Small Change, Big Gains: Reflections of an Energy Entrepreneur

Small Change, Big Gains: Reflections of an Energy Entrepreneur

Thomas Stoner

Language: English

Pages: 556

ISBN: 1626340021

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Non-fiction: Business & Economics/Industries/Energy

Small Change, Big Gains: Reflections of an Energy Entrepreneur introduces climate change economics and provides recommendations on how to develop feasible pathways to a sustainable energy future. Mr. Stoner examines the global energy supply as if it was a single portfolio of assets, and shows it is possible to align the interests of energy investors, suppliers, users, and environmental stewards. He explains how we--as business professionals, students, consumers, and citizens--can transform our current energy system into a system that creates new business opportunities, promotes environmental health, and broadens our understanding of wealth.  

He illustrates clearly how climate change and resource use are not just economic and environmental issues, but also existential ones. He likens humanity's relative inaction to the climate crisis--a situation he terms 'environmental suicide'--to his own experience as a survivor of suicide. In a deeply personal account, Mr. Stoner shares his feelings of responsibility for another's self-destructive choice, asking, "What could I have done differently. " Today, he asserts that we must all seek to answer a different question to help humanity avoid environmental suicide:  "What can we do differently?"

Tom Stoner's appeal to a shared planetary fate is uniquely grounded in the author's extensive experience as an energy executive. Readers can expect to come away with a better understanding and new perspective on the energy debate, armed with an innovative problem-solving methodology to transform business models into promoters of energy sustainability and a better future for the planet.

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But it is no exaggeration to say that once you burn a clump of coal, it cannot be burned again. Similarly, the analogy of the teenager allows us to see that using coal and oil to generate electricity or to fuel transportation today is an investment into the future that will eventually lead to the necessity for a replacement or a substitution. To fully illustrate my point, let’s consider another analogy: Burning oil to drive a car is like washing your socks in a single malt scotch. There are far

WIND Wind has been another source of mechanical energy for more than a millennium, mostly to pump water and to power sailing ships. In fact, the world’s first phases of globalization, in the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries, were born on sailing ships whose technology was constantly improving. However, by the mid-nineteenth century, sailing’s commercial heyday was over because steamships provided cheaper service. As a source of energy for the working economy, however, wind became

objection from Camp I climate negotiators was over the role of the UN as the convener of the UNFCCC, the parent agreement to the Kyoto Protocol. The role of the UN created inherent discord because some circles within Camp I saw any international agreement that placed the UN as arbiter as threatening the nation-state system and each nation’s basic sovereignty. These nations did not want the UN to have the authority to set standards for carbon accounting and trade and to require sovereign nations

exceeded the planet’s carrying capacity, so long as we recognize that it is possible to change our global energy mix. Such recognition could lead to a collective agreement that eventually the global community will have to move toward a sustainable model for our human economy. This simple adjustment to our collective thinking may be the flutter of the butterfly’s wings that eventually changes everything. IT’S TIME TO EMBRACE THE NEW BUSINESS CASE If business as usual is the equivalent of

build alternatives to conventional energy supply. This new business case should be built upon replacing aging conventional fuel sources and meeting new demand with renewable energy and energy efficiency, and its backbone must be eliminating barriers to market competition and especially innovation. The result would be a dramatic transformation of our global energy mix toward a more diversified portfolio of energy assets. These new investments would decrease the energy intensity of new capital and

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