Demand-Side Economics

It seems inevitable when Congress returns that there will be new energy legislation. Understandable. Civilizations cannot survive much less thrive without abundant, reliable energy supplies. The bellwether energy commodity, oil, is at prices at or near record levels, and turmoil continues in the Middle East, from which the world gets over one-third of its petroleum.

Amber Waves of Green

Once upon a time, a century ago, Americans competed with their transportation for food. Back then, almost 30% of the nation's verdant farm land was used to grow food for fuel–feeding horses, of course, our bio-chemical transportation infrastructure, instead of today's thermo-mechanical horsepower. Those days are gone.

Yellowcake Fever

Most investors have no idea that there is currently a mad speculative scramble going on in the commodities markets over the future price of uranium. Yellowcake, the raw unrefined uranium oxide from mines, has jumped from $10 per pound five years ago to $138 per pound recently. A year ago, yellowcake was selling for $45…

Google & Intel: Saving the Climate and Margins

A half-dozen years ago, an Internet eternity, the green punditocracy actually saw the World Wide Web as a tool that was virtually energy-free. Some even said the Web would just piggyback on the "existing telecom" infrastructure, surf along existing wires, sipping electrons.

James Bond or Jack Bauer? Two Models for Security Tech Policy

Publicly and behind closed doors, an increasingly vocal faction of experts claims we need an Apollo-type program to create new technologies for homeland security and military force protection. Some may miss the days — and the model — of the Bell Labs. Some are unreformed Cold Warriors — the Manhattan Project is their analogy.

All are well intentioned, but all are quite wrong. These models are a mistake for two reasons: Today the character of the threats, and the nature of innovation, is vastly different.