Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Demo Request


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Bloomberg Customers

Businessweek Archives

Energy crisis: Why we should study Gen. Grant

? Weblogs Inc. Takes Ohio |


| A law against MySpace in schools could backfire ?

May 12, 2006

Energy crisis: Why we should study Gen. Grant

Stephen Baker

I was walking through the University of Texas campus yesterday, looking at all these students wearing backpacks equipped with a water bottle. I thought of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. His big breakthrough came at the Battle of Vicksburg. With their control of Vicksburg, the Confederates plugged the Mississippi River. Grant wanted to circle his army around Vicksburg and attack them from behind, but this would have meant establishing massive and slow supply trains. So Grant did something radical: He went without supplies and fed his army off the ground.

Now, as we face today's energy crisis, we've gotten in the bad habit of lugging our supplies around. The water bottle is a small example, a Winnebago a big one. Carrying our supplies is convenient if we have limitless energy. If we have what we need, we don't need to ask for help. We don't need to knock on doors or talk to people, not even to ask them where there might be a water fountain. Grant's army surely made life miserable for the farm folks behind Vicksburg. But it doesn't have to be that way for us. If we carry less and talk to each other more, we'll waste less energy and maybe even make more friends in the process.

Special weekend bonus: Abraham Lincoln's words when he learned of Grant's victory at Vicksburg: "The Father of Waters flows unvexed to the sea."

09:48 AM

Weekend Rant

blog comments powered by Disqus