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 user 2009-09-29 at 10:54:44 am Views: 68
  • #22425
    concept of green flows through much of what we do right now because we
    can see the ice caps melting, the pollution growing, and our energy
    prices starting to overtake our incomes.There are three kinds of green
    efforts: the first is focused on assuring a clean environment and has
    recycling at its core; the second is focused on conservation (generally
    energy related); and the third, and newest, is intelligent management
    which should help us get the greatest financial and environmental
    return from our green efforts.Last week at an Intel Alumni event, Andy
    Grove and a large number of ex and current Intel executives spoke on
    the need to respond to a Chinese effort to corner the market on both
    oil and solar technology by around 2020. This effort, if successful,
    would turn most of the rest of the world, especially the US, into a
    dependent of China. Something that, ironically, it doesn’t appear that
    China really wants.

    This week HP was ranked by Newsweek #1 for their green efforts .
    a few weeks after Greenpeace vandalized their offices. The organization
    increasingly looks to be more interested in getting publicity than in
    focusing on actually improving the world. This Greenpeace stuff seems
    incredibly irresponsible to me because it could have caused HP to
    reduce the strongest green effort in the US and turned it into a
    program like Apple’s which is simply designed to keep Greenpeace happy
    while not truly making the same kind of important difference. (The
    Apple ranking in Newsweek was 133.)

    Becoming Energy Slaves
    if you want to have someone scare the living daylights out of you,
    listen to Andy Grove’s stump speech on energy.As you would expect given
    he is one of the most well known engineers in the world, his talk was
    full of well researched numbers and the ones that most stuck out was
    how China is in the process of purchasing most of the world’s oil
    production output, effectively turning that country not only into a
    mega-consumer of oil larger than the US, but one that controls vastly
    more of the world’s oil reserves than the US by the end of next decade.

    This becomes a big problem for the US as soon as 2013.

    charts by both Grove and other executives pointed to the fact that
    China is not only starting to outspend us on solar research but, unlike
    other Chinese investments like this, they aren’t trying to be the low
    cost low technology provider in this market. They’re moving to be the
    low cost technology leader in the solar market.

    If successful,
    the result would be that they would not only have the oil we need to
    operate the country in a few years but they will have replaced our own
    solar industry with theirs. Meaning, they would be the only real source
    for a strong alternative for electricity production (they largely use
    coal for electricity and we use oil). Effectively, if we wanted to
    drive or turn our lights on, it would be at the discretion of the
    Chinese political leaders and not our own.The irony in this is that,
    after listening to a specialist on Chinese Government, this result is
    likely as much to do with that Government’s inability to execute as it
    does the US’s. They don’t appear to want to be in this position. But
    the reasoning behind their action appears to be their inability to
    convert their own country to solar power quickly enough – coupled with
    the need to make sure their population doesn’t become too dissatisfied
    and revolt – topped with a government structure that allows them to
    respond to threats more quickly than the US.

    You see, unlike the
    US, if the people in a state like China want to throw the bums out they
    tend to revolt and those in power often don’t survive the path to
    retirement. This motivates them much more aggressively to make sure
    folks aren’t unhappy and being without enough energy is likely a
    politician hunting season waiting to happen.In the end, I think the big
    message is that given Oil is funding the other side of the wars we are
    involved in, its cost is a major portion of why we both have an
    economic problem and can’t afford adequate healthcare. Additionally, it
    is sourced as the major ecological problem to solve, and it will likely
    eventually either result in a war or the US becoming a Chinese
    dependent (worse than we now are). Fixing this should have the highest
    priority.Either that or learning “yes boss” in Chinese (and I’ll bet
    you can guess my choice).