End of the beginning?
November 29, 2018 by Denis Pombriant
Perhaps now that 13 federal agencies have issued a major new scientific report on the dangers of climate change, “The Fourth National Climate Assessment,” we can get over diagnosing the problem and begin fixing it. I started following the climate issue in the 1970’s and at the time there was...
The permanent oil shock
November 27, 2018 by Denis Pombriant
Last week’s New York Times Magazine has a great piece that highlights what not to do to help solve global warming, “Palm Oil Was Supposed to Help Save the Planet. Instead It Unleashed a Catastrophe.” The article focuses on a boom in creating palm oil plantations in the last decade...
Day Zero, You don’t really want to know this
February 01, 2018 by Denis Pombriant
Simply put, Day Zero is the day when the water runs out, the taps are dry, and city officials have to recon with how much violence zero water will inspire. Day Zero has already happened in places like Syria and Iran but at a city level, not for a whole...
Branson’s Learning Curve, Virgin Earth Challenge
November 09, 2017 by Denis Pombriant
This is the first of four posts in a series. [caption id="attachment_676" align="alignright" width="404"] Some Virgin companies[/caption] Richard Branson is a self-described business newbie, a virgin, which reflects two things about him. First, he is often the first person into a category where there are no role models. Second, this...
Richard Branson’s Learning Curve Part 4
November 06, 2017 by Denis Pombriant
Richard Branson's Learning Curve, part 4. Transforming climate change from an acute to a chronic problem provides a better frame of reference and more options. [caption id="attachment_673" align="alignright" width="546"] The difference between an acute problem (red) and a chronic one (blue).[/caption] Transforming a stubborn problem from an acute emergency to...
White House admits climate change is our fault
November 03, 2017 by Denis Pombriant
[caption id="attachment_545" align="alignright" width="477"] Climate change skeptics lost their paddle today.[/caption] Administration says uncle. Now can we turn to finding solutions? The New York Times reports today that 13 federal agencies turned in a report that the White House approved which says that human activity is indeed the cause of...
Richard Branson’s Learning Curve Part 3
November 03, 2017 by Denis Pombriant
Accounting for the return on invested energy is the key to understanding the prerequisites of climate change solutions. [caption id="attachment_451" align="alignright" width="545"] Photosynthesis and some types of phytoplankton[/caption] Removing carbon from the atmosphere and safely storing it away for millions of years is fundamentally a chemistry problem. Capturing carbon dioxide...
Branson’s Learning Curve, Virgin Earth Challenge Part 2
November 02, 2017 by Denis Pombriant
This is the second in a four part series on the Virgin Earth Challenge (VEC) proposed by Richard Branson. Parts are excerpted from “The Age of Sustainability.” The Prize [caption id="attachment_672" align="alignright" width="507"] Sir Richard Branson and Al Gore at the VEC announcement.[/caption] Some of the finalist ideas submitted in...
Saudi Arabia addresses Peak Oil
October 26, 2017 by Denis Pombriant
There’s trouble ahead for the oil industry that this week’s conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia isn’t going to paper over. The conference is billed as a “coming out party of sorts” by the New York Times (Saudi Arabia’s Grand Plan to Move Beyond Oil: Big Goals, Bigger Hurdles by Ben...
Climate Leadership Council disappoints
October 20, 2017 by Denis Pombriant
It was disappointing to see the Climate Leadership Council’s (CLC) plan for dealing with the climate crisis. The group is made up of former senior members of recent Republican administrations, some with ties to the oil industry. When the group announced its formation, it seemed like the GOP had developed some...