While his former employer and their competitors have been rolling in record profits for yet another quarter, Sir Mark Moody-Stewart thinks things need to change. Moody-Stewart was the former chairman of Royal Dutch Shell until his retirement in 2005. In an editorial posted on the BBC web site, the former oil company exectutive makes it clear that he feels the way energy drives the world's economy needs to change. According to Moody-Stewart, the sources of energy need to change radically. At a minimum, at least half of of the carbon content in our energy supplies needs to be eliminated in the future, and the amount of energy needed to produce every unit of GDP also needs to be halved.

While Moody-Stewart believes in consumer choice and market forces, he also acknowledges that they both tend to lead to short-term thinking. People will tend to make the decisions that benefit themselves now, rather than years into the future. Some degree of government regulation is necessary in order to channel those forces so that people are encouraged to make decisions that will lead to better outcomes. It's definitely a refreshing change from a long-time oil company executive. With world energy requirements expected to increase 70 percent by 2030 from 2006 levels, it's clear that simply changing the sources of energy won't be enough. At the same time, because of the time and development that needs to happen, the transition needs to start happening now before the cost of fossil fuels becomes so high that economies are destroyed.

[Source: BBC]