Johnson maintains that the United States has vast supplies of oil in our country and offshore, and there are great shale oil reserves in Canada –and yet we are paying huge sums of money to buy our oil from far away foreign countries. In his presentation, he speculates that if the U.S. began to tap into its great oil reserves, that within three years, the U.S. could change from being a debtor nation to being a creditor nation.
In his most recent book, “The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World,” (Sept 20, 2011) Pulitzer Prize author Daniel Yergin makes a strong case that energy forms the backbone of the economic system in the United States. Yergin’s position is that since we have a fast paced growing world economy, if the United States is to grow globally, it has to focus on all forms of energy –and in particular, renewable energy.
Here at the International Energy Alliance, our position on renewable energy sources is that there is and will be no one single solution to our global energy problems for a variety of reasons, including environmental, economic, availability, and cost effectiveness. Yergin suggests something similar –where will our energy come from in the future, and what will the mixture be? He believes the solution needs to be and will be affordable, abundant, reliable, and environmentally sound. Much of Yergin’s writing focuses on renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, hydro, and biofuel. Of particular interest is his discussion of the possibility of “disruptive technologies,” and unforeseen, new energy sources which can end up changing everything.
A Marshall Scholar and Ph.D. graduate from Cambridge University, Yergin went on to established himself as an expert on energy, geopolitics and economics. In 1991 he earned the Pulitzer for “The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power,” and he has maintained his reputation in those areas ever since. Not convinced yet? Then consider the incredible growth in renewable energy and that venture capitalists are and have been throwing large amounts of money into financing renewable energy sources. So if you are sitting at home fretting about the economy, wondering when and how a golden opportunity will present itself to you, I am here to tell you that when you read this book you will find that opportunity. But at a total of eight hundred and sixteen pages, plus the hard cover, this book is about as thick as an encyclopedia, so please think about downloading an e-copy, saving trees and energy.
The latest edition of the Wharton Magazine features one of the boldest books I’ve seen in a long time. In “Sustainability: The Future of Value”, Wharton MBA Eric Lowitt takes on a brutal uphill battle, arguing that sustainability is actually critical to the success of a firm. While many firms commit resources to “appearing” sustainable and focused on the environment, few actually pursue this mission with heart and even fewer truly believe sustainability is a critical element of future success. As financial professionals and business schools have long taught the sole objective of the CEO is to maximize shareholder value through increasing net income as much as possible, it is no wonder this is the case. Can you see how investing in sustainability can increase the bottom line? It is sure hard to imagine but Lowitt makes a great case. Check it out: