It has been a long day – sucked up a lot of energy but then the topic of study was very interesting and heavy.
The day started with a lecture on Global Climate Change – a depressing subject and a prognosis which is equally depressing. Climate change is truly a global problem and the responsibility to combat the effects of climate change rests on everyone’s shoulders. The US can bicker about China, and China (and India) can have reciprocal bickering sessions – net net if everyone just sits and waits around, everyone loses!
The Kyoto protocol in my book provides at best a partial solution. The question of Carbon credits & associated trading vs. Carbon tax is an important one. What I learnt (and now seems quite clear) is the fact that you have the ability to preset the carbon credit limits as opposed to taxation which would largely remain variable and allow subjective adjustments.
The day ended with a panel discussion on use, future and state of energy sources. Prof. Veitor picked 6 participants from the class. These folks were associated with companies which dealt with Oil, Gas, Coal, Electric, Hydroelectric and Alternative energy sources.
Kevin Gallagher, my living group mate was one of the panelists. His company provides LNG to global customers and is based out of Perth, Australia. Kevin and the other 5 panelists had 8 minutes each to present a set of slides providing a view on the current state of their industry segment, future demand/supply patterns and impact on the environment. Kevin was very articulate in his presentation and his answers to the questions posed, demonstrating his strong knowledge of the subject.
Here is a picture of Kevin presenting to a packed audience:
My takeaways from the presenters:
Coal – Not good
Oil – Most heavily used but not good
LNG/Gas – Better in terms of pollution
Hydro – Good but has other types of environmental damage/considersations
Alternative sources – promising but too early to tell (wind is gaining traction in the US)
Other key issues are storing of energy from alternate sources like wind, solar and other sources.
Nuclear is currently the best option for power generation but comes with a set of responsibilities with certain countries are unable or unwilling to respect.