Archive for July, 2006


Tuesday, July 11th, 2006

From China I flew to Istanbul to participate in Cambridge Energy Research Associates’ annual East Meets West Executive Conference, which this year focused on energy security. Daniel Yergin, CERA’s chief, recently published an article on this topic in Foreign Affairs (March/April 2006), and paid particular attention to the important role that China and India are now playing in energy markets. My own presentation focused on China’s urbanization, and the implications for sustainable energy there. It was great to see a number of Penn/IFP alumni at the meeting, especially Rob LaCount and Chris Seiple, who now hold responsible positions within CERA in both the U.S. and Europe. Also, the Bosporus Strait cruise photo credit is due (with thanks!) to Yoshi Miyamoto, another Penn/IFP alumnus.

I took a bit of time to check out the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and Topkapi palace — and to have a Turkish coffee at the Pierre Loti Café, atop the Eyup Sultan cemetery, overlooking the Golden Horn. Loti, a romantic writer (the only French author other than Victor Hugo to receive a state funeral) wrote a 1870s novel about a tragic forbidden love affair with a woman in a Turkish harem, and the cemetery provides a poignant setting… given the novel’s outcome. (But my guide debunked the whole thing, saying that Loti was gay!) [Note: For those of you who might be interested, you can learn the real — and very fascinating! — story from Lesley Blanch’s Pierre Loti: Travels with the Legendary Romantic.] I also rented the 1964 movie Topkapi from Netflix upon returning home, about thieves going after a jewel-encrusted dagger in the palace’s treasury. Peter Ustinov won an Academy Award for his performance, and you’ll see a forerunner of Tom Cruise’s acrobatics in the Mission: Impossible series during the jewel heist. More interesting, however, are the city scenes of Istanbul from forty-plus years ago.

Roger cruising on Bosporus Strait


Tuesday, July 11th, 2006

In June 2006, I was in Beijing again – this time at the request of an Asian-based private sector entity which is exploring the potential market for Clean Development Mechanism carbon credits and clean energy technology within the country. I met with a number of governmental agencies involved in China’s CDM devlopment, and also had discussions with private sector and academic personnel concerning activities in that market. Many outside observers expect China to capture fully half of the CDM market, which was established under the Kyoto Protocol. I also made time on this trip for a visit to the Temple of Heaven. Although I’ve been to Beijing about twenty times, and had seen the Temple many times passing by, I had never been inside – a wonderful experience that I really should have done much earlier!! Many thanks to the folks at CICETE for helping to arrange the visit.

Temple of Heaven

NYU Law School

Tuesday, July 11th, 2006

In April 2006, I was invited to give a presentation at New York University Environmental Law Journal’s Spring 2006 Colloquium: The New Power Generation – Environmental Law and Electricity Innovation. My presentation is summarized in a draft article entitled “Sustainable Urban Energy Systems in China” which I recently submitted to the Journal, and which will appear there in early 2007. [Note: see May 2007 China Urban Energy Paper posting above.] Other invitees included FERC Commissioner Suedeen Kelly, EcoSecurities’ CEO Bruce Usher, and a number of law professors from around the U.S.