Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Cheap Power = Prosperity

Energy is the pillar upon which economic growth is built. “The difference between the developed world and everybody else,” says author Robert Bryce, “is [affordable] electricity.” But simple math and basic physics show that chasing energy sources with low power densities will not get us to where we need to be.

Climate change, pollution, famine, war, water shortages, terrorism; it’s enough to give one “collapse anxiety,” but is it accurate? Not according to Robert Bryce, an energy writer-researcher who has been covering business since 1989. His books, “Power Hungry,” and the recently published “Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper,” are exhaustively researched handbooks on how technologies, particularly in energy, are making our lives better—and greener.

In April 2010, he joined the Manhattan Institute as a senior fellow in the think tank’s Center for Energy Policy and the Environment. That we are doomed to scarcity and shortage, says Bryce, is the view advanced by neo-Malthusians and the “de-growth” movement, whose prescriptions by now are familiar: Nuclear energy is bad. Genetically modified food is bad. Coal isn’t just bad; it’s evil. Oil is bad. Natural gas, once thought to be OK, is now bad because the process used to obtain it—hydraulic fracturing—is bad. These all must be replaced by Earth-friendly sources like renewables.

“Neo-Malthusians have overlooked a critical factor that has improved conditions for mankind for centuries: Innovation.”

Catastrophists claim that we are running out of essential commodities. We will surely pay for our sins against Earth. Rubbish, asserts Bryce. The neo-Malthusians have overlooked a critical factor that has improved conditions for mankind for centuries: Innovation. We are continually making things “Smaller, Faster, Lighter, Denser, Cheaper”—hence the title of his new book. The ability to innovate not only makes us richer, it allows us to do more with less. Nor, says Bryce, is it dependent on ideology.

“It might even survive Republicans and Democrats,” he quips. Business leaders and investors, he argues, must keep this in mind and not be dissuaded or discouraged by the incessant drumbeat of doom. He unabashedly celebrates business and the entrepreneur, because they are driving the trend toward smaller, faster, lighter, denser, cheaper. He quotes the 2013 book “Conscious Capitalism,” written by his friend and fellow Austin resident, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey.


  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events


    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

    Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

    1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
    2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
    3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)


    Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.