Point of Origin

This presentation has been compiled in an exploratory mood. While I had various hunches and biases, along with a few settled convictions, to start out with, the overall idea is simply to lay out the main pieces of the energy puzzle--that is, to create a framework for the investigation of what are, by everyone's acknowledgment, a tough set of problems. We're looking to chart the overall lay of the land and trying at least to understand what the right questions are.

Though my first purpose was simply to clarify and order my own thinking, the presentation was also put together as a guide to student investigation--that is, it seeks to frame areas of inquiry that college students might pursue with me in papers and discussion. It's pitched to the intelligent undergraduate who is not especially knowledgeable but eager to delve into these difficult problems. It includes ideas for papers on what seem to me to be promising lines of investigation, and many links for further inquiry.

A more immediate inspiration was that I had fun and learned a lot putting together my presentation on the financial crisis, Cause for Depression. Working in Google Blogger helps me keep materials ordered and entirely avoids the need to print out a chart on a color printer, which let me tell you is damn expensive. It was a blinking message from a color printer (you're almost out of red ink, you wastrel!) that provoked me to find out about blogspot in the first place. If you like charts, as I do, this medium is the only way to go.

So from such mixed motives I started compiling this presentation on the energy predicament. I hope the destination--hazy at the moment--will be useful to students and citizens wishing to familiarize themselves with basic aspects of the energy problem.