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Surprising Science

Calling All Pragmentalists!

Vinod Khosla, founding CEO of Sun Microsystems and founder of Khosla Ventures, is on record as having said that he can’t imagine oil being more than $30 a barrel by 2030. The reason? “It will have to compete it’s way down to compete with biofuels. And the cost of production of biofuels is the marginal cost of rent on land, and if you look at fundamental economics, that’s the number it will drive to in real terms, real dollars.” 

Khosla, a big believer in the idea that economic gravity always rules, thinks environmentalists trying to convert the rest of the world into environmentalists are going the wrong way. “We need to take environmentalists and turn them into what I call ‘pragmentalists.’ That understand the role of economics, economic gravity in large social adoption of new energy sources, technologies, everything else.”

This clip is part of a roundtable discussion hosted by Big Think in on March 26, 2010 in Houston. “Our Energy Future” was moderated by Tom Stewart, Chief Marketing and Knowledge Officer at Booz & Co. On the panel: Peter Voser, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell; Vinod Khosla, founding CEO of Sun Microsystems; and Marc Stuart, Co-Founder of EcoSecurities.


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