Without a doubt, the price of petrol in the U.S. is artificially low compared to the rest of the world. The Economist notes that Americans pay about half of what Europeans pay. The Dutch pay the most. The true price of petrol is a lot more than we pay at the pump. But do we realise this?
There is no official national newspaper in the United States. There is no Federal Department of Public Information. I guess the founding fathers did not want the new republic to succumb to potential government propaganda. Mastheads such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and USA Today all vie for the honour. My preference is the New York Times.
While in Washington, I have been getting USA Today delivered to my room. While I find it somewhat light on news and analysis, (I prefer The Washington Post while in DC), I quite like the Snapshot sections. According to its site the “USA TODAY Snapshots are easy-to-read statistical graphics that present information on various issues and trends in a visually appealing way.”
I have just seen the new brand identity for the 2015 Cricket World Cup. It positions co-hosts Australia and New Zealand as ‘the world’s toughest backyard.’ While I am fan of Test cricket (The Ashes in particular), I am not a fan of one day internationals, and never saw a match of this year’s World Cup. The involvement of several dubious (read corrupt) countries and their national cricket boards, spoils the gentlemen’s game for all. But I do like the brand and logo of the 2015 World Cup and I know we antipodeans will host a great event. A shame the Indians couldn’t.
After travelling for five hours across America we arrived in New York City late on Tuesday evening. Much of Wednesday was spent at Baruch College at the City University of New York with orientation, getting passes, IDs, and getting the feel of the campus, the city and getting to know the other fellows and the programme. The Professional Fellows Program is a dynamic one. Literally. Things are changing often daily and new components are added and changed. This can be frustrating but also interesting, for example we learnt today that we will be going on a trip to Cambridge, Massachusetts and visiting MIT. But then again, it may change.
This morning we travelled to San Jose in the Silicon Valley, to the Global Headquarters of Cisco. We had a full day at the Executive Briefing Centre where we were given an overview of all the energy efficient and innovative initiatives and technologies at Cisco, from the EnergyWise System to Cisco Cloud. My favourite was the TelePresence Conferencing. A step up from Skype and video conferencing, TelePresence has better quality video and audio. While it can never replace the initial human contact, I see it as a potential future of internal meetings across cities and countries. It would be interesting to see how many flights were saved from using this technology.
The goal of the fellowship is to promote mutual understanding and partnerships between key professional groups in the United States and their counterparts in Australia, China, Indonesia and Japan. The fellowship will examine the political, social, economic and technological drivers related to energy and climate change. From the management of climate change in urban settings, to smart cities, from energy politics to building sustainable economies.