Curbing our Energy Appetite: Dinner with Peter Tertzakian

08/30/2010

Due to the close relationship between wealth and energy consumption, rising wealth the world over will soon make untenable the way we produce and consume energy.So says Peter Tertzakian, in his latest book, The End of Energy Obesity.

Tertzakian argues that increasingly sophisticated means of connecting virtually to co-workers, friends and places are central to solving an impasse we have reached in our energy consumption habits. Information technology will not only change the way we travel and commute, it will also bring about a revolution in how energy travels through the electricity grid. As for the energy that we will continue to consume despite these innovations, Tertzakian places great faith in natural gas.

The End of Energy Obesity continues the story told in Tertzakian's 2007 book, 1000 Barrels a Second. In Tertakian's view, the trajectory that has led to humanity consuming 1000 barrels of oil every second in 2007 is not linear. He argues that over the past 6,000 years we have gone through several "energy cycles" - from wood to coal and, finally, to oil as a primary fuel. Through each cycle, the demand for and the supply of the predominant source of energy became irreconcilable; an energy break point was reached. At such a point new technologies and substitution lead to a rebalancing of our fuel consumption. This decade marks the break point for our dependence on oil.

View a video of Tertzakian here.

Peter Tertzakian is a sought after speaker, author, and energy expert. He is Chief Energy Economist at ARC Financial Corporation, a Calgary based energy-focused private equity management firm. Often seen and heard through media outlets around the world, Peter has been a featured guest on many high-profile radio and television shows including The Daily Show with John Stewart.