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National Energy Symposium: online resources

From the Symposium Intro page:

Leaders from government, business and the media from throughout the nation participated in the National Energy Symposium June 15, 2006 on the campus of the University of Southern California. ...

Faculty and panels included some of the nation’s leading experts, who discussed America’s and California’s energy future. The Symposium took an objective, nonpartisan look at how to confront the issues. ...

The National Energy Symposium was sponsored by the University of Southern California, The California Institute of Technology, Congressional Quarterly, and The Communications Institute with the support of Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. ...

The Symposium reviewed the economic realities of dealing with critical energy issues. The basic economic principles of supply, demand and costs are the keys to understanding energy markets.

The symposium also included in-depth analysis by Dr. Nate Lewis of Caltech on current energy sources and potential new sources of energy in the future.


Webcast of the entire conference (1507 MB). Webcasts of individual segments should be available next week, according to the symposium website.

Slide presentations and other resources available online
(See original article for links):

The Energy Problem
Henry Lee, director of the Environment and Natural Resources Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, covers the multiple dimensions of the energy dilemma -- from supply and demand to acid rain.

Using Up Energy Solutions
Congressional Quarterly's John Cranford says it's easy to find reasons not to increse oil drilling on- or offshore; but the reality is, the U.S. relies on fossil fuels, and burns more per capita than almost any other nation.

Global Energy Perspective
Caltech Professor Nathan S. Lewis covers the present mix of power sources, future constraints, theoretical and practical energy potential of various renewables, and the challenges in exploiting renewables economically.

Why hydrocarbon-fueled internal combustion engines?
A brief primer on the alternatives by Prof. Paul D. Ronney of USC. Ronney covers external combustion engines, electric vehicles, the hydrogen fuel cell, solar vehicles and nuclear power.

The Future of Nuclear Energy
Craig F. Smith of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory provides a summary of the “Group of 7” National Laboratory directors’ recommendations on the future of nuclear energy.

SCE and Renewable Energy Sources
Pedro J. Pizarro, Senior Vice President of Power Procurement for Southern California Edison, presents SEC's current mix of energy sources, SEC's portfolio of renewable energy sources, and the projected energy needs of Southern California.

Underlying offshore waters on the Outer Continental Shelf
The Minerals Management Service provides an assessment of "undiscovered technically recoverable resources" off the U.S. coast. Estimates range from 66.6 to 115.3 billion barrels of oil and 326.4 to 565.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. See the complete pdf file here.

Energy Challenges: An Economic and Engineering Analysis
Kevin Hopkins, editor of Government West, wrote a primer on energy realities for the Communications Institute. Hopkins covers gasoline prices & supply, electricity, energy sources, and the economics of new energy technology.

Editorial Notes: I think it would be fair to call this conference "the establishment view." UPDATE June 27: More on "the establishment view" at the bottom of these comments. Multiple symposiums on energy are planned by the Communications Institute. This first symposium was held June 18 at the University of Southern California (USC). The Institute has graciously put many materials from this symposium online. I'm a fan of the work of Nathaniel Lewis of Caltech who gives an in-depth analysis on current energy sources and potential new sources of energy in the future (8.8MB Powerpoint). Unfortunately the material is dense and one probably needs to hear the lecture that goes with the presentation for it to make sense. A simplified version of Lewis's analysis should be required reading for anyone concerned with energy. (Does one exist?) UPDATE July 1: From reader DC:
You can stream [a more complete version of] Nate Lewis' presentation by going to his homepage: http://nsl.caltech.edu/ Then click on "Global Energy Perspective"
UPDATE June 27: An article on Nathan Lewis is now online at the Communications Institute. In his presentation (80KB Powerpoint), Henry Lee of the John F. Kennedy School of Government essentially affirmed that we are near peak oil: "Oil supplies are not about to run out - although the cost of production will increase two to three-fold as the supply of cheap oil disappears." The Communications Institute (TCI) is :
a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising the level of communication and discussion of critical issues in society. TCI organizes conferences and symposiums that cover a myriad critical public policy issues... The Communications Institute was founded in 2003 by professionals with extensive experience in research and academic institutions, public policy research, the legislative process, and journalism. ... TCI, based in Pasadena, Calif., is governed by a board of directors and and an advisory board comprising scholars and officials from the California Institute of Technology, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, National Academy of Engineering, the RAND Corporation, Stanford University, University of Rochester, and the University of Southern California.
Related story on the conference from AFP: Looming energy crisis requires new 'Manhattan Project': US scientists:
LOS ANGELES - The United States urgently needs an effort similar to the Manhattan Project or NASA's moon mission to confront a looming energy crisis, according to scientists at a high-level energy conference. Soaring global demand for energy and rapid depletion of resources need to be addressed by a long-term government-led project similar to the World War II-era effort to develop an atomic bomb, University of Southern California scientist Anupam Madhukar said at the annual National Energy Symposium on Thursday. "A sense of urgency is needed like the Manhattan Project or sending a man to the moon," Madhukar said. But the scientists spoke of the difficulty of a paradigm shift in the way the United States addresses its energy needs to fend off an energy crisis on the order of the 1970s, scientists and politicians at the symposium said. They agreed that it would take 50 years to shift energy consumption policies in a more sustainable direction, pointing at how, for most of the 1800s, the United States relied on wood for its energy needs.

UPDATE June 27: A reader suggests: "It would be helpful if you could explain or characterize what you mean by "the establishment view." Sorry if the reference to "establishment view" is not clear. Here's what it is shorthand for: - Respected academic institutions, - Support from government, corporations. - High technology solutions - Very little questioning of current social assumptions. In contrast, there is a grassroots response, composed of small citizens groups (an umbrella organization is the Post-Carbon Institute), writers, websites and conferences. It's a diverse movement, but with several common themes: - Envisioning the effects of peak oil and global warming, - Focusing on solutions for individuals, small groups and local communities - Openness to cultural change Some of the better known spokespeople for the grassroots are U.S. Representative Roscoe Bartlett (R) of Maryland, social ecologist Richard Heinberg, and social critic James Howard Kunstler. The tragedy to me is that both groups - "establishment" and grassroots - seem to operate in parallel universes, unaware of each other. Part of what we're trying to do at Energy Bulletin is provide a platform for multiple viewpoints, so readers can broaden their understanding about energy issues. Several thousand articles are available in the online archives. -BA

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