Roger Pielke, Jr.
Roger A. Pielke, Jr. joined the faculty of the University of Colorado in 2001. He is currently Professor in the Environmental Studies Program and a Fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences (CIRES). At CIRES Roger serves as the Director of the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research. He also served as the Director of Graduate Studies for the University's Graduate Program in Environmental Studies from 2002-2004. Roger's current areas of interest include understanding the relations of science and politics, technology policy in the atmospheric and related sciences, use and value of prediction in decision making, and policy education for scientists. In 2000, Roger received the Sigma Xi Distinguished Lectureship Award and in 2001, he received the Outstanding Graduate Advisor Award by students in the University of Colorado's Department of Political Science. Before joining the University of Colorado, from 1993-2001 Roger was a Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
Making energy access meaningful
In an essay published in Issues in Science and Technology, Roger Pielke Jr. and Morgan Bazilian (then with the Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory) seek to help clarify the challenge of energy access, expose assumptions that are informing policy design in the development and diplomatic communities, and offer a framework for future discussions rooted in the aspirations of people around the world to achieve energy access compatible with a decent standard of living. Compounding the difficulty of decision-making in such a complex space is that the concept of “energy access” is often defined in terms that are unacceptably modest. Discussions about energy and poverty commonly assume that the roughly 2 billion to 3 billion people who presently lack modern energy services will only demand or consume them in small amounts over the next several decades. This assumption leads to projections of future energy consumption that are not only potentially far too low, but therefore imply, even if unintentionally, that those billions will remain deeply impoverished. Such limited ambition risks becoming self-fulfilling, because the way we view the scale of the challenge will strongly influence the types of policies, technologies, levels of investment, and investment vehicles that analysts and policy makers consider to be appropriate.