While America sleeps
December 06, 2018 by Denis Pombriant
Part 1 of 2 Civilization faces four major existential threats in this century. They have overlapping and sometimes contrary requirements. They need to be tackled together for they will not resolve separately. Population overshoot or too many people sharing the planet and its dwindling resources. Energy and infrastructure including dwindling...
Four things we need to solve climate change
December 06, 2018 by Denis Pombriant
Like solving Rubik’s cube, fixing climate change involves several simultaneous actions. Here are the primary challenges and how to deal with them. Carbon emissions take up the majority of any climate change discussion. The Paris Climate Accord is all about limiting emissions, car makers try to design cars that pollute...
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...
Green for go
November 22, 2018 by Denis Pombriant
It is encouraging to see so many outlets now offering ideas for solutions to global warming, city crowding and planning, and transportation. It has become too easy to jump on the emissions-are-hurting-us bandwagon and too often that’s as far as people take the issue. They define or diagnose the problem...
EGS, the new hydro-power
November 09, 2018 by Denis Pombriant
I was in a conversation the other day when the topic of hydro-power came up. Under different circumstances, I’d be all over hydro like a cheap suit—in a good way, that is. What’s not to like about hydro? The discussion was over how to make more renewable power and unfortunately,...
UK’s first geothermal plant
November 08, 2018 by Denis Pombriant
Renewable energy is becoming mainstream. CNBC reported today that “Drilling at the U.K.’s first deep geothermal electricity plant is to start this week.” The significance of this event can’t be over stated. Geothermal represents a renewable, safe and pollution-free energy source that can be directly converted into electric power. The geothermal...
Disruptive innovation drives economic development
October 04, 2018 by Denis Pombriant
[caption id="attachment_819" align="alignright" width="365"] Cover of AoS[/caption] The ideas in The Age of Sustainability are simple. Technology inventions drive economic advances and we’ve seen this play out repeatedly since the Industrial Revolution. Someone invents a low cost and efficient way to make steel and suddenly there are many new products...
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...
January 30, 2018 by Denis Pombriant
[caption id="attachment_790" align="alignright" width="581"] Sun setting on Davos[/caption] The just concluded World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, was a time for world political and business leaders to come together to think bigly. But it would be a mistake to think that a confab of leaders would produce the last...