Our energy future: Golden Age or Stone Age?

October 26, 2011 at 10:31 am
Contributed by: Chris

For my SmartPlanet column this week, I review the data on all fossil fuels and renewables, including a model of the next century, and demonstrate why we must choose the path of renewables now, or take the path back to the Stone Age.

Read it here: Our energy future: Golden Age or Stone Age?

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Reframing the transportation debate

October 19, 2011 at 2:59 pm
Contributed by: Chris

For my SmartPlanet column this week, I run the numbers on what it has cost to build and what it will cost to maintain our existing transportation systems, then compare them to what it would cost  to transition transportation to rail and energy to renewables. Instead of thinking about rail vs. cars and aircraft in terms of present costs and subsidies, we should be thinking about them in the context of total lifecycle costs and total transportation reform.
Read it here: Reframing the transportation debate
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More commentary on energy and the economy

October 19, 2011 at 2:52 pm
Contributed by: Chris

My recent article on energy and the economy (“Economic theory and the Real Great Contraction“) is but part of a significant recent flush of discussion about how economics has failed us, and what we should be doing about it. For those who are interested in the subject, I recommend these additional recent items.

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New book: Energy and the Wealth of Nations – Understanding the Biophysical Economy

October 19, 2011 at 2:51 pm
Contributed by: Chris

Those who read my recent articles on economics and energy know that I’m very interested in biophysical economics as an alternative to neoliberal economics, and that I have cited the work of Dr. Charles Hall, along with that of his students like Dr. David Murphy. He has a new textbook on the subject that I would recommend to college audiences, as well as  lifelong students of energy like me. Here’s the promo material.

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Economic theory and the Real Great Contraction

October 12, 2011 at 12:23 pm
Contributed by: Chris

For my SmartPlanet column this week, I take issue with neoliberal economic theory and try to explain how it won’t be very helpful as we move from an age of surplus in resources to an age of less. Indeed, I think Adam Smith was a peakist. Read it here:  Economic theory and the Real Great Contraction
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Chris Nelder and Gregor Macdonald respond to Daniel Yergin in the Harvard Business Review blog

October 9, 2011 at 8:00 am
Contributed by: Chris

In the Harvard Business Review blog this past Tuesday, I had the privilege of publishing a response to Daniel Yergin’s recent anti-peak oil editorial in the Wall Street Journal. It was my first collaboration with my friend and fellow energy analyst Gregor Macdonald and, I hope, the first of many. Read it here: “There Will Be Oil, But At What Price?

My thanks to senior editor Jimmy Guterman for accepting it, and to our friend, financial maven Paul Kedrosky, for making the introduction.

The post was picked up by Brad Plumer’s blog at the Washington Post and by Michael Levi’s blog at CFR. Unusually good comment threads ensued on both blogs. I was encouraged to see the topic of peak oil being considered seriously in such mainstream venues for a change.

Here are a few additional thoughts that didn’t make it into our piece due to length constraints. I will not write a point-by-point debunking of the numerous factual errors and mischaracterizations in Mr. Yergin’s editorial, but I have provided a list of responses that did so at the end of this post.

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The silent infrastructure crisis

October 5, 2011 at 11:32 am
Contributed by: Chris

I’m pleased to announce that I have a new column at SmartPlanet, a publication of CBS Interactive. It will be published on Wednesdays, and (naturally) deal with energy-related issues. I am working on getting permission to republish it on GRL, but in the meantime you can find it here: The Energy Futurist

Here’s the first post, in which I argue that what we’re currently spending on infrastructure is merely a rounding error on what’s actually necessary: The silent infrastructure crisis
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