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Showing posts from May 19, 2013

Disruptive Technologies? Really?!

My dear old friends from McKinsey & Company have come up with their view of the world's top technologies .  As a historical note, beginning in the mid 1980's and through the 1990's, McKinsey was instrumental in irreversibly damaging the U.S. oil and gas industry.  McKinsey was hired by the scared oil & gas managers to do a hatchet job on the researchers and operations staffs across the U.S. and - for a lot of money - did a awesomely devastating job. Suffices it to say that the oil and gas industry in the U.S. will never again have the same breadth and depth, ever.  This statement of fact has some interesting connotations when it comes to operating in the ultra-difficult, super-inhospitable environments, which seem to enter into our future.  In fairness to McKinsey and several other consulting outfits, they acted as expensive mercenaries used by management to execute (no pun intended) the already agreed upon plans, as in: "What do you want me to conclude, boss

Energy Exports May Not Be Good

On May 17th, 2013, Joe Nocera of the New York Times wrote an editorial, Energy Exports Are Good!   In it he follows the classic paradigm of neoliberalism: Let the "markets" decide what will happen with natural gas and let us export it if someone so desires. According to Wikipedia, neoliberalism in economics was originally coined in 1938 by the German scholar Alexander Rüstow at a colloquium that defined the concept of neoliberalism as “the priority of the price mechanism, the free enterprise, the system of competition and a strong and impartial state.” To be "neoliberal" meant that – in the name of liberalism – a modern economic policy was required. So far so good, especially if everything can be traded over infinitely long times (centuries for us) with a perfectly smooth substitution of one resource for another and one product for another.  But this assumption does not hold for depletable resources, whose production does not adjust easily and instantaneously t