I think most of the folks who read this section of ZDnet understand how digital tech and the future of energy, mineral and water and air resource use are so closely interconnected. But occasionally somebody who really doesn't want global warming written about, or hates the very idea that gasoline in America might cost as much as it does in Europe, will gripe about the topic of this blog. So I answered one frequent critic with a fairly calm repsonse to his request that I vanish into the blogosphere, never to write again. To wit, I wrote:
[I'm here] "Because any future energy system , even if coal-powered, will make great use of IT, software and digital technologies. As will any affort to convert energy systems to solar, wind, tidal, etc. Even the digital and nano-tech being used in cars now and in future will come from firms employing materials and IT professionals. Sorry, but it is way too simplistic to think that only 1985's definition of technology can be applied to the world of 2009. The Internet and digital technology have penetrated nearly all sophisticaed industries. I believe most pigs and chickens still live without microchips, but even that may end soon.
"And do you really think there is any business manager today who does not consider energy costs, pollution taxes, regulatory moves and water use in planning for future capital or operational changes? Most managers now understand that everything is connected, electricity and paper and hard drives and styrofoam packing material do not drop perfectly from the sky. If all this is too complicated for you, or upsets your simplistic world view, or jostles your unitary political prejudices, go read the comics."
I should add that IT and engineering will be crucial in future decades even if global warming is proven to be the latest flat earth theory, even if all that happens is that China re-orders the world enerrgy markets, even if electrical grids are only made less dumb, not truly smart. And almost none of the major tech companies from Google to IBM to Cisco will be outside the economic sector that deals with energy, water, air, pollution and other resource use and abuse.