Popular Mechanics has a very interesting article in its July 2010 issue – Energyland – The Race to Cheap, Sustainable Power. On the cover of the magazine PM promises “The truth about energy”, “No more hype-real world ideas to power our future”, “Debunking myths about: wind power, solar, shale oil, bio fuels”, “The Clean Coal Boondoggle”, and “Why Nuke Power is Safe (Really)”, Despite the “No more hype promise”, Takethe5th decided to proceed carefully.
Well page 70 revealed a sort of snakes and ladders landscape illustration of the major energy strategies. Notably, the road to energy independence started at Petroleum Swamp.
But right away I was impressed that PM did dare to take on many of the key issues and “myths” confronting the US [and much of the World for that matter – clean, cheap, and sustainable energy is big in Beijing as well and very lively in London]. And one can understand why – there is not just the Climate Change/CO2-Greenhouse gas issue, but also the limitations of Peak Oil and since the Gulf of Mexico blow out, there are the nasty reminders that Nigeria and the US are not the only countries that have to worry about oil and gas production from offshore and environmentally sensitive areas. So the fact that PM chose to discuss 10 key energy sources was impressive right off the bat.
But what really impressed this reader was the honest-to-goodnes myth busting approach. Okay, they went light on Nuclear and really did not give very promising Thorium approach due consideration. And in nofield did PM do a comprehensive Pros and Cons. Also missing was the big picture of how these various sources would help fill national energy tank. But compared to ther sources [see immediately below – a)PM delivered fairly well on its headline cover promises and b)did much more comprehensive review than a lot of the financial and news media.
As a point of comparison Takethe5th did onsite searches of some major business and news sources to see what they had to say about “energy policy strategy plan” then substitute “oil” for “energy” and here is what was to be found:
Barrons – almost all investment oriented, definitely slim on a national plan or strategy
Business Week – some good article about specific energy sources but no overview
Financial Times – mirrors Barrons having mostly financial coverage, few complete ideas
Forbes – had two good pieces: Green New Deal and the Clean Energy Race
Fortune – has some top stories on individual energy sources and Brainstorm Green
MIT Technology Review – best source by far for wide ranging studies
NYTimes – like theAtlantic, lots of Energy policy politics; see DotEarth Blog
TheAtlantic – lots of energy politics discussions – take a look for yourself
Wall Street Journal – lots of news stories and breaking features on energy policy
With the notable eception of Forbes, this reviewer was surprised to see how little coverage there was in major Financial press sources. Maybe the markets and quarterly results are absorbing all the time and attention- and diminishing time for the big picture at these financial media. Just talk to some CEOs who have to tread the QTR Treadmill.