The new energy paradigm
November 29, 2017 by Denis Pombriant
One of the more interesting free market responses to climate change has been a reexamination of how we distribute energy. Generally the fossil fuel paradigm is a vertically integrated network of miners and oil producers, retailers and utilities. But we’re moving to a distributed paradigm of energy development and consumption...
November 20, 2017 by Denis Pombriant
Everyday I receive automated search results for the term geothermal. It’s a rather geeky idea that few people bother with but it is also the stealth candidate for disruptive innovation in the 21st century in my humble opinion. Briefly, geothermal is about capturing heat from the earth’s crust, condensing it,...
Bloomberg, Brown offer climate hope
November 14, 2017 by Denis Pombriant
The climate issue is really a mashup. One issue involves getting energy from renewable non-carbon sources, another calls for removing carbon from the environment not just limiting emissions. There’s a good deal to be hopeful for in the climate discussion though it will be important to keep the train on...
Why you should read “The Age of Sustainability”
November 13, 2017 by Denis Pombriant
My book, “The Age of Sustainability” takes on a big topic, not just climate change but all of the factors that make it a big economic challenge as well. There’s also a lurking and not often explored issue of Peak Oil and the reality that our oil reserves are dwindling....
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...
The Next Oil Embargo
October 30, 2017 by Denis Pombriant
[caption id="attachment_663" align="alignright" width="377"] US oil production and imports up to the beginning of hydraulic fracturing boom.[/caption] The 1973-74 Arab oil embargo was a clear demonstration of how crippling a disruption in the global oil supply can be and perhaps a foretaste of future east-west relations. The OPEC cartel was...