To all my readers all over the world I wish you all happy holidays and a very happy and healthy new year. 2012 had its awful moments but all in all it was a better year for matters green in the USA. Our blessing of natural gas helped us lower CO2 emissions in a large manner. Coal usage in power generation was down around 10% during the year and gas usage was up. US motorists also used approximately 3.3% less gasoline and we are trending to use even less gasoline going forward. In 2003 when I wrote my book Hydrogen Hope or Hype the US EIA at the DOE forecast that energy usage would increase by 50% in 25 years now we forecast only a minor increase of approximately 10% till 2040.
The Chinese have a very different story and energy usage in China is growing rapidly. No doubt that sometime in the next decade that growth rate of China’s energy consumption will moderate but they, India and other non OECD countries will need a lot more fossil fuels in the coming decades.
Politically the world endured a pretty dismal year and wars continue to rage. Governments all over the planet continue to simply rip their people off and feather the nests of their friends and families. But more people are becoming enlightened and more people are standing up for their rights to freedom and the pursuit of happiness. The internet and smart hand held devices are now in the hands of common folks everywhere and the ability to instantly communicate what is really happening is now out of the hands of press agencies and in the hands of the people.
The Facebook IPO was a bust and A 123 went bust. Tesla managed to use connections at Goldman Sachs to raise funds even though the company was technically insolvent on September 29, 2012. Kior with Condi Rice on their board still claims the ability to make diesel from wood. Bloom Energy with Colin Powell on their board still claims over 60%efficiency when the data clearly show this is not the case. Fisker with Al Gore at the wheel still has the State of Delaware paying the power bills to keep their future assembly plant at the ready. Gore, Powell, and Rice are the poster children of how the “complex” works. Why should Cyril Ramaphosa in South Africa and the ANC be any different than Colin, Condi, Al and the GOP or the Democrats? Their common green motto is to "make hay while the sun shines.”
Yeah Cyril Ramaphosa is the 21st century Cecil John Rhodes. I wonder if he will bequeath his fortune that students in 2040 can get a Ramaphosa Prize and study at University of South Africa? My hope for 2013 is that all politicians everywhere attend one freshman level class under the instruction of the green machine. This class will be Thermodynamics 101. I think that Hillary will claim she has a concussion and ask for a deferment. Susan who was a Rhodes Scholar will blame her bad grade on a poorly made video that added entropy to the equation by letting loose free radicals. In chemistry a free radical has an unpaired electron. In Benghazi a free radical had an unimpaired RPG.
Best wishes for a happy, healthy, peaceful, and less BS filled 2013.