That future will, at least in the short term, be an amalgam of No Hot Air and NaturalGas2.0, existing separately and together at www.naturalgas2point0.com .
The original name of No Hot Air referred to straight talking about CO2. It started out talking about the big picture of energy use, and especially how to reduce carbon levels by the rather obvious tactic of reducing it by using less. I also wanted to celebrate the many easy ways of reducing use, via both new technologies and simply measuring energy use efficiently.
Somewhere along the way, in July 2008 to be exact, I came across the shale energy revolution. It immediately occurred to me that if the rocks in the United States were productive, so would they be everywhere. Even I, at that time, had no notion of the size of the resources later revealed to lie beneath our feet wherever in the world we stand. Even though the great good news of globally prevalent natural gas was obvious to me, it wasn’t to others. Many people had to go through the cycle of ignorance, disbelief, denial, and ultimate acceptance. I’m not sure if I’ll ever write a book, but if I do it will include emails and opinions of the greatest energy experts and best known journalists in Europe, who almost to a man (women being far smarter), insisting the shale revolution was among other things, a scam, a pipe dream, dangerous or just impossible. In common with the US shale pioneers, I was derided or thought of as some kind of kook.
But I was certain I was right. Most of all, having no reputation, and even less funds, I had nothing to lose. I was also fortunate, in that almost from the start, some very smart people in the US, and later overseas, encouraged me, rarely I make clear, in financial ways. I’ve always said that not many people read No Hot Air - only smart ones. Their moral support, has been invaluable.
NaturalGas2.0 will take things to a new level. Over the past two years, even as the size and permanence of the energy transformation became unassailable in the US, opposition to it, within and without North America, often became louder and louder. Wherever I’ve been in the world, the lack of public support for natural gas, is constantly cited, not only by greens but also by other energy actors and finance as reason why the shale revolution either won’t happen at all or only years into the future. Even worse, many even in the shale sector themselves shared the view.
But things have changed. Shale is here and it’s staying. It will have an impact worldwide far greater - and sooner - than many once thought and many still fear. The impact as I noted in 2010, was a “white swan” - a very unlikely, but high impact event that was unbelievable, especially in the UK, simply because in the UK especially, any change at all is considered to be a change for the worse. Since then, others have pointed out that shale energy is on a par with the internet - a positively disruptive event for the vast majority of the planet.
I’ve gotten tired of two things in particular. One was explaining what No Hot Air meant. Secondly, was the countless media opinion as to how public acceptance presented such an imposing challenge.
I would also add a third thing. Within the industry, no one was quite sure what to do about public acceptance. Everybody talked about it, but it was like the weather. Nobody ever did anything about it.
NaturalGas2.0 is a reboot of shale. It’s hard to believe but only in 2008, and still in the titles of conferences like the one I’ll be at in Vienna this week, talk is still of “unconventional” gas. That is now an outdated concept and at NaturalGas2.0, a key principle will be to stop defending natural gas and to start advancing it. NG2.0 will promote natural gas in an unapologetic and positive way to a more general audience who have either never known, or simply forgot what a wonderful fuel we have in natural gas. That involves educating the more general public not only about natural gas, but energy in general: power, transportation, industry, maritime shipping and most of all the potential to reduce both air pollution and carbon emissions. NG2.0 won't be the only player in the field, but I hope that this site will be a valuable resource providing solutions instead of talking about problems.
As in any new home, the rooms of NaturalGas2.0 will sometimes contain doors or boxes that are either empty, or full of things long ago forgotten. The walls may not have enough pictures and, like most new homeowners, we may have a beautiful structure but not the immediate funds or time to make things perfect from moving-in day.
Finally thank you for support from whenever you discovered No Hot Air, from the double figure visitors of 2008 and 09, to the hundreds of 2012 or the thousands of the past year. Thanks again.