I’m on a mission to understand what is going on with energy. I want to understand how the adoption of clean energy technology might slow damage to the environment, create a more vibrant global economy, and a more benign geopolitical landscape. If it sounds like I’m parroting Thomas Friedman, that’s because I will admit to being biased toward his world view on these matters.
But as the president of a research firm, I am aware that I’ve done no research on this topic myself and am little better informed than the average educated citizen. I want to change that. Should we stop drilling for oil entirely? Probably not—it’s not realistic, not yet anyway. Does offshore drilling spell environmental disaster? I don’t know; I read recently that environmental safeguards today are enormously better than they were 25 years ago when bans on offshore drilling were established in the United States.
I think research can make it harder for the drill-baby-drill gang and the eco-topians to talk past each other. If we can all look at the same set of data perhaps we can have more intelligent debates and mobilize for constructive action.
I recognize that energy policy is not just about science. Energy is the lifeblood of the economy and economics in inherently political. So no matter how well we understand the science, our energy future will be the subject of political debates. But those debates ought to be informed by a consistent set of facts that can us make smart choices.
So I’ve started doing my own research on the topic.
My plan is to write about my research as if I were on a journey. Because I am a long way from drawing firm conclusions. But I think I will learn a lot along the way. And I welcome comments and questions from readers. Thanks for reading!