Wednesday, June 25, 2008


As I now add nano-products to my "impulse-buy" list at Home Depot, I decided to flip the extra money and get some new Nano-Glue. With childood memories of eating the thick tasty white goo between nap-times in kindergarten, picking up this tube of glue had quaint nostalgia with the "new-and-improved" force of American innovation behind it. Excited, I ran home to fix my sunglasses and enjoy a tastey nibble, only to find out the stuff just sucks. But I have found a valuable metaphor... just like glue, my nano research is globby, sticky, never goes where I want it to, and the more I play with it, the harder it is to get off.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

"Lead or Leave"

I don't get to say this too often, so I'll enjoy it while I can: Tom "Flat Earth" Friedman has an excellent column today on the dumbfounding stupidity of US energy policy. After pummeling George Bush for a while, he calls for a floor of $100 / barrel for oil and $4.50 for gasoline. It'll take more than that to get renewables moving at the speed we need, but it would help. And the anger might help us jump the tracks that lead to the cliff.

It reminded me of a report by Cambridge Energy Research Associates last month about construction costs for power plants, which have more than doubled since 2000. Even if we can afford the fossil fuels to put into the plants, it's not clear we can afford to build conventional plants anymore.

Unfortunately, wind turbines have also doubled in cost since 2005. It's that much more pressure on us to do far better with conservation and efficiencies at the consumption end.