Back in 2002 whilst browsing an airport bookstore and I picked up a copy of Carbon War because I had a long flight and the fire on the cover looked vaguely interesting. I became curious and then incensed after reading about the back room machinations during the negoatiations of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.
A particular paragraph stood out which described the finger wagging body language that Exxonmobil executives like Brian Flannery exhibited in influencing the US negotiation team on the conference sidelines during the breaks. Coupled with what I knew about technology change and the power of innovation, I recalled the acts of the Luddites in 18th Century England smashing looms and new technologies as they attempted to halt the march of innovation and man's ingenuity.
Change will happen, science has reduced the power of the mainframe into a wireless phone in just one generation. The preceding technology revolutions lay the seeds for the next one, the printing press spread the radical ideas of the reformation, the Agrarian Revolution freed man from working the land to working the machines of the Industrial Revolution, the railways spread change, information and people. Now the internet is further accelerating change in this new third industrial revolution of decentralised, sustainable energy.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in seeing how quickly renewables are being taken up globally and how in 2010 renewables investment in the developing world was greater than in the developed world. Change is happening, quickly and globally. From Brazil where wind is cheaper than natural gas to the nascent African geothermal industry, Asia's rice husk biomass power generation, Korea's launch of an offshore wind industry, India's explosive solar industry to the impact of the innovative US advanced biofuels players in Brazil.
Long term energy players need to be aware, energy may be a physical "shovels in the ground" industry but don't get caught driving using the rearview mirror! Change happens fast.
So finally thank you Mr Leggett for sparking me into joining the war and well done on founding Solar Century!
The Top 10 Books that influenced me:
1 Carbon War by Jeremy Leggett
2 Cradle to Cradle by William McDonough and Michael Braungart
3 Energy Autonomy by Hermann Scheer
4 Capitalism as if the World Matters by Jonathan Porritt
5 Hot, Flat and Crowded by Thomas Friedman
6 Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
7 Clean Tech Revolution by Ron Pernick and Clint Wilder
8 The Revenge of Gaia by James Lovelock
9 The Prize by Daniel Yergin
10 People Quake by Fred Pearce
Nadim Chaudhry, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Green Power Conferences
By Nadim Chaudhry
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