Monday, July 2, 2012

The Rational Middle

Until I started following the Haynesville Shale four years ago, I had not taken a deeply focused look at the energy industry.  What shocked me and continues to disappoint me is the level of misunderstanding about the big picture.  With the advent of the internet and hyperinformation, the trend has only gotten worse as the speed at which misinformation travels has grown exponentially.  And I'm not just talking about fracking and the fight over climate change.  We are living in a world where people are gravitating to highly polarized positions that are gradually sliding farther away from one another.  Rationality has been replaced by hysteria.

There is a void, a chasm, in the middle, the rational middle.  And that middle ground is just what Gregory Kallenberg is out to create through The Rational Middle Energy Series.  You might remember Kallenberg as the creator of the documentary "Haynesville. The Rational Middle is a series of short films that tries to get at the big picture of global energy. So far (in my viewing of the films) the driving concept is creating a "clean energy future" focusing on the fact that the world population continues to grow rapidly and people are becoming more affluent, which drives energy consumption even higher.  It's a vexing concept when you think about what is going on beyond our shores.

Unfortunately, for a series attempting to find middle ground, the attacks against it have already started.  The biggest issue is that the series is funded by Shell.  This fact is disclosed and discussed in the introductory film.  The filmmakers have creative and content control, but Shell is the cornerstone donor and that will create a credibility problem for many.  Not for me, though.

I just hope people will give the Rational Middle a chance, in the energy discussion and elsewhere in politics and general discourse.

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