Hopium for the masses, renewable energy edition

fuel cell car

As Derrick Jensen points out, this "culture as a whole and most of its members are insane." For my part, I continue to be surprised at the number of people who believe in infinite growth on a finite planet. I continue to be amazed at the number of people who believe a politician cares about them, and that their favorite politician will act in their best interests. I continue to be surprised … [Read more...]

Will Sandy bring more clean tech to the U.S.?

solar panels

After a lashing from Superstorm Sandy and a lot of political scrutiny during the election process, the U.S. might like to look at its environmental policies. The world’s largest economy is not leading the way in terms of taking environmental responsibility. At the recent Rio+20 summit it committed itself to very few new national targets, and amended some previous targets to make them more … [Read more...]

Weekly Wisdom: EF Schumacher on non-violent economics

EF Schumacher

Modern economics does not distinguish between renewable and nonrenewable materials, as its very method is to equalize and quantify everything by means of a money price. Thus, taking various alternative fuels, like coal, oil, wood, or water-power: the only difference between them recognized by modern economics is relative cost per equivalent unit. The cheapest is automatically the one to be … [Read more...]

Saudis still planning more nukes. Do they know something we don’t?

Bahrian diplomats arrive in Riyadh

Despite the plans of major electricity users around the world to pull away from nuclear power after Fukushima, Saudi Arabia has announced that it's planning to start building power reactors at a breakneck pace. Why? "To reduce its reliance on polluting fossil fuels," according to Al Arabiya (via my friend Steve Knox). Peak oil is a state secret As the people who pump many of those fossil … [Read more...]

The U.S. fatso after a miracle diet of renewables

monster truck

Almost every day on the way to campus I watch all kinds of monster trucks overtaking my small diesel engine-powered car.  The drivers look down at me with amusement and proudly roar from all of their eight monster cylinders, spewing their monster exhaust fumes.  All these dinosaurs on wheels usually carry one person, who is not getting anywhere any faster than I do.  They do burn, however, … [Read more...]

Tune in, turn off, hang up

Bill McKibben wants Obama to save the world through solar panels.

In 1988, as an eighth grader in Mr. Cedric A. S. Paine’s Introductory to Physical Science class, I tried to create the greenhouse effect in a two-liter Coke bottle. It kind of worked, but more importantly, the project made a powerful impact on me that remains to this day. In 1989, a writer from the Adirondacks published The End of Nature. It was the first book for a popular audience about … [Read more...]

Solar power: the teddy bear of energy sources

teddy bear

Is there a more lovable energy source than solar power? Its fuel is light from the sun, which is free and available almost anywhere. It's entirely clean to run. It's easy to install and maintain. The big utilities can use it to generate green grid power, but you can also put it on your own roof to become your own utility or to go off-grid. And did I mention that it's powered by THE … [Read more...]