Big Oil spreads the word about Big Innovation
Obviously spooked by the prospect that Americans might finally embrace alternative energy sources like ethanol, the oil industry is mounting a massive PR campaign based around "innovation" to get out in front of the issue. Much as British Petroleum changed its name to BP ("Beyond Petroleum") in an effort to change its public image, Big Oil is trying to convince people that it has been spending millions upon millions of dollars on R&D work related to alternative energy:
"When some of the industry's top executives gather in Houston
next week to discuss global energy challenges, finding new and more
effective ways to produce oil and gas -- as well as alternatives to
fossil fuels -- will dominate the discussion. And, as the year progresses, expect to see industry leaders --
including the chiefs of ConocoPhillips and Royal Dutch Shell PLC's
U.S. division -- speaking in cities across America in an
unprecedented campaign to educate consumers on energy related
issues and discuss topics such as ethanol and renewable fuels. It's
also an opportunity for the companies to polish their images.
[...] "There's never been as much effort going into technological
innovation across the whole energy industry as we're seeing
today," said Daniel Yergin, chairman of Cambridge Energy Research
Associates, a consultancy, and author of "The Prize," the
Pulitzer Prize-winning history of the oil industry."
According to the CEO of ConocoPhillips, U.S. oil
companies have invested $11 billion in North America on renewable
and other forms of energy in the past five years. And for that type of commitment to the environment (ahem), they want a role in shaping the future of American energy policy:
"Mulva [CEO of ConocoPhillips] called President Bush's proposal for expanding ethanol use
to reduce gas consumption "very well motivated," but he said
industry leaders "want a seat at the table" when state and
federal officials set standards for the use and development of
alternative energy sources.
"We believe very strongly the best way of meeting those metrics
is to determine what they are and then let the industry ... come up
with the resources and plans to meet those, (rather) than have
mandates saying specifically, 'You have to do it this way and
that," he said."
[image: Oil field worker]
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Research by neuroscientists at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory helps explain how the brain regulates arousal.
The big day has come: You are taking your road test to get your driver's license. As you start your mom's car with a stern-faced evaluator in the passenger seat, you know you'll need to be alert but not so excited that you make mistakes. Even if you are simultaneously sleep-deprived and full of nervous energy, you need your brain to moderate your level of arousal so that you do your best.
A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.
- Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
- The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
- According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
When these companies compete, in the current system, the people lose.
- When a company reaches the top of the ladder, they typically kick it away so that others cannot climb up on it. The aim? So that another company can't compete.
- When this happens in the pharmaceutical world, certain companies stay at the top of the ladder, through broadly-protected patents, at the cost of everyday people benefitting from increased competition.
- Since companies have worked out how to legally game the system, Amin argues we need to get rid of this "one size fits all" system, which treats product innovation — "tweaks" — the same as product invention.
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