For sale, habitable planet, too late

Wave Breaker

According to legend, Ernest Hemingway bet his 1920s-era colleagues he could write a complete story in just six words. Hemingway is said to have considered the resulting piece his best work: “For Sale, Baby Shoes, Never Worn.” Making no attempt to keep up with Hemingway, this article provides an overview of the dire climate-change situation in fewer than 300 words. Perhaps even Twitter users … [Read more...]

Always the last to know

Climate Change

Quiz time, readers: what do the US Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA, the Transportation Department, the Department of Defense, the Department of the Interior, the Energy Department, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce, the Government Accountability Office, and the CIA have in common? It’s a long list of government departments … [Read more...]

A new kind of Christmas story

Dead Soldier Wreaths

'Tis the season for reaching out, connecting, and gifts, for good or for ill. One of the Christmas cards was unintentionally soaked in irony. I'll forgo the tempting rant about a religious holiday that has been co-opted to promote conspicuous consumption in an empire founded on secular ideals and skip straight to the card and its message. Filled with proud stories of the kids in the U.S. … [Read more...]

Are You Ready for an Oil “Change?”

Peak oil banner

Get the information and insights you need to navigate the future for your business, your family, your community, your country. Our economy, national security, and environment are all linked to oil.  It touches every aspect of modern life. But oil is changing, and your world is changing with it. The ASPO-USA Conference, co-hosted with The University of Texas, will help you understand and … [Read more...]

The rust-bucket reactors start to fall

Toy

The US fleet of 104 deteriorating atomic reactors is starting to fall. The much-hyped "nuclear renaissance" is now definitively headed in reverse. The announcement that Wisconsin's Kewaunee will shut next year will be remembered as a critical dam break. Opened in 1974, Kewaunee has fallen victim to low gas prices, declining performance, unsolved technical problems and escalating public … [Read more...]

Peak oil and climate change: hold your nose and vote

Obama at debate

At last night's third and final presidential debate, we heard about horses and bayonets, nukes and drones, Israel and Iran and whether we should just give up on Pakistan. But, for the first time since 1988, we didn't hear anything last night or in either of the two previous debates this year about climate change. As to energy, it came up much less in last night's foreign policy debate than … [Read more...]

Clean power for all (Offer not available in some areas)

electric storm

A year ago I would've loved the optimistic and can-do tone of Power from the People: How to Organize, Finance, and Launch Local Energy Projects. The book is not only inspiring. It's also realistic. While all too many solar panel and wind turbine buffs are Polyannas who promise that America can enjoy decades of economic growth in the future if only we'd dump dirty energy for solar and wind, … [Read more...]

Indian grid failure offers lesson to us all

US electricity at night

A Washington Post story yesterday about the (so far) two-day electricity blackout that affected 600 million citizens was a study in trying to find an answer to the acute predicament facing Mother India. Numerous officials are cited in the article, mainly scratching their heads, baffled over the cause of grid collapse. Yet one paragraph stood out for its more definitive take on the problem. Indian … [Read more...]

Battening down the hatches

Derecho

It's been almost two weeks since the debilitating derecho descended almost stealth-like on half of America, a heat-breathing storm of epic proportions. It came on the heels of several days of equally epic heat engulfing that same wide swath of American terrain. The difference was that the storm came and went whereas the heat lingered on interminably. In the wake of both events a predictable … [Read more...]

Cheap gas no reprieve from peak oil

2.99 gas

We think everybody needs to know about peak oil these days, when oil companies are trying to snooker the public into believing that today's cheap unconventional oil and natural gas will solve our energy problems for decades to come. Everybody should know why this is wrong. But not everybody is ready for either wonky analyses of oil depletion curves on the one hand or bleak warnings of the imminent … [Read more...]