In 2003 Alan Greenspan made an appearance before congress warning the US we were running out of Natural Gas.
In 2003 Lindsay Leveen The Green Machine wrote his text book on energy and sustainability and sang the praises of natural gas and did not fret of shortages.
I wrote the book while commuting on the Ferry from Tiburon to the financial district of San Francisco. My only tool was my brain and my years of work as a chemical engineer. Greenspan had thousands of helpers at the US Fed. Greenspan was the Guru. When Greenspan uttered a word markets moved. CNBC would even watch how Greenspan crossed the street to predict market movement.
The Green Machine got it right and Greenspan got it completely wrong. Same thing on Electric Cars. The Green Machine got it right and Thomas Friedman got it completely wrong. The question is not that these two Gurus were so off base, the question is why did they not comprehend the technologies that underlie their statements?
The answer is pretty simple. Neither studied Thermodynamics. Neither had a clue about Exergy and Entropy.
You see the Green Machine spent many a long cold day in Ames Iowa pondering how to directly integrate the Gibbs Duhem equation in his graduate studies. Old brother Willard Gibbs had cracked all of the concepts of entropy and free energy back in 1873 some one hundred years before I received my BS Eng Chem at the University of Witwatersrand.
Guys like Greenspan and Friedman can opine on things that have very little thermodynamic meaning. They can gain attention for what they say, but what they know is actually almost meaningless. Al Gore is another guru without a clue. Actually I may register www.guruwithoutaclue.com for my next blog site.
My training in Thermodynamics at Wits and ISU has helped me discern what is real and doable and helped me expose fakes and frauds like Kior and Bloom Energy even with my eyes closed. I do not want to be a guru. I just want folks to understand what Stephen Hawking said that “entropy increases in time because we measure time in the direction entropy increases”. I have coined the phrase that “you can fuel some of the people some of the time but you cannot fuel all of the people all of the time”. Greenspan, Friedman, and Gore have fooled and fueled most of the people most of the time.
The Green Machine favorite tune is the Who’s song “Won’t get fooled again”. They said “though the hypnotized never lie”. The second law of Thermo is like deep hypnosis. It is so profound it takes one's brain to a different plane. It is actually the essence of the creation, the big bang, and the leveler of all imposters. It is all that is true in a simple formula. No need to get down on your knees and pray, cause just like yesterday, entropy ain’t going away. Hooray Hooray Delta S is here to stay!!