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Predicting the future ... by inventing it

Being such a young organization, it feels a little strange pointing back to things we did in the past, but our long-time followers will remember our Monterey Shale series, released last fall and covering the economic prospects of oil extraction in the formation. Back then we called the projections "too big to believe." This week the Energy Information Agency substantiated our assessment by downgrading their projections of recoverable oil in the Monterey from 13.7 billion barrels to just 0.6, a 96 percent decrease.

The implications of the Monterey downgrade are huge, but more than anything else, this news points out our need to stop needing oil so much. As Kate Gordon, Vice President and Director of our Energy and Climate Program, points out in this week’s California Energy & Climate News, “As long as we rely on petroleum as our primary transportation fuel source … we’ll be prisoners to price volatility, geopolitical strife, and a host of negative health and climate impacts.” For ways to start the transition to an advanced energy economy, check out the suite of articles Kate published this week in the WSJ Experts blog.

We also need to continue the transition to a healthy, empowering environment in which all kids can grow up. Right now, almost 16 million American kids have limited or unstable access to nutritious food.  They’re 90 percent more likely to be reported in fair or poor overall health and two-thirds more likely to be at-risk for developmental delays. For more on food insecurity, see this week’s blog post by Next Generation interns Madelyn Gardner and Betty Zong.

It may feel strange to be looking back already, but that’s fine with me. I’m looking forward to the day when fossil fuel dependency and food insecurity will be a distant memory.

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