TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Clean Technology Bigger than Internet Claims Bill Joy

Re: Clean Technology Bigger than Internet Claims Bill Joy
16 May 2007 09:50:36 -0700

On May 15, 2:25 pm, Gerard Wynn, Reuters <>

> "This is a much larger opportunity," he told Reuters, pointing to the
> scale of the problem and the profits to be made from simple steps like
> a more careful use of energy.
> "It's profitable to be more efficient, it has a negative cost and a
> competitive disadvantage if you don't do it."

Not necessarily. Sometimes conservation costs more than the fuel that
it saves, which is why it isn't done. Skimping on the heat or a/c in
a workplace can reduce productivity or even create OSHA problems.
Adding load limited controls or buying new more efficient machines is

Some measures become counter productive. Some devices are very
irritating to the consumer to use and the consumers ends up defeating
the machine (such as a water saving shower head or toilet) or using it
longer to make up for the shortfall.

Energy awareness is not new. Individually, we use much more efficient
machines and vehicles than in the 1970s before the oil shocks hit.
New construction today is better insulated and a/c, heat, appliances
are much more energy efficient than the past.

A second issue is that reducing energy consumption can go only so
far. Squeezing out a few more drops of savings can be very costly.

> Using the example of the car industry, Joy saw the response in three
> parts: first using old technologies like smaller, more efficient cars;
> second adopting emerging technologies like "hybrid," part-electric
> cars; and third researching breakthroughs such as transport fuels
> derived from farm waste.

Getting rid of the SUV and returning to smaller cars will help some.
(My current car gets 24 mpg, my previous car, same make and model, was
smaller and got 28 mpg. The current cars "upsized" in response to

But the big problem is that we are forced to drive, we live and work
in sprawl where public transit doesn't exist or won't work. Trains
are far more efficient than autos but we kill off our trains. Amtrak
could be time competitive and far more energy efficient on regional
trips but we starve Amtrak and make it unattractive. The few places
Amtrak was allowed to improve service were huge successes with greatly
increased patronage.

> "Solar cells are semiconductors, heat to electricity is
> semiconductors, software to manage systems comes out of Silicon
> Valley," said Joy, who is now a partner at venture capital investors
> Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB).

Isn't the manufacture of semiconductors and solar cells somewhat dirty
in itself? Since chips are now pretty small it might not matter but
massive solar cells may be messy to build.

Further, our individual power needs are far more. My PC and monitor
consume about 500 watts, the original IBM PC used about 100 watts. I
use electric pencil sharpeners instead of hand, copying machines
instead of carbon paper or hand cranked duplicators, powered adding
machines and word processors instead of pencil and paper and a hand
cranked adder. Fancy telephones need house power behind that supplied
over the phone line. Modern industry cranks out enormous amounts of
paper for bills -- my electric bill used to be sent on a postcard, my
phone bill was a single slip (not even a sheet) of paper, now it is
many pages even with printing on both sides. The post office must
transport all that bulk.

I have a 19" TV at home, people think that is a "toy" appropriate for
bathroom use. I know many single people who have multiple TVs in
their homes. Why?

As far as I'm concerned, the "green movement" is nonsense. Nobody
would be willing to make the real energy savings that are necessary--
to live in high density areas where heat and a/c are lower and mass
transit works, to use older manual technologies like carbon paper or
manual typewriters or just a pencil.

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: This problem of 'global warming'
> (actually extremes in the weather conditions) is getting more and
> more severe. The ice and snow around the North Pole are virtually
> all melted.

All true.

> ... I know President Bush is still in denial about the
> circumstances; at least, the last I heard he is still refusing to
> sign onto the Kyoto thing.

The Repubs are bad about this, but the Dems aren't any better when it
really counts. The Dems allowed sprawl and anti-rail as much as the
Repubs did. The Dems have their little "green movements" and make it
a party fad, but making sun tea ain't gonna cut it.

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