This talk describes a novel methodology to understand global energy systems and their evolution. We are incorporating state-of-the-art open tools in information science and technology (Google, Google Earth, Wikis, Content Management Systems, etc.) to create a global real time observatory for energy infrastructure, generation, and consumption. The observatory will establish and update geographical and temporally referenced records and analyses of the historical, current, and evolving global energy systems, the energy end-use of individuals, and their associated environmental impacts. Changes over time in energy production, use, and infrastructure will be identified and correlated to drivers, such as demographics, economic policies, incentives, taxes, and costs of energy production by various technologies. As time permits Dr. Gupta will show, using Google Earth, existing data on power generation infrastructure in three countries (South Africa, India and the USA) and highlight examples of unanticipated crisis (South Africa), environment (USA) and exponential growth (India). Finally Dr. Gupta will comment on how/why trust and transparency created by democratization of information that such a system would provide could motivate cooperation, provide a framework for compliance and monitoring of global treaties, and precipitate action towards carbon-neutral systems.
Rajan Gupta is the leader of the Elementary Particles and Field Theory group at Los Alamos National Laboratory and a Laboratory fellow. He came to the USA in 1975 after obtaining his Masters in Physics from Delhi University, India, and earned his PhD in Theoretical Physics from The California Institute of Technology in 1982. The main thrust of his research is to understand the fundamental theories of elementary particle interactions, in particular the interactions of quarks and gluons and the properties hadrons composed of them. In addition, he uses modeling and simulations to study Biological and Statistical Mechanics systems, and to push the envelope of High Performance Computing. Starting in 1998 his interests broadened into the areas of health, education, development and energy security. He is currently carrying out an integrated systems analysis of global energy systems. In 2000 Dr. Gupta started the forum “International Security in the new Millennium” at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Its goals are to understand global issues dealing with societal and security challenges.