Al Gore goes off the beaten grid

AFP/JOHN THYS Newsweek Enterprise focuses on energy this week, with contributions from Al Gore and Fareed Zakaria. The premise of Daniel Yergin’s cover story is that sustained high oil prices will lead to a renewable energy bonanza that “could rival the Internet boom.” (Which raises the question: what’s the Pets.com of this new craze?)  The ...

605585_algore6.jpg
605585_algore6.jpg

AFP/JOHN THYS

Newsweek Enterprise focuses on energy this week, with contributions from Al Gore and Fareed Zakaria. The premise of Daniel Yergin's cover story is that sustained high oil prices will lead to a renewable energy bonanza that "could rival the Internet boom." (Which raises the question: what's the Pets.com of this new craze?) 

The similarities between the two eras go deeper than just spiraling stock prices, if Gore's analysis is right. Long (incorrectly) ridiculed for claiming he "invented the Internet," Gore compares our energy future to our online past:



AFP/JOHN THYS

Newsweek Enterprise focuses on energy this week, with contributions from Al Gore and Fareed Zakaria. The premise of Daniel Yergin’s cover story is that sustained high oil prices will lead to a renewable energy bonanza that “could rival the Internet boom.” (Which raises the question: what’s the Pets.com of this new craze?) 

The similarities between the two eras go deeper than just spiraling stock prices, if Gore’s analysis is right. Long (incorrectly) ridiculed for claiming he “invented the Internet,” Gore compares our energy future to our online past:

Taking a page from the early development of ARPANET (the Pentagon’s Advanced Research Projects Agency Network)—which ultimately became the Internet—we will rely on new kinds of distribution networks for electricity and liquid fuels. We will be less dependent on large, centralized coal-generating plants and massive oil refineries. Societies of the future will rely on small, diversified and renewable sources of energy, ranging from windmills and solar photovoltaics to second-generation ethanol-and biodiesel-production facilities. Widely dispersed throughout the countryside, these streamlined facilities will make the industrialized world more secure and less dependent on unstable and threatening oil-producing nations. Off-grid applications of renewable power sources can provide energy for the 3 billion people now stuck in poverty.

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.