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July 7th, 2022 Total archive posts: 985
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Biofuel Comparison

Readers know my strong opposition to the use of biofuels, especially those derived from corn here in the US. That aside, here's a handy chart that tries to evaluate the 'greeness' of various biofuels. Corn, as you might imagine, scores horrendously:

Courtesy of Jalopnik.

by Christopher Heiser on May 19 21:35

Food Prices

I've been struggling to understand why there has been such a sudden rise in food prices globally, as much as 30% in a single quarter. The Financial Times has an easy-to-read overview of the issues at hand. In short, the rise of China, Russia, India, and Brazil has changed the way that people eat (and shop for food) which has thrown mature and stable markets into turmoil. Add to this a broken subsidy system here in the US, climate change impacts, cost of production (primarily oil), and bioenergy development and you have a perfect storm for price increase.

Something that's occurred to me while reading up on this is the challenge that conservative political parties will face in the decades to come. Typically, the conservative parties are allied strongly with the business and financial companies under their jurisdiction. However, these concerns that stand to lose (or gain) a great deal from the changing climate here on earth. This will put them at odds with conservatives from a message standpoint--a tricky needle to thread.

It's also worth noting that the trends discussed in the FT article have been in place for many years. It suggests that the financial community--if they were paying attention--should be benefiting handsomely from these profound market movements. It may be the next boom-bust cycle to watch.

by Christopher Heiser on May 19 16:18

Nissan Flip-Flop

Once a big detractor of alternative fuel cars, Nissan now goes long on electric cars. Great to see this gaining some momentum.

by Christopher Heiser on May 19 16:14

VC Predictions

At the Churchill Club Dinner some prominent VCs made the following predictions:

  1. Customer data stored by different service providers will be combined to create more intelligent services.
  2. Oil will have increasing difficulty competing with biofuels made from cheap nonfood crops for transportation.
  3. Water technology will replace abating global warming as a global priority.
  4. The mobile device industry's migration to smart phones will produce great disruption for big industry players.
  5. Booming market for healthy aging technologies.
  6. Four-fifths of the world population will carry mobile Internet devices within five to 10 years.
  7. Algorithms will be constructed to develop new industrial chemicals, new biofuels and eventually artificial intelligence.
  8. The mobile phone is your most important device.
  9. There is going to be a venture capital shakeout.
  10. Within five years everything that matters to you will be available on a device that fits on your belt or in your purse

Or, a solar iPhone that improves your health and does your web surfing for you is the next killer product.

by Christopher Heiser on May 19 16:13
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