On climate and data

Unfortunately, science is not based on data anymore, but on people’s opinions. We don’t try to learn the data, and instead get caught up in the buzzwords. We confuse correlation with causation, forgetting that correlation is not causation!

The climate is a non-linear, chaotic system that lacks a core of implicit order. As such, it is beyond our ability to fully understand and accurately predict. Carbon dioxide is essential to live on our planet, and it can’t be the enemy. By driving narratives that are not anchored in data, we lose sight of the bigger picture. Fossil fuel is a reliable, environment-friendly, and cost-effective energy source, while wind and solar, for example, are not.

The measurement of self value

More than anything, Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter brought forth the question of what is real. The battle between bots and humans is not simply a question of what is the real value of a company, but how our obsession with measuring self-value is leading us down a path that will land us in the fire of a digital hell.

How many times have you watched ‘Friends’? How many times have you had sex? How many vehicles did you drive? Why is our physical reality not being measured the same way our digital interactions are?

The way the digital realm is changing our perspective on the measurement of self-value is becoming more and more dangerous to our basic human interactions and mental models. It is shifting our focus from the data to people’s options, and by doing that it’s creating an extremely subjective environment where facts are not relevant as long as the numbers of likes and shares are high.


Before we rush to upgrade all of our transportation models to a so-called green technology, we should step up our efforts and ensure that we have a grid and an infrastructure that is capable of carrying us into the future.

Dispatchability is a major consideration in the way we currently power our world. If we are not willing to invest in smarter methods for harvesting and storing green energy, we will never be able to control the way we ramp up or down our grids in an efficient, sustainable, and reliable way. (we can’t control the wind or harvest sunlight during the night)

Fascism for our future

Net-zero and the green deal philosophies pose the greatest threat to our societal and physical infrastructures. Antagonistic towards human beings and science, and full of a fascist tone, these philosophies, if fully adopted and implemented, could bring about the doom and gloom they aim to prevent.

Sustainability is a balance between environmental, equity, and economic considerations. It dawned on me that the keyword is balance. The scare-driven narratives behind net-zero and the green deal are jeopardizing the already delicate balance we have in securing a sustainable future. They push us towards not just an unattainable future, but one that is unnecessary.

Killing in the name – When everyone wants a job but no one wants to work anymore

Amazon has stopped using their six-wheeled robot, “Scout,” for home deliveries. FedEx is planning to discontinue its last-mile robot, Roxo.

FedEx chief transformation officer Sriram Krishnasam told employees that the last-mile delivery robot will be scaled back.

“Although robotics and automation are key pillars of our innovation strategy, Roxo did not meet necessary near-term value requirements for DRIVE,” Krishnasam wrote in the memo. “Although we are ending the research and development efforts, Roxo served a valuable purpose: to rapidly advance our understanding and use of robotic technology.”

At one hand, this is brilliant for humans who work with package logistics supply chain—they get to keep their jobs. I have always argued that we shouldn’t blindly replace human jobs with technology, and that technology is here to make us better humans, not replace us. Yet, I cannot help but wonder about the larger issues—the gap between policymaking, technology development, and social needs, wishes, and preferences.

Technology-driven automation has been around for a while. However, our physical and social infrastructure was always able to accommodate these technologies and the users repurposing of that technology.

With the advancements of technology and its impact on our social fabric, along with the lack of accountability and smarter decisions by policymakers, our infrastructure is beginning to show signs of wear.

Look at South Korea. The demographic problems are clearly showing a disconnect between the situation to its potentials. Samsung is placing a lot of emphasis on automation due to a lack of available workers. The construction industry is facing a shortage of 250,000 employees. Schools are closing due to a lack of students. The taxi industry is lacking 30% of its manpower. The South Korea crisis wasn’t entirely unexpected, given the writing that was on the wall for some time now. However, it was pushed back by those who cling to the past.

South Korea must be a red flag to Europe and the US. The demographic challenges and the shift in social needs, wishes, and preferences where everyone wants a job but no one wants to work anymore will require a new set of policies.  We cannot continue to patch our societal building blocks and infrastructure with temporary fixes. We must allocate enough management power, budget, and intellect to reflect on our future before it will become our present.

Amazon and FedEx’s struggle with their automated delivery services is a failure only if policymakers, cities, and business are unwilling to learn from it, as it is not a failure of technology, but of the business model and infrastructure.

Driving into a wall—an automotive gold rush or a gold rash.

Not long ago, the automotive industry estimated that investment in electric cars would reach $600 billion until 2030. Yet now we can see that this number is doubling to a whopping $1.2 trillion. This will include an estimated 50 million new electric vehicles, as well as the batteries and raw materials needed to support their production.

Tesla is leading the pack with a promise of 20 million new electric vehicles, while Volkswagen has ambitions to build its electric car portfolio. Toyota has announced a $100 billion investment in new vehicles. Ford, Mercedes, BMW, and others are not far behind.

This new race present few questions. Until not long ago, companies such as Volvo refused to even benchmark Tesla as an automotive company. It’s interesting to think about the fact that Volvo already had a concept electric car in the late 80s. Today, Polestar is edging itself closer to being a Tesla 3 competitor, something that has put the idea of a premium brand into question. Volvo and Polestar are not alone; the entire industry is in marketing, communication, and positioning disarray.

The mixing of message techniques, confusing narratives, and false information about the benefits and impact of electrification are creating a scenario that could be one of the biggest pitfalls for an industry in the coming days.

It appears that the $1.2 trillion (almost high as google’s $1.3 trillion value) is base on fashion more than anything else.

I don’t deny that the goals look good on paper. Who wouldn’t want to live in a world without pollution, where everything is powered by a silent, electric engine? Where we can use our mobile devices to control our cars, similarly to how we would use a computer. But the Net Zero targets can’t hold water—in theory, we have enough global reserves of nickel and lithium to make enough batteries for electric cars—but only if we use these materials for batteries for electric cars. Cobalt is an entirely different question. That we absolutely do not have enough of. What would we do in a future where we harvested all the natural materials needed for electric vehicles? And that is just one of the issues with electric cars.

Another problem with electric cars is that they aren’t really an environmentally friendly choice. From the energy that we need to produce to power the vehicles to the process of production of the materials needed to build them and the batteries. The total energy cost is far higher than the energy cost of an old-fashioned combustion engine. Furthermore, considering the energy required for logistics behind it all and the relative short lifespan of a battery, and the total environmental cost of the electric vehicle industry is much higher than what we are told.

I have no doubt that in the future, new technologies will enable us to approach the level of perfection we achieve when we write on paper, like with the Green Deal. However, they will require a more holistic view of the challenges. Before we run blind into a wall, we must ask and tackle questions such as those related to infrastructure, how we harvest and process materials, and how we look at production logistics. We must also ask questions related to technologies such as nuclear power gen IV.

In the animal kingdom, it is known as natural evolution. A 96-year-old ‘national treasure’ has preached that we must pay any price to satisfy the new cult of the green god. More rational and cost-effective views are available.

Between AI, work and being human

The impact of artificial intelligence and on the world of work in the coming decades will be an interesting shift for us as human beings. Will see us move away from having to apply routine cognitive skills to everything we do. Jobs that require efficiency, technical skills, and constant learning will increasingly be taken out of our hands. As AI technologies will evolve, thy will send weaves through the fabric of our everyday lives. The instant execution of service and interaction that today require a linear, serial thinking will allow us to reimagine productivity and deliveries in a whole new way.

We are approaching a future where work will be more focused on creativity, ideation, and social interaction. The focus will be on being human rather than doing a job.

On US, Europe, and Russia leadership

A confused leadership, stubborn leadership and a spinless leadership walk into a bar… This might sounds like a joke yet both in our geopolitical and industrial landscapes, this is the reality. While we are now facing unprecedented challenges. Not just for our tomorrows but for one of our children, it appears that we are led by those who are blind to the implications of their actions (or maybe we are the blind ones)

You can’t resolve today conflicts using yesterday’s means. One must look into the future and reverse engineer the desired impacts into meaningful steps that are anchored in a new (needed) landscape. A landscape that can actually accommodate our place in the future, Innovation, and transformation should close the gap between politics, society, and technology rather than deepen it.

Simple 4 steps when facing the unknown 

  1. Spend time identifying unknowns in domains critical to the stability and development of your organizations. Don’t fall into the sublation trap. Start with asking the questions.
  2. Challenge each question until the ones that are left can’t be challenged anymore.
  3. Inspire your team and the creation of multiple strategies to realize the above. Remember that only one strategy will support you moving forward as long as it never met reality. The multi-strategy approach will secure a constant flow and movement forward.
  4. Design a set of experiments and scenarios in relevant domains to better stress-test your strategies—the ones that survived gives you your solution to deploy 

The Future of eMobility – Is Electromobility inevitable? Is eMobility still inevitable, or do hurdles for electromobility remain?

The very nature of our world is one of continual change. This, for the most part, is a very positive thing. Occasionally, though, we get somewhat slightly ahead of ourselves and neglect to use our rearview mirror as we hurtle uncompromisingly into a pre-defined future.

Take the electric car as a prime example. The entire automotive industry has been pulled, pushed and cornered into accepting the inevitability of eMobility. Sure, studies have been performed, DOE, the EPA and the EU have issued directives calling for a shift away from internal combustion engined vehicles, and battery chemistry is advancing at pace. But when you zoom out and look at the bigger picture, it can be difficult to accept that all the due diligence has, in fact, been done.

Devil in the details

To get a better understanding of where we currently find ourselves, it is necessary to examine how we got here. Humanity’s quest for progress and profit have delivered us to the veritable crossroads that Robert Johnson sang about. For progress demands a price, much as the Devil does in Mr. Johnson’s song.

Around two years ago, TEMPUS.MOTU GROUP was charged with providing insights into the challenges that remain in the shift to electromobility and increased electrification. To say that, we identified a rather large pachyderm in the room would be something of an understatement. Policymakers, despite clear signals from the automotive industry, decided to bring the curtain down on internal combustion engines and ‘encourage’ automakers to begin the switch to electric propulsion systems. To be fair, there was mostly stick and very little carrot involved in the discussions that led to this dictate.

The real culprits

However, everyone agreed that the internal combustion engine had outlived its usefulness and was a key contributor to climate change, even though power generation, the air travel and shipping industries, along with construction, remain the biggest contributing culprits.

The task we had been given was to provide a group of companies with some insights and potential pathways forward, whilst highlighting the challenges that lay ahead on their pre-determined journey.

What emerged was fascinating. A complete disconnect between policymakers demands, access to the required natural resources, a lack of strategic planning and threat analysis, little or no public consultation on the question of electro mobility, and a decidedly poor international-level approach to what would ostensibly become one of the major technology shifts of our time.

As usual, policymakers made the simplistic choice to replace one technology (the combustion engine) with another (the electric motor and battery) without fully examining the potential for disruptive alternatives.

Horses’ asses

To paraphrase my business partner, Aric Dromi, we continue to design everything in our mobility and logistic systems around the width of two horses’ asses (based on the initial technology – the chariot – for which the Roman Empire built its first roads). For a wonderfully inventive and imaginative species, we seem to be very attached to our horses’ asses, as we continue to design everything around them…

Of course public consultations do not necessarily provide any measure of actionable direction, but they do offer a snapshot of peoples’ pain points in the current mobility paradigm, from which one might extrapolate and experiment with alternatives.

Similarly, we found that while governments were hell-bent on a technology shift towards electrification, they seemed less aware of the crumbling nature of the electrical grids in their charge and their marked inability to meet the coming demand for both generation and distribution of electricity (green or not) to power the cars of tomorrow. It is somewhat akin to having a baby in an empty bathtub.

The lack of foresight, planning, or even awareness to the potential challenges that lay ahead was nothing short of criminal. One must only look back around 20 years when diesel-engined cars were heralded, by the same cadre of policymakers, as being better for the environment than petrol-engined cars.

Of course hindsight is infrequently experienced with less than 20-20 vision, but to continue making such schoolboy errors is unforgivable, given the current state in which we find our planet.

Investment required

Our findings were relatively straightforward and actionable. We saw a clear need for massive levels of investment in national electricity grids and power generation facilities – the kind of investments that governments and nations alone might struggle to achieve without private investment – even in the short term. For without this and without the underlying charging infrastructure that electric cars demand, there will be a lot of immobile electric cars on our streets in the coming years.

We also understood the huge challenge that was dropped onto the laps of the automotive industry, forcing them to adapt combustion-engined platforms to electric propulsion, when in fact they would have benefited from another 8-10 years to develop a ‘skateboard’ platform that better met the needs of an electric car. We are getting there today, but it has been a costly process, during which time the Hydrogen Economy has emerged to fracture consensus.

A new way of thinking

One cannot help but think that once again we are traveling down that old Roman road, two asses wide, when we have an opportunity to re-imagine public transport and personal mobility, just as we have the potential to re-imagine the road haulage, construction, steel and shipping industries.

The potential for smart grids, metered by AI, a move to a form of Universal Basic Public Transport to reduce single-person journeys, a fresh approach to town planning that puts people, rather than traffic first, is not too much to ask for.

If we must cross The Rubicon, let us do so in full knowledge that things cannot remain as they once were. If the current gas, oil, and electricity shortages brought about by the conflict in Ukraine tells us anything, it is that we are still not prepared for tomorrow, or today, for that matter.

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