguzzling technology; indeed, Detroit (and the Europeans and Japanese to a lesser extent) was happy to use decades-old designs and processes.

pages: 257 words: 94,168

Oil Panic and the Global Crisis: Predictions and Myths by Steven M. Gorelick


California gold rush, carbon footprint, energy security, energy transition, flex fuel, income per capita, invention of the telephone, meta analysis, meta-analysis, North Sea oil, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, price stability, profit motive, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, statistical model, Thomas Malthus

The transition will be difficult, and for some catastrophic’ with ‘major economic and political discontinuity’ globally and ‘great suffering’ (Campbell, 1997, p. 177).”11 • “Intervention by governments will be required, because the economic and social implications of oil peaking would otherwise be chaotic. … The world has never faced a problem like this. Without massive mitigation more than a decade before the fact, the problem will be pervasive and will not be temporary. Previous energy transitions (wood to coal and coal to oil) were gradual and evolutionary; oil peaking will be abrupt and revolutionary. … Without mitigation, the peaking of world oil production will almost certainly cause major economic upheaval.”12 The Oil Panics of 1916 and 1918 One of the first major oil depletion scares occurred near the turn of the last century. The Ford Model T automobile was a novelty in 1908, with sales of just 10,000 cars.

pages: 363 words: 101,082

Earth Wars: The Battle for Global Resources by Geoff Hiscock


Admiral Zheng, Asian financial crisis, Bakken shale, Bernie Madoff, BRICs, butterfly effect, clean water, cleantech, corporate governance, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, energy security, energy transition, eurozone crisis, Exxon Valdez, flex fuel, global rebalancing, global supply chain, hydraulic fracturing, Long Term Capital Management, Malacca Straits, Masdar, mass immigration, megacity, Menlo Park, Mohammed Bouazizi, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Panamax, Pearl River Delta, purchasing power parity, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, trade route, uranium enrichment, urban decay, working-age population, Yom Kippur War

Mexico is the world’s sixth-largest oil producer, and its giant Cantarell field in the Gulf of Campeche was second only to Saudi Arabia’s Ghawar field at peak production in the early 2000s. Turkey is the odd man out when it comes to energy resources; it must import 90 percent of its energy, mainly from Russia and Iran. But it does have its own special resource—water, or, more properly, the control of the water that flows from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers into Syria and Iraq. It is also an important energy transit point between suppliers in Central Asia and their key European markets, giving it a degree of influence as an alternative supply route to those offered by Russia. Plus, there is the likelihood it will seek a role in how the energy reserves of the eastern Mediterranean—essentially the oil and gas fields discovered between Israel, Lebanon, and Cyprus—are developed. Their growth outlook makes our four-member TIIM potentially an attractive target for resource-hungry China and India, though the sanctions on Iran limit the investment opportunities there.

pages: 207 words: 86,639

The New Economics: A Bigger Picture by David Boyle, Andrew Simms


Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, capital controls, carbon footprint, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, congestion charging, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, delayed gratification, deskilling,, energy transition, financial deregulation, financial exclusion, financial innovation, full employment, garden city movement, happiness index / gross national happiness, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, land reform, light touch regulation, loss aversion, mega-rich, microcredit, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, neoliberal agenda, new economy, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, peak oil, pensions crisis, profit motive, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, working-age population

A key test is how, in economically stressed times, affordable finance can be made available in a targeted way to kick-start new, low-carbon, energy, transport, food and housing sectors. One useful precedent is the example of South Korea. Over years it channelled lines of low-cost credit to key parts of its economy. The success of this, policy can be measured in the fact that the sections of South Korea’s industry that benefited are now ‘world leaders’. 17 Pay for energy transition and fuel poverty: a windfall tax on the unearned profits of the fossil fuel companies to provide a safety net for those in fuel poverty, and to help finance the UK’s transition to clean energy Fossil fuels are an unrepeatable windfall from nature, yet the UK government has so far failed adequately to take advantage of its income from oil to prepare for a lowcarbon future. Norway, by contrast, has used its oil surpluses to help create a safety net for future generations that is today worth around €260 billion (£198 billion).

pages: 327 words: 90,542

The Age of Stagnation by Satyajit Das


9 dash line, accounting loophole / creative accounting, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Anton Chekhov, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collaborative economy, colonial exploitation, computer age, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, disintermediation, Downton Abbey, Emanuel Derman, energy security, energy transition, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, financial repression, forward guidance, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, happiness index / gross national happiness, Honoré de Balzac, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, informal economy, Innovator's Dilemma, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, margin call, market design, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, open economy, passive income, peak oil, peer-to-peer lending, pension reform, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, precariat, price stability, profit maximization, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Rana Plaza, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, rising living standards, risk/return, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, savings glut, secular stagnation, seigniorage, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, the market place, the payments system, The Spirit Level, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade route, transaction costs, unpaid internship, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

Nonrenewable Resources and Environmental Damage McKenzie Funk, Windfall: The Booming Business of Global Warming, Portfolio, 2014. Elizabeth Kolbert, Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change, Bloomsbury, 2006. J. R. McNeill, Something New under the Sun: An Environmental History of the Twentieth-Century World, W. W. Norton & Company, 2000. Peter Maass, Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil, Allen Lane, 2009. Vaclav Smil, Energy Transitions: History, Requirements, Prospects, Praeger, 2010. Steven Solomon, Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilisation, Harper Perennial, 2010. Nicholas Stern, The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review, Cambridge University Press, 2007. Alan Weisman, The World without Us, Picador, 2007. Daniel Yergin, The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power, Touchstone Books, 1991. ——, The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World, Penguin, 2011.

pages: 403 words: 111,119

Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist by Kate Raworth

3D printing, Asian financial crisis, bank run, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, clean water, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, complexity theory, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart,, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, full employment, global supply chain, global village, Henri Poincaré, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, land reform, land value tax, Landlord’s Game, loss aversion, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, megacity, mobile money, Mont Pelerin Society, Myron Scholes, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, Occupy movement, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, price mechanism, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, smart cities, smart meter, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the map is not the territory, the market place, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Torches of Freedom, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, wikimedia commons

UNEP (2016) Global Material Flows and Resource Productivity: A Report of the International Resource Panel, available at: 8. Goodall, C. (2012) Sustainability. London: Hodder & Stoughton. 9. Global Footprint Network (2016) ‘National Footprint Accounts’, available at: 10. Heinrich Böll Foundation (2012) ‘Energy transition: environmental taxation’, available at: 11. California Environmental Protection Agency (2016) ‘Cap-and-Trade Program’, available at: 12. Schwartz, D. ‘Water pricing in two thirsty cities: in one, guzzlers pay more, and use less’, New York Times 6 May 2015.

pages: 443 words: 112,800

The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World by Jeremy Rifkin


3D printing, additive manufacturing, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, borderless world, carbon footprint, centre right, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate governance, decarbonisation, distributed generation,, energy security, energy transition, global supply chain, hydrogen economy, income inequality, industrial cluster, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, knowledge economy, manufacturing employment, marginal employment, Martin Wolf, Masdar, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open borders, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, purchasing power parity, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, supply-chain management, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, urban planning, urban renewal, Yom Kippur War, Zipcar

Rising Oil Price Threatens Fragile Recovery Financial Times. 15.Ibid. 16.Wolf, M. (2011, January 4). In the Grip of a Great Convergence. Financial Times. 17.Ibid. 18.Ibid. 19.Edwards, J. (2002, March 14). [E-mail message to Jeremy Rifkin]; Edwards, John D. Twenty-First Century Energy: transition from Fossil Fuels to Renewable, Non-polluting Energy Sources. University of Colorado, Department of Geological Sciences—EMARC. April 2001. 20.Rich, M., Rampell, C., & Streitfeld, D., (2011, February 25). Rising Oil Prices Pose New Threat to U.S. Economy. New York Times, p. A1. 21.Farchy, J., & Hook, L., (2011, February 25). Supply Fears and Parallels with Gulf War Spook Market. Financial Times, p. 3. 22.Su, B.

pages: 497 words: 150,205

European Spring: Why Our Economies and Politics Are in a Mess - and How to Put Them Right by Philippe Legrain


3D printing, Airbnb, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business process, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, cleantech, collaborative consumption, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, debt deflation, Diane Coyle, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk,, energy transition, eurozone crisis, fear of failure, financial deregulation, first-past-the-post, forward guidance, full employment, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, Hyperloop, immigration reform, income inequality, interest rate derivative, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Irish property bubble, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, liquidity trap, margin call, Martin Wolf, mittelstand, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, peer-to-peer rental, price stability, private sector deleveraging, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, Richard Florida, rising living standards, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, savings glut, school vouchers, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, working-age population, Zipcar

On the contrary, they benefited from ultra-low interest rates as capital fled southern Europe. Since early 2012 Germany has been able to borrow for ten years at negative interest rates, after allowing for inflation, and it faced very low interest rates before that. It was an ideal opportunity to invest in upgrading the country’s rundown infrastructure, in the clean energy needed to realise Merkel’s desired “energy transition” (Energiewende) and more generally in future growth. This would also have helped offset the squeeze on demand in southern Europe – by providing a growing market for southern European exports and those of other countries to which southern Europe might export, a role that southern Europe played for Germany in the pre-crisis years. Instead, Germany adopted austerity too.243 Merkel’s unforced error has done great damage not just to southern Europe but also to Germany itself.

pages: 423 words: 118,002

The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World by Russell Gold


accounting loophole / creative accounting, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, American energy revolution, Bakken shale, Bernie Sanders, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, corporate governance, corporate raider, energy security, energy transition, hydraulic fracturing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), margin call, market fundamentalism, Mason jar, North Sea oil, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Project Plowshare, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Upton Sinclair

Armstrong and his followers may have been trying to build in the wilderness a new city that glorified God, but local officials held a different view of real estate. They believed that Sullivan County was there to be worked. Small subsistence farmers were settling all over the county, clearing out the hemlock forest to harvest the bark, which was used in nearby tanneries. Soon railroads would enter the county, to transport its coal north and blocks of ice south. The United States was in the midst of an energy transition; coal would soon displace wood as America’s primary fuel and fire the nation’s industrialization. Pennsylvania embraced its role as a resource provider and became a leading producer of coal, iron, steel, timber, and petroleum. Sullivan County required tax revenue to build roads and supply services to its population, which increased by nearly half between 1860 and 1880. By 1876, the Sullivan County treasurer had begun to demand Celestia’s back taxes, but Armstrong refused to pay.

pages: 433 words: 127,171

The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future by Gretchen Bakke


Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, big-box store, Buckminster Fuller, demand response, dematerialisation, distributed generation, energy security, energy transition, full employment, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, Internet of things, laissez-faire capitalism, Menlo Park, Negawatt, new economy, off grid, post-oil, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart grid, smart meter, the built environment, too big to fail, washing machines reduced drudgery, Whole Earth Catalog

They do change with time, but it is a glacial kind of change characterized by recalcitrance and torpor. Nor should we be surprised that these behemoths of old power are unwilling to embrace a transformation that will quite likely put them out of business. In this they are no different from any company—though it is easy to valorize smaller more innovative endeavors—none of them commit suicide on purpose. Maneuvering to capture market share is a big part of what is driving the energy transition, and it is in a constant state of vacillation. One step forward, two steps back, we lurch rather than cruise into the future. The changes to our grid will not happen overnight, but they are already far enough along to be rightly considered irreversible. As the first decade of the twenty-first century crested, making power from renewable sources shifted from a nice idea and a minor player on the electricity scene into the mainstream.

pages: 552 words: 168,518

MacroWikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World by Don Tapscott, Anthony D. Williams


accounting loophole / creative accounting, airport security, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, Bretton Woods, business climate, business process, car-free, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cloud computing, collaborative editing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, demographic transition, distributed generation, don't be evil,, energy security, energy transition, Exxon Valdez, failed state, fault tolerance, financial innovation, Galaxy Zoo, game design, global village, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, hive mind, Home mortgage interest deduction, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, medical bankruptcy, megacity, mortgage tax deduction, Netflix Prize, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shock, old-boy network, online collectivism, open borders, open economy, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, scientific mainstream, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social web, software patent, Steve Jobs, text mining, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, transfer pricing, University of East Anglia, urban sprawl, value at risk, WikiLeaks, X Prize, young professional, Zipcar

., “Medical bankruptcy in the United States, 2007: Results of a national study,” The American Journal of Medicine (August 2009). 10. Karen Pallarito, “Government to Pay for More Than Half of U.S. Health Care Costs,” U.S. News (February 4, 2010). 11. Geoffrey Lean, “Water scarcity ‘now bigger threat than financial crisis,’” The Independent (March 15, 2009). 12. Source: 13. Peter Voser, “Energy transition: not for the faint-hearted,” Globe and Mail (September 17, 2009). 14. Susan Kraemer, “China Now Spending $9 Billion a Month on Renewable Energy,” CleanTechnica (December 1, 2009). 15. The links between poverty and extremism are contentious, according to Ömer Tapinar, a professor of national security studies at the National War College and an adjunct professor at the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.

pages: 708 words: 176,708

The WikiLeaks Files: The World According to US Empire by Wikileaks


affirmative action, anti-communist, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Boycotts of Israel, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, central bank independence, Chelsea Manning, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, drone strike, Edward Snowden, energy security, energy transition, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, experimental subject, F. W. de Klerk, facts on the ground, failed state, financial innovation, Food sovereignty, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, future of journalism, high net worth, invisible hand, Julian Assange, liberal world order, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, Mohammed Bouazizi, Monroe Doctrine, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, Philip Mirowski, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, statistical model, structural adjustment programs, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game, éminence grise

The first two have been removed from the chessboard by American military power, and Syria is currently imploding in a civil war in which the US and its allies are playing a leading role. In a sense, Iran is the last man standing, although it has been badly weakened by US-led economic sanctions. The “Turkish pillar” has been a mainstay since the end of World War II. As one cable notes, “A stable Turkey is important to the United States mainly for geostrategic reasons. Turkey is situated amid the troubled Balkans, the Caucasus, and the Middle East regions, and is a critical energy transit hub between Central Asia/the Caucasus and Europe” [CRSRL34642]. Turkey fields the largest army in NATO and bolsters the alliance’s southern border with Russia. For several years, US Jupiter medium-range missiles carrying nuclear warheads fifty times as powerful as the Hiroshima bomb were deployed in the country. According to one cable, Turkey still hosts between fifty and ninety nuclear weapons.