Archive for February, 2009

World Affairs Council

Friday, February 13th, 2009


In early February I made a presentation before the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia entitled “Energy and the Global Economy.”  Every year the Council participates in the Foreign Policy Association’s ‘Great Decisions’ program, and this year had a series of speakers about Afghanistan and Pakistan; Cuba after Castro; and the U.S. and Rising Powers.  I was the first week’s speaker, addressing energy – and we had a chance to cover quite a wide range of energy concerns in the talk and Q&A, including ‘peak oil’, cellulosic ethanol production, and all those other fun topics that are usually well outside my regular purview — (except, of course, in my Energy class, where the poor students are always worried that such musings might make it onto the final exam!)  We even discussed George Friedman’s ideas about space-based solar collection systems, a topic covered in his fascinating new book The Next Hundred Years.  Friedman runs Stratfor, a company sometimes called “the private-sector’s CIA,” and my morning routine at the UN always included a thought-provoking Stratfor update.