Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Energy at a Tipping Point Part 1: A Conversation with Worldwatch's Chris Flavin

From: , Triple Pundit, More from this Affiliate


Last week I attended a discussion entitled After the Election: Where is Cleantech Headed Now? hosted by TiE(The Indus Entrepreneurs) at their Silicon Valley headquarters. The event was moderated by Andrew Chung ofLightspeed Venture Partners with presentations by Chris Flavin of Worldwatch Institute and Dr. Dick Swanson, founder of SunPower.

Needless to say, the room was full of some very smart, visionary people with a singular focus on exploring the state of the energy sector and the potential of renewable energy to bring solutions to a beleaguered economy and stressed environment (one might say to civilization and the natural systems that support it).

In my next post we’ll look at the the main ideas of Dr. Swanson’s presentation. Here we’ll review some key points from the discussion with Chris Flavin.

Perception lags reality

Worldwatch Institute’s Chris Flavin may have summed up the entire evening in his first sentence: “Energy is at a tipping point”�. It is exciting to think we live in a time of rapid transition to a new energy economy. Flavin sees the beginnings of that transition in progress and accelerating.

Based on data from the report Renewables 2007 Global Status Report byREN21in collaboration with Worldwatch, one challenge Flavin sees is “making the fossil fuel industry believe”� that renewables offer a full-scale, “baseload”� alternative to oil and coal, and that it isn’t hovering somewhere off in the distant future.

“So much has happened in the renewable energy sector during the past five years that the perceptions of some politicians and energy-sector analysts lag far behind the reality of where the renewables industry is today”�, says Mohamed El-Ashry, Chair of REN21


Environmentalists Slam Bush's Departing Proposal As "Fire Sale" For Oil And Gas Industry

From: Huffington Post


SALT LAKE CITY — The view of Delicate Arch natural bridge _ an unspoiled landmark so iconic it's on Utah's license plates _ could one day include a drilling platform under a proposal that environmentalists call a Bush administration "fire sale" for the oil and gas industry.

Late on Election Day, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management announced a Dec. 19 auction of more than 50,000 acres of oil and gas parcels alongside or within view of Arches National Park and two other redrock national parks in Utah: Dinosaur and Canyonlands.

The National Park Service's top official in the state calls it "shocking and disturbing" and says his agency wasn't properly notified. Environmentalists call it a "fire sale" for the oil and gas industry by a departing administration.

Officials of the BLM, which oversees millions of acres of public land in the West, say the sale is nothing unusual, and one is "puzzled" that the Park Service is upset.

"We find it shocking and disturbing," said Cordell Roy, the chief Park Service administrator in Utah. "They added 51,000 acres of tracts near Arches, Dinosaur and Canyonlands without telling us about it. That's 40 tracts within four miles of these parks."

Top aides to Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne stepped into the fray, ordering the sister agencies to make amends. His press secretary, Shane Wolfe, told The Associated Press that deputy Interior Secretary Lynn Scarlett "resolved the dispute within 24 hours" last week.

A compromise ordered by the Interior Department requires the BLM to "take quite seriously" the Park Service's objections, said Wolfe.

However, the BLM didn't promise to pull any parcels from the sale, and in an interview after the supposed truce, BLM state director Selma Sierra was defiant, saying she saw nothing wrong with drilling near national parks.



"Manufactured Landscapes" SEE THIS BRILLIANT MOVIE! You'll never have the same shopping experience again.